Author Archives: Andrea Hylen

Change and Transition: Give it Time

Day 98 of 100 days of Blogging

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In August, I had an inner calling to upgrade my life. I could feel that change was in the air but I didn’t know where I was going next. As I began to write about the changes and the uncertainty, I heard comments from other people who said they were going through the same thing. Endings. New beginnings and feeling like it was time to review their lives.

Tuning into the past year as a year of Transition and moving into 2016 as a year of Transformation, I had a thought about an outdated computer system.

Imagine that you decide it is time to upgrade the software on your computer. You commit to going through the process. You look at the options to upgrade the software. Purchase and install the new software. Turn off the computer to reboot it. That begins a new process. It feels fresh and new as you see the new screensaver or icon and you take steps to learn how to use the new features. Some of the old keystrokes are outdated and it takes time to learn the new keystrokes and features. You may even feel sad or revert to old patterns only to find out that your computer will no longer respond to those commands.

I was thinking about an experience a few years ago when I went into some deep, deep pain and transformation around my people pleasing behavior. When I finally reached rock bottom and began to make different choices, my whole body went into a frozen state whenever I tried to people please. I couldn’t do it anymore! My body refused!

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While I was visiting my parents in Florida last month after my Dad had a stroke, I noticed how my parents were putting new systems into place in their home. My mother had marked the dials on the Washing Machine and Toaster. The settings they use the most. My Dad’s medications were set out on the shelf. It was so easy for anyone to arrive, slide into the systems and help. My Dad also traded in the first walker for an updated model with a seat and brakes so he could increase the distance of his daily walk.

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During my visit, my Dad and I were watching a television program called Animal Misfits, I was fascinated by the adaptation each animal had made to it’s environment. That is what happens at each phase of our lives. Things change and we adapt.

Animal Misfits Link: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/topic/animal-misfits/

One animal is best known for its very slow rate of development. To complete the life cycle from caterpillar to adult moth, it has to go through a process over 7 years:

The Arctic woolly bear moth, is found within the Arctic circle, in Greenland and Canada. It was once estimated that it had a 14-year life cycle from egg to adult moth, with the ability to withstand temperatures below −70°C. Subsequent studies have revised the life cycle duration to be 7 years.

The Arctic woolly bear caterpillars are unique in their combination of adaptations to the polar extremes. They spend nearly 90% of their lives frozen and only about 5% feeding on the tundra during June; the remainder is spent in summer protective cocoons.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynaephora_groenlandica

 

It reminded me of how change requires patience, adaptation and time for integration of the new.

In this year of transformation, slow down. Set up new systems. Reboot your life. Adapt to the new system. The transformation is happening.

Just wait and see.

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

A Phase Transition: Following the Clues

Day 97 of 100 days of Blogging

I spent a year living with Heal My Voice​ authors, Board members and community members. It was a year filled with adventures and new ideas and time for integration.

Then, three things happened right before I was scheduled to move back to Los Angeles.

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1. I had the desire to go to the Maryland Film Festival​ in Baltimore and attended nine films with my friends Karen Porter and Dotti Drumm. The Festival was two weeks after the Baltimore protests.

2. The Baltimore Protests began on April 18. In an organized protest on April 25, the protest ended in rioting in the streets. The mayor stated:  “It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”

3. The Parkway Theater in Baltimore is reopening and with it comes a declaration of creating an International Film Center in Baltimore.

 

Something began to stir in me that felt like I needed to move back to Baltimore which had been my home for 28 years before I moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago. I didn’t know why. It was a feeling. My passions: Writing. Film. Creativity. Community. Connection. Healing may have been a clue.

 

I flew back to Los Angeles for my daughter’s graduation from Santa Monica College and while walking on the beach in Venice, the idea of moving back to the East Coast felt even stronger. So, I followed this “intuitive” hit to leave things in my small storage unit, fly back to Baltimore and live with my friend, Kate. All of my friends wanted to know what I was doing and why so I told everyone I was going to make Baltimore my home base for three years and told them I was giving myself six weeks to “land.” I would have more answers by then. For now, I was BEING in Baltimore.

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I set an intention to be a detective in my life. To carry a notebook and to begin to notice what was crossing my path. I wrote down 10 things every day that were interesting to me; Anything with a spark of energy and recorded them in the notebook.

The first clues:

Red Emma’s Coffee shop. Words: cooperative. social activism. shared economy. Social Responsibility. Baltimore Free School

Maryland Film Festival: community. innovation. visibility for the 200 Heal My Voice women’s stories.

Guided to reading and write more. Reviewing email. Noticing everything that was crossing my path.

Bookstores in Baltimore.

Living in community.

 

And then suddenly the feeling of needing to live in Baltimore ended. I questioned the strong intuitive hit. It felt like everything was shifting and changing and falling apart. Baltimore was not going to be my landing pad. I was confused and shocked. Thank God, I have experienced this in other situations. A strong feeling of guidance compels me to take action and make a move towards something, away from something and then there is a pause and a course correction.

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I heard Nicole Daedone use the phrase: grappling hook. When things end, we need something to reach for, something that will get us to the other side. Something that will move us away from something and towards something else. Something to hang on to while you walk from one side of the bridge to the other.

Sometimes the Universe sets it up for you and sometimes you have to take conscious steps. For example, if you know your last child is leaving the nest and moving away or a relationship has ended and you know your partner is moving out, set up some things to support you. Take a new class that is fun! Set up a few movie and coffee dates with friends. It will give you some purpose, fill some time and begin to carve the new path with social activities.

Also leave empty space in your schedule to listen to your intuition and room for following guidance. Pause and wait. Do not fill all of your time. Integration and space is important, too.

The grappling hooks that were set in place for me were pet sitting jobs I had arranged in Maryland while still living in California. The jobs gave me a temporary place to live, make money and begin a period of recovery. In every household, I had animals that needed care and that kept me focused on a few tasks every day. I had time to rest and think and read and write. All things that fed my soul.

After finally landing in the Washington, DC area where I have been living for four months now, I can see some of the journey from the past. I did need to come back to Baltimore and to live with an old friend so I could complete a cycle. I had time to appreciate all of the love and experiences in a community I had known for 30 years. I could feel how the day to day activities were an indication of changes and knowing it was time to move on. There was enough discomfort that I moved quickly so as to preserve the friendships for the future. The discomfort felt like I was wearing clothing that I had outgrown and I needed to find a new place to live where I could shed my skin, try on some “new clothes,”  and fly. I was in a state of active surrender. Waiting and resting. Making adjustments when the next action step was clear.

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Recently, I was walking in my new neighborhood and I looked up to realize the main street outside of the complex is Baltimore Avenue (not Baltimore City)

As more ideas and a new direction is revealed this year, I have to chuckle at how we all receive intuitive guidance and the importance of surrender. I was compelled to move back to Baltimore and that has morphed into a location off of Baltimore Avenue near Washington, DC.

Messages and signs and clues need to be interpreted and allowed to evolve into new pictures. I feel like God was having a good cosmic chuckle about how I could only see what I knew from the past. Waking up, I see there is something on the horizon and I can laugh with God. Very clever. Good one, God.

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership.  Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Deeper Listening: Connecting Your Soul Purpose

Day 96 of 100 days of Blogging

 

Connecting with Soul Purpose…

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Two questions I ask myself at every crossroads.

1. Why am I here?

2. What does my soul want me to experience?

I know my Soul Purpose:  I am here to communicate and connect and participate in community. My soul purpose is focused on people and creativity and learning. Life long learning and teaching and writing.

I know I am a Warrior Goddess. Intensely committed to my personal growth. Going within to do the work first and then radiating the experience and what I learned from the experience. I am willing to go into the depths of a subject and topic and then share the gems in the world. I am willing to be vulnerable and to be a leader who listens to the guidance of spirit, steps off the edge, jumps into the unknown, and to encourage others to do the same. Like a guide who goes out into the frontier and comes back to report what I discovered.

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I know I am moving into the next phase of my life and it is time to mentor through more coaching, teaching, and writing books. I am ready to hold the lamp higher so you can see the path in front of you. I am a guide with almost 60 years of experience on the planet. It is time to own that at a new level and to step into greater visibility.

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One thing I want to share with you is I don’t always know, and none of us really do, what my soul wants to experience in the moment. It happens, this longing to know why I have co-created an experience which requires more personal growth. I demand to know the answers now! I want to know the why. I want to process it and move through it quickly. There may be a glimmer of an idea as I see a gift emerging but the answers do not come until later in the process when it is time to integrate all of the choices I made during a time when a new path emerged or life has whacked me with a challenge. Some of the gifts I received from my marriage to an alcoholic, a life threatening autoimmune condition, a son who died at 19 months or even a summer of 45 Jonas Brothers concerts that stretched us financially and physically, did not become clear until years later. The gifts appeared (and continue to appear) after processing and writing and healing.

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A few keys:

*Slow down

*Cultivate your inner authority

*Increase self-care and alone time so you can hear the answers

*Get support from people who can coach and witness you in process

*Draw on past experiences to remind yourself to be patient, the answers will come.

*Craft a few words or phrases that can be shared with family and friends that create space for your process.

*Give it time and space.

*Stay connected and awake to the feelings.

*Enjoy the adventure. This is your life. All of it!

 

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership.  Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

An Experiential Life: What are you waiting for?

Day 95 of 100 days of Blogging

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It was a warm, sunny August day when we gathered with our relatives at the local water park. I spent most of the day in the kiddie pool and lazy river with our five year old daughter and seven year old niece. That was fine with me. I liked the rhythm of the slow, lazy river and I was content and happy to be there. All of the older kids and adults were in the bigger pools and slides.

As I meandered around the lazy river, I had glimpses of the biggest water slide in the park. A desire started to bubble in me as I watched the older kids and adults go down the biggest slide. It looked like they were all having so much fun and something inside of me began to yearn for the experience. Every time the thought came up I pushed it down with my inner dialogue of fears and doubts.

 

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Inner Dialogue between my full self and my limited self:

“I am happy in the lazy river.”

“Wheeee, look how happy Mary is.”

“She likes the water. You would hate getting water in your face and up your nose.”

“Ah, look. Elizabeth is waving to me from the top of the slide! I want to do that.”

“You are afraid of heights. It is too high up there. You will feel dizzy. It won’t be fun.”

 

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At the end of the day, I was packing up all of our belongings to head home and at the same time I was noticing the dwindling crowd of people waiting in line for the slide.

When I packed up the last items, something burst in me. I dropped the bags of towels I was carrying and I declared to the group that I had to go down the slide. I couldn’t leave until I did it. I stepped out of my flip flops, threw off my sundress to reveal my bathing suit underneath and before anyone could say or do anything, I walked over to the inner tubes, grabbed one and walked quickly up the flight of stairs to the top of the slide.

At this time of day, there were only a few people in line. My heart was pounding so loud in my chest I thought it would explode.  The fears and doubts were getting quieter and my YES!! was a sound that was screaming in my head.  I had to go down this slide or I would regret it forever. I asked the attendant to help me with the inner tube and hold on until I was ready to go down. Then with a simple command of Now, he gave me a good swift push and down I went.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WhEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Round and round I went. Happy mixed with a little fear and finally a sense of freedom. As I neared the bottom of the slide, I held my breath and my nose and closed my eyes preparing for the final big SPLASH!

 

Exhilarated and triumphant, I found my way to the edge of the pool, ran over to my family and prepared to leave the park. Everyone cheered as I wiped myself off with a towel grinning ear to ear.

That moment of pushing through the fear and the experience of triumph is now a touchstone. It is an experience I carry with me when I can feel a bubbling desire and the inner dialogue of my limited self is stopping me. I ask myself what would have happened if I hadn’t gone down the slide. What would my memory of that day have been? Instead of a place of limiting me, it opened up the door to listening to desires and feelings and my intuition.

 

Do you have a bubbling desire? Is there a voice inside of you filling you with hesitation and doubts and fears? What would it take for you to make one step towards it or to take a leap?

What are waiting for?

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Writing Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

2016: A Year of Transformation

Day 94 of 100 days of Blogging

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Every year has it’s own rhythm. For the first time in a long time, I feel the energy of 2016 is in alignment with the seasons in the northern hemisphere. The energy of winter, spring, summer and autumn. We are in flow. Using them as a tool of exploration, a guidepost for how to best use 2016 will help you manifest and create your life.

 

In addition, the global word I have read from many energy workers for 2016 is Transformation.

 

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Winter

(January, February, March)

Mercury retrograde during the month of January brings us into a deep state of reflection. It is a Divine Cosmic set-up to look back. To review, redo, reflect, re-write your life. Set your intentions.

Connect with your inner world in silence.

Build a strong, foundation of intention for the year. This is key.

Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I desire to be, to have, to do?

This will set the tone for the year.

 

Winter Reflection:

Dialogue from the Matrix:

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

 

 

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Springtime

(April, May, June):

You will begin to see the light of day.

Rebirth.

Plant seeds.

Try out your new song.

In May, review how your seeds are growing. Review, reflect and prepare for the next wave of activity.

Take some action.

You may feel like a baby who is beginning to walk.

 

Spring Reflections

New World Coming

There’s a new world coming
And it’s just around the bend
There’s a new world coming
This one’s coming to an end There’s a new voice calling
You can hear it if you try
And it’s growing stronger
With each day that passes by
~Sung by Mama Cass Elliott

 

 

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Summertime

(July, August, September)

Laughter. There is a lightness and play energy.

Tend your garden and plants. What is ready to be picked and eaten?

Activities are speeding up like riding a roller coaster at the beach. Ride it. Jump off. Decide. Do I want another ride or sit and bask in the sun for awhile?

At the end of the season (September), take time for appreciation and gratitude. Reflect again.

Watch the setting sun and feel your dreams.

Summer Reflections

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. ~Lao Tzu

 

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Autumn

(October, November, December)

Eureka!

What have you discovered?

Romp in the field of what you have created. So many manifestations and fun. You are in the flow.

Be delighted.

Reap the benefits of the Harvest.

You did it!

 

 Autumn Reflection:

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

~Georgia O-Keefe

And in every month, notice what is TRANSFORMING in YOU!

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Set An Intention: What is Your Word for 2016

Day 93 of 100 days of Blogging

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For the past month, I have been thinking and feeling into my word for the year. Choosing a word to set an intention then pointing my arrow of desire in a focused direction is powerful. It is one of the ways I have been preparing for 2016 and Setting My List of Intentions.

My process includes reflecting on last year’s words, reviewing last year’s activities and feeling the energy of the new year. Asking myself questions is another part of the process. What word do I want to hold in my consciousness to lay a path for this year throughout the whole year?

 

And the winner is…

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EXPECTATION:

a belief that someone will or should achieve something. a strong belief that something will happen.

There is something powerful about this word. I can feel the Warrior Goddess in me rising up. I know her well. The Warrior Goddess in me knows how to go deep into the silence and draw from the inner well. She is the woman who throws herself into life. She is all in. She knows how to use her power. She is courageous, curious, joy-filled, determined. She knows how go back inside herself to sit in stillness and listen. She knows how to wait. She knows how to stand on the mountain top and shout her message. She asks for what she wants. She expects things to happen. She has been called crazy and stupid many times. She has followed her bliss anyway.

 

When I first put this word on my list of possible words for the year, I found myself watering it down. This became part of my process of claiming my word. At first, it felt bold, brazen and egoic.  Who am I to use such a big word? It feels like the opposite of how I have been living my life for the last few years. Releasing, letting things fall away, being open to new and unexpected things to emerge. Conscious evolution. Faith. Infinite possibilities. No expectations.

I can feel the shift. It is time to dream bigger, act bolder, put myself out there, take action and draw on all of the cultivating I have done on living in flow with inspiration and flexibility. My ability to actively surrender, make adjustments. Time to expect the Universe to meet me.

This word has so much power, so much energy, so much bigness that I am claiming it AND setting up a foundation of support for the year with a companion word every month. A word that fine tunes and focuses me. A word that will support my word of the year.

Some of the companion words every month will be things like quiet, clarity, nurture, curiosity, wonder, certainty, experimentation, expansion, courage, play, joy, sensuality, faith and trust.

I will be calling in the Archangels, Goddesses, Ascended Master’s. I will meditate. Be willing to wait in the stillness and work with Spirit.  I will draw upon life experience, use affirmations:

The Universe loves and supports me.

I ask for what I want and receive it.

I easily access the answers that are inside me.

I have access to tools and resources and people.

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The word EXPECTATION is my playmate for the year.

 

What are your words for 2016? Post in the comments and let me hear your voice.

 

There is a program launching on March 1 called Carving the Next Path. A 12 week program for women. Join Us!

Register: http://www.andreahylen.com/an-experiential-life/

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Living with Intent: Preparing for a New Year

Day 92 of 100 days of Blogging

The week after Christmas and leading up to New Year’s Day has always had a certain rhythm for me. It looks like this: Reflection. Celebration. Preparation.

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Reflection:

serious thought or consideration.

From writing thank you notes, to slowing down and watching films, reading books, sitting by the fire, deeper conversations. Journal writing about the previous year. Thinking about the experiences, the successes and failures. Playing games with my kids. Feeling and Being.

 

 

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Celebrations:

Birthday celebrations!

By December 29th, I would take down all of the holiday decorations. Clean the house and get ready for the final celebrations of the year. Although we are now spread all over the world and I am no longer the driving force of the celebrations, I can still feel this celebratory excitement of the final birthdays of the year and the opening of a new year.

Bob and Paula Hylen (my parents) December 29 (83 and 84. Celebrated in Florida)

Mary Baxter (oldest daughter) December 30 (32 years old and celebrating in Ecuador)

Hurley Cox (husband now deceased) December 31. (Forever age 60. Last birthday celebrated in 2004)

 

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Preparation:

…getting ready for the New Year!

Writing our dreams and wishes on paper. Releasing the old with Fire ceremonies. Meditating. Art supplies. Scissors. New magazines. Glue Sticks. Poster Board. Treasure Maps. Vision Boards. New journals. Cleaning.

What is possible for the New Year?

It’s a new day!

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Crossing the Bridge: Change is in the Year

Day 91 of 100 days of Blogging

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It happens every year. December 31 ends one year. January 1 begins a new year. Then we all go through a transition of remembering to write the next year. Writing 2016, instead of 2015. It is part of the transition. It is part of change.

Transition is a part of life. We all have other endings and beginnings every year. Changing jobs. Moving. Deaths. Birth. Rebirth. Sometimes we choose endings and new beginnings. Sometimes we have change thrust upon us and sometimes change is happening that is so subtle we may not have even noticed it was happening.

When I was laid off from a job in 1990, there was a little bit of a warning but it felt like we were just going through a rough patch. I had no idea that our whole department of 20 people was going to be laid off. When it finally happened, I spent a week in disbelief. Then, took a week to sit in the uncertainty of it and did a few things like spend a day walking in silence in Washington, DC. Then, I went on job interviews. I was hired for a short term consulting job and then discovered I was pregnant. My second husband and I would be having our first child. I continued to look for work because I saw myself as a mother with a career. A mother who needed to find the next job. My first two children had been raised in a day care routine when I worked and I assumed the third would be the same.

And then a standard sonagram in month 7 of my pregnancy showed that our child was a son and he had a problem with his heart. With no job, it made sense that I would be the stay at home parent while he was undergoing heart surgeries. I never returned to a full-time job outside of the home. Life changed. New beginnings kept showing up. Nothing was ever the same again. My whole life path and expectation had been altered.

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Since the birth and death of my son, I have learned to feel when there is subtle change and early warnings in the air. I have learned through meditation, journal writing, Tai Chi, and other practices that have connected me to my intuition and awakened my “knowing” and trusting “feelings.”

I’ve learned to recognize the subtle patterns that appear when I am moving from an ending to a new beginning. There is a thing called the “in between” space. And when I am there, the recurring pattern gives me a clue.

The typical clues for me:

I feel lost.

I feel like a failure.

I feel like I am letting people down.

I feel like people are mad at me.

I become irritable.

I have a running dialogue of other people’s voices every time I make a move.

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When I wake up and realize that something is shifting and change is coming, the next part of the pattern is put into motion.

I start making different choices.

I spend more time in silence and writing.

I become a detective looking for clues in signs, conversations and bubbling desire.

I take baby steps.

I ask more questions.

I turn up the patience quotient and I wait…

 

So, here we are on the precipice of a new year. Follow the steps and move into the new year with wide, open eyes, and notice what is subtly calling out to you.

Ready…Set…Go!

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Feminism: Awareness + Action = Change Part 2

Day 90 of 100 days of Blogging

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When it was first available on video in 2004, I bought a copy of the film Mona Lisa Smile and watched it many times with my three daughters. I loved how the lead character, the teacher, challenged the students to think. I home schooled my daughters from 1996-2006 with the intention to learn and teach in an environment that would stimulate creativity, problem solving, personal responsibility and connection to community. My focus was to teach them how to find and use resources and make decisions that would stimulate life long learning. It is my passion to cultivate learning and leadership and I LOVE seeing a teacher who is doing the same.

When the film crossed my path again a few days ago, it showed me a picture of something I have been thinking about since my Aunt Ellen died in September 2015. The journey for women who are challenging conventionally defined gender roles or challenging expectations of how a woman is supposed to live her life.

 

My Aunt and my mother both graduated from college in 1954.  My mother married my Dad. Raised three kids. Supported my Dad in his 33 year career with Pillsbury and packed the house and moved 20 times.

My Aunt married my Uncle, started working at Liberty Mutual where a man mentored her and opened a door to advancement that was normally opened only for men. She had the education, the brains, and the ambition. During her 30 year career, she rose to the ranks of Assistant Vice President. My Aunt and my Uncle never had children during their 60 year marriage but they loved and nurtured many, many children of their family and friends.

Two women: One chose career. One chose homemaker and motherhood.

 

*****

After watching the film once, I watched it the next day to reflect on the dialogue and the subtle messages and the obvious messages.

Mona Lisa Smile, a description of the film from Wikipedia:

In 1953, Katherine Ann Watson, a 30-year-old graduate student in the department of Art History at Oakland State, takes a position teaching “History of Art” at Wellesley College, a conservative women’s private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, because she wants to make a difference and influence the next generation of women. At her first class, Katherine discovers that the women have already memorized the entire syllabus from the textbook, so she uses the classes to introduce them to Modern Art and encourages spirited classroom discussions about topics such as what makes good art and what the Mona Lisa’s smile means.

 

When the film begins, the faculty is inside the building and young women students are outside on the steps. The dialogue is between the President of the College (a woman) and the Student President (a woman).

 

President of College: Who knocks at the door of learning?

Student President: I am Every Woman

President of College: What do you seek?

Student President: To awaken my spirit through hard work and dedicate my life to knowledge.

President of College: Then, you are welcome. All women who seek to follow you can enter here. I now declare the academic year begun.

 

I could feel my heart skip a beat of excitement! I am Every Woman! Being asked what I seek. What I long for, desire. Being asked and then invited into the space. It stirs my heart. Women being acknowledged and seen as smart and valued!

 

In one of the early scenes, the teacher challenges them to look at art and tell her what they think:

 

Katherine Watson (Teacher): “Carcass”, by Soutine, 1925. Is it any good? C’mon, ladies, there’s no wrong answer. There’s also no textbook telling you what to think. It’s not that easy, is it?
Students:
Betty Warren: Alright, no. It’s not good. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it art. It’s grotesque.
Connie Baker: Is there a rule against art’s being grotesque?
Giselle Levy: I think there’s something aggressive about it. And erotic.
Betty Warren: To you, everything is erotic.
Giselle Levy: Everything *is* erotic.
Susan Delacorte: Aren’t there standards?
Betty Warren: Of course there are! Otherwise, a tacky velvet painting could be equated to a Rembrandt!
Connie Baker: Hey, my Uncle Ferdie has two tacky velvet paintings. He loves those clowns.
Betty Warren: There *are* standards! Technique, composition, color, even subject. So, if you’re suggesting that rotted side of meat is art, much less *good* art, then what are we going to learn?
Katherine Watson (Professor): Just that. You have outlined our new syllabus, Betty, thank you. What is art? What makes it good or bad, and who decides?

 

Contrast that scene to this comment from a teacher during the class called: Marriage Lectures:

“A few years from now, your sole responsibility will be taking care of your home, your children and your husband. You may all be in this class for an easy A. But the grade that matters the most is the one he gives you.”

 

After a student writes an editorial criticizing the teacher, she enters the classroom challenging them again:

 

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Katherine Watson: I give up, you win. The smartest women in the country, I didn’t realize that by demanding excellence I would be challenging… what did it say?

[Walks over to a student and picks up her copy of the editorial]
Katherine Watson: What did it say? Um… the roles you were born to fill. Is that right?[Looks up at Betty who wrote the editorial]
Katherine Watson: The roles you were born to fill? It’s, uh, it’s my mistake.
[Katherine drops the student’s paper back onto her desk]
Katherine Watson: Class dismissed.
[Katherine walks out of the classroom]

 

******

 “The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” – Susan B. Anthony

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I had a conversation with my mother this week while visiting her in Florida. I will be posting some of the things we discussed in Part 3 of this series.

What are your thoughts?

 

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Photo from Andrea Hylen

Andrea Hylen at Agape in Los Angeles

Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Setting Intentions: Tuning In

Day 89 of 100 days of Blogging

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In her book Living with Intent, Mallika Chopra interviewed Eckhart Tolle.

Mallika: “What is intention? How do you define it and bring intentions to life?”

Eckhart: “At it’s basic, intention is a thought that arises in the mind and wants to manifest in the external world. On a cosmic scale, before something manifests, it is probably already there in the mind of God. “

What do I want?

What does the universe want from me?

What can I give to the universe?

*****

Eighteen months ago, I wrote a list of 20 intentions. Some of them manifested fully in one month to 18 months.

Some of the things on my list:

*Dental work: I have been going to the Baltimore dental school since October and two money gifts from relatives to pay for it.

*A summer of reading and writing: Started in July and it extended into a desire to write blog posts for 100 days.

*A season of rest and quiet to recharge every year with weekly times of open space: 12 weeks started in July.

*Full time access to a car wherever I live or travel.

A friend loaned me a car for a year in Washington, DC and in Los Angeles I used Zipcar and Uber.

*A Home Free Space to live in: 18 months and it continues

 

More than goals the intentions on my list were an expression of visions and desires. Setting an intention list helped me focus and point my arrow in the direction I wanted to go. I was clear and connected to the feelings associated with each of the desires.

 

As Beth Terrence and I are opening the doors to 30 days of writing: Setting Intentions and Visioning Our Dreams 2016, I am reviewing my list. Spending some time in appreciation and gratitude for what is now in motion in my life. Reviewing the other intentions on my list. Getting clear and asking myself if I really want to create, manifest and attract the things on the list.

What do I need to release?

What are the next steps to take?

Opening my arms to receive.

 

If you are interested in joining us for a deep exploration, go to the website and register:

http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/

 

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315353_10201052497332086_1044127686_n

Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

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