Gentle money healing, savvy practices, and big picture visioning.

Because money?
Is never just about the money.

In working with thousands of individuals, couples, and creative entrepreneurs over the past 18 years, I’ve learned: almost nobody received a real education about money, let alone how to navigate our emotions around it.

But you won’t find traditional, “tough love” money management here. Nope.

The world has plenty of experts and gurus and books on this. If you’ve tried strongarming yourself into budgeting, but fell off the wagon … or if you’re craving a more creative, mindful, and deep approach to money (and all the facets of your life it touches) — you’re in the right place.

Yes, I teach about about earning, saving, spending, and investing. But not in the way you’d expect.

Because money isn’t just about dollars and cents.

It’s about your mother’s couponing obsession and that time your second-grade teacher told you, “money is the root of all evil.” It’s about how safe you feel talking to your sweetie about big life decisions. It’s about claiming your value, in salary negotiations and in the checkout line. It’s about facing your inner critic and saying, “I really can do this. Just you watch.”

A healthy, happy money relationship takes inner growth and outer actions. Yin and yang.

I love a good financial spreadsheet. But the savviest financial tools I’ve found are: compassion, body-based wisdom, and radical un-shaming.

That’s why the Art of Money approach honors three phases of deep money work:

Money Healing: Untangle your emotional patterns around money through mindfulness, gentle therapeutic inquiry, and body-based practices.

Money Practices: Transform money into a meaningful, supportive self-care practice, baby step by baby step.

Money Maps: Put money in service of your values and dreams by honoring the grand trajectory of your life: where you are and where you’d love to go.

Over the past 18 years, the women and men in my community have deeply resonated with this truly holistic, integrated approach. I’m deeply grateful to hear their reports of sustainable, soulful, and practical transformation.

The offerings you’ll find on this site grew out of my work with the thousands of people who I’ve supported in one-on-one Financial Therapy, small groups, community content, and my year-long money school, The Art of Money. But they also come directly from my own, ever-deepening relationship with money in my own life.

In my own money journey, I had to learn what I now teach:

  • To break through money ceiling after money ceiling by honoring my unique gifts and claiming my value.
  • To learn the language of money. This is crazy-empowering.
  • To deepen my intimacy with my husband, son, and colleagues through honest, vulnerable talks about money.
  • To forgive my family, lineage, and culture for the harmful lessons they taught me about money (and all the lessons I never got) so I could find compassion and peace.
  • To know my value, deep in my bones. This has nothing to do with money … and everything to do with it.
  • To honor the rhythms and cycles of my unfolding life-and-money journey … and roll with them gracefully and consciously.
  • To get smart about sustainable business models, so I can serve my community and honor my need for rest, fun, and family time.
  • To come home to my body, over and over again, in a practice of radical self-love and un-shaming. This is the heart of my approach.

I want you to know these things about money, right now:

You are not alone. Money is an inner and outer journey. Sacred and practical. Make money a self-care practice. You can do this — even if you’re “bad at math.” This isn’t a race. BREATHE. Chocolate is a miraculous financial tool. Tough love isn’t the M.O. for deep healing. Gently, gently, gently. Bring all of your creativity, smarts, and playfulness to your money relationship. Get curious and compassionate. Trust yourself. Honor your timing. Baby steps are brave. Un-shame. Love yourself into change.

What led me here: the backstory.

I never thought I would be supporting people with money … let alone being lauded as a pioneer of Financial Therapy.

But today, I have spent over 18 years guiding thousands of people into happier, more empowered and refreshingly honest relationships with money. I took my foundation — a decade of training as a somatic psychotherapist and work in the mental health field and hospice — and merged it with financial expertise to create an integrated approach to deep money work.

I have worked with individuals, couples, and creative entrepreneurs from every income bracket and socio-economic background. I have taught one-on-one, in small groups, from speaking podiums, as a mentor coach, and beyond. My work and live presentations have been featured on Oprah.com, Inc.com, Huffington Post, US News & World Report, Reuters Money, The Fiscal Times, Real Simple, Redbook, NBC Better, Experience Life Magazine, Yogi Times, Best Self Magazine, Emerging Women, Mindful Magazine and hundreds of interviews, podcasts, and guest blogs.

Bari Tessler - The Art of Money

My year-long money school, The Art of Money, is currently in its seventh year, and has served over 2900 people from 33 countries. And my first book, The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, is available from booksellers everywhere.

In my twenties, I thought money was too “un-spiritual” for a creative gal like me.

Back then, I was a dancing, creative, body-based wisdom, somatic psychotherapist in training gal, earning my Master’s in Somatic Psychotherapy from Naropa. Surely tracking my expenses and balancing my checkbook were far too ho-hum and dreary for the likes of me — right?

(Sound familiar?)

It wasn’t that I had a bad relationship with money — I had no relationship with money. Even in my incredible graduate program in somatic psychotherapy, where I learned to drop into my body and bring loving awareness to everything under the sun — food, sex, God — money was still taboo.

Everything changed the day my first student loan bill arrived in the mail.

I stared at that monthly payment, a desert in my mouth. I was shocked and ashamed.

How on earth can I pay this, every single month? How can I pursue the unconventional career I want, that honors my gifts, AND earn the money I need to thrive? Shouldn’t I know how to do all this, already?

That day, all of my money shame came to a breaking point. (I briefly considered skipping the country.) But then I made the decision that changed the course of my life.

I decided to look money square in the eye. To turn towards it instead of running away. To create a relationship with it on my own terms: infused with all the body-based tools, mindfulness, creativity, and deep meaning I had honed, for years.

I began learning the language of money — and, hallelujah, I could do it! I stayed up late in bed, reading about bookkeeping and accounting. I learned everything I could … and hung up my shingle as a bookkeeper for artists, healers, and soulful folks.

I wasn’t the only one craving a new relationship with money.

My bookkeeping clients weren’t just looking for someone to crunch their numbers. We were all craving a whole new way to “do” money. Evolved and whole. Mindful and embodied. Deeply meaningful and daringly playful. Honoring every layer of our beings: practical, emotional, and spiritual.

I merged my decade of training in somatic psychotherapy and work in the mental health field with my new fascination with financial systems and practical money tools. My husband and I birthed the three-phase Art of Money approach in a ridiculously tiny log cabin in the woods. A community began growing around these teachings, inspired by a world of fresh possibility, meaning, and empowerment.

Together, through brave storytelling and compassionate practice, my community and I have created radically new relationships with money. We have welcomed money home, to ourselves. We have released layer after layer of shame and confusion. We have looked money in the eye, befriended it, and learned how it can express our values and support our dreams, moment by moment, purchase by purchase, baby step by baby step.

This is the world I welcome you to, today. But it’s you who will create it. On your own terms. Because I’m a guide … not a guru.

You CAN find peace, confidence, and clarity with money. But money isn’t a science … it’s an ART. Intimate, playful, and drenched in your secret sauce.

Here’s to your money journey … wherever you are, along it.
Here’s to taking brave baby steps.
Here’s to drenching yourself with compassion and patience and love.
Here’s to un-shaming, layer by layer, moment by moment.

And here’s to any suffering you’re feeling about money, too.
Because if it brought you here, it’s already opening a doorway … into the empowerment, peace of mind, and confidence you’re really craving.

Money is the journey of a lifetime. And I would be honored to walk it, by your side.

Wait, you’re looking for something more…official?

Fret not. I’ve got you covered. You can find more official bios and other media for the press right over here.

Here are some beautiful book selfies our community has shared…

Follow (and tag!) us on social media to see a lot more…


A few of my favorite things:

18 things you might not know about me:

  1. I have eaten dark chocolate almost every day of my entire life. (well, this one is probably obvious by now!)
  2. I proudly won a freckle contest at the Skokie Fair when I was 8 years old.
  3. As a kid, I adored the library and bookmobile. I still swoon for a good card catalogue.
  4. I grew up going to New York every year to visit my 2 gay uncles. My uncles wore black leather pants and purple ties to my bat mitzvah, were a highlight of my childhood and taught me a lot around my own sexuality.
  5. By age 12, I couldn’t decide: should I be a Solid Gold Dancer or a Business Woman when I grew up? At 16, I asked my parents if I could go to therapy, to understand myself and life better. By age 23, I had added Psychotherapist to the list. I truly feel my work is a combination of all three.
  6. When I was 20 – 25 years old, I lost four of my favorite men to death: 2 uncles to AIDS, 1 Israeli boyfriend to suicide and 1 Grandpa while sitting in his favorite chair, listening to his favorite opera.
  7. Finding my way to African Dance in my twenties was a life-changer. West African, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian are the exact type of movement, spirit-connection, and intricacy that my body craves.
  8. I cut off all of my long hair, and had a buzz cut, right as I was turning 30. It was an incredible right of passage and challenged beauty standards that I needed to question at the time.
  9. When my husband and I first got together, (I was 32 years old), I looked through a mirror and saw a baby boy spirit wanting to incarnate through us. (I don’t typically walk around seeing spirits, but I did that day!) I told the spirit, “thanks, but no thanks. I’m not having kids this time around.” But when I turned 38, there was only one next step on my path, and it was crystal clear: to have a baby boy. Forest and I conceived Noah on our first try — a huge blessing. Despite a major complication during labor, I am incredibly grateful we made it through and delivered a very healthy baby boy.
  10. I LOVE the smell of my son and my husband. I spend a good amount of time smelling them.
  11. After not owning a TV for 18 years, we now own a large one, and I am hooked on Orphan Black, House of Cards, The Affair and Transparent.
  12. I am a 4 with a 3 wing on the Enneagram. This means that, on the one hand, I am highly sensitive, deeply intuitive, creative, and an introvert who loves lots of space and quiet on my mountain. And, on the other hand, I am a presenter, teacher, connector, and extrovert: someone who lives to create and inspire a large community.
  13. I love reading memoirs and novels and I am always so grateful when I make space for this in my life. I recently had a reading nook built in my bedroom. Oh my!
  14. I feel abundant when I have a good supply of lotions, flowers, essential oils, and toilet paper.
  15. Movement has always been my medicine. As a teenager, I would close the door and dance my emotions. In my 20’s I would heal my grief through my authentic movement. In my 30’s I would go to the trees, hike and find my God. In my 40’s, movement is my tool for healing, awareness, and spirit-connection.
  16. One of my grandmas was a red-headed, slender beauty, elegant and devoted to self-care, who exercised well into her 90’s. My other grandma (and her 4 brunette sisters) were big, bold, loud, drinking, poker playing, cigar smoking, food-loving, voluptuous ladies. I have both sides inside of me.
  17. I am so grateful that I arrived at my 40th birthday with my baby boy, Noah, and my wonderful husband, Forest. They are the foundation of my life. And, I am so grateful I did not let parenthood pass me by.
  18. This life is a dream come true, and I am extremely grateful. I hope to live to be a very old age with my guys. (With long, silver hair and reddish lipstick, of course.)

* * * *

Oh, this video makes my heart swell with joy! My dear husband made this montage, highlighting moments of our Art of Money 2015 Roadshow: a mini, money-and-travel documentary, following our two week journey down the West Coast. We met community members face-to-face, broke bread, shared money stories and hugs. It was rich and wild and gorgeous.