Tag Archives: Conscious Choices

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.

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.

Set An Intention: What is Your Word for 2016

Day 93 of 100 days of Blogging

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For the past month, I have been thinking and feeling into my word for the year. Choosing a word to set an intention then pointing my arrow of desire in a focused direction is powerful. It is one of the ways I have been preparing for 2016 and Setting My List of Intentions.

My process includes reflecting on last year’s words, reviewing last year’s activities and feeling the energy of the new year. Asking myself questions is another part of the process. What word do I want to hold in my consciousness to lay a path for this year throughout the whole year?

 

And the winner is…

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EXPECTATION:

a belief that someone will or should achieve something. a strong belief that something will happen.

There is something powerful about this word. I can feel the Warrior Goddess in me rising up. I know her well. The Warrior Goddess in me knows how to go deep into the silence and draw from the inner well. She is the woman who throws herself into life. She is all in. She knows how to use her power. She is courageous, curious, joy-filled, determined. She knows how go back inside herself to sit in stillness and listen. She knows how to wait. She knows how to stand on the mountain top and shout her message. She asks for what she wants. She expects things to happen. She has been called crazy and stupid many times. She has followed her bliss anyway.

 

When I first put this word on my list of possible words for the year, I found myself watering it down. This became part of my process of claiming my word. At first, it felt bold, brazen and egoic.  Who am I to use such a big word? It feels like the opposite of how I have been living my life for the last few years. Releasing, letting things fall away, being open to new and unexpected things to emerge. Conscious evolution. Faith. Infinite possibilities. No expectations.

I can feel the shift. It is time to dream bigger, act bolder, put myself out there, take action and draw on all of the cultivating I have done on living in flow with inspiration and flexibility. My ability to actively surrender, make adjustments. Time to expect the Universe to meet me.

This word has so much power, so much energy, so much bigness that I am claiming it AND setting up a foundation of support for the year with a companion word every month. A word that fine tunes and focuses me. A word that will support my word of the year.

Some of the companion words every month will be things like quiet, clarity, nurture, curiosity, wonder, certainty, experimentation, expansion, courage, play, joy, sensuality, faith and trust.

I will be calling in the Archangels, Goddesses, Ascended Master’s. I will meditate. Be willing to wait in the stillness and work with Spirit.  I will draw upon life experience, use affirmations:

The Universe loves and supports me.

I ask for what I want and receive it.

I easily access the answers that are inside me.

I have access to tools and resources and people.

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The word EXPECTATION is my playmate for the year.

 

What are your words for 2016? Post in the comments and let me hear your voice.

 

There is a program launching on March 1 called Carving the Next Path. A 12 week program for women. Join Us!

Register: http://www.andreahylen.com/an-experiential-life/

 

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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.

Conscious Choices: Celebrating Christmas

Day 84 of 100 days of Blogging

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Do you make conscious choices about celebrating Christmas or other holidays?

A friend posted on Facebook about how she was upset because a work project got in the way of getting things done for Christmas. (It was a work project where she felt fulfilled and passionate about completing. The looming deadline happened to coincide with the holidays.)

She felt like every year she wants to do the traditional Christmas things: writing cards, baking cookies, decorating the house and everyone else seems to have their act together and are creating a Hallmark Christmas. She was frustrated at her “not getting it together” and asked the question: Anyone else go through this?

My response to her on Facebook: Do what you want to do. I stopped buying Christmas presents in 2009. It stopped having meaning for me. Switched to creating experiences with people throughout the year instead. Much more fun! Last year 16 of us gathered in Florida with four generations of people arriving and leaving over a two week period. Peaked in the middle with all of us there. We went to the movies, ate meals together, played games, This year we are spread all over the world and I am giving myself a 4 day retreat with a dog sitting job. I will Facetime on Christmas with my daughters. I am looking forward to silence and writing and sitting by the fire. I am happy…What will make you happy?

I think we all have memories of Christmas or other holidays that include some years feeling up and some years feeling down. When I think back on the most memorable years, it was when I let go of it looking like Hallmark or the years when I had a breakdown and made a change.

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Last year during the Christmas holiday, when I was in Florida for two weeks it *was* a beautiful two weeks that had threads of triumphs and challenges throughout the visit. My daughter, Hannah and I were the first to arrive and the last to leave. The peak of all of us being together was in Daytona Beach and we got to experience the joy-filled moments and notice the stress. All in all, I look back on those two weeks fondly because I remember the good, I rode the waves of the bad, and I didn’t get caught up in other people’s “feelings.”

Christmas brings up a lot of feelings, right?

Contrast that to this year. I scheduled two days of dental work that required rest for my mouth and my body. I chose to do it on the days leading up to Christmas and arranged to be on retreat in a beautiful home with four little dogs and a fireplace. I made a plan to watch movies, write and take long, hot salt baths.

Changing the patterns of expectations of Christmas isn’t always easy unless you can consciously see the warning signs, the red flags, the “wake up!” messages and respond to them with a different routine.

One year, I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to make homemade ornaments for 20 family members and friends while working 35 hours a week, raising an infant and a toddler and barely functioning on 5 hours of sleep a night. I had lots of internal messages and pressure of Christmas expectations. One night, around midnight, I was trying to finish one more ornament before going to sleep. I was at the kitchen table, hunched over the embroidery and then I realized I couldn’t move my legs. I had a moment of paralysis. I called out to my husband. He helped me stand up and once I could lean on him, I had enough strength to move my legs and climb into bed. All night long I kept saying to myself, tomorrow is Al-Anon. Fall asleep. Go through the motions in the morning and just get yourself to Al-Anon at noon.

At the meeting, I confessed my physical situation from the night before, crying throughout my story. Someone asked me what would happen if I showed up on Christmas without the ornaments? I started sobbing even more when I said I didn’t even think my mother-in-law liked them. That was the last year I made ornaments. The end of a ten year cycle of making homemade presents and it was time to change.

After that, I still had years when I tried to do too much or stressed myself out with gift buying and baking. But that experience stayed with me and helped me to modify my expectations quicker. It also led me to take a longer look at Christmas activities ten years later when I was homeschooling my kids and leading community groups including Girl Scouts and Destination Imagination while we were renovating a house ourselves. I realized I needed a break and we all needed some down time to rest and hang out with no pressure.

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Leading up to Christmas that year, I declared that I was going to wear my pajamas all day on Christmas. I was willing to go to the movies or to my sister-in-law’s house for dinner or to go visit friends, as long as I could wear my pajamas. That declaration was embraced by everyone in my family. The first pajama Christmas we spent at home. I made two kinds of soup the day before. We ate a special breakfast. Opened presents. I put out the soup, bread and salad buffet style and we watched movies, napped and played games the rest of the day. In the following years, the tradition continued. We did wear pajamas to the movies one year with pajama clothed friends joining us and some years we visited friends and family in their homes with all of us arriving in pajamas. The symbol of the pajamas made gave it the feeling of relaxation, rest and casual connection.

There are some traditions I enjoy every year like playing Christmas music, walking through neighborhoods and looking at the Christmas lights, connecting with my daughters on Christmas through Facetime or texting photos. It is a feeling of appreciation for the love and the light that is so present.

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The year we wore pajamas was the first step I took to reclaim my power over Christmas and teach my children a new way of celebrating. And since then, every year has been different, consciously choosing the events and activities and tuning in to the real meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is L-O-V-E

 

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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.

 

 

Living with Intent: Frequency Holders

Day 83 of 100 days of Blogging

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“There are people who are happy doing small things. I call them frequency holders. They are just as important as people who are doing big things. Their purpose is to give full attention to the present moment and to every action and interaction with other human beings ~ to be fully aware even in the smallest interactions. In that way, they also change the world for the better. In our culture, frequency holders aren’t often recognized, but that doesn’t mean they are not important. I was a frequency holder for a long time and still am in many ways.” ~Eckhart Tolle

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I was working at a pharmaceutical company in the late 80’s. My official job was computer software trainer. One day, I was training an older woman on how to use the computer and the new operating system. Her hands were shaking and she kept asking me, “Is it okay to press enter?  Are you sure? Are you sure?” I continued to hold the space, listen to her concerns, calmly encouraging her to press the key and breathe. Until finally, she would close her eyes, hold her breath and press the key. By the end of the hour session, she was navigating around the site, pressing enter with only a slight hesitation, smiling after each section completion and thanking me profusely for my patience.

Throughout the session, I had a sense that I was doing more than teaching her how to use the software and the computer. I was a just beginning to wake up to the power of presence, the idea that our thoughts create our reality and we could make a difference in the world with moment to moment connection. I was going to Al-Anon, studying A Course in Miracles and reading a variety of self-help books by Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer and Lazarus. The sense and feelings I had during the computer training session were validated and reinforced over the next few weeks.  I noticed how something was changing in the older woman’s presence. She seemed to be standing taller, laughing and smiling and engaged more with her co-workers.

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I knew that something was happening and I didn’t have the bigger picture until ten years later, another woman from that company contacted me and asked if she could come over to my house for a visit. During that ten year time period, our entire department had been laid off. I remarried, gave birth to two children, lost a son to cancer, survived a serious illness myself and was now building community and homeschooling my children. The woman was now divorced, had a new job, and better health. She asked to see me because she wanted me to know the impact I had on her and the people around me. She wanted to thank me for making a difference in the work environment and how it helped her to make positive changes in her life.

One of the gifts to me that day was to remind me that everywhere we go, we have the power to impact each other positively or negatively.

I have had more moments like this since then when I recognized the power of presence to shift the energy in a household just by being there. I am sure many of you have noticed it in your life, too. The impact a person’s energy has in your environment; either lifting people up or knocking people down.

If you are not aware of it, take a moment the next time you are in the grocery store. When you see people, including the clerk who rings up your groceries, take a moment to make eye contact and pause for a few seconds. Feel the connection. Notice the sensation in your body. Notice the reaction from the person. Give yourself a palpable experience of feeling the impact of your presence.

Give your full attention to the present moment.

We talk a lot about wanting Peace on Earth. Did you know that Peace on Earth comes moment by moment from the peace each of us feels inside.? That is the key. It is the Peace we spread to each other. Not just during the holidays in December when the words Peace on Earth appear on banners and cards and on store displays. Peace on Earth is a year round practice for each of us. It comes from cultivating your inner world, by practicing mindfulness, by noticing where you feel discomfort and adversity in your life and by making changes and raising your vibration. Do not discount the discomfort of fear or anger. Feel them. Go to the root of them and pull them out. Dismissing them actually buries them in places where they will fester. The key is to feel, heal and transmute them through forgiveness and acknowledgement.

Then, cultivate the feeling of PEACE inside of yourself. BE PEACE is exactly that.

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In 2010, I spent a year writing in a coffee shop every morning. Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake, California. One day, the coffee shop owner came over to me and shared how much she appreciated me. She said,  “You bring an energy to Priscilla’s. It feels good when you are here. Thank you for being here”

 

None of us experience feedback every day about when our presence has made a difference. The moment when someone notices your presence without you “doing” anything. Personally, it is rare to have someone contact me 10 years later to thank me for my positive energy. Or that a coffee shop owner would notice the difference in the energy in the shop when I am there or not. And really that is not the point of this blog post.

I want you to see that you are a frequency holder and for you to become aware of it. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have someone thank you and maybe not. Be it any way. Turn up your awareness and notice the impact your energy, your vibration, and your frequency is having in your household, your community and rippling out into the world. Decide if you need to change something to BE the energy and the vibration you want to be to impact the world.

It’s in every one of us.

And in addition to receiving my words…watch this video. Let it wash over you. Know that you matter. Your presence. Your frequency. Your voice.

It’s in every one of us.

 

 

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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.

 

Happy Thanksgiving: To eat or not to eat…

Day 57 of 100 days of Blogging

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.

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Earlier today, I had a little bah humbug going on and I know it was because I said no to attending a Thanksgiving celebration. Somewhere inside of me there was discomfort and guilt, like I should just suck it up and be social and eat tons of food. I have so much to be grateful for, so why was I pushing this holiday away with an outstretched hand?

This year I wanted to stay away from the food frenzy that happens with Thanksgiving. I have been really focused on my own health care over the past few months. Rest. Walking. Eating healthier. Eating less. Losing ten lbs. Feeling connected to my body again. Going to the University of Maryland Dental School every week. Community Acupuncture at Revive in College Park. Finishing some creative projects. Decluttering my life. Dreaming and visioning for 2016. And then Thanksgiving was getting closer and it felt like a pressure, an inconvenience to be endured.

Up until a few years ago, Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays because it felt like there was no pressure. Strangers, friends, family could all come together to say a prayer, a gratitude, eat food, share conversation, crafts and games.  It was always an easy, fun holiday. I loved to cook for it.  I loved the social gathering. I loved inviting people to my home or going to someone’s home. This year was different. I wanted to do something else. To write. To walk. To be.

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So, I did. And once I gave myself permission and compassion and acceptance, the day flowed beautifully. I talked with my Dad who is in rehab in Florida, recovering from a stroke and to my Mom who was at their home preparing to go to rehab and eat dinner with my Dad. My niece got engaged in Atlanta and I congratulated her through text. I texted or talked with all 3 of my daughters and one of them challenged me on Fitbit to walk 10,000 steps. I spent time writing and reading and walking outside on this gorgeous 63 degree F, sunny day. Even walked the labyrinth at University of Maryland, College Park.

During the day, I remembered a few happy Thanksgiving memories:

One of my favorite Thanksgivings was the year after I separated from my first husband. My two little daughters were with me that year, a few close friends and ten other people who were invited one by one because they didn’t have a place to go. For a few weeks, I had walked around the office, around church, around the school my children attended and asked people what they were doing or where they were going for Thanksgiving. If they said, “No plans,” or they weren’t sure, I invited them to my home. We had six people who said yes and then a sudden snowstorm was predicted in the forecast. Four more people who had planned to drive from Baltimore to New Jersey or New York were looking at a grid lock on the highway so they came to my home at the last minute. Of course, I had a ton of food. The house was decorated. We had plenty of room and that year I had Swedish crafts and candle making as part of the day. Music and singing rounded out the event. We all had a blast.

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One year I made so many different dishes that three of the dishes never made it to the table. I had a goal of cooking everything in the Girl Scout Cookbook (our fundraiser that year) I made so much food it was gluttonous. I didn’t care. It was the first Thanksgiving after my husband died. We had a table filled with dear friends of all ages and I poured my heart into the cooking and sharing and eating.

Writing this blogpost, I feel a little lighter about my decision. I can feel the fun memories and I don’t have to discount the beauty and connections from those years just because I wanted to stay away from the celebration and the food this year. I can feel the gratitude for all of the support and the love.

I know there are people who are sad today and who spent the holiday alone. Whether it was your choice to do something different for Thanksgiving or a year of circumstances when you were alone, remember, next year is another year. Decide if you want more connection and spend the next year exploring that or like me, consciously choose and create the day you want.

I had a great day. I am filled with the gratitude to be connected with amazing, loving, caring people all over the planet. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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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.

A Tipping Point: Women Becoming More Visible

Day 51 of 100 days of Blogging

 

cropped-816.jpgWomen becoming more visible in the world.

I first heard, really heard those words at an Evolutionary Women Retreat in Santa Barbara, California in December 2005. My husband had died five months earlier. I was cracked open and I was grieving. I flew across the country because I had a strong desire to become an Evolutionary Woman. I wanted to know how to do it.

My first question: How do I become an Evolutionary Woman?

At the retreat, I discovered that I was an Evolutionary Woman. I had always been an Evolutionary Woman and now it was time to come out of the closet and share that part of myself with others.

Three years later, I mentored 44 women to write a story in Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life, a project that came out of another Evolutionary Women Retreat. Another part of me was waking up. The lifetime experiences and commitment to journal writing had been laying a foundation for this next part of my life; A writer who also supported the voices of women.

In 2011, two years after Conscious Choices was released, I heard the words Heal My Voice which began a deep journey of forming the non-profit organization, Heal My Voice, and using my lifetime experiences to create a space for women around the world to write a personal, vulnerable story to heal, reclaim personal power and their inner authority, step into greater leadership in their families, communities and the world.

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After the Ninth Heal My Voice Book was published in June 2015 and after four years of 24/7 focused attention on women’s stories, devotion to coaching, editing and supporting their voices, I took a pause. This first wave felt complete. It felt like we had reached a completion and it was a moment of being at the top of the mountain and ready for the tipping point. Over 200 stories. Women sharing a personal journey of their own healing and sharing hope with others.

Women becoming more visible in the world.

I took the pause because I was exhausted and I wasn’t sure about the next step. I asked myself, “What will be the step that tips the scales for women?” For 12 weeks, I spent time feeling, writing, listening and reading. I sat in the discomfort of not knowing and I observed resources, tools and conversations that crossed my path. One of the books I read again was The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

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Tipping Point: the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

In the ten years since my husband died, women ARE more visible. The work we have been doing behind the scenes is shared on social media, in blogs and in workshops. Writing our stories one word at a time, one conversation at a time we have become more visible to each other.

Parenting my children, something I devoted thirty years to is now complete. My three daughters are adults in the world. Mary as a co-founder of Dramatic Adventure Theatre traveling with students to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ecuador, Slovakia for cross cultural exchange, acting and writing plays. Elizabeth teaching English in the Baltimore City School System with special needs high school students. Hannah, a President Ambassador at Santa Monica College and now attending UCLA with a desire to work in the field of Communications. All three girls grown into powerful women with their own voices.

I turn my attention back to myself, to Heal My Voice and to women. Why women? Because I want women to have a place at the table and to walk side by side with men. Interconnectedness and individuation.

In writing 100 blogposts in 100 days I am exploring questions and ideas.

Two areas of questions I have been pondering.

1. What conversation(s) are women and men most interested in exploring right now? Which of my life experiences can support the Good in the world?

2. How can we expand the visibility of the stories by the Heal My Voice authors? How can we spread the words of a woman’s journey in a way that reaches more women and men and impacts the tipping point for healing, hope and leadership on the planet? How can we inspire others to write their stories and uplift the world?

 

I would love to hear your comments. What conversations do you want to have? What support do you need? What do you feel is the tipping point needed to uplift the planet?

 

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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 a Mentorship Coach supporting the voices of women and men.

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.

 

 

 

Influencing, Connecting and Impacting Each Other

Day 50 of 100 days of Blogging

A Facebook Friend posted this on his page this week: “I find it pure comedy that media talks about Paris but you hear nothing about the attacks in Kenya last April. The media is such a joke.”

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I thought about this for three days. Instead of reacting or responding right away, I allowed myself to feel a variety of layers. Although he made light of this situation with a down stroke about the media, I could also feel a tenderness. There was an underlying question or desire about why we value one country over another.

Here is what I felt, noticed and thought:

My awareness about Paris first came through Facebook. The news reporting was shared by friends who live in Paris, have family and friends in Paris, were visiting Paris, or had fond memories of visiting Paris. Two of my friends were traveling to Paris at that time. It was a news event with a personal connection for many. One of the women in my 8-week program was in her home in Italy, about to fly to Paris for a 24 hour layover before flying to California to spend the holidays with her children. She discussed the decision to go instead of canceling. She wanted to embrace Paris and she refused to be allow fear to hold her back.

This event was personal to many people I know personally and professionally.

I am inundated with information every day. Weather tragedies, murders, domestic violence, rape, terrorist attacks. Births, celebrations, innovation, and personal growth programs. It takes time and I make choices about what I choose to share.

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I finally wrote some comments to my friend about his post. I asked him to report and share news events on his Facebook page. I want him to use his personal power to influence us. I encouraged him to post the good, the bad and the ugly about areas of the world where he feels a connection. Raise our awareness. Influence and impact the people around him. Social media is a place to have a voice. I told him: “I want to hear your voice! Please share more. Embrace your political science-journalist self and give it to us!”

 

So, how do we influence and raise the consciousness and awareness? In this article, Evans Wadango says that we have a lack of understanding about Africa.  http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/17/456342689/why-didnt-the-world-say-we-are-all-kenyans-last-april

 

Do you think the world’s reactions to the events in Paris and Kenya were different?

Certainly it’s different. More people are standing up for the French people and trying to support them.

How does that make you feel?

We are definitely feeling there’s more value attached to humanity if a tragedy happens in Europe.

Why do you think that is? Racism?

For certain people it may be a bit of racism, but I also feel it’s a lack of understanding. It’s just that people are so used to negative things coming out of certain parts of the world — of Africa, of Asia, of South America. It’s the norm. People expect bad things to happen. When something bad happens in Europe or the U.S., it’s unusual. If something bad happens in some other part of the world, it’s usual.

 

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We receive information and ideas primarily from our culture, our families and friends. We expand our awareness when we read articles, watch commentary, and form our own opinions. Social media gives us an incredible opportunity. To connect. To touch. To be touched. To influence and impact each other and to witness the beliefs of others. To understand.

It is possible my friend will unfriend me from Facebook. I am sad about that because my intention was to challenge and encourage him to take action instead of blaming the media. I challenge him to Become the Media! Inspire us with ways to change the world. His sports reporting is fun and there is more I want him to share.

 

How are you choosing to influence, connect and impact others? Do you keep your ideas and opinions to yourself? Where are you connecting in dialogue, questioning, exploring new ideas? Are you a pioneer? Are you stuck in the past? Are you carving a new path?

Are you allowing other people to open your heart, to influence you, to raise your consciousness and your awareness?

I would love to hear from you in the comments.

 

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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.

 

 

Living in Flow: What Turns You On?

Day 49 of 100 days of Blogging

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Yesterday, I wrote about “Being Used Well by God.”

To hear the guidance from God, one of the keys for me is being in touch with what turns me on. It is a feeling. Other words and questions for the feeling are: What lights you up? Passion, excitement. What gets your attention? Where do you feel connected? When do you feel alive? When do you feel a sensation in your body that connects you to an idea, a passion and guidance to follow God inspiring you?

 

 

 

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Recently, here are things I noticed that Turn ME ON:

Writing

Nature

Dialoguing

Human connection

Animal connection

Inspiration and Passion

Living in Flow

Learning new things

Learning new things about old things.

Feeling Everything

Feeling other people feeling

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Community Gatherings

Sharing resources and time

A man’s full attention on my body.

Creativity and artistry in the world

Witnessing another person’s passion

Heart centered. Real Authentic moments.

Vulnerability and the connection to Power

 

 

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How about you? What turns you on?

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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