Why I returned from Australia so soon…

Many of you know I’ve returned from Australia and many of you don’t.  A handful of you know the story and most of you don’t.  So here’s a breif little summary of what exactly happened with my golf instructor job down there and why I returned so soon after all the hoopla of selling off pretty much everything, packing up and moving Down Under!

My new calling?

I’ve been a ‘brand ambassador’ for Mizuno Golf products for over 13 years and they asked me if I’d help them out for their video shoot.  This was filmed in November 2010 at the County Club of the South in Atlanta.  Enjoy…you’ll even learn something about “Grain Flow Forging”…and that they should’ve given me a hat to cover up my ‘monkey butt’! Hahah!

Taking Time to Reflect on Life

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I’ve never journaled much but always wished I had.  Friends always say, “I hope you write all this stuff down so you can write a book about all of the crazy stories and amazing adventures you’ve experienced in life.”   I think I’ve got it all stored upstairs if I ever wanted to retell it all…then again some of the stories I may not want to retell in a book as they would probably make my mom pass out! (Sorry Mom…you raised a boy who wanted to experience the craziness of the world before realizing that walking with Christ was probably a bit better path!)
Either way, I’ve started to write more down so as I get older I won’t have to remember as much when my book comes out…I’ll just open up my journals.  Another thing is that writing is a lost art in this day and age of “Keyboard Kings” so below is a good article on journaling.

Plus what’s more inspiring than a nice frothy cappuccino, a cool leather journal and sitting at an oceanfront cafe in Australia while taking time to reflect on life?  After all, it’s just another chapter in my story!

10 Ways Journaling Makes You a Better Writer

April 20, 2011 by Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

Journaling is a self-indulgent, narcissistic waste of time. It’s nothing more than self-administered therapy – the writer simultaneously on the couch and in the psychiatrist’s chair, endlessly picking apart the minutiae of her life to no good end. Time would be better spent alphabetizing the spice cupboard.

I disagree.

I have kept journals on and off since I was seven years old. My entries have ranged from copies of Shakespeare’s poems to what I did today to philosophical musings to documentation of the soap opera antics of the teenage years. I have professed love, eschewed love, and pined after lost love. I have envisioned my future, questioned my past, and reveled in my present. I have railed against the world and explored the dark and sparkling caves of my inner self. I have written letters that were never sent and scrawled meaningless sentences of disconnected prose just to keep my hand moving. I have spent a lifetime between the pages of various notebooks, sketchpads, and diaries, and I don’t count a single minute wasted.

In her book If You Want to Write (originally published in 1938), Brenda Ueland encourages writers to “Keep a Slovenly, Headling, Impulsive, Honest Diary.” She recommends letting go and letting it rip and says that by doing this, you will become a better writer.

I agree.

Here are my top ten reasons why journaling will make you a better writer:

Number 10: It helps develop better writing habits. The more often you make time to put words down, the more often you will make time to put words down. Don’t wait for some Big Project, just sit down with pen and notebook and let fly with the words.

Number 9: It helps you find your voice. Writers are obsessed with discovering, developing, and refining “voice.” When you lift the expectations and just write as who you are, your unique voice will come out naturally.

Number 8: It clears your mind. In her much-loved work The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends writing “Morning Pages.” The method involves writing for a bit first thing each morning. The purpose is to clear your mind of any clutter that might clog up your creative process. Putting thoughts on paper, frees up space in your mind for the task at hand.

Number 7: It saves relationships. A journal is an excellent place to blow off steam without the risk of saying something in haste that you won’t be able to retract later. Angry at your lover? Write it down. Hating your job? Write it down. Have a secret crush on the boy next door? Well … you get the idea.

Number 6: It brings you closer to perfect. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that to be an expert at something, you must invest at least 10,000 hours in practice.  The hours you spend journaling count. Start logging pen time today.

Number 5: It improves your health. There have been a number of studies that demonstrate how people who write about their feelings (good and, especially bad) have less stress and stronger immune systems. It’s not surprising – keeping things bottled up inside is a recipe for disaster while learning about yourself is a good bet for increasing well-being and confidence.

Number 4: It creates a vast personal archive. Much of what I’ve written in my journals is schlock unfit to be read, even by me. Still, there are also many ideas and snippets that could inspire stories or articles. I’ve even included writing exercises in my journals – practicing writing dialog, description, action, etc. (Tip:  If you think you’d like to go back into your journals and you’re not using a searchable software, think about creating an index so you can locate passages later on.)

Number 3: It delivers gems. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to re-read a passage and thought, “Damn! Did I write that? It’s pretty good!” When you free up your creative self and make the commitment to be completely honest and uncensored, good stuff is bound to come up. The diamonds will be buried amidst tons of rubble, but they will be there.

Number 2: It flushes out the crap. We all write crap. In another of my other favorite writing books – Bird by Bird  – writer Anne Lamott talks about writing “shitty first drafts.” We all do. It’s part of the process. Journaling is the fastest, easiest way to get more of your crap onto the page so you can get on with the business of writing your best stuff.

Number 1: It alleviates the pressure to be “good.” Journaling frees you write with joy, abandon, and unbridled creativity. Writers are often hog tied by their own stress about living up to some manufactured standard. It paralyzes and stunts – sucking all the life out of our writing, leaving us with a diluted version that is limp and colorless and completely lacking in inspiration. A journal gives you permission to write without any fears, without editing, without any “shoulds.” It lets you “just” write. What a gift.

And those are my top ten reasons. What are yours?

Have you ever kept a journal? How did the practice impact your other writing? What other reasons do you think journaling is a good practice for writers?

Jamie Lee Wallace is writer who, among other things, works as a marketing strategist and copywriter. She helps creative entrepreneurs (artists, writers, idea people, and creative consultants) discover their “natural” marketing groove so they can build their business with passion, story, and connection. She also blogs. A lot. She is a mom, a singer, and a dreamer who believes in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Look her up on facebook or follow her on twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

A bit of my story!

My name is Brett Gorney and I’m proud to say that I am a Christian.  Yep, that’s me in the picture above just after I was freshly dunked during my baptism at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, Georgia on June 27, 2010.  Many of you know my story and many of you don’t.  If you’ve got a few days maybe we could go for a road trip and I’ll tell you about it because, boy can I tell a long story, and there’s plenty of chapters that’ll make your jaw drop!  You can watch my video testimony and baptism at the end of this post.  Just an FYI..the jaw dropping stories are left out!

Just like millions of other people, I’ve gone through the highs and lows of trying to figure and lead life on my own and I just kept running in the same circles over and over.  After one more heart-breaking, low point, I finally came to realize that God’s hand was at work in breaking me down to get my attention. So on February 4, 2010, I threw in the towel and prayed for Jesus to come into my heart, asked for His forgiveness of my sins and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.  He is my new solid rock foundation…my new life is all His.

Prior to all of this, I was constantly looking for security and acceptance from girlfriends, friends, my job, things I couldn’t afford…the list goes on.  However, since accepting Christ into my heart and becoming a follower of Him, I’ve sought His wisdom and guidance along with that of other Christians as well as non-Christians.  Now I am becoming the man I believe God wants me to become so that I’m better prepared to handle the path of life He has prepared in advance for me.

A lot has changed in my life over the past 15 months.  I’m still the same, fun-loving, caring, act like a big kid kinda of guy who’ll go have some beers with the boys and make some mistakes from time to time.  But I just live and walk with the Spirit of God inside of me which, for me, is my new found source of strength and security.  And out of all of this I’ve truly learned to feel blessed just to wake up each day and thank God for my family, friends and the ability to simply be patient and trust in His will being done in my life.

So with that I’ll share a brief story as to why I’m passionate about “Encouraging Others to Live the Abundant Life!”  (Just in case you didn’t notice, its the subtitle of my blog site.)  Now before you get all uptight, I’m not here to get all righteous, Bible-banging, Freaky-Jesus on you and start stuffing pamphlets in your face.  I’m simply sharing with you why I chose to title my blog with this and what it means to me so that you may get a better idea of who I am.  If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s great too – God gave us all the freedom of choice! 🙂  So here you go…

In John 10:10 it says, “I came so that they may have life and have it ABUNDANTLY.”

That bible verse has been in my heart ever since a sunny afternoon on Saturday, October 23, 2011.  I was up in the North Georgia Mountains attending my first “Souly Business” men’s retreat.  We were asked to go spend some time on our own and ask, “God, what is keeping me from the abundant life?”, and then write our answers on a note card.  I knew what Jesus meant in saying this to the Pharisees and his disciples, but I just wasn’t getting an answer from God as to exactly what was keeping ME from the abundant life.

Later that evening all 125 men attending the retreat were silently, walking in a single file line down to the lake.  We were on a narrow path winding through the woods and the pace seemed really slow for me.  I was on the heels of the guy in front of me and then God just laid it on me!  I heard a voice in my head, loud and clear, that said, “Patience My Son!” and I just stopped and huge smile grew on my face.  Ever since becoming a Christian (only 9 months prior to this event), I’d been struggling with wanting God to hurry up with His great plan for my life so I could have things like a successful career, financial stability, a wife and kids, ability to give more to the Church and to those in need, etc.  I wanted all these things to happen sooner than later…especially now that I was living and walking in a new light.  But God put it on my heart, right then and there, to BE PATIENT and WAIT on Him!  So when we got down to the lake, I took the blank card out of my pocket and wrote “PATIENCE” on that card in big bold letters.  Then one by one all 125 men at the retreat took their cards and nailed them to a cross they had set up down by the lake along side a big bonfire.   After hammering my card into the cross I just broke down into tears as I reflected on the moment.  I wept in reverence and thankfulness to Jesus for paying the ultimate price for my impatience and I also wept tears of joy as it became so apparent to me at how easy life can be if when you simply just trust in Him!  “Strength will rise as we WAIT upon the Lord!”

So that is a huge piece of my puzzle that helps me to understand how to Live the Abundant Life and, for me, that includes Waiting Patiently and Trusting in Him!  Now keep in mind, that’s for me and that may look totally different for you and that is totally cool!  So in a nutshell, my hopes and prayers are that my story may resonate with you and that you might just ask yourself, someone else…or even God…the exact same question that I asked…“What is keeping me from living the abundant life?” – The answer will come to you…just BE PATIENT!

If I can ever help you out in anyway or if you want to share any of your story with me, I’m only a click away!

Enjoy the video below!

Best Wishes & Blessings!

Brett Gorney