Here's How Emily Found Love of Money Through Love
Emily Sussell is a yoga teacher, coach, and entrepreneur. She helps yoga teachers and healers remove emotional barriers to their own success so that they can earn six figure incomes doing the work they love. Emily lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her fiance Anthony David Adams, with whom she co-founded The Love Dojo, a love and relationship mastery program for singles and couples.
Thanks for chatting with me! How do you feel about money currently?
I’ve personally done healing around money and finances lately. I feel as women, we tend not to speak about money as much, or feel deserving of money as much. There’s so much emotional gunk around money and its value for women in particular.
I think that we’ve seen a shift in the culture of sex, and money is next. You’re the first person I’ve heard use the term “money-positivity”; it’s funny, men wouldn’t have come up with that term because just like the term “feminism”, they don’t need it.
What was your journey to financial healing?
Well I ended up being partnered with someone incredibly supportive who is an entrepreneur and coach, and spends part of his time coaching people about money. So I’m very lucky to end up with someone like him. I attribute a lot of my emotional growth and healing to him and our relationship. He has helped me a lot by asking questions that I needed to be asked for reflection and growth.
When I met him, I was working part-time and teaching yoga to adults at various studios, and children in schools. All these efforts weren’t really aligned with where I wanted to grow. It was also very draining, physically and mentally. I was operating with this get-hired mentality and taking any teaching gig I could. At most I was making $50/hr, and it wasn’t enough; I was living at my parents and having a hard time saving to move out, or to go to graduate school.
I was also going through a puberty with entrepreneurship. I felt so much awkwardness and discomfort around transitioning to a self-employed life. Parts of me believed in myself, but I also felt fear and tension. Anthony (my partner) was the first entrepreneur that I had a close relationship with. Until I met him, the people around me were all employees. I had a limited context of what generating income could look like. With his support, I quit my jobs and started teaching private yoga instead of group classes, then launched my coaching career teaching other yoga teachers how to build their own private practice Now, I’m 90% self-employed. I still teach some group yoga classes as a studio, which enriches my life with community, but I don’t rely on it for income anymore. I never really could.
It feels so good. It’s also terrifying because I think, “OMG I did that”. I’m 27 years old. If I did that before thirty, what else am I capable of?! This was one small thing I did; I didn’t create a million dollar business. I went from making $600 a week to $1600. I feel in the game. I can be here and have a comfortable life. It’s a solid foundation, And now I can coach other yoga instructors to do the same.
How do you talk about money in your relationship?
Anthony and I are utterly devoted to having a conscious and communicative relationship with each other. We view our relationship as our main project in life, because we view everything going on in the world as a reflection of what’s going on in the world’s interpersonal relationships. We’re committed to telling the truth 100% of the time, which is an incredibly hard, difficult task to do. And that includes money. We talk really honestly about money, including our fears and anxieties around money, and we hold space for all the emotions that come with it. We don’t view money as separate from emotion; it’s actually one of the most emotional topics to discuss with anyone.
We’re engaged to be married. We realize that when you marry someone, you marry their finances. It’s entirely crucial to talk about money. If you’re going to have a life with somebody, you need to not only have a commitment to honesty about money and all of the emotions around it, but a vow to be supportive in helping each other’s financial dreams come true. We have vision boards with our financial goals on them hanging on our refrigerator. Supporting your partner in their financial dreaming and growing also means being loving and available to your partner’s difficult emotions around money, since it can be such a painful topic. Money feelings are tied up in one’s self-worth, value, and sense of impossibility/possibility. In intimate relationships we need to be really aware of how we might be limiting our partner’s growth by not letting them dream BIG. Sometimes we unconsciously try to keep them small in order to keep them in rapport with our own evolving sense of worth, which sadly can be low at times. Building esteem and a sense of infinite value is some of the hardest work we’ll do in this lifetime! I happened to be engaged to an entrepreneur, so I’ve really had to create space within myself to let him dream as big as he wants. If we want to change or grow, we have to talk about it and work on the emotions holding us back, especially with the people we’re closest with.
What have you learned through this process?
All of the reasons that we tell ourselves we can’t make money, or change our careers – they’re just lies. They’re lies that we tell ourselves. We need to work towards healing these deep wounds we acquire as we age that convince us we’re undeserving of wealth, or inadequate at the work we do. We need to hold space for those emotions and find space to grow. I don’t have this all figured out. But, I keep reminding myself that we really can do whatever we want, and make as much money as we want. I acknowledge that social privilege comes into play, and that some people are born into more privileged circumstances than others that enable them to make more money, but that’s not a narrative that I allow to heavily influence my life. I am white and I do have white privilege. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family, but I did grow up around other wealthy families. I acknowledge these factors, but at the end of the day, I feel that my ability to make a lot of money relies mostly on my own determination, creativity and perseverance.
And even as I say that, there’s still part of me that doubts. Sometimes I still think that there’s this finite amount of money out there. So can we? Is that simply just not true? I don’t know. But now there’s cryptocurrency, so maybe when there’s no more we can just innovate it. I just got some Bitcoin. Better late than never, I guess?