Can an old dog learn new tricks? Or, how I learned another life-lesson from my daughter

I hameve been hearing about Bari Tessler and “The Art Of Money” for several years from one of the likeliest of sources – in my life – for pure success at a home-run:  my daughter.  As with my son, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that when she has something to share with me from her own personal experience, I’m going to be (1) 100% interested in the subject matter; (2) totally captivated with the information that she has to share with me; (3) so personally enriched by the conversation that I continue my own investigation once our discussion has ended.  This is typically true regardless of my previous interest in the subject.  There’s just something about my kids’ interests and where their lives have taken them that I find fascinating.  Often, they build upon interests that we shared while they were at home with me.  But, very often, it is the case that they have moved into areas of circumstance and experience that are well outside of my sphere of knowledge and expertise.  I have learned so much from them!  They are very good teachers.


So, when my daughter first started effusing to me about Bari Tessler and “The Art Of Money,” I was surprised to realize that it was an immediate turn-off for me.  Financial therapy?  Money shame?  My relationship with credit and debt, spending and saving, income and outgo?   This was an area of conversation that I had no interest in pursuing at all.  At first, I questioned (for the first time) my daughter’s usually spot-on ability to assess character, and I feared that she fallen under the spell of some get-rich-quick evangelist.  But, I soon realized that was not the case, and so I simply had to accept that this was a frontier I could not cross with my daughter.  We had come to a parting of the ways where I was concerned, on the subject of money.   She was not pushy about it, no more than she is with other things that we don’t see eye-to-eye on.  But, this money thing was not of an ilk as, say, tastes in music or movies or books or Scotch.  This was a life-changing event, a paradigm shift that I could see inspiring and invigorating her to make a deep commitment to her own personal financial health and well-being.  My own history of dealing indirectly with money by avoiding eye-contact with the deeply ingrained behaviours and thought patterns of a lifetime was about to be challenged with all the terrifying confrontation of a piece of French silk pie and a basket of kittens.


It didn’t take but a few minutes of honest self-reflection to realize the source of my skepticism:  I am a person (among oh, so many) who never really learned how to develop a healthy relationship with money.  So, with the gentle encouragement of my daughter, I set aside my personal ambivalence and read with increasing interest “The Art Of Money,” soon to be released in book form by Parallax Publishing.  In a time when, for the thoughtful person, no topic is beyond the bounds for reevaluation, “The Art Of Money” comes along to shine a healing light on hang-ups and personal misunderstandings about money that are inculcated early and can survive a lifetime despite other changes and self-improvement.  This delightful book is the culmination of years of the balanced and thoughtful integration of study and discernment with practical experience and real-life stories – a road map, a traveler’s guide along the sometimes weedy, over-grown path of personal money management.  Money – it is what it is, but each person’s relationship with it is subjective and learned.  This book does not promise to make one rich, does not promise to make one thin, wise, or beautiful.  But, contained in the captivating writing on the pages between its covers, the reader will find clear and concise help to crystalize issues they may have been too afraid to confront, issues that cause misery and unhappiness when it comes to money.  And, once those issues are clarified, the book helps to demystify and deflate the unrestrained power those personal concerns exert over a healthy relationship with money.  The “Art Of Money” is a very healthy and informative book, written with careful attention to detail and sensitivity to the unease of many readers dealing with this topic.  Not only does it provide a very personal, comprehensive introduction to Bari Tessler’s on-line program, The Art Of Money, but it provides a wealth of helpful resources.


Did I find myself on just about every page of the book?  Yes, it is surprisingly relatable.  Hard to isolate just one or two places that particularly struck home with me, so I’ll go with this one:  letting go of money shame.  Turns out, I recognize this characteristic in myself pretty strongly – it’s the conflict with money that has risen out of subjective responses to isolated experiences, but lasts and lasts well beyond a healthy shelf-life.  I was surprised at the stance that Bari Tessler takes on this and similar “character flaws,” (my terminology) because I expected her to be unyielding in her insistence to eradicate all such bug-a-boos from her readers’ minds.  However, Bari correctly nips the idea of “tough love” right in the bud.  She leads the reader through kind and gentle steps toward self-healing, citing:


“Shaming ourselves is an old, unconscious pattern. Telling ourselves, again and again, that we are not doing it right, that we’re not good enough, or that we’re unforgivable is self-directed violence. It’s unhelpful and flat-out inaccurate.”


I’d say this is sage advice and applicable to any area of one’s life, starting with money.


UPDATE:  Thank you everyone who’s read this post and for those who are interested in purchasing the book, you can pre-order at Amazon using this link:

The Art of Money at Amazon