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EPISODE 5
Healing Money Wounds with Brittany Tam

Photo of Brittany Tam, an Asian woman with long hair, holding her hand under her chin and wearing an emerald green, long-sleeve shirt while sitting on a wooden bench

Brittany Tam (she/her) is a Certified Money Coach (CMC)®, on a mission to help business owners find peace with their finances. She works with clients to get curious about the subconscious drivers of their behavior, so they can create sustainable and sustained change. She helps clients take concrete action toward their goals, in a way that feels compassionate and gentle. Brittany loves working with clients who have tried implementing systems or mindset work, but nothing has stuck. She hopes that people feel empowered and joyful as they engage with money.

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Brittany Tam (she/her) is a Certified Money Coach (CMC)®, on a mission to help business owners find peace with their finances. She works with clients to get curious about the subconscious drivers of their behavior, so they can create sustainable and sustained change. She helps clients take concrete action toward their goals, in a way that feels compassionate and gentle. Brittany loves working with clients who have tried implementing systems or mindset work, but nothing has stuck. She hopes that people feel empowered and joyful as they engage with money.

Website

Discussed this episode:

  • Brittany’s relationship with the word feminist
  • Changing your relationship with money requires both practical action steps and mindset shifts
  • Common money archetypes and money stories, and how understanding those encourage positive behavior shifts with finances
  • Self-compassion is critical in healing money wounds
  • You can’t “out mindset” money trauma or “control” thoughts about money
  • What we miss when we only approach money from a logical perspective
  • The meaning we attach to money
  • Money is a construct; it isn’t real, and yet it is often life and death
  • Brittany’s vision for a world where everyone feels resourced
  • Why financial “safety” may not be the best (or, at least, not the only) goal
  • Bringing both masculine and feminine energy to finances
  • A somatic approach to healing money wounds
  • The values that Brittany uses to make her choices through
  • How trust informs Brittany’s approach to doing business differently

Resources mentioned:

FULL GUEST READING LIST FOR SEASON 1

Learn more about accountability coaching with host Becky Mollenkamp at https://beckymollenkamp.com

Becky:

Hello, Brittany. I’m excited to talk with you. How are you?

Brittany:

I am good. I’m also excited. I feel like this has been a long time coming.

Becky:

It has been, and so I’m excited for this conversation. And I’m gonna start, as always, by asking you your relationship with the word feminist.

Brittany:

One of the things that I’ve been doing over the last few years is trying to strip back all the identity, like identification stuff, right? So I struggle with calling myself things because my burnout has come from over identifying with a thing or a concept. However, like when you think about, what are the beliefs that underpin feminism and what are the principles that we stand for and what are the things that we think are important to advocate for, there’s a lot of alignment with that. And I feel like in some ways that’s a cop out, but I believe strongly in agency and respect and equity.

Becky:

I don’t think that’s a cop out. I think that’s great. And thank you for sharing that. And we’re gonna dive in talking about finance and money and mindset. and money mindset, and all of the things. Because your history involves a lot of different things including education, but for the purposes of what we’re talking about here, you were doing bookkeeping, I think mostly like as a focus for a while. And from that, you sort of discovered there were these two distinct groups of people, the ones who basically had their money shit together and the ones who kind of didn’t, right? The ones who would bring you all of the stuff, they knew all their numbers, they had the things for you, it was kind of easy, right? And the other group of people who are like, I don’t know, and I’m panicked, and at the last minute I’ll give you stuff. And I can fully relate to that category more so than the ones who had their shit together. I am that person who’s like, ‘I don’t want to look at the numbers.’ I’m working on all of this, but I’ve had a history of like, so sort of not wanting to look at the numbers or not thinking, believing I was not ‘not good with money’ and all of those things. So seeing that, those two groups of people helped you decide to kind of shift away from just doing that practical work around bookkeeping, and starting to explore the stuff that’s underlying why people are struggling with their money. And why do you think it’s important to approach it from both of those angles? Because I think there’s a lot of people who do bookkeeping and there’s a lot of people who do money mindset, but I think you’re trying to sort of marry those worlds. So why do you think both is so important?

Brittany:

The first thought that comes to my head is, yeah, I had people who were like really engaged in the practical life of their money. And I had people who were avoidant of that side. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the people who were engaged had their shit together because the relationship that we have with money is so complex. So it’s more of how are they able to actively engage with money in a practical sense? Because I’ve had clients who I’ve worked with, who are engaged and still hold a lot of fear and anxiety. And I think that there’s been a lot of, lot more conversation around this stuff. I’m going to pronounce his name wrong, Ramit Sethi has his podcast and has his book and has like a TV show on Netflix now, and I think one of the really interesting things that you see in the people that he works with is people who make a lot of money and are still actively engaging, still don’t feel the freedom that a lot of us are seeking when we’re looking at changing how we engage with money. So I think it’s a testament to, like you said, we need to have both sides, but just doing one or the other isn’t going to change how we feel about things. If we do all of the mindset stuff, if we do all the emotional stuff, and it doesn’t necessarily like… so this is where I go a little bit into the meditation. I had this meditation and I had this vision and it was like, you can have the flow of everything, but also you live in a physical world and at some point you have to pick things up, right? And it’s the same thing. You can do all of that internal work, but nothing shifts until you start to do practical things in your external world. And then on the flip side, you can do all of the engaged practices you want, but you could be making six, multi-six figures and still feeling that pinch of scarcity, that sense of fear, the fear of ‘what if everything all falls through?’ So yeah. Like you said, I think it’s really important for us to marry the both.

Becky:

Talking about fear, because I think with money for so many people, there is just a lot of fear wrapped up in it for a lot of reasons. And I think a lot of it’s around programming and conditioning, and we’ll get into more of that. But I want to talk about what you call money stories, which I think, you know, that relationship with you have your money or the fears you have around money. And on your website, I noticed there was a quiz that helps people sort of understand their money type, which I think is probably related to those money stories or those fears. And I saw that you said it was based on the eight money types from the book “Money Magic” by Deborah Price So I want to acknowledge that for anyone who’s interested in learning more about that. And obviously she’s written a whole book on this and you know, you’ve probably studied all of this. You can’t give us like the details on all eight of these money stories, but I’m wondering you can kind of give us that 1000-foot overview of these money types or the money stories like what are the common things that people are harboring when it comes to money?

Brittany:

Yeah, I love that and also, in a sense, there are two kind of different things at play there. We have the money stories and those are the experiences that we’ve either witnessed or the experiences that we’ve been told about that feed into our core beliefs. And then there are these archetypes that Debra’s created. And the archetypes are less about the stories and they more describe patterns of behavior. So when we think about what we were talking about earlier, there’s the level of engagement. Avoidance is a pattern of behavior. And avoidance is a pattern of behavior that you’re going to see in a couple of different archetypes. Whereas a couple of different archetypes are going to be highly engaged. But then the energy behind being highly engaged is different. You’ve got an archetype that wants to control vs. an archetype who is highly engaged, but it’s from a place of like, ‘If I am here in service doing things, then I am valuable and worthy and being loved and safe. And if people don’t acknowledge that, then there’s something wrong.’ So it’s externally motivated. And then there’s engagement from a place of intentionality and calm and alignment with the goals that go beyond fear. So the thing about your stories is the context that you grow up in, the context that you live in is going to shape the way those stories turn into behavior. So people can have the exact, people can go through the same experience, but because of everything that’s come before that, the behavior that comes out of it is different. And so the quiz is a really good way of understanding what are the behaviors, what some of the motivations behind it might be. And also, it doesn’t give you the full picture because, and I say the full picture, do we ever have the full picture? Probably not. Life is complex. Life is really big, but we can paint a fuller picture as we explore some of those memories that we have in our conscious mind and some of the things that our body can tell us from the emotions that we remember because a lot of us have had traumatic experiences in life. And even if it’s not directly connected with money, there’s often a thread that brings our money wounds back to some level of trauma.

Becky:

You can tell me if you don’t want to go this way, but I am curious because I took the quiz as just sort of my research into you and what you’re doing. I have the results here. I’m wondering if me sharing them with you, and talking about them a little bit, might give people their own experience of what it looks like. At least it’s, again, sort of a high-level overview, but give people a little experience of what it looks like to talk about some of this and start to uncover some of their thoughts around money. 

Brittany:

I’m happy to follow what lights up for you.

Becky Mollenkamp:

I have Innocent 42%. The next highest was Fool, 34%. Let me tell you, I didn’t love that one. But you can tell me more about what that is. And then Victim and Tyrant were both 17%. Creative Artist, 9%. And that was all for those, and they were all passive influence. So I don’t know what a lot of that means other than Fool didn’t sound very good, Tyrant doesn’t sound very good. Victim, I kind of got. That was the one that I most was like I get that. I can feel that. So what does it tell you? Like when you see these kind of results come in, what are the kinds of questions that brings up for you or the information that you can process from that for somebody who might be interested in taking the quiz or learning more about their money types?

Brittany:

There are some of these names where I’m like, oh, this is a little bit hard. And I feel like this is where that whole piece of, I don’t wanna call myself an anything comes in. How does it serve you to have these archetypes? And so that’s part of the discussion. These are just ways of categorizing behavior and so don’t take it on as this is me. This isn’t you, right? But what it does tell you is, you talked earlier about the tendency to like avoid and scramble, and that is something that I would see in the Innocent. The Innocent is the one who is like, ‘oh my gosh, things are overwhelming, other people probably know better than me so I either need to give it all away or, but you know what, maybe I can just avoid it and it’ll go away.’ I think the Innocent in some ways is really lovely to work with though, because the Innocent is that disempowered person, and once you are able to connect them with their own resourcefulness and their own wisdom, then things can start to shift. But it’s pulling back what is the cultural, and cultural in the broad sense but cultural also family cultural space time programming, that has told you that you don’t have the knowledge and the wisdom. Like all that crap that we grew up with as kids about, ‘you are a numbers person or you are not a numbers person.’ What a lot of shit. And it’s previous generations trying to do the best that they could for us, but also we can sit here and say, ‘yes, they did the best and thank you and I’m done with those identities.’ The Fool, I like the Fool and I think part of the thing that I always get excited by with the Fool is, Debra describes the Fool as a cross between the Warrior and the Innocent. So it surprised me that there was no Warrior that showed up because the Fool is optimistic. The Fool is like, ‘I can figure stuff out.’ The Fool is a risk taker and so in some ways the Fool is a gambler as well. There might be some impulsivity with the Fool. Um, so yeah, like I said, I’m surprised that, um, some more Warrior didn’t show up, but also this will fluctuate depending on where you’re sitting when you take it, right? If you’re sitting in a place where you’re, um, activated, then different things will come up versus if you’re sitting in a place when you’re really super grounded. The Victim and the Tyrant come from, they’ve often suffered like some sort of deep wounding. And so the Victim responds to it a little bit differently than the tyrant. The Victim kind of has a little bit of a, what’s the point? Like nothing ever changes, so what’s the point of me doing anything? Whereas the Tyrant is like, ‘the world sucks, everybody sucks, everybody’s fucked, so I’m just gonna take control of everything because nobody else is gonna look out for me, right?’

Becky Mollenkamp:

I can see that vacillating between those two sounds familiar.

Brittany:

And so that’s the dance between like how actively you engage and how you don’t engage too, right? Because when you’re in that Victim space, you’re like, ‘what’s the point, nothing I do changes anything. No matter what I do, nothing happens. The same story keeps playing out.’ Whereas the Tyrant is like, sick of that shit. And the Tyrant’s like, I’m going to do everything.’

Becky Mollenkamp:

Yeah, well, this picture that you’re painting sounds familiar. I definitely get the Fool. And I also know why there’s no Warrior, because you talk about a gambler. I don’t have that piece. I don’t like to gamble, but I can be foolish in the way I spend my money knowing like this isn’t there, but I just it would feel good. So I’m just going to do it anyway, kind of thing. So I can totally see that. So that picture you’re painting feels familiar. What do you do with that picture then in your work in helping people? Because I can say, yes, I see myself in that and then. I can hear myself thinking, and then what?

Brittany:

Understanding what the motivations for each of these archetypes helps a lot in us being able to shift our behavior in a way that feels kinder and gentler. Cause I mean, I know this about you, like the hustle thing, we’ve both done, and the hustle thing is hard and the hustle thing is awful and the hustle thing is exhausting. And that really comes when, to me that comes when we’re like, we’ve got a part of ourselves that is in some way, hurt or freaked out when we just like push it down. And we’re like, I just need to get through this. Once I get to the other end, maybe I can figure all this other stuff out. But I just gotta push it down and get the job done. And to me that is such the patriarchal culture that we’ve grown up in where we’re dealing all in this wounded masculine side. With the archetypes, there is the Warrior and the Magician. And in the book, Deborah talks about like wanting to embody the Magician. And also there’s a place for the Warrior, right? The Magician is like, um, is that intuitive, she’s got a spiritual tilt on it. So whether you have that side or not, take what you want, leave the rest. But it’s that belief in being able to connect to your intuition, knowing that, and trusting that the Universe, God, what have you, will provide. But like we were talking earlier, we need to do stuff in the practical world and that’s where the Warrior comes into play. There’s a lot in the wellness sphere that talks about manifestation and mind setting things into place, but you do all of that internal stuff so that you’re calm, you’re open to possibility, and when you see it, you can act on it. We still gotta do shit in a physical world. Having said that, like, understanding some of the money stories or understanding some of the wounding, understanding what you’ve experienced that causes parts of you to be really freaked out by whatever situation freaks you out right now, whether it’s engaging with money, or for some people they want to accumulate money for a sense of financial safety, and also there’s a lack of safety that comes with accumulating money because we grow up with stories of rich people have had to do bad things to be rich. And we see evidence of this being true. And so we collect all of that.

Becky:

The piece I want to zoom in on first, because I want to get to some of the other pieces around patriarchy and systems and the messages we get, but you talked about… because the question is around what do we do with this information. And I heard you saying something around like, part of it is about learning what these stories are so that you can be more caring with yourself about them, right in the ways that you’re showing up. And I saw on your website too, something around the messages that we often get about mindset don’t feel very compassionate. They can feel a bit like either judgy or aggressive and not very self-caring. And so, you know, I think so much of what we learn around money is very cold, . It’s not compassionate, sort of dispassionate, or it can even be kind of cruel. And so I’m wondering why compassion, I’m gonna guess I know the answer, but I wanna hear you talk a little bit about why compassion is so important in your work and in healing some of these wounds that we have around money.

Brittany:

The picture I see without that compassion piece is that way of being that I know I’ve been in. I don’t know, I don’t want to speak to your experience, where it’s like some part of me is trying to self-sabotage and I’m just going to shut that part up and because I have a job to do. I’ve got a thing to do, I’m going to get it done. That perspective is hard. It requires a lot of self-discipline and determination and all of those things that feel like you’re drawing from a limited well of energy. The thing is when we’re able to exercise a level of compassionate curiosity, we’re able to have conversations with those parts of ourselves. So for example, if asking for money is not something that feels safe, because if somebody thinks that all I care about is money, and people who care about money are bad people. People who care about money don’t care about people. Then when I need to ask for money because like it or not, the economy that we’re in right now is an economy that is driven on cash. That part of me who is scared about rejection, who is scared about being perceived as bad and being pushed out because it’s bad, is going to be chirping up. It’s going to be talking, and we can do the old way of being like you know what that’s fine you need you just need to shut up or sit in the corner and i’m gonna do my thing we can do that to a certain degree, but it’s a lot easier and it takes a lot less energy, it’s not comfortable necessarily Initially, it becomes more comfortable, I think, as you see evidence that it’s safe to do this, but you can have a really open conversation with that part. Often once you get down to what are the motivating pieces, we all have aligned goals. Like all those parts of ourselves have aligned goals, they just have different experiences that inform the action. And so that part is fearful about safety, what does that part of me need from like the rest of me to feel safe as we engage in this way? And once we’re able to figure out how to meet all these competing needs, it’s a lot easier to take action that doesn’t feel like I just need to put on this hat for the next 20 minutes and push everything else down.

Becky:

Yeah, that feels like seeing yourself. You know, being that witness to yourself and tenderly loving yourself through something vs. sort of dismissing your reality, this gaslighting approach to how we often are, you know, how most of our experiences are. This gaslighting yourself and just soldiering through, right, trying to fake it so you make it and be tough. And both can work sometimes, but one, I think, feels much better. I think the difference can be sometimes the more compassionate, loving approach can take longer. It may take longer to get yourself to those goals because you’re doing it in that more tender way than just, you know, gritting your teeth and bearing it and pushing through. You might be able to get to the goal sooner that way, but because I see this in my work with clients all the time too, just around like productivity goals. But think about the experience of it and put some value on that. There’s a value in it feeling good vs. just achieving the result.

Brittany:

Yeah, and sustainability too, because I was seeing this when I had clients who would just try to muscle through and get the systems to work too, where the systems work for, you know, a month, two months, three months, and then they fall apart because self-discipline and determination is a limited pool of energy you can draw from vs. when you’re feeling inspired. It’s the whole like running away from the stick vs. running towards the carrot. That energy running towards the carrot with collecting up all of the little hurt parts of you along the way, it’s self-sustaining.

Becky:

Yeah. And a lot of what we’re talking about here is individual, right? We’re talking about your mindset, your actions and all of that. And I think that obviously has a big piece of this. And, you know, going back to the beginning, talking about the mindset and the practical pieces of money and combining those like both are important. And I feel like this discussion is very individual at the moment, but I think it’s important equally to bring in the discussion around the systems. And I don’t mean bookkeeping systems, but I’m talking, you know, the patriarchal systems that we live in, the racist capitalist systems that we live in, and how those have a very real effect also on our money, our relationship with money, our ability to earn money, all of those things. So how do you balance that in your work? Because I know that’s what drew me to you in the first place and how our relationship began because so much of what you mentioned that’s out there is woo woo, manifest it, believe it, it will happen, without any acknowledgement of the privilege of the person who’s talking about that and all of the privileged identities that allowed them to get to that place. And so I think it’s very important to honor reality inside of this and then also acknowledge what you can do as an individual. So how do you balance those things?

Brittany:

The first thing that comes to my mind, and you’ll have to tell me if you’re happy to go down this road is the trauma that we know about and the trauma that we don’t know about, and how that informs the way that we engage with the world. How do you feel about this conversation?

Becky:

I love talking trauma. It’s great because I think it’s important. We are all, everyone is traumatized living in the systems we’re in. No matter how much privilege you have or don’t. Obviously your trauma is different when you have more privilege, but even holding privilege identities, when we live in these systems, they are inherently traumatic. So yes, and then obviously at the individual level, we also have lots of trauma we experience. But I’m curious about what you mean of the known vs. the unknown. Obviously we know our individual trauma. Some of us understand the collective trauma, but what do you mean by unknown trauma?

Brittany:

I feel like trauma is part of the human existence, regardless of what systems and what have you. There are things that we experience that we can outwardly say, yeah, this was traumatizing. And there are also experiences that we have that… we might not have in our conscious awareness. I was doing some stuff personally, but also I’m reminded of a talk that Gabor Maté was doing where he talked about like going down the psychedelic route and remembering this experience as an infant. And so I think that’s more what I’m referring to. It’s the stuff that’s outside of our conscious awareness right now. And it’s outside of our conscious awareness for a lot of different reasons.

Becky:

First of all, I love Gabor Maté and I just read “Myth of Normal” a few months ago and highly recommend it. And I also think with what we now know about epigenetics, in addition to the things you’re talking about, there’s also ancestral traumas, these inherited traumas that we again have no conscious awareness of. So yes. Now, let’s bring it back to what you were saying, because we’ve talked about what trauma is now. How does that relate to money? Tell me how it relates to what you’re talking about on that. How you’re balancing the individual experience with money and then sort of this collective conditioning around money when you’re helping people with their relationship with money.

Brittany:

I think when we live with mindset and we live and die by mindset, it’s very much in that, like it’s in the head. The mindset is all about thoughts. But when we’ve experienced trauma, our nervous system responds and our nervous system bypasses thoughts when we are triggered. So I think this is where mindset falls down in a way. Mindset might serve some people, but also if you have had experiences of trauma, if your nervous system gets activated, you can’t out mindset like nervous system activation. You can’t do it. And then what does that do when you’re given this messaging that ‘if you control your thoughts, you control your outcomes.’ Who controls their thoughts? Like honestly, who actually controls their thoughts? And when you have failure that comes in because we’re disconnected from our bodies, we’re dissociating because of whatever, then it just reinforces those narratives of not being good enough or not being like, you know what I mean, right?

Becky:

You should call yourself a somatic money coach, but go on.

Brittany:

Yeah. You can’t out mindset things. So I think there’s a lot of value in learning to connect back with our bodies, learning how to soothe your nervous system, learning how to allow the body to talk with you.

Becky:

Well, because you mentioned intuition earlier, which is definitely, you know, we talk about a gut feeling because it is not about the brain. It is not the mindset piece. It’s outside of our logical thinking is where that intuition lives. And to be able to hear and trust your intuition, you have to be able to be in your body. And again, when we talk about trauma, so many of us have disassociated, have left our bodies. We feel very disconnected from our bodies. And one of the things in advance of this, when we had talked a little bit about what to talk about here, you mentioned about the wounded masculine and how that has contributed to the divorce between body and mind. And I’d love to hear a little more of your thoughts because I think that feeds into what we’re talking about here with intuition and how that can be difficult for, I would imagine you find with a lot of your clients, if you start talking to them about intuition with money that’s probably challenging because when we think about money, I think a lot of us stay very much in our logical minds. We have been conditioned very much into believing that we need to be very reasonable and logical about money. It’s numbers, it’s facts, it’s figures. We become robots, and you’re talking about intuition and you’re talking about your body and these are not things people I think are very used to hearing. So talk to me a little bit about what do you mean by the wounded masculine and, and how does that contribute to this sort of separation of the mind and body as it relates to money or just in general?

Brittany:

When you talk about, like we’re in that logical frame of mind when it comes to money, theoretically, money is logical. Theoretically, there are rules about ways to invest or ways to create spending plans and whatever. But what\ looking at it from that perspective ceases to acknowledge is our humanness and the interconnectedness of all things. In a silo, sure, theoretically, like we’ve got these logical concepts of money, but we don’t exist in our logical brains.

Becky:

We are so conditioned into thinking that we are supposed to be able to get to this mythical place where we can be very logical about our money and it’s just dollars and cents and facts and figures and it’s fine. And then we can’t. And instead of saying like, well, no, we can’t because it isn’t just dollars and cents. It’s a whole host of other things. we put it back on ourselves. What’s wrong with me that I can’t get there?

Brittany:

It’s dollars and cents that we create additional meaning around. We grow up with stories that reinforce how those dollars and cents reflect our worth in the world. We grew up with stories about how those dollars and cents are scarce and have to be hard fought for, but it’s like paper and shards of metal.

Becky:

We’ve all agreed to these terms, but if you really think about it, it’s actually the idea that these pieces of paper have any value that we’re attaching to them is sort of silly, but we attach all this logic to it. And so it’s again, it’s that thing where we’re being forced into believing, no, this is very serious and very real without acknowledging any of the other stuff. And I think that like, I hear what you’re saying in that divorce of the mind, the logical part and then the body meaning our knowing. Like there’s, I think there’s some part of us that knows like…

Brittany:

We’re engaged in a game, except we’re engaged in a game that in some ways feels like life and death, that feels like survival. And that’s where we can’t, it’s hard to tease apart those things, right? Because it’s so deep down in those beliefs. And it’s so reinforced by all of the experiences that we’ve had through life. So, in a sense, it’s a conscious practice for us to notice all of those things that come up in our body and notice when we’re getting caught in the wave of it. And instead of resisting that, allowing us to maybe not like just do the rumination cycle or the like ramping up cycle, but taking that step back and allowing those emotions to come and go and bearing witness to them and also processing them. Because I think that there is opportunity, too, for us to bear witness to these stories without necessarily processing the gifts that we’re, or the nuggets that we’re getting from the stories. I feel like it’s really easy for us to give voice to the stories, but not process the emotion within it. So all that does is it reinforces our nervous system reaction further, as opposed to when we give voice to the stories, when we acknowledge what the wound is, and when we give ourselves the gift of what’s needed now to heal those wounds.

Becky:

That’s where that marriage the integration of the mind and the body happens? The mind can logically suss out what the stories are, and I think a lot of us are pretty good at that. Like I can get to that place of like, yeah, I understand, because my mom did this, or my parents were like this, or whatever, I can, I can get why I think this way. A lot of us can get there. But it’s that additional part of the emotional response that we and I think because we are so conditioned to think again, that we need to be serious about money and that there’s no room for emotion and money decisions and that sort of thing, that we don’t do that additional piece. And that’s what really bridges those gaps and allows us to have that like, to again, to feel seen and validated and not gaslit in the money experience, which is what happens to us. We do it to ourselves, but also to be clear, it’s happening outside of us, to us all the time as well. And then because we’ve learned that, we reinforce that in the way we show it for ourselves. And then the cycle just keeps going. And I would argue by design, that’s me getting into my feelings about patriarchy because I feel like this is what keeps systems in place. Because as long as those of us who have a lot of this wounding, and I get that also people who have more power and privilege have money wounding as well, but those who have the most wounds often are those who have the least power and the least privilege. And as long as they’re that continuing of like, I’m going to turn this inward, I’m going to blame myself, I’m going to hate myself, and I’m just going to sit in the cycle of this, then it keeps money in the hands of those who already have it. And so the more that I think you can do this internal work, it doesn’t change the systems. This internal work doesn’t change the systems that we live in, but it can, I think, as a collective of us all doing this collective healing, can begin to make a difference, because it allows then for people to begin to accumulate wealth.

Brittany:

Yeah, the only thing that I would, I guess in some ways challenge that is we have a tendency to think about like wounds in quantity and scale, right? And in some ways at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who is more wounded or who is less wounded. The fact is if any of us is wounded, then we’re acting from a state of pain and a state of scarcity. 

Becky:

I’m feeling that. I’m feeling that because it immediately turns it on to in the same way. I think I said something earlier about like, you know, we’re, we’re all even those even people have privilege are wounded inside of these systems. And you’re right, because then it keeps those who do have the power that wounding shows up as how do I hold on to this the scarcity thinking of how do I keep this?

Brittany:

And it also makes it really hard for people to escape that because when we engage in a pissing contest about how big our trauma is, then we’re either in the state where we’re defending it or we’re in the state of shame about the amount of trauma that we carry with us. In some ways, who does it serve for us to compare trauma? Doesn’t serve anybody, so let’s just all fucking work on ourselves, do better, do great, because it doesn’t matter. We’re all hurt.

Becky:

One of the things that I, in my experience with you over these last few months of knowing you is you have challenged me, and this is in a good way because I love being challenged, that I have recognized that a way that I tend to show up probably from my own wounding and traumas is that I tend to show up in this sort of glass-half-empty way, or maybe a bit of a fighter kind of way where I’m fighting against what I don’t want think that my natural way of showing up is, here’s what I don’t like, here’s the injustice, let me, I get focused on that. And like, I’m very clear about what I don’t want. And where you have challenged me in a really loving way is to think about, but what do you want? Instead of just like, here’s what I don’t want. Here’s the ways that I’m pissed off. What am I trying to build? What am I trying to create? And I think that’s a beautiful way of looking at things that challenges me. And I’m curious since we’re talking about these things. What is it you want, Britany? What do you see when you think about money mindset and about economy and, you know, finance in general, just sort of all that you see with your clients? What is the vision that you hold for what’s possible when we think about money as a collective?

Brittany:

I feel like this is where I should give the disclaimer that like the Innocent tends to be my thing too. And I don’t know if you do the Jungian archetypes at all, but the Innocent in your Jungian archetype is kind of like, the vision that I get is like the golden retriever who is like, oh my god, life is great, everybody could be happy. I think that’s where my soul still lives, where it’s like, if we all put in the work and processed all these things, if we all stepped into life from a space of compassion, from a space of… giving grace, then everything would be fucking fantastic. Right? And I think the thing too is like, when I think about my clients, and maybe this is some of that self-selecting piece, when I think about my clients, my clients are purpose-driven humans. My clients are people who wanna create some level of impact. And my carrot, I guess, is what happens when these loving, purpose-driven humans are able to reconcile some of their wounding, particularly when it comes to money, so that they’re more often in the space of calm, self-actualization vs. that survival space. What is the ripple effect? What is the impact that happens when they feel that they’re resourced?

Becky:

With so many of the things that we’re talking about, I like that you just said when they feel resourced because I feel like that’s a lot of it, right? It’s this feeling of not having the resources that it takes to make the change you wanna see in the world, right? I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough visibility, I don’t have enough power, whatever the things are. And yeah, how do we get to that place of feeling more resourced? And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having, for the purposes at least of this little vision, of having that like golden retriever look at what could be. Because if we can’t hold a vision, and I think that’s where I can, you know, with, I may have the Innocent when it comes to the money, but really that’s just more about the like, I’ll just spend it, because why the hell not? When it comes to most things, I don’t know that, I’m not the positive person. I’m not the rose colored glasses. I tend to be the person who gets really fixated on I’m angry and all what I don’t want and fighting. And that’s a hard place to stay when you talk about sustainability. It’s hard to stay in that if you don’t have that vision for what’s possible. And so I think why not hold that vision? Because that’s what keeps us going and fighting to say we have to make changes to the systems that are out there right now. So I love your vision.

Brittany:

Yeah, I’m reminded too, I had a conversation with a client and we were talking about goals and it was so centered around safety and security. And I think that’s one of the things that happens when you’re in this state where you’re super activated in your nervous system. All you care about is survival. But It’s the what happens, why the hell do you want safety and security? What is different when you have the safety and security? What does having safety and security make possible for you?

Becky:

I hope that people listening ask themselves that. I think that’s so important because when we live constantly in this like fight, freeze and fear, and when you’re in that survival mode, it is hard to think beyond that, but why? What are you fighting for? And I think in all the ways, wherever your scarcity lies, whether it’s around money, which for a lot of us it does, but it might also be around time because I see people who maybe have mastered money and that they’re making lots of money, but often then that’s at the expense of their time. Now they don’t have time or they don’t have energy, right? So whatever the resource that you have, I was just writing about how I really feel like power isn’t just about money. It’s about resourcing. Like you said, it’s about all of these key resources. And if you don’t have that, then it can feel like I can’t dream. I don’t have time to dream. I don’t have the money to dream. I don’t have the permission. But yeah, I think asking yourself, what’s it for? What’s it all for? It’s a really great question for people to sit with.

Brittany:

I think too, something that can be hard to see when you’re in that state, because I’ve been in that state, is how much aiming for safety is just running away from fear in a mask. Safety as a goal is me being, I don’t wanna feel like I am unsupported. I don’t want to feel like I am insecure. I don’t want to feel like I’m in danger. So in some ways it’s like how do we shift from that like running from fear into running towards inspiration?

Becky:

It’s beautiful. We know what you’re running from. What are you running toward? And I think it’s hard though, for some people when they’ve spent so much of their life running. And the fear, the thing they’re running from, sometimes it’s less real, sometimes it’s real, but either way it feels real. And that’s what ultimately ends up mattering, right? But if you’ve been in that space, you feel like if you stop running to think about what you’re running towards, then the thing that you’re running from is going to get you right. Like it just doesn’t feel like you can. But I think it’s a beautiful challenge for people to try and sit with, to think about.. you know what you’ve been running from. I am certain that everyone listening knows what they’ve been running from.

Brittany:

Or even just acknowledging, like, acknowledging that safety is running from. Like, let’s just leave it at that. Because maybe that’s just the first step that we need to get to, because I feel like that is something that can be hard to reconcile.

Becky:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think just hearing it’s going to, I feel like that will get people thinking and that’s important. And I think it goes back to some of that compassion that we talked about too, of when you acknowledge that to be compassionate with yourself about it. This isn’t about judging you for running, not judging the fear, not judging the running, none of that because safety is super important. We all have to be safe, so that safety was real and important. So be compassionate with yourself about that as you go on that, embark on that journey. And I think that also goes into some of the feminine because we’ve talked about the masculine, which is a lot of the head stuff, like being in your head is that very masculine way of looking at things. But how do you begin to incorporate the feminine into your relationship with money when it’s something that most of us, it’s been really, it’s not something we’ve done or that we feel connected to at all.

Brittany:

One of the things that comes to mind is that somatic piece that you referred to earlier, how does your body and what’s showing up for you in your body inform things? One of the things that I’ve noticed too is sometimes when I sit in a level of silence, when I’m trying to interpret something that my body is coming up with, I have the story that I came into from my head. Oh, this is how it connects. I can see what the connections are. But sitting there for five minutes in meditation, Sometimes it confirms the story, but sometimes it gives me a completely different connection that I didn’t realize was there. And for a lot of people, sitting with the body is hard, especially having grown up in a very patriarchal society where we dismiss that. There’s a couple of things that we can do. One of the first things could be just a note of sensations without giving them a label and just allowing that to be something for now. The other thing is what happens when we externalize it. What happens when we take things to a third point. One of the ways that you could do that is like putting it onto a piece of paper. This stick figure here, this is the person, these are the sensations, these are the stresses that have occurred. What might this person be feeling? And it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you. But I mean, if we’re talking here, and we’re like, there’s probably some level of curiosity of what it is that’s showing up within you, right? But by taking it outside, there’s a level of safety that comes with it because it’s not necessarily about you. We’re just hypothesizing here. We’re throwing out ideas, we’re experimenting. And I think that that’s, we talk mindset, that’s a powerful mindset to be in, like the mindset of openness and experimentation. 

Becky:

I’ve used that sort of exercise with clients too, because we do get so dissociated from our bodies that if you ask somebody about how they’re feeling, sometimes they just can’t even get there. But they might be able to say if your friend was going through this experience, what do you think they might be feeling? Or if you saw someone else who had XYZ happening, what might that person be feeling? And they can get there and then sometimes be able to project that back onto themselves and it’s amazing what that can unlock. So I think, you know, just thinking about like for the feminine, it’s about what is the emotional, the intuitive, the non-logical parts of this experience you’re having around money? What? What else is there for you and allowing for that? And then the compassion piece I think, to me, is part of that feminine experience as well. And again, going back to the very beginning, I think it’s about both. So much of these conversations are like, it’s not the either or, right? It’s the both, and. It’s like both of these things are important. It’s not to say that the feminine experience with money is the best experience and the masculine is wrong and bad. It’s how do you marry those two and bring both? On the whole, what I see, and I imagine you see the same, is that I think most people are conditioned into operating out of sort of that more masculine energy around money. And so how do we begin to wed some of these other pieces into that experience? I want to shift a little bit for the last part of this to talk about business, like not just about the work you do, but the way you do your work and how you show up as a business owner. And you work with people, you work with business owners, you’re working with people who are talking to you about money. You’re in that kind of world around money, so I’m kind of curious just like your views on capitalism and entrepreneurship, running a business and existing as somebody who envisions this equitable world and also lives in the realities of capitalism. How do you deal with that dichotomy in the way you’re showing up?

Brittany:

I think the thing that I have to keep anchoring to is what is in alignment with my values and being really clear about what my values are. I know I have my values up on a Post-It beside my screen and so that’s one of the filters that I take the decision making through. The other filter I take it through is, one of the other filters I take it through is what do I wanna feel in my life right now? What do I want to be in the energy of? Is that a process for you as well, like going through this?

Becky:

For me, values are so much a part of the discussion, which is funny you said that because the next thing I have in my little notes here is about your value statement on your website, which I think people should go read because it’s like a beautiful essay. Also, you talked earlier about identity and some of your feelings around that, which you get into in your value statement so I thought it was a great little read. It’s just a lot of light into how you see the world. And I’m the same way. Like for me, my values, it’s about how do I actually walk those values, not just put up some nice words on a board and like, there they are, put them on my website and leave it. But what does that look like in practice? What does it mean about the decisions I make in the ways that I’m pricing things or the types of offers I’m doing, or the kinds of clients I work with or don’t work with, or all of those pieces, how does that actually reflect the values that I have or like you just said, the way I want to show up in the world. And to get to your values, to turn it back on you now, you talked on your value statement that you had a few things clearly lined out and I liked how specific they were. Something that I don’t think I have on mine and that I might need to reconsider because I love the specificity. It says I will not create false scarcity. I will not create crazy markups on payment plans. I mean, I do all the same things, but I love that you’ve lined them out this way. I will not provide outrageous promises of overnight miracles. Hallelujah to that. And I will not create pain to sell you solutions. So I see that you are putting those values out there. Is that sort of the way, because again, you and I tomorrow can’t change capitalism. We’re not getting rid of it. We have to operate within it. And it’s neither of us, I think, are gonna just pack it all in and go live in like a monastery. We have to function within these systems. So how do we do that in the ways that we show up? And I see in that some real specific examples of how you’re trying to walk your talk.

Brittany:

It’s been a while since I’ve revisited that. And I think those are the very, very concrete things, and also there are like those things that, the filters through which those came from, right? I did my StrengthFinders. Sorry, this is like, again, ADD tendencies.

Becky:

I’ll never say no to StrengthsFinder. I’m a huge, or now, FYI, it’s now called CliftonStrengths, but it’s StrengthsFinder. I’m a huge fan of it, so I love hearing about it. Tell me what you discovered.

Brittany:

I think my top one, I can’t remember whether it was connector or connection.

Becky:

It would be connectedness.

Brittany:

The connectedness, I think, always has me going back to like, what is the big picture, what are the overarching themes in here? And I feel like those, like there are five words that I have for mine on my second monitor. And that’s where some of that stuff has come out of. I think that we can do the concrete lists and we could probably spend forever doing the concrete lists. And also it’s important to be able to anchor those to like a handful of words that you can constantly be putting things, the filter through. 

Becky:

To have a filter, like you said, like to put it through, to say on any decision you’re making, am I showing up the way I wanna show up? Because there are times where the easier decision might not be something that’s aligned with your values or the more profitable decision. There are these times where that to me is where it’s like, are you really committed to, it’s one thing to say I envision a more equitable world. That’s great. Most people would probably say that, right? But what does it look like to say are you really committed to making it happen in the ways that you can? And you’re a little tiny corner of the universe. What are you doing to actually do that?

Brittany:

Yeah, and maybe this speaks to that feminine piece that you were asking about, and I vaguely, vaguely answered before too, where for me through this whole process, I feel like the sensitivity in my body has shown up a lot more. And I find that when things are out of alignment, my body is like, well, until you get your act together, we’re not gonna do things anymore. Digestion, that’s cute. You know, you wanna lift your shoulder? Oh, good for you. Get your shit together and then we’ll talk.

Becky:

100%, headaches, my energy levels, all sorts of things that again, if we’re not connected to that, then we don’t see it. But they’re so intertwined, especially I think if you’re someone, you know, speaking of CliftonStrenghts, I have empathy very high, like for the empaths among us, connectedness is another one that can be that way. Some of those more feminine, and I’m using air quotes, but like historically, or what we think of as feminine traits. If those are not being tended to and respected, then they like those parts of us find a way to say, like to bring up the flags and say, Hello, you’re gonna have to pay attention. And if you’re somebody who really operates out of that, it’s harder to just push through and fake it and act like it doesn’t matter what my values are. So yeah, I love that you’re doing that. Okay. Anything else before we move on to the end, because I have two last questions, but anything else about just the ways that you’re trying to do business differently yourself in the way you’re running your business or treating yourself as your employee or anything like that?

Brittany:

Yeah, I think the thing that pops into my head is trust. And how do we sit? How do we? not just how do we develop trust, but how do we practice trust in… sorry, this is clearly not fully formed in my head. The word is trust. I think one of the things that I am really excited about and really loving is that the population is becoming more discerning. And trusting that if you are acting from a place of alignment with your values, that the right people will be there for you without us putting, without us putting out things to manipulate them into coming to us. The trust that if this is how we’re meant to operate in the world, that the perfect people will find us. The trust that if we’re meant to be doing what we’re doing, it doesn’t matter that there are other people in the same field because we all have unique perspectives and what speaks to one person is not gonna speak to another.

Becky:

I think it’s also trust in yourself. Like I hear trust in the universe to deliver, but trust in yourself to do meaningful work, do it in the way that feels right for you and that you can allow that to be enough, which can be hard because we are so… and honestly, that’s what this podcast for me is about is there are so many of us who are like, I wanna do business that way. I wanna do this business in a way that feels like I’m honoring my truth. I’m honoring the truth of the people I wanna work with, that I’m trusting the universe and myself and others. And all the messaging we get in the traditional business advice world is you can’t do that. That doesn’t work, that’s wrong, that isn’t gonna make you money, that’s bad. And so being able to trust yourself inside of that to say it’s okay, even though all that messaging is telling me that, I can trust that this is okay. And my hope is this podcast, other people hear that and say, ‘Oh my God, Brittany is also feeling that way. She’s trying to say I can trust myself to make good decisions, to show up the right way, and I can trust people to receive that in the way I mean for it to be received.’ And I can trust that it will work. So I love that, I love that you’re sharing it, because I think there are so many other people who feel that way and feel really alone in it.

Brittany:

I think in some ways too, I feel with where I am in my relationship with my body, I’m like, there’s no other way. The body is going to be like, no. For a long period of time, I fought the concept of surrender because there’s so much tied up in that word, surrender. But to your point, I guess, there’s a level now where I’ve subconsciously allowed that trust to sit in, of my body is going to tell me and it’s fine. It’ll all be fine.

Becky:

And I feel that the farther you go down a lot of these paths, it’s almost like you can’t go back. Once you sort of see it, you can’t unsee it. Once you sort of experience what it can’t, like the freedom that comes with and the, I don’t know, the serenity of like, that peace that comes from operating out of your values. It’s hard to, I think it becomes impossible to go back. So, okay, let’s wrap up. I don’t want to take like a whole day. I feel like we could keep talking but I want to end by asking you for a resource to share a resource. So it could be a book, could be just an educator, could be a podcast, it could be anything. And it can be something that’s deeply meaningful or it could just be something you’re interested in right now. Doesn’t matter. It could be around money since that’s what you’re here to talk about, but it doesn’t have to be.

Brittany:

I like reading about money, like there’s a curiosity in me that addresses. Um, and I think one of my favorite writers right now on it is Ken Honda. I don’t know if it’s perhaps that Asian lens that he filters things through where it is an understanding of like this interplay between that masculine and that feminine, between the emotional pieces and the practical pieces. His book, “Happy Money” acknowledges both of them. His book is far less on the practical side and he talks about that. It’s more on the emotional side. But I like the fact that he puts that front and center that it is a marriage of both.

Becky:

I don’t know it so I’m gonna check it out and I like the idea that the title speaks to me, “Happy Money,” that feels nice instead of what I think money may feel like for a lot of us so thank you. And then finally, an organization that is meaningful to you. It could be a charity of some sort or nonprofit or some organization that maybe others can contribute to.

Brittany:

I have loved for a very, very long time, Kiva. I think the micro loans are just a beautiful concept..

Becky:

Well, for anyone who is interested in saying thank you to Brittany for her time and for anything that you got from this, some of those questions that I think a lot of us will sit with around what are we running towards, then go make a donation or I don’t even call it a donation when it’s to Kiva, but a loan, go give some money to to Kiva, which they will then give to others who will, those micro loans make a huge difference. It’s such a really cool concept. I love the idea of micro loans as well. And I will also go and give money to say thank you for your time today, and share the information about Kiva. So people, hopefully we can make a little difference in some small business owner’s life because that’s what they do. They help business owners for whom $500 would be incredibly meaningful. And it’s paid back into that system and continues to go out and give more money to more businesses. And it’s how we help lift each other up. So I love that you, and of course you chose one related to money, which I think is great.

Brittany:

I’m seeing that connection between “Happy Money” and that too. Like there’s a level of joy and love that I experience when I put money into Kiva. I’m like, oh my God, it fucking worked. Like somebody is doing well enough that they’re looking and repaying loans. So I feel like it’s a happy way to recirculate cash. It just makes me so joyful.

Becky:

I think it’s beautiful. I love it. Well, thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing everything you shared today and thank you for your time.

Brittany:

Thank you. Thank you for questions, beautiful questions.

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