Reading about another person who follows her heart's true path can be inspiring, encouraging and informational. Meet artist and expressive arts coach Briana Goetzen.
Photos courtesy Briana Goetzen.
What activities make your heart happy and your life full of meaning and purpose?
First of all, I love being in nature. State and national parks are some of my favorite places. Being in nature helps me to feel grounded, present and connected. I also love photography, including nature photography, portraits, self-portraits, and iPhoneography. Other activities that make my heart happy are expressing myself in creative ways, such as through writing, art journaling, dancing, drumming, painting, or making mixed media artwork. Teaching and inspiring others to express themselves through creativity is my personal mission in life. I also thrive on meaningful conversations; give me a like minded-soul with whom to discuss deep stuff, and I am a happy woman. I must also mention that I am a mother of a 15-month old child, who I completely and utterly adore. Being the best mama I can to my son fills my life with meaning and purpose, as well.
How did you discover your heart's true path? How do you continue to discern what is true to your heart?
I discovered my heart’s true path of being a mother, artist, teacher, and expressive arts coach, by living life, trying different things, learning through formal and informal education, and exploring what I was drawn to. I am sort of a self-help/personal growth and development junkie. I love to learn about how to be a healthy and happy human being. I love to pass along what I’ve learned, so that I may be of service to others. As far as continuing to discern what is true to my heart, I use a number of methods to get in touch with my mind, body, and spirit. I like to use guided meditation, writing, painting, walking in nature, being in community with other women, and sometimes I do Kundalini yoga.
What rituals do you practice that help you listen to and honor your heart?
I keep a written journal and a visual/art journal. Writing is one of the most effective ways I have discovered to really get to the bottom of how I am feeling and what I need to do next. I also have found that walking in nature with a pen and paper is another way to have the truth surface fast.
Think about a time when you got off track. What did you do that helped you return to your heart's true path?
Ug! Getting off track is really, really challenging. I went through a huge creative and emotional rut after I had an unexpected miscarriage in 2007. I started taking a lot of online art classes as a way to coax myself back into being creative. I knew that art was healing and healing was what I needed to do. The short answer to this question is that I sought the help of online and in person communities of women, a minister, and an energy healer, but it took me several years to finally heal. I also learned how to eventually communicate my feelings out loud over this loss with my husband. I think the combination of social support, open communication, and making art was the magic formula, plus time.
Are there tools (e.g., vision boards, to-do lists, mind maps) that help you stay on track?
Yes, definitely! As I previously mentioned, writing is my number one go-to tool for staying on track in all areas of my life. I write out my feelings, thoughts, ideas, wishes, desires, hopes, dreams, goals, to-do lists, future visions, etc. Sometimes my writing is in paragraph form, sometimes it looks like a mind map, and sometimes I simply list it out. This past year, I have also been using vision boards, which I have found really helpful and POWERFUL. I took a class (similar to Vision Mapping the New Year) with Heather Koshiol and Noelle Rollins in 2013, and I got hooked. I did further research and learning, and I developed my first online class called, Vision Board the E-Course. If you are interested, you can find out more about the class through here.
Tell us about your heart's community: Who are your supporters? How have you found people who believe in you, accept you and cheer you on through your journey?
Oh, sweet, sweet communities, I love you so! I wish for everyone to find a safe and loving community in which to be a part. I have found so much support through the communities I am a part of, and I cherish these communities deeply. My communities are: various online class communities, a church community, AUW (Association of Universalist Women), a women’s spirituality group, a book club, my neighbors and friends, and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) Visual Journal Collective. If any of you are reading this, thank you for being a part of my life!
Being publicly vulnerable is not easy, but sometimes the more you dare to share, in a safe environment, the more people can relate to you. We are all on this journey called life. We all have stories to tell and healing work to do.
What is a book, song, artist or quote that inspires you?
Thank you so much for reading this interview. Many blessings to you on this life journey, and happy creating!
Briana and I have teamed up to offer in person at her studio Tap into Your Heart, an art journaling workshop happening in Northeast Minneapolis on Saturday, March 29.
Find details and a registration link here!
There's still a spot for you in the upcoming
Heart’s Path Discovery Sessions!
If you’re seeking your heart’s true path, join me for the 3-week in-person Heart's Path Discovery Sessions that begin March 8 in the Minneapolis area. Heart’s Path Discovery Sessions offer a set of guideposts for discovering and living your heart's true path, a strategy for finding what activities you love and then living with intention and with a greater sense of meaning.