Tax season – time to have those money conversations that we avoid all year long – what did you do with money? Where did it go? Did you meet your goals?

But beyond thinking about it, there’s often a conversation involved. In “The Art of Money” Bari Tessler offers a rich, therapeutic approach to your relationship with money.

You have a relationship with money – whether you acknowledge it or not. It may be inherited or learned – by nature or nurture – but you have one. This relationship, and the accompanying emotions drive your money actions. Being aware of what your relationship actually looks and feels like is the very first step 

Do you start to breathe faster, get defensive, lose all reason? You should know. 

Any attempt to change your Money patterns, your budgeting and spending without acknowledging your emotions, your money history just might be similar to a fad diet. 

After studying Bari’s book, I see my defensiveness in Money conversations, I am aware of my bodily reactions – to spending, to saving … to money in general. 

Also, there is the striking reminder that how we do one thing is how we do everything. For many of us, money is a place where we need to be gentle with ourselves as make difficult decisions. However, our historical approach to the money place is likely similar to our approach to other difficult situations.

So we might find anxiety, defensiveness, pounding hearts – with a diagnosis from one’s doctor, an unforeseen change in employment, an accident … life changes. 

It’s essential and helpful to tune in to what your body is saying, to be aware of the pounding heart, the tight feeling in your chest, the numbness in your hands … tune into all of that. Pause. Breathe. Understand what the fear is saying to you. Understand it’s roots. And then bring your wise adult self into that – that’s not coming from fear or scarcity. 

It goes for money. 

It goes for life.