Fearless Voices Introduction by Andrea Hylen

Day 95 of 100 days of Blogging

Heal My Voice is an organization committed to empowering women to heal a story in their life, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership at the dinner table, in their communities and in the world.

Fearless Voices is the first book in a series of three books published in 2012 and 2013.

Introduction by Andrea Hylen, Founder of Heal My Voice (March 2012)

During the last nine months, twenty-two women gathered in a circle in the form of a secret Facebook group, with weekly phone calls, and in-person gatherings. The focus of our connection was to write a story that would heal an experience in our lives.
In the writing, the gentle reading and editing, the listening and support, using vulnerability as power, our voices emerged clearer and stronger. 
Writing. 
          Speaking. 
                    Leadership.
There are a lot of details I could write about our time together and I am on a mission. I don’t have a lot of time to bring you into the story. So, I am going to get right to the point.
Women are only using a small percentage of their voices. 
I don’t have any scientific proof like the studies that have been conducted on the brain. You know the studies, the ones that say we are only using a small percentage of our brains?
I will venture to say that women are only using a small percentage of their voices; a small percentage of their infinite potential; a small percentage of their unique, beautiful gifts and wisdom. My proof comes from being a woman, working with women, gathering in community with women, raising three daughters, volunteering as a Girl Scout Leader and a Destination Imagination Coach and witnessing women in all areas of my life.
I have witnessed their brilliance, their hearts and seen how powerful they are when no one is looking, when no one can see, when no one can hurt them and when someone believes in them. I have seen them stand up for other people but rarely for themselves.
Here is what I have also seen:
We apologize when we have done nothing wrong. We are afraid to ask for what we want. We are afraid to take up too much space. We think that other people have the answers for how we should live our lives. We hold on too tight. We give up too easily. We call each other names, put each other down, gossip instead of having direct, honest conversations. We whine, use passive-aggressive behavior, we learn to manipulate, back stab and hide as we go around the back door to try to get what we want. 
It is time for that to change and many of us have made the choice to do that. We are courageous. We are fearless. We are healing an old story and we are practicing with our newly discovered voices until it becomes a natural way of living, of speaking, of honoring our words, our wisdom and acknowledging and celebrating each other.
It is time for women to heal their voices in communities where they can practice, feel safe, be seen and heard and heal from the wounds from trauma, loss, grief and abuse. And from that newly healed, grounded place, we are learning to fully express who we really are.
In the Heal My Voice book circles and letter writing projects, we believe healing an old story leads women to a richer expression of their unique gifts and leadership and gives them more access to the full expression of their voice. 
When a woman is nurtured in community and given a space to speak about what she feels, thinks and wants, she heals her voice and begins to speak from a place of wisdom. She learns to listen to her inner guidance. She asks for support when she needs it. She taps into her vulnerability and uses it as power. She discovers her innate wisdom.
Why does it matter now?
Things are rapidly changing in the world. We are in a time of breakdown. The old structures are crumbling. And we have the chance to rebuild, rethink, and release things that no longer work. Women standing together and standing side by side with men is what is needed. We need the full expression of who we are. Connected to our hearts; Listening to and acting from inspiration; Joining together to lift humanity. We can’t heal the planet when we ourselves are emotionally and spiritually wounded. 
The mission is to empower a community of women who heal a story in their lives, reconnect with their inner authority, and discover the next steps in leadership. Women in community expressing vulnerability, supporting each other, encouraging, laughing, connecting, collaborating and celebrating life.
As Marianne Williamson wrote in, “A Return to Love:”
“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We are no longer just saying the words. We have gathered in community, healing our voices, giving each other permission and liberating each other. We are living this now.
This is the first of a series of books that are being created in communities of women around the world. This is a series of Voices individually and collectively breaking through into new territory and a new world.
We begin with Fearless Voices. We are ready now.




Book of stories is available on Amazon:

 http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Voices-Stories-Courageous-Volume/dp/061560725X/

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