You Might Be Weird If You….

 

In 2012, Jacob Nordby spun out a poem that began:

Blessed are the Weird People–

poets, misfits, writers, mystics,

heretics, painters & troubadours–

for they teach us to see through different eyes…

debut-releaseThe poem became a clarion call for creative types who never felt they fit into “normal” society. Inspired by enthusiastic response to his message, Nordby formed his Blessed Weirdian Tribe and the website www.BlessedAreTheWeird.com. Now comes the book, Blessed are the Weird: A Manifesto for Creatives.

The book isn’t so much weird, as it is passionate, inspiring, occasionally profane, and definitely erudite. Jacob Nordby knows what it’s like to break the boundaries of a strict cultural structure. Raised in a cult-like Christian fundamental upbringing, he broke free to explore the inner regions of his creativity. 

The first half of the book gives those poets, misfits, writers, etc. their own chapters. Nordby’s sharp and educated mind shines through as he quotes brilliant weird people of the past and gives us insights into their creative souls. The second half goes into the qualities of creativity itself and proclaims liberation from the constrictions of conformity.

The message of creative liberation resonated in my weird soul. As I read along, I often thought–yes, that’s me!

Jacob Nordby’s book encourages creative types to break the molds, blast the icons, and tear apart societal norms. It’s a joyful, passionate plea for soul liberation. Read the book and join the tribe.

It’s great being a Blessed Weirdian.

Available at Amazon and most major online retailers

Jacob Nordby

Jacob Nordby

Jacob Nordby is an award winning novelist, essayist, and podcast host. He leads a worldwide conversation on social media via his Facebook author page and Blessed Are the Weird community page. He is the founder and teacher of the Creative UnBootcamp online course for writers (and those who want to be), and founder of the indie press Manifesto Publishing House. He is currently at work on two new novels.

What It Really Means to Be An American

jacob-nordby-author-speaker-coach  by Jacob Nordby

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The American dream is beautiful when it wakes us from our sleep and reminds us that we are living, breathing participants in the greatest social experiment ever.

I have had an uneasy relationship with America for almost a decade. Before that I was as flag-waving as anyone else, and more than most.

That changed when I began to see a world without borders. I spent some years feeling that we would be a lot better off as a species if we could live together on this round planet without all the artificial lines of nationalism to divide us.

I was also gut-sick over what the ethos of America has become. We have strayed, it seems, from the rugged, creative, dynamic spirit which inspired people from around the world to land on these shores and start something from scratch. Instead, we have slouched our way into believing that being Americans means an entitlement to being the biggest (and I do mean biggest in every way–just look at the average waistline on this continent), most badass consumers on the planet. Somehow we have come to believe that we have a right to scarf down every resource in sight to fuel our lifestyle.

Merica_Yeah_largeCouple that with a long, honest look back at how we occupied the territory now known as America and it is hard to avoid feeling shame about the atrocities and genocides we committed along the way.

We haven’t stopped committing atrocities in the name of our most holy America, either. We are doing it in different places around the world right now. Some of our transgressions are sins of commission. Others are sins of omission. 

We wave the flag, drop bombs and cheer for ourselves. Our constant quest for more resources and more control creates imbalances and power vacuums that cause tremendous misery in real people’s lives around the world. We ignore them.

The most unconscious of us yell some equivalent of, “‘Merica…fuck yeah!” whenever we prove that we are God’s chosen people to reign over the earth. I get sick when people talk about how “…our boys are over there defending our freedom,” when what they are really doing is engaging in corporate warfare. I don’t question the heroism and loyalty of our soldiers, but I can’t handle the blind nationalism which keeps us believing that we are doing something honorable and prideworthy most of the time.

All of that being said, and as disheartening as it can be, I am convinced there is a lot more to the story.

In my search to find out if there was anything worth saving about America, I learned a lot about human nature and about the magnificent intentions of those who designed the foundation for this country.

First, the fact is that humans have not yet evolved past the need for boundaries and national identities. We just haven’t. We are headed that direction, but it is a horizon we have not yet reached. To pretend otherwise is to argue with reality.

Second, those who drafted the blueprint for America were imperfect from our two-hundred-years-later perspective. They owned slaves, approved slaughters and did otherwise horrible things from our current vantage point. That does not diminish the fact that they helped start the most ambitious experiment in human history. In their times, they were the most progressive thinkers around.

This land of ours is a laboratory. We are all involved in adding chemicals, turning up the heat under test tubes and otherwise messing around to see if a theory called Human Freedom can be viable.

The spirit of America is not a license to live like great alimentary canals with mouths full of teeth, mindlessly chewing up luxuries and gorging ourselves on shiny lifestyles at the expense of the world, then stomping on anyone who protests. That is a direct violation of what our founders meant to create when they signed their names, lives and sacred honor to a document which declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From where I sit, holding an American passport is like carrying orders that read, “I am an American. I have a responsibility to use the mind-boggling freedom and riches in ways that will honor the creator potential in all humans. I have been given opportunities to live my life in peace and safety, with all the resources I need to craft a magnificent life. It is my job to prove myself worthy of this and to treat the rest of the world with humility, respect and honor as they also seek to gain the freedoms which come so easily to me. I have a sacred duty to live in joy and spread the possibility of this wealth for the benefit of everyone everywhere.”

The American dream is beautiful when it wakes us from our sleep and reminds us that we are living, breathing participants in the greatest social experiment ever.

How will the world and our own lives appear if we pursue happiness with responsibility and the full understanding of exactly how amazing all of this is?

I am flying out of the country early on July 4th this year, so I will miss the fireworks and flag waving and barbecues for the first time in my life. I suspect my little jaunt to older countries will give me a different perspective on this place we call home. In the meantime, I love America for the promise of her conception and what she can become as we all grow up together. 

Jacob Nordby

811c6SOrplL   Jacob Nordby is the author of The Divine Arsonist: A Tale of Awakening. Learn more about him at JacobNordby.com.

Temple of Dreams – A Parable of Your Possibilities

 

temple of dreamsBy Guest Author, Jacob Nordby

In a faraway land and a time long forgotten…

a wise and powerful woman lived by herself in a mountain place. She had a cat and a teapot named Lu.

Each year, people would walk for many miles through the snow and wind to visit her. For she had built her house and lived there quietly, but those who knew called it the Temple of Dreams.

She refused all gifts and rarely opened the door to those who knocked, but they came all the same.

Because everyone who found their way to the temple was allowed to speak their fondest dreams aloud in the clear mountain air. It mattered not whether the dreams were large or small–only that they were uttered from the most honest place within. Then they could write their hearts’ desire on slips of paper, fold them into paper airplanes and sail them down the winds which rushed and moaned around the hilltop.

The boldest pilgrims would sit for a long time and imagine themselves as if their very best dreams had already come true. Then, they would drink a dipper of water from the spring which always bubbled cold and pure nearby and ring the bell hanging from a twisted pine branch.

But one day a man came knocking at the temple door. His feet were ragged from the journey and his beard had grown shaggy in ways that no one from his village would approve. He knocked three times and looked about, but only heard the sighing wind and an eagle crying in the bright sky.

Because the holiday celebrations were occupying all those who lived in the valleys down below, he was alone at the temple door. He knocked three times again but no answer came from the other side. Being nothing else to do, he sat on the stairs and ate a piece of cheese he had saved in the pocket of his robes.

A long while passed but he did not leave. Instead, he sat and let the sunshine bathe his face and watched the eagle loop and soar above the mountain tops. Just before he would have set about to take his departure, he heard a cat’s meow behind the door. It roused him from reverie and he sprang to the door and knocked three times again.

Not certain he had heard anything at all, he pressed his ear against the door and listened. When it opened, he nearly fell inside but caught himself just before stumbling into the arms of the woman who stood within. She stared at him with a half smile, her dark hair falling around her shoulders with a few silver strands gleaming in the sunlight.

“What do you want?” she said. The cat peered up at him from between her feet.

“What?” he said, stammering. He had expected to leave this place empty-handed after all, but now the priestess stood there watching and he must find the words to tell why he had taken the long journey.

“What do you want?” she said again.

He paused and looked down into the valleys filled with mist. He had read many things and studied the teachings of gurus far and near. From them he had learned that desire was the root of suffering and that he should be happy with what he already had. He looked back into the amber eyes of the woman and said, “I don’t know what I want.”

two_types_of_dream_by_desexign-full“Then that is what you will get,” she said and moved to shut the door. But the cat had crept forward to sit in a spot of sunlight and the woman had to choose between closing out this stranger or pinching her friend’s tail.

“Wait,” he said, “I have walked many miles to come here and I won’t leave until you show me what must be seen.”

A teapot shrieked from somewhere inside the dwelling and she turned, “Come then. Lu has called and we mustn’t keep her waiting. You can tell me a few things over a hot cup before you go.”

“And the truth is, most are simply too afraid to ask for their deepest soul-desire. They will settle for a nicer home or a better job or a thousand other wishes which fall short of their insatiable hidden truth.”

He followed her into the warm entry but she had already vanished around a corner and he could hear her muttering from another room. The cat stared at him while he straightened his hair and robes, then led the way ahead, tail straight and twitching slightly.

“They always want something, but not this one,” he heard her saying to herself as he entered the snug kitchen. She was pouring hot water into cups, steam rising in a cloud around her head.

“Well, that’s not entirely true,” he said, “I do want something, or I wouldn’t be here. It’s just that I have become content with my things. I don’t know what to ask.”

She turned, holding a carved tray with little cups full of tea. “Come with me,” she said and walked away toward windows which looked out over an infinity of space.

Once seated, she handed him a cup with a small bow. “So,” she said, “You know many things, most of them very good. What you don’t know is the most important and it is not something your books have told you.”

“What is that?”

“Why don’t you tell me again what you really want?”

“I want everything exactly as it is,” he said, “I know that life unfolds to give me what is best.”

“Ah, that’s a lovely concept, but it still doesn’t explain why you walked many miles and just ate your last scrap of food on my doorstep.”

He shifted on his cushion and met her eyes. “Well, I have a house and comfortable things. I enjoy my work and appreciate my friends. I have everything a man should want except…”

“Except,” she said, “Tell me the except. ‘Except’ is everything you have never dared to ask, and in that lies your destiny, your truth and your happiness.”

“Oh. Well, since I was a little boy I have always wanted to write great stories. I have wanted to turn the things I saw and felt into words and share them with the world. I want to love a woman who will take long and foolish magical journeys with me.  I know this won’t make me happy but…”

She held up her hand, “Stop. You know no such thing. It is foolishness to suppose that you can be happy if you do not bring forth that which lies within. Forget your concepts and listen to me now.”

The priestess sipped her tea, “Many people make the journey to this place each year. Most of them never knock and if they do, I rarely answer. But you knocked three times. You will not be denied. Everyone who comes receives something. Perhaps the journey here alone is reward enough for most. All return home changed because they allowed themselves to ask. We live in a fascinating universe, full of mystery and delight. Someone you may have heard of once said,‘for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ Does this ring a bell?”

He nodded.

“Understand that what your true-est self desires is not only good, but it is also well within your birthright to receive.”

“Good. You are here today to ask. Do that. Understand that what your true-est self desires is not only good, but it is also well within your birthright to receive. You are not here today to mull over concepts. You have done that for far too long already. Most people who come here ask for things they don’t really want. Sometimes they get a version of what they think they desire, but what they don’t know is that Life serves up for us what we actually desire most–not what our mind has been pushed and tricked into believing. And the truth is, most are simply too afraid to ask for their deepest soul-desire. They will settle for a nicer home or a better job or a thousand other wishes which fall short of their insatiable hidden truth.”

“Here,” from inside her robe, she produced a small scroll and pen, “take this out to the step after you have done drinking your tea. Write down everything you would see come true in your life from this day forward. Leave nothing out. When you finish it completely, hold it in your hands until you can see yourself in that picture you have created. Unlike the others who have journeyed here, I want you not to throw it into the wind. Instead, feel everything and then ring the bell. Then go back down the mountain and read your own new story every day. For you see, no one is waiting in the wind to make your dreams come true, but Everything will come to your aid if you do what I have told you.”

And so saying, she kissed the man on his forehead and disappeared into some distant room while the wind rang chimes and the sunlight turned an eagle’s wings to silver in the sky.

After a long time, the man made his way to the doorstep and opened the scroll. Across the top were words in red, “Anything you truly desire is possible. Write…“

What is your “except…”? Tell me about it.

About Jacob Nordby

Jacob Nordby is an author, speaker, radio host and creative coach. He accidentally sparked a worldwide phenomenon when he wrote and shared: “Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters and troubadours–for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” He is author of The Divine Arsonist: A Tale of Awakening, co-author of two other books and is currently working on his second novel. He is convinced that everyone contains divine magic and his mission is to help them see it.

You may wish to get better acquainted with Jacob by visiting his website and downloading a free ebook or audio titled, Re-Mapping Your Life – A travel guide to get un-stuck, chart new paths & follow your purpose. Go to www.JacobNordby.com