Richard Klein

Searching for the Insta Fix

In Mindful Living by Richard Klein

September 7, 2017

Creating change on the inside is a lot like walking into the wilderness.

If we’re honest, there is a part of each one of us that just wants things to be easy. For our problems to be taken care of, for our investments to grow, for life to show up on our doorstep just as we ordered it.

(If you want to jump ahead to the bottom you’ll find a 10-minute meditation for awareness and being in your body)

Self-help books and internet ads promise quick results to many of our problems and feed the belief that the change we want can be had with very little effort. When illness strikes, we go to the doctor in much the same way we take our car to the mechanic and say – “Fix it”.

As a culture, we are so “busy”, and have developed such short attention spans, that any solution not corresponding to the time we have available right now, quickly falls off our radar.

Changing the self-limiting habits that we have practiced and ingrained over our lifespan is not something that happens in an instant.

Even the “aha’ moment, those brilliant flashes of insight, occur through the wiring up of a whole new neural network to support a new habit and realization. This rewiring happens over time and gets stronger with repeated use. There is a word for that: integration.

I have someone who helps me with my marketing. We were discussing what to offer you this month and she suggested I write one of those lists you see on many internet sites of this kind… 7 things you can do today to de-stress your life, or some such thing, but my reaction was to push back and say No.

You see, I believe change on the inside is a lot like walking into the wilderness. It takes a few days for our domestication to fall away and to feel more comfortable in unfamiliar terrain. After a couple of days, you find your legs, your balance, and new resources come to the fore.

That’s why the work, and the change opportunities that are offered here at Mountain Waters mostly happen within “retreats”.

Retreats happen over a number of days. Only with sufficient time and intentional practice can we drop beneath the conditioning we carry and explore how change unfolds from the inside out.

A retreat becomes an act of self-care and deep noticing, where the ground is prepared for something new. The Sufi’s call this work “tending the inner garden”. Weeds are pulled and new seeds planted that, given the right conditions, grow into the bounty and nourishment we wish to harvest in our lives. This process is the very opposite of what gets normalized in our fast food culture of the instant fix. For real and lasting change to occur it requires time, commitment, patience, and practice – the very things required for any new learning.

If you have been struggling or searching for a deeper connection to life, you may want to consider joining me and a group of like minded individuals looking to create lasting change in their lives with The Hero’s Journey retreat starting Sept 24th.

And as a gift to start you on your path or to continue to support your efforts, I’ve prepared a 10-minute meditation to share with you. Listen to Meditation on the Body here.

The Architecture of Lack

In Self Care by Richard Klein

August 23, 2017

How we develop the idea that we’re not enough

A few days ago I held a newborn infant and gazed into eyes of wonder and innocence, still connected, it seemed, to the mystery of his origin.

The openness of the child’s gaze left me reflecting on just what happens to that wonder and sense of connection as we progress through life.

New research shows that up to about the age of eight, children don’t possess the ability to fully differentiate between themselves and their mother or father. If Mom withdrawals under the stress of a rough day, the young child does not see that “Mom is just having a hard time”. He or she concludes that there must be something wrong with me to have caused the situation. The connection to Mom or Dad has been compromised – and it is the young child’s fault.

In this age of single parenting and isolated nuclear families, small but repetitive slights to a young child’s sense of connection, get internalized as a deficiency – a feeling of lack – that lies beneath the surface of conscious awareness.

This is in no way to blame parents, but to acknowledge just how far we have moved from our tribal past when Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles plus countless cousins were on-hand if parents were unavailable. In these cases the child’s sense of safety and connection to caring adults was maintained.

Today the “not enoughness” takes many shapes and forms, and is mirrored back to us by the society we live in. There is “not enough” time,”not enough” money, “not enough” love and attention, and for some, “not enough“ safety and security.

This underlying feeling of lack can lead in extreme cases to Trump-like displays of grandiosity, wealth and power, all in an attempt to fill an empty place inside. The hidden template of lack gets played out as busyness – the more I do the better I’ll feel about myself – it gets expressed as self judgement – I’m never good enough. and an underlying sense of dis-ease or dissonance that our culture offers us myriad forms of distraction not to feel.

It is a paradox that as we turn toward the “not enoughness” in ourselves, and instead of judging it, or wall papering it over, bring our conscious care and attention to the very places in ourselves where this lack lives – the places something begins to change.

It’s as if we give ourselves in those moments, the very presence that was missing in our past. We become the ‘good enough parent’ of our own experience. We rewrite the script and change the source code with our own presence – allowing us to move forward with more gratitude for what life has to offer.

As the Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi said so simply 800 years ago, It’s all about loving and not loving.

The truth is that it’s hard to truly love ourselves or another, when we are operating from a place of lack.

For those of you who wish to explore these themes in a deeper way, I invite you to take a look at The Hero’s Journey, a six day retreat I will be leading during the last week in September.

And due to such a positive response in the spring, Yogita Bouchard and Sharon Abbondanza will be once again be offering the five day woman’s retreat, A Woman’s Way of Being, Sept 16th – 21st. This is both a profound reset for the central nervous system and a deep dive into the wisdom available within.