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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.