Embrace Your Body At All Stages of Life
This month, we’re excited to feature Bari Tessler, a financial therapist with an M.A. in somatic psychology, award-winning author, founder of the global community and year-long school “Art of Money,” and jean skeptic turned Democracy Clothing fan. In this Jean Journey post, Bari shares about her work building financial empowerment, how her personal style and sense of self has evolved during menopause, and how she’s learned to embrace her curves and feel confident in her ever-changing body.
Where do you call home?
Tell us some things about you!
In my professional life, I am a Financial Therapist and lead a year-long money school and global community, The Art of Money. My first book, The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, was published in 2016.
My husband and I have been together for 20 years and we continue to grow together in life, parenting and business. I’m an older mom. My son was born just shy of my 40th birthday and he is 12 now, so that’s been part of my personal journey, too.
I grew up dancing, and dreamed of becoming a Solid Gold dancer on TV (the 80s were a lot of fun!). After that I wanted to be a business woman, and then, eventually, I decided I wanted to become a psychotherapist after I started going to therapy as a teen. And now here I am!
At Democracy Clothing, we’re all about looking good and feeling good while doing good. What’s the “good” you’re doing in the world?
In my work as a Financial Therapist, I’ve created a compassionate approach to a topic that is usually taught with a lot of tough love. My methodology teaches folks how to have a healthy and savvy relationship with money and all that it touches in our lives.
I’ve spent many years refining these lessons, teaching in diverse and inclusive groups for twenty years - and I will continue to fine-tune this work until the day I die. Money is such a taboo topic even though it plays such a vital role in our lives. We need new creative and holistic approaches to learning about it.
While my book, The Art of Money, focuses on our personal relationship with money as individuals, couples and creative entrepreneurs, we also incorporate some of the macro side of money in our teachings, including interviews on the wealth gap, social justice investing, and redistributing resources to offer real support and change for marginalized communities.
What pearls of wisdom do you have for other change-making women?
Learn how to listen to your body. Find a good therapist or somatic therapist, do your healing work. “When we slow down and trust our body’s wisdom, it will reveal to us what we most need.” A good therapist can help you move mountains, which ripples out through the rest of your life.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to finding clothes that look good and feel good?
I fluctuate between “I LOVE clothes!” to “I really don’t care about clothes” and wearing the same stretchy velvet jumpsuit over and over. My biggest challenge is finding comfy clothes that I love AND that fit my ever-changing body.
In my earlier years, I had a set style but my shape has gone through changes over time, particularly after having kids. My shape eventually returned to my pre-pregnancy days, but after 5 years in perimenopause, and now menopause, my body isn’t bouncing back like it used to.
I'm still trying to figure out what fits, looks good, and makes me feel good. I’m also learning to love and understand the fuller and curvier size I am now. I’m embracing my body and focusing on health and strength. After years of transition, I’m just finding the clothing staples that I love and feel great in - like my Democracy jeans!
How has finding Democracy Clothing empowered you?
I stopped wearing jeans for a few years during perimenopause and, honestly, thought I might be done forever. I used to say it would take a miracle for me to find jeans that I love and that fit my changing, curvy body but after trying Democracy, that miracle came true! I love the way they fit and feel - even during menopause!
What’s your favorite Democracy jean and what do you love about it?
My favorite pair: Stretch Indigo Denim "Ab"solution® Itty Bitty Boot Petite Jean. They remind me of an old favorite pair of jeans I used to have. I love the way they feel on my belly and love the stretch. I’m 5’3 and the petite size fits me perfectly.
What are you most proud of?
Three things immediately come to mind:
Doing work I love that supports a larger community.
Making it to menopause - I’m really so excited to be in this phase of my life.
I’m also proud of our Money Memoirs, shared on The Art of Money blog + podcast. In these intimate conversations, I talk to real people from different walks of life, cultures, and economic backgrounds about real money stuff. The series covers tough times, how we overcome them, hard-won wisdom, and inspirational insights we’ve gained over the years.
Where do you hope your jean journey will take you next?
In my day to day life, I still love to dance and go hiking in the Colorado mountains - I do some of my best thinking on the trails. I’m also looking forward to traveling again!
It can be hard to open ourselves up to wearing jeans again when our bodies have changed. We’re thrilled that Bari took a chance on Democracy Clothing and that we could help her jean miracle come true! From helping others develop healthy financial relationships to embracing her body in the midst of menopause, we can’t wait to see Bari thrive through new seasons of life in her Itty Bitty Boot Democracy Jeans! To learn more about her work, you can read Bari’s book, the Art of Money, or visit her website to learn about the global community and curriculum. You can also follow Bari on Instagram and Facebook.