Living my Life as a Research Project
Day 100 of 100 days of Blogging
Life is naturally designed to be a research project. We are born with desire and curiosity. A child is naturally interested in exploring; naturally playing with their senses to create experiences. See. Hear. Taste. Touch. Play.
I like to observe, analyze and process what I notice and feel in the world. You could say that I am a born researcher, a data collector and a writer.
For ten years after college, my career evolved from research assistant to project manager at Johns Hopkins to computer software trainer at a pharmaceutical company. I am a trained social worker and coach and an ordained minister. I like to study life, people and feelings. I have always been curious about people. Observing why they choose or don’t choose different experiences in their lives. Why they say they are happy when they feel sad to me. Why they say they are fine when they have tears in their eyes.
After working in the University System, I turned my attention to research life; my life and the world in and around me.
100 days of blogging has been a research project. The intention I set when I first started writing was to explore my voice. What did I want to write about? Where did people want to engage? What topics of interest to women and men in my community? What did I notice? Where did I have feelings of passion and intense desire to explore a topic?
Well, it turns out that I wrote about how I live my life. The topics included Living with Intent, Living in Flow, Living from Inspiration, Relationships, Connection, Writing, Grief, Healing, Consciousness Practices, Transformation and Leadership.
As this is the last day of 100 days of writing, I move towards integration. It is a necessary last piece of all research projects. Writing has transformed something so deep, that I need time and space, more of “the gap time,” to allow for integration and digestion to be able to use what I have uncovered.
And while I give the 100 days of writing time to percolate, I said yes to another research project. This one connects me to my Orgasmic Meditation practice.
For more details about setting up research with a partner, read on…
To start off the new year, I decided to practice Orgasmic Meditation with an OM coach and friend in Crystal City, Virginia. We set the experience to be 21 days and to meet in his apartment every day.
Here are a few tips that can be adapted for different research experiences.
1. Enter at your own risk. I wouldn’t label 21 days of daily OMing as “fun.” The purpose of research is to turn a spotlight onto something and allow for release and purification and new awareness. Shadow and light will be revealed.
In the first week of the experience, I have noticed how each of us have had a day or two where we feel messed up before we start to OM or a day where we feel tender and cracked open after the OM. There is a purification and burning off of emotions and revealing of desires that emerge. There are also days that feel like nothing is happening which leads to days of bursting awareness and opening of power. In the first 7 days, I have laughed, cried, tapped into more of my power and last night I had nightmares for a few hours and woke up sobbing. I’m in it. 14 days to go.
2. Communication is Key.
a. Tune in to your desire and get clear on what you really want
b. Commit to a time period that feels “right” to you. If you already feel stretched and pressured before you begin, make an adjustment. 7 days can be just as powerful as 21 days or 30 days.
c. Communicate your desire with your partner (or with yourself, if it is a different kind of research that does not require a partner. Write down the desire and the expectation and the tools for communication. (One partner and I used a Google document for clarity and journal writing together. )
In my current research of 21 days of OMing, my partner and I both had a desire for daily OMing. When he shared his desire as a general idea of 30 days of OMing, it felt like our desires were a match. When I looked at my schedule for January, knowing it would require 2-3 hours of travel, as well as OM time, I was willing to commit to 21 days. The additional 9 days felt like overwhelm to me.
d. Set up a self-care regimen. Salt baths. Sleep. More quiet time for processing and integrating everything that WILL come up!
e. Notice everything. Subtle shifts. AHAs. Journal. Stay conscious.
f. Stay in the mystery of what is possible. There will be bumps in the road. Things you didn’t think about or even different perspectives that were not evident when you set the container. Part of the growth is the messiness that arises and new communication that is created.
g. Set up a foundation and structure for yourself. A way to have a beginning and an ending and a touchstone to remind yourself why you are called to do this at this time.
In my current research with an OM partner, we have the foundation of the OM practice and the 12 steps of OMing.
Tenets of OM:
1. Attention – noticing what is
ii. Simplicity – removing anything extra (romance, interpretations,
value judgments, accoutrements), goallessness
iii. Desire – making requests and adjustments in the OM.
iv. Connection – feeling the connection created between the stroker
and strokee (limbic resonance)
12 Steps to OM:
1. Ask for an OM
2. Set up a space
3. Sit in Position
6. Initial Grounding
10. Second Grounding
11. Share Frames
12. Clean up the space
And that’s all for now folks!
To the adventure!
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.