I’m super excited to share an interview with my fabulous friend and fellow creative solopreneur / spiritual journeyer, Chimdi Ihezie. Chimdi and I were colleagues and left our non-profit careers around the same time back in 2021 to pursue similar paths. I’ve felt much less alone doing this work since I’ve been able to follow along with Chimdi on her YouTube channel where she shares insights on creativity and healing with her signature grace, vulnerability, and humor. Chimdi inspires me to get out of my damn head and trust the universe just a little bit more each day, and embodies what it means to live from faith and passion and learn from challenges.

Chimdi is unapologetically herself, with a refreshingly direct and compassionate voice. I come away from each short video with a little nugget of wisdom to apply. As a creative coach, she helps others to center their passions and get out of their own way, and I love the way she engages with her audience and encourages everyone watching to do their thing, showing up with excitement and generosity. In this conversation we chat about money mindsets, trust, asking for help, and how Chimdi’s personal journey intersects with the wisdom she shares on her channel and in her coaching work.

Avory: Chimdi!! I’ve been so looking forward to introducing you to my audience. I’d love to just start by asking about something that’s really lighting you up right now, big or small. Could be a theme, a project, something you’re noticing… what feels sparkly for you in this moment?

Chimdi: I love that you used the word sparkly because it’s the name of this song I love by Maijah that’s all about vibrating high, attracting everything we want, and generally being wonderful—all things that are very much my jam. 

In this moment, I’ve made a major financial breakthrough and made the mindset shift towards financial abundance. Specifically, around managing my money well. 

I used to have a lot of fear around being proactive and advocating for myself when it came to my finances. As an entrepreneur and business owner, that is a major skill set to develop. A recent podcast laid out the premise that the first thing we need to do is to make the choice to be a millionaire. Our bodies are intelligent—once we set a direction, the body will follow suit. 

And of course, just getting to this point of being open to claiming financial abundance took months of internal work and years of healing before that. But the energy I have around it now is so different. I am holding my wealth with a lightness that only comes from knowing deeply that it is inevitable—I am simply no longer resisting.

The podcast, btw, is called “CFO at Home #81: The Choice to Be a Millionaire with Tony Bradshaw” 

Avory: Ooh, I’m putting that song on my playlist, thanks! You know, it’s interesting—even when you say the word millionaire, I feel my body tense up. 

But then when I take a breath I’m like “hang on, if anyone’s gonna be a millionaire, of course I want it to be an awesome Black woman creative who’s living her truth and lifting others up and changing the world!” And I also totally experience when I watch your YouTube channel that the energy you have around money is very different from these “seven figures now! make all the money!” entrepreneur types. 

I’m sure there are marginalized folks reading this who are afraid that making “too much” money might change their personality, might be unethical, etc. To me it feels like one key thing to notice, though, is a difference between those who money seems to have power over and those who are doing the work they’re passionate about and drawn to—while also open to accepting financial abundance because money is a means of resourcing yourself, making change and making art and all the rest.

Is that a fair characterization, do you think? And for folks in that mindset, is there any wisdom you might offer from your own journey on how to investigate the stories around money and what ethically inviting more money into their lives might look like?

Chimdi: One of the most powerful experiences I had was to journal around some of the tough memories I had from childhood around money. The memories circled in my consciousness but I never wrote them down and more importantly, I never felt the impact of those experiences because they were too overwhelming for me at the time.

I did a lot of crying for and with and as my young self as a result of that journaling. With meditation and additional healing work, I slowly began to realize just how lovable and deserving of abundance I am. 

Now I’m at a place where the idea of “too much” money doesn’t even make sense. It’s the equivalent of saying God loves me “too much”. Now I see money as energy that I either allow to flow to me or I block. And I give myself grace for the reasons I block it still because the younger version of myself that needed to believe those limiting beliefs depended on the blockage for survival. 

Regarding your characterization, I think the fear of money in that regard is similar to any fear that’s about keeping yourself small. I recently saw an Instagram post that named what fear of your light sounds like and it sounded so familiar. 

All of the excuses we make about being seen and expressing ourselves fully operate from fear and ultimately only have our repressing our growth as their main output. Whether it’s becoming financially prosperous or starting a YouTube channel, I’ve found the energy to be the same. And I’m not surprised that as I’ve healed the parts of me that were scared of shining bright, I’ve been more receptive and excited about ushering in more financial abundance.

Avory: Okay, I love that reframe, because I think it really gets at the way we can limit ourselves when we’re so used to measuring and kind of pre-judging for ourselves “this is what I deserve, this is what I don’t.” And that voice is often the same fear/ego voice that says “let’s stick with the status quo, because that’s what’s safe,” but of course in reality we’re here to grow and expand and there’s really no such thing as a stagnant, predictable “status quo” in the first place. 

(Tarot folks will likely recognize the energy of the Fool here, taking that leap of faith into what’s new rather than hanging back on the cliff.) 

In pointing out how “God loves me too much” makes no sense, you’re reminding me of how I find the way you talk about your faith so resonant, even coming from a totally different spiritual background—I really see you embodying the idea that God is love, like that seems to be a big part of that excitement you’re currently holding. A kind of “yes, this is awesome, I get to wake up and see what face of love God’s going to show me today!” energy.

I’d love to actually hone in a bit on that word “receptive,” because I think receiving is a part of the creative process that we don’t always talk about, and we don’t necessarily realize that being able to receive is actually its own skill! 

You’ve already described clearing out some of those limiting beliefs and engaging with childhood stories as one step that’s allowed you to receive—anything else you’ve noticed about receiving and how it relates to creating, or even just ways you can tell when you’re in a receptive place? Full disclosure, this is something I’m working on myself!

Chimdi: Something Thomas Hübl asked that has stuck with me ever since is, “How beautiful do you feel when you need help?” 

Often, we equate help with weakness, shame, pity and a whole array of other negative emotions. My understanding is that the entire Universe is here to give me everything that I want and need. But I have to be willing to ask so it can be given. And if I don’t feel beautiful when I ask for things, chances are I won’t ask for much. 

As giving relates to creating, I also believe that everything we want to create is a desire placed in our heart from the energy of the people waiting for that exact thing. There must be people waiting to receive our art (in whatever form that takes) to complete the creation process. When we are open to receiving, we are helping others complete their purpose. It’s a beautiful, powerful and sacred thing. 

Avory: Wow, that’s such a different frame. I love how heart-centered it is to think of beauty in the context of asking for help, rather than getting all up in your head and trying to logic out what you’re worth or allowed to ask. It makes me think of how I’ve been playing recently with trying to get out of “if this, then that” brain stories because a lot of times the universe does not exactly operate in logical ways, but it does operate in beautiful ones.

I was actually listening recently to your interview on the BFB podcast where you talked a little about that kind of mindset with the example of “when I move to New York, then I will have access to creative community and things will happen for me” vs. just tuning into and amplifying what you’re doing and how you’re being when you’re peaceful and fulfilled… and I had to laugh a little because there was a perfect example of that in the second season of Indian Matchmaker, of all things, where someone does move to New York in that mindset like “oh, this is where I’m gonna meet The One.” (No spoilers, but it may not have turned out exactly how she hoped…)

But by contrast, you have also recently moved to New York, and I’ve seen you calling in all sorts of cool opportunities! So I’m curious how you’ve been tuning into that peaceful, fulfilled way of being in the midst of, I’m sure, a lot of stories or expectations around what a move like that is supposed to mean.

Chimdi: A huge part of my NYC experience has been understanding how much meaning I ascribed to the city. And what it has really shown me is that the “idea” of NYC that I bought into was really the idea of who I would be if I lived in New York City. 

I wanted to be a very specific kind of Brooklyn woman, an artist with her dyed blonde hair, a free spirit full of laughter, with a beautiful and deep community and a healthy romantic relationship, this person who is constantly learning and exploring. I’m understanding more and more that all of life is just about creating myself, seeing which parts of the story fit and which parts I want to shrug off, and treating every person and experience as a mirror of where I am in my journey of development. 

I feel very blessed because a level of peace entered my spirit when I lived in Maryland and rather than escaping, it’s only rooted deeper here in the city. I spend a lot of time staring at clouds and gazing at the moon and taking walks in my neighborhood and sitting in the park. And exciting opportunities are on their way, but I’m in no rush to leave this life I’ve created where I never have to set an alarm to wake up in the morning. 

Avory: Yes, I love this! I remember as a kid wanting to be a New Yorker so bad that I got my Grandpa to buy me a special outfit for a flight to Long Island because we’d be flying over “the city” as I always referred to it, despite living in North Carolina 😂 

I’ve shrugged off a lot of my ideas about being a “city person” and what that means, including some of the snootiness I totally had even as a kid about wanting to be “better” than my peers, but I do still totally want to embody the excitement and creative vision of that 9-year old Avory in hir new pink cable knit sweater with little flower ribbons, purple velvet leggings with pink roses to coordinate, and pink knit beret, LOL. 

So before we wrap up, I like to close with another little fun question. Since you’re such a world traveler, here is mine for you: what is the one thing you always pack in your suitcase that others might be surprised by / not think of?

Chimdi: Traveling so much has actually made me really streamline what I pack because I know that I don’t want to be carrying around anything I won’t use! Since sleep is pretty important to me, I always make sure to pack my eye mask so I can block out the light — or hide my tears on the plane when I get emotional at how beautiful the clouds are. 

Avory: 😂 Perfect! Okay, so last question, any final thoughts you’d like to leave readers with? Including, of course, anything you’re currently promoting and how you’d like them to get in touch with you!

Chimdi: I’ll share the biggest lesson I’ve been sitting with in my journey lately—just how sacred each of our paths are. I used to be quick to judge others when they showed up in ways that didn’t make sense to me. As I sit with how my own pain and hurt has driven unconscious behavior, it’s allowing me to understand just how little I know of what other people have gone through. 

And the more I don’t understand their behavior, the more painful their experience may have been. It has helped me make a practice of compassion, and I feel more love in my heart on a day-to-day basis as a result. 

If folks are interested in connecting with me, they can follow my journey on YouTube and if they’re interested in support, encouragement, and accountability with their creative endeavors, they can learn more about my coaching at https://chimdiihezie.com/

Avory: Awesome! Thank you so much, Chimdi. And y’all should definitely check out those links! Chimdi’s going places, so you wanna get in on that ground floor 😉 

Chimdi Ihezie is a creator and creative coach based in Brooklyn, NY. She shares her journey of personal and spiritual development with her YouTube audience of over 16K and hosts the Voice Notes From Your Friend podcast. While she has experience voice over acting, writing, and speaking, her focus is on inspiring others to explore their own creativity and live in freedom and fulfillment. Her coaching has been informed by the work of Shirzad Chamine, developer of the Positive Intelligence coaching model, and she is currently working with Thomas Hübl as a student of his intensive Timeless Wisdom Training, focused on healing personal, ancestral, and collective trauma.