Julie Bergfeld is a health, wellness and life coach, specializing in performance, stress management, and healthy habits. She’s worked in academia and technology and is currently a yoga teacher who is dedicated to her own mindfulness practice.
Today, Julie joins the show to engage in a rich discussion on purpose, mindfulness and pursuing what makes your heart sing.
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00:57 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Julie Bergfeld, who joins the show to talk about early financial lessons she learned, receiving stock as a gift instead of toys, and pursuing work that makes her heart sing
09:51 – How Julie got involved in coaching and yoga
14:36 – Finding her own way, defining success & ultra-Marathoning
18:17 – The correlation between athletic success and financial success
24:24 – How opening a yoga studio changed Julie’s thinking on money and wealth
26:54 – From Shavasana to coaching
30:47 – Discovering mindfulness
33:42 – Julie’s coaching process
36:47 – One thing that we can do to lead to greater personal and financial success and one thing to avoid doing
41:03 – The Puzzle Rules
42:39 – One thing Julie would want others to know about and the one question Julie would want to know the answer to
44:04 – Jonathan thanks Julie for joining the show and lets listeners know where to connect with her
“I learned – this was more as a teenager – that you really need to do things that yes make money, but that are deeply tied to your values and that make your heart sing.” (09:28) (Julie)
“I really fell in love with technology. I fell in love with the aspect of learning, for one thing, and that plays into coaching and yoga. But I found my way, if you will.” (15:12) (Julie)
“I consider yoga, in a lot of ways, a transitional point in my life. And it provided a lot of healing and affirmation that I was enough.” (20:41) (Julie)
“You take the valuable things you learn from your family: pay off your debt as soon as possible. But, I wanted to move forward with what I loved, instead of being beholden to some other entity where my soul was sucked dry. So, I was able to marry the two, reduce my expenditures, bootstrap everything, and do what made my heart sing at that time.” (24:53) (Julie)
“I consider life coaching and the coaching that I’m doing now as next level yoga coaching or yoga teaching, where it’s coaching the unseen.” (29:00) (Julie)
“How we think affects everything we do in our entire lives.” (36:31) (Julie)
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Jonathan DeYoe: Hey, welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Julie Bergfeld. Julie’s worked in academia and in technology. Today, she’s a health, wellness, and life coach specializing in performance stress management and healthy habits. She’s a yoga teacher, has a yoga studio, and has dedicated her own mindfulness practice. One of the big reasons I wanted to chat with Julie was the following phrase. I don’t remember where I saw it, but, um, she said something like, happiness and wealth are not products to be chased, but rather gained as a result of a deep, intrinsic process. We’re going to get to that. But first, Julie, welcome to the m Mindful Money podcast. Where do you call home?
Julie Bergfeld: Thank you, Jonathan. I’m excited to be here. I am based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jonathan DeYoe: Is that where you’re connecting from today?
Julie Bergfeld: Uh, yes.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay. Did you grow up there?
Julie Bergfeld: I did. So long story about that. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Lived here through college and went away for quite some time and enjoyed it quite a bit. And family got me to come back here, and I’ve been here since, for the past, oh, gosh, 15 years.
Jonathan DeYoe: Lay a little groundwork for us. Were you taught lessons as a kid? Money, entrepreneurship. When you’re growing up, what sort of stuff did you glean from, uh, childhood?
Julie Bergfeld: Oh, gosh, lots of money stories. So I can launch into, like, a genetic money story if you’d like, or I can give you more of a high level thing.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, you want to start with genetic, and then we’ll.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. So my dad grew up without a lot of money, and it wasn’t that he didn’t have money. His father squandered the money, shall we say. And so his mother was his provider, and she sold real estate. She conducted estate sales in order to provide for the two of them. And so he grew up with an eye of, I need to provide. I don’t feel safe, all those stories. And he went to school and studied, not finance, but economics, knew that money was very important. Went to law school because got to make money. Right. I don’t think he particularly enjoyed law at all. And so, as a kid growing up, my sisters and I, we got gifts of stock. I don’t remember how old I was when I first got my stock certificate, the first one. But it was like, oh, WHOOP de do, I’m getting a stock certificate. I’d rather have a toy or something else. Right? But then, uh, he taught me. He would sit down, he would chart, and weekly, he would teach me what he was doing with the stock market, what you look for, why it’s important. And I got really interested in that. This was probably, I was probably 810, something like that. And I didn’t start investing on my own at that point, but it really changed how I saw those stock certificates, those pieces of paper that we were getting, because they were pieces of paper at that time. And it’s like, wow, I own a piece of this company. It matters. I matter. My voice matters, right. And so I got very interested in investments and, um, in particular, the stock market and money, even though I didn’t go into money and always claimed I was bad with money. Bad with money. Not bad with money. But it’s like I didn’t care about that. But, in fact, I did care about that. I started working part time jobs as a kid to pick up extra money before I turned 16. And then when I did turn 16, it was like, that fall, I turned 16 in November, and as soon as possible, I had a part time job. M. Yeah, go ahead.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’m curious. Do you remember the first stock that he gave you? Do you remember what company it was?
Julie Bergfeld: It was Eli Lily.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: Is it a local?
Julie Bergfeld: No, no, based in Indiana. And I think the part of that was because my grandmother was highly invested in Eli Lilly. It was a medical, pharmaceuticals. And, um, she was a medical doctor. Uh, whole story there, too. Not money story, but she was a doctor, and I think that’s where that came from.
Jonathan DeYoe: So he charted. He was showing you what he did on a weekly basis. What other part of the stories? We know this because your grandma is a doctor. So this is why we chose this. What was the reasoning behind this stock versus a different stock?
Julie Bergfeld: I know he had this all plotted out, too. He was interested, he was diversified in stocks. Right. And I think that he was also thinking about, what’s the next one going to be? Right. Diversification was one thing. He knew that it was a good investment at that point. And I can’t remember then what he was looking for. He was always looking for high dividends. Uh, he wasn’t necessarily looking not, but it was something that he believed in, that he knew was a solid company and wasn’t like he visited and met the people, but he looked at the financials, he looked at their decisions. He looked at more than just the numbers. He looked at the story behind the company, what they were producing, the value of the company, in that respect. And that made me really look at much more than the numbers and the story behind it.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I think it’s interesting because at the time, I’m guessing you’re nine or ten. That’s kind of the same time frame. I was probably nine or ten. I think at that time, the number one mutual fund manager was probably, God, what’s his name? He ran fidelity Magellan for many years. And his story, Peter Lynch. Peter Lynch’s story was, you just need to invest in what you know, invest in things that are close. Invest in things you understand. Invest in the story, not just the numbers. So it’s interesting to see that kind of come through and what your dad taught you as a.
Julie Bergfeld: Definitely. And then some of my first investments were ones that I knew Haynes brands. And the reason behind that was because Haynes owned champion sporting goods product, and I was very much into sports at that time. I was like, oh, well, that’s a no brainer. That’s great. So I knew that story. But then the numbers were decent as well at that time. They weren’t after a while, but at that time. So that was one of my first investments. Yeah. So I learned about money and finances from an early standpoint, from an early time in my life. And then I also knew that in order to get the things that I wanted, um, and they were material at that point, I wasn’t necessarily putting money into the stock market by the part time job I was getting, but it was clothes and gas for the car and those kinds of things, I had to work. And I really valued the fact that I was working in order to pay those things instead of relying on other people to give me money.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right, so your dad was an attorney, right? So did he have his own practice or did he work in a large firm?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. Okay. So, yeah, getting back to the dad’s story, initially he worked for a very small company, and I think he was very happy because he knew that he made a difference. Well, what happened was much different than nowadays. You worked for a company and you stayed at the company. Well, what happened was the company got bought out by bigger companies and bigger companies. And so where he worked, actually, he was in real estate law and a bank bought out the company. He was working for a local bank here, Boatman’s bank. And then what happened was, and he stayed. Bank of America, uh, bought out Boatman’s and he stayed. He hated corporation. Hated, hated, hated it. And I learned this was more as a teenager, that you really need to do things that, yes, make money, but that are deeply tied to your values and that make your heart sing.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes, for sure.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. And so while money is not a bad thing, it has to align with all the other values that you have in your life.
Jonathan DeYoe: So I’m assuming that, uh, there’s a long story that gets you to the, um, coaching. And you mentioned, I think, academia and technology. So before you get into coaching and teaching yoga, what did you do to develop that interest?
Julie Bergfeld: The interest in coaching and yoga?
Jonathan DeYoe: Well, being entrepreneurial, setting up your own yoga studio and then beginning to coaching other people.
Julie Bergfeld: Sure. Right.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’m assuming you’re following your heart in this. That’s why I’m assuming your dad taught you this. You learned this lesson as a teenager. You follow the heart.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. There was a turning point. So I learned the lesson to not follow my dad’s path because he was so miserable. Right. Sunday night, it was like Jekyll and Hyde. He was a different person on Sunday night because he had to go back to a work that he really hated. But he knew that he needed to provide for his family, right? He wasn’t provided for, so he had to do that. Meanwhile, investing like crazy in the basement. Not in the basement, but doing all of this stuff in the basement that he did to invest and still hyper providing there. But going to school, um, I wanted to be an architect. I wanted to do all these things, but that I probably wasn’t going to be satisfied with and that weren’t going to pay me the money. So what did I do? I majored in French. Anyway, knowing that I didn’t want to teach. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but that made my heart sing. And then it’s like, okay, I graduated and what am I going to do? Well, I went to journalism school because at least I could write. I liked that. And it might be able to make me some money. Well, graduated from journalism school and didn’t really want to do that. And let’s see, where did we go first? Met my husband and we moved. He was finishing a phd in chemistry. And so this was all in Missouri, where I went to grad school, and we moved to Boston. And I was looking for a job. It’s like, okay, you know, just needed to do something. He was working at Brandeis there in chemistry, and I had to do something. I looked and at that time there were actually jobs in newspapers. And I applied and I got a job. And this was at a startup company working in technology. They were looking for an admin. This was my first taste of small entrepreneurship and technology all tied together. Five people total in the company, in tech. Like when tech was really starting to take off. So this was early ninety s. M. Yeah, early ninety s. And I loved it. I got to do everything. I mean, yeah, there was answering phones, but I got to prepare presentations. I got to learn technology from the ground up. I got to learn about marketing and sales and just everything that this firm was doing. Not necessarily on a, it was a consulting firm, but not on a consulting basis, but like the background, right. The behind the scenes stuff. And I was like, wow, that really appeals to me. Small company, you get to have a play in things. And the tech stuff was really cool. So I worked in that for a couple of years and really loved it. And then we moved to Texas.
Jonathan DeYoe: Mhm.
Julie Bergfeld: He got a full time job. My husband got a full time job teaching at Austin College, which is based in Sherman, Texas, in about an hour north. Well, now it’s about 30 minutes north of Dallas. And again it’s like, okay, now what? What am I going to do? What am I going to do? So I started working in Plano. I was commuting there on a, um, part time basis at a company like building ads. So at least I was putting together some of the journalism background. I wanted to get into newspapers, but that didn’t really pan out and that got really boring. Commuting back and forth to Plano for a while. So I started talking. There was a social event at the college where he was working, and I met the it director and he knew that I was looking for a job. And we got to talking and he started giving me little assignments and he was like teaching me how to look behind the scenes at web programming. And you could do that. And I started doing it and following his little tutorials and learning how to do web design.
Jonathan DeYoe: Is this still late 90s ish coding?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, this was ninety s. So I’m.
Jonathan DeYoe: Curious, uh, there’s two questions that are percolating. One is you followed your husband to Boston, you followed your husband to Texas. Do you think, and the second guessing on this is, do you think that hurt your ability to ground and find good work and build your own career? Would you do that again? Would you recommend that?
Julie Bergfeld: It definitely hurt my ability because I was following him. However, I was learning things and figuring out what I wanted to do. What appealed to me, what didn’t appeal to me. And of course, none of it had to do with journalism nor French, right? That didn’t really matter. But I really fell in love with technology. I fell in love with the aspect of learning, for one thing. And that plays into coaching and yoga. And this has nothing to do with money, but it does in a way. This is so rich. Um, I don’t know if I’m answering your question or not, but I found my way, if you will. So despite the fact that I wasn’t leading the charge, if you will, I found my way and found things that satisfied me.
Jonathan DeYoe: Do you have a sense of what your thought this is a while ago, but what your thoughts, what did success mean at that point? How did you define success when late ninety s. Oh.
Julie Bergfeld: At that time, I was still very much about money in the bank status.
Jonathan DeYoe: Mhm.
Julie Bergfeld: What do I know, right? I was thinking about. So I had a master’s degree, I was thinking about a phd in something very much about external focus, proving things to other people, right. Still living up to parental ideals of success. And I do this now, but maximizing savings, making sure that all of the 401, that everything’s maxed out and topped up, and still investing this whole time as well. But success was basically more than being sufficient, but being hyper vigilant about over providing, if you will. I mean, it was just the two of us. We never had kids, but we always had more than enough.
Jonathan DeYoe: I know that you also are, uh, an ultra marathoner. When did that start? Were you already doing it at that point?
Julie Bergfeld: I got into ultras, yes. Living in Texas. So marathons came before my first marathon. I did right after I graduated college. And then ultra marathons came in when we were living in Texas, I fell in with a group in Texas. They did trail running and they convinced me to run this race. I’m like, yeah, it was a, just over 30 miles. It’s really just a little bit longer than a marathon.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s insane. It’s just insane. Okay.
Julie Bergfeld: And they’re like, hey, come down, do this race with us. What I didn’t know was the race that they convinced me to do was the USATF trail marathon trail 50k championship race. And I won it. I won the race. I had no idea what I was in.
Jonathan DeYoe: Wait, this is your first ultramarathon and you won final?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, I won it.
Jonathan DeYoe: How did you even qualify for it? I mean, you’ve never done it before.
Julie Bergfeld: That time you didn’t. There was no qualification. You just registered for it. So again, this was late 90s.
Jonathan DeYoe: Wow.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. And I won the race. This goes back to success, too, because I had to prove myself right. I had to prove myself in races. And it was really nice being a beginner at an ultramarathon and winning.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I bet. So I have another podcast, the mindful wealth podcast, and my co host is a, uh, canadian elite athlete in jujitsu or judo or something like that. She draws a lot of parallels between her athletics and sort of athletic success. Financial success. Financial success is about savings and investment and building wealth, and athletic success is about medals and winning competitions. Do you see a lot of crossover there? And have you learned those lessons internally?
Julie Bergfeld: Oh, yeah. Um, lots of crossover there when I grew up, so my father had not enough, uh, not enough financially, I was not enough, uh, in all kinds of other areas. Finances were fine, but it’s like I was never fast enough. I never made grades high enough, never enough in all those respect. And so I really pushed myself athletically to do more, to win at any cost, those kinds of things. And unfortunately, and this is how I got into yoga, I suffered a lot of injuries, m because I pushed myself so hard. Uh, but I’m still running, but that brought me to yoga, all of the running injuries. Okay. Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: There’s this theme of you, of you not being enough, and it comes up, how do you think that held you back? And then how have you overcome that? I’m just not enough. Whether it’s knowledge, athletics, speech, whatever it is, how do you overcome that?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, I can’t say that I’ve overcome it. I’m aware of it now.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Julie Bergfeld: But I did certainly recognize it when I thought so. This was in my 30s where I found yoga, and I’m in my fifty s now, and thought I was going to have to stop running completely because I just couldn’t get over one injury to another injury to another injury to another injury. And so what I came to was I started doing yoga and, um, I wasn’t running at all. And what I found was a peace that I’d never experienced before, for one thing. And I wasn’t doing meditation at that time. But in a way, the yoga brought me to a much different place in my mind as well. But I also got resolution over a lot of the imbalances and, um, was able to start running again. So I consider yoga in a lot of ways, a transitional point in my life, and it provided a lot of, uh, healing and affirmation that I was enough, that I was.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I know that you mentioned, uh, at some point, I don’t know, previous conversation that you almost didn’t open the yoga studio, and there was something in your. That. Is that what it was or is there something.
Julie Bergfeld: Well, so, yeah, so what happened there was. Started yoga when we were living in Boston. This is the second time in. Yeah, we could talk for hours about all this.
Jonathan DeYoe: We have one.
Julie Bergfeld: But came back to St. Louis, um, and I got more into yoga when I came back to St. Louis, and that’s when I started working more deeply in academia as well, but came back for family reasons. And so the yoga continued and the trainings continued. And when I came back, I had the idea of something on my own. Running shoe store came to mind, or yoga studio hadn’t really come to mind, but I started doing more trainings in yoga. More trainings in yoga, more trainings in yoga. After the first intensive training, and these are like ten day trainings, it came back and there was a bug in me. It was like, I have to open a yoga studio. I have to open a yoga studio. And so that sat started actually looking at property, and then I kind of put it aside after a couple of months, went to another training. A year later, came back, same thing. Have to open a yoga studio. Have to open a yoga studio. Have to open a yoga studio. And there was just this fear in me that I couldn’t move forward with it. And this was, I was still wrestling with performance success, right, my ideas of success, and I wasn’t really listening to that inner, but what really makes you happy? I was still working my full time job and not happy of that at all. Technology, academia, just not a good mix for me right then. It took me four years it took me four years of continued going to these week long retreats, coming back, want to open the yoga studio? Want to open the yoga studio? And then just being like, no, can’t do it, too risky. Too risky, can’t do it. I got so comfortable in that paycheck, so comfortable and so risk, um, averse, that I just couldn’t do it. And then all of a sudden, something happened. A visitor came. So this was a person who had been on one of these yoga retreats with me, and she spent a week with me, and we looked at property. Mhm. And she really pushed me. And what I realized was no one was holding me back. I thought it was my husband, I thought it was my family, I thought it was. I was holding myself back.
Jonathan DeYoe: It was like four years of your heart, just putting little things out there. Hey, you should do this. Hey, it took four years for you to listen and say, you know what? You’re right. I should do this.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. Fear was holding me back, and it was my own fear. No one else was holding me back. And so what shifted in me was, I have enough. I realized that I have enough. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody else.
Jonathan DeYoe: I am enough.
Julie Bergfeld: I am enough. Uh, I am enough. And it’s like, okay, I can live within my means. We’ve got enough money in savings. I can reduce expenditures. I can do all of these changes in order to make this happen. And so we did.
Jonathan DeYoe: How does opening up the studio change your thinking, or did your thinking already change about success and money and wealth?
Julie Bergfeld: It changed my thinking a lot. So what I did do was there were no loans. This was all bootstrapped. No loans whatsoever to do anything. Got a great place, great landlord. Everything worked out that way. Uh, so that was beautiful. And that was one of the things that I wanted to make sure happened that I wasn’t in debt to other people. Because you take the valuable things that you learned from your family, right. It’s like, pay off your debt as soon as possible. Don’t do that. So it’s like, okay, use that. But I wanted to move forward with what I loved instead of being beholden to some other entity where my soul was sucked dry.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Julie Bergfeld: So I was able to marry the two and just reduce my expenditures, bootstrap everything, and do what made my heart sing at that time, and, uh, made it happen.
Jonathan DeYoe: I was going to say, how long did it take you to go from this point where you’re bootstrapping and you’re cutting expenses to make it work, to be able to kind of grow the yoga studio to a place where now maybe you didn’t have to cut quite as much and you had both your heart and some spending?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, it took about two years to get to the point where I felt comfortable doing what I was doing. And actually, I sold the studio. I sold it right before COVID hit, which the universe was speaking to me in mysterious ways at that time. Um, and that’s when I transitioned to coaching. But it took about two years. And then I owned the studio for about six years. And the last two years I was thinking, I really don’t want to be doing this anymore. Well, I was of two minds. It was, I need a partner or I need someone to manage the day to day business because I really don’t like that or I need to sell.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. One of my questions was, what did you enjoy about it? What did you not enjoy? It sounds like you enjoyed the yoga. Not so much the business management.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, I enjoyed the yoga. Um, I’m a creator. I love to create things. And so in that I should be a serial entrepreneur because it’s like I have all these ideas and it’s like, oh, I’d love to do that. But then after a year or two, it’s like, okay, what’s next? Right? What’s next? And so I digress on that.
Jonathan DeYoe: Tell us about your coaching practice. How did you develop the coaching practice out of that? How long was it after you closed the yoga studio that you developed coaching?
Julie Bergfeld: Well, coaching came to me through a different way of coaching to begin with. So in the last year that I owned the yoga studio, I actually got into athletic coaching. So really? Like coaching? Coaching cross country. And I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Now, that’s a different kind of coaching. But I adored that and anticipated going into that in the spring. Well, in the spring, Covid shut everything down and that didn’t happen. Uh-huh so I had been looking at a performance coaching or life coaching certification for a while. That was interesting to me. And it’s like, okay, well, this is the time I’m going to pull the trigger on that. So ended coaching cross country coaching in November, December of one year, sold a studio at that time as well, and then got into the life coaching program in, I guess it was April of that following year and started doing that and pursuing that as coaching. And that coaching is. Yoga is coaching in a way, but you’re coaching more of people how to move and be with their bodies.
Jonathan DeYoe: Mhm.
Julie Bergfeld: And the thing about yoga is it’s still body based. You can see and you can tell, okay, move your hand this way, pull your shoulders together, lift up the front of your pelvis, and you can see the changes on the mat. Life coaching is very different in that you can’t always see the changes. You can ask a question and you can get the thought pattern. You can see the thoughts, not you can see the thoughts, but you can see a person thinking about something and you may get tears or you may get laughter or you may get nothing. And so I consider life coaching and the coaching that I’m doing now as, uh, next level yoga coaching or yoga teaching.
Jonathan DeYoe: Sure.
Julie Bergfeld: Where it’s coaching the unseen.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. So how has this next level affected your thinking about success and money and wealth?
Julie Bergfeld: Right. Well, it brings me back to all of the teachings that I’ve had. In fact, this morning I was thinking, or over the weekend, I was thinking about contentment. M. Yeah, contentment. Not happiness, but contentment. And last week I was thinking about this, too, in a deeper fashion. And I posted out on social media, and I said, what would make you really happy? Like, really, really happy. And what I didn’t expect was the responses that I got. Losing weight, money to pay off my student loans, lack of pain. Those are some of the answers that I got a beach vacation to have my loved ones out of pain, those kinds of things. And what I realized was how different I think now. Whereas maybe even just five years ago, I would have been like that, too. And it’s like, well, but it’s not like that. It’s from inside.
Jonathan DeYoe: I think most of us travel through the if only this then happiness trap. Uh, unfortunately, I don’t think we all graduate from it, and I still get stuck in it sometimes. It’s just get to have the nicer car. You just take the first class instead of whatever. I get that stuff. But then when you really sit down and are just quiet, you just realize that, hey, it’s all of a piece. The pain is part of it. It is an important part of it. And to honor that is important. Um, that actually brings up, how did you discover mindfulness and actually sitting meditation. I know yoga is a form of moving meditation. How did you discover mindfulness, and how has that changed throughout your journey?
Julie Bergfeld: How did I first discover mindfulness? M. Okay. Yeah, I know how it first started. I’ve been a practitioner of meditation for 15 years now, at least 15 years. And started at one of the yoga retreats, went on, actually, the first yoga retreat that I went on. So I noticed that there were certain people who had something about them, and I would start asking them. It’s like, what is it? What do you do? And I would observe them. And what I noticed was they meditated. They meditated. And they would tell me about their meditation practices. And so I didn’t really start it then, but I was like, oh, there’s something there. There’s something really interesting to me and seemed really and scary to me at the time. And I started dabbling with it. I started sitting in meditation, listening to meditations, getting books on meditation as if you can learn by osmosis. That doesn’t work. That doesn’t work. But it started really interesting. It started really being interesting to me. And so I started doing it and it was kind of hit or miss. And I started listening more and really thinking about it. And what I noticed was when I meditated on a regular basis, I had a sense of ease about me that I’d never experienced before. And this was very different from the yoga. The yoga was more of a physical practice and you get that relief, but then you’re back to kind of wanting again and needing. And the yoga started to have profound impacts on me, especially on my running. I started meditating in the mornings before I would go out for a run. And those were the days where I just had this sense of complete ease and bliss like I had never felt before. I was like, oh, I want more of that. And so I gave myself the benefit of that and started studying more, going through mindfulness trainings, not certified in mindfulness, but many eight week, even longer, um, trainings, um, online, not um in person yet, but I will do that. But it gave me a sense of ease and I can’t say purpose, um, and challenge, really. It’s still a challenge to sit in meditation, but it’s given me profound insights into things that I never knew existed within me and within other people as well. It has given me the ability to be a better coach.
Jonathan DeYoe: That alone talk a little bit about your coaching process. We could just shift and talk about meditation and the benefits of meditation for the next 2 hours and I’d be happy doing that. But I want to actually get to the stuff that you’re coming on to talk about, which is tell us about your coaching practice and the kind of people you help and work with.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, well, it’s interesting that you’re asking this because I’m in a branding workshop right now and so I’ll practice a little bit with you, but really high level. I help, um, older adults, so adults 50 and over to feel their youngest by improving their relationship with food, movement and mindfulness. And especially mindfulness because I feel like mindfulness precipitates all of the other things.
Jonathan DeYoe: Totally agree.
Julie Bergfeld: The choices that we make in our life are brought on by the mindful nature that we assume.
Jonathan DeYoe: Wow. Yeah, wow. I think we spoke about this a little bit, but I’ve shifted my entire practice. Financial planning is what I’ve done for 25 years and I’m actually realizing how much more important teaching meditation and mindfulness is than picking investments or doing financial planning, it is the core lesson that you can take. I can take, my wife can take, my kids can take, my neighbors can take to improve any element of their lives. It’s that powerful. So I’m right there with you. So, 50 plus food, movement, and mindfulness. So have you become a meditation teacher as well, or is it one on one, or is it group, or, what’s your process?
Julie Bergfeld: Currently? It’s one on one, and it will be group. I don’t have enough people yet to offer group yet, but one on one. And I work with a variety of different people. Love them all, for sure. And some mindful eating, shall we say, or disordered eating patterns. Some, they come to me for weight loss specifically. But there’s always the element of mindfulness. It’s never like, okay, eat less, move more. It’s not like that at all. Some, um, it’s productivity. I’m just the different types of people that I work with. But it all comes down to mindfulness. It all comes down to your approach of things, how you think about what you’re doing. It’s not about what you’re doing, but how you think about what you’re doing, how you’re planning things out, how you’re approaching everything in your life. And as I talk to people, what I realize is, or, uh, what they realize, I should say, is that it’s all interconnected. It’s like, oh, and you probably talk to your wife that way, too. And they’re like, yeah, right. What about your work relationships? It’s like, oh, yeah, there, too. Everything how we think affects everything that we do in our entire lives.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right? So you have to slow that down so that you can understand it, so it gets easier to manage it, like, to make better decisions and things. I want you to simplify. I ask everyone to do this. If you listen to one of these episodes that you’ll know, you’ll expect this one. Simplify it for us. Like, if you were sitting with somebody, maybe it’s a potential client, and she wants to know what she could do. Um, what is one thing that you would say, do this for better, more personal financial success. And then the flip side of that is, what’s one thing they could stop doing? Uh, that would also lead to more personal financial success.
Julie Bergfeld: Personal financial success, or do you personal or financial?
Jonathan DeYoe: Personal and financial success. M a thing to do and a thing to not do.
Julie Bergfeld: One thing to do would be, and I’ll just say, invest more. You can think about investment in any way that you want to. Right?
Jonathan DeYoe: Invest more, meaning put more in, whether it’s financial or relationship or just.
Julie Bergfeld: Put more time there.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes. Beautiful.
Julie Bergfeld: And I would say to do less is the word numb comes to mind. Diversions, distractions, distractions, diversions, numbing. And I’m guilty of it, too. Right around the holiday, you get these emails. It’s like, oh, 15% off here and 30% off here. And I drop everything and I’m over at that site, shopping window. Uh, shopping, it’s like diversions.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, and that could be the shopping, or it could be alcohol, or it could be doom scrolling through Facebook or.
Julie Bergfeld: All that stuff, right, but distractions. And that’s where the mindfulness comes in. It’s like notice, right? So you stop the distractions in whatever way that you need to. My phone is right there. Uh, but the distractions, the windows right there, it’s like, oh, who’s going up and down the street? And all of that takes you away from being aware and listening.
Jonathan DeYoe: I mean, one of the fundamental lessons of mindfulness is, I don’t know, you’ve probably worked with people that said, yeah, I tried meditating, it didn’t work for me. And then you kind of have to say to them, that’s the point. You have to try more and more and more. And it eventually does. It’s never easy, but it gets easier. Right? And then you do see those spaces, and you do see when you get distracted. And you can avoid the distraction some, but you have to do it and keep doing it. It’s so powerful when you do it. It’s so frustrating to me when I see people give up, like, oh, uh, crushes me.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, well, I won’t go into that. And this ties back into. It does tie into finances, too, because if you save more, invest more, obviously, finances. But the distractions can be things like lack of awareness of, uh, where your money is going. The distractions can be financial advisors with whom you don’t agree. It’s like, okay, who do you trust? Right? Is it a big firm and there are distractions there because you don’t have a trusted partner? Or are you investing in mutual funds where you really don’t know? I mean, I consider mutual funds a distraction. It’s like, I don’t know what’s in all of that. Give me a stock, put money in the bank. I can see that. But distractions can be so many things. It just depends on how you think about the distraction. Distractions are the shiny new objects bitcoin.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, not new anymore, but still shiny.
Julie Bergfeld: There’s a car in the garage. Do you really need another car?
Jonathan DeYoe: Right.
Julie Bergfeld: The house is good enough. Do you need that other one across the street that is going to cost twice as much and has a pool?
Jonathan DeYoe: Do you need that at the same time? I work with people and their money at the same time. Just like we all have a m process of awakening in our employment, uh, with our relationships, we learn. Maybe you do want that other thing, and it is okay to want the other thing. Uh, I don’t ever want to take that away from anybody. It’s just make sure you’re making the right trade offs, and you understand what those trade offs are, and you’re being mindful of the choices you’re making.
Julie Bergfeld: Right, right. Well, and this actually ties into, um. Here’s a book that I still have to write, but the book title is, I have that. The puzzle rules and other things my father taught me.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay, say it one more time.
Julie Bergfeld: The puzzle rules. The puzzle rules and other things my father taught me. So growing up, he taught me, um, to put together jigsaw puzzles. And the idea was, you did the edge first. And so the edge is like this vision, this goal of where you want to go, and that’s what you did first. And so this ties back to, um, the house. It’s like, okay, know your goal, and if that fits with your goal, great. Go for it.
Jonathan DeYoe: Beautiful. Know the plan. Know the plan.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. Well, and then I’ll finish the story about the puzzle rules. You start with the edge. You put that together so you have your goal. You know where you’re going, and then you start to look at areas of, um. Well, then you identify the landscape. So you turn over all the pieces. So you identify all the pieces. Like it’s a brainstorming kind of thing or scratching. You get all the pieces turned over, and then you identify. What’s the target area. What do I want to work on first? Right. Is it this little corner here? Because it looks easy. Is it that little spot? Because there are bright colors there, and there are not very many of them. But then you start picking things off.
Jonathan DeYoe: Puzzles and the instructions for life. I love it. What’s the name again?
Julie Bergfeld: The title, the puzzle rules and other things that my father taught me.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love it. I want to come back to something personal again here. Just before we wrap up. Is there anything people don’t know? Maybe you’ve told them and they don’t remember, but is there any people that don’t know about you that you really want them to know.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah. One thing came to mind there. I’ve struggled. People think, oh, you’re so successful. You have a nice house and a nice career, and you’re a coach, and you’ve got a master’s degree and a husband and never been divorced, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’ve struggled a lot, um, especially in these past five years. And I think that’s one of the things that has made me the person and the coach who I am, is that I get it. Life is hard. That’s it. I’ve struggled a lot.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. You have to embrace the suck at some point. Uh, last little bit here. If you could get the truth about a single question about your life or the future of your life, and all you had to do is ask, what would the question be? I can’t give you the answer, but I’m just curious if you can frame the question.
Julie Bergfeld: The question that comes to mind is, what makes my heart sing?
Jonathan DeYoe: Do you know the answer?
Julie Bergfeld: What’s coming here is, um, space. Absence of clutter. Yeah. Mental space.
Jonathan DeYoe: So, finally, how do people connect with you? Where do they find you?
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah, um, you can go to my website, juliebergfeld.com. That’s probably the easiest way. And I’m on social media, especially Instagram. And, um, I’m on LinkedIn and Facebook, and you can find me, uh, Julie Bergfeld coaching.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay.
Julie Bergfeld: Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: Julie, thanks so much for coming on. It’s been a real pleasure to go about mindfulness and see how that sort of goes through everything. And I appreciate your time.
Julie Bergfeld: Absolutely. Thank you very much for having me.