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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Grief Transformation: An Interview with Andrea Hylen

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of interviewing my good friend, author Andrea Hylen, in my first blog interview celebrating amazing women and the amazing things women do. And with several amazing projects in the works, including an exciting book launch happening today, I was thrilled to catch up with Andrea and find out more details about all the great things she’s doing for women everywhere.

Shelly Rachanow: You’ve had a busy summer since we last spoke to you in June. Tell us about some of the great work you’ve been doing.

Andrea Hylen: I spent the month of August writing articles about my experiences of grief and loss with the deaths of a brother, son and husband, as well as dreams, jobs, and roles that no longer served me. I wrote about honoring the grief and feeling the feelings. I wrote about releasing the grief through tears and laughter. I wrote about releasing the ashes of my son and my husband. The more I wrote, the more I understood from a deeper level how the lack of grieving shuts down our hearts to feel love and joy. And how important it is to stay open to grieving layers throughout my life.

In September, I participated in a “no impact” week. The idea was to lower my impact on the environment by making lifestyle changes. Even with my deep awareness, I learned and implemented some new ideas. I made one change every day. An example, I write at a coffee bar every morning and started to carry silverware with me instead of using the disposable plastic ware.

I am currently creating videos to provide information and spread the word that being green is not a trend. I use Shaklee products as an example because they have been around for 50 years and they work. This is a lifestyle, not a trend. The videos will be on my youtube account beginning November 1, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/user/OpentoInspiration There will be a link to join my mailing list for monthly information about easy ways to support your health and the planet.

Shelly Rachanow: I was really moved when you told me about the Grief Transformation Circle you decided to start on Sunday evenings. As you now, I lost one of my best friends to cancer last April and I know your husband passed away from cancer several years ago. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about grief along the way?

Andrea Hylen: Shelly, first let me give you the bridge line telephone number and access code. This is a FREE call, open to anyone who needs it. My commitment is to be there to provide support and to sit in prayer by myself, if no one comes on the line that evening. The call is every Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. Pacific/8:00 p.m. Eastern. My intention to hold a space for conversations to emerge that support each other as we discuss loss of loved ones, changes in jobs, health, families and the world. As long as one person is on the call, I will be there. Bridge line number (605) 562-3000. Access code is 899688#. Spread the word. ALL WELCOME! Personal long distance rates apply.

I would suggest that people join the Open to Inspiration Fan page on Facebook. I post updates there every week with the phone number and any changes in the time.

There is another thing to understand about grieving. The feelings of loss and sadness are a part of you and will be in your heart forever. Let me explain it this way. Imagine that you went to the beach for a week with your loved ones. Whenever you think about that time together, you remember the way you felt. The sound of the ocean or the seagulls, memories of the activities and conversations, and smells from the foods you cooked and ate together . You carry this in your heart. The freshness of the memory fades over time, but there are connections that bring it into the present. The sound of the seagulls, the smells of the food, a song, a conversation and you can feel yourself transported back in time remembering the love and happiness.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is the same thing. You remember sounds, smells and conversations. The freshness of the memory fades over time, but things can happen to bring a wave of emotion into the present.

Grief is a gift. Honor it. Feel the feelings. Be open to healing and remembering.

Shelly Rachanow: You have been participating in a book project with 40 women and men over the last six months. Today is the book launch! What can you share about this?

Andrea Hylen: Yes! Today is the book launch for an amazing project. The book is called Align, Expand and Succeed: Shifting the Paradigm of Entrepreneurial Success. From the moment I heard the book title, I wanted to be a part of this project with 40 conscious business owners. The book is for anyone who feels the connection to living a conscious life. Conscious Business is a lifestyle that includes all aspects of a person’s life. I wrote a story about a self-discovery process that led me to understand an aspect of who I really am.

The word “Align” is missing in many of the Law of Attraction movies and books. You can create a vision board with a bunch of stuff you want to manifest, but the things may not be in alignment with who you are. In this book there are stories about how the authors stepped into alignment by discovering their true purpose, connecting with intuition and eliminating self-sabotage. The next step is the willingness to Expand into a greater part of yourself with self-discovery, awakening, and shifting with the changes happening in the world. With the steps of Align and Expand in place, Success is the natural next step.

Today, October 19, 2010, is the book launch. If you purchase the book(s) today, you will receive access to over $6,000 in bonus offers! Here is the link to check it out: http://www.aesbook.com./

Shelly Rachanow: I can’t let you go without asking you to tell us more about your new E-book club, which helps members discover their own inner journey. How does it do that and what have you learned about the importance of honoring our journey?

Andrea Hylen: On a beach walk on August 31, I received a burst of inspiration to write stories of my life to help people discover their own inner journey. Within two days, the ideas fell into place. Write three e-books about the past two years of living on the edge with reflective questions in the back of each chapter for the reader. Each book is released one section at a time over a period of four months.

As people began signing up to be a part of the experience, I saw something else happening. We are creating an energetic space for infinite possibilities to emerge for everyone in the club. Some members are reading the books and writing in their journals, as part of a private process. Some members want to participate in discussions on the phone. There are monthly teleseminars with topics generated by the club members, a monthly drawing of products connected to the topics in the book and opportunities for sponsors.

The stories begin here: I started going to Jonas Brothers concerts during the summer of 2007 to help my teenage daughter heal from the loss of her father. When I drove to the first concert, I had no idea how this would change my life and help me heal my own broken heart.

Two summers later, I was selling my house, releasing personal belongings and preparing to move from Maryland to California with my daughter. I suggested we travel to the 45 cities with Jonas concerts and have an adventure together before settling down in California. We had a buyer, cleared out our house, put memorabilia into storage and were completing the last of the details when the house contract fell through. The woman lost her job of 21 years and could not qualify for the loan.

We made the decision to leap and live on the edge. The trip stretched me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. There was a strong inner calling to leap. In order to continue, I had to change my perspective, let go of the way I would normally do this trip and I had to be willing to risk everything including my house and my reputation. For the readers who don’t know me I want you to know I am not a lunatic. I am a simple person with simple needs who loves her family and friends and who would have been content to be a Girl Scout leader in Baltimore for the rest of my life. But there was something inside of me calling me to go out into the world. When my daughter began to get 3,000 hits on her blog every day, and women began to tell me that we were giving them the courage to make changes in their lives and take bigger risks, I knew I had to keep going.

I am beginning to call this an E-book Experience instead of a club. It is experiential and evolving every month.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, because I know you have more than one answer to this question, I have to ask again: What would you do if you ran the world?

Andrea Hylen: The key to me is empowering women and girls to become leaders in their lives. When women step into leadership, they use their voices to make change. They speak up for themselves, children, the environment, human rights, and animal rights. They work in collaboration with others to implement change. When women heal self-esteem, worthiness, grief, and trauma, their voices get stronger and they can have an impact on making a difference in their families, communities, states, countries and the world. We do run the world. The choices we make every day affect the world we live in. We can all discover the leader within us and begin making changes in our part of the world now. My commitment to running the world is creating safe, healing spaces like the Grief Transformation Circle, developing projects like the E-book club for empowering self-discovery within individuals and demonstrating leadership by taking simple steps with “Being Green is not a Trend.” Let us all commit to being leaders in our own lives now.

For more information, visit:

Website is http://www.opentoinspiration.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrea.hylen
Facebook Fan Pages: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey Series and Open to Inspiration
Email: opentoinspiration@gmail.com
Blog: http://www.andreahylen.blogspot.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AHylen
Twitter: www.twitter.com/daydreamwithGod
Twitter: www.twitter.com/consciousbook
Link to Articles on grieving: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Andrea_Hylen


  1. I agree with you Shelly, Andrea is an amazing woman doing amazing things. It has been a joy getting to know her as a co-author of the book, Align, Expand and Succeed. Great interview!

  2. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this interview. Everything Andrea is doing is fantastic - the Grief Transformation Cirle, the E-book club, the green lifestyle, and the Align Expand and Succeed book out today. How inspiring!

    Andrea is definitely a woman doing wonderful things!!


  3. Wow, what a great interview! Andrea is a role model for all women. Her commitment to follow her inner guidance and intuition inspire me to become more conscious in my business as well. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. All I can say Andrea is wow, wow, wow--you are one remarkable woman and I am so proud to be part of this book with you. You ARE an inspiration to all women and we are all blessed! Thank you for your sharing and Shelly thank you for interviewing Andrea.
    yours in health and success!

  5. Great interview - Andrea has utilised her personal experiences to grow personally and through her own journey help others from a great place of compassion, strength, inner knowing and tenacity of spirit. Her ability to overcome her own challenges and find the gifts in them to assist others is what makes her a truly successful and conscious entrepreneur. A priviledge to be in Align, Expand, Succeed with you Andrea. Thank you Suzanne

  6. Thanks Andrea, you are clearly Aligned with your soul. Living as a Conscious expression of our soul in our lives and business is not just a trend.

  7. I once heard Dr. Muhammad Yunus, "inventor" of microcredit, speak at The World Bank, where he was asked why he decided to give credit to women instead of men. He responded that if you give a man money you help the man, but if you give it to a woman, you help the family, if you help the family you help the community, and if you help the community you help the world. Andrea's last response reminded me of that, and I agree.