Tag Archives: Transformation

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

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

 

 

 

Phase Transition: Make Space and Let Yourself BE Empty

Day 74 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

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

*I begin to have new or reawakened awareness.

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

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

*Now, it is up to me.

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

*I remind myself in this phase to stay empty.

*Fill myself slowly and consciously.

 

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An example of a day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

I notice I am happy.

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

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

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

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

The end of a New Day.

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

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

A Memory: Merry Christmas Darling

Day 69 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

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

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

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With a sweet, tender voice of love I sang:

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas Darling…

 

 

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Merry Christmas Darling

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

 

 

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

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

Feminism: Awareness is the First Key to Change

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

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

 

The Power of Connection: Show Up and Play

Day 58 of 100 days of Blogging

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lots of Love,

Andrea

 

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

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

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.

Women Healing Relationships with Each Other

Day 55 of 100 days of Blogging

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The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. ~Gloria Steinem

I woke up to a post written by a woman in her early 30’s. A powerful Goddess Warrior. Intelligent. Passionate. Brilliant. Giving and Loving. Beautiful inside and out. A friend of one of my daughters.

I burst into tears sobbing as I read her gratitude to her women friends. I have spent my life working with women. Sitting in circles with women with the intention of forming connections and healing our relationships with each other. Raising three daughters to love and appreciate and support women. Heal My Voice circles are held with the intention of women healing their stories and relationships with women together. I am passionate about this and committed to it. Women seeing each other, listening, accepting our differences and finding our places of connection.

When I see a friend of my daughter posting about the power of her friendships with other powerful, amazing women and challenging women to fix the thing in them that keeps them from developing strong friendships with women, yes… I cry. I cry for joy. I cry with relief. I cry with gratitude that I am here to experience this shift. I cry knowing that my daughter is one of this woman’s amazing friends and that together they have other amazing women friends in their intersecting circles. Circle, after circle, after circle.

 

As a new women’s group is forming in Washington, DC to support women in a sexuality practice, I am bolstered with hope and determination to continue to do my part knowing that I am not alone. Knowing that each circle of women that gathers is having an impact on each other and the world. The ripple effect is getting larger and larger.

And as we heal with each other, we form stronger relationships with men. We raise our sons to value women. We raise our daughters to value men. Strong women lift each other up. They lift up their families, communities and the world.

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The Facebook Post:

A type of Thanksgiving “thanks” post:

My entire life, wherever I go, I’ve always found very intense, deep, and long-lasting friendships with other women. Though I don’t love all of Roxanne Gay’s “How to be Friends with Another Woman” essay and admit that I’m sad these lists even have to exist (though I think we’re needing them less and less, slowly but surely) I’d like to highlight the ones that stood out to me and thank some of the most amazing women in my life for not needing these reminders:

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1. Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be toxic, bitchy or competitive. This myth is like heels…designed to SLOW women down.

3. If you find that you are feeling competitive, toxic, or bitchy toward the women who are supposed to be your closest friends, look at why and figure out how to fix it and/or find someone who can help you fix it.

4. If you are the kind of woman who says, “I’m mostly friends with guys,” and act like you’re proud of that, like that makes you closer to being a man or something, and less of a woman as if a woman is a bad thing, see Item 3. It’s okay if most of your friends are guys but if you champion this as a commentary on the nature of female friendships, well, soul search a little.

4A. If you feel like it’s hard to be friends with women consider that maybe women aren’t the problem. Maybe it’s just you.

 

Together We Can Rock the World!

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

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

Reclaiming Personal Power: I am a Work of Art

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

I invited him to a Onetaste event in Downtown LA. I did not desire him. I desired to stay fully in my power, my sexuality and this “inappropriate and unprofessional” man was not going to diminish me. I challenged him to actually connect, to stop playing this game of intimidation and take action.
I gave him the organizer’s email address to RSVP to the event. When the organizer told me he sent the RSVP, I thought, Oh, no! Well, there would be 100 people there and I would introduce him as the guy from the rental agency. If he had a desire for connection, there were many women at this event. He would have been embraced if he wanted to join the community, learn to OM and to grow into his true desire. He did not show up. Or if he did, I didn’t see him.
This man was a gift to me. I had an aversion to him. He was creepy. I was not physically attracted to him. A few months later, I did a talk at a Women’s Conference about claiming the essence of our sexuality, connected to personal power and money generating. I made $1000 that day. I started working with more clients. That interaction changed me.
It expanded me as a person and uncovered more of my personal power and desire.
*Note: Aversion to me means that someone feels like sandpaper to me. It can be a trigger. They can feel uncomfortable, creepy. I can feel unsafe. It is an opportunity to look at my shadow, set boundaries, explore my desire. Aversion is a feeling to me and the person is a gift to what I can learn and feel and expand within myself.
 It’s all about me, baby. The good, the bad and the ugly. My personal growth.
I am using it all!
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Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.

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

Influencing, Connecting and Impacting Each Other

Day 50 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

Here is what I felt, noticed and thought:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

How does that make you feel?

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

Why do you think that is? Racism?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

I would love to hear from you in the comments.

 

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

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

 

 

Living in Flow: What Turns You On?

Day 49 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

 

 

 

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

Writing

Nature

Dialoguing

Human connection

Animal connection

Inspiration and Passion

Living in Flow

Learning new things

Learning new things about old things.

Feeling Everything

Feeling other people feeling

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Community Gatherings

Sharing resources and time

A man’s full attention on my body.

Creativity and artistry in the world

Witnessing another person’s passion

Heart centered. Real Authentic moments.

Vulnerability and the connection to Power

 

 

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How about you? What turns you on?

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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