Writer and Creative Problem Solver
What is my expertise?
First, I am going to claim my brilliance as a writing coach. I have coached women to write over 200 short stories in Heal My Voice programs and worked with women writing screenplays, novels, and on-line program materials, including manuals for computer software users. Sometimes I work with women on individual projects to help them organize their thoughts and ideas, develop characters, and ghost writing. Sometimes I lead on-line writing incubators that help women uncover desire and the next steps around writing projects, and the way they want to live their lives. As in, “Who am I now? What’s next?” “What do I want to create?” This summer, the writing incubator begins on June 1: 100 days of writing.
Twelve of my books are on Amazon with two more to be self-published this year; this is my author page.
The second part is my brilliance as a Creative Problem Solver. One of my mottoes is, Enjoy the Adventure. The dictionary definition of adventure is, “an unusual and exciting typically hazardous, experience or activity.” I see adventure in a different way. Connecting to the Latin and Old French roots of the word, adventure is: “arrive” and “about to happen.” My idea of Enjoy the Adventure, is that every moment we are part of an adventure called life. We are the stars of our life movie. We are present in this moment and ready, knowing that something is about to happen, and we will arrive at a new discovery of Self in relation to people, places, events, and experiences. It might be a hummingbird that joins you on a walk, a flower blooming, a word on a license plate or an inspiration to write a book, or travel around the world. Small and large experiences. Moment by moment connection. Enjoy the Adventure!
As a Creative Problem Solver, I use the circumstances of my life, the rabbit holes, shifts in direction, ingredients like adversity, challenges, desires and miracles to carve new paths. I don’t run from a challenge. I feel the feelings at each crossroads, look for the gifts and opportunities, and find ways to do and be who I am. What is possible in this moment with the circumstances I have been given? The techniques and creative perspective I use in my own life is what I use to coach people about their lives. The practice and process to discover your true desires by looking at the challenges, adversity and the starting point. “Now that I am here, what do I want to do with this ball of clay? What is the opportunity in this situation? What do I want to focus on now? What is the wisdom from my head and heart?” I create experiences for inner discovery and outer action.
A recent example from my own life:
I felt that there was something in me that wanted a different type of self-expression. It was a feeling and a knowing. To discover what that is, I had to let go of the nine month Heal My Voice program. It was time to reclaim the energy I was pouring into that program and gather it for something else. There was grief, excitement, wonder, curiosity, doubt, fear, joy, happiness and confidence in the process of letting it go and changing direction.
As I began to let go, I had feelings about wanting to have my own home and travel less. I had a dream of living in one home, one space, and it would be a place where friends and family could come to visit me. I have been living house free for four years and I could feel this longing and desire to have my books on shelves and my clothes hanging in my closet. I was dreaming about the kind of home I wanted to live in and the location.
A shift in perspective:
I made a list of a few places where I would like to live. I chose a few house-sits that were at least two weeks, to begin practicing living in one space by myself. It gave me a chance to unpack, set up an office space, cook meals at home, feel grounded, meet people, and make some plans to explore. Then one day, I followed an inspiration to say yes to three short term pet sits over a two-week period that would take me to new places to explore in Los Angeles. It felt like I had to shake things up. Pack lighter. Move faster in arriving, unpacking, jump into the experience, pack and leave. Something new happened when I followed that inspiration. By slowing down, sitting with the discomfort of feelings and judgments I had about the way I live, and writing, reflecting, asking questions, untangling each thread and listening to myself, I discovered a few things. I got clearer on my desire. I want to emphasize that. I got clearer on my desire. Not my parents’, or daughters’ or societies’ expectations. Not a desire that was based on an old model that I was familiar with. I got clearer on my desire, for my life, at this time.
*I want to live in a variety of places. I am not ready to “settle down.”
*Other people want me to settle down and there is an expectation of what my life should look like, now that I am 61.
*I want to experience different places and have time to write and explore. That includes writing novels, screenplays, music and documentary theatre. (And so much more!)
*I want to learn to speak Spanish and French.
*I want stable locations for the next few months to organize writing projects.
*I want to explore the world by living in places for longer periods of time.
*I want easy access to my personal belongings that are in storage in California and Maryland.
*I don’t want to take care of one home, at this time.
*I want to find easy places to stay in between house sits with friends, family or unique ideas like couch surfing, Airbnb and overlapping pet sits.
I was selected for a three month house sit in a home in Seattle. It is an area that will place me near summer activities, music, art, and nature. There are two dogs to care for and the use of the family car, as well as close to the LINK system. I have two offices to choose from in this four-bedroom house with a yard (June 11-September 8). It is stable. I will live there and develop relationships with people in the neighborhood, a woman’s circle, and a yoga studio. Setting up a flip chart to organize writing projects.
A pet sit in Los Feliz, California last week (near the Hollywood sign), revealed an idea about Europe. The pet owner asked if I ever pet sit in Europe. He is moving to Italy in the fall. This feels like the perfect way to begin traveling in Europe. Pet sit for someone who I already know! That will give me a good reference and experience before connecting with people in different countries.
I am committed to clearing out more of my storage unit so that I have easy access to clothes and books and resource materials. This month, I am giving away the last few pieces of furniture and all of the kitchen supplies and a few more boxes of books in the storage unit in California. I just cleared out five more boxes in Maryland. Only 10 boxes of Heal My Voice books and promotional materials and some clothes and memorabilia that are staying here.
I have set some things in motion and said yes to living my life this way. I am planning to go to Europe in 2019 and 2020. That gives me a year to plan and figure out what to take with me for six months. It is fun to meditate and feel into what I want and where to begin. It gives me time to finish and clear things out of my way and lay a foundation for work and places to stay. I can feel that there are some residual feelings around what I “should be doing” at my age and duty to family and a few twinges of guilt. I honor those feelings and know that I will give them a voice as I process in the 100 days of writing over the summer. I am excited about the next wave of creativity. I can feel how each, “yes,” is opening the path wider. A new life is surfacing, I am ready, and it feels so good!
If you want to explore and process your life this summer, join me in the writing incubator: 100 days of writing. This is the 13th summer I have processed my life using the foundation of 12 Conditions of a Miracle. Emptying, aligning, asking, giving, receiving and more. Each week, I share daily writing prompts that are like mini blog posts, to stir the pot and create a field for listening, unraveling, discovering, exploring, and inspiration. All the answers are inside of you. The energy in the secret Facebook group is there to awaken what is already inside of you. There is a monthly Zoom call and one individual coaching session with me. Early bird rate until May 15.
Written by: Andrea Hylen; Heal My Voice