Tag Archives: Writing

Phase Transition: Make Space and Let Yourself BE Empty

Day 74 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

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

*I begin to have new or reawakened awareness.

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

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

*Now, it is up to me.

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

*I remind myself in this phase to stay empty.

*Fill myself slowly and consciously.

 

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An example of a day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

I notice I am happy.

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

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

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

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

The end of a New Day.

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

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

Wandering: The Alchemist

Day 73 of 100 days of Blogging

Today is a day of wandering. Sitting in silence. Listening for an inspiration. Asking the question: What does my soul want to experience today?

After a morning of reading, connecting with housemates and writing, I felt the inspiration to spend the day in several coffee shops.

First stop is The Swallow Cafe, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, New York. East Williamsburg area.

Local community. Great coffee. Place is booming with conversation and creativity.

I feel inspired…so, here it is…

The inspiration is for me to start writing a book. It is not a new idea. I have many books on Amazon that were co-created with women in Heal My Voice programs. I have many drafts of several books. The bubbling idea at the moment is to look back at the reams of personal writing and create my own book. Create space and time for writing it. The whispers are getting louder.

I spent the evening with a writer last night. In the cafe now, I find myself rewinding and reviewing the conversation in my mind. I begin by opening a new word document and reading my writing, exploring any hints or clues about what I want to express.

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I came across a blogpost I wrote from a concert tour I went on with my teenage daughter during the summer of 2009. A spontaneous conversation with a drummer, Mike Bedard who was on tour with Jordin Sparks. A moment when I saw him outside the concert venue and I took the time to reach out and tell him how much I enjoyed watching him perform. When I shared that this was the 42nd concert on our adventure that summer, he asked if I had read The Alchemist. An hour later, we finished our conversation and his manager found some free tickets for my daughter and me. An unexpected offer and gift.

I am inspired once again by The Alchemist. Wondering if there is a story for me to share…

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*It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish

*…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.

*It’s your mission on Earth.

 

I connect with those words and let them simmer as I pack up my bags.

Hopping on the L train in Brooklyn and heading to a bookstore in the East Village for more inspiration:

The Strand…

 

*****

Here is a brief description of a part of, “The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo,” as summarized in Wikipedia.

“Central to the novel is the concept of a Personal Legend. Santiago first learns of one’s Personal Legend from The King of Salem, who tells him “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”[10] He expounds on this, saying “…there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”[10] The King also tells Santiago of the importance of following the omens on the journey to realizing one’s personal legend. Coelho follows this advice himself; he will only start writing a book after finding a white feather.[11]

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

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

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.

 

Dramatic Adventure Theater: Travelogue Reading December 2015

Day 67 of 100 days of Blogging

 

Tonight I had an opportunity to share a reading about a travel experience in New York City at a Dramatic Adventure Travelogue Event.

Event Description:

WE TELL STORIES (and drink sangria specials!) at this FREE event at New World Stages!!!!

In addition to hearing from a handful of curated special guest writers/performers at each event, this is also an opportunity for you to tell a story from your travels off the cuff or to bring in a prepared essay, journal entry, blog, video, poem, song, or even a piece of fiction that you created about/while traveling–domestically, internationally, or even from one side of the city to the other! (At least four to five story-tellers will be pulled from a hat so, if you’re interested, be sure to drop your name in when our host passes it around!)

Even if you don’t share a story, come listen, reunite, and hug us!!!! It’s been too long! If we’ve never met, then it’s REALLY been too long; introduce yourself!

For more information for the next event in 2016:


Visit www.dramaticadventure.com

 

My STORY:

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It was always hard to sleep the night before flying from New York to San Francisco. Always an early flight, I feared I would sleep through the alarm and not be ready when the taxi cab driver would ring the bell to the apartment. Then, there was the fire in my belly, the anticipation of seeing the man who was my intimacy research partner for 8 months. One week per month we would meet in San Francisco with three weeks apart to live our lives. Staying in contact through text messages and once a week a long Facetime conversation.

 

So, let me back up for a minute. A few years ago, I lived in Los Angeles and traveled to Baltimore, New York and San Francisco every month. This lasted for eight months.

I teach a 15-minute partnered practice called Orgasmic Meditation and for 18 months, I studied and learned and Immersed myself in this consciousness practice.

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The crazy thing about that immersion was an unexpected thing that happened. The feeling sensation in my body increased so much that I could feel a distinct, palpable difference in every city I visited. From earthy to spine tingling to heart expanding, there was a flavor in each location that was unique.

The rhythm of each month began in LA. Waking up early for morning practice with my ten housemates. Then, sitting outside with a hot cup of coffee before heading to the airport. Watching the hummingbirds flitting from Bird of Paradise to Chinese Bell Flower, their beaks inserted into the crevices of flowers to drink the nectar. Me in my flip flops and sundress taking one last breath in our tropical backyard. Then off to the airport. The feel of LAX, with the sun shining and a light breeze maintaining the temperate climate, where it was common to see a movie star waiting in the security line or walking through the airport with a purse dog in a bag on one arm, designer handbag on the other and trying to achieve some level of anonymity by hiding behind sunglasses. The airport feels surreal like the backlot on a movie studio. Lots of action, cameras, stars and unexpected moments with all of us playing the part of the extras in the film.

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Arriving in Baltimore five hours later, feeling the grounded, earthiness. No pretense. The Balmore accent melded with local colloquialisms, like, “Hey Hon, you goin’ down da ocean for your birfday?” Always a friend waiting at the curbside to pick me up. Catching up on the ups and downs of life. A pull out couch with flannel sheets waiting for my arrival. A cup of tea. A space heater. A chair pulled to the side of the couch for me to use as a side table.

After a week of coffee house Board meetings and writing workshops for lower income women in Baltimore I get on the Megabus to New York. Balancing my computer on my lap and a cup of Zeke’s coffee in the other hand. (Bad Birds of Baltimore, the preferred choice), sometimes paying the extra $9 for the front row, upper deck seat so I can see the NYC iconic skyline and feel the rush of adrenaline at first sight. Suddenly I am in the city feeling the exhilarating energy of beating hearts, mind racing conversation intermixed with multicultural mixtures of languages.

My body is buzzing with excitement when the bus stops at the corner near Times Square. I hop off the bus, grab the handle of my suitcase and jump into the flow of the crowd like a school girl waiting for the moment when it is my turn to play Double Dutch. Jumping in with my own fancy footwork. I frequently break into song when walking in the crowd not caring what anyone else thinks. Give my Regards to Broadway or Jay Z and Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind.

Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty Second Street
That I will soon be there

AND

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York

 

In New York, I took a course called Orgasm Mastery, became a grandmother to Lucille, and stayed in an actor’s apartment in Queens.

And then it was time for San Francisco and my intimacy partner. He flew from Hamburg, Germany to Paris, France. Always stopping at a gift shop to pick up a little memento like an Eiffel tower keychain or a tin of macarons. We always arranged our flights to arrive at the San Francisco Airport within an hour of each other.

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San Francisco has this international feeling intermixed with flower child remnants of the 60’s meets technology of the future. The old and the new feeling youthful and alive. Big ideas. Gold rush. Anything is possible.

Most of the months, I arrive at the airport first. Wheeling my suitcase from domestic flights to international and waiting outside the crowded gate. Unlike domestic flights where a friend or family member picks you up at the curb, international flights have throngs of people waiting. There is a monitor where you can watch the passengers on the last hallway before they emerge into the airport. Anticipation is thick in the air. I anticipate my partner’s arrival along with groups of people, some single and some with small and large groups of families. Some with signs but most with flowers and arms ready to embrace a loved one. I wonder about their stories and watch each arrival during my hour wait. The soldier arriving back from a tour in another land with both woman and man crying in a long embrace. The multi-generational Chinese family embracing an elderly man and woman in a wheelchair. I wonder how long it’s been since they last saw each other. There are outcries with each new recognition of the person emerging through the gate. A young woman in her 20’s arrives. Greeted by a man, a woman and two young children. The children hide behind their mother and the man reaches out with a friendly but formal handshake. I think, maybe this is an Au Pair arriving to care for the children for a year. She is here for an adventure in the United States.

And so it continues until I see him, my partner, on the monitor. My heart starts beating faster. We haven’t seen each other in three weeks. He quickens his step when he sees me at the gate. And with one swift motion like two people in a dance, his arm around me turns me to the exit door right outside the airport where we pause to exchange a long, slow kiss before heading to the BART, arriving at our private room at the International Hostel and beginning our week long 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.

 

 

 

 

 

A Theme Song for Your Life: Make it Mine

Day 65 of 100 days of Blogging

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Do you have a song that is your theme song? A song that helps you to remember your purpose, your reason for living? I have a lot of songs I listen to that have special meanings, but hands down, the song that continues to motivate and inspire me to follow my heart and live my purpose is Make it Mine by Jason Mraz

 

In 2009, when I was following my inner guidance to sell my house, possessions and move from Maryland to California, I played this song every day. I find now that when I listen to this song, I play it 5-10 times in a row. There is always a line that pops out to inspire me in the moment.

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Today, the words that popped out were:

Listen to your voice
The one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue
Leap and the net will appear

I am headed to New York City for 10 days and I feel like there are some new things to discover. I am going to practice patience, deeper listening, and willingness to see something new. Letting go of having all of the answers. Open to receiving signs, clues, messages. With 35 days of blogging left to reach 100 days of blogging, I am diving deeper.

 

Here are some of the other lines and my words that impacted me in 2009:

 

Wake up everyone:

I felt I was waking up to the next part of my life. Being willing to appreciate and release my old life. Opening my arms to receive the new. Standing at the beginning of the path.

 

Listen to your voice: Deeper listening and stillness was necessary. And waiting before following inspired action.

 

Leap and the net will appear: It required a risk with trust and no guarantees. Leaping, trusting my gut and expecting there would be a net.

 

Over to a table at the Gratitude Cafe: A restaurant around the corner from where I lived a few years after moving to LA.

 

And I am finally there
And all the angels they’ll be singing
Ah la la la ah la la la I la la la la love you: Knowing that I am loved and cared for even when it appears that things are falling apart. That there would be moments of feeling like I am finally there.

 

And timing’s everything: Trust in the timing. One step at a time.

 

I don’t wanna wait no more
Oh, I wanna celebrate the whole world: NOW! No more waiting. Let go and go for it! Live a Life Worth Celebrating.
Following your joy: Embrace the joy!

 

I am open: Stay open!

 

Make it all mine: LIVE your LIFE!

 

Thank you, Jason.

 

What is your song? Post in the comments…

 

 

All of the lyrics and a Youtube video:

Wake up everyone

How can you sleep at a time like this
Unless the dreamer is the real you
Listen to your voice
The one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue
Leap and the net will appear
I don’t wanna wake before
The dream is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i… I’ll know it
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes I’ll make it all mineI keep my life on a heavy rotation
Requesting that it’s lifting you up
Up up and away
And over to a table at the Gratitude CaféAnd I am finally there
And all the angels they’ll be singing
Ah la la la ah la la la I la la la la love youI don’t wanna break before
The tour is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes i…I’ll own it
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes I’ll make it all mineAnd timing’s everything
And this time there’s plenty
I am balancing
Careful and steady
And reveling in energy that everyone’s emitting

I don’t wanna wait no more
Oh, I wanna celebrate the whole world
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I’m following your joy
I’m gonna make it mine
Because I… I am open
I’m gonna make it mine
that’s why I will show it
I’m gonna make it all mine
It’s mine…
Yes I will make it all mine

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

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

 

Home: A writing prompt

Day 64 of 100 days of Blogging

A writing prompt from the 30 days of writing program June 2015

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“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ― Maya Angelou

Writing is a way of connecting to a deeper part of who you are. It is a way of coming home to ourselves. What does HOME mean to you?

We can see HOME as an outer place and as an inner one, too.

*Where do you feel most at home?

*Where do you feel welcomed, embraced, accepted and loved?

*Do you feel at home within yourself?

*Notice the story that is opening and revealing itself to you right now.
Suggested Practice:

Listen to the Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space.

The word for today is HOME. http://iTeleseminar.com/69279744

 

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The next 30 day writing program begins on January 1, 2016.

Writing To Heal ~ Setting Intentions for 2016

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

On-line program with teleseminars and writing prompts. JOIN US!

http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/

 

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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.

Anniversaries: Feeling a Wave of Grief

Day 60 of 100 days of Blogging

It is amazing how unexpected a wave of grief can appear. Right there. Feeling it in the gut. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, how much I have processed and transformed the grief, or how I have moved through layers of feelings to create a wonderful, new life. Grief comes back in unexpected waves. It is part of a cycle that continues to expand me.

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If my husband was still alive, we would have celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary this week. Although he died 10 years ago, there is something that just touched me with sadness when the day appeared on my calendar. I sat by the fire and gave myself some space to feel it.

My reflective question: Why did this hit me so hard with waves of grief surfacing throughout the day?

I come from a lineage of people who have been married for 50, 60, 70 years. My first marriage ended in divorce after we had been together for 10 years. My second husband and I navigated huge challenges during our fifteen years together with the final challenge, his cancer, that ended his life. I have every confidence that if we had beaten that challenge, we would have celebrated this silver wedding anniversary together. So, this was another marker of time, another dream that was lost, another reminder of his absence.

Still I explored the feelings even more. I felt the loss of not having the opportunity to…what?…accomplish this goal? Something is tangled up in here. Value? Worth? Love? Challenge? Accomplishment?

What if I never have a relationship where I celebrate 25 years together? Do I still have value as a person? Can I love myself without marking a wedding anniversary with a man?

In the exploration, I noticed once again how complex loss and grief is and how the timing of feelings arrive as a clue to something that is deeper.

I noticed as the day went on that other memories began to dissipate the feelings of sadness. After my first marriage ended in divorce, I didn’t want to get married again. I was interested in partnership and I wanted to have another child, but I was disillusioned by the ceremony and vows that flew out the window when things got tough in my first marriage. I only married my second husband for the practicality of health insurance for our baby. I loved him. I was committed to our relationship and I wanted this union. I agreed to marry him with the condition that we would write our own vows and continue to use them as a tool to stay connected and grow together. He agreed and we did use them for fifteen years.

Every year when our anniversary rolled around, one of us would remember days later. We debated the actual date because we were married the day after Thanksgiving. So, of course, the date was always changing! Neither of us were really “anniversary type” people. Celebrating moments of connection throughout the year was more important to us and we had daily rituals to remind each other.

This week I continued to feel the feelings and to remember.

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After a lifetime of processing and studying grief transformation, there is one piece of advice I would give to everyone. When you feel a wave of grief, no matter how many years have passed, give yourself some space to feel the feelings and explore.

By the end of the day, I was clear that partnership with a man is a part of my growth on the planet. Part of the sadness around the anniversary was reminding me of a desire to be in some kind of partnership. I miss having a man in my bed. Pillow talk, sex, cuddling. I can feel that it is time for deeper exploration around that and to turn up my desire by taking more action.

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A course I have been teaching called Carving the Next Path is opening me to what I truly desire to create. Walking side by side with the women in the course one of my desires is to co-create a new type of relationship with a man. Changing patterns. Embracing new ideas. Getting to the core of what I really want. Creating new pathways of possibilities.

Feelings, including grief and loss are clues that point us in the direction of our desires. I am stoking this fire.

What are you noticing in your life?

Feelings, desires. infinite possibilities. Surrender.

Share with us in the comments!

 

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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.

Happy Thanksgiving: To eat or not to eat…

Day 57 of 100 days of Blogging

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

A Tipping Point: Women Becoming More Visible

Day 51 of 100 days of Blogging

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women becoming more visible in the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two areas of questions I have been pondering.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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