Sept. 14, 2020

6: Don't Wait To Live Your Life with Morgan Bricca (Part 1)

How Morgan lives a life of meaning as a mural artists on the path to financial independence.


Welcome to the Mindful FIRE Podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I’m your host Adam Coelho and I’m glad you’re here. 

Today I’m joined by my friend, Morgan Bricca, a mural artist, meditator, blogger, author and podcaster in the San Francisco Bay Area. Morgan discovered Financial Independence early on in life and immediately applied the principles in her life, which allowed her to reclaim her time and ultimately leave a job that was unfulfilling to pursue being a professional mural artist. Now, Morgan enjoys life on her terms and has built a mural painting business that allows her to work part-time while earning six figures and making an impact in the community. 

Morgan and I had such a great conversation in which we covered too much for just one episode. So I broke it into two parts. 

In this episode I bring you part 1 of my conversation with Morgan. In it, we explore how Morgan applies the principles of financial independence and mindfulness in her life to live a life filled with alignment and purpose. 

In 2 weeks, I’ll share part 2 of our conversation in which we explore the idea of Craftsmanship.  

In both episodes, Morgan turns the tables on me and things get pretty real. I share some of my biggest dreams and some of the limiting beliefs that have held me back from reaching my goals in the past. 

In today’s episode Morgan and I dive into:

  • How reading “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin changed how Morgan thinks about money and life
  • How implementing what she learned in that book set her on the path towards financial independence and allowed her to leave her unfulfilling job in IT to pursue mural painting
  • How I met Morgan and how that meeting influenced my path towards my dream of designing and building my own house
  • How Morgan’s desire to be of service and make an impact directs her entire life
  • How Morgan has reinvented herself as a blogger, podcaster and artist to explore her passion for mural art from many angles
  • Why she believes that donating money to charity is the best way to clean up your own finances and what she learned from giving away 10% of her profits early in her career
  • The dangers of focusing so much on the future and reaching financial independence that we miss the lives that are ours to live right now
  • The power and choice we can all gain now by being on the path to financial independence 
  • Morgan’s advice on finding your purpose in life
  • Morgan’s top advice for people pursuing FI
  • Morgan’s top advice for people getting started with meditation and mindfulness

And so much more. I hope you enjoy my wonderful conversation with my friend Morgan Bricca.

Make sure to check out Morgan’s incredible murals by visiting her website.

Get in touch with Morgan Bricca

 

Each Tuesday I release a guided meditation or inspiring interview on the topics of mindfulness and financial independence. Subscribe for future meditations and episodes!

Transcript

Adam Coelho: [00:00:00] I hope this finds you healthy and safe. And before we jump into today's show, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you so much to everyone who's watched or listened to the podcast. So far, I've been really encouraged by the early response and by the feedback I've gotten on the episodes so far.

And so I just wanted to say thank you. And if you haven't already, please take a moment now to hit subscribe on the platform. You're listening to this or watching this on. This just lets the providers know that you're getting value from the show. And you'd like to be here when we produce additional content.

And I want to make sure that this content reaches the most people possible. And so if you're enjoying the show, I'd really appreciate if you could share it with a friend or two who might find this content valuable, especially in the difficult times we face right now. And if you're listening to this on Apple podcasts, I'd really appreciate a five-star review.

And with that again, thank you so much for being here and I hope you enjoy today's show. Welcome to the mindful fire podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond on today's episode, I'm joined by my friend, Morgan BRCA, a muralist meditator, blogger author, and podcaster in the San Francisco Bay area.

Morgan and I had a great conversation and I've decided to break it into two parts on today's episode. We'll explore part one of our conversation focused on how Morgan is pursuing financial independence. In a very mindful and intentional way and how she created the conditions in her life financially, so that she could pursue her passion for mural art full-time without sacrificing her financial wellbeing.

In this episode, we explore how Morgan discovered financial independence early in life, by reading the famous book, your money or your life, and how reading that book changed, how she thought about money and life. And we learn how Morgan applied the concepts of financial independence. To fast track her path to doing work that she loves as a professional muralist.

And we hear why Morgan believes that donating to charity is the best way to clean up your own finances and what she learned by committing to donate 10% of her profits to charity early in her career as a mural artists and Morgan. And I dive deep into the idea of creating success. Inability in one's life and why she believes pursuing financial independence is the perfect way to create that level of sustainability in your life.

Morgan. And I also explore the dangers of focusing so much on the future and on reaching financial independence that we can miss the life that is ours to live right now. And that most of what we are thinking about in the future and dreaming about can actually be had right here right now, and Morgan, and I will explore the benefits that come with that.

Just being on the path to financial independence and that it's not an all or nothing game. And we'll explore the freedom that comes from just knowing yourself, knowing your finances and being on the path to financial independence. She's been a long time meditator and we'll dive into many of the lessons and realizations she's had throughout the years.

And how she's applied that to her financial life as well. And in this episode, I share one of my biggest dreams to design and build my own house and how I've recently learned why this is such a priority for me. And I share with Morgan that while designing and building my own house is still several years away.

I've found smaller goals, like building a Kasita, where I can work and meditate and exercise. And I share a funny story with Morgan, how she unknowingly influenced my path towards designing and building this casita and how this tapestry behind. Amy is actually influenced by meeting Morgan a year and a half ago.

And Morgan shares a fundamental belief that she holds that we don't need to wait until financial independence to live the life that we dream of. And Morgan shares her top advice for those early on the path to financial independence and Morgan shares her top advice for people getting started with meditation and mindfulness.

And with that again, thank you so much for being here and I hope you enjoy today's show. Welcome to the podcast, Morgan. 

Hey, 

Morgan Bricca: [00:04:07] thanks to Adam. Nice to be here. 

Adam Coelho: [00:04:10] So I'd love to start by just giving this. A sense for how we met because I'm finding as I do this podcast that every guest I've had so far, I've met in an extremely random and improbable way.

I met Morgan at wisdom, 2.0 a conference about mindfulness and technology. I think it was about a year and a half ago or so. And it just so happened that at the nighttime party Morgan and I happened to be getting the. A glass of water from the water cooler at the same time. So we started talking about mindfulness and the conference and what do you do?

And Morgan was telling me about how she's created a life and a career in painting, beautiful murals, including one that I actually had known quite well. One at the Google community space in San Francisco, where I'd hosted a mindfulness and emotional intelligence workshop for a local nonprofit.

I've really been excited about financial independence retire early at the time, because I think I was just really getting into it. And I was like, Morgan, have you heard of this thing? You can retire early. Once you have 25 times your annual expenses. And Morgan just looks at me and she's yeah, that's what I'm doing.

How do you think I'm a full-time artist? Like I've been doing this for years and I was like, mind blown. And so I knew when I. It started this podcast that I'd have to get Morgan on and dive into your story. And so really excited to have you here. Thank you 

Morgan Bricca: [00:05:40] so much. Yeah, I remember that I'd love to dance.

And I remember that night there was a lot of dancing, so I had to go back for water a few times. And so let me just, let's just start at the beginning with my story, which is I read your money or your life. When I was like 20, I was still in my. Junior year, senior year. I didn't how I came across that book.

I read a lot of books, but I just resonated all those ideas. And so right with my first job, I was like, I am going to calculate my retirement early on. So the first six years of work, I saved 50% of my money and I was, calculating my dates every Monday morning that I hated my job. And then when what happened was I had enough of a sense.

By the time I was 26, I thought, you know what I'm going to be. Okay. And some of that came from having such a low, being really happy with my life with low expenses. And so I had started working part-time for a little while for six months, I was walking on the beach more. I was just trying to really enjoy my life.

And I realized that I was super happy, working less. And so when I finally went and quit my job, I had no backup plan. I needed to earn money, but I knew that wasn't much. So it gave me a lot of confidence to say, I'm gonna figure something out. And I didn't know what I wanted. I just wanted my time to be my own.

So I imagined I was going to eat rice and beans and take the bus to the library and walk on the beach every day. If I just kept that up and worked a little bit, like I was in it. So I knew I could make I don't know. Yeah, just a hundred and twenty-five bucks easy an hour for a consultant gig. And I think my expenses were like $500 a month and I thought, I can.

I can bridge this. The main thing was I really love housing expenses. I had four housemates. We just shared a landline. I had an old car for some reason. I just, I didn't have the housing expenses. Is it always going to be your biggest one? So I didn't have a big, I think it was like $200 a month.

So anyway, but what happened? The sort of along the way, once I had quit my job and then I fell into, because I had the time just, I never painted before discovered I loved working with my hands on my house too cheap to buy a window. So I just painted a window. Too cheap to actually put in, travertine.

So I just painted the concrete, beautiful stone tile, like everything was just painted fake because that's, that was in my budget. So that, and I was like, gosh, that's so cool. Gosh, that's so cool. So I had this big windowless stairwell. Just the darkest ugliest. It's the cheapest condo that I lived in and I painted this floor to ceiling, like grand view of Spain.

I lived in Spain little cobblestone street, it was so quaint. And I started drinking my coffee at the top of the stairs in the mornings after I faded it is like the ugliest darkest place. And all of a sudden it was beautiful to me. So it was like, I just, I would look at it and go, why did I love doing that so much?

Why do I love this so much? But I started painting murals. And what I will say, this is my long yarn to get to the evolution that the big shift for me was a few years into mural painting. When I felt like, gosh, I always thought I would just change careers forever.  Oh, I could see myself doing this for them, this, and then this, I could do a lot of things.

And all of a sudden I was like, I really like painting. I think I want to do this till I'm 90 and I'm painting with my toes, and when I started making a living from that. It shifted from how soon can I retire to, I was able to enjoy my money more. That was a big shift because it was like a hoarding thing.

Okay, I got to shore it up, keep myself safe. And all of a sudden it was like, I really like this. I'm not in a rush. 

Adam Coelho: [00:09:19] You mentioned enjoying your money more, starting to make money doing what you loved of painting murals allowed you to start to enjoy your money more. Can you expand on that? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:09:30] Yeah. So you're not in a rush to exit.

For one, I think a lot of people who get excited about financial independence, it's important to look at, like the underpinnings of some people are just miserable in their life situation for, usually it's work-related I was really interested in the autonomy. I didn't like my job either, but it actually wasn't that I didn't want to work.

And I think work is actually really. I have come to feel. It's a really good thing. I think it's been good for me as a human being to learn all, every, all the skills that you develop in having to run a business.  among many other good qualities. But yeah, because the mural art is a passion. Like I inherently care about it.

It's easier for me to invest in getting the word out. Through my podcast, more public mural art could get made. Oh that's cool. So that's worth donating through my podcast. I can find more work. That is great because I believe in what I do. And I believe in the value, you know what I'm bringing.

So like it's money, didn't become zero sum. If I give, if I, if it's outgoing, it's automatically a loss to both me and. Something else. It's just, it switches to be like, yeah. Getting paid well to do something you love is really twisted your mindset on money. Yeah. 

Adam Coelho: [00:10:54] I remember when I met you and you told me.

Your whole story, like you told me that you were making six figures painting murals. And I was like, Holy cow, like that's incredible because you always think, like the starving artist, like it's hard to, I think that's what you're trying to change. You don't have to be starving to do art.

Yes. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:11:15] Yeah. And even though I believe in it on principle, I actually think it's really important for artists to make money. To be professional and make money doing it. So on principle, I'm not giving up. I don't see myself as a charity. I'm not getting neural projects away when I was 25. I remember this, my expenses were $500 a month because I had a conversation with my sister and she was like, I'm like 10 times that.

And I was like, what? So my expenses have ballooned, right? Because I leveraged my retirement stuff into getting this house. Where we live, which was the right thing. I just was, my son was starting kindergarten and all of a sudden it was like, I want to know where we're going to live. I want him to go to good schools, you're you rearranged.

And I got sucked into a lot of that. So our expenses are, have gone up so much. I love transparency. So I'll just tell you they're $5,000 a month. The other day I did a mural. I have a $5,000 minimum. It took me one day. So in one day's work. I met my minimum. That 

Adam Coelho: [00:12:10] is incredible. Yes. In one day's work.

You satisfied your expenses for the month. Yeah. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:12:16] And then you actually, that's a little bit, you have any taxes or fire makes, okay. Here's you know what? I really have an agenda. I want to tell you what I think. 

Adam Coelho: [00:12:25] Please do. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:12:26] Please do so much sense, but it's very future oriented. You can work with those ideas in the present.

What would it mean for me to be set? What would it mean for me to be okay, like right now? So the mindfulness is really integrating into the present those qualities that you're pitching out into the future. So the main thing is I do believe in having total integrity with your finances. I'm not a woo.

Oh, just believe it's going to come. And it's going to be in the future. Go ahead and be in complete integrity with your plan, but then in your thoughts, in your mindfulness, You're creating more joy in the present, more abundance in your life without the material things. And that foundation of having low expenses is so powerful.

You have so many choices. It's like right now with COVID. I really haven't had very much work in the last six months at all, but I'm like a glider plane, it's okay, maybe I'm adding six months to the end of my, fire. I'm not stressed out. And what a gift that is. And so I just feel like at every point along the way of being on that path, you're already giving yourself a gift.

I'm not that it means you should abandon it or not do that. It's always empowering. You're always opening up new decisions for yourself. Eat, you wake up six years later and  I'm halfway to retirement now. I think I could go part-time and just extend that out three or four years, stuff like that.

So 

Adam Coelho: [00:13:51] when you say being in integrity with your finances, what does that mean? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:13:55] Oh, yeah. I have a friend who is saving the earth, and really about mental justice. It's like that always in debt, always borrowing money. It can't support himself. And to me, you can actually make yourself a sustainable animal entity so that you're able to give.

But that, that works on all levels too. With mindfulness. If you're taking care of yourself, You're able to show up, like I'm not in a panic right now. That's a different way that I can show up. And actually I have a little bit to share. So that's another way I can show up. And I guess just being in it with integrity.

W when I think about that, I think about the sustainability, having a support, what's actually really important to me, my values. There's just so much fluff in our world. That is not essential. So why am I going to spend my time funding that stuff? I don't care about a Manny petty. I don't care about what kind of purse I carry.

I cut my own hair. There's just, there's things that I just crossed off. Like they're just off my radar, and even TV, I don't watch TV. My friends started talking about the latest show and I'm like, Oh gosh, I'm so sorry. You guys, I, I'll just wait over here in the corner until you guys are done with that conversation.

Or, what kind of person are you with? I'm like, I just wait out those conversations and wait until something else. Cause I just don't want to spend all my energy on stuff that isn't important and core to me. So I guess being an integrity is just aligning all those things. Which you care about?

Not really a judgment. That's just what am, what lights me up? What brings me joy? Leather does not jewelry does not, I've never been into jewelry. My husband, we just celebrated 20 years and he's would you like a piece of jewelry? And that was like, wow, I don't want any jewelry.

That could be an 

Adam Coelho: [00:15:32] insult. And yeah, you're saying, being integrity is really aligning how you spend your money and, bringing mindfulness into it. How you spend your attention in alignment with your values. Is that what you were saying? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:15:45] Yeah. Life is so short. Just because you're on the path to financial independence, don't postpone joy.

That, that would defeat the purpose. So it's like bringing that in. Actually I would say so for me,  told you, I read your money or your life. That was one of, that was just an early book that I would say influenced how I thought a lot, really changed my trajectory. But I think it was about 10 years ago that I listened to T Harv Eker and the millionaire mind, I listened to one of his.

Seminars. I have more followed his line of thoughts since then. And one of the concepts he introduces is the idea of both. And so not getting out of binary thinking. So I'm either going to financially, I'm either going to retire early or. I'm going to just fucking enjoy my life and live it up now.

And it's actually, no, you can work on percentages. So I'm much more aligning to percentages and understanding money, personality, and the fact that if you just set aside a percentage, 5%, 10% that's okay. So there's a percentage thing with his philosophy that I, 

Adam Coelho: [00:16:52] you explain that percentage thing a little bit more, cause you're saying align with percentages.

You hinted at it with the 5% to just indulge. Is that right? Is there more to it? This 

Morgan Bricca: [00:17:02] is cool. Cause my kids are actually, I think very financially savvy, but I started them off since they were little with five buckets. So they get $20 a week and $5 goes towards play money. That's like they could just go and get ice cream or candy.

$5 goes towards big toys, which is something that like bigger and they're saving up for. And then they have money that they're invested. They'll never spend that's $5. And then we put $5 towards college money, like not just college spending money, $5 to donate to donate. So we had them in 20% each and they have followed that and they never spend their big toys.

They still have their big toys. My son is heading off to college and he'll have 6,000 to spend over his four college years. You'll have 6,000, but. Is he's learning to invest with that. He'll never spend, he's got about 5,000 in his big toys, so he could buy a car anyway. So it's actually the same principles, just different percentages for me.

That's how I've. Divvied things up and it's important at 5% where you're just like, you know what? I worked so hard today. I know that at the end of this, I'm going to get a massage. I'm going to get that cashmere sweater that I wanted. And I'm going to get that queen I'm on, that's five bucks downtown, but I love or whatever, you just, you have to go for it.

Some, I think so. And there's room for that and still saving, like right now it's 30% that I save. It's not huge, but I'm also not in 

Adam Coelho: [00:18:27] a rush. Yeah. So it sounds like you do set some specific percentages of how you want your money to flow. Like you're intentional about that. Yeah. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:18:39] Old habits die hard. 

Adam Coelho: [00:18:43] What's the old habit.

You've just been doing it for long because 

Morgan Bricca: [00:18:46] I started out that way. I started out that way. And once you learn how to think that way, you have that 

Adam Coelho: [00:18:51] skill, how would you recommend somebody get started with that? You 

Morgan Bricca: [00:18:56] know, T Harv Eker says you can do percentages with a dollar, wherever you're at you, there's a percentage of a hundred dollars.

And, you start wherever you are. Yeah,  that's like the, getting an integrity with like how much I'm actually spending what's. My goal is Michael 30% savings, what's my timeframe and get everything lined up. You know how much money you have to play with. And then when you play with that money, it's an integrity.

It's Oh, I have a $300 budget to blow this weekend and I'm going to go for it. That's my tree. This is how I've decided to spoil myself. And it's in alignment with. I'm not taking anything away from donation. , for many years, actually, I would say this really helped me out early in my business was I donated 10% of my profits to trickle up.

They help micro, they give micro grants to mostly women to get their own sort of small business started that resonated with me. But when I. Had that commitment of giving 10% to charity at a time when, of course, we never feel like we can give 10%. That's like we don't have enough bandwidth for that.

But once you start that discipline, it changed how I thought about my work. Like I'm not a charity, I'm a business. And with this project, as I charge more, I can give more. And my goal is to give away this much a year, and this matters to me. And if I charge 10% more on this project, she can get another goat and, it's like, it links you to something bigger.

So I actually really think donating helps you clean up your own finances. There's all these little tricks to figure out where our own blind spots are. And that was one of my scarcity blind spots. 

Adam Coelho: [00:20:28] Yeah it's really interesting to think about being intentional about those percentages of here's, how much goes to savings.

Here's how much goes to contribution and charity knowing that seems like it could free you up to not worry as much about not having enough. Because you've already done the math because I'll speak for myself. Like I don't want to spend any money. So the idea of setting aside $300 to blow this weekend and then actually blowing that month, like in actually spending that money seems inconceivable to me.

My wife thinks I'm out of my mind, but, and I probably am, but I love that. So yeah. What 

Morgan Bricca: [00:21:12] are your thoughts? Here's the thing is it's a balance. So I was blessed to marry someone who's actually more frugal than I am. We're both making great money and he will harass me if I go downtown to get like the full price ice cream at the boutique ice cream store.

Cause he'll be like, no, I'll drive. I'll drive to Safeway for you guys and get you. But what flavor do you want? It's honey, this is my splurge for the week. I'm taking my kids out to ice cream. So I'm just saying there is a line, but what I noticed. In his personality underlining.

It's very easy for me to be critical of him because I'm his wife is he actually doesn't let himself really enjoy there's something about that. He doesn't deserve it. And like I said, with the principles, it helps you find your own blind spots and there could be blind spots in there that you'll learn about that as you, it's the same thing with mindfulness and meditation.

Okay. This is it. This is where it intersects with meditation. The most important thing is you don't, you sit down and you do it. That's like the most and everything else will develop from there, whether you want to do embodiment or Metta or, counting your breath or whether you go into different stratospheres or whether you just sit there and cry either way.

You're going to sit there for 20 minutes or whatever you decide. And so within the structure we find who we are and what we're struggling with, and it's the same with the money. When you do percentages, you're allowing that structure into your life. And then you can see where the areas that you struggle with that with being in integrity and in alignment, we want to wiggle out of things or and some of that you might be hiding around.

You don't really deserve something really nice for yourself. So actually setting aside 5% and getting that Patagonia, the right color, whatever it is for you, everyone's got their thing and go get it. And you get it. Not as a gift, but like to give to yourself. I think those exercises are super helpful because what happens is if you don't over the long haul, it will come back to bite you.

It pops its ugly head. There's a great quote. Wait, the great quote is you got to take care of your demons or they go down to the basement and start lifting weights. 

And 

Adam Coelho: [00:23:17] how might that come back to bite me? Or, I don't want to scare 

Morgan Bricca: [00:23:21] you. Okay. What I want to say is, and is so frugal and it's cool.

And I, when I married him, I was like, we went garage sailing for our, that was like what we did. And we were so aligned because of his self abnegation tendencies. He didn't, there was a variety of ways that he became depressed and then extended unemployment from that. And that. Eight through our savings for a number of years.

So what are we saving then? How is that really sustainable? He now has a job and we're working back, but it's like saving a dollar 50 for cheaper ice cream. All the stress that you go into controlling, all of that. It's a short term game sometimes. 

Adam Coelho: [00:24:09] Yeah. That's really interesting.

I always think about this pursuit of financial independence or mindfulness as like fixing something that's wrong or like controlling something in some way. A huge part of financial independence is saving as much money as you possibly can. So that you can invest that money and grow it and reach your goal faster.

I think what I'm realizing from what you're saying is that having awareness of where you're spending your money so that you can spend less of it is great, but it sounds like there's also some self-awareness that can be had about. Where you're not spending money, where you would enjoy the things that you'd be spending money on that would benefit your life, that would help increase your enjoyment of life and your skills and your different things.

And so having awareness or developing awareness of those blind spots might be just as if not more important in the grand scheme of things. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:25:08] Yeah. Because there's a stability having it really work for you now. Makes you more likely to be able to sustain it over 20 years. And there is something about people who have so much self denial and then they just freak out and buy the boat, so 

Adam Coelho: [00:25:25] the midlife crisis, right? Yeah. I really liked what you said about. Sustainability, right? Five financial independence as a tool of creating sustainability in your life. And I really resonate with the idea of. It can all be future-focused right. Like I can't just be striving for this future state when I reach financial independence and then everything will just work out and we perfect and I'll be happy and all of that, but we get so caught up.

I'll speak for myself. Like I get so caught up in that vision of. Reaching financial independence and doing whatever I want. But when I really stopped to think about it, all of that is available to me right now as I'm on the path. And it sounds like you realize that early on in your career, that as you stepped away from.

The corporate job and had a little bit more free time to explore yourself and your interest. And you started painting and realizing that, Oh, Hey, I could make less money and still make this work. As long as I'm covering the expenses that I need and saving for the future, I can do this right now. And that's really powerful it.

Morgan Bricca: [00:26:44] And it's I'm not saying, your case. You don't have to do anything differently with your finances, but with the mind that comes up, when you say it, I'm really excited about retiring, it's like understanding what you're excited about in the future, where your mind goes and being mindful and bringing in the present what am I excited about?

Is it that freedom of autonomy? And if it is, could I do, could I be a consultant? Could they shift my job so that I move more that in now? And at this point, because you're so far along the path, I'm sure,  you could say what you might be willing to trade. My income might go down by 30% and it might take me a few years longer, but it's but what I'm really excited about, I can tell is that autonomy piece or that.

Ability to travel large chunks of the year, stuff like that. Like he figured out what it is and then integrate that in some way into the now, if you can still, it's not that you're not also doing the paperwork. And being diligent about the savings. It's just the psychological mind, mindfulness of bringing it in the present.

Adam Coelho: [00:27:50] Like how I think it gets back to what you said, like doing both right. Yeah. Saving for the future, but also taking care of right now and living in alignment as much as possible right now with purpose and values that are important. Yeah. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:28:09] Oh, yeah. I really liked seeing your clarity and enthusiasm for financial independence.

And I'm curious what comes to your head when you say that? What are you excited about? What do you see happening right then? 

Adam Coelho: [00:28:24] I was super focused on becoming an entrepreneur. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:28:28] The first thing I get is you want to save all your money retires. You can start your own. Work. 

Adam Coelho: [00:28:34] I know it is it, is that right?

Yes. The idea has East up, I've realized a few things. Number one, it's not all about, leaving the corporate world. I work, I have the best work situation that I could possibly have. And so it's not that. And I've gone through times where I've loved my job and hated my job. And it's just goes through, I go through those.

Periods and that's okay. And more and more I've realized that it's not so much about being an entrepreneur, right? It, for me, it's I've learned that my values are really around building connection with people and by bringing people together and creating opportunity. So I do these like mentorship calls as part of this grow with Google program where small businesses come and learn like digital skills.

And I, they have a coaching call with me and I can help them with their Google analytics because that's what I know about. And it's just so motivating to me to help them create opportunity in their life. Helping my brother get a job, helping my friends find new opportunities. Like it's really motivating for me.

And so that's what I want to be doing. And that's what the business would be. And but like I'm exploring like what that is, through the podcast, right? This is both of those things, right? The more I know that as like really important and keep coming back to it. I always joke that I have to learn lessons like five or 10 times before I read it.

So it's that it's investing more in mindfulness. And I just think that this idea of financial independence is just transformative. And it's not even the getting there. It's the journey, right? It's the, like you're saying, it's the integrity, it's the knowing what you value and aligning your time and your money with the things that really matter to you.

And the more I explore this, the more I realize it's not out there. It's right here. If I can bring there's no reason I can't. Do this more right now, I've literally in a sales job. Like I build connection and create opportunity as part of my job. And it's so easy to forget that with all of the busy-ness and the meetings and the emails and the performance reviews and things like that.

I guess what I'm saying is like the opportunity to focus on that and checking, am I aligned or am I not aligned? And to design my. My work life in alignment with those things. I see that as like really good practice for, yes, it's 

Morgan Bricca: [00:31:25] good. It's good forever. It's good for Adam. It's a good, it's good, Adam.

That's what we want. Yeah, I would say it sounds like there's so many benefits to where you are. Like it's giving you a platform to do the meditation classes and there's a lot of professional support and development. And so as you become towards financial freedom and you have a little more power, you can always.

Have a little more leverage with your boss and say, I'm going to keep doing the parts that I love, but actually I don't go to meetings anymore. Or like I'm only working 30 hours a week or, you can just throw stuff. You know where you can go, but I would say every job, I love my work and there's parts of it that are just work, aren't that much fun.

So that's inherent with any, in order to. Have those moments doing exactly what you want, sponsors hours that support that. So that's life, right? Yeah. But the point for everybody is that as you get closer, you get more empowered. You're more confident shifting some of the pieces around so that they're getting closer to what you want.

It sounds like your business though, would. Be of service. And if you know that you love to be of service that's how you make money is when you're of service. And sounds like you'd be really good at that. I'm not sure that the world can wait another however many years for you to, I think if they need you now, everyone needs you now.

Adam Coelho: [00:32:47] Yeah that's the thing, like I need your Google analytics. Yeah. I'm happy to help you with that. I'm happy to help you with that for sure. And I remember our conversation very well, when we met and I was just like, Holy cow, this is mind blowing. So I've thought about you since this is like a result of you.

Like I was sitting. Yeah. It's funny because like I was sitting in. Just whole thing. So I agree big time that like spaces matter this little space here, like I'm in the basement and I've created this little space for myself and , this desk, like I designed this desk in my mind and built it because I've always wanted to have a drafting desk.

And when I think about the future, it's always like me, like envisioning my house that I'm going to design one day. Because I wanted to be an architect. Thank God. I am not an architect because I would never retire, but I was very excited about architecture and still am. And so like this idea of spaces, mattering, like very much resonates with me.

And so I've always I've had this idea that like on the path to the house, there's this Kasita, this. This I, this little casita that I'm going to build when I buy a house here in New Jersey, probably I'm probably going to build this Kasita, but it's funny because it's always been like this joke that I want to have this casita.

And I was talking to a friend yesterday and I reckon that I realized like why I have such a desire to do this. And it's because like, when I was like four, my dad built. A Playhouse for me and my brother in our backyard from scratch. Like he was a ups driver for 14 years and was working long hours doing very physical work.

And then for three months, At on the weekends, he built this Playhouse and it was amazing, like it had a little front porch and you could climb up a ladder and open the roof and sit on like a balcony. It was amazing. But then we moved and we were going to try to bring it with us to the new house, but.

The kids that moved into the house were like teenagers and they basically destroyed it. And so I feel like I've always wanted to have that again. Okay. And so this is a long way of getting it to where I was going, but I've always wanted this little casita, to be like a little meditation space and yoga room and office and, just like my space, right?

Some people want a man cave or whatever, or she shed and I want a little casita. But anyways, I found this. I was living in this apartment, that with my wife, that she was living there for 10 years. And underneath our apartment was the laundry room. Next to the laundry room was a locked door, right under our kitchen.

And one day after many years of living there, I walked down there and the doors open. And it's just this little empty room, completely unfinished covered in 30 years of dust and dirt. And I am like, the Kasita is here. And my wife is like, are you out of your freaking mind? Don't go down there.

And I'm like, no, I'm going down there. And so I just go and hang out down there, just like standing in this empty room and just being like, what could this be? This could be, and then I thought of you and I'm like, Mark and could turn this into anything, your emails, right?

So like I read them from time to time and I just think about murals, right? And and what you said about how you painted the, this floor to ceiling window and then had your coffee in front of it. It's you know, to some people that might sound crazy, but to me, I'm like, that's what I want.

That's what this is. I want to have a beautiful house with a beautiful view where I can work and be creative and meditate and all of that. And so I'm like in this, so I'm in this Caseta room I'm thinking that Oh my God. And then I'm like, There's then it's Oh, but I can't spend $5,000.

Obviously it would probably be more than $5,000, but I'm like, literally like thinking like, Oh my God, I'm going to, it's worth it. It's worth it. I'm just like going out of my mind. And now I'm rambling, but so then I cleaned the whole thing out, like literally taking a whole trash bag full of dirt out of this room.

That's not even my room. I've just adopted it. And. Then I'm in there and then I like it. Okay. I want to have a wood floor okay, what is that? And so I buy this floor on Amazon, like fake it's like a big kids. But it's a fake bamboo floor. So I put that in there, little like sitting desk.

And I put that in there and I like. Turn it into a little space and I'd go down there and I'd meditate. And I re I recorded a few meditations down there and things like that. And then I was like, I want to have something like this. And I'm just like looking up there and like on Amazon, like, how can I,  do they have a sticker material or what do they have and all of that.

And so basically then I realized at some point when I got here I want to have that.  Immediately created this space. It's funny because, 

Morgan Bricca: [00:38:13] because it has you, it came into your life in whatever form it has stayed. And you will probably always have a Kasita because it lives right here.

Now, you know where to find this form nine and a half will always open up for 

Adam Coelho: [00:38:27] you. And then they locked me out of the Kasita. They put a new lock on the door with my stuff inside with my stuff inside. But I was friends with this guy and I was like, Hey, like he was there fixing something at our house.

And I was like, do you know the code to this lock? And he's I don't know. But if it's like the, if it's the same as the other ones, it's this. And I was like, and it was, and it worked. So I got my stuff out of there. 

Morgan Bricca: [00:38:56] What's Sunday, when you're ready for a mural, I'll trade you for Google analytics.

I'll fly out, paint you all sorts of gorgeous murals trades, no money. We can all do that. 

Adam Coelho: [00:39:06] Yeah, I don't think Google analytics is equivalent to a mural.

Morgan Bricca: [00:39:16] It would be fun hanging out with you and your wife. 

Adam Coelho: [00:39:20] Switch gears to what I call the mindful fire. Final four. Are you ready? Yep. I'm ready. Awesome. So first question, how important do you feel it is that people explore and find their purpose? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:39:36] Oh, I think that's why we're put here. I think it just keeps biting us in the button until we do put some time and attention to it is where we find our joy.

So I think people started to get clued into what lights them up. They find it. And if they're resisting finding it resisting that enormous source of joy and satisfaction in their life. So it seems like this magnet that is maybe unavoidable, or 

Adam Coelho: [00:40:03] avoided it around it.

Any practical tips on practices or approaches to tuning into that and finding that? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:40:13] Yeah. Painted my first mural. I had forgotten to eat lunch and it was like the first time in my life. I missed lunch. I don't miss many meals. And I was reading a book at the time about by chick sent me hi finding flow.

And I think when you notice that you've lost track of time, When you feel those there's elements of flow, which is engagement, losing a sense of yourself getting into the work, in a way that feels positively engaging not buried, not stressful, just when you're pulled out of yourself into a moment into a very present experience of engagement.

I think that is pretty close to. Your passion is actually a heavy word. People think I don't love it that much, or it's not very practical. All these other things, I like the softer things, being pulled towards. What you love? It is that it's that flow state and usually something of being of service or it's inaction.

It's not necessarily just sitting on the cushion. Totally 

Adam Coelho: [00:41:18] agree. So the second question is what advice would you give to someone early on their path to financial independence? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:41:27] While still being totally in integrity with the numbers and their plan to bring as much joy and even independence into their present experience as possible.

Because usually for me, at least I was looking for autonomy. And looking to just really bring more space into my life more time and more joy. Those are two things. And so I think that can be brought in sooner. Don't wait on those things. 

Adam Coelho: [00:41:58] All right. Question number three. What advice would you give to someone getting started with meditation and mindfulness?

For 

Morgan Bricca: [00:42:06] me? It was setting aside the time making the disciplined practice. And it was like, I found my meditation teacher after I'd been practicing six months or, everything came into place, but I think I spent 20 years. With the idea, I was going to start meditating like tomorrow or next week, or, one-off things.

And I think really creating that container. So I'm a big fan. I have to say of structure, creating structure, and then finding where we want to wiggle within that. And learning from that structure, we create so creating room for the human within that, but still, not letting go of, for example, with the financial independence, like being in integrity with the numbers.

But then noticing how you can bring more of the joy in, and it's the same with meditation, set that time, sit down, but then you're still gonna learn new techniques or explore within that. Yeah. 

Adam Coelho: [00:42:58] I totally agree with that. Yeah. Yeah, I'm getting them all right. Huh? You are. Yeah, that was right. I approve.

And the last question is how can people find you online and find more about what you're working on? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:43:14] Oh, cool. I would love to yeah. Invite people. You said you've been reading my blog since you met me and I do put out a blog every month. It's about art. It's also about what I'm thinking about.

And I think that's a great way for people to get to know me, get a little inspiration. It's only once a month. That's a great place to start. I'm also on Instagram at Morgan dot murals. That studios. That's a good place to DM me and just see visually the kind of walls I've been working on recently.

Yeah. And my book is coming out. So if you're subscribed to my blog or follow me on Instagram, you're going to get updates on that. 

Adam Coelho: [00:43:50] And you also have a podcast, right? 

Morgan Bricca: [00:43:53] Yes, I, so I have gotten more excited. I've been evolving in my career from, residential to more and more public murals. And I see that there's.

Like gaps of information or like mural painting is like the wild West. It's a new fad actually. It's even in the last five years gained a lot of popularity with Instagram. Placemaking is now like the big word in public. Design, and also now with the political grassroots movement, people really finding voice in their communities.

I put it on the wall. So I really feel like there is a lot of attention going towards mural art, but there's not a lot of information about best practices, funding approvals, those kinds of things. So the podcast was an attempt to bridge that. So I'm interviewing art advocates, like how did you get mural art into your community artists?

How you do this that's those are interesting. And art commissioners, like the director of public art, stuff like that. And so the book is actually along those lines also with helping artists learn, to make a business out of it and best practices. So I think the blog and the podcast focuses on murals and it focuses on Bay area, but it's much broader than that too.

It's called. If these walls could talk Stitcher, Apple, iTunes, or whatever. Yeah. 

Adam Coelho: [00:45:19] Awesome. I'll put links to your website, your Instagram, the podcast in the show notes for today's episode, which you can find@mindfulfire.org. Thank you so much, Morgan. It's been wonderful chatting with you. And I look forward to 

Morgan Bricca: [00:45:34] talking with you soon.

Okay. Oh my gosh. I'd love, I've loved this conversation. I could talk to you all day and it's really been a pleasure. Thanks for having me 

Adam Coelho: [00:45:41] on. Thanks again to Morgan for joining me on today's show and thank you for tuning in to part one of my conversation with Morgan BRCA. Make sure to join me in two weeks for the second part of my conversation with Morgan, where we explore the idea of craftsmanship, podcasting, and where I get real about some of the limiting beliefs that have held me back in the past and that I'm still working on.

And if you've got value from today's show, Please make sure to hit subscribe if you haven't done so already, this just lets the providers know you're getting value from the show and you want to be here when we produce additional content. If you're listening to this on Apple podcast, I'd really appreciate if you could leave a five star review, which helps more people find out about the podcast.

And if you'd like to join my mailing list, please do so@mindfulfire.org. Thank you again for joining me and I'll catch you next time.

Morgan Bricca

Mural Artist, Meditator, Author, Mother, Wife

Mural art can transform a blank wall, an urban eyesore, into a canvas that celebrates craftsmanship, creativity and our common humanity. A mural can inspire and connect people through a singular experience of place. My passion is to create artwork that is transcendent enough to stop viewers in their tracks with a “wow”.

My clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers, to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. Most of my clients would not consider themselves artists, yet they carry a vision of what is possible for a space they care about. I help my clients develop their idea into an uplifting and powerful narrative that becomes an engaging visual gift to their community.

Each piece I create is custom and site-specific. I consider the perspective from which the artwork will be viewed, the lighting, the scale of the space, the colors, mood, and the story we want to tell with the piece. The whole process of brainstorming, creating, and fine-tuning the finished piece is an adventure. And it’s a ton of fun.

I invite you to spend some time on my website, reading about the experiences of past clients, getting to know me through my videos, blog, and podcast. Check out my interactive mural map to see if there is a “Morgan” near you to visit in person. If you think I might be the right fit for your project, I would love to hear from you.

I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband David, son, Lucas (18) and daughter, Allie (15). I am obsessed with my kids and painting, in that order, to the dismay of many alternate universe hobbies that are being neglected.