Archive for March, 2016

#BadassWomenReachOut – PART ONE – Definition of a Badass Woman

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I have spent a lot of time walking with some incredible souls on their journeys, each of whom imparts spiritual awe and knowledge onto me. However, there is one breed of woman that consistently shows up in my office, one whom I feel most connected to.

She is the badass.

Today starts a three part series on my speciality, the BADASS WOMAN.

Carl Jung calls them archetypes, the character which most fits your soul, your presence, your path and your baggage. Perhaps equivalent to Jung’s “ANIMUS” – masculine features in the feminine body or the “REBEL” or “EXPLORER.”

You may find yourself drawn to action and independence.

You most likely work in an industry or career where you are never static, always in movement, highly social, yet supplies frequent novelty and alternative schedules from the regular 9-5.

You thrive on intensity and though you enjoy downtime, may not often sleep well.

FOMO is your middle name.

Most likely you work in the service industry or on the night shift.

You live an alternative lifestyle that many people in your life may not understand or appreciate.

The face you show to most is strength and collectedness.

You are independent and strong with ease.

You may move frequently or feel the need to stay very active in your daily life.

You numb out emotionally and physically. Sometimes you don’t even know what you are feeling.

Underneath your very strong shell, you have an enormous heart that bursts with love. You want to share it with the world. Yet, at times your heart becomes barricaded and you cannot share your love due to fear or anger.

You want to connect at a level of depth and vulnerability that you are not always certain others are capable of. Trust can be very difficult for you.

AND YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU ARE READY.  You are READY to DO THE WORK.

You want something more than just a tough facade and escape.

You want to TRUST, to CONNECT, to FEEL, and to FEEL GOOD – FOR YOU!

I know you. I get you. I commit fully to walk with you, bravely, towards your highest self. Like many before you, all you have to do is REACH OUT, and I will join you.

To journeying with your badass soul,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensoriotor therapy or to work with a therapist who knows badass women in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

FROM GRIPPING TO EMBRACING FEAR

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Today I take a step towards embracing fear and releasing my grip on fear.

You may not believe this….. but guess what? I am an imperfect psychotherapist.

I am on my own journey, weaving in and out of the depths and surface of this life. I delve deep and stay for a moment, in solitude, attuned to my inner goddess. Shortly after, I get in my car and drive around Washington DC or listen to a stand-up comedian and exist on the surface. The next day, I show up to hold the space for my clients, walking with them in their own journey in and out of the depths of soul and surface. I show up for different people in the place that they feel comfortable, accessing the different levels and parts of my being. At times the chameleon-like process feels like whiplash, though well worth the disorientation for the experiences and souls I have the pleasure of encountering. 

Today, I acknowledge my fear.

I journey in and out of depth and consciousness, lack of awareness and forgetting, surface living, and reaction.

At times the fear feels consuming and my body tightens in response to the fear. My breathing constricts, my palms sweat, my heart races, and my gut feels unsettled. As I notice the reaction has already occurred, I recognize that I did not intervene before it had a hold on me.

I acknowledge the hold of my primitive reptilian flight response
and begin to take breaths. 

3 counts in – Calm

6 counts out – Relax

3 counts in – Calm

6 counts out – Relax

3 counts in – Calm

6 counts out – Relax

I notice my body loosen, my heart slows. My mind slows and becomes more at ease. I see that fear again but from a more objective place. I see that my habitual response around this fear is to grip, grasp, hold on for dear life. Yet, my life is not at stake.

I REMEMBER my baggage, the internal space I continually have to go back to and challenge myself on. The attachments and expectations I created long long ago as a small child to have the illusions of control and certainty.

Today I release certainty and embrace my fear. I REMEMBER that fear is part of the experience. It informs but does not have to cause suffering. I lovingly embrace fear as it returns and listen in to what it has to tell me.

To remembering in this breath and moment,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensoriotor therapy or to work on anxiety & fear in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

The Myth of Laziness – 4 STEPS TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF IN YOUR CAREER LIFE

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“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” 

– The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Do you often label yourself as LAZY? Do you feel like a FRAUD at work?

Do you find yourself needing to hyper focus for several hours a day at work just to get it done, and then you become distracted by social media, reading article upon article on news and entertainment, or better yet, Tetris.  As you count the hours you ACTUALLY WORK at work, you notice a trend of many many seemingly wasted hours. You feel that you should be feeling thankful for a job that is well paying and high up the ladder, yet you find yourself feeling lazy.

Perhaps you’re lack of focus and laziness is something else.

Maybe your bouts of hyper focus and laziness are more about a lack of interest in your work, need for a challenge, and a need to escape. Often, when we are not stimulated enough, we become uninterested, unmotivated. So we need more stimulation and challenge. If you imagine yourself in a job you love and are passionate about, do you see yourself often escaping to Tetris and social media, or will you be too busy and focused on building your dream to be concerned with time wasters?

Or maybe you feel motivated by your sense of self-worth. Very often we are driven by a need to feel “good enough” rather than a wish to be self-compassionate and live out our personal dreams. This wish to be “good enough” is integrated into our sense of self-worth at a very young age and is difficult to consciously see. Take a moment and notice, DO YOU TAKE ACTION TO FULFILL YOUR DREAMS AND NOURISH YOUR SOUL OR DO YOU DO IN ORDER TO FEEL GOOD ENOUGH AND AVOID FAILURE?

Let’s recategorize your laziness to domains a) lack of motivation and b) a need to escape some aspect of your work environment and c) a need for dreams, challenges, and stimulation. Filling the different domains of your life with fulfilling, soul nourishing activities are the seeds to growing joy and contentment in your moment to moment and lifelong path.

Here are some basic ways to start building motivation, taking steps towards a life in which you will no longer label yourself as lazy. A life in which it is possible to enjoy, be financially supported by, and feel fulfilled by your career. Listen to your heart space and intuition – embrace your dreams.

1 Identify a Long Term Vision. 

Create a list of all the career goals you want to achieve in your life (as we are talking about career aspirations, we will focus on this, though you may substitute career goals with other types of goals and/or values). Examples include helping others, leadership roles, owning a business, charitable donations, discovery, traveling, financial stability, creative endeavors, etc. Take no more than 5 minutes to narrow your goals to no more than 3 using your gut. Write out your 3 top goals on a piece of paper.

2 Vision and Visualize

Place your goals in a place you can see daily and every morning allow your mind to come back to this vision and further flush it out. Take time here and there to meditate on it and visualize the details and concrete vision of this future career path. Perhaps it lines up with your current career, or maybe it is very different.

3 Materialize your Vision

Create a plan for action. What steps will you take to work towards this goal? Networking, workplace interviews, research, consultation calls? Daily life will continually try to get in the way of your dreams, you will have to make some time and space to materialize your vision. Allow the plan to be loose yet be committed. If you are unable to meet deadlines you set for yourself, be compassionate and continue to work towards your vision. Notice your blocks, pursue support to move past blocks, ask for help rather than self-sabotaging.

4 Check in with your Self-Talk 

Notice how your self-talk has changed now that you are working towards a dream. When you feed your soul – the energy resonates, and reverberates. You will see the difference this makes in your internal world as well as your external, your soul nourishing energy will magnetize to those with similar presence. You deserve to make your dream a reality.

I know this plan works because it is my reality. With some dreaming, visioning, hard work, and trust in divine power, I am now living my dreams and more. I love my work, I feel joyful when I arrive at my office, financially stable, and feel highly fulfilled by my work on a soul level. I share my experiences with my clients, generosity plus boundaries breeds joy. I am honored to help you manifest your dreams. 

 

To dreaming & living big,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensoriotor therapy or to explore a career transition in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

Materializing Intentions

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My mind is swirling with energy and ideas. I can feel the pull of planetary and cosmic energy that Amy Tatsumi spoke with me about earlier in the week. I show up in a mixed up state in meeting with Amy, describing the same confused yet inspired energy that my clients and those close to me show up with this week.

The beginnings of transformative energy – of the spring, of the planets, and of the collective unconscious. I struggle to pinpoint where this energy is headed, I do not have clarity. Inevitably, with that lack of clarity, my instinct is to grasp for certainty and rituals, anxiety. Yet, I am reminded by signs and those around me, of my trust in the path I that I am on and choose instead to surrender rather than grasp certainty. 

The energy in the universe, having both the possibility for destruction or creation, swirls around us all. I choose to revel in the open energy, the creative energy and the possibilities. I do not close my body and foresee negative futures. The power of my intentions, along with my faith, and the support of reverberating energy drives me forward to a place of peace, contentment, and abundance. My body smiles as I embrace my heart on my first jog of the springlike weather.

Like Elizabeth Gilbert describes in her book “Big Magic,” I catch creativity from others as some of my creative energy is passed on to others.

I own the concept for a time, embrace it, understand it on a deep level and then it moves on to a friend, client or colleague.

I am reminded today of the transformative energy of the seasons, new growth through intentions, and the power of intentions and meditation.

I am grateful for the moments of grace in which I experience this wild creative energy flowing through me.

As such, I feel the pull to share the possibility of setting intentions with you, inspired by a soul sister – Abby Kase. 

Consider a long term intention you have. Allow it to take shape from your creative center in the moment, whether is arises from you gut, heart, soul, or elsewhere. Let it materialize and take shape, perhaps not fully formed into words, in the form of an image, mantra, or abstract and felt sense. Allow it to be authentic and connected to the depth of your inner knowing. Meditate on it for a short time or a long time, imagining living as if the intention was already integrated into your life.

When you feel ready, represent the intention on paper in whatever manner you wish. Name it to the universe with words if you like, say it out loud if you can. In a safe space, maybe even in the moonlight, light the page and allow the ashes to be blown away in the wind.

To materializing your intentions,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensoriotor therapy or to explore energy or intention materialization in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

How to Grow Roots :: Meditation for Connection & Centering

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Today I invite you to explore what it feels like to grow roots.

This very simple imaginative exercise consistently provides
my clients and myself with powerful outcomes.

Why is there a need to root?

Do you feel like you become consumed by your worry or sadness?

Sometimes we become so lost in worry and grief that we lose sight of both the big picture and the joy in the present moment. Our focus tunnel vision on loss or possible future mistakes. While this mechanism is natural to our human brain (constantly working to prevent future mistakes or danger), it is also not productive to be consumed by the past or future, especially when doing so has no positive outcome.

Tuning into your body and the pulse of the universe can snap you quickly back to the present and out of time-wasting thought processes. It is no surprise that rooting also aligns your root chakra energy. This chakra relates to peace and stability as well as safety and security.

Try this quick exercise to explore how quickly you can recover a positive worry-free attitude focused in the present. 

Begin in a seated position on a chair or the floor, any leg and arm positioning that feels comfortable.

Take several deep breaths into your lower belly, allowing for a slightly longer exhale than inhale.

Notice how your body feels, what areas of your body are activated in conjunction with your worry or emotional state.

Now begin to align your spine, starting with the lowest vertebrae, stacking each vertebrae atop the lowest until your spine aligns through to the base of your skull.

Relax and breath into this position, releasing tension that may have come up.

Notice the base of your spine and your pelvic floor and imagine this as the base of your trunk.

Imagine your torso as a tree trunk, standing tall and comfortably on the earth.

Allow your tree trunk to slowly grow roots.

The roots grow deep into the earth, connecting you with each life form on the planet and centering you.

You notice the exchange of energy between the pulse of the planet, what does it feel like to connect with the purpose of the planet as a whole.

Take comfort in the cosmic energy vibrations from the heart of the planet, knowing you are never alone, always connected.

Take a sensation snapshot of this feeling in your body and heart.

Take this with you through your day, share some of this energy to others in who are in deficit of this energy today.

 

To rooting and reconnecting,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensoriotor therapy or to explore chakras or meditation Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com