I first met Iphelia about seven years ago. I was facing a major crisis within myself and in my life. I had just written an angry-rant in my journal in which I was desperately trying to validate my own feelings. In my writing I had asserted myself and pushed back against what I then perceived to be all the negative feelings and judgements of others in my life. I felt better after writing all my angry thoughts out. I then turned the page and began doodling an image of a little girl jumping through the air as if she could fly. Underneath I wrote and underlined, “Ifeelya.”
In that moment I imagined her as some kind of comic book superhero. Her superpower was an incredible capacity to empathize. Only, unlike me at the time, she was able to discern the difference between what was hers and what was everyone else's. She could hold her own space and even push back if she needed.
A year later I wrote a rough draft of a children’s story and began drawing images free hand. I did this for about 6 months until lying in bed one night and contemplating the importance of what I felt the story had to say, I began questioning the quality of the images. I thought there must be some kind of software that could help me with this process. There must be a better way for me to visually convey these ideas.
The next day I went to the oracle and asked google if such a program existed. I learned that it did and my self-taught journey into graphic artistry began. I would spend the next 5 years creating 3d characters and sets and rendering images of the story. It was a slow and laborious process but the pace offered me lots of time to contemplate feelings and the invisible but very real dynamics of the feeling level of experience. During this same period when I would spend all of my free time creating images, I was studying and training as a heart-centered hypnotherapist and doing my own personal transformation work. Insights and ideas began to trickle in and as I came closer to finishing the images there was a quickening.
The final year was spent on the latter half of the book, the manuscript. What started as a warning against making assumptions about what others are feeling quickly evolved into a no bull shit, hard and fast course on understand the value and power of feelings and addressing everything that gets in the way of clean-healthy-empathy.
Here’s a piece from the manuscript:
The visualization of our feelings is a window’s view of the truth. A view of our interdependence. A view to what we are really doing and being. Visualizing feelings gives us a window’s view of our abuse, our sacrifice, of our selfish and our selfless. When we learn to allow and observe them, our feelings always tell us what is really happening. Our feelings can even tell us who we really are, and that is everything.
Discovering who we really are is the most valuable lesson attending to our feelings has to offer. There are no short cuts. Deceptions are merely temporary congestions of the inevitable. A lie is only a delay. Nothing is hidden. All is accounted for. All has effect. Our emotional shadow follows us wherever we go. When this truth is fully understood, our relationships with everything change. We can’t help but begin striving to be honest and authentic to ourselves and the world. If we lie in a relationship, our experience of the relationship is puppeted and without trust. If we hide our true feelings, we never feel connected or loved, and we ever weaken our ability to love. Conversely, when we strive to be true to the people we love in our lives, we build magnificent bridges of light upon which great shipments of love and affirmation can be transported. Then a miracle is possible...
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” -Helen Keller