Tag Archives: Andrea Hylen

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

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.

International Women’s Day 2018: Slowly a New Path Has Emerged

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 4.56.08 PMSpoken at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, March 4, 2018:

“This year, many spoke their truth, and the journey ahead is long, but slowly a new path has emerged,” Annabella Sciorra

“The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying ‘time’s up,” Ashley Judd

″So we salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, their race and ethnicity to tell their stories.” Salma Hayek

Watching the Academy Awards in the living room, by myself, on Sunday night, I found myself cheering, holding my breath, jumping off the couch with a Yes! and feeling the winds of change. We have reached another tipping point. There is momentum and there is a lot of work to do to keep this going. It is about speaking up and holding for change and giving time and space for the culture to change, too. That is what is required for change.

Change takes time.

There was a moment last week when Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the Oscars, was asked about #metoo being talked about at the Oscars. He was quoted as saying, “This show is not about reliving people’s sexual assaults — it’s an awards show for people who have been dreaming about maybe winning an Oscar for their whole lives. And the last thing I want to do is ruin that for someone, by making it unpleasant.”

When I first read his words, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach, a feeling I have had many times in my 60 years. Being told to keep my mouth shut, not to make waves, to turn down my light and not to mention the things that would make people feel uncomfortable and of course, not to be unpleasant.

Jimmy Kimmel later clarified that #metoo conversations would be a part of the show and that his words were taken out of context. There is a culture change happening and it is going to be uncomfortable for women and men as we make changes. Let’s remember that.

Change takes time.

When I saw the Time magazine cover from January, with photos of strong women and the words The Silence Breakers, I felt a rush of gratitude and hope for the future. It’s been a long time coming and now that the door is open it is going to take all of us to keep it open and find our way into this new world. There are moments now, when I feel the relief of what is being uncovered. There are moments when I feel impatient  and frustrated that the process of change is so slow. And then I remember…

Change takes time.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 5.32.20 PMMy personal story is, I left an abusive marriage in 1987. I had to fight for my children and go for psychological testing because no one in my family or his family could understand why I would leave this marriage. No one understood what the abuse had done to me and how broken I was at that time. The abuse and alcoholism were accepted as normal. I was supposed to accept that I “made my bed and I had to lie in it.” I was shamed and shunned for using my voice. Looking back, I can see that the creation of Heal My Voice began during that time but it took 30 more years of personal growth and experiences of trauma, loss and grief before I could start the organization and hold a space for women to write and heal and step into greater leadership in their lives.

Heal My Voice was started in 2011 as a way for women to break the silence. For seven years, we have been meeting in secret Facebook groups, behind closed doors, healing our voices and writing 200 stories. Each story was written over a 9 month period in a community of women. The women had the courage to go down into the emotional basement of their lives to tell the truth of what happened to them. By shining a light on the shadow, they have emerged ready to step into greater leadership in their families, communities, businesses and the world. We are ready. It is time.

Change takes time.

How many of you have been the silence breakers in your family and business? How many of you have been chipping away at a broken system for years? How many of you have been a part of the women’s liberation movement and the mankind project and using your voice?

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 5.30.36 PMWe are entering a time of even more chaos that will allow us to break free from an old broken system and to rebuild together. There is a climate for change and change takes time with an upheaval, a feeling of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” or a quiet, compelling pull from the Universe. “It’s time.”  The next steps for change come with a plan and a structure and the willingness and courage to do the inner work, as well as, the outer work. The next steps involve consistent action, rest, perseverance, patience and courage.

Change takes time.

It is our time. If you don’t see the impact immediately or you see the old culture raising it’s ugly head, keep going. Let’s roll up our sleeves and use the momentum and timing to implement more change. Women and men together. Let’s do it!

 

 

315353_10201052497332086_1044127686_nAndrea 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 go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

How will you use your voice?

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.34.43 PMFriday, January 20, 2017

I remember a moment, in 2008, when I began to feel like, I am Oprah, and you are Oprah, and it was time for us to share our wisdom and voices in a bigger way. It was one of the reasons I started a blog and it happened when Oprah highlighted Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” I read the book two years earlier and when I watched Oprah, I saw that I had been living this and she was awakening to her own questions. It was new to her. It didn’t mean I was better than Oprah, it meant that I didn’t have to wait for her to teach me everything and to be my voice. I began to share my voice and experience more, in the hopes of shining a light on the path for someone else.

We need Oprah and Deepak and Barack and Michelle Obama to inspire us and model ways of sharing our wisdom and demonstrating action because, well, we are all in this together and they are amazing role models! As we listen to their experiences and wisdom, we are also tuning in to our own inner authority. We can check within to see where we resonate with them and what we have seen and experienced from a different perspective. We can check within to follow our life purpose in the moment.

I have been and will always be a supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am also committed to listening to what President Trump is saying and being and doing to lead this country. I am listening and watching because this is my country, and I have a voice and I can use it to influence the process. These words in Trump’s inauguration speech today rang true for me: “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

Yes. The people are now the rulers of this nation again. We do not need a “big Daddy,” in the White House.  Trump and his administration are not “the people. WE are the people.

The people are now the rulers. The Women’s March in Washington and all over the United States is about taking charge and setting the agenda for our country. The people are becoming the rulers. President Trump works for us. He is our employee. We review him. We hold him accountable. We influence the vote on programs he is endorsing. We applaud. We protest. We have a voice.

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So, how will you use your voice?

Here are some of the ways I have been using my voice:

In November, a few weeks after the election, I posted a link to a radio show on Transforming Grief to Love. For six weeks, I posted 44 radio shows that originally aired over the holidays in 2010 and I did a Facetime LIVE for each show with tools and resources. Inspiring people to listen to the shows and to grieve and feel and heal. (All 44 show links are here)

This month, I am working on Part 2 of a book on How to Transform Grief to Love. With conversations from the radio shows on how to use the shadow of grief to shine a light on the love we have in our hearts.

In February, there is a nine-month program called Innovative Voices: True Stories by Women Awakening a New World.

Women will be gathering in a weekly on-line circle to talk about Innovation. What does it mean and how can we tune into that energy to help the world awaken to new ideas for humanity?

I also follow a variety of newsletters and groups to learn about things that are happening in Congress so I can use my voice to influence the vote. To make phone calls, write letters, spread the word. No  more turning over the decisions to the lobbyists. The people are the rulers. My intention is that every choice I make is connected with #humanity and uplifting the planet.

So, I ask you again. How will you use your voice?

 

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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 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 go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Living my Life as a Research Project

Day 100 of 100 days of Blogging

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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…

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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  

4. Noticing  

5. Safeport  

6. Initial Grounding  

7. Stroking  

8. Peaking  

9. Communicate  

10. Second Grounding  

11. Share Frames  

12. Clean up the space

 

And that’s all for now folks!

 

To the 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.
 

Experiencing the New Masculine and Feminine Connection

Day 99 of 100 days of Blogging

After spending a week with my parents in Florida, I boarded a Southwest Flight back to Baltimore-Washington International Airport with a cup of Starbucks coffee, a backpack and a purse. Walking down the aisle, I looked around to find a seat, noticing a man sitting in the aisle seat with an empty window and middle seat.

I gestured to the window seat and asked if anyone was sitting there. He replied, “No,” and immediately stood up. In the next moment, he asked if I would like him to hold my coffee while I got settled.

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Me: Yes, thank you.

Man: Do you have anything to put into the top bin?

Me: Yes, my backpack.

Man: Here, let me do that for you.

Me: Thank you.

As I slid into my window seat, I reached for my coffee and the next wave of support showed up.

Man: I can hold it while you get settled. Take your time. Put on your seat belt. I’m not in a rush.

Me: Thank you.

I could feel the fluttering and increased beating of my heart. This exquisite attention and kindness. I could feel a tinge of pleasure, discomfort and agitation as I let down my guard of independent, powerful woman. Receiving requires a level of vulnerability and intimacy, even with a stranger who is offering to help you. I could have declined help at each step and done it myself. For the experience of connection, I had to be open to receive.

Throughout the flight, the man handled the interactions with the flight attendant by offering me the first snacks, handing me my drink, and at the end of the flight, took my backpack off the rack and placed it in the seat for me.

The man was attentive and kind. It felt really good to receive his generous, no-strings attached offering.

 

*****

A few years ago, Nicole Daedone, founder of OneTaste brought something to my attention in a course I was taking in New York. As I described an intimate, vulnerable moment with my partner, she used my description to demonstrate to everyone in the class that this is what it looks like when a woman treats a man like a king for giving her 15 minutes of the kind of attention she gives to him all the time.

Ouch! I could feel the sting of humiliation. I shared the intimate experience in class because I felt I had opened to my partner with another level of vulnerability and real connection (which she also acknowledged as a breakthrough for me.) I really let my partner all the way in to my heart and soul. That was the true experience for me.

What was also true is that it brought attention to the fact that when I received even a morsel of time and attention from a man, I would become like the actor playing the role of Oliver in the musical; a half-starved orphan boy who had the courage to ask for more. “Please, sir, may I have a little more?”

Could I please have a little more attention, support, love?

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Treating men like kings.

I learned that growing up. Men were to be served and waited on. Even if the women bitched and complained about it sometimes, serving them was the key.

(I know men who grew up with the same thing. Women were the queens and men were here to serve them. My experience is not about dissing men. It is to share my experience that is out of balance.)

After caring for my father who had a stroke a few months ago, noticing how my mom and I were waiting on him, the whole scene felt familiar. Healthy or unhealthy, I was doing the same things for my father. Hovering and waiting on him.

I did the same thing for my first husband who I divorced after ten years. The words that shut me down, “If I do that for you, what else will you want? You are so demanding!”

I began to modify my behavior with my second husband. But, there was still an element of coming to attention when he arrived home. It was a natural pattern for me to take care of men. (He died after we were together for seventeen years. Not from lack of care. :) )

Noticing the feelings I had on the plane woke me up to a new awareness. My world is shifting. The men in my life are attentive and kind just like me. If I had been the person sitting on the aisle seat, I would have offered the same kind assistance. So, why act like this is unusual? It is my new normal!

*****

Walking in the underground metro tunnel in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia yesterday, I had an experience.

A man was running down the hallway yelling, “Miss, Miss, you dropped your gloves.”

I was walking past a woman and asked, “Did you drop your gloves?”

She stopped and looked down, then turned around and saw the man running towards her. Her face got bright and she smiled. “Thank you!”

The man’s eyes were bright and shiny. He was smiling broadly. “You’re welcome.”

I was giggling and smiling and felt so happy.

The man turned back to his friends. “I love doing things like that!”

Me: I love seeing people doing things like that!

Everyone was smiling and laughing. The sensation of connection and joy was palpable in the tunnel. Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! All of us noticing, offering support, receiving assistance, awake and aware and alive!

 

Let’s co-create more of that!

 

**********

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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.

Change and Transition: Give it Time

Day 98 of 100 days of Blogging

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In August, I had an inner calling to upgrade my life. I could feel that change was in the air but I didn’t know where I was going next. As I began to write about the changes and the uncertainty, I heard comments from other people who said they were going through the same thing. Endings. New beginnings and feeling like it was time to review their lives.

Tuning into the past year as a year of Transition and moving into 2016 as a year of Transformation, I had a thought about an outdated computer system.

Imagine that you decide it is time to upgrade the software on your computer. You commit to going through the process. You look at the options to upgrade the software. Purchase and install the new software. Turn off the computer to reboot it. That begins a new process. It feels fresh and new as you see the new screensaver or icon and you take steps to learn how to use the new features. Some of the old keystrokes are outdated and it takes time to learn the new keystrokes and features. You may even feel sad or revert to old patterns only to find out that your computer will no longer respond to those commands.

I was thinking about an experience a few years ago when I went into some deep, deep pain and transformation around my people pleasing behavior. When I finally reached rock bottom and began to make different choices, my whole body went into a frozen state whenever I tried to people please. I couldn’t do it anymore! My body refused!

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While I was visiting my parents in Florida last month after my Dad had a stroke, I noticed how my parents were putting new systems into place in their home. My mother had marked the dials on the Washing Machine and Toaster. The settings they use the most. My Dad’s medications were set out on the shelf. It was so easy for anyone to arrive, slide into the systems and help. My Dad also traded in the first walker for an updated model with a seat and brakes so he could increase the distance of his daily walk.

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During my visit, my Dad and I were watching a television program called Animal Misfits, I was fascinated by the adaptation each animal had made to it’s environment. That is what happens at each phase of our lives. Things change and we adapt.

Animal Misfits Link: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/topic/animal-misfits/

One animal is best known for its very slow rate of development. To complete the life cycle from caterpillar to adult moth, it has to go through a process over 7 years:

The Arctic woolly bear moth, is found within the Arctic circle, in Greenland and Canada. It was once estimated that it had a 14-year life cycle from egg to adult moth, with the ability to withstand temperatures below −70°C. Subsequent studies have revised the life cycle duration to be 7 years.

The Arctic woolly bear caterpillars are unique in their combination of adaptations to the polar extremes. They spend nearly 90% of their lives frozen and only about 5% feeding on the tundra during June; the remainder is spent in summer protective cocoons.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynaephora_groenlandica

 

It reminded me of how change requires patience, adaptation and time for integration of the new.

In this year of transformation, slow down. Set up new systems. Reboot your life. Adapt to the new system. The transformation is happening.

Just wait and see.

 

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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.

A Phase Transition: Following the Clues

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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.

An Experiential Life: What are you waiting for?

Day 95 of 100 days of Blogging

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It was a warm, sunny August day when we gathered with our relatives at the local water park. I spent most of the day in the kiddie pool and lazy river with our five year old daughter and seven year old niece. That was fine with me. I liked the rhythm of the slow, lazy river and I was content and happy to be there. All of the older kids and adults were in the bigger pools and slides.

As I meandered around the lazy river, I had glimpses of the biggest water slide in the park. A desire started to bubble in me as I watched the older kids and adults go down the biggest slide. It looked like they were all having so much fun and something inside of me began to yearn for the experience. Every time the thought came up I pushed it down with my inner dialogue of fears and doubts.

 

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Inner Dialogue between my full self and my limited self:

“I am happy in the lazy river.”

“Wheeee, look how happy Mary is.”

“She likes the water. You would hate getting water in your face and up your nose.”

“Ah, look. Elizabeth is waving to me from the top of the slide! I want to do that.”

“You are afraid of heights. It is too high up there. You will feel dizzy. It won’t be fun.”

 

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At the end of the day, I was packing up all of our belongings to head home and at the same time I was noticing the dwindling crowd of people waiting in line for the slide.

When I packed up the last items, something burst in me. I dropped the bags of towels I was carrying and I declared to the group that I had to go down the slide. I couldn’t leave until I did it. I stepped out of my flip flops, threw off my sundress to reveal my bathing suit underneath and before anyone could say or do anything, I walked over to the inner tubes, grabbed one and walked quickly up the flight of stairs to the top of the slide.

At this time of day, there were only a few people in line. My heart was pounding so loud in my chest I thought it would explode.  The fears and doubts were getting quieter and my YES!! was a sound that was screaming in my head.  I had to go down this slide or I would regret it forever. I asked the attendant to help me with the inner tube and hold on until I was ready to go down. Then with a simple command of Now, he gave me a good swift push and down I went.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WhEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Round and round I went. Happy mixed with a little fear and finally a sense of freedom. As I neared the bottom of the slide, I held my breath and my nose and closed my eyes preparing for the final big SPLASH!

 

Exhilarated and triumphant, I found my way to the edge of the pool, ran over to my family and prepared to leave the park. Everyone cheered as I wiped myself off with a towel grinning ear to ear.

That moment of pushing through the fear and the experience of triumph is now a touchstone. It is an experience I carry with me when I can feel a bubbling desire and the inner dialogue of my limited self is stopping me. I ask myself what would have happened if I hadn’t gone down the slide. What would my memory of that day have been? Instead of a place of limiting me, it opened up the door to listening to desires and feelings and my intuition.

 

Do you have a bubbling desire? Is there a voice inside of you filling you with hesitation and doubts and fears? What would it take for you to make one step towards it or to take a leap?

What are waiting for?

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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 Writing 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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