The Power of Personal Awakenings

by Healmyvoice on June 30, 2019

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 1.37.39 PMOriginally Published On Purpose Woman April 2019

By Andrea Hylen, Founder of Heal My Voice

There were two pivotal moments of “personal awakening” between December 1985 and December 1986 that changed the direction of my life. The first awakening began late one night, sitting in the kitchen cross stitching Christmas ornaments to be given as presents. Existing on only three to four hours of sleep each night, I had a moment of paralysis. My legs and feet were frozen in place. I couldn’t move. I cried out for my husband to help me. With his assistance, I was slowly able to stand up and shuffle into the bedroom. Crying myself to sleep. I repeated silently, “Tomorrow is Al-Anon. Tomorrow is Al-Anon.”

Pushing myself to be the perfect mother, wife, employee, including making handmade ornaments, had driven me to the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was working 40 hours as a research assistant at the University of Maryland. Waking up at 5am to breastfeed my 6-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, before getting my 2-year-old daughter, Mary, dressed and ready for day care. Also, Elizabeth was still not sleeping though the night. My husband didn’t “help” me and it became easier to just do it all myself. I had night duty, day duty, a full-time job and an expectation I had placed on myself to do it all. The moment of paralysis, the Al-Anon meeting, all helped me to wake up and look at my life.

The second “awakening” was at Christmas time the next year. It was during an argument with my husband and glancing to see a look in my youngest daughter’s eyes.  When I heard a voice in my head say, “This is not the role model I came to be for my children,” I was sparked into awakening. I knew something had to change and I knew it had to be me.

I knew there were problems in our marriage, and I had tried to “fix” them. I converted to Catholicism so my husband would go to church. I went to Al-Anon and expected my husband to go to AA. I read books like, “The Dance of Anger,” and “The Dance of Intimacy,” and tried to engage my husband in conversation. I went to therapy and did Family Constellation work. But, with every “personal growth” step, I tried to make him change.  After one more year of co-dependency, I finally made the decision that I would leave the marriage and focus on healing myself.

When I think of other times in my life when I felt an “awakening,” there was a moment that felt like a light bulb being switched on. I describe it as an inner knowing that was sparked from within and a voice inside of me gives me a message that shifts my perspective. I am called into change. The spark might have been an answer to a long, awaited question or a feeling like thunder clapping. The feelings range from fear to shock to relief. It might be connected to a relationship, a job, a move, or a hidden desire.

When the light of awareness is turned on, there is no going back. You have been awakened to something and in that moment, everything changes. You cannot unsee it or unknow it. It is a moment when you wake up to a new awareness and you know you have to make different choices. It may feel like life or death. You may need to cry and grieve. You see your life with a new perspective.  It sets something new in motion. It requires action and the complete change may take years to unfold into the new, but it starts with, there was a moment when…

         This is where you have a choice. You can acknowledge it, or you can do things to try to deny it. You can’t unsee it, but you can pour all of your energy into the denial, if you choose. Get super busy. Use an addiction like eating, drinking, sex, exercise, work, anything that becomes an obsession that fills up all empty space where you may feel the thing that you just saw. Or you can choose change. You can let the awakening guide you to something new.

 

*Acknowledge: Begin with an acknowledgement of the awakening.

*Support: A women’s circle, a class, a therapist, a support group, or a friend. Get support from people who can support you without judgement.

*Take baby steps. What’s the next step? That is all you need to know right now.

*Self-care. Nurture yourself with silence, pampering, nutrition, rest, and simple pleasures.

 

Personal awakenings will guide you to a better life. They begin as disruptors. There is chaos. The life you are here to create is waiting for you and it requires change. Surrender. Follow the steps above and open to the magic on the other side.

 

I leave you with a few questions to explore:

 

*Was there a moment in your life when you saw an injustice that other people did not see, and you had to stand up and speak even though you knew someone would be upset with you? Would you do it again?


*Think of a moment when you heard about a book or a film that opened your eyes to something. What was the topic? How did reading the book or watching the film change your life?

*Was there a moment when you noticed something, about a person, and you knew you had to make a choice to get closer or farther away from them?

 

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Andrea Hylen: Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, on-line writing community. www.andreahylen.com

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Healing Your Lineage

by Healmyvoice on May 12, 2019

Heal Yourself Heal Your Lineage(Originally published in On Purpose Woman Magazine March 2019)

By Andrea Hylen

Have you heard about the tests that are available now for finding out about your ancestry? By swabbing the inside of your cheek or spitting into a test tube, there are tests to identify which ancestral tribes you belong to. The key is the word belong.
We all want to know who we are and where we belong.

Who we become is influenced by our lineage, our culture, ethnicity, and gender. We
are influenced by women in our lineage on how we see the world and what we think is possible. By exploring this influence, we have the power to understand and change experiences with power, money, work, relationships and health.

An example from my life surfaced after the death of my 2nd husband, when I was
thrust back into the job market. I had a career for ten years until our son was born with a congenital heart defect and when my husband died, I had been out of the job market for fifteen years. I began to do some inner work around my beliefs and fears around money and work.

 

Some of the memories I uncovered:

*my mother referring to money as “your father’s money.” (He had a job. She was a full-time homemaker with no salary.)

*being told to let the boys win at kickball so they would like me. (Do not compete and don’t show how smart you are.)

*the worry of relatives about who was going to support me financially when my first husband and I divorced in 1987. (My husband and I made the same amount of money in our jobs at the time of our divorce. Age 32.)

 

I graduated from college in 1980 when the women’s movement was opening doors for job equality for women. While in college, I knew I wanted a career outside of the home and I wanted a family. It wasn’t until I was married with two small children and a career as a project manager in epidemiology that I began to understand the path that had not been carved for me.

I had a career and I also had a full-time job as a homemaker. My income was valued and was needed to cover the basic cost of rent, food, car and student loans. But there was no support, at home, for career advancement like when I needed to take classes on Saturday or travel for work. The expectation was that I would “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan.” I would drop the kids off and pick them up at day care, then come home and cook and clean. I would do it all. Career and a homemaker. There were no role models or mentors. The “beliefs” and expectations were in me and in my husband. I was a parent. He was a babysitter.

 

When I began to look at how my beliefs around money and work were limiting me, I looked at the lineage of women in my family and asked questions:

*Did anyone work outside of the home?

*What limitations were placed on women around money?

*What opportunities did women have?

My mother graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in business in 1954. Her first job was a secretary because it was assumed that she would get married and have children and leave her job. My dad’s job included travel and relocation of the family every few years so a job outside of the home wasn’t an option for my mom.

As I continued to explore my lineage, I discovered that money tied in with a lot of the dynamics of power and patriarchy. Money belonged to men and women had to ask permission to have it.

By looking at women’s history and laws regarding money between 1956, the year I was born, and 1980, the year I graduated from college, more answers helped me develop a deeper understanding around the beliefs and conditioning I was experiencing.

In 1974, the Equal Opportunity Act was passed. Until then, women had to have a man cosign any credit applications regardless of income. This was one Act that was passed because of the women’s movement and one of many reasons, women had not had power with money until the 1970’s and 1980’s. Women had to ask men for permission. Exploring beliefs, learning about history has helped me to heal judgements of myself, my mother and my grandmother, reclaim my personal power and make different choices. It has helped me to heal my lineage and implement change.

The #metoo movement is another example of healing our lineage as women. As we uncover similar stories and experiences, we see how connected we are to one another and why women didn’t and couldn’t report abuse. What are we learning now and how do we heal our lineage and make changes for the future?

 

Here are a few ideas:

*Read the history of women. Raise your awareness of rules that governed your mother and grandmothers. Raise your awareness of how they (and women from their generation) lifted the bar and the ceiling for you. Stop judging their limitations.

*Celebrate women and appreciate the advancements from the past.

*Take action. Challenge yourself to join with women and men to change things in your home and communities.

 *Mentor younger women and cheer them on.

 

I leave you with a few questions to explore:

*What years were your grandmother and mother born?

*What was happening in history during that time? Specifically, what was happening in women’s history and the history of your race and ancestry?

*Write a list of appreciation for what has changed in your lineage. Begin with “Women have the right to vote.’

*What is one step you can take to support change for the next generation?

 

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Andrea Hylen Founder of Heal My Voice, Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, on-line writing community. www.andreahylen.com

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Incorporating Meditation into Self-Care by Carolyn A. Brent

May 4, 2019

Across All Ages DEEP BEAUTY International Blog Tour 2019 Today I have the great pleasure of being the host here in Santa Monica, CA, USA on Day 6 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent, whose book, “Transforming Your Life through Self-Care: A Guide to Tapping into Your Deep Beauty and Inner […]

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New Book Release

August 20, 2018

Congratulations to Andrea Hylen, Founder of Heal My Voice on the Release of her new book! In Andrea’s words, “This book took me ten years to write and sixty years to live. My intention in writing this book was to demonstrate the power of sharing our experiences of adversity as a road map to discovering […]

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Hope and Love Prevail

March 12, 2018

My favorite film of all time is, The Field of Dreams. It is a film that is filled with examples of hope, following your heart, listening to your intuition and a belief in the good of humanity. So, when I woke up this morning with the song, “I’m feeling good,” playing in my head and […]

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Next Steps: Support the Voices of Women

March 10, 2018

Heal My Voice was started in 2011 as a way for women to break the silence, share their stories and step into greater leadership in their lives. For seven years, we have been meeting in secret Facebook groups, behind closed doors, healing our voices and writing 200 stories that are now in ten books on […]

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4 Ways You Can Pursue Your Dreams AND Be A Great Mom

October 22, 2017

From one of the contributing authors in the Heal My Voice book: Innovative Voices: True Stories by Women Awakening a New World. Guest Blogger, Tamara Latrese Robinson What do you dream of? You probably have hopes and dreams for your children and their futures, but what are your dreams for yourself? Do you remember what […]

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Everyday Innovation

October 7, 2017

When you hear the word Innovation, what or who do you think of? A famous inventor or entrepreneur? A leading edge, Fortune 500 company or a start-up? Do you think of yourself? In an inspirational TEDx Talk  called, The Art of Innovation, Dimis Michaelides describes 3 ways to Innovate: 1st way: Innovation can be very radical […]

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Landing On Your Feet with Sherry Burton Ways

July 23, 2017

Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots: 21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space By Sherry Burton Ways Today is Day 5 on a 9 stop virtual book tour. From July 14 – July 28TH. Sherry is visiting Nine Websites on a virtual book tour. You are invited to follow the tour, […]

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Discover Your True Potential: What does that mean to you?

February 6, 2017

Discover Your True Potential: Building an Innovative Business (and Life!) Today is an overview and preparation for the 8 Tips to Building an Innovative Business and Life. On the video, I begin with a story about a moment when I was sitting on the metro in Washington, DC and asked a series of question: *Why […]

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