Badass

When a Superwoman Falls

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If a superhero falls in the forest, is she still a superhero?

So many of us are in pain, lonely pain. When we feel pain, we are taught to hide it as it might be shameful to share any perceived flaws or struggles. We take on blame for the pain and isolate ourselves from those that care for us the most. Our culture emphasizes independence as a source of personal value, rather than interdependency.

What would a superwoman do if she fell into a depression or a loss? Would she share her struggles and reach out for help? Would her imperfections cause her to be seen and valued as something less than a superhero? Would she do what she could to recover in her own space to shield herself from others’ judgment and her own shame?

I have to imagine that she would be hesitant to reach out given how tied her identity is to her image to the public. Her profession makes it difficult for her to appear anything less than perfect. In fact, if she lost to a villain in a fight, she could probably loss her superhero title, right?

And aren’t we all – us women – just a bunch of superwoman wannabes? We’ve been taught to do it all and don’t forget the smile. Conquer the masculine world of success and achievement in careers, have family, support partner, take care of parents, learn and grow all the while. All great things, and so is superwoman’s fall.

Truth is we all fall at times and I believe that not only is the fall a good thing, it is actually an important part of our feminine nature which fuels feminine growth. Our descents into the abyss of our emotions and our shadow can sometimes take years and seem like they will never end. Fortunately, they eventually pass and when we arise from the ashes of our previous selves, we have taken an enormous leap forward in our spiritual maturity and wisdom. In order to come out of our isolative descent, we must realize the importance of our feminine tribe. We must trust that the women (and men) that care about us in our lives want to be there to help the superwoman in each of us. Reaching out to them will not change their opinion of your superhero status, in fact they will remind you of your superpowers. And someday they will return the favor by sharing what their kryptonite is, if they haven’t yet.

I am not suggesting you share with everyone what your personal kryptonite is, just with a few close friends that you know will support you no matter what. If you don’t have them, make them! Join a church community, a community service community, a support group, or a workout community. Intentionally pick out your superhero support team and reach out. Trust that you need them to help you out of the descent and they will be there best as they can be.

Perfect is being brave enough to reach out for support in our struggles and to reach our for celebration for our successes. Even superheros need support.

To the superwoman in us all,

Kim Ottinger

To schedule a free 20 minute phone consult with Kim for art therapy, talk therapy, EMDR, or sensorimotor therapy or to work with a therapist who knows how to support your inner superwoman in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

August Awakenings ~ IT’S NOT ME – IT’S YOU!

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The last few months have been energetically intense. We delved into truths and through much work were able to awaken to the truths and own them. The energy of the those truths of the women coming though this office have become apparent – It is not the women who are struggling, it is their partners who are truly struggling.

The divine feminine energetic is coming to truth within many of us and you may be feeling it as well. Finally, we feel READY TO STAND IN OUR POWER – we are no longer attaching to feelings of being NOT GOOD ENOUGH or THE VICTIM. Actually all the weight we have been carrying about not being good enough or being hurt has been someone else’s all along. Now we can see with clarity, we are feminine nurturing energy and we have always been supporting and loving those in our lives at the expense of our own well being. It is time to set firm boundaries with fierce love; to feel invincible to other’s attempts to manipulate or project their own struggles on to us; stand confidently in our power to love peacefully even in the face of conflict.


 Let’s create a template in our mind-bodies for this new way of showing up in the world.

In your heart hold these mantras and allow yourself to visualize and feel the energy aligning to the words:

“At my core I am divine feminine energy – I love fiercely with unbreakable boundaries.

I do not take responsibility for others’ emotions and am accountable only for my own actions.

I fully embrace my shadows and light – I stand securely in my own power.”

Meditate on these mantras daily for at least a week and allow your mind-body to heal from past wounds to your heart and boundaries.


To the divine feminine power within us all,

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 how to STAND IN HER POWER in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

#BADASSWOMENCONFESS

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I must confess…. I too am in fact, a BADASS WOMAN. And I am PROUD OF MY BADASSERY.

I never pass up a good opportunity.
I don’t play dumb.
I am active.
I work very hard.
And I like a challenge.
I make decisions in my life based on what is right for me.
I follow my intuition.
I am a warrior goddess.
I live in the world of reality, work, recreation, creativity, and the soul.
I devote time to me and those I love.

I do not let people walk on me.
I gracefully (and sometimes not so gracefully) love people, but I do not let people take advantage of me.
I am genuine, no bullshit, strong.
My morals are high and I am honest to a fault.
I have tattoos.
I rock climb.
I enjoy getting my hands dirty.
I am real, and I am a BADASS WOMAN.

And, I am imperfect. My life can be messy, my mind can be messy, and my heart can be messy.

In my first few years of college I struggled greatly with anxiety. Fear consumed me and left me hopeless and exhausted. Despite my BADASSNESS, at times I struggled to make it through the day. I spent many days isolating and avoiding. Until I began to do my work and recover. It took all my determination to move forward.

At 26 I was married after a 7 year long relationship, and at 27, I was divorced. My world crashed around me, as I released the life plans I had made and ventured into my new reality. While I knew I did not want to end my marriage, I could no longer sustain my heart and soul energy in that relationship. I made the brave and terrifying decision to leave. I promptly planned a party with my closest friends to celebrate the separation. And I moved on.

Many tears later, here I am. Braver, stronger, smarter, and more content. What did it take to get me here, to a place of more stability and contentment? A few key elements helped me survive these difficult periods in my life.

I believe that walking towards fear and depth is one key element to my growth. When I am fearful, I know it is an indication of an attachment I have to the world or life.

Reaching out to friends and family for support has also been invaluable for my heart and soul. I am eternally grateful for the unwavering support of my friends and family.

Mentors and spiritual experiences along the path have guided me to remove the limits I place on myself.

And my own personal work has been the most important aspect of my growth. I have worked with therapists, coaches, and supervisors throughout my life. I would not be able to show up for my clients without doing my own work. I know my shadows and my light. I practice self-care and self-compassion.

Being a BADASS WOMAN means stepping up to the challenge of self exploration. It takes bravery and determination to delve into your own depths and know your shadows and light. Being a BADASS WOMAN means feeling your emotions and following your soul’s path.

To living into the fullness of your badassary,

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

5 WAYS #BADASSWOMENRELAX

 

 

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For part two of my blog series on my favorite kind of women – the BADASS WOMAN – I thought I would write a little about how to incorporate relaxation in to the badass woman lifestyle.

Badass women are women who function highly in many different areas of life and career paths. If you are a BADASS WOMAN, you refuse to take shit from others and stand firm in your beliefs, ideals, and life choices. You are not afraid of climbing the ladder, telling someone what they think, and being successful. You know what the line between right and wrong and you make sure others follow in the lines. You almost never choose the easy road, you chose the road you want. You are polite and caring, generous, yet, no one can stand in the way of what you want. You may be in a high powered position or perhaps you have chosen an alternative career, but you are most definitely great at what you do and an invaluable worker.

For all you badass women out there, you know how difficult it can be to really take time for yourself to relax. You are set on “DO” mode and may find it a struggle to just “BE.” Perhaps you relax with TV series, netflix movies in solitude and/or spend free time socializing. Your socializing includes time out with friends drinking or using substances to relax and you feel like you have to be “ON” all the times, maybe even as if you are the entertainment for the crowd.

You wear a mask and seldom feel as if you are yourself while out with friends. In your solitude, you may fill the hours with entertainment and while it is relaxing to numb out in front of a screen, you feel as if you there is something missing. You may even try yoga, running or other sports and still feel disconnected from receiving benefits of the activity. You feel inauthentic, as if you are acting a part, a fraud. You want to DO SOMETHING, but you are not sure what. 

As you tune into your body, you come into the awareness that you often feel either angry or anxious. It feels like this fluctuation is present almost constantly. At times you may rage out, only later to come to the realization that you overreacted and likely regret your behavior. In times of anxiety, it is difficult to settle, to sitstill and think clearly. You hide from others the distressful state of your internal world and push through the day. You cannot seem to just relax anymore.

The real trouble is that you feel out of control of your internal world. You can’t believe it has gotten to this place and you are ready to do something to ease the pain and struggle. 

The great news is that you did not chose to create this internal world for yourself, it has happened over time and you can recover. Your behaviors, while no longer serving you, are protective in nature and have kept you safe.

Here are some places to start to relax. 

  1. Gratitude.  Thank your mind and body for protecting you. Anger and anxiety are animal defense mechanisms. When they arise, your mind and body are trying to keep you safe. Remember to be thankful for your body and mind’s protection rather than beating yourself up for having these reactions. Adding a layer of guilt and shame to your worries can further exacerbate your overall stress level.
  2. Breath.  Breathing is a powerful mechanism for turning on the self-soothing chemicals in your mind and body. Breathing in 3 counts and out 6 counts can turn on soothing chemicals in your body, turning off the stress response. Try breathing in the 3 inhale, 6 exhale count about 4 times and notice how it changes your body state.
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation. Before going to sleep, spend five minutes tensing and then relaxing each muscle group of your body, one at a time. Or if you prefer, just relax and don’t tense muscles. Start with your toes and move to the top of your head, relaxing one muscle group at a time with each exhale.
  4. Connection. Humans are wired to connect for survival. It is important to spend time connecting with people while doing calm activities. Yoga, meditation, hiking, making art, and attending religious services all can be very soothing. Spending a few hours of your week participating in these activities can improve your mood and help you feel relaxed throughout your week.
  5. Solitude. Spend some time in soulful activity on your own. Explore meditation, mindful walking, making art, dancing, or any other soul nourishing activity for just one hour a week on your own. Notice how that one hour a week can affect your week.
  6. Reach out. Because connection and relationship is such a large part of our functioning, reaching out for help and receiving help may be the most powerful tool for overall relaxation and mood stability. Often dysregulation of your mood and mind is a result of very old wounds in our relationships. Repairing these wounds with a therapist is powerfully healing. The great thing about this is that it does not necessarily mean sharing traumatic stories, instead the focus is on the limiting beliefs you may have.

Much love and gratitude to you in your journey,

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

#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