How this one simple tool saved my butt on stage,
and how it can change your money life for good.

written by Bari Tessler October 16, 2019
Bari Tessler | Money Mochas

It was 2:17pm on a Thursday afternoon in mid-April of this year. I was sitting on a big stage in New York with a panel of speakers at the Women In The World conference at the Lincoln Center. The topic of the panel discussion? Women and money.

To my left was the award winning author Tayari Jones (american marriage), UBS Wealth Management’s global client strategy officer, Paula Polito, and the panel moderator from CNN, journalist and global affairs analyst, Bianna Golodryga.

To my right, a packed theater of 3,000 people were watching me. Thousands more were watching the livestream online. Moments before, Oprah and Stacey Abrams took their turns speaking on stage. 


To say I was nervous would be putting it lightly. This was, hands down, the biggest audience I’ve ever spoken in front of.

But my hair looked great and I was wearing a new perfect outfit for the event, so I had that going for me. 

I had already answered one question Bianna had asked me on stage and over the course of my 3 minute answer, I felt like I’d settled into my seat a bit. Inside, I was like “Okay…whew…I got this. This is a lot of people, but I can do this. Keep breathing.”

Tayari and Paula both answered questions, speaking for a handful of minutes each, and then quickly, without warning, Bianna brought the focus back to me with a question about money issues that come up in intimate relationships. 

I started my answer and then somehow…I lost my train of thought. Right. There. On Stage. With thousands of people looking at me. 

I had to think fast and I knew, somewhere deep in my bones, that I had only one choice: I had to be transparent and tell everyone watching that I was a bit nervous, and then I needed to do a very quick body check-in to ground myself. 

So I paused and said to everyone that this was the biggest stage I’d ever been on and that I was really nervous. 

Then I pointed a finger upward, tossed my hair to the side, and while Bianna took a few seconds to say that I was doing great and not to worry, I did the fastest body check in ever. And…it worked. 

I grounded myself, grabbed the train of thought I had lost, and shimmy-danced onward with the rest of my answer to Bianna’s question. 

So that moment, that quick little finger-pointing-up-with-a-hair-toss I did after I told the crowd that I was nervous, that was actually a mini body check-in. 

Bari Tessler, Financial Therapist, Author of The Art of Money, Tayari Jones, Author, Paula Polito, Global Client Strategy Officer and Group Managing Director, Global Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services Inc. and Bianna Golodryga, Journalist and CNN Contributor, 'WHY FINANCIAL HEALTH IS THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR WOMEN' at The 2019 Women In The World Summit in New York City; 4/11/2019
© #witw

If you’re new to me and all of this Art of Money stuff, you may not know what I mean by doing a “body check in” and why that has anything to do with anything about money.

Well, this little technique may not sound like much, but this simple little exercise has changed not only my relationship to money, but has done the same for the thousands of people that have put the Art of Money work into practice in their lives. (Turns out it also comes in handy if you lose your way while speaking on stage, as I found out at the Lincoln Center.)

If you’re reading this blog post, it probably means you’re interested in improving your money life in some way. If that’s true, you’re in luck. 

After helping people improve their relationship with over the last 19 years, one thing has become super obvious: the easiest, fastest way to change your relationship with money is by becoming aware of the emotions and sensations in your body when the topic of money comes up, either in your mind or in conversation with someone (like your sweetie.)

If I could make a wish and have you walk away from this series of Money Mocha posts with just one thing, it would be this: that you learn to do a body check-in and remember to use it the next time you feel a money challenge come up for you.

Learning to do a body check-in is pretty simple. It’s like a quick mini meditation that grounds your awareness in your body and allows you to find clarity within the sometimes murky emotions around money.

But here’s the thing, and this is super important: the body check-in is something to be practiced before, during, and after any moment of working on your money life. This isn’t a “one and done” kind of a tool. It’s something to be practiced all the time during daily money interactions, money decisions, or in money conversations. 

I’ve made a short guided audio recording for you to make it easy to learn. Just press play below and we can do a quick body check-in right now. And then next time a challenging emotion comes up around money? Remember this little exercise and give it a try. It has worked wonders for the thousands of folks that have learned it in my Art of Money methodology: 

The Body Check-In is just the beginning. Wanna go further?

I hope this introduction to the body check-in inspires you to try it out for yourself when anything challenging comes up around money.

If you’d love some guidance and support and community and mentoring to help you along, you just may love my year-long money school, which is now open for early bird registration for a short period.

Would you love to align your money and your deep values … with a big dash of compassion and creativity?

Most of us simply weren’t taught how to “do” money … let alone how to navigate our emotions around it … and make it a sacred vessel for our dreams and deeply cherished values.

It takes time to learn to live this deep money work.

That’s why I created this year-long money school: so you can experience my entire methodology at a reasonable pace … with tons of support and community and love. 

We’re about to kick off our 8th year of the program and it just keeps getting better each time we guide a new community of money adventurers through the journey.

The Art of Money 2020 officially starts first thing in February … but you can start your journey now.

Our doors are open now for a short, early bird registration. If you’re already a YES to transforming your money relationship in 2020, you can sign up now to receive a boatload of goodies. Let the Money Healing begin with:

  • A live, 2-hr Kickstarter call with me on Sunday, October 27th – to get some love and perspective on your money relationship now.
  • The Holiday Money Care Package – because the Holidays can sure turn up the volume on money stress, right? Here’s a virtual egg nog and roaring fireplace to help you de-stress and re-center. 
  • Money Mapping digital guides – because once you learn this method, you’ll never “budget” again (blech!)
  • My entire digital archive library. Yep. Whoa. A treasure box of interviews, resources, and recommendations for you to peruse and play with at your own pace (this is an archive of learning resources in addition to the 12 monthly modules of content in the regular learning materials.)

You + me + money. Wanna spend a year together?

Learn all about this life-changing program here.

Bari Tessler | Money Mochas

P.S. In case you’re wondering what the heck a money mocha is… 

It’s a mini-jolt of financial clarity. A drop of money wisdom. A morsel of financial peace and joy. 

And it’s a sneak peek of the kinds of teachings you’ll find in my year-long money school: The Art of Money, now open for early registration (for a very short time). We kick off a fresh year in January, but if you sign up now during our early bird shindig, you’ll get a boatload of e-prezzies from me, so you can start tasting the money joy right away.

Literally thousands of people have already gone through The Art of Money program over the last 7 years. Individuals, couples, and creative entrepreneurs from all walks of life. 

Discover why people love The Art of Money.

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