Category Archives: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey Series

Week One: What is the Story You Want to Tell?

This is a 30-week series with topics and questions from Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey by Andrea Hylen. Available on Amazon

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Question 1 of 30: What is the story you want to tell?

“When I started working on women’s history thirty years ago, the field did not exist. It was not recognized. People didn’t think women had a history worth knowing.” ~Gerda Lerner, On Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove, August 2010

When I read about Gerda Lerner recently in Carol Lee Flinders book called, “At the Root of This Longing,” I started to realize something deeper about what we are doing and being in Heal My Voice programs and in The Writing Incubator. Women are writing their stories and recording Women’s History. This is why it is so important for women to flood the market with their stories. Not just our theories or steps to success but the raw emotion of awakening. Writing our history.

It’s time to tell our stories. You are a history worth knowing.

Let that idea wash over you today. Your voice, your stories, your writing, your programs, your books are a record of Women’s History. Your voice is so important!

We all have many stories in our lives. So, which one is bubbling in you right now? Which story would serve you to write?

While writing my first story for publication, in 2008, for Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life, I thought I was going to write a story about the birth and death of my son, Cooper. That was the story I had spent time feeling and processing and I wanted to share my experience with other women. But there was another story that was bubbling inside of me.  It was a story that began when I heard a song playing in my head. “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…” I recognized the song as something Mister Rogers sang on his PBS Children’s Show.  “Okay,” I said to myself.  “Why does this song keep playing in my head? Why am I waking up hearing it when my kids are all grown up now? I haven’t watched Mister Rogers in years!”  I started to remember a really low point in my life when they were both under the age of 2. I felt unloved and unseen by my husband. Nothing I did, nothing I said, was “right.” I felt criticized and then ignored. As I started to write about things I was feeling during that time, I discovered a moment in that story:

Friday morning was the day I was at home with my daughters, catching up on the laundry, cooking meals for the next week an getting the house organized before the weekend. We would watch Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. There was always a moment when Mister Rogers would say, “I love you just the way you are.”

And just like that, when I remembered the feeling, I knew that that was the story I needed to write. It was a story about a low point when I felt hopeless. Mister Roger’s words gave me hope to find a way back to myself.  Writing about that low point helped me connect the dots of when my healing and transformation began.  It helped me to see my strength and personal power.

An exercise:

Think back to a time in your life. Let’s pick high school, as an example. Notice if there is a memory of pain or pleasure. Now, think about your first boyfriend or girlfriend. What is a memory? The first thing you may experience is a feeling. It might be a tightness in your chest or bubbling joy in your belly. There may be a variety of emotions, even if there isn’t a specific moment you remember. Begin there.

To inspire and ignite your writing, begin to ask the question, “What story do I want to tell?” Start asking it out loud to yourself. Maybe you ask it before you go to sleep at night. Or you ask it first thing in the morning. Don’t grab for the story. Just wait and allow it to come to you, like the Mister Rogers song came to me. It could be a feeling. It could be an emotion. And when you feel the memory rise, write it down! Acknowledge the moment, even if you don’t want to write a whole story right now. Write it down and wait for more inspiration to follow.

 

cropped-Screen-Shot-2013-11-29-at-12.20.41-PM.pngAs I re-read the quote by Gerda Lerner, it seems hard to believe that there wasn’t a program to study women’s history, right? Or does it? Gerda Lerner introduced the first official women’s history program in 1972 at Sarah Lawrence. 1972!! I was just entering high school. No wonder I was confused about who I was as a woman. There were very few examples of women in our curriculum or our conversations.

That was then, this is now.

When I published my book this summer, I gave a copy to each of my daughters. The book has fourteen of my personal stories of challenges with triumph. It is a path of how to awaken and evolve, as a woman. I told them that I didn’t expect them to read it now. But some day, they would want to read my words and share them with others. It is the history of their mother. It is the history of a woman: Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey.

Write your stories. Share them with others. Your life is part of the History of Women.

A few reflective questions:

*Have you ever doubted that it was important for you to write a book or to share your stories in blogs, programs and social media posts?

*What does the critical voice inside your head tell you about why you shouldn’t share your stories?

*Write about why it’s important for you to share your stories. Tune in to your inner wisdom and see what surfaces.

What is the story you want to tell now?

 

If you want to explore writing as a process or you are working on a book or developing a program, the next Writing Incubator begins on April 1 with early bird pricing. Check it out! You don’t have to write your stories alone.

The Writing Incubator

Andrea Santa Barbara Starbucks Aug 2016

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 to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership and the Writing Incubator, an on-line writing community with writing prompts and writing labs, for women. She is author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey.

Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. She follows 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 coaching others to do the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about coaching, current projects and on-line writing circles go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

 

 

Dedication HMV-EWJ

A Choice

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 4.00.55 PMA few weeks ago, I purchased a domain name to point to my existing website. The domain name is the url. For example: www.andreahylen.com is a domain name.

Within 30 minutes of making the purchase, my phone began ringing and emails poured in with people offering website services. My first reaction was annoyance and then I put my phone on silence and turned my attention to other things.

By the end of Day 1, I had received over 25 phone calls and emails. When it continued into the next day, I stopped for a minute and reflected on how to bring more peace into this situation. Like a flash, I had an idea. What if this was an opportunity to send love?

Starting with the next phone call, I looked at the phone number and the words, St. Cloud, Minnesota. I placed my hand on my heart, closed my eyes and consciously filled my body with love. When I was full, I placed my attention on all of the people in St. Cloud, Minnesota. I sent all of them love. I sent love to the company that had set up the robocall. I sent love to the people who worked for the company and who would have been on the call, if I had picked up the line. That day another 25 calls came in. The phone was silenced but I turned on the notification setting on my Fitbit. Every time a call arrived, my Fitbit buzzed, I looked at the phone, felt the love and sent love to India, Fresno, California, Las Vegas, Houston, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland and so on.

The Choice to send love started with filling my body with love. Instead of feeling irritation and annoyance and frustration, my body was bathed in love. After a few days, the phone calls stopped. At first I felt disappointed. It felt good to send all that love. I shifted to social media and turned up the love there. Whenever I read an article or watch a video or read a friend’s post, I send them love and I notice where they live or where the article was published. I fill up with love and point my arrow in that direction to all the people in that town or city. Radiating Love is a Choice.

What is a choice you made recently to shift the energy in a situation?

 

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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 supports women to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. After ten years of facilitating a nine-month book program for women to write in community, she started The Writing Incubator: an on-line community for women to receive support to write a book, develop a program, start or restart a blog or write to process their lives. With the on-line Writing Labs, community calls, writing prompts and Secret Facebook group, women are tapping into their creativity and voice to send their wisdom into the world. Andrea Santa Barbara Starbucks Aug 2016

Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. She follows 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 coaching others to do the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects and on-line writing circles go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

You Have Restored My Faith in Humanity

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I was taking a walk in a neighborhood in West LA over the holidays when I passed a woman who was walking a dog, a Corgi. The Corgi’s tail was wagging so I stopped and stretched out my hand for the dog to smell me before beginning to pat his head and stroke his fur. The woman began to talk about how unfriendly people are and how amazing it was that I stopped to say hello to her dog and to her. I listened and shared a few words about how we’re all in this together and taking time for connection is important. She gushed the words, “You have restored my faith in humanity. My wish for you in 2018 is that you receive everything you desire.” I thanked her and told her I receive that blessing and I wish the same for her.

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 6.40.48 AMLater that day, I saw the film, “Lady Bird.” Before the film began, something compelled me to tell the person next to me that I was going to move one seat over to make it easier for people who were looking for seats in the now packed theater. The woman in front of me turned around and asked if she could sit in that seat. Her neck was already hurting and she felt sitting one row back would be better for her. She was at the film with friends and was about to leave the theater and sit in the car because she was in so much physical discomfort already. (Hmmm…that must be the reason I was intuitively, body-wisdom compelled to move.) During the film, I began to cry during one of the scenes and the woman reached over with a tissue for me. We talked after the film which led to a conversation about women telling their stories and using their voices in the world. She asked for my business card and hugged me and thanked me several times.

The most interesting thing about the two interactions was that I had started my day by writing three questions in my journal:

*Who am I?
*What do I have to offer the world?
*What does my heart desire?

In the experience of asking, slowing down, noticing, listening to my intuition, I received a glimpse of who I am, what I have to offer the world and what my heart desires. It is the reason I take time to pause and write and connect in on-line communities with deeper conversations.

What I also saw and know is our voices are needed, our voices matter, our voices are being heard, and the culture around women and men is in transition. I want you to know that you restore my faith in humanity every day.

 

A question for you:

How do you want to add your voice to the conversation and the transition? Where are you receiving support? Where are you connected to deeper conversations for exploring and connecting with your inner GPS?

 

Andrea Santa Barbara Starbucks Aug 2016

If you want to explore writing as a process or you are working on a book or developing a program, the next Writing Incubator begins on April 1 with early bird pricing until February 1. Check it out!

The Writing Incubator

 

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 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.

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 coaching others to do the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects and on-line writing circles 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.

Phase Transition: Make Space and Let Yourself BE Empty

Day 74 of 100 days of Blogging

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There was a moment yesterday when I could see and feel the changes that are happening in my life. And in that moment I felt a little empty like the train had arrived at the station, dropped off all of the passengers and everything stopped. The conductor (me) pulled out the map and sat there figuring out what to do next.

I have arrived at the station after six months of releasing and allowing the space to be empty; To BE instead of DO. I see the beginning of the next phase. More glimpses of what I have been working toward creating. Balance of family, play, work, relationships.

This is one phase of the process of change. I have been through this so many times at different intervals in my life and this is what I notice in this type of phase transition, change and the in-between space:

*I begin to have new or reawakened awareness.

*I make some changes in my life. I experience frustration from some people in my life when I am in this period of change because I am uncomfortable when people ask me questions and I don’t have the answers. They mirror my internal discomfort. Or I notice that when I plan a weekend of pleasure, someone in my life has a crisis and there is an expectation that I need to stop everything to help them, even though they have other people who can help. I am torn between being a good friend or mother or daughter. In that moment, I am in a dilemma of what choice to make. Do I choose to focus on my own needs and desires or put everyone else first. It is uncomfortable and can feel restrictive. I can feel myself frustrated and angry.

*And then it happens, the changes begin to happen and I have what I want. Or I have the beginning of what I want. I have made some changes. People around me have adjusted. I am in a new stream of flow. I know when to help someone or when to practice my own self-care.

*Now, it is up to me.

*Am I going to sabotage the new way of being in subtle or obvious ways? Am I going to do things to pull people into the space where I just got free? Or can I sit in the stillness? In the unknown, uncertainty, unfamiliar space and slow down. Feel what it feels like to be in this next space and continue to let it unfold.

*I remind myself in this phase to stay empty.

*Fill myself slowly and consciously.

 

*****

An example of a day:

I had a whole day to focus on myself. No appointments or schedules. A day when I could tune in and let my intuition guide me to play, rest, work, have an adventure. Infinite possibilities and choices in this present moment.

I started by connecting with people in the house in Brooklyn where I was staying during my visit to NYC. There were five additional guests for two nights. We ate breakfast together and shared some of the details of our lives.

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One of the women asked me about my coaching fees. She is a screenwriter who was hired to write a script for a film. She is experiencing some writer’s block and wanted to work with a coach to connect to the soul of the film. After a brief conversation, she hired me for three sessions and sent me the script draft. We will focus on story development and the connection to the soul; one of the things I LOVE to do in coaching.

After breakfast, I wanted to write and read and hang out in coffee shops and bookstores in Brooklyn and the East or West Village in New York. So, I googled coffee shops and picked the first destination.

I had a conversation with my oldest daughter and let her know I was available to babysit at their home in Queens in the evening so she and her husband could have some time together. We decided to connect later about the timing. I offered because I like to spend time with my granddaughter and it felt like the last time I could offer babysitting in the next few days before going back to Washington, DC.

Text from my daughter: Thanks for the offer. I am going into the city. I need to check with Jesse after he auditions the directors. Will let you know later this afternoon.

 

Now, it is late afternoon. I have several desires. The Strand Bookstore. A coffee shop in West Village. Regal Cinema in Union Square. I find myself moving in slow motion. I am not clear on my desire. I go slower so I can listen and feel connected to what I really want. I stand in the Regal Cinema lobby looking at the film choices and timing. I want to see The Danish Girl but if I babysit, it doesn’t look like I will have time. After ten minutes of standing there in uncertainty, I decide to move onto the busy, streets of New York.

The Strand Bookstore is in the next block. It is packed. Holiday and weekend shopping. I slowly walk up and down the aisles and move back onto the street. Too crowded. Not the right place for me today.

I walk around the block. Feeling. Thinking. Noticing. Letting myself feel empty and uncertain. I am in unfamiliar territory. It is a new place inside of me. A bubbling well that must be emptied to cultivate the next…

The key to discover the next path is to slow down.

I pause in front of a story and remember I have been craving pizza for a week. I feel a Yes inside of me. I notice the store right next to me is called Pie by the Pound. A restaurant that specializes in gluten free pizza. I pause for a moment and stand there checking within to feel my desire before going inside. I choose 4 different kinds of pizza. 4 small rectangular slices. Eat slowly. Enjoy this new experience. Gluten free, flat pizza. I eat until I am full then save the rest for later.

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I look at the movie choices at the Regal Cinema again on my iPhone. Brooklyn is the next film showing. I am staying in Brooklyn so my curiosity piques. Film Description: An Irish immigrant in 1950s New York. She moves to America for an opportunity. When something happens at home in Ireland, she returns and must face a choice to stay in her old life in Ireland or return to her new life in America.

I feel a synchronicity. Letting go of the old. Making room for the new.

I purchase my movie ticket. Get settled in my seat and just as I reach to turn off my phone, I see a text from my sister: “Spoke to Dad this afternoon. He is so happy to be home. They had a health care professional visit and Dad is able to get all of the services he needs. He was really excited and happy. The health care person went around the house and made sure it was all safe for him.”

There is a moment when I feel I am not needed and I feel a loss. It is a blip on my emotional screen. I notice it. A moment of feeling: what is my value in the family if I am not there? I take a deep breath. Appreciate that I am connected to my family and that I do not have to be the caretaker. I CAN live my life and create new experiences. I CAN schedule time for me and know that everyone else is already cared for!

The film was perfect. I can feel it deeply. I recognize the feelings of letting go of one place to receive the next place.

Text from my daughter: Mom, thanks for the offer. We are exhausted from the auditions today. Jesse and Lucille sound asleep.

Another blip of loss. I am not needed. And then I feel the freedom.

 

It is 8pm on a Saturday night and I am in NYC with crazy, drunk Santa’s running around. Literally, throngs of people dressed up in the masculine and feminine versions of Santa with costumes, hats and bells. I walk slowly. I notice how other people are spending their Saturday night. Two drunk people weaving down the street brush up against me. Couples laughing and hugging. Groups of women with full shopping bags. Families huddled together, holding hands. A motor home with Hanukkah songs playing music on speakers intermingled with Christmas music. A police mobile station and people inside with ice packs on their heads.

This is a new beginning for me. What do I want to do right now?

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I see THINK Coffee and decide to get a latte. Be silent. Reflect on my life before children. Reflect on my life before marriage. Reflect on the new desires that are emerging.

I dive into reading the yummy script of my new client.

I notice I am happy.

Me. NYC. Latte. Reading and writing in a little nook in THINK Coffee. Doing exactly what I want to be doing and being, right now.

After a few hours, I walk 1.3 miles to the M Train, choosing to walk instead of riding another train and transferring. The weather is gorgeous. NYC feels so good. I feel so good.

I arrive back in Brooklyn around midnight. Ten minutes later the house is filled with people arriving back from a class and dinner.

Briefly checking in with people before heading downstairs to my bedroom. Climbing into bed with a smile on my face.

The end of 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.

Wandering: The Alchemist

Day 73 of 100 days of Blogging

Today is a day of wandering. Sitting in silence. Listening for an inspiration. Asking the question: What does my soul want to experience today?

After a morning of reading, connecting with housemates and writing, I felt the inspiration to spend the day in several coffee shops.

First stop is The Swallow Cafe, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, New York. East Williamsburg area.

Local community. Great coffee. Place is booming with conversation and creativity.

I feel inspired…so, here it is…

The inspiration is for me to start writing a book. It is not a new idea. I have many books on Amazon that were co-created with women in Heal My Voice programs. I have many drafts of several books. The bubbling idea at the moment is to look back at the reams of personal writing and create my own book. Create space and time for writing it. The whispers are getting louder.

I spent the evening with a writer last night. In the cafe now, I find myself rewinding and reviewing the conversation in my mind. I begin by opening a new word document and reading my writing, exploring any hints or clues about what I want to express.

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I came across a blogpost I wrote from a concert tour I went on with my teenage daughter during the summer of 2009. A spontaneous conversation with a drummer, Mike Bedard who was on tour with Jordin Sparks. A moment when I saw him outside the concert venue and I took the time to reach out and tell him how much I enjoyed watching him perform. When I shared that this was the 42nd concert on our adventure that summer, he asked if I had read The Alchemist. An hour later, we finished our conversation and his manager found some free tickets for my daughter and me. An unexpected offer and gift.

I am inspired once again by The Alchemist. Wondering if there is a story for me to share…

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 2.27.45 PMWords from Wikipedia that pop out at me today:

*It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish

*…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.

*It’s your mission on Earth.

 

I connect with those words and let them simmer as I pack up my bags.

Hopping on the L train in Brooklyn and heading to a bookstore in the East Village for more inspiration:

The Strand…

 

*****

Here is a brief description of a part of, “The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo,” as summarized in Wikipedia.

“Central to the novel is the concept of a Personal Legend. Santiago first learns of one’s Personal Legend from The King of Salem, who tells him “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”[10] He expounds on this, saying “…there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”[10] The King also tells Santiago of the importance of following the omens on the journey to realizing one’s personal legend. Coelho follows this advice himself; he will only start writing a book after finding a white feather.[11]

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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.

Dramatic Adventure Theater: Travelogue Reading December 2015

Day 67 of 100 days of Blogging

 

Tonight I had an opportunity to share a reading about a travel experience in New York City at a Dramatic Adventure Travelogue Event.

Event Description:

WE TELL STORIES (and drink sangria specials!) at this FREE event at New World Stages!!!!

In addition to hearing from a handful of curated special guest writers/performers at each event, this is also an opportunity for you to tell a story from your travels off the cuff or to bring in a prepared essay, journal entry, blog, video, poem, song, or even a piece of fiction that you created about/while traveling–domestically, internationally, or even from one side of the city to the other! (At least four to five story-tellers will be pulled from a hat so, if you’re interested, be sure to drop your name in when our host passes it around!)

Even if you don’t share a story, come listen, reunite, and hug us!!!! It’s been too long! If we’ve never met, then it’s REALLY been too long; introduce yourself!

For more information for the next event in 2016:


Visit www.dramaticadventure.com

 

My STORY:

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It was always hard to sleep the night before flying from New York to San Francisco. Always an early flight, I feared I would sleep through the alarm and not be ready when the taxi cab driver would ring the bell to the apartment. Then, there was the fire in my belly, the anticipation of seeing the man who was my intimacy research partner for 8 months. One week per month we would meet in San Francisco with three weeks apart to live our lives. Staying in contact through text messages and once a week a long Facetime conversation.

 

So, let me back up for a minute. A few years ago, I lived in Los Angeles and traveled to Baltimore, New York and San Francisco every month. This lasted for eight months.

I teach a 15-minute partnered practice called Orgasmic Meditation and for 18 months, I studied and learned and Immersed myself in this consciousness practice.

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The crazy thing about that immersion was an unexpected thing that happened. The feeling sensation in my body increased so much that I could feel a distinct, palpable difference in every city I visited. From earthy to spine tingling to heart expanding, there was a flavor in each location that was unique.

The rhythm of each month began in LA. Waking up early for morning practice with my ten housemates. Then, sitting outside with a hot cup of coffee before heading to the airport. Watching the hummingbirds flitting from Bird of Paradise to Chinese Bell Flower, their beaks inserted into the crevices of flowers to drink the nectar. Me in my flip flops and sundress taking one last breath in our tropical backyard. Then off to the airport. The feel of LAX, with the sun shining and a light breeze maintaining the temperate climate, where it was common to see a movie star waiting in the security line or walking through the airport with a purse dog in a bag on one arm, designer handbag on the other and trying to achieve some level of anonymity by hiding behind sunglasses. The airport feels surreal like the backlot on a movie studio. Lots of action, cameras, stars and unexpected moments with all of us playing the part of the extras in the film.

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Arriving in Baltimore five hours later, feeling the grounded, earthiness. No pretense. The Balmore accent melded with local colloquialisms, like, “Hey Hon, you goin’ down da ocean for your birfday?” Always a friend waiting at the curbside to pick me up. Catching up on the ups and downs of life. A pull out couch with flannel sheets waiting for my arrival. A cup of tea. A space heater. A chair pulled to the side of the couch for me to use as a side table.

After a week of coffee house Board meetings and writing workshops for lower income women in Baltimore I get on the Megabus to New York. Balancing my computer on my lap and a cup of Zeke’s coffee in the other hand. (Bad Birds of Baltimore, the preferred choice), sometimes paying the extra $9 for the front row, upper deck seat so I can see the NYC iconic skyline and feel the rush of adrenaline at first sight. Suddenly I am in the city feeling the exhilarating energy of beating hearts, mind racing conversation intermixed with multicultural mixtures of languages.

My body is buzzing with excitement when the bus stops at the corner near Times Square. I hop off the bus, grab the handle of my suitcase and jump into the flow of the crowd like a school girl waiting for the moment when it is my turn to play Double Dutch. Jumping in with my own fancy footwork. I frequently break into song when walking in the crowd not caring what anyone else thinks. Give my Regards to Broadway or Jay Z and Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind.

Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty Second Street
That I will soon be there

AND

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York

 

In New York, I took a course called Orgasm Mastery, became a grandmother to Lucille, and stayed in an actor’s apartment in Queens.

And then it was time for San Francisco and my intimacy partner. He flew from Hamburg, Germany to Paris, France. Always stopping at a gift shop to pick up a little memento like an Eiffel tower keychain or a tin of macarons. We always arranged our flights to arrive at the San Francisco Airport within an hour of each other.

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San Francisco has this international feeling intermixed with flower child remnants of the 60’s meets technology of the future. The old and the new feeling youthful and alive. Big ideas. Gold rush. Anything is possible.

Most of the months, I arrive at the airport first. Wheeling my suitcase from domestic flights to international and waiting outside the crowded gate. Unlike domestic flights where a friend or family member picks you up at the curb, international flights have throngs of people waiting. There is a monitor where you can watch the passengers on the last hallway before they emerge into the airport. Anticipation is thick in the air. I anticipate my partner’s arrival along with groups of people, some single and some with small and large groups of families. Some with signs but most with flowers and arms ready to embrace a loved one. I wonder about their stories and watch each arrival during my hour wait. The soldier arriving back from a tour in another land with both woman and man crying in a long embrace. The multi-generational Chinese family embracing an elderly man and woman in a wheelchair. I wonder how long it’s been since they last saw each other. There are outcries with each new recognition of the person emerging through the gate. A young woman in her 20’s arrives. Greeted by a man, a woman and two young children. The children hide behind their mother and the man reaches out with a friendly but formal handshake. I think, maybe this is an Au Pair arriving to care for the children for a year. She is here for an adventure in the United States.

And so it continues until I see him, my partner, on the monitor. My heart starts beating faster. We haven’t seen each other in three weeks. He quickens his step when he sees me at the gate. And with one swift motion like two people in a dance, his arm around me turns me to the exit door right outside the airport where we pause to exchange a long, slow kiss before heading to the BART, arriving at our private room at the International Hostel and beginning our week long adventure.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Go Out and Kick Ass

Day 61 of 100 days of Blogging

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I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass. ~Maya Angelou

 

Some days this is the only thing you can do. Stop thinking. Stop waiting for perfection, for the stars to be aligned, for a clear AHA or YES for your next steps.

Get up. Move your body. Pick two things on your to do list and just do it. Put everything else aside. Embrace the messiness of life. Stop overthinking it.

Young or Old, Go out into the world and kick some ass today. Get it done!

See you there!

 

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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.

The Power of Connection: Show Up and Play

Day 58 of 100 days of Blogging

 

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Some memories of childhood came to me this week while reading a book. The words, “I discovered people are alike in many, many more ways than they are different,” rang true.

I moved 12 times by the time I was 15 years old. We lived in the West, East, North and South. Different states all over the U.S. My Dad was in the Marines when I was born. My mom was a homemaker. Then, my Dad was hired by Pillsbury in sales for the refrigerated section of the company. Think Pillsbury Doughboy. Every promotion meant a move to a different region. My Dad continued working for Pillsbury for 33 years and then retired to a golf course in Florida with my mother.

Belonging to a group is a fundamental need on the Maslow chart of Self-Actualization. So, of course, as a kid, I wanted to connect and belong to a peer group. Moving so much meant I had to keep starting over and find new ways to connect. While living in Dallas, Texas, in elementary school, we lived in a neighborhood with kids and activities connected by an alley way and rows of back yards. Easy to belong. Show up and play. Everyone was included.

By the time I was in middle school in Edina, Minnesota, I was lost. I could never find my place in either of the two schools I attended there. There were moments of fun and connection with Girl Scouts and singing activities in school. But, I never really felt like I belonged in the day to day classroom interactions and it was hard to find friends for weekend activities.

We moved to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania when I was going into the ninth grade and by 10th grade, I felt connected with a purpose. I felt connected to every group. You could say I was “popular” but not in an obvious way. I knew People. People knew me. I was in many clubs. I was Secretary of my class. I was visible. I felt like I belonged. I was well liked and included in activities.

IMG_0769The memories that surfaced this week included a flash of me as a school girl in high school. I reflected on why things changed and when? How did I come into my own in high school? What happened? And then I remembered a choice point and an awakening.

In ninth grade, sometime during the month of November, I decided to stop waiting for people to see me and instead, I saw them. With the holidays all around us, I decided to create an individualized holiday card for every person in my class. I spent weeks, cutting photos and words out of magazines that I felt represented something about each person. Sports, fashion, dogs, cats, nature. Taping the pictures onto construction paper, I folded each sheet in half and wrote a personalized note, a gratitude, something that reflected something about the person; something I had noticed about them. I spent the whole month creating the cards and observing each person. Some of the the cards were easy and some of them took me longer to really see the person under layers of protecting who they were. My intention was to give them something uplifting and my desire was a moment of connection.

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Something happened that I did not anticipate. This was the awakening. I stopped trying to get people to like me or notice me. I was so absorbed in this project and watching people and really falling in love with each of them. I could see and feel the beauty, the vulnerability, the tenderness in each person. I started to interact with them differently. I stopped feeling this screaming voice inside of me: SEE ME! DOES ANYONE SEE ME? And instead, I saw them. I felt connected. I felt like I belonged. The natural essence of who I am emerged and was seen by my being.

There is a quote by Maya Angelou that has been paraphrased in a variety of ways, “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

That holiday season I received the gift of seeing others and allowing them to see me and it changed everything. I became a better listener. I learned the power of silence and observation. I learned how to wait patiently and allow the connections to happen in organic, vibrant ways. I learned who I am.
Do you have a moment of awakening that you are remembering now? Please share it with us in the comment section.

 

Lots of Love,

Andrea

 

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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.

Reclaiming Personal Power: I am a Work of Art

Day 54 of 100 days of Blogging
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A few years ago, I was renting a car at a rental agency when the man behind the counter began to flirt with me. It was overt and so obvious, it took me surprise.He leaned across the counter and with a sultry, flirty voice said, “Your husband must be so happy coming home to you every night.”
Me: (nervous laughter) I don’t have a husband. He died.
Him: “Well, Your boyfriend must be so happy coming home to you every night.”
Me: (nervous laughter) I don’t have a boyfriend.
Me: Okay, that’s it. Could you get the car, please?
He shrugged and went outside to get the car. Handed me the keys and I was out of there.
In the car, I was still nervously laughing and at the same time I felt like I had been slimed. I was so caught off guard. Not “off my game” because I had no “game.” I had been a widow for eight years, and in monogamous relationships for most of my adult life. Normally when I was renting a car, I had my kids with me. I hadn’t experienced that kind of flirting for a long time.
So, here is this man totally coming on to me. Overtly flirting and licking his lips every time he spoke to me. Me with my vigilance up and nervous laughing and finally in the car feeling like What! I can not believe this man was being so weird and flirty and unprofessional with me.
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When I returned the car a few days later, he was there again and I decided to claim my power. I was wearing baggy clothes, had messed up hair, no make-up and still he starts flirting. As he got into the car to check the mileage, he looked me up and down. I thought to myself, don’t let him shut you down. I silently declared, I am a work of Art and he is in full appreciation of me.
While sitting in the car and me standing in full view, he gave me another slow, slow long look.
Starting at my feet, moving up through my legs, knees, thighs, pausing on my pussy, he licked his lips. Continuing up my body, he looked at my breasts, licked his lips again, kept moving until his eyes met mine. I stayed open energetically and physically, kept his gaze and said, “So what is your desire?”
He looked away and mumbled, “I want to rub your feet.”
Haha! Funny.
I kept my body open. I was in a safe place. Daylight. I claimed my space. No shriveling this time.

I invited him to a Onetaste event in Downtown LA. I did not desire him. I desired to stay fully in my power, my sexuality and this “inappropriate and unprofessional” man was not going to diminish me. I challenged him to actually connect, to stop playing this game of intimidation and take action.
I gave him the organizer’s email address to RSVP to the event. When the organizer told me he sent the RSVP, I thought, Oh, no! Well, there would be 100 people there and I would introduce him as the guy from the rental agency. If he had a desire for connection, there were many women at this event. He would have been embraced if he wanted to join the community, learn to OM and to grow into his true desire. He did not show up. Or if he did, I didn’t see him.
This man was a gift to me. I had an aversion to him. He was creepy. I was not physically attracted to him. A few months later, I did a talk at a Women’s Conference about claiming the essence of our sexuality, connected to personal power and money generating. I made $1000 that day. I started working with more clients. That interaction changed me.
It expanded me as a person and uncovered more of my personal power and desire.
*Note: Aversion to me means that someone feels like sandpaper to me. It can be a trigger. They can feel uncomfortable, creepy. I can feel unsafe. It is an opportunity to look at my shadow, set boundaries, explore my desire. Aversion is a feeling to me and the person is a gift to what I can learn and feel and expand within myself.
 It’s all about me, baby. The good, the bad and the ugly. My personal growth.
I am using it all!
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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.

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