Tag Archives: Transformation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change takes time.

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

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

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

Change takes time.

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

Change takes time.

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

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

Change takes time.

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

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

Change takes time.

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

 

 

315353_10201052497332086_1044127686_nAndrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband.

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

Landing on Your Feet with Sherry Burton Ways

FinalCoverBack (1)Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots:

21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space

By Sherry Burton Ways

Today is Day 5 on a 9 stop virtual book tour. From July 14 – July 28TH. Sherry is visiting Nine Websites on a virtual book tour. You are invited to follow the tour, visit a new blog each day, meet some wonderful new friends and experience something new. Go to this page to see all the stops and to enter and win prizes:

http://sherryburtonways.com/landing-feet-putting-roots-virtual-book-tour/

Review of Her Book:

Through adversity and challenge, we heal and awaken to our desires, talents and skills. In her new book, Landing On Your Feet and Putting Down Roots, Sherry Burton Ways shows us the story of reclaiming her life, her space and her personal design style voice after the ending of her marriage. Her book is filled with ideas and inspirational ways to step by step restore your spirit and bring beauty, intention, and YOU into your living spaces.

Change of any kind can be stressful and life altering However, if you begin to look at changes and how your environment can respond and support you, it will be a process that you can begin to enjoy Rituals can be so easy, fun, and -empowering as ways to stay connected to source, to manifest and decorate your moment with ease” ~Sherry Burton Ways

Twenty-one rituals from journaling and setting an intention to meal preparation, bathing and essential oils, Sherry inspires you with an overview of each ritual and specific action steps to help connect with who you are and what you want in your space.

And let me tell you, dear reader, the photos are gorgeous. Gaze upon them and use them as part of a sitting meditation bonus. They are calming, healing and inspiring.

I had the opportunity to interview Sherry and ask her to share some personal details. To read the Q and A, go to this link:

 

http://healmyvoice.org/landing-on-your-feet-with-sherry-burton-ways/

Living my Life as a Research Project

Day 100 of 100 days of Blogging

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Life is naturally designed to be a research project. We are born with desire and curiosity. A child is naturally interested in exploring; naturally playing with their senses to create experiences. See. Hear. Taste. Touch. Play.

I like to observe, analyze and process what I notice and feel in the world. You could say that I am a born researcher, a data collector and  a writer.

For ten years after college, my career evolved from research assistant to project manager at Johns Hopkins to computer software trainer at a pharmaceutical company. I am a trained social worker and coach and an ordained minister. I like to study life, people and feelings. I have always been curious about people. Observing why they choose or don’t choose different experiences in their lives. Why they say they are happy when they feel sad to me. Why they say they are fine when they have tears in their eyes.

After working in the University System, I turned my attention to research life; my life and the world in and around me.

100 days of blogging has been a research project. The intention I set when I first started writing was to explore my voice. What did I want to write about? Where did people want to engage? What topics of interest to women and men in my community? What did I notice? Where did I have feelings of passion and intense desire to explore a topic?

Well, it turns out that I wrote about how I live my life. The topics included Living with Intent, Living in Flow, Living from Inspiration, Relationships, Connection, Writing, Grief, Healing, Consciousness Practices, Transformation and Leadership.

As this is the last day of 100 days of writing, I move towards integration. It is a necessary last piece of all research projects. Writing has transformed something so deep, that I need time and space, more of “the gap time,” to allow for integration and digestion to be able to use what I have uncovered.

And while I give the 100 days of writing time to percolate, I said yes to another research project. This one connects me to my Orgasmic Meditation practice.

 

For more details about setting up research with a partner, read on…

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To start off the new year, I decided to practice Orgasmic Meditation with an OM coach and friend in Crystal City, Virginia. We set the experience to be 21 days and to meet in his apartment every day.

Here are a few tips that can be adapted for different research experiences.

1. Enter at your own risk. I wouldn’t label 21 days of daily OMing as “fun.” The purpose of research is to turn a spotlight onto something and allow for release and purification and new awareness. Shadow and light will be revealed.

In the first week of the experience, I have noticed how each of us have had a day or two where we feel messed up before we start to OM or a day where we feel tender and cracked open after the OM. There is a purification and burning off of emotions and revealing of desires that emerge. There are also days that feel like nothing is happening which leads to days of bursting awareness and opening of power. In the first 7 days, I have laughed, cried, tapped into more of my power and last night I had nightmares for a few hours and woke up sobbing. I’m in it. 14 days to go.

2. Communication is Key.

a. Tune in to your desire and get clear on what you really want

b. Commit to a time period that feels “right” to you. If you already feel stretched and pressured before you begin, make an adjustment. 7 days can be just as powerful as 21 days or 30 days.

c. Communicate your desire with your partner (or with yourself, if it is a different kind of research that does not require a partner. Write down the desire and the expectation and the tools for communication. (One partner and I used a Google document for clarity and journal writing together. )

In my current research of 21 days of OMing, my partner and I both had a desire for daily OMing. When he shared his desire as a general idea of 30 days of OMing, it felt like our desires were a match. When I looked at my schedule for January, knowing it would require 2-3 hours of travel, as well as OM time, I was willing to commit to 21 days. The additional 9 days felt like overwhelm to me.

d. Set up a self-care regimen. Salt baths. Sleep. More quiet time for processing and integrating everything that WILL come up!

e. Notice everything. Subtle shifts. AHAs. Journal. Stay conscious.

f. Stay in the mystery of what is possible. There will be bumps in the road. Things you didn’t think about or even different perspectives that were not evident when you set the container. Part of the growth is the messiness that arises and new communication that is created.

g. Set up a foundation and structure for yourself. A way to have a beginning and an ending and a touchstone to remind yourself why you are called to do this at this time.

In my current research with an OM partner, we have the foundation of the OM practice and the 12 steps of OMing.

Tenets of OM:
1. Attention – noticing what is
ii. Simplicity – removing anything extra (romance, interpretations,
value judgments, accoutrements), goallessness
iii. Desire – making requests and adjustments in the OM.
iv. Connection – feeling the connection created between the stroker
and strokee (limbic resonance)

 

12 Steps to OM:

1. Ask for an OM  

2. Set up a space  

3. Sit in Position  

4. Noticing  

5. Safeport  

6. Initial Grounding  

7. Stroking  

8. Peaking  

9. Communicate  

10. Second Grounding  

11. Share Frames  

12. Clean up the space

 

And that’s all for now folks!

 

To the adventure!

 

 

******

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

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

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!

*****

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.

 ******

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

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A few keys:

*Slow down

*Cultivate your inner authority

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

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

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

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

*Give it time and space.

*Stay connected and awake to the feelings.

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

 

 

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

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

An Experiential Life: What are you waiting for?

Day 95 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

 

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Inner Dialogue between my full self and my limited self:

“I am happy in the lazy river.”

“Wheeee, look how happy Mary is.”

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

What are waiting for?

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

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

2016: A Year of Transformation

Day 94 of 100 days of Blogging

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Every year has it’s own rhythm. For the first time in a long time, I feel the energy of 2016 is in alignment with the seasons in the northern hemisphere. The energy of winter, spring, summer and autumn. We are in flow. Using them as a tool of exploration, a guidepost for how to best use 2016 will help you manifest and create your life.

 

In addition, the global word I have read from many energy workers for 2016 is Transformation.

 

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Winter

(January, February, March)

Mercury retrograde during the month of January brings us into a deep state of reflection. It is a Divine Cosmic set-up to look back. To review, redo, reflect, re-write your life. Set your intentions.

Connect with your inner world in silence.

Build a strong, foundation of intention for the year. This is key.

Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I desire to be, to have, to do?

This will set the tone for the year.

 

Winter Reflection:

Dialogue from the Matrix:

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

 

 

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Springtime

(April, May, June):

You will begin to see the light of day.

Rebirth.

Plant seeds.

Try out your new song.

In May, review how your seeds are growing. Review, reflect and prepare for the next wave of activity.

Take some action.

You may feel like a baby who is beginning to walk.

 

Spring Reflections

New World Coming

There’s a new world coming
And it’s just around the bend
There’s a new world coming
This one’s coming to an end There’s a new voice calling
You can hear it if you try
And it’s growing stronger
With each day that passes by
~Sung by Mama Cass Elliott

 

 

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Summertime

(July, August, September)

Laughter. There is a lightness and play energy.

Tend your garden and plants. What is ready to be picked and eaten?

Activities are speeding up like riding a roller coaster at the beach. Ride it. Jump off. Decide. Do I want another ride or sit and bask in the sun for awhile?

At the end of the season (September), take time for appreciation and gratitude. Reflect again.

Watch the setting sun and feel your dreams.

Summer Reflections

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. ~Lao Tzu

 

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Autumn

(October, November, December)

Eureka!

What have you discovered?

Romp in the field of what you have created. So many manifestations and fun. You are in the flow.

Be delighted.

Reap the benefits of the Harvest.

You did it!

 

 Autumn Reflection:

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

~Georgia O-Keefe

And in every month, notice what is TRANSFORMING in YOU!

 

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

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

Introduction to Empowered Voices

Day 85 of 100 days of Blogging

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An excerpt from the Introduction to Empowered Voices: True Stories by Awakened Women

Written by Andrea Hylen, Founder of Heal My Voice.

September 2012:

As I settled into my living room to fold laundry one cozy evening, I came upon a replay of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. All in black and white, the camera slowly zoomed in to focus on a husband cooking breakfast for his wife. They lived in a camping trailer and you could see the wife sleeping in the bed next to the kitchen. As the camera followed the husband carrying a tray of eggs, toast and coffee towards the bed, the wife began to yawn with cooing sounds of love and recognition and a soft “good morning,” stretch. He leaned down, carefully balancing the tray and kissing her on the cheek. Nuzzling her with his lips, cheek to cheek, he snuggled up to her ear, whispering softly, “Hey Worthless.” When I heard those two little words, I froze instantly, with an unfolded bath towel in my hands, standing stock still in disbelief.

What? WHA-WHAT? “Hey WORTHLESS?”

Those words had been offered as a term of endearment and a declaration of love. If I wasn’t so keenly aware of the power of words, I might have missed those two, slippery units of language wedged between the kisses and breakfast food. It was subtle. “Hey Worthless” was spoken with the energy of love, affection, a smile, a soft touch, a stroke of the hair and was accompanied by a tray full of nourishment.

It may seem like I am making a big deal about such a small phrase but the “Hey Worthless” message exploded in my ears like a trumpet blast. While we could debate the genius of Hitchcock and his cleverly disguised insult, the blasting in my ears created a frozen state in my body. This was one of the ways women had been programmed to think they were worthless, less than, not enough or wrong. This is how their voices were shut down. It began with one slippery, biting word at a time; demeaning, dishonoring, invalidating abuse intermixed with food, shelter, belonging, and “love.” From men, from women, from the media and more…

Growing up, we received subtle messages from loved ones and strangers: hey clumsy, she’s such a slob; don’t beat the boys at that game because they won’t like you. You’re too much, too loud, too intense… lighten up, have a sense of humor, get over it, don’t be so serious, go along with the crowd. And underneath the subtle words that were chipping away at our spirit and confidence, many of us had our innocence violated both physically and emotionally with physical and verbal abuse. We were told that we had caused it and deserved it!

It is no wonder that our voices were shut down and that we stopped speaking up for what we really believed in.

NO MORE!

Women have something to say. It is time. We are visible and we are creating a wave of voices!

 

*****

 

In the Spring of 2012, I was immersed in supporting and creating a safe space for the twenty-three authors of the powerful stories in this second, “Heal My Voice” book publication. One vulnerable word at a time, these successful women were reclaiming hidden aspects of their own personal power: writing to heal a story in their lives.

When a woman heals her voice, reclaims inner authority, it is not because she wants to rule the world and diminish men.  It is because she wants to be able to use her personal power to make a difference in the world. She is not interested in power over you. She wants a voice at the table because she has something to offer. She may be leading the discussion or she may be a participant.

The authors in this book are a group of powerful women leaders who are passionate about leading, serving and making a difference in the world. Kerri in Australia, Marie in Sweden, Yana in Germany, Fiona in western Canada, Karen in Baltimore, Charlene in Chicago, Lynn in Colorado, Brenda in Oregon. In total, twenty-three women who live all over the United States and Canada and around the world.

These twenty-three women initially met through a coaching program including both men and women, and thus were accustomed to “listening” to one another, practicing the artful trade of supporting and empowering others.

Then, we shifted into a new sacred space. For many of us, the process of writing these stories helped us shed a layer of protection that was so worn, it felt like skin. We began to see each other and ourselves more clearly in the journey of writing our stories, building trust and hearing the wisdom that translates from one person’s experience to another.

In many of the stories, women wrote about the ways they had been diminished in religion, families, relationships, school, work and the world. Their confidence, feelings of worthiness, personal power, and open-eyed wonder had been chipped away and doused with someone else’s fear, manipulation and control. We had turned down the switch to our bright shining lights, to stay safe and hide our power to preserve and protect our hearts.

Sharing our stories with you is the next step in moving so far beyond the insidious “Hey Worthless” that it will hopefully become a notch of completion on our belts. We are carrying our wisdom and strength with us while we leave the rest of the garbage behind.

 

****

An Empowered Voice knows when to Listen.

An Empowered Voice knows when to Speak.

An Empowered Voice knows when to Stand on the Mountaintop and shout.

~ Andrea Hylen, Founder of Heal My Voice

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women 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.

Using Technology for Connection

Day 82 of 100 days of Blogging

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I woke up this morning to an invitation from my 21-year-old nephew, Luke, to become friends on Fitbit. He goes to college in Massachusetts. For the last four days, my 32-year-old daughter, Mary and I have been doing the Daily Challenge on Fibit; challenging each other to walk the 10,000 steps. She lives in New York.

I play Words with Friends with my brother (Pennsylvania), sister (Florida) and a few friends (various states and time zones).

I eat dinner with my daughters (California, Maryland, New York and have Dance Parties with my granddaughter (New York) on Facetime. I Skype with clients in Sweden, Italy and Germany.

I am connected to people all over the world. Technology is amazing!

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I know there has been a lot of conversation about how technology creates isolation. I am witnessing the opposite. There are so many places to share our authentic voices, so many secret Facebook groups with deep connection and ways to post our secrets that I am noticing people want more connection and they are reaching out to find it.

I also notice that I have more connection to family and friends who are scattered all over the world. We are expanding into new ways of sharing our lives and connecting through activities.

Who says that just because you are in a room full of people that anyone is truly connected and sharing authentically?

 

What are you noticing about technology and social media and connection in person and on-line?

Post in the comments and share your voice.

 

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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women 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.

Carving the Next Path: Is it really YOUR desire?

Day 78 of 100 days of writing

“Hidden beneath your feet is a luminous stage where you are meant to rehearse your eternal dance.” – Hafiz

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In an enlivened conversation with a group of women this morning, the topic of following your desire came up. We were talking about learning to distinguish between the social conditioning of what we think we want and connecting with the true desire. Sometimes it is the same thing and sometimes we are so conditioned by society, family and friends, it is hard to delineate and distinguish our true desires.

Some examples:

Marriage, children, a 9-5 job, buying a house, retiring.

My own journey has included leaving a marriage, homeschooling my kids, using alternative medicine to heal an autoimmune condition, starting an on-line business, and living rent free while running a non-profit organization.

All of those paths went against the social conditioning learned in my family and community.

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Here is an abbreviated version of tips I have used (and still do) to carve each new path.

#1 – See your life as a practice. Try new things. Be willing to look foolish. Failing is part of the process that helps you to discover who you are and what you want.

#2- Develop your intuition by increasing your awareness to your feelings. Notice when you feel happy or sad. Use the feelings as part of the practice. Follow the feelings and do the work to heal the things that trigger you and make new choices based on feelings.

#3 – Commit to one or more practices. Things like meditation, walking, journal writing, or exercise. Things that reduce stress, quiet your mind, and help you to release and let go and hear new answers to your questions.

#4 – Find several tribes of like minded people. This is where you get to practice using your voice, explore your feelings and desires and to find your authentic voice.

#5 – Shake up your routine. Anything that breaks the pattern. Sit in a different seat at the dinner table. Walk or drive a different path to work. Move your pillow to the foot of the bed and sleep in an opposite direction. Walk backwards.  This will help you to rewire your brain and see things in a new way.

#6 – Take classes. Read books. Work with a coach. Be willing to learn something new. Be willing to change.

 

If you are interested in exploring more in a space with women who are ready to have deeper conversations, I will be teaching the next on-line 12 week program: An Experiential Life: Carving the Next Path – March 1, 2016-May 31, 2016. (Women only)

*Secret Facebook group

*Zoom video conferencing with a weekly conversation in the community of women

*Weekly exercises and energy tools

*Two individual coaching calls with me on Skype.

Join us!

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

 

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315353_10201052497332086_1044127686_n

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

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

 

 

 

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