Living in Flow: Courage to Listen
Day 7 of 100 days of blogging
When I first wrote the draft for this blogpost, I was at a crossroads. I had been living in youth hostels and extended stay hotels with my youngest daughter while we explored living in California. I didn’t know if we would stay there or if we would return to Maryland and the community I had known for 28 years. This experience is an example of living in the void, between worlds, where one thing was ending and the new beginning was around the corner. I just couldn’t see it yet.
In the next two months, I would write 70 articles on grief transformation. Two months after that I would be hosting 44 blogtalk radio shows about Grief Transformation. And in January 2011, I would hear the words Heal My Voice and submit the paperwork to start an organization.
This is a picture of what it looks like when you are in the middle of the bridge from the past to the future.
It has been awhile since I have written a blogpost about the journey I have been on since January. The main reason for not writing is I haven’t had the words to describe what has been happening. I have been going deeper into myself and exploring and discovering a new depth of who I am. I have been describing my life with the words silent retreat, inner journey, climbing a mountain and walking on the beach. Asking questions and listening.
I check in on Facebook. I talk to a few people at the coffee shop. There is an occasional phone call. But, most of my time is spent in silence. Listening, observing the feedback from the Universe, taking action and feeling the feelings.
For the past few weeks, I have had moments every day of feeling like a failure. I have had several moments of feeling like I am a f**k-up. I have doubted, feared, questioned and told myself I live in a la-la fantasy world where I should just get with the program. Not sure what the program is exactly but it feels like “get back in the box and do what everyone else is doing.” Not sure what that is either. It feels constrictive because I am looking for the path of someone else and not my own.
Instead of running from the feelings, I have played with them every day. I have felt them, rolled them around in my heart, looked at them and learned from them.
This latest wave of fears and doubts started with a situation with my cats. The couple who have been watching them in Santa Barbara, CA. can no longer take care of them. Their oldest cat is beginning to feel the stress of living with 7 cats in a small house. It has become Urgent for us to find another home for them.
Staying with my theme of Open to Inspiration, I thought that maybe it was time to find an apartment and make a commitment to a specific location. In January, I thought Hannah and I would live in temporary situations for a year. Part of being open to the inspiration and releasing the attachment of timing. I opened to the idea of settling down and planting roots in southern California. With an apartment of our own, the cats could come and live with us.
I started every day by asking the question, “What is the next step in finding a place to live?” I listened and took a step towards the inspiration. Every day I experienced a “failure”. The apartments were too expensive. I don’t have a job with an income and probably couldn’t qualify. I don’t want to commit to a year lease without having a job or solid income. I don’t have enough money in the bank to pay for a year of apartment expenses. The apartment with the lower price was filled already. Every inspired step led me to a closed door.
The next step was to look for sublets that would allow cats. Nothing in the area.
Every day, I took the inspired action step. I felt the place of discomfort within myself. Every day I took an hour walk, felt the feelings and began to shift the energy. I imagined myself feeling a connection to the Earth as I walked. I imagined the critical thoughts passing through me letting all of the critical thoughts pass through me and into dear Mother Earth. At some point, during the walk, I would release the fear, anxiety, doubts. Call it a connection to nature, Spirit, God or a deeper place inside of you. Whatever your belief is fine.
One day, as I was walking and beginning to feel a relief from the fear, a moment of feeling at peace with myself and with life, a thought popped into my head.
I remembered a moment with my son, Cooper. He was born with a congenital heart defect. At two weeks old, he had just received his first open heart surgery. The doctors came into the private room where they would give us an update on the surgery. The doctor said that they had done all that they could, Cooper was weak and would probably not survive the night. After a few minutes, I decided to go and sit with our son. I had made a decision. I sat next to him in PICU. With tears streaming down my face, I began to speak. “Cooper, I love you. You are at a crossroads in your life. I will be here with you, no matter what you choose. If you decide to fight for your life and heal, I will be with you every step of the way. And if you decide that you have to leave now and die, I will stay with you and love you. No matter what you decide, I love you.” Within a few minutes, his vital signs improved. He had chosen to live.
And I was always with him. For 19 months, I took him to doctor appts, sat with him at the hospital until the last hospital stay when it was time for him to leave. Soul mission complete.
In recalling this loss, I am reminded how I discovered strengths inside of me that I didn’t know I had, in the pain of loving and losing my child. Courage, compassion, unconditional love, and my warrior spirit.
Somehow in the depth of feeling like a failure right now, letting myself go into the depths of the emotion, clearing it to see the truth of who I am, I discovered something about myself that I really never understood until now. I see that the way I have lived my life, pushing out of the box, being willing to take a risk, walking on the path when I can only see a foot in front of me, embracing it all, has been the only way I can live.
This is authentically ME!
What I know about myself is that I am showing up. I am living in flow. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next hour, day, week, month, year. I do know that I am courageous, willing, resourceful, loved, and inspired. I will not give up.
I know there is something on the other side of this. Today I am courageous. Today I reignite my curiosity and childlike sense of wonder knowing that anything is possible.
Today I remember who I am.
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.