Tag Archives: Desire

Orgasmic Meditation: Why I OM- Part 2

Day 79 of 100 days of Blogging

Health benefits are one of the reasons I OM. Physical and Emotional. After spending last week in New York and OMing every day again, I became even more aware of it. Things like singing all the time. Singing is one of the things I do when I am most connected to my self and I am happy. I was singing out loud as I walked through the streets of New York.

Some of the things I have noticed over the last three years of practicing OM:

*More energy

*Better sleep

*Happier

*Grounded

*Feeling Connected to people everywhere

*Healthy weight for my body

*More clarity when I want to speak in a group

*Ability to hold a wider range of emotions and feelings, which leads to…

*Easier to witness another person’s pain and process without needing to fix anything, which leads to…

*Better relationships with family and friends and the strength and ability to coach and lead my business.

 

Below are some of the benefits reported by other practitioners of OM.

If you are interested in learning how to OM, go to this link for the most up to date classes in Washington, DC

 

Practitioners of OM Have Reported The Following Benefits:

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  • Increases Overall Vitality. It lights you up from the inside out.
  • Increases Overall TurnON. When you’re TurnedON, things flow.
  • Increases Energy. There’s a well of energy that lives inside of you.
  • Increases libido. You’ll want sex more.
  • Reduces stress & irritability.
  • Increases ability to feel and know desire. You’ll be clear on what you want.
  • Lengthens orgasmic pleasure during intercourse. Yes, that “Place” extends.
  • Increases confidence with your body & in the bedroom.
  • Gain skills of concentration & attention.
  • Addresses chronic dissatisfaction. TurnON alters dissatisfaction.
  • Increases intimacy with your partner. OM creates more communication.
  • You will communicate better & feel more connected.

Source: http://onetaste.us/what-is-om/

 

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Photo from Andrea Hylen

Andrea Hylen at Agape in Los Angeles

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.

Women (and Men): Your Voice Matters

Day 76 of 100 days of Blogging

What advice would you give to a group of younger women about what you have learned about using your power and your voice?

Sitting on the Hot Seat in a New York City OneTaste Meet-up group the other night, I was asked this question. My mind went from blank and then I was flooded with ideas. Too many for sharing in that moment. The hot seat and the question penetrated a strong desire to say it out loud. Here are my thoughts:

First, I would like to tell you that your voice matters. Sharing your ideas and perspective on issues and things that stir you is so important. Spend time exploring what you feel and think. Read. Listen. Explore.

*Find several tribes with like minded people. It is easier to find your authentic voice with like minded people. Listen. Practice using your voice. Be messy. Be open to thinking differently! Change your mind. Change your mind again. Each experience either reinforces what you think or it changes you.

*Offer new perspectives and new ideas to your tribe. Like minded does not mean never changing. Share information, dreams, feelings, challenge each other. Find your passions. Discover your unique gifts and talents and use them.

*Cultivate a feeling of safety inside of you. Take responsibility for your own emotions. If something pisses you off or makes you feel tender, then check within yourself to find the source.  We all have an emotional history and things can happen that trigger it. So, take responsibility to feel, know, and heal…YOU! The people in front of you are mirrors for your inner thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Don’t expect anyone to fix you. Get in the rock tumbler of life and let experiences stir you up and reveal your bright, shiny essence.

*Hire a coach or therapist for support. Take a course that pushes an edge. Personal growth is a life long endeavor. LIFE LONG. You will keep growing and expanding throughout your entire life, if you choose. Weave in and out of inner reflection and outer connection. Both are important.

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*Listen to people of all ages. The five year old and the one-hundred-and-five year old both have wisdom. Listen and then feel. How does it feel in your body? Do their words feel true for you?

Then…

*Take your voice into the world. In conversations, in writing blogposts, speaking on internet radio, on Persicope on Twitter and at the dinner table.  Challenge people to have deeper conversations. Ask them what they think and feel. Listen to them. Be curious and wonder why they have a perspective that is the same or totally different from you. Engage in dialogues that expand ideas into solutions.

*You have the power to impact and influence a new world into existence.

 

YOUR Voice MATTERS!

 

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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.

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…

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 2.27.45 PMWords from Wikipedia that pop out at me today:

*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 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 Power of Connection: Show Up and Play

Day 58 of 100 days of Blogging

 

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Some memories of childhood came to me this week while reading a book. The words, “I discovered people are alike in many, many more ways than they are different,” rang true.

I moved 12 times by the time I was 15 years old. We lived in the West, East, North and South. Different states all over the U.S. My Dad was in the Marines when I was born. My mom was a homemaker. Then, my Dad was hired by Pillsbury in sales for the refrigerated section of the company. Think Pillsbury Doughboy. Every promotion meant a move to a different region. My Dad continued working for Pillsbury for 33 years and then retired to a golf course in Florida with my mother.

Belonging to a group is a fundamental need on the Maslow chart of Self-Actualization. So, of course, as a kid, I wanted to connect and belong to a peer group. Moving so much meant I had to keep starting over and find new ways to connect. While living in Dallas, Texas, in elementary school, we lived in a neighborhood with kids and activities connected by an alley way and rows of back yards. Easy to belong. Show up and play. Everyone was included.

By the time I was in middle school in Edina, Minnesota, I was lost. I could never find my place in either of the two schools I attended there. There were moments of fun and connection with Girl Scouts and singing activities in school. But, I never really felt like I belonged in the day to day classroom interactions and it was hard to find friends for weekend activities.

We moved to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania when I was going into the ninth grade and by 10th grade, I felt connected with a purpose. I felt connected to every group. You could say I was “popular” but not in an obvious way. I knew People. People knew me. I was in many clubs. I was Secretary of my class. I was visible. I felt like I belonged. I was well liked and included in activities.

IMG_0769The memories that surfaced this week included a flash of me as a school girl in high school. I reflected on why things changed and when? How did I come into my own in high school? What happened? And then I remembered a choice point and an awakening.

In ninth grade, sometime during the month of November, I decided to stop waiting for people to see me and instead, I saw them. With the holidays all around us, I decided to create an individualized holiday card for every person in my class. I spent weeks, cutting photos and words out of magazines that I felt represented something about each person. Sports, fashion, dogs, cats, nature. Taping the pictures onto construction paper, I folded each sheet in half and wrote a personalized note, a gratitude, something that reflected something about the person; something I had noticed about them. I spent the whole month creating the cards and observing each person. Some of the the cards were easy and some of them took me longer to really see the person under layers of protecting who they were. My intention was to give them something uplifting and my desire was a moment of connection.

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Something happened that I did not anticipate. This was the awakening. I stopped trying to get people to like me or notice me. I was so absorbed in this project and watching people and really falling in love with each of them. I could see and feel the beauty, the vulnerability, the tenderness in each person. I started to interact with them differently. I stopped feeling this screaming voice inside of me: SEE ME! DOES ANYONE SEE ME? And instead, I saw them. I felt connected. I felt like I belonged. The natural essence of who I am emerged and was seen by my being.

There is a quote by Maya Angelou that has been paraphrased in a variety of ways, “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

That holiday season I received the gift of seeing others and allowing them to see me and it changed everything. I became a better listener. I learned the power of silence and observation. I learned how to wait patiently and allow the connections to happen in organic, vibrant ways. I learned who I am.
Do you have a moment of awakening that you are remembering now? Please share it with us in the comment section.

 

Lots of Love,

Andrea

 

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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.

Reclaiming Personal Power: I am a Work of Art

Day 54 of 100 days of Blogging
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A few years ago, I was renting a car at a rental agency when the man behind the counter began to flirt with me. It was overt and so obvious, it took me surprise.He leaned across the counter and with a sultry, flirty voice said, “Your husband must be so happy coming home to you every night.”
Me: (nervous laughter) I don’t have a husband. He died.
Him: “Well, Your boyfriend must be so happy coming home to you every night.”
Me: (nervous laughter) I don’t have a boyfriend.
Me: Okay, that’s it. Could you get the car, please?
He shrugged and went outside to get the car. Handed me the keys and I was out of there.
In the car, I was still nervously laughing and at the same time I felt like I had been slimed. I was so caught off guard. Not “off my game” because I had no “game.” I had been a widow for eight years, and in monogamous relationships for most of my adult life. Normally when I was renting a car, I had my kids with me. I hadn’t experienced that kind of flirting for a long time.
So, here is this man totally coming on to me. Overtly flirting and licking his lips every time he spoke to me. Me with my vigilance up and nervous laughing and finally in the car feeling like What! I can not believe this man was being so weird and flirty and unprofessional with me.
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When I returned the car a few days later, he was there again and I decided to claim my power. I was wearing baggy clothes, had messed up hair, no make-up and still he starts flirting. As he got into the car to check the mileage, he looked me up and down. I thought to myself, don’t let him shut you down. I silently declared, I am a work of Art and he is in full appreciation of me.
While sitting in the car and me standing in full view, he gave me another slow, slow long look.
Starting at my feet, moving up through my legs, knees, thighs, pausing on my pussy, he licked his lips. Continuing up my body, he looked at my breasts, licked his lips again, kept moving until his eyes met mine. I stayed open energetically and physically, kept his gaze and said, “So what is your desire?”
He looked away and mumbled, “I want to rub your feet.”
Haha! Funny.
I kept my body open. I was in a safe place. Daylight. I claimed my space. No shriveling this time.

I invited him to a Onetaste event in Downtown LA. I did not desire him. I desired to stay fully in my power, my sexuality and this “inappropriate and unprofessional” man was not going to diminish me. I challenged him to actually connect, to stop playing this game of intimidation and take action.
I gave him the organizer’s email address to RSVP to the event. When the organizer told me he sent the RSVP, I thought, Oh, no! Well, there would be 100 people there and I would introduce him as the guy from the rental agency. If he had a desire for connection, there were many women at this event. He would have been embraced if he wanted to join the community, learn to OM and to grow into his true desire. He did not show up. Or if he did, I didn’t see him.
This man was a gift to me. I had an aversion to him. He was creepy. I was not physically attracted to him. A few months later, I did a talk at a Women’s Conference about claiming the essence of our sexuality, connected to personal power and money generating. I made $1000 that day. I started working with more clients. That interaction changed me.
It expanded me as a person and uncovered more of my personal power and desire.
*Note: Aversion to me means that someone feels like sandpaper to me. It can be a trigger. They can feel uncomfortable, creepy. I can feel unsafe. It is an opportunity to look at my shadow, set boundaries, explore my desire. Aversion is a feeling to me and the person is a gift to what I can learn and feel and expand within myself.
 It’s all about me, baby. The good, the bad and the ugly. My personal growth.
I am using it all!
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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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