Hey, everyone! This week, I’ve got something really special for you. It is an interview about an amazing project that was birthed by Julie Ann Cairns. She is the creator of The Abundance Code movie.
I know so many of you listening have big projects, big soul-driven projects that you want to bring to the world. Honestly, when you think of what it takes to pull together a movie, I’m sure Julie is going to have some amazing words for us today about how to manifest so many moving pieces.
Thank you, Julie. Thank you so much for joining us today. I can’t wait to hear your story.
Listen below or download here:
To watch the movie go to DeniseDT.com/abundance and enter the password: abundanceisreal .
Lucky Bitch Video Transcript – Interview with Julie Cairns
Julie: Yes, thanks for having me. I mentioned to Denise earlier when we were speaking that I haven’t actually ever told the story of how the Abundance Coach film came to be to anyone, really. It’s quite an amazing story, so I’m really excited to share it.
Denise: Maybe that should be movie two. The director’s cut and behind the scenes kind of thing.
Julie: Yes, exactly. The DVD bonus section. I don’t think they even have DVDs anymore.
Denise: Marc and I watched the movie last night and we really loved it. We got so many a-has about it. We’re super keen. I just want to start off with: When did this idea first come to you? Take us right back to the start.
Julie: Yeah. It’s pretty wild. I had already written a book called The Abundance Code. The full title is The Abundance Code; How to Bust the Seven Money Myths for a Rich Life Now.
I had already written that book. Writing that book, in itself, had taken me like 10 years. I’d been thinking deeply about this topic of abundance for a really long time. Once I finished the book – which ended up being published by Hay House – I still had this really strong calling in my heart to do something more. I didn’t really know what. I had no idea what. The idea of a film initially was nowhere in my consciousness.
Then something happened. I only, after the fact, have tied this into the whole film process. What happened was that I got into a car accident. This is September 2012. I got rear-ended at like 70 kilometers an hour when I was basically stopped. It was a really severe rear-ending.
What ended up happening was that at that time I was running a business that was turning over like 12 million a year in sales and I had a staff of 30 people. After the accident, I had some cognitive damage; a bit of brain damage. I have always been a very analytical person – I’m trained as an economist and statistician and my business was teaching people how to trade financial markets. Very analytical stuff.
All of a sudden, that analytical function of my mind was basically gone. There were a lot of repercussions in that I basically couldn’t do my job anymore. I had to find people to replace all the analytical functions I had been doing in my business and I was running the business, so there was a lot to replace.
The other amazing thing that happened is that it kind of shoved me into my creative side. That whole analytical left-brain side was kind of shut down. All that was really left was this really spacious, creative consciousness that wasn’t so time bound. It was so, “You can’t do that.” I didn’t have as many limitations as my normal everyday brain. It was really from that space that after the accident – I think it was about three months after – I was hanging out with a guy that’s in a mastermind group that I’m in, Michael Maydens. I said, “Hey, Michael. Do you want to make a film about abundance?” He went, “Yeah, let’s do that.” He’s always like a, “Yeah! Can do,” kind of guy.
Then we just went, “Okay, let’s do it.” I believe it was because I was really not in my analytical, more fear-based way of thinking that I even opened myself up to this idea. I never made a film before, did not know the first thing about making a film. Michael had been involved in making a film called Hungry for Change, which is a documentary about food; I knew he had a bit of a clue. When he said, “Yes,” it was just like, “All right. Let’s go for it.”
That was the concept side. Then we got another friend of ours, Mark, who had directed films in the past, so he knew a bit about making films. It really just became this amazing collaborative process. So many people got involved. As soon as they heard the idea about making a film about abundance and what abundance is and how people can really achieve abundance in their lives, what the inspirational message of abundance is, everybody was like, “Yeah. Count me in.”
Denise: I just want to go back a little bit. There are a couple of people in the movie that said that 9/11, for example, was a huge catalyst for them. With this car accident – and I don’t know how serious it was – was it the brain changes that prompted it or did you have a bit of, “Oh, my God. Life is short,” kind of moment as well?
Julie: No. It wasn’t a life is short moment. I kind of had that epiphany years before in basically the 2008 financial market crash; I had my own, “Oh, my God. What am I doing with my life?” thing. That epiphany is what had led me to write the book or finishing writing the Seven Money Myths book. It wasn’t like that. It was really just like disconnecting a part of my brain – basically the part that was going to tell me that it wasn’t possible. I really think this is the universe answering the calling of my heart that I wanted to do something more in this space. I wanted to really make something inspiring for people. I now view that accident as the thing that absolutely had to happen so that I wouldn’t tell myself I couldn’t do it.
Denise: The thing that I was thinking is that sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you wish for. You’ve got to see some things like that as for your highest good. I think anyone listening who is afraid sometimes of stepping out in case something bad happens like that to stop them, it’s like an add to my highest good. Sometimes you don’t need a massive big lesson for you, but if you don’t follow your path sometimes the universe intervenes.
Julie: Right. I’m not even sure that this is like that. In the end, there’s a lot more to this accident story. I actually think it was the thing that needed to happen. Yeah, definitely my brain was not operating the way that it normally would, but that was a good thing. I had a bit of pain associated with the accident – physical pain – but most of what I went through was mostly mental. The physical pain side of it wasn’t that bad. That recovered reasonably quickly. What didn’t recover was my cognitive function. I went and had that tested and it was like, “Okay, there’s something wrong here.” What we would call wrong, but there was something different. Different to before the accident.
I had some liquid cash. A lot of my wealth is tied up in properties and investments and stuff, mainly because I don’t like to have a lot of cash that I can get my hands on.
Denise: I hear you.
Julie: That’s just one of my little things that I do to protect myself from myself.
I had maybe $200,000 and I thought, “That’s all it’s going to take to make this film.” Turns out that I was totally wrong. It was going to take more than double that to make the film.
Denise: I’m so happy that you’re sharing numbers with us on this.
Julie: Yeah. I had like $200,000 set aside and I’m like, “That’s totally going to be enough.” Maybe this is another consequence of my analytical function not really working properly, but we started filming, started doing the interviews and we ended up doing like 20 different interviews and about 15 made it into the film.
That whole process was well underway, but the biggest expense in a film is the post-production and drama production. I thought I had enough and then because I wasn’t in my left brain keeping track of what was going on, I ended up getting this huge tax bill that I wasn’t expecting or that I hadn’t calculated I would get. It just totally took me by surprise and it took the entire $180,000 that I hadn’t already spent on the film. Then I had zero dollars to finish making this film.
It was like, “I really don’t want to sell properties. I just don’t want to do that.”
Denise: You don’t have product placement in the film like John Walker drinking a coke. Yeah, I can imagine it was like, “Hmmm.”
What stage of the film were you out when you had zero money?
Julie: About one and a half years in production. We’d filmed and had all this footage, but now it had to be edited, a score had to be done, I was doing an animation script – that’s reasonably expensive to do good animation. There were heaps of costs. I had totally under budgeted in the first place and I was realizing that. Not only did I have zero dollars, I realized I actually needed twice as much as I had budgeted for anyway.
I was in this position just going, “Oh, my God. I have no idea how this film is going to get paid for.” But, for some reason again – probably because I was in that right brain creative, not worrying about analytical stuff so much – I just kind of went, “Oh, well. I think the money is going to come. Let’s just keep going as if. Let’s just keep going.”
It was right now to February of 2016 and I had picked a day to release the film on June 21, 2016. I still hadn’t done the drama sections, I hadn’t done the animation stuff. All the really expensive stuff hadn’t even started. I had didn’t have the money for it.
Anyway, I just got to the point where it was like I’m signing contracts for things that I didn’t have the money to pay for. I know that contracts are going to come due and I don’t actually have the money lined up. I’m like, “I just have to sign these contracts and give it a go to the universe. The universe is going to figure this out.”
It did figure it out kind of down to the wire in February/March of that year. I had had an insurance case running about the accident and about the cognitive damage that I had sustained in the accident. All of a sudden, the insurance company – which it had been going on for three years plus – went, “Actually, we want to settle.” The amount they wanted to settle for was pretty much exactly the amount that I needed to finish the film. Within a month, the money was in my account. It was just like the universe just figured it out.
We finished the film and released it on the 21st of June 2016.
Denise: Was that a symbolic date for you?
Julie: It is a solstice. I just felt like the right date. Also, I know myself. I have to have a deadline.
Denise: Yes, absolutely. I can imagine something like a film could be a never-ending project. You think of some of my community – especially listening – who procrastinate on getting their website done or creating their course, that is something that you could do in a short period of time, but it could also stretch on forever and never get done.
I do want to ask you – you do sound like someone who is really determined to see things through, but were there points where you were just like, “I think I just want to give up. Maybe we just don’t do this.”
Julie: There were probably three or four points like that. When that huge tax bill hit, I definitely went into complete fear state. Also, with the vision of the film, it just wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted it to go. I actually had a different director attached initially. He’s a good director, but the sample that he produced was just not my vision for the film. He was probably going to make a very good film, but it was going to be his vision. I had such a strong vision for the film and I really felt like at some point the universe kind of slapped me in the face and went, “Look. I gave you this vision. I didn’t give it to anyone else. I gave it to you. You’ve got to step up, honey. I know you’ve never done a film before, but you have to step up and just do it. Be the director of this film. Get all the help you need, but step up.”
Definitely, when I’m writing those contracts and I didn’t have the money in the bank to pay for them, that was another heightened fear moment. I did just try and trust in the universe that it was going to figure it out. It did.
Denise: Which is so super cool. You mentioned that you did about 20 interviews and about 15 made it in. I’m guessing there were a lot of hard decisions to be made in bringing a project like this to fruition. How did you make that decision and what other hard decisions did you have to make?
Julie: Really, it was about the story that I wanted to tell. I had about 40 hours of footage. We had all of that footage transcribed so that I could see it in written form as well as visual form. I did what’s called a paper edit. I went through that 40 hours of transcribed content. I knew the story that we wanted to tell and I just kind of laser focused on the stages of the story. We had a template for not only the film, but for the interviewing process, which was based on the Hero’s Journey.
The main message that I wanted to get across was, first of all, what is abundance. What are we talking about? A lot of people have misconceptions about what it is and they think it’s just all about money. It isn’t. It’s a much broader concept than just money.
Also, what are the stages people go through when they’re trying to move from the scarcity mindset that we’ve all been conditioned into – most of us have – from childhood and has such a powerful grip on us. What are the stages people go through when they break out of that and what does it look like in their life? What does it really look like? I think people can have difficulty grasping that.
Then, what’s the beautiful place they get to? What does that look like in their life? We all need inspiration. We all need to know what we’re heading for and that’s what I wanted the film to leave people with. I know what I’m heading for. Now I just need the how-to. Like your Money Boot Camp course then gives people the how-to of what they know they need to do and they know where they’re going, now how do they do it.
Denise: One part that I actually really loved is when you talked about your beliefs about money being the roots of the tree and then it’s the action and knowledge, which is the top bit. Everyone tries to water the top bit because they think that’s the thing. That’s where you’re like, “Oh, my marketing just needs to be better. I just need another certificate,” or, “If I do this course…,” and it’s just watering that and completely ignoring your foundation. Obviously, that resonated so much for me because that’s what I teach. It’s uncovering what those fears area and things like that.
For me, that was one of the biggest and best takeaways from the movie. We’ve got to stop watering those leaves.
Julie: I love tree analogies. Another really great tree analogy that I talk about is the roots of your tree are your limiting beliefs or your beliefs. Sometimes they’re limited. When they are limited, that’s like being a Bonsai tree. That’s like putting your tree in this tiny little pot and then expecting it to grow into a massive tree. It’s not going to. It’s going to stay small so long as you constrain those roots with your limited belief thinking.
One of the first things you’ve got to do is break the pot and go, “I really need to examine my subconscious beliefs about money and I need to make sure they’re not limited anymore.” Then you fertilize the soil – and I talk about the soil being like your external influences. That’s where you start going, “Who am I hanging out with? Are they actually contributing to my unlimited thinking or are they toxic waste that I’m putting in the soil of my tree?”
Denise: That was a really powerful part of the movie, too, where people started talking about how you have to surround yourself with positive people. That’s such a big part of it. It does influence you. If that’s all you can see, that’s all you can be as well. It’s incredibly important. I think it’s something – I’ve even seen it recently in some of my groups where people start to say, “Now that I’m working on my foundation and my beliefs, I’m noticing everyone else’s and I’m noticing how negative everyone is.”
I’d love you to speak to that for a moment; even what you’ve done recently to put yourself in that right environment to thrive.
Julie: Absolutely. It’s an absolutely constant thing. In my life, it’s been one of the biggest lessons of my entire life. A lot of people get blocked around it because they think, “It’s just mean for you to cut negative people out of your life.” You don’t have to cut them out. I like to think of it as you turn down the volume on them. They can still be going like this, but you just turn the volume down and you’re not really listening anymore. That’s one way. You just turn down the volume.
Another way is you are more careful about how much time you spend with people who are really negatively influencing the way that you think. The think to know about that is that it’s not mean. What happens when you do really clean your environment and make sure that you have the right environment for you to grow and you put all the other pieces in place – you unlimit your thinking. There are a few other steps and knowledge and action definitely have their place. When you get everything working the way that it should and your tree of abundance really starts to grow, then you produce amazing fruit.
When you get to that stage, that’s the stage where you can come back to the people who have been really negative and you can start to help them. You can’t start to help them until you get to that really strong place yourself. It’s not that you’re abandoning them. You just need to kind of turn down the volume on them while you’re getting strong. Then you can come back in a compassionate frame of mind and start doing what you can to help them.
Denise: Absolutely. Sometimes in some parts of your journey, you are more vulnerable to that than others. At the start, you need to do everything you can to build your resilience and build your strength. Listening to negative stuff and fear-based stuff is not going to help you build that resilience that you need. That was a really powerful part. Even for me with something that happened recently, I was like, “Yes! I need to weed that again. I need to be mindful of that again.”
Julie: I had a massive one recently because my dad died. My dad has been an alcoholic my whole life, basically. As long as I can remember. We had kind of a turbulent relationship, which I thought we had healed. Anyway, he died recently and I found out two hours after the funeral that he had disinherited me.
He had dementia before he died, so that was probably part of it. That situation, the only way that I could heal from that situation and the best perspective that I could bring to it was the knowledge that he just was in a very contracted state of mind. He was one of those people who had a lot of fears and anxieties and that was part of why he drank. That’s not personal. Whatever he did from that state is more a reflection of his pain and it has nothing to do with me. I’m not going to view myself as a victim in that situation.
As it turns out, I am abundant and it doesn’t really matter to me whether he disinherited me or not. It was more the emotional kick in the teeth. I felt it, for sure. But I got over it really quickly by just going, “That’s his stuff. It’s not me.”
Denise: Yes, that’s abundance, right? Feeling good in yourself no matter what’s happening with other people.
Julie: Right. No matter what their opinions are. It’s a reality. Especially when you do expand and you start to become more abundant and more successful in the eyes of others as well, not everybody is going to be happy about that.
Denise: True. That’s true. Yeah. That’s okay.
Julie: That’s okay. That’s their stuff.
Denise: Absolutely. I have a special link for everyone who wants to watch the movie and then we’ll wrap up. I just want to give you that link real quick. Then I’ve got a couple of little questions for you, too, Julie.
The link for our community is at DeniseDT.com/abundance. You’ll need to put in a password. The password is Abundanceisreal. I love passwords that are positive affirmations because all of those little things help to add to that feeling of abundance. DeniseDT.com/abundance and password abundanceisreal.
To wrap up, what is abundance to you? How are you feeling abundant in your life right now?
Julie: That’s a great question. Abundance is different to everyone, I think.
Julie: For me, abundance is this state of relaxation that comes from knowing that anything that I can imagine or desire or open my mind to is mine. It’s mine for the asking. It just is. When I tap into that state, then I realize that I don’t have to worry about anything. All the things that I worry about are just made up things. They’re all coming from my belief that something is not possible. It’s almost always a limited thinking at the core of any fear that I’ve got. If I can just keep coming back and going, “Where is my thinking limited here? Why?” I have the tools. I know how to address limited thinking. Let’s figure out where it’s limited, address it and then it won’t be limited and it won’t be a problem.
Denise: What’s something that you’ve bought recently – that you’ve spent money on – that has made you feel really abundant?
Julie: I bought a ring recently. This is a little thing that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing, actually. I did this at the end of a relationship a couple of years ago when I was really hurt by this guy. I bought myself a beautiful ring. The image of the ring was not to remember the hurt, it was to remember me saying to myself, “I love you. You deserve this beautiful ring. I’m sorry he didn’t give it to you, but I’m going to give it to you.”
After the hurtful situation with my dad, I bought myself another really nice ring. Again, it was like, “I love you. You’re doing good. Just remember that.”
Denise: I love that. One time I wanted to do some work on healing my inner child and I bought myself a little teddy to carry around for a week. For the same kind of thing of just like you can be healed from all those things that you feel like you didn’t have. I’m such a big fan of symbolic purchases, especially things that you can keep and look at to remind you.
I’m a big believer, too, that love is all we need. That self-love and acceptance heals everything. I think I heard you speak about Louise Hayes’ book You Can Heal Your Life. Really, everything there boils down to self-love and acceptance. I love that you bought a ring as a symbolic reminder of it doesn’t matter what else is happening, I love you.
Denise: My last question for you before we wrap up is what charities do you like to support? How do you like to give back?
Julie: Over the past five or six years, I have another business which is trading education. Through that business, my business partner and I have given over $350,000 to charity – about 30 different charities we’ve supported. The list is really long. Charities like Mission Australia and Youth of the Streets and Lifeline. A big theme for us has been mental health and helping people who are really marginalized – youth at risk in particular because I resonate with that stuff. My childhood and my teen years were quite difficult for me. I was never on the streets, but I certainly experienced my family having very little money.
That’s a whole other story. My childhood was like riches to rags and all over the shop wealth-wise.
Denise: Yes, which you talk about this a lot in the movie. I was fascinated about that because I see that in the women that I work with. Those situations that we had as kids, we replicate that. You did replicate that in your own life. It just underscores that money itself doesn’t cure money blocks. Money itself does not cure any problems. We have to look at the root causes of our money behavior so we don’t repeat it for the rest of our lives.
All of my Lucky Bs who have heard me talk about this stuff so many times are going to love those parts of the film where you talk about your own money stuff. I’m sure we can delve in even deeper into that in a future call. I’m sure we’ll interview each other again.
Julie: That’s where it’s so important. I can’t wait for all of your peeps to watch the film. The feedback I get from people about the film is that it really transforms their perspective. That’s amazing and amazingly powerful. It’s so important for people then to go, “Okay, now I’m going to take action. I’m going to do the work I need to do,” and not be afraid of that work. That work is so important – that process that you take people through in your Money Boot Camp. Get in there and start digging through what is blocking you. It’s so important to take that next step because that’s when the shift that the film helps people achieve mentally really starts to pay off and pay off.
Denise: Finally, what’s your intention for the film? What’s the next step for it, the next evolution?
Julie: Since we released it in June of last year and we released it online through our own launch and then we released it on a platform called FMTV.com, which is an amazing documentary platform. Then we released it in the Hay House World Summit. Well over 100,000 people have watched it in the past year, which is awesome.
Denise: That’s awesome.
Julie: I want that figure to go 10 times. For me, my number one intention with the film, it felt like it was so divinely guided. Imperative, really. It wouldn’t leave me alone, this idea to make a film. Even though I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
It was such a strong imperative and I feel like it just wants to be seen. It just wants to be seen.
Denise: Exactly. Anyone listening, if you’ve got a massive project that you’ve got that your soul is calling you to do, just step forward. Do the next baby step, the next baby step. Trust that the path will appear. Maybe you have to trust that the money will show up for you if you have that big vision for it. You show up and you do your part. Don’t just wait for it all to drop into your lap. You have to step up and do it.
You’ve got to think, too. Some of the projects that you might be working on are going to be way less complicated than making a film. As you were saying that it took years to do this, I’m like, “Why am I procrastinating on writing my next book? That’s not going to be anywhere near as complicated and hard as that.”
Just a reminder of that URL where you can go and watch the film for free, which is very, very generous. Thank you so much for that, Julie. It’s at DeniseDT.com/abundance and the password is abundanceisreal.
Thank you so much for joining us. I just appreciate you so much. I appreciate the film. We had such a great time last night. The kids went to bed and instead of watching Orange is the New Black or something, we sat and watched this film together. As we were doing it, Marc said to me, “I think I can really work on this a bit more in myself.” I was like, “Yes!” I can’t tell him that, but you did. Thank you so much. I know everyone in the Lucky B Community will absolutely love this.
Any final words for everyone watching?
Julie: Abundance is real.
Denise: It is. Thank you so much. I’m Denise Duffield-Thomas. You can find me at DeniseDT.com. How can we find you, Julie? What’s the best place for people to find you?
Julie: The best place to find me is probably at my book site, TheAbundanceCodeBook.com. There’s five free videos that people can access about the Seven Money Myths that I talk about in the book.
Denise: Brilliant. Thank you so much again and have an amazing day.