Jeff Finley

Finley Fridays #10 - Discomfort and Busting Loose

Published 2 months ago • 8 min read

Hey Reader,

Yesterday I was on a walk listening to some podcasts and had a good idea for what to write about this week. But then today, all that creative inspiration is gone and instead I feel blocked.

I woke up from a dream this morning where I was talking to the lead singer of AFI about writing a post-punk song with him. I could hear the melody and vocals in my head and it was actually incredibly rich. Like I was literally inside the sonic vibrations of melancholy, with dark, gothic and brooding textures with flavors of sadness and longing. It was enough to bring me to tears in the dream because it was so beautiful.

But when I ask him about collaborating, I feel insecure. I say I'd love to work in his music studio, even though I don't have a ton of experience. I begin to describe my long history of creative work hoping he would be impressed, but I feel a desperate "proving" energy.

I woke up and felt the icky emotional residue. Before I have a chance to process it, I turn my phone on and see an email from an old acquaintance with a different kind of collaboration opportunity. A very good one at that, and I'm quite shocked to receive it.

I feel a "yes" in my body, but coupled with a bunch of discomfort and unworthiness. Fear, dread, trepidation, smallness, and of course anxiety.

I said I didn't want to talk about my anxiety. But here we are again.

Anxiety is this constant companion. One I've heard that the more you want it to go away, the more it sticks around. The only way to get rid of it is by paradoxically not wanting to get rid of it. By accepting it and feeling it through with unconditionally loving awareness.

I wanted to run my "process" on this discomfort. The cool thing about my process is that it doesn't matter why you're feeling the anxiety. It only cares about the feelings. But I didn't have much time because I was running late for a thing I was going to with Cara.

So I lay down and try to relax. I don't have much time, but I slow my breathing down and let myself sink into the bed. I allow this stuff to be there without analyzing or telling stories about it. I don't think, I feel. I just literally lay there and feel what's going on. As if it's energy moving about in my body.

I do this and will often yawn or stretch or move about in ways that helps release the stuck energy. After a few minutes, I can already feel a bit lighter. Enough for us to get ourselves out of the house and carry on with our day.

After the event (a refreshing break from our thoughts) we drive back home, but now I sense more discomfort bubbling up. I feel a sense of dread and obligation because I know I have to send this email newsletter.

I know, it sucks. I don't want to feel this sense of dread or obligation on my newsletter. I created it. It's important to me. But why do I feel stressed about it?

I'll tell you.

I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to write something good, useful, informative. I feel like I have to pull from deep within my own mind to draw insights out of the struggles I've been going through that week. Sometimes it feels like I'm turning myself into a commodity. Exposing myself for content. Not having any boundaries.

What people like about my writing is that it's raw, transparent, honest, and authentic. That's just how I write. I can't help it.

Anything else feels fake or forced.

I want to be able to channel these insights into something relatable.

I like to use my intuition and get a sense for what needs to be said when I sit down to write. It often contradicts what my human ego thinks I should write about.

A lot of people use their email newsletters for marketing. But I suck at that. It honestly makes me cringe.

That ties into what I wanted to talk about today anyway. The intersection between spirituality, self-help, and marketing.

Busting Loose

I finished reading Busting Loose From the Business Game this week. I absolutely love the book because the author gives a framework for living life the way I've been living it the past decade. Except I've been feeling bad about it, like I was messing up. But that's not true.

It validates a lot of what I've personally felt about where my life was taking me. He calls it "Phase 2" - which is akin to Neo taking the Red Pill in the Matrix. I don't really like using that terminology because of its associations in the political/culture war, but the analogy is accurate.

Phase 1 is living your Matrix life. You know, it's being born, going to school, getting a job, starting a family, various success milestones, vacations, etc. Essentially developing your ego personality.

Phase 2 begins with a gradual disillusionment with that life as you knew it, and an inner quest towards The Truth begins to become your top priority. It's nearly impossible to go back to living as your ordinary limited self after these realizations.

As Robert Scheinfeld puts it:

After forgetting who you really are and deeply immersing yourself in severely limiting and restrictive experiences in Phase 1 of The Human Game, your Expanded Self starts nudging you into Phase 2. At that point, you begin to feel incomplete, like you’re missing something, like nothing makes sense anymore, like there must be something else going on that you don’t know about. You then start looking for answers and a higher purpose for your life.
In Phase 1, your Expanded Self did everything in His or Her power to keep you thinking the illusion was real, that you were opposite of who you really are within it, and to keep you away from a direct experience of who you really are. In Phase 2, your Expanded Self does everything in His or Her power to reverse that and support you in knocking out the cloud cover and expanding back into a direct experience of who you really are.

I've had various mystical experiences the past ten years that have changed how I perceive reality. In 2013 I started having out of body experiences after getting into meditation. I've had hundreds of OBEs since and know for a fact that life exists beyond our physical bodies.

A few of those experiences felt like I was seeing myself from a higher perspective, seeing Jeff the character/avatar in a video game, and feeling a tremendous amount of love and appreciation for him. Experiences where I sense that I am the entire universe crushed inside this physical body having a unique experience as Jeff. Sometimes I have this sudden awareness that I am Cara, or that I am this person or that person too. Or that I am everyone, and everyone is me. That we are all God. That everything and everyone is God and we're experiencing ourselves in various limited forms.

I know all that sounds kinda crazy. But this is the life I've been living.

I've felt bad about it because I feel like a victim to some unknown force that is causing me to check-out and become a recluse. Or that I'm just delusional. Or that God has taken away my drive and ambition and I don't see a place for me in this world anymore. That something must be wrong with me, that I'm just too sensitive or too whatever. So it's refreshing to hear someone put into words and validate what I'm going through.

One of the key points about living in Phase 2, is feeling discomfort. Your higher self is giving you opportunities to process through all of your issues, dissolve illusions, and clear out "cloud cover" that's blocking the sun, or your True Self.

Basically you're going to be triggered AF.

Robert has what he calls "The Process" he runs on himself each time he feels discomfort arise in his body.

Here is a basic summary of his process:

When you experience discomfort of any kind, follow five steps:

  1. Dive right into the middle of it.
  2. Feel the discomfort as fully as you can.
  3. When it naturally reaches a peak of intensity, tell The Truth about it.
  4. Reclaim your power from it.
  5. Express Appreciation for yourself and the creation.

The interesting part is that what he was doing is almost exactly what I have been doing. I wrote a post a few years ago called The Magic of Feeling Your Feelings. It went into detail how I resolve anxiety and allow it to heal or process through.

Robert's "Busting Loose" process is like that. You feel all your feelings while being authentically honest, unconditionally loving and present, and trusting your higher self to guide you and support you in this process. Discomfort or triggers are easter eggs, or treasure chests, with all the good stuff you seek on the other side of feeling it through.

The part that I don't like about his book is how it has some elements of icky self-help marketing shit. This is how it is for all these spiritual, religious, or New Age teachers. They speak some truth, but they're also trying to sell books, courses, seminars, or coaching. And often times, they're leading you along a marketing funnel to upsell you into other products and that whole thing just feels gross to me.

As someone who actually enjoys coaching or being a mentor to others, I feel pressured that this is how I'm supposed to do it. But I don't like it. I've done this kind of marketing before and could never stick to it. Again, I feel like I'm the one who is broken, unable to just "get over" my discomfort with manipulative marketing tactics. Maybe if I could, I'd have more success. Maybe I'm just seeing it as manipulative, when in fact it's not? I don't know.

But hey, that's just my opinion. I don't feel like I should have to manipulate the emotions or "target" anyone with marketing. I don't need to try and force my message to be in front of anyone. There are other players in the business game that are doing that shit way better than I could and have way less shame about it.

So I trust that I will say what I want to say and it will reach those who it's meant to reach. This feels more in line with "Phase 2" living anyway.

Going back to my dream, there is no need for any "proving" energy in Phase 2. You just do what you feel inspired to do and that's enough.

Wu Wei all the way.

I find it difficult to write about these mystical topics because it seems to diminish them by putting them into words. It also feels a bit pretentious. How the heck do I explain myself? How do I wrap up this email and draw a nice conclusion about everything?

It feels messy and all over the place. If you read this far, I wonder why you're still here. But that's all I've got for this week. Thanks for reading.

Peace ✌️


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Jeff Finley

Personal Growth for Creators

I'm an artist, designer, music producer, author, and mystic with a passion for truth and personal growth. I like to share what I'm working on and working through each week, highlighting my creative pursuits and providing tips, tools, and resources for fellow creators.

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