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.

Striving for Perfektion

In Self Care by julia gillmor

August 29, 2017

Our April newsletter went out this spring with two big fat typo’s in the subject bar.

I had a full body cringe before even finishing the first sentence. Even my body had internalized the striving to “get it right”.

I became immediately aware of my ambition to compare favorably with others now that my imperfections were in full public view.

Then something softened. It was more than the acceptance of “shit happens”. It was a moment where I got to see how widespread and systemic striving is, and more importantly, what it tries to cover over:

A feeling of Lack.

Lack comes from a place in our past where something was missing, and what was missing got internalized as deficiency. (I wrote about this in my last blog post which you can read here).

Lack makes a different shaped hole in each of us. Here is the “I’m not good enough” hole. There’s the “I’m not attractive enough” hole, and the “I will never be successful enough” hole. The permutations are endless.

In our culture this lack is made invisible, glazed over by distraction, consumption and all the things we do to keep busy and avoid what we feel.

I decided to explore this striving for Perfektion because the secret to loving others despite their imperfections, is loving ourselves despite ours.

I wish I could offer a quick solution or a simple practice that would create significant change if you find yourself in a difficult place. But that’s not how this kind of process works. To be willing to heal we need to go into those places where the pain exists and hold it in a new way. We need to bring kindness to the places where it was lacking.

This is the focus The Hero’s Journey, a 6 day retreat, September 24 -30th. This retreat is about shifting our perception to find the means to welcome all of our experience, even the difficulties. Learning to embrace with kindness all of our reality initiates the process of change that happens from the inside out.

When you live in this way you get to feel more fully alive.

You come to know more about the places where you limit yourself, so different choices become available.

You notice your ability to show up with a greater capacity to hold the joy and the pain without the need to push any of it away.

Find out more about The Hero’s Journey here.