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Conscious Self-Evolution: Activate Your Life Purpose

Conscious Self-Evolution: Activate your Life Purpose

#3 in a Series of 10

Code 6: Choose ideas which activate more of your life purpose, creativity, joy, and lovingness of others. ~Barbara Marx Hubbard, 52 Codes for Conscious Self-Evolution

Have you ever had a crazy idea? You know, the kind of idea that other people think is crazy even though there is something about this idea that makes perfect sense to you.

That’s how I felt when I had a flash of an idea to go to 45 Jonas Brothers concerts with my teenage daughter during the summer of 2009. Going to JB concerts in 2007 and 2008 started as a way to help my 14-year-old daughter reconnect with life after the death of her father. She met a community of teenagers online and heard about a free concert at the pier.  Two years after he died, the first concert we attended was in Philadelphia.

We drove from Baltimore to Philly the night before so we could grab an early breakfast in the hotel lobby, go to the outdoor venue with folding chairs and snacks and sit in line with other devoted Jonas Brothers fans all day. This evolved to a concert at a theme park, a concert in North Carolina on the way home from a trip to Florida for Thanksgiving and a concert in a small indoor venue in Reading, Pennsylvania. Fifteen concerts during the summer of 2008 finished the year. Music and travel had helped both of us open our hearts to a new life and we were moving forward.

In last month’s issue, I highlighted “Code 3: Notice flashes of freedom and keep bringing your attention to them,” from Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Book: 52 codes for Conscious Self-Evolution.  A flash can be an idea, an epiphany, an evolutionary impulse to change or claim something.

In 2009, I was selling my house in Maryland, and downsizing from eleven-rooms to a 10 x 10 storage unit. When the house sold, we planned to pack up a car and head to California.  Not sure if it would be a final destination, we both agreed that we needed a fresh start. California is where we would begin.

During the process of selling my house, I had a flash of an idea to go to 45 Jonas Brothers concerts with my teenage daughter during the summer of 2009.

This flash of an idea made sense.

  1. I would have no mortgage for the summer.
  2. Hannah was homeschooled and could finish her studies on the road or take her GED. 
  3. The words in Jonas Brothers music were all about going for your dream and turning your dreams into reality. Most of their music had been created with their father and uncle in the basement of their home. We were ready to dream and manifest a new life.
  4. We both had built connections and community on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
  5. I was blogging and studying to be a coach. With a computer, a wifi hotspot and a phone, we could go anywhere.

“How do you know if an idea you hold is true or not?”

Some of the words Barbara Marx Hubbard used at this step are:

  1. Trust your intuitive knowing.
  2. Choose the thoughts you think.
  3. The Universe is responsive to requests.
  4. Metaphysical beliefs are becoming evolutionary choices in real time.

I had a buyer for my house. Concert tickets would be going on sale soon. We had mapped out the concert dates and locations all over the United States and Canada. I had even found a few bookstores where I could meet up with authors from a book I had midwifed in 2008 called, “Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life.”

Everything was coming together until the buyer lost her job of twenty-two years. The housing market and the job market were in crisis. Was this a sign that we weren’t meant to go?

A few tips at this stage of Conscious Self-evolution:

  1. Plant seeds by asking questions and waiting for answers to come.
  2. Tune in, listen, and trust the process.
  3. Stay grounded. Commit to a daily practice that cultivates listening to your inner voice, like meditation, walking in nature, journal writing, and chanting. Ideas may pop in while you are cooking, washing dishes, taking a shower or in your dreams.
  4. Connect with a trusted person, or group, who know and believe in you and your intuition.
  5. Does this crazy idea feel like the next step in your evolution even if you don’t know the outcome?
  6. Set Boundaries. Don’t explain your crazy idea to anyone, especially naysayers. (If you feel you must, then create a short answer. “We need a fresh start, and this is giving us time to figure out where we want to live.” If they persist say, “that’s all I know right now.”) Do not debate it or waste your precious life force energy on other people’s fears or limited thinking.

I bought a few concert tickets for Hannah where we had friends in Arizona, and New York. She was sixteen years old now and I knew she could fly by herself and enjoy a few concerts with friends, even if we couldn’t go to all 45 concerts.

Asking questions and listening, I knew there was something about this flash of an idea that was connected to breaking free. I had lost a brother, son, and husband, the trifecta of learning about how to grieve spread over my lifetime. Now it was time to consciously evolve my Evolutionary Woman self. I had no idea what that meant, or what it would look like. I could feel it in my heart and bones and that was enough to move forward.

A summer of 45 concerts began by committing to the first three concerts in Dallas, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Denver, Colorado. 

And so, the adventure began.

Andrea Hylen: Ancestral Lineage Healing Practitioner. Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Incubator: On-line Co-working Space for Cultural Creatives. Developmental writing coach.  www.andreahylen.com

Flip the Script: Integration

Week Fifteen: Flip the Script – Integration

Day Ninety-nine

I dream my painting and I paint my dream. ~Van Gogh

Today begins a week of integration with reflections about the past 98 days of Flip the Script topics.

I chose this topic because the process of creating involves innovation, changing a story, shifting perspective, re-framing a moment, and finding ways to express feelings, thoughts, and experiences. You are already flipping the script in your creative process. You have already been flipping the script with your view of the world. That doesn’t mean that we all agree on how we want to flip the script and change things in the world and that’s okay. Different views can still be focused on a desire to better yourself and the society which leads us to different paths.

The 100-day topic was an invitation to ask questions, examine your beliefs, and notice where it may be time to flip the script in any area of your life. It was also an invitation to remember where you have already flipped the script and to notice the gifts and strengths that appeared out of shifting your perspective.

In writing the 100 days, I have been looking for patterns in the world around me and reflecting on possibilities. What I wrote during the past fourteen weeks may lead me to a different idea tomorrow. Ideas are fluid and evolving. The older I get, the more questions I ask, because life has shown me how often I limit myself by thinking there is only one way to do things.

This has also been an exploration of the heart.

Here are the topics we covered:

Week One: An Introduction to Flip the Script

Week Two: Flip the Script on Peace

Week Three: Flip the Script on Water

Week Four: Flip the Script on Loneliness

Week Five: Flip the Script on the Holidays

Week Six: Flip the Script on Media, Books and Film

Week Seven: Flip the Script on The Body

Week Eight: Flip the Script on Sexuality

Week Nine: Flip the Script on Aging

Week Ten: Flip the Script on Work

Week Eleven: Flip the Script on Housing

Week Twelve: Flip the Script on Colonialism and the Patriarchy

Week Thirteen: Flip the Script on Social Justice

Week Fourteen: Flip the Script on Creativity

And now Week Fifteen is Integration.

As I tune in to what I want to write about this week, the answer is unclear. I feel like part of integration is to create space for whatever else wants to be expressed at this time. It is about pausing to feel the shift and noticing what else is here to be expressed.

The only thing I know I want to write about is Flip the Script on Stereotypes and why the Barbie film was so important for women and men. I will share more in a few days. I’m going to share a long post by Jim Palmer that was posted by Christian Rondow. If you want to read it in advance of what I am going to post in a few days, the link is below. If you read it now, take your time and give yourself some space to notice what you feel. For now, I will share the last paragraph:

“I love my daughter more than anything else in this world. I am so proud of the woman she has become and is becoming each day. There are so many good, beautiful, extraordinary and brilliant parts of her. The deepest wish in my heart is for her genuine happiness. The Barbie movie invited me to carry that wish in my heart for every woman.”

Jim Palmer

https://www.facebook.com/xtian.rondow/posts/pfbid0YaRjMXhKSTdmgQMQCBwTEfhBdyGw9YuqSkzmHsyCPiiCG1DgajbbxstqhEU1yft3l

Day 99 Prompts:

*What was your favorite topic? Why?

*What was your least favorite topic? Why?

*What topics would you have included and what would you have wanted to explore within that topic?

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Flip the Script on Creativity

Week Fourteen: Flipping the Script on Creativity

Day Ninety-two

We believe that artists have a valuable function in every society since it is the artists who reveal society to itself. Just as the civil rights needed to be amplified, the conditions of poverty and Africa needed to be told. ~Harry Belafonte

I was watching a documentary on Netflix this week called The Greatest Night of Pop. It’s the story of how the song, “We are the World” was written and recorded in January 1985 to raise money to help people who were starving in Africa.

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.

Harry Belafonte had the idea for raising money with a song. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and recorded in the middle of the night after the American Music Awards in Los Angeles with popular musical artists who were in town for the awards ceremony.

Watching the documentary, I was inspired by the hearts that came together to create and shared their gifts. I found myself just wanting to play and sing that song. There was so much sensation running through my body on Monday that I hopped on the Big Blue Bus Line 1 and headed to the beach so I could walk and sing out loud. Walking down Main Street in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, I sang, “We are the World” wearing headphones and playing the song on repeat for thirty minutes on my phone. After an hour of walking in town and on the beach, I cranked up the songs with a medley of Confidence by Demi Lovato, Falling in Love by Colbie Caillat and Have it all by Jason Mraz. I was speed walking to the music and feeling the pulse in my body.

After writing and living in a “field” of flip the script for the past six months and completing a week around Social Justice, the song and documentary were a tipping point that indicated change. I can feel my body physically shifting. It is a feeling like being made of Legos or tiles on a board and the pieces are being rearranged.

This is the power of creativity.

Creative self-expression is not a frivolous past time. It is life itself. It is food, water, air, shelter. It is life force.

Transformative Social Justice reminds me:

I resist by writing and marching.

I reform by writing and imagining.

I build by writing and dreaming.

I heal by writing and caring.

Creative self-expression is mana for our souls. It is the way we learn about ourselves and understand and feel each other.

This week we will explore:

Creativity as Mana for the Soul

Creativity as Healing

Creativity as Awakening

Creativity as Nurturance:

Creativity for Integration

Day Ninety-two Prompts:

  • What does creative self-expression mean to you?
  • Using this Harry Belafonte quote as inspiration, reflect on what you see as the function of artists. We believe that artists have a valuable function in every society since it is the artists who reveal society to itself.
  • Write a reflection about what the current films and art and music are revealing to society now? What themes are you noticing?

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Conscious Self-Evolution: Notice Flashes of Freedom

Conscious Self-Evolution: Notice flashes of freedom

#2 in a Series of 10

Code 3: Notice flashes of freedom and keep bringing your attention to them. ~Barbara Marx Hubbard, 52 Codes for Conscious Self-Evolution

In March 1995, I was lying in a hospital bed waiting for doctors to figure out what I already knew about my body. Diagnosed with an autoimmune condition a year earlier, I had been on a new medication for three weeks and was having an adverse reaction. The medicine dose started low and increased each week. I hadn’t felt well since I swallowed the first pill and now, I couldn’t walk.

A few friends stopped by to visit me during the week of tests and waiting. One of them brought me a Walkman and the new Kenny Loggins tape, Return to Pooh Corner. I played it over and over for 24-hours while it unleashed a cathartic purging of grief with tears and sobbing, from all the loss, heartache, and discouragement of the past ten years. Feeling this depth of emotion helped me reconnect to the child within me who had always been filled with hope and wonder and curiosity. The music helped me remember who I am.

“Somewhere out there, beneath a pale moonlight

Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight.

Somewhere out there, someone’s saying a prayer…”
~Kenny Loggins, Return to Pooh Corner

As the sun came out and the clouds in my heart and mind cleared, I experienced a flash of freedom. I knew that I was going to get well and homeschool my kids. It wasn’t delusional, fantasy thinking. Something in my inner core had changed. I didn’t know how I would get well. I didn’t know when. I just knew in my bones that something had shifted in my “inner world” that would change my “outer world.”

A flash of freedom is a moment of insight and awareness. It is a preview of you “coming into a different state of being.” Flashes of freedom are new ideas and awareness, missing puzzle pieces, next steps, a vision that shows that something is possible.

You have big and little flashes of freedom all the time. Have you ever had an insight or idea in the shower or when driving down the highway or taking a walk? Once you have that flash of freedom, the next step is to bring your attention to it and do something that stokes the fire. You don’t have to sit by the fire and tend to it 24/7. Acknowledge it and remember.

A flash can be:

  • It’s time to leave a job or change something in your business.
  • An aha about something that is no longer working in your family or a close relationship.
  • An idea for how to bring more joy into your business.
  • A sensing that it is time to move.

The flash of freedom points you to a change that is coming. The key is to pay attention to them when they come. Turn your attention to it. Hold it lightly and see how it unfolds.

“To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.”

bell hooks: Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

When I arrived home from the hospital, it felt like something had changed in the house. The furniture in the living room and dining room were the same. It seemed that the room was glowing and shinier in some way. I was walking through a doorway to wellness and homeschooling our kids that would take 18 months to come into fruition.

A few highlights of the 18-month quest:

Homeschooling: I saw a flyer on the bulletin board at our local library announcing a Homeschool 101 talk. At that talk, I learned about a homeschool conference that was coming up in the next month (this conference happened every other year). It was filled with talks about different ways to homeschool, tips from parents and a resource/curriculum fair. When I told a friend that my husband and I were thinking about homeschooling our children, she connected us with a homeschooling group called Kaleidoscope where parents met monthly to plan social and educational field trips, share ideas and support. We joined a Yahoo group of 1,000 families in the Baltimore-Washington area. During the summer of 1996, we started homeschooling and that continued for the next thirteen years.

Health: I began a practice of meditation that I found in a book called MAP, researched at Perelandra and written by Machaelle Small Wright. For the next six weeks, I began each day, lying on the bed and meditating and asking for guidance. After an hour, I would get up and go about my day. A friend heard about a naturopath and shared the information with me. The naturopath taught a 12-week course on nutrition and supplements for gut health and better absorption of food and nutrients. A friend from church told me about Shaklee’s environmentally safe cleaning products and whole food vitamins. Within a few weeks, people were telling me they saw light in my eyes again. The final piece came a year later when I met a medical doctor who was also trained in homeopathic medicine. The remedy she gave me focused on Grief. During the summer of 1996, I was off all medication, had radiant health and the autoimmune condition was dormant.

A few tips:

  1. Notice when you have an idea, insight or hear words that light you up.
  2. Record them in some way: journal, write on a sticky note or in a word document.
  3. Notice the synchronicity in conversations, books, and anything that catches your attention in the outside world.
  4. Take baby steps and keep checking within to find the resonance with your inner knowing.
  5. Be patient and allow for the unfolding.

You are consciously evolving.

Andrea Hylen: Ancestral Lineage Healing Practitioner. Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Incubator: On-line Co-working Space for Cultural Creatives. Somatic-Intuitive Coach.  www.andreahylen.com

Flip the Script on Social Justice

Week Thirteen: Flip the Script on Social Justice

Day Eighty-five

“Resistance alone is a losing strategy.” ~Zenobia Jeffries Warfield, Yes! executive editor and Sonali Kolhatkar, Yes! racial justice editor.

On the cover of Yes! magazine’s Winter edition 2022, New Social Justice, there is a drawing of a pink and purple butterfly with words on four different wings:

Resist. Reform. Rebuild. Heal.

The editors of the magazine highlight Leah Penniman’s panel discussion talk where she drew on “Grassroots Economic Organizing’s” butterfly model of transformative social justice.

(Link to Grassroots Economic Organizing website: https://geo.coop/)

The Four Wings for transformative social justice were described like this:

Resistors: the people in the blockades, the protests, the work stoppages.

Reformers: the folks trying to make change from within systems, including schoolteachers and elected officials, like those getting into the prosecutor’s office and working to get prison sentences lowered.

Builders: those who create alternative institutions such as freedom schools, farms, and health clinics.

Healers: the conflict mediators, the therapist, the preachers, the singers, the dancers, the artists – “all the folks that are going to make us well.”

Transformative social justice is not a linear process. It is a circular process of weaving in and out as a resistor, reformer, builder, and healer.

When I focus on inter-generational trauma in the family, as an example, I see how I tried to be a Reformer, changing the system from within. I went to Al-Anon and talked about alcoholism and co-dependency in the meetings and brought up the topic in my family. I read books and practiced different ways of communicating. When I felt myself emotionally and mentally dying in an abusive marriage, I became the Resistor and the Builder. Being the resistor, I threw an emotional bomb in the middle of both families by leaving my marriage, It came with a cost of shame and punishment. Slowly, I began to build a new community of support as a Reformer, Builder and Healer in my home. That healing continues today, almost forty years later. Healing takes time with layers to unpack and feel and pivot to new systems of communication. It also requires willingness…

Education system: I volunteered in the classrooms when my children were in elementary school (Reformer and Builder). As nothing changed and things got worse, in middle school, one daughter came home to homeschool, one daughter stayed in school, and my youngest daughter started kindergarten at home. (Resister, Reformer, Builder and Healer.) During the next wave, one daughter went back to public school for high school, one daughter came home for high school, one daughter continued to homeschool.

What I want to demonstrate here is that all these different approaches may be going on at the same time and only focusing on resisting and fighting will not move our world forward. All four of these parts of transformative social justice are important. Knowing which of the roles to focus on, at any given time, takes practice and listening to your intuition. There will be mistakes, missteps, opportunities to clear up the mess, and move forward.

By homeschooling, beginning in 1996, my family impacted the education system by demonstrating an alternative to the system. When I declared in my family that I was going to homeschool my kids, I became the resistor as my family and ex-husband fought me and tried to prevent me from homeschooling. In the roles of reformer and builder and healer, we learned new systems by going to homeschool conferences and finding people who wanted to try unschooling and community-based learning approaches. All three daughters completed their formal education in different ways and all three went to college and now have professional jobs.

As we begin this week of looking at flip the script on Social Justice, one of the conversations that came up in The Incubator was around fairness.

Here are a few definitions that we will unpack this week:

Fair: Impartial and just, without favoritism or discrimination.

Justice: The ethical, philosophical idea that people are to be treated impartially, fairly, properly, and reasonably by the law and by arbiters of the law, that laws are to ensure that no harm befalls another, and that, where harm is alleged, a remedial action is taken.

Justice: just behavior or treatment. A concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.

Social justice: justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

And finally, I end today with a quote from Yes! magazine on the New Social Justice issue in the winter of 2022:

The development of the issues theme, a new social justice, was inspired by the political earthquake of 2020, when we witnessed a paradigm shift toward racial equity and transformative justice on a massive and collaborative scale unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. Movement spaces, grassroots organizations, activists, and non-activists- particularly those in historically excluded communities- and even governments, corporations, and philanthropic spaces all responded to the needs of the people during a global pandemic in which systemic inequities were laid bare.

This is where we begin a week of exploring Flip the Script on Social Justice.

Day 85 Prompts:

  • Write a story or stories about when you were the Resistor, Reformer, Builder or Healer for social justice in your family, community, and the world.
  • How did the events of 2020 activate or stimulate you to take action? Examples are marching for justice, writing your views and posting them publicly, changing the structure and relationships in your family, praying.
  • What ideas or stories are bubbling from reading about this topic?
  • How have you already flipped the script on social justice?

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Flip the Script on Colonialism and the Patriarchy

Week Twelve: Flip the Script on Colonialism and Patriarchy

Day Seventy-eight

Colonialism is the massive fog that has clouded our imaginations regarding who we could be, excised our memories of who we once were, and numbed our understanding of our current existence. ~Wazivatawin

Colonialism is defined as “control by one power over a dependent area or people. It occurs when one nation subjugates another, conquering its population and exploiting it, often while forcing its own language and cultural values upon its people.”

This is an old and a new story. Colonialism was practiced by empires such as ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient Egypt, and Phoenicia.

Colonialism is still not a thing of the past. It continues to oppress developing nations and minority communities globally — from Western Africa to Libya, Palestine to Ukraine, to places like Kashmir that are facing subjugation under military occupation.” ~Columbia Climate School.

An in depth article about the climate crisis from the Columbia Climate School:

Colonizing is also expanding away from Earth with space travel focused on the planet Mars, a continuation of conquering, claiming land, resources, and disconnecting land and living organisms from their natural habitat. Colonialism and the patriarchy are still spreading.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t explore space. I’m saying that any time you travel to another land, have respect for the people and the land spirits. Use consent. Walk lightly. And if you decide to stay, live there with an expanded perspective that you were not the first one there.

*****

I have been studying ancestral lineage healing, since 2019, in a community led by Daniel Foor, and part of the ongoing training is a four-year cycle of monthly guest speakers from around the world. The region we are exploring this year in the Ancestral Medicine community is Asia and Oceania. The topic on Monday was Colonialism & Cultural Resilience, with guest voices from Samoa, Korea, & Australia.

As I listened to the voices of people on the Zoom call, the same themes came up that I have heard repeatedly from guest speakers in Europe, Africa and now Asia and Oceania. The clue is in the definition of colonialism: “control by one power over a dependent area or people…forcing its own language and cultural values upon its people.”

The disconnection from culture, language and tradition. Power over others. The disconnection from the land.

The feelings that always arise on the Zoom calls are a desire to change and fix the harm of colonialism and the patriarchy and ending with questions about where do we begin?

****

Growing up in the United States, I thought of colonialism as part of only our country’s history. It wasn’t until college that I began to read and study about world history with an expanded view of colonialism in all parts of the Earth.

Colonialism has shaped us all. Women and men of all colors and cultures. Our ancestors may have been the oppressors or the oppressed, racist or anti-racist, and so on… It has influenced us all.

****

When I started writing the series Flip the Script, I thought one of the first topics would be about colonialism and the patriarchy because it was the thing that was most on my mind. The question I have been asking myself is how am I continuing to perpetuate a system that I was born into? Where have we, as women and men, bought into a system and structure that is from a colonial-patriarchal mindset?

Writing for the past eighty days has helped me uncover layers of colonialism and the patriarchy in every topic. The clues have been there whether we noticed them or not.

Instead of losing hope and thinking that the only way through this is for an apocalypse to wipe the slate clean and begin again, what if we started to focus on where we can impact and change the system from within?

The first system to focus on is you: what thoughts and beliefs do you carry within you that are perpetuating an old system?

The second system is the family and community of where we live and work. What are you accepting as, “this is the only way” to do something?

Let’s begin this week with a willingness to consider that until we become aware of the layers of conditioning that colonialism has had on shaping our thoughts and beliefs, we are unconsciously perpetuating it.

My plan for the narratives and prompts is to uncover some of the threads and explore the subtle and overt ways we are participating in the system unknowingly.

Tomorrow, the discussion will begin with an outline from a workbook written by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun called Dismantiling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups. Written in 2001. The workbook is “a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations.”

Day 78 Prompts:

  • Are you aware of the ways you have unconsciously perpetuated colonialism and the patriarchy? Sit and reflect on this and allow space for something to surface.
  • With self-compassion, write about what bubbles up. Let go of your mind and notice the experiences and words that surface.

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Flip the Script on Housing

Week Eleven: Flip the Script on Housing

Day 71

“Let your home be your mast and not your anchor.” – Kahlil Gibran

As I begin to write about flipping the script on housing, several ideas are bubbling:

  • Emotional and physical stability that a house can provide.
  • Alternative housing ideas with shared resources that support connection.
  • A changing world that makes affordable housing a challenge.

In the conversation this week, I intend to explore co-housing, gentrification, community, ancestry – nomadic lifestyles – and more.

I grew up moving from house to house as part of my father’s work promotions. As far as housing in the 60’s and 70’s, buying, and selling houses was profitable. Prices were increasing and if you moved every year or two, you could make a profit and roll that over to buy a larger, more expensive home. My parents were able to leverage their income by moving from a starter home to larger homes in wealthier neighborhoods. My father had a middle-class salary so we were what you would call, “house rich.” In America, this meant access to better schools even though we wore basic clothes that my mother sewed or bought at Sears. Nothing fancy and not in alignment with current fashions.

When I was in middle school, we lived on a lake in a suburb of Minneapolis and in high school we lived on Valley Forge Mountain in Pennsylvania and had an in-ground swimming pool. My parents also owned a home in the Poconos for skiing and rented it part-time to other skiers.

In my first marriage, we bought a fixer-upper for $37,000 in 1984. After our divorce, I bought a large Victorian style home that had been divided into four apartments. I lived in one and rented the other three. During my second marriage, I sold that house and we moved into my husband’s home. We sold another home he owned and invested the money in a property for his business. We bought a dilapidated old house and fixed it up while living in it. At one point we owned three homes and a farm on the Eastern shore of Maryland.

Other circumstances in our lives. I stopped working to take care of our son who had numerous surgeries. We were lucky to be able to afford expensive insurance coverage but even with that, the hospital bills cost us over $10,000/year and my husband was just starting a business.

We decided to homeschool our kids because my husband made enough to pay the bills and the plan was for me to go back to work around 2008 – 2010 depending on what I was going to do and if I needed to update my skills with college courses. This income would build a retirement fund.

Then, he died in 2005 when I was 48 years old and I had to figure it out on my own.

In the community we lived and homeschooled in, our circumstances were just like everyone else. We had average incomes, owned homes, had financial struggles because of medical costs and we chose to educate our kids in a community-based learning and share resources.

Selling my home in 2009 only gave me enough money to pay off some debt and relocate to California. It was after a year in California that I experienced living on the edge of eviction for almost two years. It was stressful and eye-opening. I learned about a world that I had never seen or experienced.

I began to notice how many other people were living on the edge of eviction when I recognized the eviction notices taped on the doors of other apartment dwellers. I began to see furniture and boxes outside the building for people who couldn’t pay rent. I went to the courthouse to learn about my rights. I experienced the additional $500+ that was added to the rent and experienced what it was like to work to pay the back rent and the extra fees. I grew compassion for the struggle that so many experience when a life experience interrupts your flow of money and how the system adds even more burdens while you try to catch up and pay the bills.

Some of the facts mentioned in the documentary Working: What We Do All Day:

(United States facts)

A house used to cost twice your annual income. Now it costs six times the amount.

The cost of college has almost tripled since 1980.

Childcare has gone up 200%

Real wages have barely budged in decades.

Alternatives to housing are necessary to navigate a changing world.

****

I’ve lived with wealth, and I’ve lived in poverty. I’ve lived in communities that were connected and I’ve lived in communities that are disconnected. This is an idea I have pondered regularly.

A few other things come into play with housing:

Identity: Housing is connected to identity, security, and safety. The home you live in, or don’t live in, and the location, adds to your identity. It also adds to your stress level.

Change: Even when you live in more than one place by choice, with more than one house, your identity changes with each location. There can be grief when you relocate for a season. Even when you choose to move and you are excited about the move, there can be grief around what you are letting go.

Struggle: Shame is connected to different living situations, needing help, foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness.

This is where we begin the conversation of Flip the Script on Housing.

Day 71 Prompts:

  • Reflect on different places you have lived.
  • Explore the idea around identity and housing. What have been some of your experiences?
  • Write a list of all the places you have lived and the circumstances at each location.
  • Have you ever received an eviction notice? Write about that experience or the feelings that rise even thinking about eviction.

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Flip the Script on Work

Week Ten: Flip the Script on Work

Day Sixty-four

“I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most of us, like the assembly-line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.” ~Studs Terkel, author of Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

In 2023, Barack Obama narrated a Netflix show called, “Working: What We Do All Day.” It was inspired by the book: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Doby Studs Terkel (1974). As an oral historian Studs Terkel investigated, “the meaning of work for different people under different circumstances. The book also reflects Terkel’s general idea that work can be difficult but still provides meaning for workers. It is an exploration of what makes work meaningful for people in all walks of life, from Lovin’ Al the parking valet, Dolores the waitress, the fireman, to the business executive. The narrative moves through mundane details, emotional truths, and existential questioning.” Wikipedia description

Born in 1956, I was raised in the post WWII era of father working full-time and mother at home with the children. After serving in the Marines – ROTC and two years of active service – in Oceanside, California, my parents moved us to San Mateo, California near where his parents lived while my father looked for a job. He found a sales job with the Pillsbury company and stayed with them for 35 years. He retired at the age of 53 as regional director of refrigerated sales on the East Coast and lived off a small pension and played golf. My mother had a BS degree in Business from Northeastern University in Boston (so did my father). With three children and moving to different states whenever my father was promoted, she focused on home base.

When my brother was in high school and my mother turned 50, she tried to find office work. She worked for the YMCA and ran things without much pay or acknowledgement. She also started a typing business and ran that for a few years, typing resumes and reports for students. She loved sewing and had a craft business for a few years in her 60’s with pillows and tote bags she made herself.

In high school, I ran a summer babysitting camp at my parents’ home and worked at Woolworth’s in the candy department. In college, I babysat, worked as a maid at a hotel, and a singing waitress. I have had professional jobs in banking, corporations, non-profits, and academia.

When I home schooled my kids, I worked at Target for a few years, over the holidays, restocking shelves from 10pm – 6am to make some extra money for field trips and travel. I started a small Shaklee business and still have a few customers who order products online. I worked at Johns Hopkins University teaching medical students and nurse practitioners how to do pelvic exams and breast exams.

When my husband died, I taught myself social media then taught others how to get started on Facebook. I started a non-profit, Heal My Voice, and an online coaching business. I am also a writer and an ancestral lineage healing practitioner.

This week, two of the topics will be changing work culture and entrepreneurship. This is where we begin to explore Flip the Script on Work.

Day 64 Prompts:

  • What is flipping the script on work?
  • How have work and jobs changed during your lifetime?
  • What are you doing for work now?
  • What do you want to be doing for work?

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Flip the Script on Aging

Week Nine: Flip the Script: Aging

Day Fifty-seven: December 27, 2023

Before we come into physical incarnation, we are the not yet born, and after birth we are the living on earth, where we reside for a time of trial, learning, and initiation. This often involves pain, loss, and suffering. At the end of this life, we die and return home, first resting in an in-between place called limbo in the Judeo-Christian tradition and bardo in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, meaning, “in between island.” In Aramaic, the word for death literally translates as not here, present elsewhere. ~Carolyn North, Worldshift Happens!

When we talk about aging, most of us probably think about people who are sixty or older, as if aging begins then. The truth is that the minute you were born, you began the process of aging. Your body grows, your clothes no longer fit you, and you outgrow things like your car seat, bed, and toys.

Flipping the script around aging is to begin to understand that aging is not just related to a certain decade. There is a beauty and challenge in each decade and appreciating that brings a richness and power. There are things that bring us comfort and things that bring us discomfort.

Honoring aging as a process that begins at birth can bring a reverence to the gifts of each age, each decade, each cycle and let go of the narrative that makes “aging” this thing to avoid. We are all going to live in a body that we will discard in death and embracing an appreciation of the process might help us all enjoy it a bit more.

Our ability to see and understand aging relates to our ability to embrace change, embrace discomfort, embrace death.

My belief is that we each have a soul that comes into a body that is our vehicle for our current lifetime. We have multiple lives in different bodies and a soul grows because of the experiences we have while in a body with an integration period in between lives.

This is the context of where I begin a conversation with you around flipping the script on aging.

Here are more words from Carolyn North’s book: Worldshift Happens! Facing down the Fear, Waking up the Mind, where she shares views of life and death from different cultures.

The Mojave people of the Mojave Desert in the American West refer to reincarnation as an “unending circle.” To one West African people, the word for reincarnation is the same word as for a vine spiraling up around the stalk. To the Buddhist, we are on a turning wheel of birth and rebirth.

The doctrine of reincarnation was historically accepted in most cultures of the world, including the early Judeo-Christian teachings. In the books of the Qabbala, the ancient mystical doctrines of the Jewish faith received by Moses on Mount Sinai, the transmigration of souls is an intricate intrinsic part of the system. This can be traced through the Zohar of the first century, then later in the Talmud and finally in the Old Testament.

Let’s begin our conversation around aging by reflecting on the circle of life. A beginning, an ending, a beginning, an ending, a beginning, an ending…

Each day, there will be reflections on the gifts and challenges from different decades of life.

Day 57 Prompts:

· What do you believe about life and death?

· Do you believe in reincarnation?

· What do you think about aging as something that happens from the minute you are born or is aging something that happens later in life?

· How does that flip the script on the word and beliefs around aging?

· In your culture or spiritual or religious beliefs, what are your views on death?

To read all 100 days of Flip the Script, go to Medium: https://andreahylen.medium.com/

Conscious Self-Evolution: Are you an Evolutionary Woman?

Conscious Self-Evolution: Are you an Evolutionary Woman

Series 1 of 10

An announcement for the first Evolutionary Woman Retreat arrived in my mailbox on the day of my husband’s memorial service in September 2005. The words Evolutionary Woman stirred something in me. I didn’t know what an Evolutionary Woman was, I just knew that I wanted to be one.

Founded by my friends, Lucky Sweeny and Bonnie Kelley, Evolutionary Women Retreats emerged out of a “field” of Conscious Evolution groups hosted by Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Rumi describesthe “field” in a poem:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

In Lynne McTaggart’s books, “The Field” and “The Intention Experiment,” she reports scientifically that our body extends electromagnetically beyond ourselves and our physical body. Holding an intention, including prayer, with a group of people helps us tap into something that magnifies our inner knowing and exponentially expands the intention.

Ninety women attended the first Evolutionary Women Retreat in Santa Barbara, California, December 2005. On the first night of the Retreat, we moved our chairs and sat in groups of three waiting for instructions for an experiential exercise. We would tap into “the field” that we had created just by bringing our electromagnetic selves together in the room. In the first round of the exercise, one of us would be the speaker, one of us would be the listener and one of us would be the observer. (We would switch roles and do this two more times.) Lucky Sweeny asked us a question, we closed our eyes, tuning into our higher wisdom, then opened our eyes to speak. I don’t remember the question, but I remember thinking I didn’t have an immediate answer to it.

As we sat in silence, I felt a rapid flash of my life from childhood to the present moment. So many choices and decisions I made that had surfaced from my inner knowing. I followed them even when the world around me told me I was wrong. The decision to leave an abusive marriage, the decision to use alternative medicine for a chronic health condition, the decision to homeschool my kids in community-based learning. Big and little choices. I knew in that moment, during the first exercise, that I was an Evolutionary Woman. I had always been an Evolutionary Woman. From that moment on, I was even more aware of a bigger universe, an unseen world that was happening around me that supported me and a more expansive view of my purpose and life.

What is an Evolutionary Woman? A feminine cocreator; one who is incarnating the creative intention of universe, localized within herself as her own passion to create; one who is consciously self-evolving and is willing to realize her full potential for the good of the self and the whole human community. ~Barbara Marx Hubbard, 52 Codes for Conscious Self-Evolution

Ms. Hubbard also defined self-evolution: While self-development works toward improvement, self-evolution offers a new template. It is open-ended. We have not yet seen the full model of what we can become.

At the Retreat, the Saturday night activity was called, “An Every Woman’s Bazaar.” Chairs were set up back-to-back, in weaving rows. Each participant was encouraged to share something and display it on a chair. Photos of our family, friends, and pets. Creative projects. Business cards. Items for sale. Books we had written. Evolutionary ideas for: schools, the environment, parenting, co-creating in community, businesses, social programs. We were here to witness the evolution of the women in this room.

Walking up and down the rows, we spent the evening learning about each woman’s life. A simple family photo led to conversations about homeschooling in community, sharing resources, heart-based networking, organic farming, environmentally safe products, exchanges of healing modalities and finding collaborative partners.

As I listened to the stories, it became clear that two things had occurred multiple times for each woman:

  1. A breakdown: something was missing or no longer working, and “societal norms” did not provide any solutions.
  • A breakthrough: new ideas, synchronicity and solutions seemed to pop up out of nowhere with action steps that required faith, risk, innovation, and creativity. Most of the time, it required finding a new support system, resources and community.

If any of this resonates with you, here are a few reflections to “tap into the Evolutionary Woman field”:

  1. Reflect on a breakdown from your past that led to a breakthrough. What was missing or no longer working? What new ideas and solutions seemed to pop up out of nowhere? What synchronicities happened? Who did you connect with for support?
  • Is there something that is breaking down in your life now? Write about what is happening and ask some questions like, “What is good about this? What am I learning? What solutions have I not seen yet?” When answers appear, write them down and take small action steps.

This is the first article of a series of ten. In future articles, we will be exploring some of the “codes” from Barbara Marx Hubbard’s book called, “52 Codes for Self-Evolution: A process of metamorphosis to realize our full potential self.”

“I will stay awake with you.”

~The promise from an Evolutionary Woman

Andrea Hylen: Ancestral Lineage Healing Practitioner. Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Incubator: On-line Co-working Space for Cultural Creatives. Somatic-Intuitive Coach.  www.andreahylen.com

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