Tag Archives: connection

Phase Transition: Make Space and Let Yourself BE Empty

Day 74 of 100 days of Blogging

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There was a moment yesterday when I could see and feel the changes that are happening in my life. And in that moment I felt a little empty like the train had arrived at the station, dropped off all of the passengers and everything stopped. The conductor (me) pulled out the map and sat there figuring out what to do next.

I have arrived at the station after six months of releasing and allowing the space to be empty; To BE instead of DO. I see the beginning of the next phase. More glimpses of what I have been working toward creating. Balance of family, play, work, relationships.

This is one phase of the process of change. I have been through this so many times at different intervals in my life and this is what I notice in this type of phase transition, change and the in-between space:

*I begin to have new or reawakened awareness.

*I make some changes in my life. I experience frustration from some people in my life when I am in this period of change because I am uncomfortable when people ask me questions and I don’t have the answers. They mirror my internal discomfort. Or I notice that when I plan a weekend of pleasure, someone in my life has a crisis and there is an expectation that I need to stop everything to help them, even though they have other people who can help. I am torn between being a good friend or mother or daughter. In that moment, I am in a dilemma of what choice to make. Do I choose to focus on my own needs and desires or put everyone else first. It is uncomfortable and can feel restrictive. I can feel myself frustrated and angry.

*And then it happens, the changes begin to happen and I have what I want. Or I have the beginning of what I want. I have made some changes. People around me have adjusted. I am in a new stream of flow. I know when to help someone or when to practice my own self-care.

*Now, it is up to me.

*Am I going to sabotage the new way of being in subtle or obvious ways? Am I going to do things to pull people into the space where I just got free? Or can I sit in the stillness? In the unknown, uncertainty, unfamiliar space and slow down. Feel what it feels like to be in this next space and continue to let it unfold.

*I remind myself in this phase to stay empty.

*Fill myself slowly and consciously.

 

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An example of a day:

I had a whole day to focus on myself. No appointments or schedules. A day when I could tune in and let my intuition guide me to play, rest, work, have an adventure. Infinite possibilities and choices in this present moment.

I started by connecting with people in the house in Brooklyn where I was staying during my visit to NYC. There were five additional guests for two nights. We ate breakfast together and shared some of the details of our lives.

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One of the women asked me about my coaching fees. She is a screenwriter who was hired to write a script for a film. She is experiencing some writer’s block and wanted to work with a coach to connect to the soul of the film. After a brief conversation, she hired me for three sessions and sent me the script draft. We will focus on story development and the connection to the soul; one of the things I LOVE to do in coaching.

After breakfast, I wanted to write and read and hang out in coffee shops and bookstores in Brooklyn and the East or West Village in New York. So, I googled coffee shops and picked the first destination.

I had a conversation with my oldest daughter and let her know I was available to babysit at their home in Queens in the evening so she and her husband could have some time together. We decided to connect later about the timing. I offered because I like to spend time with my granddaughter and it felt like the last time I could offer babysitting in the next few days before going back to Washington, DC.

Text from my daughter: Thanks for the offer. I am going into the city. I need to check with Jesse after he auditions the directors. Will let you know later this afternoon.

 

Now, it is late afternoon. I have several desires. The Strand Bookstore. A coffee shop in West Village. Regal Cinema in Union Square. I find myself moving in slow motion. I am not clear on my desire. I go slower so I can listen and feel connected to what I really want. I stand in the Regal Cinema lobby looking at the film choices and timing. I want to see The Danish Girl but if I babysit, it doesn’t look like I will have time. After ten minutes of standing there in uncertainty, I decide to move onto the busy, streets of New York.

The Strand Bookstore is in the next block. It is packed. Holiday and weekend shopping. I slowly walk up and down the aisles and move back onto the street. Too crowded. Not the right place for me today.

I walk around the block. Feeling. Thinking. Noticing. Letting myself feel empty and uncertain. I am in unfamiliar territory. It is a new place inside of me. A bubbling well that must be emptied to cultivate the next…

The key to discover the next path is to slow down.

I pause in front of a story and remember I have been craving pizza for a week. I feel a Yes inside of me. I notice the store right next to me is called Pie by the Pound. A restaurant that specializes in gluten free pizza. I pause for a moment and stand there checking within to feel my desire before going inside. I choose 4 different kinds of pizza. 4 small rectangular slices. Eat slowly. Enjoy this new experience. Gluten free, flat pizza. I eat until I am full then save the rest for later.

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I look at the movie choices at the Regal Cinema again on my iPhone. Brooklyn is the next film showing. I am staying in Brooklyn so my curiosity piques. Film Description: An Irish immigrant in 1950s New York. She moves to America for an opportunity. When something happens at home in Ireland, she returns and must face a choice to stay in her old life in Ireland or return to her new life in America.

I feel a synchronicity. Letting go of the old. Making room for the new.

I purchase my movie ticket. Get settled in my seat and just as I reach to turn off my phone, I see a text from my sister: “Spoke to Dad this afternoon. He is so happy to be home. They had a health care professional visit and Dad is able to get all of the services he needs. He was really excited and happy. The health care person went around the house and made sure it was all safe for him.”

There is a moment when I feel I am not needed and I feel a loss. It is a blip on my emotional screen. I notice it. A moment of feeling: what is my value in the family if I am not there? I take a deep breath. Appreciate that I am connected to my family and that I do not have to be the caretaker. I CAN live my life and create new experiences. I CAN schedule time for me and know that everyone else is already cared for!

The film was perfect. I can feel it deeply. I recognize the feelings of letting go of one place to receive the next place.

Text from my daughter: Mom, thanks for the offer. We are exhausted from the auditions today. Jesse and Lucille sound asleep.

Another blip of loss. I am not needed. And then I feel the freedom.

 

It is 8pm on a Saturday night and I am in NYC with crazy, drunk Santa’s running around. Literally, throngs of people dressed up in the masculine and feminine versions of Santa with costumes, hats and bells. I walk slowly. I notice how other people are spending their Saturday night. Two drunk people weaving down the street brush up against me. Couples laughing and hugging. Groups of women with full shopping bags. Families huddled together, holding hands. A motor home with Hanukkah songs playing music on speakers intermingled with Christmas music. A police mobile station and people inside with ice packs on their heads.

This is a new beginning for me. What do I want to do right now?

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I see THINK Coffee and decide to get a latte. Be silent. Reflect on my life before children. Reflect on my life before marriage. Reflect on the new desires that are emerging.

I dive into reading the yummy script of my new client.

I notice I am happy.

Me. NYC. Latte. Reading and writing in a little nook in THINK Coffee. Doing exactly what I want to be doing and being, right now.

After a few hours, I walk 1.3 miles to the M Train, choosing to walk instead of riding another train and transferring. The weather is gorgeous. NYC feels so good. I feel so good.

I arrive back in Brooklyn around midnight. Ten minutes later the house is filled with people arriving back from a class and dinner.

Briefly checking in with people before heading downstairs to my bedroom. Climbing into bed with a smile on my face.

The end of a New Day.

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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.

Wandering: The Alchemist

Day 73 of 100 days of Blogging

Today is a day of wandering. Sitting in silence. Listening for an inspiration. Asking the question: What does my soul want to experience today?

After a morning of reading, connecting with housemates and writing, I felt the inspiration to spend the day in several coffee shops.

First stop is The Swallow Cafe, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, New York. East Williamsburg area.

Local community. Great coffee. Place is booming with conversation and creativity.

I feel inspired…so, here it is…

The inspiration is for me to start writing a book. It is not a new idea. I have many books on Amazon that were co-created with women in Heal My Voice programs. I have many drafts of several books. The bubbling idea at the moment is to look back at the reams of personal writing and create my own book. Create space and time for writing it. The whispers are getting louder.

I spent the evening with a writer last night. In the cafe now, I find myself rewinding and reviewing the conversation in my mind. I begin by opening a new word document and reading my writing, exploring any hints or clues about what I want to express.

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I came across a blogpost I wrote from a concert tour I went on with my teenage daughter during the summer of 2009. A spontaneous conversation with a drummer, Mike Bedard who was on tour with Jordin Sparks. A moment when I saw him outside the concert venue and I took the time to reach out and tell him how much I enjoyed watching him perform. When I shared that this was the 42nd concert on our adventure that summer, he asked if I had read The Alchemist. An hour later, we finished our conversation and his manager found some free tickets for my daughter and me. An unexpected offer and gift.

I am inspired once again by The Alchemist. Wondering if there is a story for me to share…

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*It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish

*…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.

*It’s your mission on Earth.

 

I connect with those words and let them simmer as I pack up my bags.

Hopping on the L train in Brooklyn and heading to a bookstore in the East Village for more inspiration:

The Strand…

 

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Here is a brief description of a part of, “The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo,” as summarized in Wikipedia.

“Central to the novel is the concept of a Personal Legend. Santiago first learns of one’s Personal Legend from The King of Salem, who tells him “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”[10] He expounds on this, saying “…there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”[10] The King also tells Santiago of the importance of following the omens on the journey to realizing one’s personal legend. Coelho follows this advice himself; he will only start writing a book after finding a white feather.[11]

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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.

Setting Intentions: Using Tools, Containers and Numbers

Day 70 of 100 days of Blogging

My oldest daughter, Mary, and I are Fitbit Crazy!

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Fitbit has different products for tracking activities. We both wear a wristband and use the App on our phone and computer to see the daily (or hourly) progression of information. Primarily, I use it for recording the number of steps I walk every day. I have it set to a 10,000 step goal because, “10,000 steps a day is a rough equivalent to the Surgeon General’s recommendation to accumulate 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. It should be enough to reduce your risk for disease and help you lead a longer, healthier life. The benefits are many:  lower BMI, reduced waist size, increased energy, and less risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease.  In fact, a recent study of the 10,000 steps a day method reported conclusive health benefits.” ~From a Blogpost on the Fitbit site

https://blog.fitbit.com/the-magic-of-10000-steps/

I purchased a Fitbit last May after a long winter of sitting at a table 12 hours a day. Computer work. On-line business. Coaching calls on SKYPE. Heal My Voice project editing and taxes and phone meetings. I had gained 20 lbs in a year of living on the road and I could feel how weak and out of shape my body felt. To get my body moving with a daily goal and to raise my awareness about how much I was moving, or not, I purchased my first Fitbit. Seeing the number of steps throughout the day encouraged me to take an extra walk, jump around and exercise so I could reach the 10,000 or more steps.

My daughter Mary purchased her Fitbit in August. She knew her life was changing. After leaving a job and traveling internationally with Dramatic Adventure Theatre for two months, she arrived home in New York to a new lifestyle; staying at home with her two year old. She knew she would have to become more conscious of going for walks and exercising and she was also curious to see how many steps she was actually moving.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.10.14 PMAt Thanksgiving, Mary challenged me to the Daily Challenge on the Fitbit app. It is set up in a way to encourage and inspire each other to meet the daily goal we each set. Throughout the day, Fitbit sends us each messages to cheer each other on. Mary and I send each other cheers and support and ideas to help us meet our goals. We send suggestions like, have a dance party, walk to the labyrinth, walk the track a few more laps.

The power of the Fitbit has also brought more awareness to eating and drinking water and sleeping. Overall self-care.

Mary and I were talking about the power of having a tool that measures our progress. More than a goal I see it as an intention. My intention is to take better care of my body and Fitbit is a tool that has been working for us both.

There are other ways I have used tools, containers and numbers to set and hold intentions. When I decided to write 100 blogposts in 100 days, my intention was to see what topics I was interested in writing about and to see where people wanted to engage with me on topics. My intention is to use the writing as a tool of exploration. I use the app Notes on my computer to record ideas and I set the intention of using 100 days as a way to go deeper, to uncover more layers, to stay focused and conscious.

When I hosted 44 radio shows in 44 days in 2010, my intention was to raise awareness and to provide support for people who were grieving during the holidays. I used a flip chart to list all of the dates and filled in topics and guests. The flip chart, the commitment to showing up every day for 44 days stretched me.

Setting an intention. Using tools. Defining a container of time and using numbers.

It works!

 

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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 Memory: Merry Christmas Darling

Day 69 of 100 days of Blogging

In New York, my oldest daughter and I were planning a small Christmas cookie baking activity to share with her 2 year old daughter (my granddaughter.) I was searching on Spotify for a Christmas playlist to add to the Christmas Spirit. Choosing the Classic Channel the first songs were White Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Santa Baby. We were mixing the sugar cookie dough and singing to the songs.

When the next song began to play, a wave of memories brought a lump to my throat.

Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you

I could feel my heart skip a beat. The song transported me back to 1977. Temple University. Third year of college. A boyfriend I met that fall who I deeply loved. This would be our first Christmas since we started dating. The unfortunate part was I was going to be in California and he would be in Pennsylvania.  Both of us had holiday plans that had been scheduled before we met. I wanted to give him something with heart felt meaning. So, I sang and recorded a cover song for him to open on Christmas.

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With a sweet, tender voice of love I sang:

Merry Christmas Darling
We’re apart that’s true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I’m Christmasing with you.

(One of his sisters told me later, that the moment he opened the present and saw an audio, he left the family celebration and ran up to his room to listen to the song in private.)

As the song continued to play, tears burned my eyes. There was this mixture of love, sadness, and loss. The end of our marriage was the end of hopes and dreams. It ended with a crazy divorce with anger and hurt and meanness. It took several years to go through the court system and finalize the divorce. It took 15 more years to finish raising our daughters with many variations of co-parenting.  We did raise our two little girls and they are now all grown up and sharing their hearts and inspiration with the world. One of them is married and a mother living in NYC and co-leading a non-profit organization with her husband. The other daughter lives in Baltimore. She is teaching special education in Baltimore City and has an equally amazing man in her life.

Even though I left the marriage in 1987 with a broken heart and even though the 28 years since then have been filled with challenges, when I heard the song today, all I wanted to focus on was the love. I played it over and over until that is all I felt. The desire I had to share my heart and soul with him. Our two daughters were two of the gifts from our ten years together. I am grateful.

Merry Christmas Darling…

 

 

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Merry Christmas Darling

Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you
 
Merry Christmas Darling
We’re apart that’s true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I’m Christmasing with you
 
Holidays are joyful
There’s always something new
But ev’ryday’s a holiday
When I’m near to you
 
The lights on my tree
I wish you could see
I wish it ev’ry day
Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say
 
That I wish you Merry Christmas
Happy New Year too
I’ve just one wish on this Christmas eve
I wish I were with you
 
The logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say
That I wish you Merry Christmas
Happy New Year too
I’ve just one wish on this Christmas eve
I wish I were with you
I wish I were with you

 

 

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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.

Feminism: Awareness is the First Key to Change

Day 68 of 100 days of Blogging
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A friend of mine, a man, shared a post in a Facebook community of men and women who are exploring the new masculine. His post began by stating how his knowledge of feminism has increased 1,000 fold in the last few weeks. He decided to learn more about the feminist movement and do some research about what rights (money, property, marital and more) women have received since he was born almost 50 years ago.
Women were not allowed to take out a business loan without having a male relative cosign until 1988! Think about how that impacted women and what they would believe about their ability to start a business or be a business woman. They needed a male relative to cosign for them. Think about how men would be conditioned to think that women were incompetent to run a business without the support of a man.
I was eight years out of college at that time, working as a Project Manager in Epidemiological Research at Johns Hopkins and the mother of two daughters. And if I had wanted to start a business, I would have needed my father or another male relative to cosign on the loan!
My friend who posted this information has a new awareness and is awakening to the male privilege he didn’t even realize he had. He wants to take more responsibility for his role in the perpetuation of old standards and he is asking questions so he can change his perspective and learn how to support his teenage daughter as she grows into her power as a woman.
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After reading his post, I wrote this comment.
Your words really stirred something in me. My whole body was buzzing as I tried to sleep last night. First, thank you for posting. I know I have so many layers of feelings. I feel like I could write a book in response to your question about asking women to share the hate they feel towards men.
 
For now, I will begin with this. I was born in 1956. I know you asked women to express the hate they have towards men. More than hate, I would say that I feared men. My mom stayed at home and we depended on my dad for our survival needs. Food, shelter, clothing. We were taught to behave and be quiet when he was home because it was his castle and his money. The message I received was to be good and quiet and not to upset him. Many experiences reinforced that message and that was enough to anchor the childhood fear and teach me to go underground with my voice.
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One of the ways I have worked on healing this personally and in my work with women is to look at how the history of not being able to own property or have our own bank accounts is in our lineage. Women were property still ripples into our relationships with women in the form of competition for a man. It is the gossipy, back biting, passive-aggressive communication when women feel they have no voice. As much as men, that has involved healing with women first and building trust in our relationships. Understanding the roots of our lineage and the changes that have been taking place step by step and how we still are in a process of changing that old conditioning.
 
One of the ways I have healed is by practicing Orgasmic Meditation (OM) for 3 years and by living in an OM community with men and women for one year. I see men in a new light. I have a lot less fear and increased love and compassion. Both Robert Kandell and Ken Blackman, the leaders in this secret Facebook group and two of my teachers in the OM community were instrumental in me learning how to tap into more of my power by supporting me in claiming my personal power, owning my desires and breaking through to reach into the power of my sexuality. That is where I have the deepest desire for living life fully and the “nice” girl had to move to the side. In this OM practice, everything changed. The way I run my business, my writing, the claiming of my sexuality and power.
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As for my daughters who are now 32, 30, and 22, I have worked with educating, changing patterns, encouraging their voices, and teaching them how to connect with men. The process of changing my own interactions and focusing on my personal growth began when they were born. I taught them to listen, to speak, to stand up for what they believe in. Leaving my husband in 1987 and breaking that pattern of accepting abuse was the way I demonstrated for them. Things are shifting. New legislation is one thing. Changing the mindset and re-callibrating to that change can take a generation or two.
When I was about to graduate high school in 1975, my mother told me I could do or be anything. Saying that and modeling it or providing guidance for that was another thing. It was assumed I would go to college but I received zero guidance for that and there was still the expectation that I would find a husband in college. I got married. Worked full time. Gave birth to two daughters. Maintained the home. Cooked, cleaned, found child care. Took off from work when my kids were sick. It was insane. Now my oldest daughter is married and has a two year old. She wants her husband to help more at home. They run a business together. I can see that some progress has been made in expecting they both take care of their child and I also see the brunt of the home stuff falls on my daughter. Now, I am her coach. I have been teaching her to specifically ask for what she needs on a daily basis with her husband and I can see the shifting for the next generation. More communication. More teamwork in a marriage. More connection. Her generation will take it to the next level and so on…
What are your thoughts about feminism? What are your thoughts about the changing roles for men and women? Please share your voice in the comment section.
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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.

 

Dramatic Adventure Theater: Travelogue Reading December 2015

Day 67 of 100 days of Blogging

 

Tonight I had an opportunity to share a reading about a travel experience in New York City at a Dramatic Adventure Travelogue Event.

Event Description:

WE TELL STORIES (and drink sangria specials!) at this FREE event at New World Stages!!!!

In addition to hearing from a handful of curated special guest writers/performers at each event, this is also an opportunity for you to tell a story from your travels off the cuff or to bring in a prepared essay, journal entry, blog, video, poem, song, or even a piece of fiction that you created about/while traveling–domestically, internationally, or even from one side of the city to the other! (At least four to five story-tellers will be pulled from a hat so, if you’re interested, be sure to drop your name in when our host passes it around!)

Even if you don’t share a story, come listen, reunite, and hug us!!!! It’s been too long! If we’ve never met, then it’s REALLY been too long; introduce yourself!

For more information for the next event in 2016:


Visit www.dramaticadventure.com

 

My STORY:

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It was always hard to sleep the night before flying from New York to San Francisco. Always an early flight, I feared I would sleep through the alarm and not be ready when the taxi cab driver would ring the bell to the apartment. Then, there was the fire in my belly, the anticipation of seeing the man who was my intimacy research partner for 8 months. One week per month we would meet in San Francisco with three weeks apart to live our lives. Staying in contact through text messages and once a week a long Facetime conversation.

 

So, let me back up for a minute. A few years ago, I lived in Los Angeles and traveled to Baltimore, New York and San Francisco every month. This lasted for eight months.

I teach a 15-minute partnered practice called Orgasmic Meditation and for 18 months, I studied and learned and Immersed myself in this consciousness practice.

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The crazy thing about that immersion was an unexpected thing that happened. The feeling sensation in my body increased so much that I could feel a distinct, palpable difference in every city I visited. From earthy to spine tingling to heart expanding, there was a flavor in each location that was unique.

The rhythm of each month began in LA. Waking up early for morning practice with my ten housemates. Then, sitting outside with a hot cup of coffee before heading to the airport. Watching the hummingbirds flitting from Bird of Paradise to Chinese Bell Flower, their beaks inserted into the crevices of flowers to drink the nectar. Me in my flip flops and sundress taking one last breath in our tropical backyard. Then off to the airport. The feel of LAX, with the sun shining and a light breeze maintaining the temperate climate, where it was common to see a movie star waiting in the security line or walking through the airport with a purse dog in a bag on one arm, designer handbag on the other and trying to achieve some level of anonymity by hiding behind sunglasses. The airport feels surreal like the backlot on a movie studio. Lots of action, cameras, stars and unexpected moments with all of us playing the part of the extras in the film.

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Arriving in Baltimore five hours later, feeling the grounded, earthiness. No pretense. The Balmore accent melded with local colloquialisms, like, “Hey Hon, you goin’ down da ocean for your birfday?” Always a friend waiting at the curbside to pick me up. Catching up on the ups and downs of life. A pull out couch with flannel sheets waiting for my arrival. A cup of tea. A space heater. A chair pulled to the side of the couch for me to use as a side table.

After a week of coffee house Board meetings and writing workshops for lower income women in Baltimore I get on the Megabus to New York. Balancing my computer on my lap and a cup of Zeke’s coffee in the other hand. (Bad Birds of Baltimore, the preferred choice), sometimes paying the extra $9 for the front row, upper deck seat so I can see the NYC iconic skyline and feel the rush of adrenaline at first sight. Suddenly I am in the city feeling the exhilarating energy of beating hearts, mind racing conversation intermixed with multicultural mixtures of languages.

My body is buzzing with excitement when the bus stops at the corner near Times Square. I hop off the bus, grab the handle of my suitcase and jump into the flow of the crowd like a school girl waiting for the moment when it is my turn to play Double Dutch. Jumping in with my own fancy footwork. I frequently break into song when walking in the crowd not caring what anyone else thinks. Give my Regards to Broadway or Jay Z and Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind.

Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty Second Street
That I will soon be there

AND

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York

 

In New York, I took a course called Orgasm Mastery, became a grandmother to Lucille, and stayed in an actor’s apartment in Queens.

And then it was time for San Francisco and my intimacy partner. He flew from Hamburg, Germany to Paris, France. Always stopping at a gift shop to pick up a little memento like an Eiffel tower keychain or a tin of macarons. We always arranged our flights to arrive at the San Francisco Airport within an hour of each other.

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San Francisco has this international feeling intermixed with flower child remnants of the 60’s meets technology of the future. The old and the new feeling youthful and alive. Big ideas. Gold rush. Anything is possible.

Most of the months, I arrive at the airport first. Wheeling my suitcase from domestic flights to international and waiting outside the crowded gate. Unlike domestic flights where a friend or family member picks you up at the curb, international flights have throngs of people waiting. There is a monitor where you can watch the passengers on the last hallway before they emerge into the airport. Anticipation is thick in the air. I anticipate my partner’s arrival along with groups of people, some single and some with small and large groups of families. Some with signs but most with flowers and arms ready to embrace a loved one. I wonder about their stories and watch each arrival during my hour wait. The soldier arriving back from a tour in another land with both woman and man crying in a long embrace. The multi-generational Chinese family embracing an elderly man and woman in a wheelchair. I wonder how long it’s been since they last saw each other. There are outcries with each new recognition of the person emerging through the gate. A young woman in her 20’s arrives. Greeted by a man, a woman and two young children. The children hide behind their mother and the man reaches out with a friendly but formal handshake. I think, maybe this is an Au Pair arriving to care for the children for a year. She is here for an adventure in the United States.

And so it continues until I see him, my partner, on the monitor. My heart starts beating faster. We haven’t seen each other in three weeks. He quickens his step when he sees me at the gate. And with one swift motion like two people in a dance, his arm around me turns me to the exit door right outside the airport where we pause to exchange a long, slow kiss before heading to the BART, arriving at our private room at the International Hostel and beginning our week long 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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Theme Song for Your Life: Make it Mine

Day 65 of 100 days of Blogging

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Do you have a song that is your theme song? A song that helps you to remember your purpose, your reason for living? I have a lot of songs I listen to that have special meanings, but hands down, the song that continues to motivate and inspire me to follow my heart and live my purpose is Make it Mine by Jason Mraz

 

In 2009, when I was following my inner guidance to sell my house, possessions and move from Maryland to California, I played this song every day. I find now that when I listen to this song, I play it 5-10 times in a row. There is always a line that pops out to inspire me in the moment.

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Today, the words that popped out were:

Listen to your voice
The one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue
Leap and the net will appear

I am headed to New York City for 10 days and I feel like there are some new things to discover. I am going to practice patience, deeper listening, and willingness to see something new. Letting go of having all of the answers. Open to receiving signs, clues, messages. With 35 days of blogging left to reach 100 days of blogging, I am diving deeper.

 

Here are some of the other lines and my words that impacted me in 2009:

 

Wake up everyone:

I felt I was waking up to the next part of my life. Being willing to appreciate and release my old life. Opening my arms to receive the new. Standing at the beginning of the path.

 

Listen to your voice: Deeper listening and stillness was necessary. And waiting before following inspired action.

 

Leap and the net will appear: It required a risk with trust and no guarantees. Leaping, trusting my gut and expecting there would be a net.

 

Over to a table at the Gratitude Cafe: A restaurant around the corner from where I lived a few years after moving to LA.

 

And I am finally there
And all the angels they’ll be singing
Ah la la la ah la la la I la la la la love you: Knowing that I am loved and cared for even when it appears that things are falling apart. That there would be moments of feeling like I am finally there.

 

And timing’s everything: Trust in the timing. One step at a time.

 

I don’t wanna wait no more
Oh, I wanna celebrate the whole world: NOW! No more waiting. Let go and go for it! Live a Life Worth Celebrating.
Following your joy: Embrace the joy!

 

I am open: Stay open!

 

Make it all mine: LIVE your LIFE!

 

Thank you, Jason.

 

What is your song? Post in the comments…

 

 

All of the lyrics and a Youtube video:

Wake up everyone

How can you sleep at a time like this
Unless the dreamer is the real you
Listen to your voice
The one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue
Leap and the net will appear
I don’t wanna wake before
The dream is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i… I’ll know it
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes I’ll make it all mineI keep my life on a heavy rotation
Requesting that it’s lifting you up
Up up and away
And over to a table at the Gratitude CaféAnd I am finally there
And all the angels they’ll be singing
Ah la la la ah la la la I la la la la love youI don’t wanna break before
The tour is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i…I’ll own it
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes I’ll make it all mineAnd timing’s everything
And this time there’s plenty
I am balancing
Careful and steady
And reveling in energy that everyone’s emitting

I don’t wanna wait no more
Oh, I wanna celebrate the whole world
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I’m following your joy
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I… I am open
I’m gonna make it mine
that’s why I will show it
I’m gonna make it all mine
It’s mine…
Yes I will make it all mine

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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.

 

The Power of 3: Supporting Elderly Parents

Day 63 of 100 days of Blogging

My Dad had a stroke a few weeks ago.

Quick update on physical details: He can talk. He is numb on the left side. No blockages in his arteries. He is in rehab and working really hard to recover. My niece is a speech therapist and she told us that the first six months are vital to the best recovery. He is working hard and making progress and has a positive attitude.

My Mom and Dad have been married for sixty years. She is balancing taking care of herself and their home and going over to spend every afternoon with him.

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A few more details:

I have two living siblings.

My sister, Joanne, is 57 years old. A preschool teacher. Parent of 3 adult children. She has been taking the “first shift” of support. She lives the closest to my parents, 90 minutes away, and her lifestyle allows for regular visits right now.

My brother, Rob, is 52 years, a carpenter. Lives in New Jersey. Divorced. Co-parenting three kids who are in public school. His daughter needs someone to be with her at the bus stop every day. He is willing to take a shift and for now he is talking with our parents daily.

I am 59 years old. Entrepreneur and Coach. Parent of 3 adult children. Currently living in Washington, DC area. Teaching a variety of workshops in person and on-line. Working with the Heal My Voice Board President and holding in person meetings to build the 2016 Board of Directors. I will be flying to Florida and staying for a week at the end of December.

 

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There was a time in my life where I would have dropped everything to be there for my parents immediately. I homeschooled my kids and had the flexibility to go on the road during most of their education.

At this time in my life, it means cancelling meetings and events and putting my life on hold.  I go in and out of guilt about not dropping everything in my life to sit by my Dad’s bedside, help my Mom and be there to support my Dad’s recovery. I see many of the women around me right now in this struggle of wanting to care for and support their parents and questioning how much of our own dreams do we put on hold. And for many of us, the youngest adult child has just left the nest and we are building streams of income to support ourselves financially for the next part of our lives.

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So, the decisions my siblings and I are making are practical. Who is going to help them? Even being real with each other. When is it “convenient” for a loved one to need additional support? My parents have always lived full and busy lives with many interests, and service work and community. So, of course, we are all the same. Living full lives with commitments to other people.

First, our conversations centered around the shock of the stroke which was sudden and unexpected.

Second, the assessment of his health and…to be blunt, if he was about to die or live.

Third, once we knew he was stable, what are the long term care needs.

My siblings and I moved into more practical conversation. You take this shift. I will come down for that shift. Then communicating during each step.

There are layers of internal processing here for me. I have already lost a son and a husband to illness. I have already watched two people I love die. I was the caretaker who sat by each of their bedsides. This experience is familiar and my heart is heavy thinking about it. Knowing what I have learned from losing so many loved ones and letting myself stay in the discomfort of feeling like I am not doing enough right now.

From the loss of a brother, son and husband, I have learned to live more in the present moment. And each additional time I get to spend with loved ones is a bonus. I have learned to keep my heart open and to love fully in the moment. I have to let go when I leave not knowing if I will ever see them again. All we have is the present moment.

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Today I am feeling grateful we were all together at my Aunt Ellen’s funeral in Boston in September. My Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother and Me with various generations. Conversations. Photos. Connecting with Relatives and Sharing Memories. It was a beautiful weekend. Lots of sad feelings about the sudden death of my Aunt and so much joy around all of the times we spent together. Love. Gratitude. Appreciation.

What I know today is I have my plane ticket for Florida. Flying at the end of December. Spending New Year’s Eve with my parents and ringing in 2016. Creating more memories. Until then, we have the phone and computer. I have a text thread with my sister and brother. And I have made a commitment to stay in the present and live for today.

Today I am grateful that I have two siblings who are a part of this journey with me. I am appreciating the Power of 3 and how this time, I don’t have to do it alone.

 

 

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Photo from Andrea Hylen

Andrea Hylen at Agape in Los Angeles

 

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.

The Female Orgasm is a Mystery…or is it?

Day 62 of 100 days of Blogging

Elizabeth Plank explored a topic: What men need to know about the female orgasm. Video posted on Mic today and it has already been viewed over 333,000 times. It must be a topic we are interested in exploring. 🙂

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The 4 minute video explores female “orgasm” with an interview and demonstration of Orgasmic Meditation. (OM)

OM is a consciousness practice that involves light stroking of the clitoris for 15 minutes. In OM, Orgasm is defined as 8 stages…climax, resolution, restoration, turn on, peaking, excitement, plateau and stillness. In the 15 minute container, both the stroker and the strokee experience sensations without being goal oriented. You may feel one stage or several or all eight. The stroker learns to follow the sensations from the woman’s pussy and to receive or offer adjustments.

Watch the video and let me know what you think. Post in the comments.

 

What men need to know about the female orgasmMen say the female orgasm is a mystery — so we asked women to solve it for them.

Posted by Mic on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

 

Keith Byrd and I are teaching Intro to OM on Saturday, December 5.
JOIN us!

http://www.meetup.com/TurnOn-WashingtonDC…/events/224416020/

 

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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.

Anniversaries: Feeling a Wave of Grief

Day 60 of 100 days of Blogging

It is amazing how unexpected a wave of grief can appear. Right there. Feeling it in the gut. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, how much I have processed and transformed the grief, or how I have moved through layers of feelings to create a wonderful, new life. Grief comes back in unexpected waves. It is part of a cycle that continues to expand me.

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If my husband was still alive, we would have celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary this week. Although he died 10 years ago, there is something that just touched me with sadness when the day appeared on my calendar. I sat by the fire and gave myself some space to feel it.

My reflective question: Why did this hit me so hard with waves of grief surfacing throughout the day?

I come from a lineage of people who have been married for 50, 60, 70 years. My first marriage ended in divorce after we had been together for 10 years. My second husband and I navigated huge challenges during our fifteen years together with the final challenge, his cancer, that ended his life. I have every confidence that if we had beaten that challenge, we would have celebrated this silver wedding anniversary together. So, this was another marker of time, another dream that was lost, another reminder of his absence.

Still I explored the feelings even more. I felt the loss of not having the opportunity to…what?…accomplish this goal? Something is tangled up in here. Value? Worth? Love? Challenge? Accomplishment?

What if I never have a relationship where I celebrate 25 years together? Do I still have value as a person? Can I love myself without marking a wedding anniversary with a man?

In the exploration, I noticed once again how complex loss and grief is and how the timing of feelings arrive as a clue to something that is deeper.

I noticed as the day went on that other memories began to dissipate the feelings of sadness. After my first marriage ended in divorce, I didn’t want to get married again. I was interested in partnership and I wanted to have another child, but I was disillusioned by the ceremony and vows that flew out the window when things got tough in my first marriage. I only married my second husband for the practicality of health insurance for our baby. I loved him. I was committed to our relationship and I wanted this union. I agreed to marry him with the condition that we would write our own vows and continue to use them as a tool to stay connected and grow together. He agreed and we did use them for fifteen years.

Every year when our anniversary rolled around, one of us would remember days later. We debated the actual date because we were married the day after Thanksgiving. So, of course, the date was always changing! Neither of us were really “anniversary type” people. Celebrating moments of connection throughout the year was more important to us and we had daily rituals to remind each other.

This week I continued to feel the feelings and to remember.

*****

After a lifetime of processing and studying grief transformation, there is one piece of advice I would give to everyone. When you feel a wave of grief, no matter how many years have passed, give yourself some space to feel the feelings and explore.

By the end of the day, I was clear that partnership with a man is a part of my growth on the planet. Part of the sadness around the anniversary was reminding me of a desire to be in some kind of partnership. I miss having a man in my bed. Pillow talk, sex, cuddling. I can feel that it is time for deeper exploration around that and to turn up my desire by taking more action.

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A course I have been teaching called Carving the Next Path is opening me to what I truly desire to create. Walking side by side with the women in the course one of my desires is to co-create a new type of relationship with a man. Changing patterns. Embracing new ideas. Getting to the core of what I really want. Creating new pathways of possibilities.

Feelings, including grief and loss are clues that point us in the direction of our desires. I am stoking this fire.

What are you noticing in your life?

Feelings, desires. infinite possibilities. Surrender.

Share with us in the comments!

 

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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.

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