Discover the mysteries of the Universe with the Star Family Wisdom Podcast! Watch on Youtube, or Listen on your favorite podcast app!
Star Family Wisdom is a paradigm shifting podcast, community and online school for your Spiritual and Cosmic evolution! Hosted by Jenna Layden and Sinéad Whelehan, on the Star Family Wisdom podcast we share conversations, ideas and information that will inspire you, and support you on this wild journey of being human. Explore ancient clues about our untold human story, real life supernatural experiences, lost knowledge from the stars, and spiritual wisdom that empowers you to transform your life, for the better.
Jenna: Hello, hello! Welcome to the Star Family Wisdom Podcast. If you are new, thank you so much for joining us. If you have tuned in before, thanks for coming back. I'm Jenna Layden, founder of Star Family Wisdom and former Global Vice President for Whole Foods Market.
Sinéad: and I'm Sinéad Whelehan, former special needs Educator and Co-host of the Star Family Wisdom Podcast. Star Family Wisdom is a paradigm shifting podcast, and a community, and also an online school for your spiritual and cosmic evolution.
Jenna: Although we only met last year, the journey and experiences that have led us here were very similar. Five years ago, we each had really profound experiences that changed our lives forever and fast forward years later, after lots of healing and research and self exploration, we know now that our reality is so much more expansive and beautiful than we used to believe. And last year Sinéad and I became friends and we started to have long conversations about all of our experiences and our, our journey.
And, and we realized we needed to share these conversations with you.
Sinéad: Yes, indeed. Because we know that we're not alone on planet earth. We know that we have people who are our intergalactic family and friends that are visiting us. And that it is time for the world to know! The world is slowly waking up to this and we wanna support that. So on this podcast, we intend to share conversations, ideas, and information that are going to inspire you and support you on this wild journey of being human. And we're also going to explore ancient clues about our untold story - our untold human story - real life supernatural experiences, lost knowledge from the stars, and spiritual wisdom that empowers you to transform your life for the better.
Jenna: It is our passion and intention to have fun conversations about all of this and to reflect on what's possible and how we're evolving as humans.
Sinéad: Yeah, so we love all things woo, and magic, and mindset, science, spirituality, health, and wellness. And of course, extraterrestrial - that goes without saying, and through these conversations, we wanna explore how all of those topics, seemingly separate, actually connect to inform the evolution of our human experience.
Jenna: Ultimately, we want everyone to be able to embrace a multidimensional reality without fear, and things will get a little weird here at Star Family Wisdom, but we'll ground you in the science and the research and the information that we use to expand our minds and open to the incredible nature of our reality.
Sinéad: Yes. So together we're going to discover and remember our place among the stars. And in this episode, we're definitely touching on that on a cosmic level, as well as on a grounded level. Um, the experiences that we have had take a little bit of a backseat while we talk to the wonderful Jacob Nordby. Jacob is a creative, an author and intuitive and several other things as well. He creates incredible creative gatherings around, uh, for people internationally, online and in person. And Jacob is a deeply spiritual person who's gone through his own transformative journey to arrive at where he is today. He's decided to take a big plunge, uh, you know, change his life, which checked all the boxes that we talk about in our interview of, you know, what is supposed to be there in order for a person to be happy. He had all those things on paper, but he, he was not feeling quite right. And he started listening to himself in a different kind of way. And that ended up sort of slingshotting him, bumpily, into uh, a new life that he's slowly developed over time. And now he's living his passion. He is a writer, he is an intuitive, he's living in that space and supporting other people with those things as well.
Jenna: And Jacob’s conversation with us was so impactful for the two of us because of the journey we've been on, but we know we're, we're not alone in this. We know that so many people are having big transformations in their life or might be feeling that, you know, their, their old work, their old lifestyle, it just doesn't quite fit, just isn't quite right.
And, and they want to, to find whatever that is that brings them joy and, and helps them connect, you know, deeply with their soul. And, and Jacob's been on that journey and he talks so beautifully about all of the ups and downs. You know, it's not a, not always a pretty journey, you know, when we're going through those big life transitions and really tuning into who we are. And, and so for, for Sinéad and I, it was, you know, such a, a healing conversation. And we hope that for all of you listening, it is that as well, that you are given permission to be your weird self, you are given permission to, to tune in to those internal, you know, voices and guidance that we have. And, and to take those leaps of faith.
Sinéad: Yeah. We talk a lot about surrender with Jacob and also trust, uh, you know, big, big things to do when you're not sure what exactly it is that you're surrendering to.
Right. But if you're somebody who's open to receiving guidance, as Jacob was, then it will start to come through. And he talks about how we each have this kind of map that we, or code that we come into each life with. And that often the guidance that we receive is there as part of that mapping. And if we choose to listen to it, pay attention to it, be receptive of it, you know, with it and, and work with it, then we can more authentically live by our map, you know, which would mean, uh, being true to our authentic selves, living a life that real, really, truly feels right for us and where we feel like our soul is being fed. You know, the true us is being fed and nourished and supported towards what really gives us satisfaction in life.
Jenna: I loved how Jacob talked about the trees, right? And how, how trees, you know, are different from humans and that they're not starting to grow and comparing themselves to all of these other trees, right. That, that they have their own unique blueprint. And they're just growing and flourishing and their roots are going deep. And I, I think that is such a, a profound and simple <laugh> way to remember that we, we are our own unique selves and, and we're not supposed to be like everyone else. Right. It's so easy. Even when you're on this journey, to fall back into that from time to time.
Sinéad: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's something I really appreciate about Jacob; he's so, uh, vulnerable and authentic and really talks about all the bumps and all the ups and downs that he has gone through and still goes through, right, in his pursuit. And we talk about that together, the three of us, about how there's no really kind of arriving in life.
You know, we have this idea that we're supposed to arrive at a certain point, and then we're all done and everything's gonna be great from now on. But the fact is that we work really hard. Life is tricky. We, you know, we work really hard at developing ourselves and kind of making sense of what's going on around us. And I feel like Jacob does such a beautiful job of representing that with a lot of heart and a lot of groundedness, as well as an expanded kind of cosmic universal perspective. You know, he's talking about what we can do with our lives right here and now, so-called on the ground. But also, so he's talking about our expanded nature, our true eternal and universal nature. So I love that he brings creativity in as, you know, something that brings together those two realities, those things that seem to be so separate, but are really not. They’re within all of us.
Jenna: Yes. And how, you know, creativity and spirituality really are one and the same, right? That our creativity that comes from our soul comes from our deep desires and passions. And, and that is our soul wanting to express itself. And, and so when we can allow that, that spiritual connection with our soul, we could become so much more creative. And I love how Jacob also talked about or shared some advice on presenting yourself to the world when you really find your true self and you become that, that new version of you and you're creating, and you're, you're, you're allowing that flow to happen. But then there comes a point where you're, you know, you've gotta be that new person in the world. And, and that's a scary thing. We both experienced that. And I, I love how Jacob, you know, walks us through that process too.
Sinéad: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's something you and I, I think are still kind of dealing with. Right. Cause we're still learning. We're still learning ourselves. That's something else we talk about with Jacob is that it's not really helpful to either us or other people to say, I know! I am the one who has all the knowledge! I can give you - all those people that are listening - I can give you all the wisdom you're ever going to need, you know, we're still on this path together. We're still learning and growing. And Jacob makes so many references to different tools and skills that we can use to, um, to explore, you know, to explore these different parts of ourselves and try to get back to who we really are, versus what we're trying to be, based on the external messages we get in society and culture around us.
Jenna: So, uh, yeah, Jacob also shares a poem that he wrote in, you know, early in his writing, um, flow, and, you know, when he was really starting to allow that intuitive guidance to come through and, and you will love it. It is an incredible, incredible poem and reflection and just deep, intuitive guidance coming through for all of us. And it really gives us that permission to just be our weird selves <laugh>
Sinéad: To be our weird self and to celebrate it and celebrate it in each other, right. To support weirdness and troublemakers and mystics and support all of that in ourselves and in other people so that we don't have to live within such narrow confined, you know, such narrow ideas of what living is, what being human is, what being alive is. You know, we wanna expand that and we wanna be, be able to explore it and why not do that?
You know, why not use everything that's at our, uh, you know, that's accessible to us to explore those things. That's something Jacob also talks about, that there isn't one way, you know, each person's individual expression of who they authentically are, has to be unique. It has to be from you who you really are. So back to what you mentioned about the trees, how, you know, he was talking about how the trees don't compare themselves to each other, they just become the best version of that tree that they can possibly be.
That's all they are. That's all they're doing.
Jenna: Mm-hmm <affirmative>, that's apparently, that's what we're here to do. <laugh>. So with that, we'll, we'll bring you the episode with Jacob and, uh, you learn more about him by following the show notes and checking out all of the links to his work. We talk about that in the episode as well. So we'll, we'll jump into it and see y'all on the other side.
Sinéad: See you soon!
Sinéad: Hi, everybody. We are here, Jenna, and I very excited to introduce this next guest to you. This is somebody that I’ve known for about a year and a half, possibly two years. Um, he is becoming possibly a friend, dare I say that. And also he is a creative, uh, mentor and leader for me, he's somebody who I really admire in terms of creativity and someone who has also taken a big plunge in his life to be able to live in this place of creativity and have, and, uh, you know what Jenna and I have talked about in our previous episodes, creating our own reality. So Jacob Nordby, I would like to introduce you very briefly. You are an author, you are a creative, you are an amazing intuitive, as far as I'm concerned personally. And, um, you are a leader in the field and you really have a skill when it comes to creating wonderful, warm creative community. So thank you so much for being here today. And how are you?
Jacob: I'm really well, I'm glad to be here with both of you and with all, all of you who are from around the world, listening.
Jenna: Thanks for joining us, Jacob. It's so good to have you.
Jenna: Thank you. You too. You know what? I just, I just realized that I did that thing where you go, somebody says have a nice day or whatever, and you say you too, but not, but it, but that's not the right thing <laugh>, <laugh> where the waiter is like, enjoy your food. You too, I say to the waiter, and then it's like, oh, well, okay.
Jenna: They’re like awkward internal moments. Like how do you recover from that. What do you do?
Jacob: Yeah. <laugh> oh, I generally just (indistinct). Yeah. I, I saw a thing the other day that said, I, one of the things I resent the most is not having the ability to, um, in awkward situations, turn into a thousand bats and fly away. So I'm, I'm gonna work on that power.
Sinéad: We all are <laugh> and that's one of the things we wanna talk about, right, is abundance, and how we create that with creativity. So speaking of which, um, let's go back to your origin story. Let's start with that. You know, your, your beginning in this life that you are living now, in this paradigm that you've created, I think is probably a better term for it. Uh, Jenna and I really, really relate to you because Jenna and I have both chosen to leave lucrative, wonderful - in some ways - careers, um, that gave us, you know, safety and security and checked all those boxes that you're supposed to have checked when you have a career and you're fully grown, mature, responsible adult, right. But we are finding that all those boxes checked, were not making us happy. They were not making us feel like we were really, um, feeding ourselves, you know, nourishing ourselves in ways that we really needed to. And I know that you relate to that. You and I have talked about your, um, just in one of our own chats about how your transition from your former life, let's call it, to this life went, and I'd really love it if you could share that with our audience.
Jacob: Well, I would love love to, and, and just because I'm getting to know both of you, Sinéad you and I have spent enough time together that I've, I've gotten a sense of where you come from. And, uh, Jenna, I'm curious if you would give me a thumbnail, just so I'll have a, a sense of what kind of leaps you're making right now.
Jenna: Yeah. So my, my previous life, my previous career was in retail. I was a leader for over a decade at Whole Foods Market. And my last role was Global VP of merchandising operations. And at the beginning of last year, I took the leap to leave Whole Foods to pursue my passion, which is this, which is sharing wisdom and conversations with people that support their spiritual and cosmic evolution. Um, I think Sinéad’s probably shared a bit about her journey with you around ET contact and, and this experience of exploring more of our reality. And, and so I've been on that journey and, and was on that journey really intensively when I was at Whole Foods and finally realized, you know, I think my leadership and my skills are meant to be channeled in a different way. So here I am.
Jacob: Wow. Well, that's no doubt, very familiar to a lot of people right now. I, you know, when, when COVID landed on the world, um, a couple years ago, I remember having this life talk with Heather Asara, who wrote warrior goddess training and all those and we’re, we’re friends. And we had this conversation because, you know, we were canceling events and we were, all of this shake-up was happening. And it was, was interesting to have this, um, conversation about, okay, we're not gonna talk about this in public because it's, so many people are experiencing a lot of fear right now, and we don't want to be one of those people who's trying to say, oh, it's, you know, here's the cosmic view of it. But on the, on, on a higher view of it, I really felt, uh, that here we are in full stride, capitalistic, um, post capitalistic information age overload. Everyone, we all are, um, carrying the anxiety of trying to live a very productive life, um, at, at a level that really isn't working for our bodies and minds, which is why the world is still full of, I feel like so full of anxiety and mental illness and things like that. It's, it's pretty simple. It's out, of being out of alignment, I think. And so, um, when it landed, I, I thought, wow, what a, what an opportunity. And I have people around me, even at the time, my housekeeper, took the first month or two off. And then when it was time, you know, to start getting back into the swing, she sent me a note and said, you know what, I've been doing this for over a decade, and my husband and my doctors have been trying to talk me out of doing any more of it because it's just tearing down my body, and all these chemicals - and she said, I don't know what's next, but, but I know I have to find out and, and I won't be cleaning your house anymore. And my very first response was, oh my God, that's amazing. <laugh>, you know, um, because I feel like we've been given this opportunity in our time to retune to the inner voice and to realign our lives, to rearrange things that say, I don't know exactly what's next. And stepping into the mystery is always terrifying.
Jenna: You, I know. Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was so terrifying, right. To leave, leave a secure job with, without having a job. Right. Without having the next answer in front of you. And yeah, I'm, I'm super curious about your journey and what that was like for you in that process of not having the next answer, probably, you know, at all times, but, but being in this like trusting place to just follow your passion and follow what feels right.
Sinéad: I’m thinking Jacob, of one of the indications you got - that street sign.
Jacob: Oh yeah. I'll, I'll get to that one. <laugh> I was gonna ask you Sinéad, like, where do you want me to start? Because we could, we could really go back. Uh, we could start, how many hours do you have <laugh>
Sinéad: Well, we have, we have an hour and a half at most. I mean, for you, Jacob, possibly even two, because you -
Jacob: Oh, no
Sinéad: But we don't wanna, we don't wanna spoil the audience with you, so they’ll get sick of you. We wanna be able to have you come back for a second one. So, start with maybe, you know, just the career that you had previously and how you were feeling about it, you know, how it was making you feel because you had, like, I was kind of alluding to before you had all your boxes checked, right? Like on paper, all your boxes were checked. You had all the ingredients for a happy life, but that's not - and as you're referencing too, that's something, everybody, it seems many people right now are questioning - what makes happiness? Like, what really makes us happy because all these things that we've been using as a recipe previously are really not working. And you experienced that firsthand. So if you could start there and then, and then go to, you know, your own leap, your own leap that you took to start what you're doing now, that would be great.
Jacob: Okay. Well, it feels like a series of leaps, um, down through my life. Um, yeah, so age 33, 34, I was in the middle of a number of ventures with my family. We had several companies and, um, I was in the finance world and we had just built this really big, beautiful office. Oh my God. And I look back with, through the lens of where I am now and realize how, how deeply creative each of us is. And, and in my experience, looking back at it, it's not as if I look back and say, okay, that was all just toxic, horrible stuff. The truth is I had created something that mattered to me. And, um, I suppose that was why it was so confusing when I would drive into the parking lot every morning.
You know, I had this big house that I'd just moved my family into and this beautiful office that we had designed, custom designed. And it had all the things, you know, it had, um, alder wood, wainscotts and coffered ceilings, and leather couches, and a fire place.
And it was just wonderful. And I loved the slogan above the, the reception desk - “a passion for extraordinary service”. And we really had created something that I loved.
I loved what we were doing with clients. Um, and I would pull into the office every morning and I would just feel this great heavy cloud of like lead come on. My, and, and I was waking up at three o'clock every morning. Um, and at the time I felt pretty virtuous about that. I was, I was the office at 6:00 AM, you know, after having six cups of coffee already. And so I was the first one there, last one out. And, um, and I, but I couldn't figure out why, and at the time I didn't understand at all the signals, my body was trying to send to the intuition, you know, and so I would just feel heavy and, and that began to get scarier and scarier cause I was getting more and more tired. Um, and there wasn't a place to be tired. There wasn't a way to listen, um, I didn't feel like. And, um, and so I started getting scared and I would tell my, my shareholders and my family something's gotta change. And of course they were, as was I, so, um, familiar with the story of me as this entrepreneur, as the leader, as, um, a go-getter that the, they, all of them said, no, well, no, you can't, you can't stop <laugh> you can't, you can't do something like, what would you <laugh> what would you do different? Hmm. And I didn't know how to articulate any of it. Um, and so it was, it was terrifying for me to even face the idea of a change, because in looking back at it, now we're talking about an identity level shift, you know? Yeah. And letting go of so many stories, this is who I am. And, um, this is how I am in the world. And so that was, that was, um, a lot. And a young guy came and worked for me. This would've been 2007 in the summer. And he was those guys who you just immediately, you know, you know that person. Like, oh, this, I, I don't know, we know each other, you know? And so Luke came and worked for me and a couple months later he came in my office and he, and he invited me to a meditation retreat.
And, um, I had left the fundamentalist Christianity I, I was raised with, um, I don't know, five or 10 years before, but hadn't really developed anything as a practice and had been reading Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra, all, all of the, um, you know, prominent teachers. And they all said meditation was, was f*****g great. And so I, I thought, well, that sounds good. I should probably go learn how to do that. <laugh> <laugh> They didn't say it exactly like that, I think, but <laugh>, so I, I, I signed up for this thing and it was supposed to be a weekend retreat up in the mountain town, and my God, wow. I was scared and I couldn't figure out why. Cause everyone, you know, meditation sounded pretty chill. And, um, the young guy came and picked me up and we drove up together fortunately, or I probably would've turned around at some point.
And, um, we got there and it turned out to be a shamanic retreat. And I didn't know what a shaman was, I'd never taken any drugs, I, I hadn't experimented, even though my parents had been hippies before they went Christian, um, I had never done any of that for myself. And so, um, it turned out they were gonna be administering DMT. And, um, I've learned since having many other kinds of experiences, uh, including that one, some more, that is the most intense chemical experience you could have on this planet.
Jenna: You just jumped right into it! Right into the fire.
Jacob: <laugh> I certainly wasn't looking for it, Jenna. I mean, not, you know, and that, and see, okay, that, and I tell that part, I, I, it took me a long time to even be willing to talk about that because it, you know, now of course psychedelics are hip and, um, everything is breaking open in that way. And I think that's marvelous, um, uh, in some ways, and, but at the time it was very secretive. And also I felt quite a bit of shame about having come to such a, a major, a psychological spiritual event that way. It's like, oh, you took drugs and that's what happened!
Sinéad: Yeah, that's the stigma, that's the stigma. And on the other level, of course, you just went straight for the mothership. Like he went straight to the source, you know, like that must have been guided. There's no way it couldn’t have been.
Jacob: Of course. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I look back and then feel definitely that way. And it was one of those, it was one of those watershed moments, you know? Um, and so during one of the experiences, I, you know - um, fortunately they did have a very safe place. Um, my son has experienced DMT in not at all a, a safe environment. And, um, you know, I didn't know about this until later. And he shared it with me and I said, oh my God, I can't imagine. I can't imagine doing that for any kind of recreation. That's not what it's for. <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative>. But I remember, um, blasting out of and experiencing the sense of kind of the earth webbing around the, the consciousness around the, the earth and, and as kind of like, um, living newspaper or something. It felt like I was popping out of all of this, all the story.
Jacob: My own story, the collective story, all the fear, all the anxiety that was, that part was terrifying, but then bursting into a place where I no longer had a self. And that was the most comforting freeing experience I had ever had. And, um, all my preconceptions that I'd been loaded down with, um, through life about God, about love, about freedom, about myself, it felt like everything just kind of went away. And I, I heard, um, I heard the universe laughing, like there was this great laughter and it was so kind and re - and a release. It was just this release, you know, and I remember floating back down into my consciousness and watched - I saw this body of this guy. He was 34 and he was 70 pounds overweight. And I just, his face just looked like a map of pain, you know, of, of anxiety. And he looked very much older than 34 years old. And I kind of somersaulted back into that body. And I just had tears coming up, running down into my ears and all these people were holding space around me. And, um, I knew then that something was going to change. Um, something had to change. There was no question. My life was so far out of line with that experience. Um, the freedom, the power, the love, the acceptance, all of that. And things just began to really get clear. I had been chasing success and it wasn't even my version of success. It was what I had taken on and agreed to. And now it doesn't feel right, but also it wasn't like I just went home and immediately started growing out my hair and, and walked away. I, um, I had a lot of obligations and family and, um, other people depending on me. And so I fought really hard to keep it all together. And, um, and then at the end of 2008, the financial crisis came and it really took it out of my hands. But you know, the interesting thing, and this going back to what you asked me about earlier Sinéad, the experience of that weekend was, was - really embodied surrender. Um, and that became, that kind of became my watch word of ha, having to surrender my way through the transition. Um, and that gave me a, an experience of going, oh, it's safe. Like there's nothing to fear, even when it feels terrifying, there's nothing really to, um, fear, and surrender is safe and surrender doesn't mean giving up. Surrender means letting go of what can no longer be held.
Sinéad: You know, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that's one of the, one of the things about it, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you're using so many key words that we love.
I mean, I see Jenna really relating to what you're saying, ‘cause we talk about surrender. Jenna and I have shared, you and I have shared, that surrender is so deep as a concept when it comes to changing of life and, you know, connecting with who we really are and opening up that cosmic perspective, you know, zooming out as Jenna and I call it, zooming out. Right. And the relief that comes with that really deep ancient, universal part of ourselves, you know, the part of you that went into that DMT experience and, and met all those energies that you were within, you know, in that moment that, that's, there’s a part of us that recognizes it. And as soon as you have that experience, anybody that I've ever heard talk about this, even if they can't really articulate it - because sometimes it's ineffable, right? Sometimes it's you know, it's just beyond words, you can only do your best to kind of explain in a minute way, you know, what it was like. But, um, it changes everyone, inevitably changes everyone. You cannot turn away from something like that. So after you had this experience, you, then I know it took some time, but you then took a really big leap and I really want you to bring up that street sign.
Jacob: Okay. Well, and I just wanna say too, that, I mean, I've loved in the years since, I spent the next decade or so, uh -and I’ll probably continue - to learn and study and, and I'm really, really gratified to see how much science is catching up with, and psychology is catching up with and providing some framework, even though I don't think that's totally necessary, but I love the fact that it's, that that has created more accessibility for more people to, to learn how much more they are than, than this thing, you know, this framework. And so, um, yeah, so I really, I really had to let go at that point, um, of, of everything. And I have been with so many people since then who were going through big transitions and I love the fact that it doesn't have to look, it doesn't have to be this… you know, my first book was The Divine Arsonist, and it doesn't have to be that kind of traumatic, dramatic experience of everything burning down. It doesn't - I'm, I'm so grateful that not everyone has to go through their transition in that way, because that just feels like way too big of a pill for most people to swallow, you know, um, and, and a lot of people - and I've I've since then felt really strongly that no, we, we get to, we get led through what it is we signed up for, I guess. And, um, and also the things that we need to temper us for the life that, that we really are designed to live. And some people - um, my brother, has been going through a transition now for ah, three - two or three years and is really on the edge of launching into some things on his, his own mystery and you know, what different landscape for him, um, financially, personally, just so, so many things in place that mean he gets to have a very different version of transition. And I'm so happy about that. <laugh>
Sinéad: Mm-hmm, you must be, it's wonderful to see the ripple effect, right? Like if one of us takes on this responsibility of really looking at ourselves and changing our life, it also, it's like dropping a pebble into a body of water, right. The ripple goes out and touches everything around it. I wonder if some of your own transition influenced your brother?
Jacob: Oh, probably, I don't, no doubt. We've had some of that conversation, but just as much as anything, glad to know that it's, it's - each transition is unique to the person.
Mm. And so sometimes people have, they would come to me during that period of transition and they would say, oh my God, you're so brave. And you're taking this leap. And, um, I wish I could do the same. And I'm like, this doesn't feel brave at all. It just feels like survival. And I have no idea, um, what's coming next. And so this isn't some grand, uh, you know, digital nomadic adventure here. I'm just really trying to figure out the next thing. So, um, I did lose my house and lose all the stuff. And, um, my then wife and I decided we needed to not be in, in this town anymore. ‘Cause it was just so full of, uh, it was so full of ghosts. I mean, nobody who had run into me on the street back then knew, knew what to say, you know? Um, and I saw, I eventually came up with a story that, that made sense to me and to them. But they said, what are you doing?
I'm said, well, I, I'm on, um, I'm on a, um, not vacation. What's the word? When a professor goes on -
Jacob: Oh, sabbatical. Yeah. Yeah. I'm on sabbatical. And they're like, oh, okay. I mean, that made sense enough. So, um, so we, we ended up moving to Austin, Texas, and we didn't know anyone there and there were no jobs yet. And um, and it, so it really did feel like this enormous leap. And if I still have somewhere, I still have the notebook where I'd, we, my then wife and I were sitting in a restaurant in Austin and I sketched out the United States, a real rough outline and we drew quarters and we started kind of just feeling into the different parts of the country. And um, it, I wouldn't have known it then, but it was a very in, interesting, intuitive exercise to just feel into, where should we go? And cuz we were there in Austin, checking it out. And we were like, wow, is this really what we're going to do? So we ended up moving there and um, and some guy came along and bought the shares I had in a tech company I had started. And that gave me just enough money. You know, the whole world was just in free fall financially. And so it, the shares weren't valued, what they probably should have been or anything, but it gave me exactly the amount of money we needed to move. And so we got down there and <laugh>, we were staying in this Extended Stay America with three little kids and it's hot as hell in Austin, um, especially in August. And so we're like, okay, it's time to get the kids in school, and we probably should get an apartment or something figured out, and immediately found out what a challenge we had just run into, um, with that. Like the school said, okay, that's great. What's your address? Oh, we don't have one yet. <laugh> really <laugh> yeah. Well come back to us when you have an address. Okay. That's the next thing, let's let's do that. And then everybody, you know, of course wanted to know, well where do you work? Well, we don't have a job yet. <laugh> how's your credit? Oh, that's destroyed. Um, <laugh> we started, we started realizing, oh, we're in trouble. Oh s**t. We're in a, we're in an Extended Stay America, um, eating outta styrofoam things and the kids are getting tired of um, the, this situation and it felt - it started to feel pretty desperate. And so, um, I remember sitting in a McDonald's uh, with everyone and the nudge came again. We were just flipping through rental magazines and feeling kind of like, oh my God, we're in trouble. And I got this nudge that - just, just start driving down the road. And so we did, and I just could feel this incredible tension. My shoulders were tight, everything, my mind was racing. And as I was driving, I got this tap, invisible tap. And they said, you know how to do this. And I said, what do you mean? And they said, just surrender and ask for help. And um, and so I took a deep breath and said, okay, help. And we were driving along and about another half mile that there was this sort of like, “go left”. And so I turned left and then just down the block, after I turned left, there was this little brick house that had a “for rent” sign in front of it. And it had a, um, tree with a rope swing, with a tire. And my heart immediately said, oh my God, that would be perfect. Um, um, and we pulled up in front of it and I called the guy and he was from California and I barfed out my whole terrible story. And he said, all right, here's the deal. I'm gonna do this. Uh, by the way, you, you have to come up with a better story. That's, that's the worst way to package this. All right. Well, I just thought I better tell you the whole truth. So we made the deal and right there, and we were sitting there with tears and I was like, wow, that just happened. And so we turned back to go to the main street and go back to, and I looked up at the sign that I'd been nudged to turn left on, and it was Surrender Avenue.
Jenna: Oh my gosh.
Jacob: It was Surrender Avenue. Yeah.
Jenna: Oh, wow. Was that your, was that one of your first experiences of that sort of like divine synchronicity, or like that sort of help coming through? Was that like your first big one?
Jacob: Um, I mean, I think I began to become more conscious of it. Then, then that began to make, help me realize how much I'd been guided along the way, you know?
Sinéad: Mm-hmm, <affirmative> cool. Yeah. Jenna and I have also had that experience <laugh>
Jenna: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like you kind of deny it, I think for a long time.
Jacob: <laugh> yeah. It helped that I lived in that, that house for almost three years and the whole time, every time - and I was going through really a lot of depression and, and really um, um, deconstructing everything and didn't know at all what was next -
and, and I like, I don't like to tell that part because people like things packaged up nicely again. But I do like to say it because people who are going through traumatic, um, experiences of transition sometimes think, oh, well, no one else has been here before, and I'm going through the darkest, scariest time of my life. And the truth is, um, the truth is we are, you can find others who have been through it. And, and I want you to know that if you are in a hard spot right now, if you can open yourself up to guidance, you, you will be led through this.
Jenna: Hmm. That's beautiful. Beautiful reminder. Yeah. I think, I think so often we, we stay in this place of control, right? Like we, like you were saying, you know, we've got this, this, this past where you, most, most people are in these jobs where there's just so much sense of needing to control because we're anxiety-ridden and a little fearful of the world around us, or whatever situation we're in, and giving up that control is hard.
Jacob: <laugh> oh my God. Yeah. The left, the left brain, the overdeveloped left brain. It, that's, we, we cling to the illusion of control harder, I think, than probably ever in human history. But I think we've always done that, you know, to some degree.
Sinéad: Yeah. Yeah. And of course we're learning more and more now - not that we've never known before, because so many wise teachers, leaders, over eons and then even people that are within our kind of era, have said that intuition is a form of wisdom and that it’s something we need to be listening to, right. That it informs our experience, our thinking and our emotions, just as much as all the left brain rational organizational stuff does. And that if we want to find, I guess, happiness, you know, I don't think that I personally feel like the quest for happiness is, is a quest. It's a journey. Like anything else. There is no arriving at an end point and being like, right. I made it. Okay, I'm happy now. Done. You know, that just doesn't happen. We're constantly working at it. We're constantly facing challenges and learning more how to address them and how to keep balance within them. And part of that is, I think, recognizing those parts of ourselves, you know, like really integrating with who we are and not, um, using external definitions of who we're supposed to be, to become who we think we're supposed to be, because it never, it never, ever, ever works. And also I'm fascinated too, by, you know, the fact that all three of us, although this is about you, Jacob, um, have, have had this inevitable pull towards what is, what is really true for us. You know what our passion is, what our heart really wants, what we can't live without essentially, right? Like we, can't not live like this. I think that all three of us have, would've ended up at this point, you know, sooner or later. And of course we always have a choice, but when it's that strong of a pull and when you're somebody who is sensitive, empathic, intuitive, as all three of us are, I feel like it really is inevitable. You know, it's a magnetic pull that we cannot really resist and sooner or later you have to start listening to it, that, of course you can make a choice if you continue to or not, but for me it feels like I, can't - kind of what you were saying, Jacob, about how this is not about being brave or being courageous or noble. This is about, I have to do this. I can't not do this. This is how I need to live. Even if it is bumpy, even if it's stressful, even if it's uncertain, we don't know what's gonna happen next, whatever's happening right now, we know that that is what we need to be doing right now. And we cannot be living that old way. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Jenna: So I'm curious Jacob, about your journey to like allow yourself to live your authentic self because I think to, to even make that transition, right, you have to have one of those moments that, that does kind of crack you open in some way to help you learn about who are you really, you know, underneath all of the, the success and the career and the things, you know, we think we're supposed to be doing, you know, what's that journey been like for you? ‘Cause I know for me, I didn't even know who I was for a long time. And it's only in recent years that I've figured that out.
Jacob: <laugh> yeah. I think some of the phrases like authentic self, anything that, anything that's conceptual, I think becomes a its own barrier in a lot of cases. Um, because we, we look out at leaders and people we admire or aspire to be like, and don't really know the journey they took. Um, all we see is, oh, they're doing this thing, you know, and that's partly why I'm willing to talk about these things. Now. I really want people who are, who are afraid of going in, um, to know that it’s ah, your story will not look like mine. Um, and the - what's in there is worth it. Like even, even having some (indistinct) I see authenticity and everything just splashed around so much and it gets, and begins to lose its, it begins to lose its potency, I think for a lot of people because it becomes again, it becomes an external goal. I wanna be more my authentic self <laugh>. Um, <laugh> uh, I love Dr. Eric Maisel, um, his take on this, he's a psychologist and just a brilliant writer, um, and leader. Um, I always felt like I'm talking to Yoda or something like that. When we have a, when we have a chat <laugh> he's 70- something years old and he's always just deeply in the middle of creating the next thing and writing the next book and wow. Uh, but he, he and I were talking recently about these things and he said, yeah, I feel like there are three, there are three versions.
There's the original self, original personality is how he called it. And he said, you know, we don't, we, we have an idea that the original self is this Tabula Rasa sort of blank slate. And, and then we get conditioned. He said that we now, we know better through epigenetics and a variety of things, that we show up with a certain level of wiring. And then we're very, very quickly conditioned, um, through socialization, through traumatic experiences, through our environment, um, before that self, the original self even knew its own name, it starts to internalize, metabolize the messages coming in from all around saying, this is who you are. This is how you must be. And definitely, this is how you must not be. And so, so the, the original personality, the formed personality, that's the one we're talking about. And then the potential personality or the available personality is what he calls it. And he said, you know, we, we, we, we wake up at some point in life in this formed personality and we go, this does not feel right. But we don't really know where to go from there because he said, you know, we're always looking back at the original self, the natural self, through the lens of what we've become. And so he said, it's really hard sometimes. So sometimes people go on this quest to become their authentic self, their original self, and that can, uh, that can go through a lot of very confusing and frustrating versions, usually by trying to model other people we think are being more authentic than we are, you know?
Sinéad: Yes. <laugh>. Yes. Yeah. So speaking of which, um, you know, modeling on other people, I wanna kind of pivot on that point a little bit to ask you, because really what we're here to talk about with you today is your journey and your journey towards creating creativity and then how creativity is now, I, I believe the key in your life, right? The key to what you're doing professionally, the key to the, in the environments that you're building for other people to, to gather and to be creative together… You are so, so good at that. I was telling Jenna about that before we came on and started recording with you. Um, and so I wanna bring it back to your creativity. So who was it that helped you, you know, who were the people in terms of role models or, or influences or people who inspired you, whatever, once you started making this transition and taking this leap and surrendering and changing your life, who was it that made you go, I wanna do what they're doing, or this person's voice really speaks to me, or this makes me feel something that makes me feel alive. Like, who was it that you were drawing from, that helped you with that?
Jacob: Yeah, well, so many - I've been a reader all my life, and that was one of my earliest dreams that I actually put out there at 10 years old, told my parents, um, I wanna be a writer. And, um, they were very supportive, you know, um, they, they just, they, they both, like a lot of people's stories, um, my parents did so many things wrong, but oh my God, they did the right thing there. They said, that's great. We know you can do it. And now it's time to brush your teeth and go to bed. Um, and so, um, but I promptly forgot that, you know, oldest child and, and achiever and all these things, I felt like I needed to dive right into, um, professional life and, you know, creating, I, I felt like if I could, uh, build up enough money, then eventually I could become this early dream that I had. And here I was in Austin, and I had eventually found a part-time job, eventually had three part-time jobs. And I was sitting in this warehouse, um, and it was a government warehouse of old records. And I would sit there sometimes for hours waiting between orders for me to go find a box and put it in the back of my Honda and drive it back to the main office. So a lot of times I like to say the, the warehouse was, uh, it was so lonely that even the spiders got depressed and, and went away. I mean, it was just me and there was a dusty, old couch and I, and so, and I was feeling, uh, useless and, um, I mean, really just sidelined. Like I will never find the next thing. And I don't, I don't know if I will ever find my optimism or ambition again, I don't know if I'll ever have a real dream that I could connect to again. And I remember being tapped on the shoulder, um, um, at that point, and the question was, do you wanna waste - you've been waiting all your life for the time to write. And do you want to - here, here, you have time. Do you wanna waste that? Um, and just, and really just sit, in, in what you're sitting in? And, and it didn't come out as a, like, scolding question at all. It came out as a choice and I'm like, I, oh, I have a choice right now. And again, I was broke and scared and, um, depressed and all these things at the time. Um, but that was one of those early, hey, you always have a choice, um, moments. And that was also when I began reading Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, and I was reading Eric Frohm, and the, the Eastern mystics and so many things I, I had time for suddenly that I'd never had time for before. Um, but I, I, my father had given me a copy of The Artist's Way before I left, uh, Boise. And he was very much in his own way, a stuck creative, fine, fine craftsperson and made violins. He made the violin that I play now. And so he was this amazing artist, but he had never really felt like he had taken it to the world in the way that he wanted to. Um, so he said, I think this book will help you. And, and he said, I, I want it back someday. And so I began reading The Artist's Way in that, in that warehouse and began journaling there. And that was really what began to kind of be this golden thread, they would just tug on a little bit every day. And it became, it became this vital practice, um, really a lifeline. And, um, that was where I began this really deep dialogue with, with the inner self and with the universe, um, with guides. And that was surprising to me often. I began having experiences of intuitive dialogue back and forth, and they would go on for days sometimes, you know, day after day, I'd come back to it.
And I began to discover that there was guidance available to me. Now, unlike a lot of people, I don't have embodied, um, visions of, of a guide team or, um, I don't hear things audibly. I had one, one person show up in my life eventually who helped me understand the “clairs” a little better. They said, oh, no, you have clair, um, clairsentience, you, you are very clear, things come into you, but you don't have the audible or the visual experiences that some other people do, but they said, you'll learn to trust that in ah, or, um, over time. And so that, so that's where I began to write my first book, The Divine Arsonist, in that warehouse. And, um, I wrote a lot of it sitting there. Um, but one thing I wanna be clear about Sinéad is that I think the greatest misconception we have about creativity is that we're gonna go someplace and be creative. Um, whether that's a corner of our house or a retreat or. Or that creativity is, is some activities we do. Like I, oh, you found your creativity and you started writing books, and now you have this professional creative life. And I feel like to me, the, the original self is creativity. Your soul is creativity. So the spark of your soul, and I'm speaking to all of us here, the spark of our soul that brought us here before we knew our own name, that is the essence of the creative impulse in the universe. You are an expression of the divine in that way. And that, that means that every step you take back towards yourself is a step you take back towards your creative expression of your life, through you as you.
Jenna: Wow. I love that. I, that rings so true for me. I, I felt a creative block for years. Like just nothing flowed out of me, right? Because I hadn't really connected with, with my soul. I'm curious if you have any advice for, you know, our community, our listeners on that, that kind of process you go through. Once you are starting to create, you know, you're in that flow. If it's starting to happen, you have, have something coming out of you now, you know, that's different than before, but then it's time to present it to the world. It's time to present it to someone. And that, that moment can be really terrifying, too, almost as terrifying as, you know, whatever leap it took to, you know, become your, your true self. And what was that like for you? You know, what sort of advice do you have for people who are in, in that stage?
Sinéad: No pressure, Jacob.
Jacob: Yeah, no, mostly, mostly slow down. Um, mostly slow down. I've watched so many people around me… Well, and during that time, I'm, and please feel free to interrupt me and, and bring me back if, if I don't answer your question, Jenna, um, and Sinéad knows how to interrupt me also. So please feel free, because these things start happening. Um, during that time in the spring of 2010, I got an email - somehow I was on somebody's list - um, and it was this opportunity to join the next top author competition - next top spiritual author competition <laugh> which I thought the, the word spiritual and competition were a kind of funny, uh, juxtaposition, but, but I, but I felt very excited about it. And I had, I had written about a third of my manuscript and I'm like, I don't think I'm ready for this. And I feel like now I'm probably answering a bit of your question, Jenna, um, I don't feel like I'm ready for this. Um, I certainly hadn't presented myself to the social media world or, you know, my own circles as a writer or anything like that. But, um, I remember driving down - those who have lived in Austin will know this MoPac, it's this big highway on one side of the city. And I was driving down that, listening on the phone to this conference call they were having with all the potential contestants. And I heard this guy named Randy Davila come on the phone. And I, I remember there was this great big, full moon in the sky. And I pulled over, uh, cuz I didn't want to go into a dead area or whatever. I pulled over on the side of the road to, to listen to this conference call and something said, you're gonna work, you're gonna work with this Randy Davila. And I'm like, okay, okay, interesting. Uh, and at the time I'm like, well maybe that means all, when this contest, because the prize was that Hampton Roads Publishing - who published, uh, Conversations With God and a bunch of very famous, um, spiritual books - was putting on - and Randy owned Hampton Roads -
um, he, they were gonna offer a publishing contract to, to the winner of this contest. So that was interesting. And I began participating in the contest and that actually led me to begin sharing, cuz part of that contest, oh my God was sharing bits of, of the writing with social media and trying to get people to, to vote. And, and really, so it was really kind of a popularity contest. I looked back at it as like, I would never do that again. I would never enter that again. <laugh> But at the, but at the time it was perfect for me and it really, it really led me out of my shell and, and the coming, willing to even say I'm a writer was a huge step and scary, but there was this tug that said, no, something, something is good. Something is important about this, this desire, this tug, this opportunity. And so, um, I certainly didn't win the contest, but I shipped a copy of the manuscript, when I finished it, to Randy Davila. He didn't know me at that point from, from Adam, uh, or Eve, or anybody. And, um, I shipped him, I, I went and bought this leather binder and I printed the whole thing and I wrapped it in gold paper with a red ribbon and I shipped it to him and, and he later told me, he was like, that was a bold move man, uh, but he's like, but he said, I'm not gonna publish the, this book. This is not one of our kind of books, but, but, but thank you for sharing it with me. And so I self-published that one eventually. Um, and by the way, I want to - anybody who's listening without resources - I mean, I self-published this book on nickels and dimes. I mean, I traded stuff with, with an editor I had met on Twitter, and she did the editing on it, and I, I scraped together money here and there to, you know, get it formatted, and publish it through Amazon self-publishing. Um, and so we're talking about the really ragged version of - a lot of people will come to their creativity, um, to what they want to, to work on and express, and they have a lot more resources and - I actually just finished listening for about the fifth time to David Whyte's, um, program on Audible called, um, What to Remember When Waking and I would, I would invite everyone who's going through the process of a transition, going through this question of how do I step into what's next for me, that is such an incredible program. And please, please listen to it on Audible, cuz he's sitting there talking, he's not reading. I feel like David White is talking right to just, just you. Um, but he talks about how it was for him to step into becoming a poet and to own that, because he had this professional career before, and he had, you know, he said, I, I was the head of a household with small children at home and he said, I had to step into what seemed like a, an insane career. Like nobody pays poets anything, you know? And so he, he said, I felt like I was doing what was completely crazy. And, and, and yet I knew I had to do it. And he said, I had to trust. And he said, he said, sometimes too much money, too much time. He said, we all believe that we need the perfect studio, the perfect, you know, the right amount, amount of money for advertising, all these things. Um, and he said, really, you don't need very much, you don't need much money. You don't need much time. Stephen King wrote his first breakthrough novel in 15 minute breaks at the laundromat where he was working, you know, and, and I wrote my first novel on breaks between box orders, in a warehouse.
And I, I like to share that because it doesn't need to be romanticized, but I think it's important for people who feel like, I can't get there because of the obligations in my life.
‘Cause of the things that I have going on because I don't have enough money. I want to encourage you to start, take the step forward. And the reason I said slow down earlier, is because I watched so many people around me in the spiritual author competition, freeze frame their growth, and begin to take the, um, begin to feel very urgent about creating a personal brand about being the…
Jenna: the guru <laugh>.
Jacob: Yeah. And, and they, they really had, and I watched many of them stop short, and I say that gently, cause I don't wanna sound judgmental about it, but I watched many of them probably not be able to keep going, to keep growing into more of that, because they, they felt like they needed to put it under financial pressure and it needed to become, quote, successful. So, so many of the same things that we feel pressured by - or are stymied by, in, you know, the normal commercial world, in which most of us work - can happen very quickly when we step too, too quickly across the line into putting it under - people have come to me as a guide and have said, okay, I wanna quit my job and write full time. And I'm like, wait a minute. <laugh> You have, do you have enough money to live on? Do you have, you know, and, and they're like, wait, I thought you were the guy who would say, go do something radical. I'm like, no, definitely go do something radical, but also have you ever written anything? Oh, well, no, I'm just gonna start doing it. Oh my God. <laugh>
Jenna: like, there needs to be like, a little bit of a plan. Some sort of plan.
Jacob: Some sort of bridge would be good, but it doesn't have to be much. Like I, I said, listen, it's fine if you wanna radically change your life, but you don't know what to do with 12 hours in a day. Right now, that's not filled with other work. You're not going to write for 12 hours, um, or whatever it is, paint or whatever these other things are. You're not going to do that because you're not accustomed to it yet. And so honestly, if you are, you are willing to go work at a coffee shop, um, if you can rearrange your life so you don't need as much money, that's wonderful. But, but also then give yourself a way to keep connected with the world. Um, you'll find that being in the melting pot out there is really valuable - and take care of the part of your mind that is scared about money. Oh my God. Don't, don't say that that's foolish or weak or anything. Like, your body needs to live, and most of us like to live in houses, and most of us like to eat actual food, you know, <laugh>
Jenna: You know, those are necessities, the necessities of life.
Jacob: <laugh> I know we're just these weak creatures that need those things, but the fact is we're living in this body for a reason. So <laugh>
Sinéad: Yes, yes, yes. And we all like real food rather than pretend food.
Jacob: You know, that's always, I mean, I guess the people who are, uh, breath, breatharians, learned how to live on almost no food for years. I, I'm still kind of fascinated by that. Not, not that I wanna try it, but, but it sounds interesting, you know?
Jenna: Yeah. Sinéad and I have talked about that. We enjoy, we enjoy good food.
Sinéad: We do. We plan on doing a lot of eating - I'm going to visit Jenna for three weeks on Tuesday. I'm in Toronto, and she's in Sedona. So I'm going to visit her for three weeks, and part of it is gonna be eating. That's what we're definitely looking forward to is, you know - really good food though. Like medicinal food, you know, I mean actual food.
Jacob: Yeah, yeah.
Sinéad: Food food, you know, not Kleenex food, like Wonderbread or something like that.
Jenna: Yeah. It can be nourishing for your body and your mind. Right. Some food is for mental health reasons.
Jacob: Yes. Well, I was, I was born in a, in a, in a Taurus body, um, with Sagittarius rising. And so there's just way too much, way too much - like I, it just wouldn't work for me not to have good food around at some point, you know, I can do that.
Sinéad: I didn’t think that was a Taurus thing. I had no idea that was a Taurus thing! That's a Taurus thing? Can you explain that?
Jacob: Oh yes, we are very sensual creatures. We want snacks, and good clothing and, you know, yeah. And that was actually, it's so funny like - to me, part of the self discovery that can lead us back to the original self more, is not denying who we are, not denying how we show up. You know, there are some people who are very built to be very, austere, very simple, um, very retiring. And even though I'm a tremendous introvert and need a lot of space around me, um, I have aspects of my, of myself, of my personality that really need to also go and be in community with people. Um, and so that's what eventually led me to understand better about, there's this process. And I hadn't ever heard it articulated, but there's this process of self discovery. And so you're, we're talking now to each other and also to people who are maybe curious about, how do I even start the process, you know, of coming more into alignment with who I really am. Of creating a life that reflects that, you know, and that is happier. Um, and I think self discovery is really such a first step and it can take so many different, it can take so many different, um, ways, entrance points, but I love, um, I love things like personality assessments, like the Myers-Briggs and anagrams and astrology and strengths finder.
I love all of them, I’m kind of a geek in that way. People don't have to necessarily geek all the way out on it, but I find that just asking the question, who am I, um, is so powerful. And also so years and years and years after all of these things we've been talking about happened, um, by now I'm, you know, I've been teaching, I've been working and writing. I was working on my third book and I went and I said, I'm exhausted. I'm just physically a mess. And I went and saw this Asian medical practitioner in our town here, Boise. And, um, she had me on her table and she does this Amma massage and was checking all, doing the, the whole, the holistic Asian practice and checking all my pulses. And she was just kind of gently working away and said, um, wow, you really hold a lot of, of, of grief, don't you? And I'm like, she hadn't ever met me before. And all the, of a sudden I had tears running down my face. I'm like, wow, what, what is, wow. I mean, I wouldn't have thought that, but something rang true. And, and I said, how did, how would you know that? And she said, oh, it's just all here in your body. Your body tells me.
Sinéad: mm-hmm <affirmative>
Jacob: and she was working on me, and, and later, later she said, I, you know, I'd love it if you'd start journaling with these three questions, um, who am I? Why am I here?
And, how shall I live? <laugh> I started laughing. I'm like, <laugh> those like, verbatim, those have been the questions that have operated in my life for a decade now, or almost a decade. And she's like, well, that's good. But maybe you've been allowing them to stay too conceptual, too philosophical. She's like, sages and philosophers spend lifetimes trying to answer those, on a very big existential level. She said, why don't you bring it down to the ground by saying, who am I right now? She said, sometimes it helps me just to make a list of the different roles I play in life. I'm a practitioner of Asian medicine in Boise, Idaho. I'm a 42 year old woman. I have children at home. And I'm like, oh, that was kind of revolutionary because it did bring that big question all the way down to the ground. She's like, you know, if you answer very simply, who am I right now? Not who am I as a cosmic being and boundless soul and all this, who am I right this minute touching the ground. And that was very helpful for me because I began to go, well, I have three children still at home, they're teenagers, and they need to be provided for. And I’m, you know, at the time, a 42 year old man or whatever I was then, and, and she said, what this will help you do is become present in your purpose at the moment.
Sinéad: Mm-hmm <affirmative>
Jacob: at the moment, not in this great 30,000 or a hundred thousand feet above the ground sense of cosmic boundless potential. But right, this minute you are touching the ground in this way. And that will also indicate how shall I live. You can begin rearranging your life around things, and you can ask yourself as a father, how shall I live right now? Which might mean that I need to keep a job a little longer than I thought that I did right now, not forever, right now as a, um, writer, who am I right now? Um, and so I found those things to be so grounding for those great cosmic asset questions. Um, who am I, how should I live? And, um, who am I, why am I here? And how should I live? Why I’m here right now. Now it's changed ladies, I mean, my children are, are all in their twenties. And my oldest just got engaged like two days ago. Um, he's 25. It's astonishing that he made it through my care and lived <laugh>
Jenna: Congratulations on both counts. Congrats.
Jacob: No, I'm so excited for him. Uh, and, and, um, so my life has changed now. So if I ask those questions again, I get to answer differently. Who am I right now? Oh, I'm a, I'm a father, but I'm no longer a caregiver.
Sinéad: Um, yeah. And I feel like - Oh my God, you're, you're, you're, you're making me think of so many things that I wanna respond to, but I'm not gonna talk too much. So mainly I wanna talk about how -
Jacob: I've been talking forever. You talk for a while. <laugh>
Sinéad: Well, this is about you. And I really want to share you with our audience, Jacob, because I just think, uh, you know, I resonate personally so much with what you do, and your voice, and your approach, and, you know, your authenticity and vulnerability and transparency, just all the things that you're bringing to the conversation right now. So it's really important to me that other people find out about you. I want other people to, to know about you because I think you're doing something that's really, you know, powerful and, and special and important. And your ability to create community is just astounding. I've never seen anything like it, honestly, because there's a lot of gatherings online, you know, during COVID, that's what, we're all kind of doing, what we have all been doing, but it's, it's not the same thing when I go to your gatherings. There's a very real, it's almost like we're that much more together. You know, it feels more like we're actually in a room or space together because the energy is very potent. You have gatherings of creatives. I want people to know about that. And there's such wonderful people that come together with so much heart, you know, and this is, this, the feeling of this conversation is I think the feeling of those gatherings, right. So anyway, I could, I could rhapsodize on about that, but I wanna just go back to what you were talking about because the - two things. There's, there's one thing I'm gonna briefly mention, you were touching on, uh, people that, you know, in the spiritual community who have kind of stopped growing, right. And that's something Jenna and I - I have no problem saying that there are, there are a lot of people out there who, who are saying, I know it all, I have the answer, come to me, I have figured it out. I have no problem saying that. I think that we need to say that, you know, I think it's important to say that because we wanna help people get to, you know, a place that is right for them.
And we are still learning. Like we're still on our journey. We're not people who have arrived. And I don't think I'm ever going to “arrive”. I think that, you know, we are far too attached - this is something I've said a lot, and I feel so firmly, clearly about this - we are so attached to answers. We're so attached to, as Jenna was saying control, right. And having an answer is having control. Right. Then we feel like, okay, I've got this all neatly tied up and I've got it in the right category, in the right box. Okay. So now I can close that door. I know exactly where it is. I'm gonna lock it. And I'm gonna move on to the next thing, right? There's this feeling of sort of, lining up all these organized boxes in our lives. But it shuts off so much possibility. And one of those possibilities is growth and, you know, transformation and change, which is what Jenna and I believe life is about. You know, and you do too. I heard you saying that we are in this body, you know, this is a body we currently have. This is a body we are currently living in, but we, what makes us us, is eternal. It is ongoing and it's forever learning and changing and growing. So creativity is a very, very big part of that. And to me, I've learned through my work with you and learning from you and listening to your voice is that, you know, creativity and spirituality really are quite similar, if not the same thing. So often people can have a creative practice, which, um, I heard you saying earlier, you know, we often treat that as a kind of separate thing. Like I'm going to the gym for an hour, or three times a, a week. That's separate from the rest of my life at home. And my spiritual practice is separate from this, and from my work life, where I can't really show who I am, and, you know, we kind of compartmentalize, but the three of us here really wanna live a life that's very integrated, right? We wanna have all these things come together and see the wholeness, and see how the duality that we experience in this dimension, in this reality, whatever you want to call it, is something that is a whole state, is a, a holistic state, right? They, the good and bad, so called, exist in symbiosis with each other. They cannot exist without each other. Therefore, each one is a teacher, right? So creativity can be really damn hard. It can also be really transformative and amazing. And, you know, um, you're in the creative flow. You're, you're letting your deepest intuition speak. All these incredible things can happen, but it is an ongoing journey. And I know you yourself go through that, right? The ebbs and flows, the ups and downs, and the ins and outs of having chosen a life that you are, uh, you know, that is not so tightly structured as it was before. And doesn't have as much guarantees, right? Jenna and I are in that place with you too. So if we go back to the power of creativity, the power of spiritual practice, the power of, of what power - those things bring into our lives, right. To help us develop and help us create a strong foundation beneath us to be able to grow and change and have more security, I guess, in that experience of fluidity, right? Creativity is so, so, so powerful. And it's something that is a central force in your life. And so I was wondering if you could talk a bit more about that because I loved, I love what you said about it being the original self, you know, that's the true original, universal self that is eternal. Can you talk a bit more about that? Go into that, like let your maybe creative voice, your, uh, intuitive voice come out.
Jacob: Yeah. So it's so interesting. Like if we were able to express without hindrance from the original self, we wouldn't probably be on this planet. Um, and I think that, that a lot of people feel like if I can ever get to a place where I'm in the flow, like, you know, and just name, name, actually, let's, let's, let's do this with your listeners. This will be fun exercise. So what I want you to do is grab a piece of paper, or crayon on the wall, or what, whatever, and just pick your - and I'll just ask you and Jenna to do this right now, too, for fun. Um, who's, who's somebody you'd consider to be a creative idol of yours, somebody who just for whatever reason, it can be their appearance, their presentation, their work, everything, or all of those things. Um, I'll and I'll tell you who mine is. Um, so mine is Neil Gaiman, um, incredible writer, and he's so generous of spirit and flamboyant, but also grounded. And he's so kind to people. I see him on Tumblr answering people's sometimes, what seem like really silly questions, but he answers them very gently and kindly, and he's this incredible creator of, of magical worlds and books and TV shows and everything. Um, okay. So I just gave you my example. So, um, when I, when I said that, who, who, who would you either of you consider both of you consider a creative idol.
Jenna: One that comes to mind for me is Radhi Devlukia. She's the wife of Jay Shetty, and she expresses her heart in this just, joyful and abundant way to the world. And, and, and so much of what she shares is about nourishing herself and her soul and, and, and bringing like those moments of joy into as many aspects of our day as possible. And I just, when I see how she creates and expresses herself, it just inspires me and fills me with joy. You know, I get this like, burst of energy by watching her create. And that to me is like, that like sets the bar, you know.
Jacob: <laugh>, that's awesome. You, and you actually answered all the questions I was getting ready to follow up. How do you feel when you, when you watch her, you know, her create and you said that. That's amazing. All right. Sinéad, what about you?
Sinéad: <laugh> oh, gosh, I've got three that come to mind. Um, Haruki Murakami, who's one of my favorite authors. He just really pushes boundaries with what he writes about. It's very kind of, uh, it's not science fiction. It's something else. It's just on another level. I, I find it lets my mind really expand. Um, Michaela Coel, who is a young woman in the UK who's doing really, she's an actor, director, writer, um, unbelievable creative, just mind blowing. And she had a show called I May Destroy You, which is out right now, has been for a while. It just blew my mind. And Frida Kahlo.
Jacob: Oh yeah. Yeah. All right. So Frida Kahlo. What are some things you admire about her?
Sinéad: Um, I love that she brings a lot of different elements into her work, and she also uses herself almost as a piece of art, like her own personal transition and her own personal story. She made that very vulnerable and transparent to people. Uh, you know, just who she hung out with. Like she wasn't putting herself on display. She was in a very creative, artistic community, but she, she was so original, you know, she was such a, a, um, a standout voice and a standout presence, even though she was a tiny person, I think she was only four foot nine or five foot one or something like that. And she had a physical disability and she was in pain a lot of the time. So she could have been very reclusive, but she had this fire, you know, she just had this fire and this power and this, um, I want - not anger exactly…. um, she did have a lot of anger and pain in her life. You know, she was cheated on relentlessly by her husband, as we all know.
And she was madly in love with him until the day he died. Um, but at the same time, she, you know, she knew how to channel those feelings. I think she knew how to use, like you were alluding earlier Jacob - to the cosmic self and the, um, the grounded self, you know, who I, who am I now on the ground? What are the sort of bare details of who I am? And I feel like she encapsulated both, the kind of expanded cosmic self, the abstract self, and then also the real self as in a body that experiences pain and, you know, goes through trials and tribulations in life. So I feel like she's incredibly inspiring because she took all her life force energy and used it. That's how I feel.
Jacob: Oh, you're gonna love this next part. <laugh> all right. Before, before I spring the, spring the lid here, I just want everybody who’s hopefully been following along and doing this, uh, because what I'm gonna say next is a little bit like you won't be able to un-hear it once you've heard it. <laugh> um, so hopefully you've written down your creative idol and, and some of the characteristics as you've been hearing Jenna and Sinéad do here. My God, I love this so much. Okay. So, so <laugh> get ready for this.
Jenna: What's about to happen?
Jacob: <laugh> what's about to happen? We’re gonna do some magic here. Okay. So what, so what you just, what we all just did, all three of us and hopefully everyone listening, we just, we just created a composite mirror image of the characteristics we have in ourselves. Everything we admire about these creative idols. I love doing this in groups and watching people like holy s**t. Um, and it's really, you go back to the union work, um, Robert A. Johnson wrote the book, the little tiny book, um, Inner Gold. And he talks about the process we have of, this is why we need teachers. This is the actual role of a teacher, of a role model in our life, is we hand them our gold. We hand them our admiration. We hand them our, um, willingness to try things. We hand - and we, and we look at them as above us and beyond us in ways. and what we are actually doing, it's it's projection, and it's transference. We're handing them the gold in ourselves, our own gold, we're handing them. And, and that's actually a very legit, it like, that's a very legitimate role. It, um, we hand these people our gold, and what's interesting is if we're willing to, through that psychological process, if we're willing to then keep following, keep trying. Um, then what happens is we become, eventually, ready to have our gold back. We, we become eventually ready to, to receive our gold back so we can carry it and, and exhibit those things ourselves. But I love doing this because we can talk about the concepts of projection and transference all we want, but this is an actual expression of it. Um, and so what happens is, and this is not to say that everyone who just wrote down their creative idol needs to try to take all their gold back all at once. Cuz it's too heavy for us. We can't carry it yet. We're not ready for that. And so being able to step in though a little bit more and go, oh, those things that Jenna, you said about Jay Shetty’s wife and Sinéad about Frida Kahlo, and these other ones, those things are the, the un, as yet unlived potentials that we carry in ourself. It is not just for those other people. And I love this part, our deep psyche selects those people. And I love doing this, this practice with people and helping them understand what we just did is you actually allowed, we allowed our intuitions to choose a, a role model to choose a figure outside of ourselves, to help us get a reflection of what's possible for us and not in, not in Neil Gaiman's way or Jay Shetty’s wife's way or Frida Kahlo’s way, but in our, in our way. And the reflection is back to us, saying your true self holds the potentials, these things that you selected. Somebody else Sinéad might pick, um, Thich Nhat Hanh, because he's so peaceful. Well, you're this passionate person who wants to, with all this fire, like you, you chose that role model from your inner self. Yeah. Because that, those are the values that you hold. Those are the, the potentials you want to live.
Sinéad: Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like Jenna also chose her person. I mean, Jenna’s a big book nerd. Um, she loves books and is constantly reading them. I am too, but not nearly as much. So I look up to her that way. <laugh>
Jenna: Are you calling me more of a nerd?
Sinéad: <laugh> we're definitely co-nerds and proud of it.
Jacob: That's certainly not a, uh, that's certainly not a pejorative in this group.
Jenna: I, I wear it proudly. I wear, wear that badge proudly.
Jacob: <laugh> it's it's the year, the rise of the nerd is in full swing at this point, I think.
Jenna: Agreed. Agreed. And Sinéad I talk a lot about how, like weird is the new normal. Nerdy weird. It's all the new normal <laugh>.
Jacob: Yeah. Well that might be a fun time to read Blessed Are The Weird, uh -
Sinéad: It would indeed, and let, let's just pause while you get that.
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Sinéad: So Jacob, you were just about to read a really, really, really pivotal poem. Maybe you can do a little introduction of it before you read it for our audience. I think this is gonna make an impact.
Jacob: Well, yeah, thank you. Uh, you know, it was interesting. During that period of time, this was in Austin, this was in 2012. So that was this deep period of self discovery of, of letting go of what was not really me. And, you know, during that time, Jenna, I began to acknowledge the deep sense of otherness that I'd always carried with me in my life and how hard that I had tried to conform and play the game the right way, and I just never fit in, I never fit in. And um, I remember driving down MoPac at one point the freeway or yeah, and I had, I had this sudden flow of words and I pulled over and found a, a envelope under the seat and wrote it on the back of an envelope. That is literally the, the, the true story of this. Um, and here's what came out and, and then it, then it turned into a longer piece. But the first piece of it came out: Blessed are the weird people, the poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters, and troubadours, for they teach us to see the world through different eyes. Blessed are the weird people, poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters, and troubadors, for they teach us to see the world through different eyes. Blessed are those who embrace the intensity of life's pain and pleasure, for they shall be rewarded with uncommon ecstasy. Blessed are ye who see beauty and ugliness, for you shall transform our vision of how the world might be. Blessed are the bold and whimsical, for their imagination shatters ancient boundaries of fear for us all. Blessed are ye who are mocked for unbridled expressions of love in all its forms, because your kind of crazy is exactly that freedom for which the world is unconsciously begging. Blessed are those who have endured breaking by life for they are the resplendent tracks through which the light shines. And I shared that first part of it, um, on social media later that day. And I had written and tried to share other things before, and they, you know, they got this or, um, kind of reception and that one just went f*****g bunkers immediately. It just went crazy. And I had never seen anything like it and it, it got shared thousands, and tens of thousands of people made different versions and it just, and Prince, The Artist, shared it on his page at one point and it just got, it went way beyond anything I'd ever experienced before. And, um, I began to feel very strongly that, that I, I was the custodian of an idea. And it's been interesting to watch how much the word weird - and especially eventually I wrote the book Blessed Are the Weird, um, to expand on, on the idea more and let it sort of come out of my heart, like what it meant. And the word weird, I didn't know this at the time until I started writing the book, went back to ancient W Y R D weird and it, and it had, it had ancient Norse roots. Um, and it went back to the tree of life. I mean, it, I, I had no idea and I've had this experience over and over again, writing where something moved me and I began to write about it and I didn't even know where it was coming from. And then eventually, you know, cause I am, I like to go and find out where things are attached, you know, and would find out, oh my God, you somehow touched. I somehow was being moved by, or being touched by something that had really old archetypal roots. And there were things happening that I was not aware of, and couldn't have been aware of on a conscious level, but part of the, part of what I want to share about that poem and what was going on in my life at the time was this tremendous sense of otherness. And what happened after that very quickly was I began to find that so many people, um, related to that sense of being misfits, of being outside, of being rejected. And, um, that began to reflect back to me that I actually wasn't alone, isolated in the world. There were so many others like me. And what's interesting is we talked earlier about continuing to grow. And so for me, the first book and the second also were part of the process of self discovery and the, the next, it's not a linear phase, but part of what happens naturally through saying, this is, oh, there I am. Self discovery. This is who I am. There are bits and pieces of this mosaic that don't show up in order or at the same time, but little bits and pieces show up and begin to reflect back, oh, there I am. That's what I love, that's what I'm drawn to. And then what happens is, this self acceptance began to happen. And that's another phrase that gets tossed around. Like, self-love, it just loses its meaning for a lot of people, or it becomes a goal. If I can just get the self acceptance - and they try to accept themselves over the top of unprocessed trauma and, and of, of things that they haven't been able to really look at. So this is why I said earlier, slow down, slow down. Um, because you are born with a pattern. Um, each of us is born with a code. I like to use the metaphor of an acorn born with a code of an oak tree inside of it. Each of us is born with a code of who we really are inside of us as a, as a seed, you know, and as we crack open and begin to grow, if an oak tree were a human, it would grow up and stick its little old top out of the ground, a few inches. And it would look around and begin to compare itself immediately to the pine tree and the apple tree and the bamboo over there and the birch. And it would start to go immediately neurotic and crazy. It would start to try to become all those other things that it wasn't. Um, and if it grew up over time, it would bend itself and try to straighten itself in ways that weren't natural for it.
But if some, if some wise to I'd come along, maybe, maybe a raven and say little oak tree, all you have to do - transformation is nothing more than becoming more of who you really are. Transformation is not becoming the f*****g apple tree over there <laugh>, that's not transformation. You're not meant to become Jay Shetty or Deepak Chopra or any of these idols you have. You're not meant to become them, understand they're reflecting your potential, but quit trying to be them. My God. And that's what the, the world of spirituality and gurus and all of this stuff has many of us running around crazy trying to become something we're not. And so that transformation process, if the oak tree, the little seedling could go, oh, all I need to do is remember and find out about what is in this code of the oak tree. What kind of oak tree am I meant to become? Um, and really thank goodness for trees because they don't have the pre-frontal cortex that tells, makes them crazy <laugh> and depressed and anxious about all the things they're not becoming. A tree just stands there and the roots go down more and it takes the available sunlight and the available water, um, rain water, and it takes all the nutrients in the soil that it, that it was planted in the, not some other place, not some perfect environment with the right amount of sun and rain and all the nutrients. It, it grows where it was actually planted and it becomes as much of an oak tree as it possibly can be in that, given those circumstances. And I just wanna say that each one of us has a code in us and the only transformation that's worth anything, the creative expression of our lives that's worth anything is to find out more about ourselves and become that. And that will be the purest, most powerful, most unique expression of creativity of your life. You are, each of us is our - the greatest creative project we will ever have is becoming ourselves.
Sinéad: Oh, I love that, I wanna kick it to you Jenna because he said remembering, and that's something that's really important to you and made me think of all the things that you and I have talked about with regard to your, your particular focus on remembering.
Jenna: Yeah. Yeah. First I just wanna say, Jacob, thank you for that poem. I had chills the entire time you were writing it and, and your, or, uh, kind of comment about that coming from somewhere else, right? Like you, you were channeling this remembrance, uh, you know, I, I felt that deeply in that moment and, and I, Sinéad was mentioning that we all have this ability to remember. And that's one of my passions is to talk about how we are just remembering who we really are as individuals, as a collective, as a civilization, who we once were, what we, you know, can be. And that's just an incredible process to go through allowing that remembrance to come through. And, and I just wanna reflect again on what you said about slowing down, because we can't remember, unless we slow down, that that slowing down is how the memory comes through.
Sinéad: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think, you know, we're all introverts as well, right? Like that really helps. We're, we're here on a podcast so obviously we're not that introverted, but, um, you know, Jenna and I talked about being introverted extroverts and the fact that we really need time alone. Like you, Jacob, like, I really need time alone. I need time in silence. I need time to just be with myself because so much happens. I could look like I'm just sitting on the couch doing nothing, but actually I'm sitting on the couch with a whole lot going on inside me. So yeah, it is a very active process, even when it, it appears to be passive. So, you know, if we just slow down and we stop and we be still for a minute, we can become aware of how much is really going on inside us all the time. And that's why meditating is so damn hard. I mean, you find, you can't just sit on the ground in a really pretty cross-legged pose with your hands in the right yoga position, and you're automatically meditating. Like it doesn't happen like that, you know, really takes practice. We're, we're kind of awkward with these things when we first start.
Jacob: Yeah. And be sure and take a, a selfie and put it on Instagram of yourself, meditating. And that's really important. I don’t know if you can meditate without doing that.
Jenna: As soon as you start too, as soon as you start <laugh>
Sinéad: And we have to wear the right yoga clothes.
Jacob: For sure. Yeah. And you need to be wearing Lululemon if at all possible <laugh> No, I, uh, yeah. And by the way, Jenna, since you love books so much, um, have you read Toko-pa Turner's book, um, um, uh, Belonging and the subtitle is Remembering Ourselves Home.
Jenna: No, I have not.
Jacob: Okay. That's that's about it. I try not to, I try not to say, tell people you have to read this book, but I will say that based on, you know, your comments about remembering it's, it's the, it's such a gorgeous, it's such a, she's a dream worker out of Canada, and she's really developed an amazing constellation of processes, but the book to me, it's one of those that, that I return to over and over again, because it, it is this gentle invitation to just remember who we really are.
Jenna: I love that.
Jacob: And the process of it, you know, the - you know, and I just wanna say too, that we've been - thank you for all the time today, it's fun to kind of go back over this entire mosaic and look at it again. But I just wanna say that, like, I look back, you know, I, when I moved back to Boise from Austin, um, my guides at the time, and I, I’m slowly coming outta the closet, even using that phrase, but at the time they asked me, do you wish to, cause I'd really been on sort of a renunciate path for a long time there for some years, really just not, um, not connecting to anything, ambitious or goal oriented. In fact, I didn't feel like, I didn't know if I ever would again, um, that it felt so toxic to me from, and had given me so much pain to be just chasing things, you know. And they asked me though, one day, do you, you're going back to the world now. This is the hero's journey. You're going back to the world. Um, do you, this is the choice and you need to make it consciously. Do you, do you want to re-engage with the, the world with people again, or do you wish to really go deeper? Uh, this is a fork in the road. Like you've been kind of paralleling it, now, now you need to choose between a really, a truly renunciate life, um, and, and holding space and just being an energy in the world that is not known and is not, um, not visible, but you're holding space and you're providing value, therefore, um, very simple and very peaceful, also safe <laugh> not, not engaging all in all of the things, the commerce and all, all the things that the pressures of the world, or do you want to go back and really engage in the world again? And, um, they said, don't answer that right now. Like really, before you answer, go and really be with yourself. And I can't remember maybe a day or two later, I felt like I had the answer and I went back and said, yeah, I, I, I know that I, that I want to, that I desire to, um, re-engage with the world. And they said, well, either choice is valid. This does, this does match who you are. Um, and just know that, just know that you're guided, just know that you're going to feel afraid. You're going to feel like you've lost your connection. You're going to feel like you've somehow gotten off track, but just know that literally every step from here on out is guided, has been, but we need you to hear this, like you're guided, you're gonna be provided for, um, you will find yourself doing meaningful work with, with people you are meant to connect with. And that was a great comfort. And I'm glad that it, it landed because down through the last, you know, 10 years, since then, there have been many times I felt lost and afraid. And like I had made a big mistake somewhere, but when I look back over it ev-everything, like I came back to Boise and I wish we had time to just talk about really miraculous experiences, um, that -
Sinéad: We’ll have you back, Jacob, we're gonna have you back.
Jacob: Well, it's just amazing. I mean, I look back at it and I'm, I'm sharing this partly, just to say, I want you to know, everyone listening, I want you to know that if you're feeling called beyond the limits of your life, um, I hope you've heard me say slow down, but also, but also trust, also trust that, that your desires, I feel strongly that, that our, our truest desires, not the ones that are at the surface level - things we've picked up along the way that aren't really ours, but the ones that won't leave you alone, the ones that, the ones that keep coming back, um, the ones that are hard to admit to perhaps, um, that you don't think you're good enough or, or talented enough or anything to ever possibly, you know, express, those are, uh, your soul. That's your soul's map. Like that's meant to guide you, your desires, the, the deep desires, um, are meant to guide you and learning to trust the process of that. And also learning to trust what doesn't seem like it's getting you closer to that. You know, I'm, it came back to Boise and Randy Davila, um, who I mentioned earlier, uh, about a year later, I had just gone through a divorce, I had no idea what I was, how I was gonna take care of my kids and all of that. And I remember asking for help. And about a week later, he called me out of the blue. We hadn't talked. And he offered me a job. And I stayed in that job for seven and a half years as his marketing director. And during that time I had, I worked from home. The whole time he's in San Antonio. I had this opportunity to connect with Don Miguel Ruiz and Byron Katie, and Greg Braden, and help produce things with them and, and learn a whole different kind of thing. And there was enough, it, it wasn't a super well paid position, but it was enough. It was plenty. And I had tremendous freedom and I wrote the next two books during that time with him. And, um, about a year ago, it was time for me to, to leave and start my own thing. And that was this, an enormously, um, intense process of taking another, yet another leap out from under this umbrella that had been such a safe place for me. But I wanna say during those seven and a half years working with Randy, there were so many times that my inner dialogue would, you know, the critic would jump in as like, you're not doing enough. You need to be, it's time for you to be out there doing this, um, on your own, you know, creating the next thing. And something said, it's not time yet. And when the time comes you'll know, and that is true. And I just wanna say that that kind of, it requires patience, and it requires, it requires the willingness to really listen to yourself, and really ask what is good for me right now, not what I think I should be doing. What is good for me right now? What's important? Because it's, it's in the stillness really, it's in creating space around those questions.
It's in asking the questions and then creating space around them, that the answers - and the answers are all in there, and the connection you have, the connection, each of us has to greater intelligence outside of our little ego minds. Um, all of the answers we need are there, and we can be guided into the most fulfilling, the most exciting life.
But the reason we don't is because we're afraid.
Sinéad: Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, we, you feel that need to control and say that we know, I know. I don't have to do this or that, but if we're willing to live in a space of, I don't know, then we can be open to so much more.
Jenna: Yeah. Trusting the process, surrendering, uh, Jacob, I want you to know how healing this conversation has been for me. You know, I, I have of just connected so deeply with so much of what you have shared about your journey, and that process that we go through on the hero's journey and, and all those scary moments and big moments and beautiful moments and, and <laugh>, and, and, and, and allowing it all, you know, to happen. And I just, I'm so honored and grateful that you've been here with us, and thanks for so openly and vulnerably and just all of you <laugh>, we love you.
Thank you for being with us. And I know you have a number of books that um, you've written, and maybe you can share a bit about your newest project with our audience, and we will link to all of Jacob's books and your website, jacobnordby.com, but please, please share what's coming up. What can people find from you soon?
Jacob: Oh, yeah. I’m probably like both of you. I always feel like I have too many things coming up, but, um, no, the, the one thing that is really coming together and I'm just so grateful for is called the Institute for Creative Living. And it's right now, it's online. Eventually we'll have a physical location in the, in the world. Um, but yeah, so you can go to instituteforcreativeliving.org, and I would invite everyone who wants to play with tuning into the inner self and developing a practice. Um, I have a gift on there. It's a, um, it's a, well, there's a visualization. Um, and then there's a very short ebook. That's asking the questions that I ask every single day in my journaling practice. Um, and for those of you who don't like journaling, or don't feel like you're good at it, um, that's awesome because I prefer to take away the word journaling anyway, and just say, this is a practice of listening to yourself, of tuning in. And so I have a very short process that, that people have found really helpful. And I, you know, it's one that I use every day, so you can get that on there for free.
Jenna: Cool, cool. Thanks Jacob. Thanks for offering that to, to our community. And like Sinéad said, we'll have to have you back on, this was super fun and there's so much more to talk about. It's so hard to fit it all into an hour.
Sinéad: We should have you back just to talk about mystical experiences so -
Jenna: Yeah, the synchronicities and signs and the guides, like that's a big experience for people, you know, when they start to have that.
Jacob: Well, and I love, I, I love the version that's come come for me, which has to be eventually, you know, tested. I think nothing, nothing that can't be doubted as hard as it can deserves to stand. Um, and so I love the fact that I'm not given embodied experiences of visuals and auditory things. You know, for me, it it's this, it, you know, it, these things happen and they are mystical and they are powerful. Um, but they seem to happen in, in, you know, pretty close to the ground for me. And so I, I love all the versions of that. Um, people who have those other gifts, I think it's amazing. Um, but I do find that people are able to - those who don't necessarily feel like they have all the firework kind of displays of those gifts, they're like, oh, okay. So maybe, maybe I should be listening a little bit more, even if I'm not seeing a, um, an, uh, an extra-terrestrial or something.
Jenna: <laugh>. Yeah. That was my experience for, for years, for sure. Yeah. Right. Yeah. <laugh>
Jacob: And I just wanna say, thank you, you two have created, um, a really cool space.
I mean, clearly I've, I've felt emotional and very open, so, um, thank you for creating the kind of space that would, that would welcome this sort of thing.
Sinéad: Well, I think I, you know, I'm really excited about introducing Jenna to you and listeners to you because, I just knew this was gonna happen. I think, you know, we, the three of us have a very compatible energy and that really helps immediately, right? As soon as you walk into a situation with other people who are kind of, you feel that you just feel the sensation of that vibration, and then that allows for openness and generosity, but it's also just so much of who you are, Jacob, and you know, why I appreciate you so much and what Jenna just said, we do love you. We want you to come back. This is really important to talk about, you know, and you bring, you bring a sort of tenderness and an authenticity, right, to what you're talking about, that is uncommon in men, uh, even in our field, but also not common in terms of how these things are spoken about. Right. There's a lot of, uh, it's just very important to Jenna and I to be grounded. Right. We really wanna be grounded, be discerning and yet, uh, expansive as well, right. Yeah. But it's important to have that groundedness within the expansiveness. Yeah.
Jacob: Well, thanks for having the courage to, to step into doing this. I'm, I'll love watching what, what happens from the work you two are doing.
Sinéad: Thanks. Yeah.
Jenna: Thanks Jacob. Yeah, the journey's just beginning, a new hero's journey for both of us.
Jacob: <laugh> oh God, good luck.
Jenna: Right, right. That's that's what we're saying too. <laugh> Seriously, thank you. And everyone check out Jacob's work, follow the links and the show notes. And thanks so much for being with us for this conversation. Don't forget to like subscribe, rate, review, all the things comment. Tell us what you thought were your favorite parts of this conversation. What rang true for you? Who are your people that you, uh, when you did that exercise with us, we wanna hear from y'all too. So thanks everyone for joining. And we’ll, we'll see you next time.