Tag Archives: Life transitions

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into the past year as a year of Transition and moving into 2016 as a year of Transformation, I had a thought about an outdated computer system.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 Some of the old keystrokes are outdated and it takes time to learn the new keystrokes and features.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.

Deeper Listening: Connecting Your Soul Purpose

Day 96 of 100 days of Blogging

 

Connecting with Soul Purpose…

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Two questions I ask myself at every crossroads.

1. Why am I here?

2. What does my soul want me to experience?

I know my Soul Purpose:  I am here to communicate and connect and participate in community. My soul purpose is focused on people and creativity and learning. Life long learning and teaching and writing.

I know I am a Warrior Goddess. Intensely committed to my personal growth. Going within to do the work first and then radiating the experience and what I learned from the experience. I am willing to go into the depths of a subject and topic and then share the gems in the world. I am willing to be vulnerable and to be a leader who listens to the guidance of spirit, steps off the edge, jumps into the unknown, and to encourage others to do the same. Like a guide who goes out into the frontier and comes back to report what I discovered.

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I know I am moving into the next phase of my life and it is time to mentor through more coaching, teaching, and writing books. I am ready to hold the lamp higher so you can see the path in front of you. I am a guide with almost 60 years of experience on the planet. It is time to own that at a new level and to step into greater visibility.

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One thing I want to share with you is I don’t always know, and none of us really do, what my soul wants to experience in the moment. It happens, this longing to know why I have co-created an experience which requires more personal growth. I demand to know the answers now! I want to know the why. I want to process it and move through it quickly. There may be a glimmer of an idea as I see a gift emerging but the answers do not come until later in the process when it is time to integrate all of the choices I made during a time when a new path emerged or life has whacked me with a challenge. Some of the gifts I received from my marriage to an alcoholic, a life threatening autoimmune condition, a son who died at 19 months or even a summer of 45 Jonas Brothers concerts that stretched us financially and physically, did not become clear until years later. The gifts appeared (and continue to appear) after processing and writing and healing.

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A few keys:

*Slow down

*Cultivate your inner authority

*Increase self-care and alone time so you can hear the answers

*Get support from people who can coach and witness you in process

*Draw on past experiences to remind yourself to be patient, the answers will come.

*Craft a few words or phrases that can be shared with family and friends that create space for your process.

*Give it time and space.

*Stay connected and awake to the feelings.

*Enjoy the adventure. This is your life. All of it!

 

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership.  Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.

Crossing the Bridge: Change is in the Year

Day 91 of 100 days of Blogging

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It happens every year. December 31 ends one year. January 1 begins a new year. Then we all go through a transition of remembering to write the next year. Writing 2016, instead of 2015. It is part of the transition. It is part of change.

Transition is a part of life. We all have other endings and beginnings every year. Changing jobs. Moving. Deaths. Birth. Rebirth. Sometimes we choose endings and new beginnings. Sometimes we have change thrust upon us and sometimes change is happening that is so subtle we may not have even noticed it was happening.

When I was laid off from a job in 1990, there was a little bit of a warning but it felt like we were just going through a rough patch. I had no idea that our whole department of 20 people was going to be laid off. When it finally happened, I spent a week in disbelief. Then, took a week to sit in the uncertainty of it and did a few things like spend a day walking in silence in Washington, DC. Then, I went on job interviews. I was hired for a short term consulting job and then discovered I was pregnant. My second husband and I would be having our first child. I continued to look for work because I saw myself as a mother with a career. A mother who needed to find the next job. My first two children had been raised in a day care routine when I worked and I assumed the third would be the same.

And then a standard sonagram in month 7 of my pregnancy showed that our child was a son and he had a problem with his heart. With no job, it made sense that I would be the stay at home parent while he was undergoing heart surgeries. I never returned to a full-time job outside of the home. Life changed. New beginnings kept showing up. Nothing was ever the same again. My whole life path and expectation had been altered.

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Since the birth and death of my son, I have learned to feel when there is subtle change and early warnings in the air. I have learned through meditation, journal writing, Tai Chi, and other practices that have connected me to my intuition and awakened my “knowing” and trusting “feelings.”

I’ve learned to recognize the subtle patterns that appear when I am moving from an ending to a new beginning. There is a thing called the “in between” space. And when I am there, the recurring pattern gives me a clue.

The typical clues for me:

I feel lost.

I feel like a failure.

I feel like I am letting people down.

I feel like people are mad at me.

I become irritable.

I have a running dialogue of other people’s voices every time I make a move.

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When I wake up and realize that something is shifting and change is coming, the next part of the pattern is put into motion.

I start making different choices.

I spend more time in silence and writing.

I become a detective looking for clues in signs, conversations and bubbling desire.

I take baby steps.

I ask more questions.

I turn up the patience quotient and I wait…

 

So, here we are on the precipice of a new year. Follow the steps and move into the new year with wide, open eyes, and notice what is subtly calling out to you.

Ready…Set…Go!

 

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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 in Flow: Expectations and Change

Day 75 of 100 days of Blogging

I intuitively felt that December was the month to come to New York for ten days. Spending time with my granddaughter and daughter and son-in-law, speaking at a Dramatic Adventure Theater Travelogue, spending time with friends socially and professionally and of course, December in New York City. What a great time of year to be here! I think of Rockefeller Center, Holiday decorations, Rockettes, FAO Schwartz toy store, Hot chocolate, ice skating and snow. I think of cold weather. Bundle up in your boots and winter coat.

But this year something is very different. The weather is unseasonably warm. It feels like springtime. And although I am used to the warm weather in Los Angeles and Florida this time of year, it is hard to really feel the anticipation of Christmas which is less than ten days away. It just kind of feels weird.

So, I have been reflecting on expectations and the ability to flow with change. A change in the weather. A change in a location. A change in life. Staying open to the unexpected and noticing what you feel and how you react.

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The weather is actually awesome! I have been walking between 5 and 8 miles every day. Spending time in coffee shops that I might never have experienced because it would have been too long a walk in boots, snow and cold. I have expanded the range of exploration and I have been noticing signs all around me. Sitting on benches outside of the coffee shop. Lingering longer. And asking questions…

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What does my soul want to experience?

 

Signs and Clues Appear:

I’m a Masterwork in Progress.

I got this!

Keep Generosity Present.

Bliss

The magic of home.

Find Something Shiny and New

 

Hmmm…find something shiny and new. I wonder what that might be.

And just like that, I am invited to participate at a Meet-up event as a Greeter, invited into a deeper conversation, I see two people I know at the coffee shop and then I coach a client on Skype.

I feel connected with the new and the old. I feel something new is opening within me and I am willing to sit in the process of waiting. Something is cooking. I feel connected and curious.

I’m not done!

 

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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.

Soap Operas: Highlighting Social Issues

Day 56 of 100 days of Blogging

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I was 19 years old. Home from college for the summer and in need of a summer job. After exhausting all possibilities at the King of Prussia Mall, I saw a sign: Hiring Maids for the Summer at a large Motel chain in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Little did I know the gift that job would be for me and the impact of shaping my life.

First, I learned about following up for a job. I was one of over 100 applicants for a few jobs. After filling out the form, I came back the next day to let the manager know that I was ready, willing and able to work starting that day. She pulled my application out of the middle of the stack, interviewed and hired me on the spot.

Second, I was a TERRIBLE maid, but my attitude and determination helped me receive extra training and I learned how to really clean a room. I received the support I needed to do a good job.

Third, I had no idea how much I needed time to think and feel. This was the summer between my first and second year of college. I was a sponge soaking up all of the information presented to me on TV. Listening to Phil Donahue in the morning and soap operas in the afternoon, I had a whole summer to explore relationships, personal growth and activating my inquiring mind.

 

Seeing the news of the death of David Canary, an actor, yesterday brought a whole wave of memories about the summer of 1976 and the impact of soap operas. David reminded me of the soap opera, All My Children. (He did not join the cast until 1983 and later became one of Erica Kane’s eight husband’s.) Before David arrived on All My Children, it was Susan Lucci, as Erica Kane who was my greatest teacher. She was independent, powerful, imaginative and brilliant. She had so many feelings and was not afraid to express them! It was inspirational to observe a woman like that.

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Soap operas, especially All My Children, played out in my life during times of transition. The summer I worked as a maid. Five years later as a new bride in Baltimore and unemployed for the winter. With each childbirth in 1983, 1985, 1991 and 1993. During the summer my son had open heart surgery and I lay around in an air conditioned room with him during his recovery. The winter I was sick with an autoimmune condition and all I could do was rest. That is when I caught up on “my soaps,” and had another dose of exposure to social issues demonstrated through dramatic acting.

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My background as a social worker gave me an interest in watching people interact in relationships. I didn’t sink into soap operas as a way to live my life. I saw them as highlighting the dysfunction and they encouraged me to go to Al-Anon, therapy, and take personal growth classes, to become a minister and a coach. They were food for thought. Soap operas opened me to explore social issues. Erica Kane wanted a career and independence. She did not want to be a homemaker. She had an abortion not for health reasons but because she was a model. (It was the first legal abortion aired on American television.) Other topics were presented in a way that I could learn and also see the challenges. Homosexuality, Drug Use and Alcoholism, Interracial marriage, Anorexia, Same-Sex Marriage. The topics presented in the shows inspired me to read and learn more, to engage in conversations and to explore my own thoughts and ideas; to form my own opinions.

Although I haven’t watched a soap opera in about 20 years, the impact on questioning and exploring social issues is still with me. My writing self emerged during that time in the form of journal writing which led to writing blog posts and stories in Heal My Voice books. The characters and episodes inspired me to speak up and to have a voice.

It is interesting to look back 40 years and see the root of my voice being encouraged and cultivated. The soaps made some of the years with my greatest challenges more manageable and expansive. Getting lost in a character’s life for an hour gave me greater perspective when I returned to my own life. Each episode activated the wheels to spin faster, to open my eyes wider and to inspire me to make conscious choices about how I wanted to step out of the drama and live a bigger life. I used the characteristics represented by Erica Kane to wake up to more of who I really am and to not be afraid to be controversial.

It is one of the reasons I started Heal My Voice. For women to share their stories, their challenges, their dramas to demonstrate and inspire others to use the challenges, see the gifts and use them as

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stepping

stones

to

create

bigger

lives.

 

 

 

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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: Clues and Initiation

Day 29 of 100 days of blogging.

To read the first blog in this series of Living in Flow: Tuning In

 

On the train to Santa Barbara, I found myself taking a deep, deep breath and releasing a level of tension I didn’t realize I was carrying. I needed a time of recovery after the whirlwind of the year and packing a storage unit and 2 suitcases for the road.

I hung out with my friend Lucky Sweeny, the co-founder of Evolutionary Women, an astrologer and a coach. I spent time meditating, processing, sleeping, getting an updated astrology report on my year and a Pleiadian reading from Lucky.

It was here that I received my first clue of what the year would hold. During the next year, at each location there would be an initiation that would come in the form of an experience, a blessing, or a spotlight on one of my talents and skills and wisdom. A song, words from a person, a memory. The clues would remind me of who I am and point me in the next direction.

The connection to my intuition gave me a sense of knowing what was next. None of this was based on my logical, linear mind. It was a feeling and it required trust. All I needed to do was keep my eyes and ears open and feel it when it arrived.

Initiation:

The definition of Initiation:  the act of starting something : the beginning of something; the condition of being initiated into some experience or sphere of activity.

 

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There was an altar with powerful, spiritual women. I slept on the futon in the living room with the altar pointed towards the top of my head. My crown chakra. The first night, I was sound asleep and I heard a loud clap that sent a sharp, shaking tremor through my body from head to toe. Just one clap and then silence. I fell right back to sleep. In the morning, Lucky told me I had received a blessing called: Shakti Pat from Gurumayi.

 

 

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Santa Cruz: A younger woman’s words

After spending a week with my friend Tomas, helping him with social media platforms; Eating great food from the Farmer’s Market, OMing every day in morning circle, receiving a full body massage and resting, I packed my bags and headed to one more OM circle.

Initiation: A young woman said, “Next time you are in town, I want to sit at your feet and listen. You are carving a path for the next part of my life. I am learning from you.

 

Flew to Baltimore.

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Baltimore: A man’s words and gratitude

Initiation: Orgasmic Meditation training and coaching

His words: “You have opened a doorway to connect to a deeper part of myself”

 

 

 

Bus to New York

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New York: A younger woman’s words.

Initiation: “I am grateful for your existence in the world. You are an amazing person. We have so much to learn from you”

 

 

Plane to Sweden

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Sweden: A younger woman’s words

Initiation: “Look around the room. See all the women who are part of this community. Thank you for starting the Heal My Voice projects. Look at the impact you are having around the world.”

 

 

Initiation of Mastery and doors opening that were pointing me to the next steps in my life. In New York, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington, DC. San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and Los Angeles. Clues and desires awakening in me. On puzzle piece at a time.

According to the Genome Flow Project, this is one of the cycles of Flow. The area of struggle. I was traveling, working, listening, asking questions and one piece at a time was appearing. This organization I had started in 2011 called Heal My Voice was impacting women and families and communities and businesses around the world. I was being called into owning my wisdom and experience and encouraged to become more visible in the world. To share what I have learned and to claim areas of Mastery.

When I arrived in Sweden, I was questioning if I would continue with Heal My Voice. Was I complete? And then the passion from the women in Heal My Voice Sweden and the dedication of Marie Ek Lipanovska, founder of Heal My Voice Sweden were all encouraging me to continue. I said yes to continue and to co-lead the next book program with Marie. To create a bridge between our countries. We began in October 2014. When I arrived back in the United States, I discovered that Heal My Voice had received tax exempt status. Time to move forward and look for the next clues.

One question was how my training and experience with Orgasmic Meditation was going to evolve or fizzle. I taught 35 people how to OM during that year. But how to integrate all of these different pieces. All I could do was stay open to the question and to wait.

 

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Sensual Voices: True Stories by Women Exploring Connection and Desire. was the project and it was published in June 2015.

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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.

The Power of Aging: Preparing for the Next Decade

Day 9 of 100 days of blogging

New York City
October 9, 2015
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I had a great birthday yesterday. I mean, really great! Connecting with myself, with people and all on my own terms. I was going to go to a museum in New York City and then the coffee shop in the East Village felt so good and my words were flowing; I stayed in the moment and kept writing. The day ended at a Community Potluck with the surprise of cupcakes and the Happy Birthday song!

Leading up to this birthday was not fun. It actually felt pretty scary and I had a lot of feelings and fears and confusion in the last year. In the past, I have embraced every decade. Turning 40 and 50 was exciting. I have always felt like things were getting better and there was an adventure around every corner. Until this year…

The fears were about turning 60 next year and a fear of dying. My husband, my best girlfriend and a friend’s husband all died at 60. I have had a lot of stories about this new fear. I have let myself the feelings fully and stirred them around to get to the root. The fear is not about the actual dying. I feel like it will be cool to be in another dimension of time. I believe that life goes on. And if for some reason it doesn’t, I have lived a good life and I will return to dust.
The fear is that I will not finish what I came here to do. That I will not finish the journey of becoming the woman I want to become. To leave a new type of role model for my daughters and my granddaughter and the generations of women to come after me. To leave a legacy. I left my first husband after realizing that I was not being the woman I wanted to be for my daughters. That desire has led me to be a warrior with my personal growth. Thirty years of learning and growing and making different choices. Inside of me I have another 49 years of ideas to implement and there are a few more hurdles I want to transmute and alchemize into gold before I leave.

 My 59th birthday yesterday was a turning point. A willingness to transform the fears andScreen Shot 2015-10-09 at 8.15.59 AM live fully right now. When my husband turned 59, he already had an aversion to turning “60”. I told him, why don’t we celebrate every month and ring in the next decade?

 This week, I decided to take my own advice. I spent the day ringing in the next decade. Everywhere I went, I told people it was my birthday. I received all of the birthday blessings. I spent time alone and I spent time in a community where I can bring all of me.
I am making a note on the calendar each month to spend a day celebrating my life. (In addition to the celebration of every breath) The power is in the simplicity. Celebrate. Be in the present moment. The idea is to pause and do something on that day that fills me up. Welcome in the next frontier. The decade of 60.

It is not the end. It is the beginning.

I am surrendering to life in a deeper way. Every experience has prepared me for this time. In my heart, I feel like I am just getting started. There is a power in aging.
And so it is!

*****

11221663_10206695548965486_4428285337577975775_oAndrea 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.

*****

On Purpose Woman: A Workshop

Day 6 of 100 days of blogging

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 8.31.13 AMI had an opportunity to lead a workshop at the On Purpose Woman Conference in Columbia, Maryland this past weekend. It was called, “Using the Feelings of Failure As a Tool of Exploration.” It was birthed from a blogpost I wrote in August 2015.

To be totally transparent, I thought there might be 3 women in the Workshop. It was not the bright, shiny, juicy topic of feel good upliftment I like to present at this conference. I also felt like I was still in a current process of feeling this feeling of failure. So, who am I to teach it while living it in the moment?!?

As women began to enter the room, I could feel how wrong I had been about the number of women interested in this topic. The room was packed. We gathered in a close circle with rows around the circle. Failure was the exact feeling that many of us were feeling and I wanted us to feel intimate and cozy. A women’s circle with deep, real conversation. Lean in. Whisper it. Speak it. Heart to heart sharing.

There are many reasons for this feeling of failure or defeat. We have all had losses of jobs, clients, health, homes and loved ones. And we have had successes that have come to completion and we are not sure where we are going next. So, we feel deflated, confused and lost. No matter how many successes we have had there are expectations in our society and culture that tell us we have failed; the internal and the external feelings and reflections. Even our closest friends and family who love us and want the best for us, add to the feeling with questions. “So, what are you going to do now?” My inner voice when I am this place of not knowing is: I DON”T KNOW!!! STOP ASKING ME!!!

I am going to share a little secret with you: I have felt these feelings of failure or uncertainty so many times and I always come out of it brighter and shinier and more excited about life than ever! When I am in it, it feels like I will never get to the other side. Luckily, I have experienced this so many times, I have a big tool kit of resources, support and experiences to stay connected to when I am in this process.

And one more secret: On some level you know what is next, too. It is in your subconscious and is in the process of emerging. The key is allowing yourself to feel the feelings of not knowing in this moment. You need silence and stillness and time to let it bubble up into your consciousness. Your intuition will guide you to the people, resources, classes, business partners, coaches, and new ideas. All of this will arrive one step at a time or in a big rush of ideas.

CAUTION: When you have the big rush of ideas, write them down and let them become grounded. Keep them close to your heart and get to know them before doing anything with them. Be willing to go even deeper and give them time to reorganize into a structure. An hour. A day. A week. A month. You do not need to spin your wheels to make things happen.

This is a rich time to deconstruct your patterns. This is where the power and freedom is hidden. Deconstruct your patterns to release the old and embrace the new.

A few Tips to Navigating during this time:

Give yourself time.

*Walks in Nature.

*Meditation.

*Slow down (even with kids, simplify everything. Go to the playground and spend time emptying your mind or reflecting. Or get up 15 minutes earlier or stay up later just to have some stillness.)

Write down clues and signs.

*What is crossing your path? A friend from high school finds you on Facebook. Someone recommends a book. A film is released and you are curious.

*What lights you up, gets you excited?

*Just write it down and become a detective in your life.

Set Intentions.

*Go to bed with a question on your mind. Keep paper and pen at the side of your bed so you can roll over and write down insights.

*Talk less about your process while you are in it.

*Find a place where you can be messy and release an unorganized, emotional, incomplete process.

IMG_0757Create rituals:

*Write for five minutes a day (at least)

*Morning Pages: Inspiration-The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

*Coloring mandalas or blank paper with crayons, markers, colored pencils.

*Buy some art supplies and play.

Meditate or write at the same time every day.

When you do an activity at the same time every day, it activates something in the brain. With this repetition, there is a time when your ideas flow like turning on a faucet of overflowing visions.

*****

PS: After the 40 minute workshop, a few of the women told me they wanted more information. A workshop. A retreat. Something more. The next day I rode the Megabus from Washington, DC to New York for a week of birthday celebrations. On the bus, I had a flash of ideas and by the time I reached New York, I had the structure of a program I will be teaching in November. A workshop with an on-line group and a Secret Facebook Group.

How to Use Feelings As A Tool of Exploration

This will be for women who know they are pioneers and carving new pathways. It is time!

Thank you Ginny Robertson for inviting me to speak. Thank you to the women who had the courage to come to the workshop and for asking me for more…

I am ready!

 

To attend the On Purpose Woman conference in the future, get on the mailing list! http://onpurposewomanconference.com/

 

*****

 

11221663_10206695548965486_4428285337577975775_oAndrea 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.

Transition: Becoming the Queen

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Christmas 1975

Dear Princess,

This has always been my very favorite book, the one I take down most often from the shelf. I hope it will come to mean as much to you. ~Gramps.

“You’ve only a few yards to go, down the hill and over the brook and then you’ll be Queen.” ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.08.22 AM

*****

My grandfather’s favorite book was Alice in Wonderland and it holds a special place in my heart. I received three copies of the book from him when I was a child. Two birthdays and one Christmas. I think he wanted to make sure I read it and understood the hidden messages. The signs that would explain the secrets of life.

In case you haven’t read the book, Alice in Wonderland is a story about growing and discovering your identity. There are references to time, games people play, rules, life, death and choices. A children’s book for adults.

I saw one copy on the bookshelf yesterday and opened it to read the inscription from the Christmas of 1975 when I had just finished my first semester of college.

Tears sprang to my eyes as I read this timely message. “…only a few yards to go…” and his words, “I hope it will come to mean as much to you.” Little did he know how many times, it would arrive at just the right time to reconnect me with his simple life wisdom. This time it was a reflection of my journey since the death of my husband in 2005. A nine year transition that sometimes feels like a never ending story of releasing and letting go.

Nine years! Isn’t transition supposed to go faster than that? Like you actually “land” in the next part of your life and there is some level of stability? Geez. Every time I think I have found a landing pad and start to take a breath, it feels like something else happens and the road is cracking and rocky and changing again. I don’t even know what a comfort zone or stability is any more.

To be perfectly honest, there have been so many times in the nine years when I have just wanted to give up. Not to the point of ending my physical life, just to the point of wanting to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and not come out again. EVER!!!

And at the same time, the gems I have found from going into the darkness or into uncertainty and surrender have been amazing. You know what I mean about uncertainty and surrender? It’s like the moment you take your hands off the handle bars of your bike, go over the edge and ride down the hill. Hands in the air! Total surrender to the ride. Scary, exhilarating and filled with surprises.

*****

I noticed something recently. It is getting easier to have conversations like, “I have a sense that I am going to move out of my house. I don’t know when or where. I just have a feeling. I will let you know when I have more information.” And I am getting used to sitting in the sensation of someone’s fear or confusion or discomfort when I say things like that. I wait. Notice the reaction. Let go of needing to rescue or explain more, shrug my shoulders, smile and let them know that the rest of the information and the next step hasn’t arrived in my consciousness yet. Stay tuned for the adventure.

So, this blog is my attempt to reconnect. I want you to know I have missed you all in the last year while I have been living in an immersion type experience. Living in a community house with nine people, learning a new practice called Orgasmic Meditation, taking two courses in Sexuality and Communication while running Heal My Voice, and interacting with the Board of Directors as we all step into greater leadership. I have also created a new teleclass series and I have been immersed in intimacy relationship research with a man who lives in Europe. Diving into the experiences and learning.

And now everything is coming to an end in the next six weeks. I am emerging with the gems and I have a strong desire to connect with you and share behind the scenes details of the intimacy research, orgasmic meditation, living in community, the evolution of Heal My Voice and the next projects.

So, here we go. A new weekly blog to share more of the details.

If you have questions or are curious about things I am sharing, let me know. Post in the comments and ask questions.

Let’s connect!

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Andrea Hylen is the Founder of Heal My Voice, a Coach, Author, Speaker, Parent, with expertise in Grief, Healing from sexuality and trauma, Orgasmic Meditation Teacher,  Sexuality and Relationship Coaching, Writing to Heal, Connecting through Social Media, Blogging  and Radio Show Hosting. www.andreahylen.com

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