The Money Magic of Baby Steps

written by Bari Tessler September 18, 2022
The money magic of baby steps

Dear Money Adventurer,

As we sip our way through our last few Money Mochas of the season, I want to remind you that the seemingly small steps we’re exploring here can add up to a whole new chapter in your Money Story.

Bari Tessler | Money Mochas

Each Money Mocha is a tiny taste test of the compassionate teachings, body-based wisdom, and real-life money-savvy skills that you’ll discover in my year-long money school, The Art of Money. This flagship program is now open for registration. If these bite-sized morsels of money inspiration have you longing for more, you can get all the details and join us for a life-changing journey right over here.

Today’s Money Mocha is about the magic of baby steps.

How do you measure money transformation?

Is it cracking six figures? Paying off all of your credit card debt and retiring early? Constructing four new income streams and buying a summer home?

With respect: not necessarily.

Of course, I love supporting people to make a thriving income. But the real work isn’t about get-rich-quick schemes. It’s about the emotional journey of breaking through money ceilings. Unraveling unspoken agreements with family members about under-earning. Letting go of inherited money messages that no longer serve you. Stretching your capacity to value your gifts and ground into enoughness.

Of course, I love helping people pay off debt. But not when it’s about deprivation and punishment and piling on more shame. That’s the risk, when we only look at the numbers. What good is it, paying off all of your debt, if you emerge from it emotionally impoverished?

Of course, I love empowering people to make better money decisions. But this looks different for everyone: it depends on your personal values and life phase and goals and personality and so much more. One person might dream of an opulent summer home in Italy, but your heart might call you towards big charitable donations or living more simply.

The real work, when it comes to money, isn’t about all that loud, flashy stuff. The real work — the kind that pays emotional and spiritual dividends for years to come — is more subtle. Quiet. Harder to quantify, perhaps … but easier to feel in the marrow of your bones and your heart of hearts.

It’s taking a moment, right before you type your credit card password, to slow down, recognize you were heading into panicked autopilot mode … and instead, choose to put your hand on your heart, take a deep breath, and soak in self-love.

It’s catching yourself before you snap at your sweetie about the credit card bill, remembering his slightly different values and spending styles, and asking, “could we have a money chat soon” instead of flying off the handle into the same fight as last month.

Real, deep money work isn’t just an overflowing savings account — it’s checking in with yourself before impulse-buying that dress, seeing if you truly truly want it and how that might support or detract from your bigger goals … and honoring the answers you find.

The real money work isn’t about following a strict budget perfectly, without fail — it’s about creating regular money practices that give you clarity and intimacy with your money, helping you to spend in ways that reflect your values and reconnect you with yourself.

The real money work isn’t about convincing your boss to give you a raise. It’s about inventorying what really matters to you and what gifts you want to share with the world and what kind of work you want to do. It’s about giving yourself the time and love to investigate how much you want to earn to live a great life — and creating containers and conversations that support that.

How do you measure money transformation? In deep breaths and mindful pauses. In vulnerable conversations, deeper self-trust, and forgiveness. It’s measured in boundaries upheld with elegant no’s and feeling more at home in your body. It’s measured less by dollars and cents, more in heartbeats and values-aligned decisions, emotional victories and compassion and softer self-talk.

Money work doesn’t have to be flashy. The most profound, lasting stuff is often the most quiet.

So keep going. Tread softly. The path might not be glitzy or loud. Trust your heart to show you where the real gold is found. And, remember baby steps are golden.

With my dearest wishes,

P.S. The Art of Money, my year-long money school is now open for registration (for a short window). The program weaves together a holistic framework, genuine community support and real-life financial tools with body-based practices and gentle encouragement. You can learn all about the program and join us here.

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