Category Archives: Leadership

Developing the Qualities of Feminine Leadership

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It was 1974.  I was in the 11th grade at Phoenixville Area High School and I was chosen to be the Captain of the show flags in the marching band. Right before our last local parade of the season, and before the band camp started where I would receive guidance on show flag routines and leading a squad of girls, the current Captain had a family emergency and was not available to lead us. I was thrust into leadership with no idea what I was doing! My first thought was to lead like a man using the stereotype of a platoon sergeant in the Army. I yelled at the 12 girls to straighten up, to present their flags with more precision. Stand tall. Straighten up. Sharper moves. Get in line. I was yelling the orders during the whole parade and I was exhausted by the end. I felt terrible and it wasn’t fun at all. I can remember feeling defeated and unsure of myself, questioning my ability to lead. The current Captain had always made it feel so fun. How could I lead like that?

At the summer band camp training, I learned new routines, observed the leadership and marched all day for a week. The fun returned. When our high school band camp started the week before school, I was eager to share what I had learned with the girls. While the other marching band groups: batons, rifles, and musicians, were practicing in their separate groups, I decided to try a different approach to lead. Instead of focusing on precision and marching in straight lines, I told the girls I wanted to share new routines I learned at the training camp. I focused on having fun, team building and connection, seeing us as collaborators and asking for their ideas. This was why we were on the show flag squad. It was fun to be part of a team and we wanted the challenge to learn the routines.

In the afternoon, when all of the groups came together to learn the choreographed routine, we would perform at every football game intermission this fall season and in competitions with other marching bands, we were ready. The show flag girls were connected and focused. We had filled up with fun all morning, connected with our purpose and now we worked hard to become the best squad of all time.


It was the first time I could feel the power of working as a team and leading in a way that invited every voice into the circle. Seeing and valuing each other. When I think about feminine leadership, I remember that moment in time. The elements included creativity, connection, team building, collaboration, intuition. I have used this experience in work, raising children, and leading women’s circles. This is what it feels like to lead with the feminine leadership style.

Feminine Voices Front CoverFast forward to 2013, and the Heal My Voice feminine leadership project. In an on-line circle of twenty women, in the dead of winter, we began to ask the question, what does it mean to be a feminine leader? The women in this writing circle ranged from a football player in a women’s league, to a woman who worked at NASA, to a woman who had adopted children from Russia, to a young female entrepreneur, to a woman who was homeschooling her children. We began to unravel all the ways we had been leaders. Student council President, Mother, Team leader, Engineer, Adoption Pioneer, Girl Scout Leader and Teacher. Our discussions focused on how we had been leaders in the past and how that was changing with new awareness. Who were we as leaders? What mistakes had we made? How had we corrected those mistakes and shifted? How did we want to lead now? Many of the women in this group had graduated from college in the 70’s and 80’s. We had enthusiastically entered the workforce, but we had been expected to lead like men. Even the clothing we wore, suits with shoulder pads, were to look like men.  We had to cover up femininity which was seen as weakness. For those of us who had defined ourselves as volunteers, caregivers and mothers, we didn’t even acknowledge the leadership roles and qualities we were using because we were not paid a salary. We now know that leadership has nothing to do with a salary. It is in the choices and decisions we make and how we live our lives by example.


In our circle conversations, we defined feminine leadership as a balance of feminine and masculine qualities. We defined masculine qualities as structure, risk and action. We defined feminine qualities as creativity, empathy, holistic and intuition. Women and men can lead this way. So, why use the words “feminine leadership” if both women and men can use this balanced style? We are unraveling the toxicity and dysfunction around the words, “leadership” and “power.” Step into using personal power, inner wisdom, inspired action and feminine leadership: A balanced approach of doing and being.  It is time to find a new authentic way to lead.


I leave you with a few questions to explore:


*Do you see yourself as a leader?

*What are the qualities you use to lead?

*What are your strengths and weaknesses?

*How do we lead together?


Andrea Santa Barbara Starbucks Aug 2016


Andrea Hylen is the founder of Heal My Voice and the Writing Incubator, on-line writing communities with coaching support.

How will you use your voice?

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.34.43 PMFriday, January 20, 2017

I remember a moment, in 2008, when I began to feel like, I am Oprah, and you are Oprah, and it was time for us to share our wisdom and voices in a bigger way. It was one of the reasons I started a blog and it happened when Oprah highlighted Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” I read the book two years earlier and when I watched Oprah, I saw that I had been living this and she was awakening to her own questions. It was new to her. It didn’t mean I was better than Oprah, it meant that I didn’t have to wait for her to teach me everything and to be my voice. I began to share my voice and experience more, in the hopes of shining a light on the path for someone else.

We need Oprah and Deepak and Barack and Michelle Obama to inspire us and model ways of sharing our wisdom and demonstrating action because, well, we are all in this together and they are amazing role models! As we listen to their experiences and wisdom, we are also tuning in to our own inner authority. We can check within to see where we resonate with them and what we have seen and experienced from a different perspective. We can check within to follow our life purpose in the moment.

I have been and will always be a supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am also committed to listening to what President Trump is saying and being and doing to lead this country. I am listening and watching because this is my country, and I have a voice and I can use it to influence the process. These words in Trump’s inauguration speech today rang true for me: “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

Yes. The people are now the rulers of this nation again. We do not need a “big Daddy,” in the White House.  Trump and his administration are not “the people. WE are the people.

The people are now the rulers. The Women’s March in Washington and all over the United States is about taking charge and setting the agenda for our country. The people are becoming the rulers. President Trump works for us. He is our employee. We review him. We hold him accountable. We influence the vote on programs he is endorsing. We applaud. We protest. We have a voice.

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So, how will you use your voice?

Here are some of the ways I have been using my voice:

In November, a few weeks after the election, I posted a link to a radio show on Transforming Grief to Love. For six weeks, I posted 44 radio shows that originally aired over the holidays in 2010 and I did a Facetime LIVE for each show with tools and resources. Inspiring people to listen to the shows and to grieve and feel and heal. (All 44 show links are here)

This month, I am working on Part 2 of a book on How to Transform Grief to Love. With conversations from the radio shows on how to use the shadow of grief to shine a light on the love we have in our hearts.

In February, there is a nine-month program called Innovative Voices: True Stories by Women Awakening a New World.

Women will be gathering in a weekly on-line circle to talk about Innovation. What does it mean and how can we tune into that energy to help the world awaken to new ideas for humanity?

I also follow a variety of newsletters and groups to learn about things that are happening in Congress so I can use my voice to influence the vote. To make phone calls, write letters, spread the word. No  more turning over the decisions to the lobbyists. The people are the rulers. My intention is that every choice I make is connected with #humanity and uplifting the planet.

So, I ask you again. How will you use your voice?



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 to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband.

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

Living my Life as a Research Project

Day 100 of 100 days of Blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

2. Communication is Key.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


12 Steps to OM:

1. Ask for an OM  

2. Set up a space  

3. Sit in Position  

4. Noticing  

5. Safeport  

6. Initial Grounding  

7. Stroking  

8. Peaking  

9. Communicate  

10. Second Grounding  

11. Share Frames  

12. Clean up the space


And that’s all for now folks!


To the adventure!





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: and

The Power of 3: Supporting Elderly Parents

Day 63 of 100 days of Blogging

My Dad had a stroke a few weeks ago.

Quick update on physical details: He can talk. He is numb on the left side. No blockages in his arteries. He is in rehab and working really hard to recover. My niece is a speech therapist and she told us that the first six months are vital to the best recovery. He is working hard and making progress and has a positive attitude.

My Mom and Dad have been married for sixty years. She is balancing taking care of herself and their home and going over to spend every afternoon with him.

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A few more details:

I have two living siblings.

My sister, Joanne, is 57 years old. A preschool teacher. Parent of 3 adult children. She has been taking the “first shift” of support. She lives the closest to my parents, 90 minutes away, and her lifestyle allows for regular visits right now.

My brother, Rob, is 52 years, a carpenter. Lives in New Jersey. Divorced. Co-parenting three kids who are in public school. His daughter needs someone to be with her at the bus stop every day. He is willing to take a shift and for now he is talking with our parents daily.

I am 59 years old. Entrepreneur and Coach. Parent of 3 adult children. Currently living in Washington, DC area. Teaching a variety of workshops in person and on-line. Working with the Heal My Voice Board President and holding in person meetings to build the 2016 Board of Directors. I will be flying to Florida and staying for a week at the end of December.



There was a time in my life where I would have dropped everything to be there for my parents immediately. I homeschooled my kids and had the flexibility to go on the road during most of their education.

At this time in my life, it means cancelling meetings and events and putting my life on hold.  I go in and out of guilt about not dropping everything in my life to sit by my Dad’s bedside, help my Mom and be there to support my Dad’s recovery. I see many of the women around me right now in this struggle of wanting to care for and support their parents and questioning how much of our own dreams do we put on hold. And for many of us, the youngest adult child has just left the nest and we are building streams of income to support ourselves financially for the next part of our lives.

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So, the decisions my siblings and I are making are practical. Who is going to help them? Even being real with each other. When is it “convenient” for a loved one to need additional support? My parents have always lived full and busy lives with many interests, and service work and community. So, of course, we are all the same. Living full lives with commitments to other people.

First, our conversations centered around the shock of the stroke which was sudden and unexpected.

Second, the assessment of his health and…to be blunt, if he was about to die or live.

Third, once we knew he was stable, what are the long term care needs.

My siblings and I moved into more practical conversation. You take this shift. I will come down for that shift. Then communicating during each step.

There are layers of internal processing here for me. I have already lost a son and a husband to illness. I have already watched two people I love die. I was the caretaker who sat by each of their bedsides. This experience is familiar and my heart is heavy thinking about it. Knowing what I have learned from losing so many loved ones and letting myself stay in the discomfort of feeling like I am not doing enough right now.

From the loss of a brother, son and husband, I have learned to live more in the present moment. And each additional time I get to spend with loved ones is a bonus. I have learned to keep my heart open and to love fully in the moment. I have to let go when I leave not knowing if I will ever see them again. All we have is the present moment.

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Today I am feeling grateful we were all together at my Aunt Ellen’s funeral in Boston in September. My Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother and Me with various generations. Conversations. Photos. Connecting with Relatives and Sharing Memories. It was a beautiful weekend. Lots of sad feelings about the sudden death of my Aunt and so much joy around all of the times we spent together. Love. Gratitude. Appreciation.

What I know today is I have my plane ticket for Florida. Flying at the end of December. Spending New Year’s Eve with my parents and ringing in 2016. Creating more memories. Until then, we have the phone and computer. I have a text thread with my sister and brother. And I have made a commitment to stay in the present and live for today.

Today I am grateful that I have two siblings who are a part of this journey with me. I am appreciating the Power of 3 and how this time, I don’t have to do it alone.




Photo from Andrea Hylen

Andrea Hylen at Agape in Los Angeles


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

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

The Power of Hope and Faith

Day 43 of 100 days of Blogging

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

Desmond Tutu

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I don’t remember when I started to share my personal stories but I know why. I wanted to give people hope. I wanted them to know that in the depth of their pain there was light at the end of the tunnel. I shared my personal challenges to show them that there were gifts in each trauma and loss and you would discover more about yourself. I wanted to shine a light so they could see the path. I wanted them to know that other people had survived and thrived and found joy again.

I know that reading stories by other women and men helped me feel grief and loss and that in the midst of that I would also feel joy sometimes.

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Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

Saint Augustine

The hardest challenge I ever had to face was leaving my first marriage and leaving my children behind. I knew I had to get out and give myself some oxygen. To rent a house and get beds and some furniture to have a place for us to live. I knew my husband could care for them for two weeks. It never occurred to me that he would fight for full custody. He had barely changed a diaper, cooked a meal, done laundry or been present during the evening routine of meal, bath, story, bedtime. Fighting for my children in court was filled with incredible pain. Somehow, even in the depths of the pain, I believed that we would get through it, that my children would heal that we would survive.  They are adults now and we did survive it. Healing is an ongoing process.

All I can tell you is I survived it. I believed. I had faith. I noticed the small gifts, the helping hands, the signs of hope.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.34.43 PMWriting and processing and reflecting are tools of exploration and healing. Noticing little signs along the way and appreciating moments when the sun comes out. A kind word, a smile, a home cooked meal, a song, a dog’s kisses, a glimmer of hope and change.
 It will get better and you will find out amazing things about yourself in the process.
Blessings to you, dear One.

315353_10201052497332086_1044127686_nAndrea 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: and

Using the Feelings of Failure as a Tool of Exploration

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 8.31.13 AMFlying home to Baltimore, I had a sudden flash of fear and sadness ripple through my body. The feeling and thought was, “I am a failure.” Ten years since my husband died. Five years of living in Los Angeles and traveling to different parts of the world, why do I feel like a failure?

I can make a list of some of the things I have accomplished since my husband died ten years. Organized and sponsored Evolutionary Women retreats and mentored a group of 44 women to write stories in a book called Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. Ordained as a spiritual peace minister in the Beloved Community. Studied and completed two different year long coaching programs. Completed the homeschooling of my youngest child who graduated from Santa Monica College and is now enrolled at UCLA. Sold a house and my husband’s business and moved from Maryland to California. Drove over 40,000 miles in the United States in a three year period.  Traveled to several countries. Started an organization called Heal My Voice with nine published books of true stories by women, two of the books in Swedish and developed and launched several other programs. Became On Purpose Woman of the Year in 2013. And there is much more I could add to this list.

Looking at that list, how can I even think I am a failure?

It comes down to internal and external expectations. It means I am focusing on the things I haven’t accomplished. It means I am trying to measure myself by the standards of society, family and friends.

This is not the first time I have felt like this. In 1980, when my 5th High School Reunion rolled around, I didn’t attend because I had this feeling of not having done enough. I had graduated from Temple University with a BSW and was immediately hired by an organization focused on working with teenagers. I loved my job and my life. I was living with my boyfriend. We had been together for four years. But we weren’t married and were not engaged and I wasn’t pregnant. It is so crazy to think about it now as my 40th reunion is approaching. Why did I think I should have accomplished all of that in 5 years?

I was caught up in the inner critic and the expectations in my head and noticing the life that other high school graduates were living in my town. I now have moments of feeling incredulous about that because it feels so crazy! AND…here I am once again with this idea of expectations of what my life “should” look like and what I “should” have accomplished instead of asking myself if I am using the time I have on the earth to experience and explore life in ways that are meaningful to me. Am I living the life I want to be living?

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.43.03 AMLife is a journey, not a destination.

Even that statement is limiting, it is more than that. Life is a series of experiences where we learn about ourselves in connection to people, places and things. A moment of intimate connection, a moment of laughter, a moment of sensation with smell, touch, seeing, hearing, feeling. It is the moment in the experiences. It is many journeys with many twists and turns and many destinations. Stops along the road.

So, noticing the feeling of failure in my heart and soul right now, I have been using the feelings as a tool of exploration. Noticing the depth of this feeling inside of me and noticing how it is being reflected in the comments of a few well meaning family and friends. For the last six weeks, I have embraced this feeling of failure as a teacher. I let myself sit in the feelings; Giving myself a day here and there to just feel shitty. No pushing through it to find the silver lining, to give myself a pep talk, no putting on a happy face or listing all the ways I have impacted hundreds, maybe thousands of people in the world.

Feeling all of the feelings is helping me to unravel outdated beliefs and get to some core or root issues. It is helping me to identify my “expectations” and the societal pressure to be anything except me. It is helping me to get in touch with my desire, to love myself more, to redefine my life and let it come into form with newly discovered desires. It is helping me to notice where I have impacted the world around me. It is helping me to find questions to ask and explore. I am writing, meditating, listening, reading, watching movies, having some conversations with people.

What do I want to create? Who do I want to spend time with? Where do I want to live?

At the age of 58, there is an expectation that I should be looking to retire, slow down, live in one place.   Instead, I am continuing to live what may seem like a radical life. I listen to Spirit and I follow the beat of my inner guidance. I do not own a home or a car. I have been asking myself if I want to change that and how will that serve the expansion of the work I am passionate about. Do I need my own home to do the things I want and feel guided to be doing in the world? Or is it better to be home free?

The question I ask myself regularly is: “What does my soul want to experience and how what gifts do I have to share with the world?”

This is the experience I am choosing right now. Living in temporary spaces by house and pet sitting. Working out of coffee shops. Writing and listening.

I am curious. What is the question you are exploring right now? Post in the comment section and share it with us.



I wrote this blog post in August 2015. Nine months later there were new ideas and a new program I created that helped me excavate and alchemize my experiences into supporting women on the same journey.


11221663_10206695548965486_4428285337577975775_oAndrea Hylen received the 2013 On Purpose Women award by the On Purpose  Networking for Women (OPN) organization in Baltimore, MD in recognition for her work to empower everyday women and girls all over the world. She founded Heal My Voice through her own experiences with grief, trauma, and loss which lead to living from greater inner authority, purpose and leadership. Andrea’s journey with grief includes the loss of her brother, husband and son.


With more than thirty-five years of training and teaching experience, Andrea is a coach, author, speaker, and parent, with expertise in grief, and healing from sexuality and trauma. Her training includes, BSW from Temple University, Ordained Minister in the Beloved Community, Enwaken Coaching System and OneTaste Coaching program and ongoing trainings in energy healing.

In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach. She thoroughly enjoys connecting through social media, blogging and hosting radio shows.


Where is the Joy?

IMG_0985When was the last time you felt happy? How long did it last? Five minutes? Five hours? Five days?

I started a 10 month leadership program in San Francisco in September. The first weekend I was so filled with joy and playfulness that I questioned what was wrong with me. My internal voices: ” I am a Spiritual Warrior. I have been actively growing and seeking my Truth since the late 80’s. I know how to dive into personal growth. Am I resisting? In denial? Am I sad? Am I angry? Why am I so Happy?!?!?”

I have had a lot to excavate throughout my life. Deaths of a brother, son, husband. A life threatening illness. Lots of real life to process. On that first Immersion Leadership weekend, I told myself, “This is serious work. People are crying. This is a personal growth program. Get to it”

Still I felt so HAPPY. By Sunday, I saw that my growth that weekend was to expand my JOY. How many days in a row could I be in a happy, JOY-filled state! (I even found a man in the program who agreed to be my Intimacy Research Partner for 10 months. What could be better than that!)

For all of the other Immersion weekends and in between, I have had my highs and lows just like everyone else in the program. I didn’t have to MAKE myself go down. It happened naturally as part of the process and I have learned and discovered and remembered so many things about myself this year. I am so grateful and honored to have learned so much from everyone. Vulnerability is a rich playground.

Now as I approach the 9th Immersion weekend, JOY has returned to me in full force again. On Monday, I had a healing and sensual massage session from a friend. He used a technique called Faster EFT and then a Sensual Massage. In the process of talking, the story about my brother, Kenneth emerged. I was 4 years old when he died of SIDS at the age of two months. In the Faster EFT, memories were accessed that I had never seen. We found the spot where my 4 year turned down her joy and pleasure button. I could feel the grief in my house and I felt the internal message that I could only be happy for so long and my joy and excitement could only be expressed when other people were happy, too.

I am the Excitement Channel as my natural state of being. In order to keep my joy alive, I learned to be really excited when I am alone or with children. Dance parties in my garage apt by myself. Cracking myself up with jokes and things I see in the world. Homeschooling my kids and being a Girl Scout leader. Driving a Suburban all over the United States. Going to Jonas Brothers concerts. And finding “acceptable” times when everyone else is happy.

On Tuesday, the day after my session, I was in the kitchen with some of my housemates. Out of my mouth came the word, ” Shenanigans.” Then the word, “Alas” and a few minutes later, someone asked me when I was going to the Dry Cleaners and I said, “What’s a dry cleaner?” with curiosity and innocence. We were all laughing so hard and I had an AHA! My 4 year old was coming out to play. This part of me is being unleashed to play and find joy in everything. Yesterday “she” got excited when she saw a light switch turned on and read the word ON and when “she” saw the word PENGUIN.

I like playing with her and seeing how all of these parts of me can bring more PLAY and EXCITEMENT and LIGHTNESS into my life.

I am the smiling child on the left.

Where do you feel the joy in your life?

Post in the comments and tell me about your journey with PLAY!scan0006

Leadership: Following my inner guidance

Journal Entry Sun, March 7, 2010
Day 55: On the Road
Silver Lake, CA

Following my Inner Guidance

I want to trust my inner guidance all the time.  I want to go sleep with a question and wake up with a clear answer. I want to take a long walk and have the answer by the time I return.

Sometimes when I receive guidance it feels like Pow! Wow! and a huge AHA! when an idea bursts forward and an answer appears. Other times there is a little voice or feeling that tells me to call someone or go to some place or do something and I know that the guidance is there, if I choose it. It can also feel like nothing is happening and like the inner guidance has disappeared or is defective.

I was walking to the Santa Monica Pier one morning last week. I pressed the pedestrian button to cross Ocean Avenue. A voice from the street light speaker spoke to me. Wait … Wait … Wait… Cross Ocean Avenue, Cross Ocean Avenue and then the countdown, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14…5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

As I walked on the beach, asking questions and listening for answers, I thought, why can’t my intuition speak to me with that clarity, that rhythm? Wait, cross, and the countdown that lets me know, if I don’t move into it soon, the window of opportunity will close.

The truth is that my inner guidance always works. I believe that with my whole heart. Sometimes the answers take longer even when I want it now. With the delay, I doubt my inner guidance and I begin to look outside of myself for the answers.

Looking for the answer to a specific question can be a distraction from the deeper question. I can feel the squirminess inside of me that wants the answer and I want to it now. It feels like it can actually block the question that will help me find answers.

There is more to learn and I am willing and eager student. I am learning to ask deeper questions. I am learning how to follow my inner guidance as a tool of leadership. I am learning how to live in this space of uncertainty.

Here are some of the general questions that have helped me get to a deeper place.

What is my next step?
What do I need to know about today?
How can I serve?

Then, wait and listen. The answer can come in the form of a book, a TV show, an inspired conversation, a billboard or a phone call.

I am imagining that in one or two months, life will be busy with opportunities and writing deadlines and travel and a flow of money.

I ask myself:

What do I want to do now during this time of waiting?
How can I use this time of uncertainty to develop skills and stay open to new answers?

One step at a time…I am listening.


Discover your own inner journey in an interactive e-book series

Discover your own inner journey in an interactive e-book series
September 3, 2010

I love the fall! New ideas! Bursts of energy! And a preview of the coming year. During Sept, the month before my birthday, this always happens. Ideas come to me and I work on them over the next year. Maybe it is the conditioning of the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Maybe it is seasonal. Maybe it is related to my birthday and the promise of a new year!

Whatever it is, 2 project ideas have arrived! I am going to tell you about one of them today.

Many of you know I traveled to 45 Jonas Brothers concerts during the summer of 2009. Hannah, my youngest daughter and I drove 24,000 miles in 11 weeks.

A few days ago, I surrendered to the impulse to share this book. The book involves 45 Jonas Brothers concerts, but there is a deeper story underneath. I felt called to do something that summer that made no logical sense and I lived on the edge financially to do it for three months.  Every time I was ready to give up, be responsible, come back to Baltimore, there was a paradigm shift.

*An invitation to dinner in Portland from a mother who was following the journey
*A 3-minute conversation with a woman in Minneapolis telling me the blogs were a lifeline to her 13 year old daughter
*A job to film Jonas fans playing Bop-it
*A mother who became a lifeline to my daughter in Los Angeles
*Tickets and hotel rooms that appeared from musicians and a bus driver who was driving the back up band.

It became a quest. With limited money,  I had to think differently to make it to the end.

Isn’t that what we are all being called to do right now? Think in a different way about all of the details in our lives. Everything in the world is changing. Jobs, housing, banking, education, government and healthcare.  This is not the time to give up. This is the time to dig deeper, get a new perspective, awaken our creativity, and collaborate with one another.

Here is the beginning of my vision. It will continue to evolve this year:

I am creating a membership called An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey series (this came to me as I drove through the mountains in 2008. Another story!)

The membership time period is Oct 1, 2010-Sept 30, 2011. The cost is $22. (If you sign up now, the cost is $17 and you will receive the first excerpt of the book on Sept 22, 2010)

Three e-books will be released this year:

Book 1-45 concerts Part 1
Book 2-45 concerts Part 2
Book 3-Living on the Road: A One-year journey

Here is what you do:

1. Go to this link to sign up:

2. Every month 8-10 chapters of the current book will be e-mailed to you on the 22nd. I will mail the first chapters on Sept 22. It will be a pdf file. You can read it on your computer or print it out.

3. A survey will arrive 2 weeks later asking you for your opinion about things in the book.

4. Every month there will be something for you to vote on- Title of the book, Cover design, Book structure. I will supply the content of the book, but you will be building it with me. There is a book series called, “Choose Your Own Adventure.” There may be elements of that added to the book. Sections about making choices in our lives.

5. There is a Facebook page to join called An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey Series. There will be discussions. Anyone can join the FB page, but the books will only be shared with people who have a membership.

6. More ideas will emerge! And many of them will come from you.

7. If anyone has a business or a website, there will be space in the back of the book to advertise. E-mail me at for advertising info.

8. If you have more questions about the program before signing up, write in the comments section of this blog or go to my formspring account.

9. A monthly drawing with prizes like posters, books and goodies. More ideas will emerge…


Here are some of the lines from the book- Part 1:

*Concert 5-:  I started thinking about the impact we can each have on the people and the world around us. I talked with many fans who felt that the Jonas Brothers music had healed their hearts. They felt sad or unloved in their lives. This sadness could be from the loss of a loved one or an illness or a disappointment in life.

As I sang the songs in the concert tonight, I began to imagine that I was a light beam in the world. I was feeling the love and the music and then I was imagining that I could spread that love to the section I was in and then to the rest of the arena and out into the world.

What if that is true? What if whenever we felt love we began to radiate love to the world? Try this. Think of a situation where you have felt love. Feel the love and imagine that it can flow out of you, like breathing in and out. Breathe in the love. Breathe out the love. As you feel the healing of you own heart, breathe that out into the world and then breathe it in again. Maybe that is the greatest gift of following the Jonas Brothers. The love we feel radiated to ourselves and each other.

*I ask myself, “Why can’t I trust life to support me? Why must I worry and fear that things will not work out? Why am I holding onto the details of life so tightly when I have so much proof that I am supported?

*Am I here to watch the movie of my life or am I here for the ride? I choose the ride.

*Concert 6- Tacoma, Washington. I needed silence. My mind was racing with questions and I wanted to find a stillness to hear the answers. For me the silence is best in nature. I take a quiet walk or sit and watch the birds, the flowers, the trees, the wind, the clouds and the sky. As I sit in that still connection between myself and something greater than myself, the questions begin to appear.

*(talking about the impact of songs from the bands traveling with the Jonas Brothers) From the Honor Society is the song, “See U in the Dark.” This is stirring something in me that is ready for the next chapter in my life. I am closing the chapter of homeschooling Mom. Widow of Hurley. Baltimore resident. I am excited to move into the next chapter and it is scary at the same time. The words from the song, “I’ll never see you the same, The veil has been lifted, now I see you’re gifted, My whole perspective has changed.” This summer I want to explore the questions, “What are my gifts? What is the next step for me? How do I support Hannah in the last two years of school and begin to explore my own new life?” What’s next?

*Concert 9: Provo, Utah. My victory is your victory. My YES! to the Universe, is your YES! to the Universe. My adventure leads you to your adventure.

It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and risk everything. I am learning to relax more on this evolutionary edge and follow the ideas and the guidance. Every step leads me to the next step.

*This is funny. As I write this blog, the ad on my Facebook page in this moment reads, “Be more than a Leader. Be an influential leader. Learn how to create solutions that make a difference!”


 I hope you will join me on the journey this year, as we create something together. Here is the link to sign up: