collective

The Intentional Peace Project

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After continual shock following the violence and fear mongering of politicians, I have decided to start a project. I hope that you will all join in with me in this challenge to spread peace.

My heart grows heavier each time I hear of violence and anger in this world. I then want to shut out the world, become more insular and defended. As the suffering escalates in our country, an instinct in me wants to become numb and turn away, ignore it, leave it up to those in power to fix.  It feels as if we are all asleep, some of us more than others, to the growing suffering of our planet. It is easy to ignore the gravity of fear-based politics and violence happening far from our homes. It is easy to think and do nothing about the growing environmental issues. Because of course, these problems are so big and we are but one individual. If feels as if we cannot make a difference as one.

I am proposing we all wake up from our slumber of inaction, turn peace from passive to active and intentional. I choose to stand in my power as a women who believes peace is intentional and active. Rather than a passive stance, I choose peace in my daily lives, in every moment. So can you. We can choose to be friendly and nice to our neighbors, assume that no matter the struggle, everyone is just doing the best that they can. We can choose to have empathy for, yet set kind and gentle boundaries when we encounter those living their lives and making decisions based in fear and anger. We can choose to spend the extra effort to be peaceful and spread our vision of peace. To encourage a culture of love and compassion as our national collective language and energetic.

I believe that action starts with one and can grow exponentially to become action of many. So, I plan to start practicing intentional peace daily for the next year. I will post once per day to share my intentional action towards peace. I don’t expect you to be able to devote a full year to posting your intentional actions towards peace, so share what you can. Maybe just 15 days of intentional peace.

Let’s create a ripple of intentional peace in our country. Let’s start today, July 18th, 2016. You can follow my intentional peace process as well as share your own via Instagram: @YOURSOULTHERAPY or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourSoulTherapy/

To ACTIVE AND INTENTIONAL PEACE,

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 what it means to embody daily intentional peace and can guide you to peace in yourself in Washington, DC, email her at kim@yoursoultherapy.com

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

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