I was asked to do an interview recently by a dear, creative friend of mine: Bri Kastner. She's a blogger, artist, teacher, mama and more. I was super honored she'd ask. Please check it out!
I have a new creative mom interview up and you are not going to want to miss it.
Her name is Brie and no, I am not interviewing myself, thank you. We met when we were both cast in the 2016 Listen to Your Mother Boulder show. I didn’t want to love her, mostly because she is both stunningly beautiful and hilarious. Nature isn’t always fair this way and she is a prime example. But she is incredibly humble and charming, I couldn’t help but to get over myself and make her be my friend. She hasn’t been able to get rid of me since.
Brie is a former teacher and now an author with big dreams and a the stuff to make it happen. Also, she started this amazing company where she takes women on self-discovery retreats, which, mark my words, I WILL go on one day.
Before you read this interview, prepare yourself to develop a serious girl-crush.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
If I wasn’t writing…hmmmm. I don’t know how to answer that. Writing has been such a fundamental piece of who I am for so long. If I wasn’t writing I’d probably be a lot more difficult to be around. Hopefully, I’d have found my way to other forms of art or expression. My mom’s an artist, as are my brothers, so if it wasn’t this medium it’d be another!
Brie, her two brothers and mom
What do your kids think you do?
My kids know I write books. They are waiting for the day they can see my stuff in a bookstore and then they’ll truly believe me when I say I’m writing books:).
Tell me how your creative path has affected your marriage.
Thankfully, my creative path is encouraged in my marriage. My husband has been an entrepreneur and has a very entrepreneurial spirit, so we share a lot about the process of creativity. As far as my creative process, he’s super supportive because he knows it makes me happier to be working on something. He’s the same way.
What does your creative space look like?
My creative space is awesome. A comfy chair with a great blanket, a desk near by, inspiring art and words that mean something to me and a view of the outdoors with space for my dog on the floor. We recently remodeled our house and I had the opportunity to carve out a space for myself. I am thankful for this space everyday. While it is not large, it’s all I need and in it I keep things that matter to me, alone. It’s so nice to have my own space.
Do you have a structured time to create each day?
I have a structured time three times per week for a few hours. My priority at this point in my life is my family. With three small kids, I want to be involved in their day to day. When they are home, I am with them. But as they grow, I see more opportunities to create. This excites me deeply because at times, I’m with the kids too much and ignore my craft. It makes me angsty. But yes, three times per week, I get some time. I’m super grateful for this time.
Can you give me a teaser into what your next year will look like?
My next year looks amazing. I’m about two-thirds of the way done with the first draft of another book. I’m looking for new representation as I recently split with my first agent, so I’m hitting the ground hard there. I just launched a business called SHE GLOWS RETREATS. We lead self-discovery retreats for women in sacred places, so I’ll be leading a few of these, one in Costa Rica! And I am going to many self-growth conferences just for personal interest. Lots of exciting things to come!
You are going to change women’s lives with these retreats. Bravo Brie.
What is your dream?
My dream is to publish my fiction at a big six publishing house, tour and share my work, sell out my retreats and keep growing this business. Ultimately, I want to make great money doing what I love. I want to spend the next many years creating a professional life that is as fulfilling and rich as my family/personal life.
Who do you have a creative crush on?
I love Cheryl Strayed. I liked Wild. But I LOVED Tiny Beautiful Things. I feel the way she connects with her audience is so raw and real, and so incredibly compassionate and consistent. I will read anything she writes because I trust her experience as a person and I value the way she communicates her worldview. There are so many people to love. I’m obsessed with Ta-Nehisi Coates and think his message is so important. I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and would read anything she writes. And I can’t help but love Tony Robbins. But there are seriously millions of people I could name here.
Do your loved-ones “get it” when it comes to the time you spend and your dedication to your craft?
Yep. Thankfully, “follow your creative spark” is one of our family values. Seriously. It’s on our wall. So we all have to work to hold the space for each other to spend time at our craft. For my daughter, it’s drawing and my son, it’s building. My husband builds businesses and my two-year-old son, well, we shall see. I think it’s incredibly important to be able to find ourselves within the confines of our families and obligations. Otherwise, I donno, I’d have a lot of regret I think.
I love that you have that on your wall!
Have you run into people in that have been less than supportive? How did you handle it?
Sure. Mostly its people who feel unhappy within their own pursuits. And I can certainly relate to this feeling. But ultimately, writing is a huge part of my spiritual path. Interactions with non-supportive people are opportunities for me to see how much growth I still have to do. I’ve gotten better at it. It’s just another chance for me to reaffirm my commitment to myself. I can’t please everyone, and if I am going to take creative risks, I won’t. Practicing not being liked/supported by others is a good shot to work on letting go of the unreasonable need to please. And for those who aren’t supportive? Well, I just plain don’t have time for them. It’s not personal. But it’s definitely intentional.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of being based in Boulder?
I am incredibly lucky to live in Boulder. This place feeds my life on so many levels. It’s beautiful, it’s health conscious, the schools are great for my kids, and my family is here. Life is definitely kush. Life is so good, in fact, that oftentimes I have to leave to get inspiration. My best writing comes from gritty, dirty, hard and uncomfortable situations. Also, I’ve lived here my whole life so sometimes I take things for granted. I need change and stimulation to spark ideas. So, I suppose that’s a disadvantage. But as I said, I am incredibly nurtured here, so it’s nice. There are way too many white people here and that is a huge disadvantage. The same goes for rich people. I enjoy making fun of white and rich (that which I am) in my work because we have such a narrow view and don’t see it.
What are your non-negotiables every day? (meditation, shots of tequila, exercise, etc.)
Ha! Funny question. I am incredibly disciplined about my inner work. I think as a sane, non-pill popping person, you have to be. I meditate and do clairvoyance work every morning. I often do yoga in the mornings too, but this is really a build up for my meditation. I say my gratitudes during this time and visualize. I guess it’s my version of prayer. I exercise most days because I want to live a long life and because moving reignites ideas in me. And I try to eat well. Health matters greatly in my mind and how I take care of myself percolates out into how I take care of others around me. I’m big on self-care for the sake of others, if that makes sense.
This REALLY makes sense.
What are you the proudest of?
I’m proud of the books I’ve written. I’m proud of the drive I have to accomplish things that matter to me even if I haven’t been recognized for those things. I’m proud of my inner fire that I’ve fought for and work hard to maintain everyday. I am proud of the family I’ve helped to create, the relationship I have with my partner, and the life I get to live. I feel so thankful, and I also feel proud. Because an awesome life isn’t just about luck. It’s a lot of hard inner work.
Mom guilt is real. What do you struggle with and who do you talk to or look to that reminds you that you are doing a damn good job?
YOU remind me, sweet Bri. Thank you for that. Like all creative people, I struggle with confidence. I question what I am doing, if it will resonate, and if maybe I should be pursuing something else. I struggle with the pull between family and personal, both in work related endeavors and with time. I struggle with sifting through whom I want to spend my limited time with, how to draw boundaries for myself and for my family, and how to evolve through conflict and challenge. I have gotten really good at only keeping the good people (for me) close. When I was younger, I tried to be friends with everyone and that was just ridiculous. Now I have a handful of really incredible people who serve as my backbone when I am feeling soft. Thank goodness for you guys.
This hiking trail is nearly steps outside of her house, seriously.
What do you hate about the whole thing?
I can’t say I hate anything about it. I do struggle with how much lengthier my path to book publication is than I thought it would be. But I suppose that is just my path. Gotta keep my head down and keep pluggin’.
What is your favorite part of the process?
That it is solitary. I really like alone time. I like not having to have people’s “buy in” through the beginning stages of the process – like first draft. It feels spiritual and like a channeling of something meaningful through me. So I don’t have to care what other people think – yet. Of course, all this changes in the editing process, and this is important too. But I love just sitting in my chair in my sweats, being with myself and seeing what can flow through me.
What gets in the way of you creating?
Sometimes time gets in the way, but I think that is just one of my limiting beliefs. I can always make time. Even if it’s not much. Besides, I know once my kids are bigger, I will have more time and then I won’t have little kids anymore and that will make me sad. Other than time, it’s my own mind and my own self-doubts. I guess this is why inner work is so incredibly important. We all have to learn to live with our doubt-demons I suppose.
See what I mean you guys? If you are wanting to contact her to become her best friend, get in line ladies, get. in. line.