G. Brian Benson is an award-winning self-help author/film-maker, speaker, actor, published children’s author, coach, inspirational poet, four-time Ironman triathlon finisher, cross-country bicyclist, and someone that believes in YOU!
Life is his inspiration. Nothing inspires him more than life itself. Yes, at times things can get tough and difficult but also there always come moments of joy and fulfilment. After every storm comes peace and quiet and after every peace and quiet comes moments of uncertainty and frustration, doubt and hesitation, loss and failure. The real truth is what you do with it. G. Brian Benson says that he is very good at following his heart and listening to his intuition as it guides him to cultivate and activate his inner greatness, which comes out in many different creative ways.
“Be Yourself to Free Yourself!” Where does this come from? What inspired you to think and act this way?
I think the whole “be yourself to free yourself” concept came to me while I was working on my own self-growth and coming to terms with owning and sharing my gifts. It hasn’t always been easy for me for most of my life I carried around a less than worthy accounting of myself. I know it may seem hard to believe with many of my past accomplishments, but in some ways I felt like I needed to do them to prove to myself that I was worthy. So during the last four years as I have really come into my own as I stepped out of my comfort zone and began to truly explore who I was, what interested me and what I was capable of, I began to feel much more at peace with myself and all in my world. Although it may sound simple and it is something that we can all understand on a surface level… I didn’t really fully grasp how important it was to honour who we are and the gifts that we have to share as well as accept what we have to work with until I began to explore my unhappiness. Once we can accept and love ourselves…all the positives as well as the “warts”, there is a genuine peacefulness that begins to fill us up that helps release the burdensome feeling of having to be someone other than who we truly are. It takes a lot of energy to be someone who we are not. There is a Chinese proverb that I really like that says “tension is who we think we should be and relaxation is who we are.” It beautifully captures the work that I am doing for myself, which in turn I hope will help others.
So where are you now? Where did your life take you to so far?
Life has been an interesting journey for me so far. Right now I find myself learning and growing more than ever as I continue to become aware of and try to release areas where I have been held back in the past. Self-expression, being present in the now and not worrying about what others think have been front and centre for me the last couple of years. With that being said, I am also trying to market my latest book “Finding Your Voice”, working on a re-write of my next book (still untitled), producing my next short film “Searching For Happiness”, looking for acting jobs, preparing for a new radio show on Voice America, as well as doing some workshops and coaching. My life is happily full.
Up until four years ago when I made a total life change by leaving my job of 12 years, I co-owned and operated my family’s golf centre business. We had a driving range, golf course and retail store. While I learned some valuable lessons and did a lot of growing there, in the back of my mind I always knew that I wanted to do something else and that it wasn’t my destiny to stay there. It got to the point where I became very burned out and tired. After realizing that I wasn’t growing there any more and that I needed to leave, I had a heartfelt discussion with my father and he lovingly understood my decision and gave me his blessing to leave. The last six months of running the operation I found myself very out of balance because of all the work that needed to be done to prepare for my departure and I began to write out some ideas which ended up being chapters in my first book “Brian’s List – 26 1/2 Easy to Use Ideas on How to Live a Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life!” The ideas started out as helpful reminders for me to find balance through this difficult and confusing time. As I began to utilize my ideas, I realized that they were truly helping me work through my stress and unbalanced nature. I then got an intuitive hit that I was supposed to expand this list and make it into a book to help others in the same way I was helping myself. Although I had never authored a book before, the process felt divine and the book just flowed out of me in a month even though I was tremendously busy preparing to leave. Although I had no idea what I wanted to do when I made the decision to leave a few months earlier, it was as if the Universe gave me my answer with my book. It pointed me in the direction and path that I am on today. The saying, “when one door closes another one opens” was never truer than for me as I began to re-design my life. After I self-published “Brian’s List”, it ended up winning a couple of book awards which gave me some much needed confidence to believe that I could be successful moving forward. Since then, I have continued to try and put out meaningful books, inspirational poetry, movie shorts and energy as I learn about and work on myself all the while trying to be a living example for others to follow. My life is dedicated to helping others step outside of their comfort zones to find and share their gifts.
You say, “I am very good at following my heart and listening to my intuition as it guides me to cultivate and activate my inner greatness (which comes out in many different creative ways)….” I must notice that I haven’t met yet a man who would so openly declare such an important truth. Usually it is my answer to others, but I see you have the same here. In what ways do you listen to your intuition? Can you give an example please?
I listen to my intuition in a variety of ways as I think it speaks to or reaches us through many different forms and feelings. First and foremost, when an idea just seems to come out of nowhere. It could be while we are driving, watching a movie or going for a walk. It seems to happen to me when I least expect it. For example a couple of years ago I decided to lay down to take a quick rest and give my brain a break from working. About ten minutes in as my body became fully relaxed and my busy mind peacefully slowed down, I was given the idea for my movie short Guitar Man. It just seemed to download almost instantly. And as it gently settled into my consciousness I knew that this was something that I was supposed to do. There was no doubt about it. And it wasn’t an obligated feeling. I wanted to see it through. It’s like I was given an energetic download right along with the idea to help me see it through. Later, that day, I called a young film-maker that I had just recently met during the filming of the movie The Motel Life and asked him if he wanted to film it. And not more than two weeks later we were out there on the streets making a movie. It’s amazing how quickly things can happen if we are open to them. All of my successful projects, whether they be books or movies, just started out as an intuitive download that came to me with an almost magical quality to them. I just knew that I had to act on them and it seemed like time, space and energy all conspired with me to make them flow and happen almost effortlessly. I felt like I was a conduit.
Another way that I utilize my intuition is to run decisions through what I call my “intuitive filter”. I really try and get a sense of how I am feeling when I have a decision to make. It doesn’t matter whether it is in regards to potentially working with someone, dating someone, deciding what to do with my time on a particular day or sensing when I need to take a break and regenerate. Your intuition will always give you the proper information to help you determine which route to choose. It is just a matter of being able to trust the answers that it is giving us. As more of my projects landed and were well received I started to get offers from people wanting to work with me or have me be involved in a project they were working on. Initially I rarely said no, even if I was feeling like it might not be a good fit. I was so determined to reach some of my goals that I stepped out of what got me there in the first place following my hunches and listening to my guidance. I noticed I began to be overwhelmed and quite tired trying to honour my intentions as well as try to work on some of these other projects that didn’t really suit me. The intuitive guidance behind those projects came from the people that wanted to work with me. It was their dream, not mine. More often than not the project wouldn’t get off the ground because the proper energy and interest wasn’t there to back it up. Now this doesn’t mean that we can’t ever work with another on a project, it’s just that we have to intuitively be getting the green light to move forward with it also.
I watched the short film you have created “Guitar Man”. What was the main idea and aim behind this film of yours?
Guitar Man was an interesting project for me. I am a closet guitar player. The only time I ever played in front of anyone was when I did a song at an open mic one Saturday night a couple of years ago. I was terrified! I wanted to become more comfortable playing in front of others and I thought it might be fun, interesting and scary to go play on the streets of Reno for money some evening. I never made that happen, but a few months later while laying down and resting I had this idea come to me about making a short movie about a street guitar player and incorporating some positive messages with it. I immediately called a film-maker friend of mine and we got started just a couple of weeks later. I had never made a film before and it was really exciting.
I think Guitar Man ended up serving many purposes. First and foremost it was to spread some great messages. I wanted to let folks know that we all have gifts and that everyone is better off when we share them. I also wanted to remind the viewers that each and every one of us out there has a story. It can be real easy to forget that when we see people living on the streets. It’s not like they grew up there. They have been through triumph and tragedy, love and pain just like the rest of us and just because they are living on the streets it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interesting people with an inspiring story to tell.
And finally, I think Guitar Man was something that I needed to do for myself to step out of my comfort zone and grow. I intuitively knew that I had been holding back some of my gifts out of fear and I wanted to honour who I was while gaining some much needed confidence during the process. It was an extremely liberating experience for me. I am very proud of the film for all of the reasons above.
You said that filming “Guitar Man” helped you to step out of your comfort zone. What was your comfort zone that you became so uncomfortable with?
What I became uncomfortable with was the fact that I wasn’t totally honouring who I was because I was holding back. I had many facets of myself that I wanted to share with the world. They had been bottled up because of my fear to share them. It finally got to the point where I could no longer bear keeping them inside of me. The pain of holding them became greater than the fear to share them. So I began the process of releasing. It started out as a trickle with my first book and as I slowly shone light on my fears it became easier and easier to share what was coming through me. Guitar Man helped me break through some of the imaginary walls I put up for myself.
Link to the short movie – GUITAR MAN
What books have you written and released so far?
So far I have written Brian’s List – 26 1/2 Easy to Use Ideas on How to Live a Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life!, Finding Your Voice, The Art of Balance and Discover Your True Self. Brian’s List and Finding Your Voice are in paperback and email form while The Art of Balance and Discover Your True Self are in e-book form. I am currently working on Be Yourself to Free Yourself!
Link to his new book – FINDING YOUR VOICE
When I looked through your website I noticed all the nominations you have been nominated for and also some of the awards you won for the work you do? Please share more about this.
I have been very blessed. My first book Brian’s List – 26 1/2 Easy to Use Ideas on How to Live a Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life! was the winner of a 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Self-Help Category. It was also an award-winning finalist in the Self-Help Motivational Category of the National Best Book 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
My short film Guitar Man was accepted to 11 movie festivals and was a winner at the Love Unlimited Film and Art Festival, won an honourable mention prize in the narrative short category at the 2011 Los Angeles Movie Awards as well as a Golden Reel Award from the Nevada Film Festival.
It is a beautiful list of awards and nominations to be proud of. What is your next step now in your career?
Thank you kindly. I have a few next steps. I am in the middle of writing another book that I am very excited about. I am still working out a title for it. I also am excited about a movie short called Searching For Happiness that I wrote. I hope to get that filmed this summer. Other than that I will continue coaching, preparing for a Voice America internet radio show that I will be hosting and being open to other exciting and fun projects that come my way. I will also be moving to Los Angeles in June.
I see there are many things happening in your life and some of the projects are long term and all yield one and only truth – Inspiration. Tell me please, is there something in particular that inspires you to live the life you desire and choose?
I think the “something special” that you ask about is just my innate nature to want to help others become the best that they can be. I truly want each and everyone to tap into their own individual greatness so that they can live their own special version of a fulfilling life that they were put here to live. I feel like I was put here to do this. I remember telling my mother when I was only 3 or 4 years old that I was put here to inspire people. I have always held that idea and mission close to me.
Tell me please, do you find life to be easy to live?
Wow…that is a great question…not quite sure how to answer that. I think that life at times is very easy to live. The times that I move forward in trust while listening to and honouring my intuition seem to flow along quite nicely. My projects seem to land effortlessly and I have total confidence in what and who I am. Sitting in a place of gratitude plays a big part in helping my life flow also. The times where I struggle are when I temporarily lose trust in myself and forget that I am the creator of my situation. Negative thoughts and self-talk, not allowing myself to exercise, meditate and stay in life balance can throw me for a loop that I need to recover from. I honestly don’t believe that life is meant to be a struggle. But we are here to learn and grow and it seems that most of our big lessons and learning experiences come from sometimes painful experiences. When things do come up for me that are tough, I try to remember that. And when I am smack dab in the middle of a tough situation, I really try to go and do the things that help me stay in balance, love and gratitude. They help me move through tough times in an easier manner.
Why do you think there are so many people walking around us with the dead dreams?
There could be a number of reasons why. I think one of the biggest reasons is lack of belief. They lack the belief that accomplishing their dream is possible. I think another really good reason is because they aren’t sure how to make it happen; and their unsure nature is keeping them paralyzed from even getting started. The one thing that I always try to instil in someone who wants to make a goal or dream come true is to tell them to just start moving forward. The key is to just start the process. It’s alright if you aren’t quite sure what step #2 is. Just get started on step #1. The Universe has a wonderful way of providing us with what we need at the exact moment that we need it. Just trust that it will come and be open to it.
I also see folks making a lot of excuses why they can’t accomplish their goals:
-I’m too busy; I have no time
-How will I get what I need to accomplish it?
-I don’t have any support.
-What if I fail?
-Life’s hardships seem to hold me back.
I believe all of these excuses simply fall under the category of fear: fear of actually being successful or fear of failure. If the goal or dream is strong enough, then none of these excuses should get in the way. Like I mentioned earlier, if we have a strong enough belief and trust in the process…forward movement will lead us to all of the steps that we need to take to accomplish our goal.
Brian, what would you tell to the ones wanting to pursue their dream life? What do you think they could expect from life?
I know it sounds cliche, but I would tell them to follow what makes them happy and feel alive. I realize that we all have bills to pay and other obligations, but you can still make forward movement while tending to other responsibilities. I truly believe if there is a will there is a way. I would also suggest that they make life balance a priority. It is much easier to listen to and act on your intuitive hunches if you are living a proactive life.
I think everyone will receive basically what they expect. If you carry gratitude in your heart, optimism in your attitude and positive expectations for your future that is what you will create. That is why it is so important to monitor our attitudes, self-talk, and relationships.
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