the day i stopped hurting myself

happy gecko 5 one half X 9 one half in ink on paper 2017

happy gecko, 5.5X9.5″ ink on paper, (c) d. ellis phelps, 2017

If you look closely, you’ll see words in this piece, as you often will of late, in my work.  The words and the colors seem to want to inhabit communal space, and so it is.  They read, “I would love to sing.”

This sentiment arose in response to a tele-seminar I attended (is that an oxymoron:  attending a tele-seminar?)  Anyway, I listened to a life-coach talking about achieving dreams.  This is not new rhetoric, but still, that day, it was attractive to me.  More attractive, let’s say, than actuating my dream by painting or writing something!

But I digress.  She talked about the roles of imagination, reason, intuition, perception, will and memory in dream making.  She talked and talked, but then she asked us to ask ourselves the pivotal questions:  1)  What would I really love…? and 2) What’s the one thing I could be doing [right now] that I know would move me closer to my dream?

Here are my visual notes:

notes from teleseminar with Rita M

When I first asked myself question one, I got some pretty ostentatious answers:  teacher of peace, healer, retreat leader.  These being ways I could earn a living, offering courses, retreats, service.

Well.  Of course.  Why wouldn’t my “Hero” archetype show up first?  This fellow ( I call him fellow because it feels like masculine energy to me) often dominates my thinking mind and frequently diverts my path causing me to make what Julia Cameron calls the “creative u-turn” in her book The Artist’s Way.

In answer to question two, I wrote:  plan a retreat; get up a half an hour earlier every day; get my LMI (Licensed Massage Instructor) certification.  These are all very reasonable and actionable, even admirable goals and in line with a certain part of me:  the hero~

Later, though, as often happens, soul showed up.  Quietly.  Always, quietly and usually after everyone else has calmed down.  She (you know why I call her she) said: paint every day; write every day.  Okay.  More in line with the part of me I want to nurture:  the creator.

Good answers.  Reasonable answers.  Actionable answers.  Hmmmm….still aligned with income, though a way better way to earn it.

It wasn’t until taking up my inks and sinking into right brain that something kin to truth arose:  i would love to sing.

sing by Kathleen Conklin via CC

Can I sing?  Yes.  I can.  But not on The Voice or even in public (though I have sung in public in shows, in choirs, but it usually results in unmentionable bodily revolt!)  But I’m not talking about singing for a living.  I am talking about S.I.N.G.I.N.G because I can.

Think about it.  How many times have you not let yourself:  dance, sing, run around inside the house naked, crack a funny joke in a meeting, sit outside and do nothing, paint….  All because there are more serious, important things to be doing or because someone once said you shouldn’t or couldn’t or maybe you are the one who judges your sound, your marks or your body so harshly.

Sadly, this is true of me sometimes.

But today is my birthday.  Really.  So let it be said that (by God’s grace) today is the day I stopped hurting myself by not singing when I want to, by eating too much sugar, by making creative u-turns or by telling myself that I am not good enough or by any other thought or action that does not feed, nurture and glorify my Highest Good.

Don’t be surprised if you see me dancing in the streets!  Will you meet me there?


For more info about Jungian archetypes, you can go here.

“sing” ar image (last on page) courtesy of Kathleen Conklin via Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George (Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016) and of this blog.



    • Perfect! I knew you would! That’s what the world needs now: more dancing, more singing, more poems, more art, more fun! More expressions of soul life being lived. More self- love, pressed down and spilling over!! I’ll be so happy to see you!

      Liked by 1 person

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