Hope you had a great summer! I took the summer off from my newsletter and enjoyed golf, singing, and a very full client load - all very inspiring. Autumn has arrived, with crisp mornings and the rising energy of life in full swing.
I help talented and smart clients who know they are under-performing. They possess a deep passion that must be realized, the talent to do so, and self-beliefs and emotions that just plain get in the way.
Accepting the Unacceptable
In a room full of 50 people attending a recent workshop, Tim Kremer of "Spirit of Golf" asked how many of them felt happy when they played golf. Only three of them raised a hand. When asked why they felt happy, they said that they had made happiness their most important goal, not good golf. Ironically, these players also reported that their golf games had significantly improved simply because they were no longer "leaking emotional energy" by feeling frustrated or even miserable while they played. In their conscious decision to move toward happiness - which did not happen for these players quickly or overnight - they had adopted a whole new inner game that was based on acceptance, appreciation, passion and fun. Golf had improved because of the positive attitude (energy), not the other way around.
Spirit of Golf ~ Tim Kremer
Golf is a perfect metaphor for life. And the above principles apply to all things - in your relationships, or as a musician, public speaker, or as someone who wants to lose weight.
As for golf, whether you think it's a ridiculous, frustrating waste of free time or the most challenging way to spend it, golf can allow you to stretch to capacity, to feel excited, challenged and content...or none of the above. If you are able to accept the unacceptable, in golf, or in life, the rewards are magnificent.
I've been golfing over the summer, enjoying walking on beautiful grass with great people, doing something I love. I sometimes notice inner judgment when I tee off into the rough versus hitting the fairway. It's never "critical" - I can always get back on the fairway, the sweet spot of golf life, but somewhere inside I feel it's not okay to make anything other than a "good" drive. It's easy to be judgmental; that was "bad," this is "good". This self-judgment occurs a lot! Notice when you are judging yourself, out loud or silently inside. You may not be aware of it and it's a killer. Period.
In his book, Golf for Enlightenment: The Seven Lessons for the Game of Life, Deepok Chopra writes:
Being far more intricate than most moves, a golf swing demands as much relaxation as you can bring to it. ... many golfers, amateur and professional alike, are bedeviled by memories of bad shots that live on as tension in the body that impairs the ability to swing with anything like a natural rhythm. ... Relaxation is actually a profound spiritual secret.
Judgment is very tricky and sabotaging. When made, a change occurs in the physiology of the mind and body. Judgment is a verdict and a sentence. It is a ruling made as a result of not being perfect. Unacceptable negative thoughts spur a series of emotional (chemical) reactions which create emotional and muscular tension. You simply cannot give your best performance with this much constriction. The feeling of "this is unacceptable" takes the body/mind from being in the flow to being plain stuck.
I'm useless because:
- I missed that 3 foot putt!
- I binged and now I hate myself!
- I went sharp on those high (trumpet) notes!
- I felt intimidated and couldn't give my best presentation!
Very often, the self-judgment is not identified; it's hiding! But what becomes very visible is the impact it has on the body and mind, creating poor performance in the game of golf and the game of life.
≈ Worrying about performance is a killer when it comes to wanting to play (or live) at your peak. There's enough stress in life - we don't need to compound it by adding pressure and judgment about our golf games or less than perfect performance!
≈ Leave the judgment behind - see how good, and pleased, you can really be. I shaved 6 strokes off my average golf score this summer through applying the intention to enjoy myself, loosen my judgment and appreciate every little thing I could!
Calmly set your intention to:
- Loosen your grip - on the club and in your life
- Concentrate on the beauty around you - you'll perform better
- Revel in the joy of the game - "Any shot's o.k." attitude provides acceptance; a calm body
- Being neutral but curious after a "bad shot"
- Smile deep down - the game of life improves when not wasted on judgments!
Enjoy doing the things that give you a thrill, the things you do because you love them. You just might surprise yourself!
When I've finished my golf game, what I like to recall and savor are the fulfilling shots - the ones I really liked! ... the long, straight drives, the 35 foot putt that deliciously rolled in, and the 90 yard pitch that beautifully arched through the sky and landed 3 inches from the cup. It's important in life and in golf to accept every shot, to loosen up, to relieve the pressure we apply to ourselves. What's needed for peak performance is a calm, centered, happy place. When we can truly accept the unacceptable... the bad shot, the extra pounds, the missed note...our body can not only perform better, we also recapture the fun!
Quote of the Month
When our clear intention is, "How can I enjoy my life more?"it's amazing what things seem to fall effortlessly into place. What a good choice to practice - judgment or ease!
~ Bernadette Hunter
Bernadette Hunter, MS, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and EFT
Performance Specialist with over 25 years experience.
Bernadette works with athletes, musicians, performing artists, public speakers, and individuals.
She is the founder of
You can reach her at 303-300-6733 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Learn to control your emotions or they will control you."
"Competition is won or lost on the 6-inch playing field between the ears."
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