Archive for June, 2016

Fantasy, Dreams, and Falling in Love with Yourself

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Artwork by Kim Ottinger 2013

 

Recently an article in the NY Times has been circulating, “WHY YOU WILL MARRY THE WRONG PERSON.” Check it out and let’s delve a little deeper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/opinion/sunday/why-you-will-marry-the-wrong-person.html?_r=0

Major kudos to the writer Alain de Botton for having the bravery to write such a vulnerable and powerful piece. It has raised eyebrows in the DC area for sure! I am grateful to resonate with many of his points, one of which is the role of the FAIRY TALE in our concept of romantic relationships and marriages.

As children, us millennials grew up on movies about princesses and princes, knights in shining armor, damsels in distress and fantasy.  Our template for relationships is: the man and the woman fall in love and live a fairy tale life, happily ever after.

Shortly after I was separated from my first husband, I came to the realization that romantic relationships and life is not, in fact, a fairy tale. For quite some time I was angry and felt foolish for believing what I was taught as a little girl, that I too was a princess who would meet the one and live happily ever after. With the end of my marriage, I began to question my worthiness and self-respect. What had I done to deserve something different? Was my life always going to be a series of people hurting me and disappointing me? Why was I going through this and what did I need to change in order to deserve a second try at a fairy tale? Was this my path, that I was doomed to experience over and over forever? I spent all of my energy trying to figure out how to set up my next relationship to be my true fairy tale. I dated, I went to therapy, I talked my friends’ ears off trying to find a solution. Finally the truth hit me square in the face.

The truth: Life is not really a fairy tale. Duh, right? I know this logically. AND yet there is the little girl inside of me that insists that it is. She and I had it out, we spent months fighting about how to perceive love and what beliefs to live by. The battle went on until I stopped and began to embrace her pain. The little girl in me had been hurt and disappointed by the misinformation she was fed as a young girl, that life is all unicorns, rainbows, and happily ever afters. Once I grieved this loss, the loss of the fairy tale, I began to heal. I began to learn what living is really about, enjoying the process of ups and downs in relationships and life. Life-force returned to my body and mind as I opened up to new possibilities. I needed a place for fantasy, dreaming, escape and play that was not solely my romantic life. I stopped dating and began to explore other areas of my life where I could experience creativity and dreams. I started to dream about my hobbies and career. Suddenly space opened for me to give energy and love to my career, friendships, self, and recreational activities. For the first time in my life, I fell in love with myself.

If we idealize our romantic relationships, they will likely end in disappointment. Relying solely on romantic relationships for our dreams and fantasy also diminishes the opportunity for us to fall in love with ourselves and other domains of our lives. We can create more space for romance with ourselves and our other life arenas by releasing the energy focused on idealization in our relationships. We can then allow more focus in our relationships to be around realistic experience of present connections in our relationships. We can then work to communicate openly, be vulnerable, be brave, and respect our partners. We can enjoy the messiness and mistakes and even the repairs in relationships, not expecting perfection or romance to be the sole experience of love. We can love fully while clearly communicating the boundaries of our own needs. Romantic partnerships are more about compassion, compromise, and communication. As a friend called it, a never ending conversation.

So I am proposing we consider a more balanced use of play, fantasy, and escape in our lives, not solely focused on idealizing romantic relationships. Rather than idealizing any one domain of life, spreading the dreaming and visioning equally throughout.

Humans need to take time to escape, to dream, to vision, and to play. Fantasy and escape are an important opportunity to turn off anxiety and connect with our souls on a deep level. This is where growth happens, through creative process which enlighten us to new possibilities. It is where the light peaks in and illuminates and opens up more space. We can connect with new possibilities for a personal fairy tale beyond just romance by taking time to create, participating in rituals, imagining, playing, envisioning, and connecting to something spiritually. Meditation is a great way to dream and it can even be done through playful and creative means like art making, walking, dancing, and music. Let’s fall in love with ourselves.

To FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensorimotor therapy or to work with a therapist who knows what is like to fall in love with yourself in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

THE INCREDIBLE HEALING POWER OF EMDR

 

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If you are looking for a powerful intervention to release haunting memories and release you from the grips of your history, look no further!

EMDR – If you live in the DC area, you automatically assume it is some sort of fancy government acronym. Actually it is a form of psychotherapy which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. My first experience with EMDR was as a client some 10 or 15 years ago. I sat in the therapist’s office mesmerized by this process which seemed to magically remove the distress attached to old memories that haunted my mind daily. The memories that seemed so palpable and painful became almost fuzzy and hard to remember, no longer feeling painful or anxiety provoking. It was then that I decided one day I would learn to be the magician behind the curtain, helping others heal and recover.

If you have tried other methods and they have not worked for you, I highly recommend this process, based on personal experience as well the many successes I have seen with clients. Often clients will leave the session explaining, “I don’t know why that felt so scary before” or with a renewed sense of motivation or freedom. This efficient process releases you from limiting beliefs and fears.

It feels a bit like a science experiment when you first try it. You either follow a focal point (a pointer, a hand, a light) with your eyes side to side or you hold alternatively vibrating squares in your hand or listen to alternating beeps from headphones, all while recalling a memory. You think, how could this possibly make a difference? The stimulation of your brain, both hemispheres and increased electrical current, along with the process meant to hone in on specific feelings/beliefs and memories seems to be the perfect recipe for healing. Just shifting your energy and attention in this manner can alleviate years of pain and suffering. Clients often have spiritual experiences and awakenings as a result of this relief. Life becomes easier to manage and energy becomes spacious. 

While this can be a very clinical protocol, I find that there is room for spiritual and relational experiences as well. When there is space to move and grow, your soul can align to its journey and live it fully.

Check the EMDRIA website for more information about the process, research, and the impact of this method https://emdria.site-ym.com/?120

 

To FREEDOM from HAUNTING memories and your history,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, EMDR, talk therapy, or sensorimotor therapy or to work with a therapist who knows personally the healing power of EMDR and can guide you through recovery in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

YOUR PERSONAL EVOLUTION

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This week I decided to speak to the energetics present during the past month of May and this month of June. It seems May rushed in with a bang, the strong vibrations still reverberating at the start of this month of June. All around me and in my own life, people are in the tumults of big transitions. Everyone seems to be in the midst of upheaval. And everyone seems to be inching towards their truths. Each of us are in the midst of SHEDDING OUR SKIN to reach our next state of evolution, closer to our authentic selfs and CORE TRUTH.

Often when we tune into our intuition, our gut, we feel the pull towards our truths. In my own life and in many of those around me, the start of this month of June has brought about a direct line to our core truths and a need to follow our instinctual drive towards truth. This gravitational pull seems unshakable and the path to truth can be complicated, confusing, and difficult to navigate. Many souls are feeling the pain of taking necessary steps towards living authentically in their personal truth. That may mean relationship break-ups, marriage separations, and in some cases infidelity. Some are experiencing major career transitions and considering overhauling careers. Some are beginning investigations into long standing health issues, finally taking steps towards healthier living.

The one common thread in this energetic is the compounding feeling of isolation. As we move through these difficult, possibly painful yet fruitful times and necessary steps towards our truths, many of us are feeling alone, isolated in our pain. And while we may be feeling isolated or struggling to find support, we are not alone. This energy is resonating with a great many of us now, you are not alone. We are evolving together. 

If you find yourself being magnetized towards a path of action that just feels RIGHT, you are not alone. Follow your gut. Trust that you are on the path towards your truth. Soon you will shed this layer of life and step into your next higher self, the EVOLVED YOU.

To breaking free and tuning in to your CORE TRUTH,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, or sensorimotor therapy or to work with a therapist who knows what it takes to follow core truths and experience personal evolution in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com