MENTAL REHEARSAL

Trusting the well-programmed subconscious mind to swing a golf club to hit a golf ball to a target is a learned master skill; and experience offers that developing this skill requires mental rehearsal and practice, practice, and more practice. Was struck that perhaps Dr. Joseph Murphy’s visualization genius, offered in Power of Your Subconscious Mind, can help during the Pre-Shot Routine and Ritual on the golf course. Dr. Murphy offers,

The Chinese say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” William James, the father of American psychology, stressed the fact that the subconscious mind will bring to pass any picture held in the mind and backed by faith. Act as though I am, and you will be…The builder visualizes the type of building he wants; he sees it as he desires it to be completed. His imagery and thought-processes become a plastic mold from which the building will emerge—a beautiful or an ugly one, a skyscraper or an exceptionally low one. His mental imagery is projected as it is drawn on paper. Eventually, the contractor and his workers gather the essential materials, and the building progresses until it stands finished, conforming perfectly to the mental patterns of the architect…I use the visualization technique prior to speaking from the platform. I quiet the wheels of my mind in order that I may present to the subconscious mind my images of thought. Then, I picture the entire auditorium and the seats filled with men and women, and each one of them illumined and inspired by the infinite healing presence within each one. I see them as radiant, happy, and free…My awareness grows to the point where in my mind I can hear the voices…then I release the whole picture and go onto the platform.

Christian D. Larson suggests,

 When we proceed to train the subconscious along any line, or for special results, we must always comply with the following law: The subconscious responds to the impressions, the suggestions, the desires, the expectations, and the directions of the conscious mind, provided that the conscious touches the subconscious at the time. The secret therefore is found in the two phases of the mind touching each other as directions are being made; and to cause the conscious to touch the subconscious, it is necessary to feel conscious action penetrating your entire interior system; that is, you should feel at the time that you are living not simply on the surface, but through and through. At such times, the mind should be calm and in perfect poise, and should be conscious of that finer, greater something within you that has greater depth than mere surface existence. (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 41)

Dr. Joe Dispenza contends,

When we are learning anything new and taking it to a level of skill and mastery, we follow four basic steps,

  1. First, we start out unconsciously unskilled. We do not even know that we don’t know.
  2. As we learn and become aware of what we want, we become consciously unskilled.
  3. As we begin to initiate the process of demonstration (the “doing”), if we keep applying what we learn, we eventually become consciously skilled. In other words, we can perform an action with a certain amount of conscious effort.
  4. If we go further, continuously putting our conscious awareness on what we are demonstrating, and we are successful in performing the action repeatedly, we become unconsciously skilled. When we begin the process of change, this is where we want to end. (Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, 2012, page 452)

 Some recent reflections concerning facilitation of subconscious programming are as follows:

  • Positive and improvement language is a must. This is the law of attraction at work: as Golf as Guru partners Woody and Birdy Ball coach, one gets back what one puts out through personality, character, and mind. One is not able to hide on the golf course.
  • Relaxed concentration—all forces of mind, character and personality are focused on the desired result—and a clear and quiet conscious mind are a must.
  • Visualization: picture in the conscious mind a clear idea of the desired result.
  • Energize deep, “must have,” “must do,” serene, strong, and passionate connection of the conscious mind with the inner human systems: see it, feel it, taste it, smell it, think it, touch it in the eleven human systems; and see and feel the ball at the target in every atom of the body.
  • Eliminate doubt; and be calm, “…well balanced, persistent, deeply poised and harmonious in all thoughts and actions.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 46)
  • Think of all the facilities being used in golf when giving full expression to a desired result: body mechanics, club mechanics, ball position and target.
  • Begin days with positive, desired result ways and means. Bring everything alive in the conscious and subconscious minds several times per day.
  • Go to sleep relaxed: review the day’s pleasantries; and chat with the subconscious about desired results, ways and means.
  • If there are skills that need work and development, direct the subconscious with necessary improvements every day as frequently as possible and before going to sleep.
  • Practice makes perfect: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The more one trains the subconscious to work with the conscious direction, the easier it becomes to get the subconscious to respond to directions. Trusting the subconscious to swing the club takes patience, time, and effort.
  • “Whenever the subconscious mind is aroused, mental power and working capacity are invariably increased, sometimes to such an extent that the individual seems to be possessed with a superhuman power.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 43)

Working with the subconscious mind is a “new learning process” for this golfer; and I make absolutely no claim to be a subconscious mind expert. “Know what you want, and then want it with all the life and power that is in you.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 81) Have fun!!

 

 

MENTAL REHEARSAL

As a student of golf, trusting the subconscious mind to swing the golf club has evolved a growing passion to be more positive, to learn, and to improve because the game is the “funest” and “bestest” ever. Placing swing thoughts on a bus to Tucson, giving clear “desired results” to the subconscious and passionately connecting the conscious mind with the subconscious mind is a completely new, exciting experience. Simply see and feel the ball in the hole on and off the course and at the practice range.

An innate desire to have the complicated golf swing “perfect” and growing awareness of the powers of the subconscious has energized interest in learning more about how the subconscious mind can be programmed—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—to facilitate improved performance. Christian D. Larson offers,

 When we proceed to train the subconscious along any line, or for special results, we must always comply with the following law: The subconscious responds to the impressions, the suggestions, the desires, the expectations, and the directions of the conscious mind, provided that the conscious touches the subconscious at the time. The secret therefore is found in the two phases of the mind touching each other as directions are being made; and to cause the conscious to touch the subconscious, it is necessary to feel conscious action penetrating your entire interior system; that is, you should feel at the time that you are living not simply on the surface, but through and through. At such times, the mind should be calm and in perfect poise, and should be conscious of that finer, greater something within you that has greater depth than mere surface existence. (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 41)

Dr. Joe Dispenza contends,

I define mental rehearsal in this way: remembering what we want to demonstrate, and then cognitively experiencing what it is like to physically do the action by step by step It is mentally seeing our “self” physically demonstrating or practicing an action or skill…With mental rehearsal, if we can stay focused, the brain does not know the difference between physically doing the activity and remembering the activity…Mental rehearsal gives us the ability to create a new level of mind without doing anything physical other than thinking…mental rehearsal requires us to separate ourselves from distractions, and should be done when we are prepared and able to devote our full attention to the concepts we have chosen to make real in our life. (Dr. Joe Dispensa, 2007, Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, Florida, pages 391-92, 406)

Some recent reflections concerning facilitation of subconscious programming are as follows:

[NOTE: This golfer stakes no claim on being a subconscious mind programming expert!!]

  • Positive and improvement language is a must. This is the law of attraction at work: as Golf as Guru partners Woody and Birdy Ball coach, one gets back what one puts out through personality, character, and mind.
  • Relaxed concentration—all forces of mind, character and personality are focused on the desired result—and a clear and quiet conscious mind are a must.
  • Visualization: picture in the conscious mind a clear idea of the desired result.
  • Energize deep, “must have,” “must do,” serene, strong, and passionate connection of the conscious mind with the inner human systems: see it, feel it, taste it, smell it, think it, touch it in the eleven human systems: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, nervous, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, integumentary/exocrine, skeletal, muscle, reproductive, renal, and urinary. Simply feel the meaning of the desired result with consciousness; and see and feel in every atom of the human system the ball at the target. Eliminate doubt; and be calm, “…well balanced, persistent, deeply poised and harmonious in all thoughts and actions.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 46)
  • Think of all the facilities being used in golf when giving full expression to a desired result: body mechanics, club mechanics, ball position, and target. This golfer likes mantras: I am…
  • Begin days with positive, desired result ways and means. Bring everything alive in the conscious and subconscious minds several times per day.
  • Go to sleep relaxed: review the day’s pleasantries; and chat with the subconscious about desired results and ways and means.
  • If there are skills that need work and development, direct the subconscious with necessary improvements every day as frequently as possible and before going to sleep.
  • Practice makes perfect: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The more one trains the subconscious to work with the conscious direction, the easier it becomes to get the subconscious to respond to directions.
  • “Whenever the subconscious mind is aroused, mental power and working capacity are invariably increased, sometimes to such an extent that the individual seems to be possessed with a superhuman power.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 43)

As mentioned, working with the subconscious mind is a new experience for this golfer; and I make absolutely no claim to be a subconscious mind expert. A commitment is to keep you informed about progress experiences. “Know what you want, and then want it with all the life and power that is in you.” (Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them, page 81) Simply, be, see, and feel the ball in the hole!

 

GOLF as GURU

Why write Golf as Guru: Mindfullness, Awareness and Self-Restraint? WOW! What a learning journey golf has opened for a student of life and the game of golf, all the way from growing up in Northwestern Ohio playing golf with Mom and Dad, circling the globe, and arriving here in Arizona continuing to play golf, year-round with my wonderful wife of 50 years and counting. As the title and subtitle offer, the sport of golf has been a great coach and teacher; has evolved a concept of mind”full”ness; has breathed a peek at how awareness really differentiates professional golfers from average golfers; and has been a mighty fine instructor when it comes to the learned skill of self-restraint. It really is fantastic to remain sane after two shots in the lake to the right of the fairway! Everything is OK the way it is! All one has is now and the passionate intent to play the cards dealt.

A significant experience has been that if a golfer is open to new learning and is psychologically ready, golf offers infinite messages: at practice on the range; on the golf course; while perking reflections about the sport and relishing golf literature; during a work-out; and just sitting in silence and solitude to experience personal behavior in life and on the golf course. Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, a widely read English author and scriptwriter, nails it: “To find a man’s character (and personality), play golf with him.” Woody and Birdy Ball, Golf as Guru’s entertaining characters, chuckle on every page as they think about playing partners and continue to dream about set-up, ball position, turn and tilt, the backswing, transition, forward swing with turn, tilt, hip-turn and pull, release, impact, extension, and finish; and contemplate smoothness, timing, tempo, and rhythm on every putt.

Golf as Guru is simply a thank you to golf as coach and therapist. It is indeed integral and reminds of General Douglas MacArthur, in the context of football at West Point, when he remarked, “Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that at other times and places reap the fruits of victory.”

GOLF COURSE EXPERIENCE

Have been reflecting on memorable golf course “brand” experiences over the years; and impression and guest service rise to the top of the heap of sensual brand attributes that create a residual, thirst to return.

Impression: clean, well-maintained, and fun place to be because it inspires a “feel good” sensation.

  • Grounds and facilities: plush green turf and well-manicured landscape; parking lot is clean, well-striped and has a good surface. Note the number of cars and license plates to become aware of who the customers are, and from which states they have traveled.
  • Signage and identification: useful—what and/or where, in good taste and well-placed: parking, bag drop, club house, rest rooms; warm-up, practice and instruction area; practice golf balls; 1st and 10th
  • Warm-up, practice, and instruction area: unobstructed, inviting, and spacious. Range has available practice balls and ball baskets; accurate distance markers and golf balls are visible from the teeing area; distances are marked at teeing area and changed as teeing area turf is managed; putting green accommodates several golfers; short game area has targets at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 yards; and a bunker that allows sand shots to be made either to the range or to a safe putting green is available.
  • Pro shop: customer friendly with open and spacious feel. Has good selection, tasteful merchandising, and new merchandise from recognized manufacturers; offers club fitting, club storage and club repair services; and present are flyers offering golf lessons, clinics, demonstrations, seminars, and golf car service.
  • Postings and feedback requests: today’s pin locations are visibly posted; local rules, pace-of-play and etiquette reminders are posted and available as handouts for golfers. Guest service evaluation surveys are available at check-in counter. A suggestion box is clearly visible.
  • Food and beverage area: organized, attractive, clean, and not cluttered. Menu is visible and inviting.
  • Course: flat, well-groomed teeing grounds with attractive hole number markers, ball washers and tee markers; good greens, fairways, and roughs; manicured and recently maintained bunkers with good rakes; and course is free of mixed grasses and weeds.
  • Drinking fountains and rest rooms: clean, well-maintained, and well-serviced.
  • Maintenance facility: not cluttered and organization is noteworthy; equipment is clean, not worn-out, appears serviceable, and expresses pride of mechanics and groundskeepers.

Guest service: guests are well taken care of by professional, experienced, courteous staff who pay attention to details that make sparkling, positive, and lasting guest experiences. The feeling is that of a guest, perhaps one of the family, not just a number.

  • Initial contact and attitude: friendly, upbeat, happy, and enthusiastic. Individuals make eye contact, smile, greet, enquire, offer products and services, respond to requests, follow-up and do not make excuses and blame others. Reminds of Tolstoy’s diary comment, “I cannot describe a person to you; however, I call tell you what effect he (she) has on me.” Folks do not remember what you did or what you said. They remember how you made them feel.
  • Leadership and management: impression and felt energy that is witnessed.

A round of golf is a simple “slice of life” and a field of friendly strife where seeds are planted to bear fruits at future times and places. George Heard, a great golf partner and friend, always said on the first tee, “Golf is just a slice of heaven.” Simply embrace the challenge and opportunity for perfect response to life, or heaven on earth. Stop what you are doing, breathe deep, be, become and feel the emotional experiences! Have a nice round of golf!

MASTER of MIND”FULL”NESS

The mind is a remarkable gift; however, a single, errant golf ball in the pond on the right of the fairway can rapidly orchestrate a disruptive, conscious mind ramble of swing thoughts. As Voltaire reminds, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Perhaps trusting the subconscious mind can enable us to avoid two errant shots from insanity. Let’s peek at a recent journey into the subconscious mind and the opening of a new area for awareness: the part of our mind where 95% of life’s experiences reside.

Interest in the subconscious was inspired by a frustrating journey of “rightitus and pullitius.” The trek started with the coach:  we uncovered 32 symptoms that were practiced and taken to the course; and the push right, pull left continued. After reflection and study of literature, a conclusion was that perhaps the root cause was “timing” that was not allowing the clubface to arrive square to the ball-target line at impact. Sounded simple!

Study quickly revealed that timing was a process: synchronous, one piece take-away; back swing to transition (unhurried, 45-degree hip turn; 90-degree shoulder turn; shoulder tilt); smooth transition; accelerating forward swing launched with left hip and knee turn and unwinding upper torso; followed by arms, wrists and hands gripping the golf club arriving with a clubface square to the ball-target line at impact; hands pointing to the intended target. Not an easy fix! Even attempted writing a song to facilitate smoothness, rhythm, timing, and tempo.

Enter the concept of trust the subconscious to perform: with passion burning, the captain of the ship squeezes the auto-pilot button and trusts the carefully programmed subconscious to creatively deliver a ball to an intended target. Tiger Woods commented, “I have learned to trust the subconscious, and my instincts have never lied to me.” Joan King offers, “When you are playing at your peak levels, you are trusting your game to your subconscious mind and allowing your swing to happen automatically.”

Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the swing except that the conscious mind “thought” there is something wrong. The “ah-ha:” thinking about mechanics results in jerky, inconsistent, off-balance, out-of-tempo, and off-line shots; and if pieces of the swing are practiced, the on-the-course result is pieces of the swing. What pre-shot routine and ritual are working?

  • SMILE!! DEEP BREATHING!! INTEGRATE HEAD, HEART (subconscious) and HARA (center).
  • MASTER of MIND”FULL”NESS MANTRA: inherent in essence is the power—conscious mind and subconscious mind—to manifest a desired result through the personality, character and mentality. Simply mind-body connection, psychoneuroimmunology.
  • Select club.
  • See and deeply feel the ball at the target.
  • Feel initial hip turn; width of arc; shoulder tilt on take-away, release from transition; shoulder tilt at impact; and clubface square to ball-target line at impact through release-turn and pull to extension and finish (right heel showing).
  • Deeply feel trust of subconscious to manifest the desired result.
  • Immaculate set-up.
  • Be mindful; relaxed focus; be one with environment, club, ball and target; pull trigger.
  • CELEBRATE! And remember to check Xlibris.com for Golf as Guru: Mindfullness, Awareness and Self-Restraint. You will be pleased to meet Woody and Birdy Ball.

Some subconscious literature sources:

  • Allen, D. (2017). The Secrets, Mysteries and Powers of the Subconscious Mind.
  • Bargh, J. (2017). Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Fried, K. (2019). Subconscious Power: Use Your Inner Mind to Create the Life You’ve Always Wanted. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Hill, N. (2019). Think and Grow Rich: The Secret To Wealth For The 21st Century. DeMarque. Amazon Whispernet.
  • King, J. (2017). The Heart of Golf: Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances. Amazon Whispernet.
  • Murphy, J. (2019). The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. DeMarque. Amazon Whispernet.
  • Sternberg, E. (2016). NeuroLogic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior. New York, NY: Random House.

TANTRUMS of a PERFECTIONIST-REFORMER

Christian Larson’s message is clear: our sickness, disease, illness, health, wellness, and wellbeing are reflections of the language we live in; and since birth the conscious mind (5% of who we are) has been programming the subconscious mind (95% of who we are) to live the actions, words, thoughts, and emotions others have offered—Mom, Dad, Gma, Gpa, teachers, monks, imams, priests, nuns, rabbis, coaches, mentors, ministers, military buddies, Army brass, professors, classmates, neighbors, spouses, kids, etc. These programs are the result of past thinking and tomorrows the result of present thinking. We have been mental parents, and we shall be our own mental children. All that a person does and brings to pass is the vesture of thought. What one thinks and passionately or lazily passes along to the body as a “must do” or “should do” is what one gets. The challenge is to close the gap between the authentic self, the language of integrity, and the others’ self that we have chosen to create because of what others have offered and we have chosen. The challenge and opportunity are to tell the truth. As a perfectionist-reformer-know it all who fears rejection, has targeted having everything right, and has rejected the imperfect for eight decades, recognizing and admitting reality about the presented self stirs inner chaos, tantrums, and stress that is paralyzing and distracting, and generates and reinforces suffering, sickness, disease, and illness. What should one do to close the gap between John’s John (authentic self) and others’ John? Interesting questions:

What does it feel like when “presenting John”? Controlled, angry or one of its many varieties, irritated, grumpy, condescending, critical, intolerant, impatient, elevated voice, controlling (soft-nice, or hard- nasty), etc.

Do you notice anything physically or emotionally different? Tight, rigid, not focused, distracted. A-fib occasionally pays a visit when stress endures.

Do you feel happy or guilty when you are being authentic, or are you tired? Guilty and tired, angry.

Do your breathing patterns change? Shortness of breath.

Any change in appetite? Stressed, not hungry, nauseated.

What are thoughts? Positive. Negative. Self-motivated. Other motivated. Angry: Where have all the years gone? The “shoulds and oughts” are eight decades old.

Yes!! We are reflections—thinking, personality, character, and state of wellness—of the language we live-in: intrapersonal, interpersonal, person-to-persons, social media, and mass media. Larson’s message: have a clear, conscious vision of the desired well state of being (high level of wellness), health, and integral wholeness; and program the subconscious with the vision. A beginning…

-Simple.

-Virtues: gratitude, trust-hope, compassion; courage and honesty; and integrity and prudence.

-Master of authentic self and model the way as a person, in relationships, socially, institutionally, culturally, by helping others, and caring about others.

-Quality, common good, compassion, and virtue in all I am and all I do.

-Peace of mind with purpose and connections created on a foundation of compassion.

-Wellness: point where an individual is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually capable of maintaining his-her highest quality of life (lifestyle and habits) through self-responsibility, self-leadership, and self-management.

-Illness: individual looks for cause and medical professional is partner in resolving the illness rather than as a “fix it” handyperson.

-Quality of life attributes manifested through personality and character are evolutionary, revolutionary, leading edge, and a creative leap forward.

-Authentic happiness is process, an evolving journey, and a reasonable goal.

Let the subconscious mind programming begin through the brain center and conscious mind connection…

-Concentrate on finer mental life that permeates physical brain (organ).

-Directions to subconscious (95% of who one is.) through brain center.

-Physical ailments: concentrated on subconscious mentality that permeates the organ, muscle, or nerve.

-Impress conscious realization on any part of body: think it, feel it, see it, taste it, smell it, and touch it.

-Physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental wellness: integral life practice.

-Harmony of the human organs and eleven human systems.

Yes! We are thinking, personality, character, and wellness reflections of the language we live in. Let’s live in the language of the authentic self! Close the gap between the authentic self and the represented self, the healthy ego, and the unhealthy ego. Simply one step at a time. Perfectionism creates stress, distractions, and tantrums! The vision offers happiness, a manner of traveling with strategies as follows:

-Tell the truth, do not lie. Honesty, integrity, and morality.

-Meditate for healthy partnership of the conscious and subconscious minds and for mindfulness, awareness, and self-restraint.

-Guided meditation therapy.

First Step Resources

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Evolving Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Dr. Joe Dispenza.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

 

TRANSCEND and INCLUDE

Transcend and include others! Simply close the gap between the others’ self and the authentic self.

A quick and dirty review of political party platforms exposes the partisan differences, the reality of limited and partial truths, and the downsides of political party sorting as detrimental to authentic individual and collective identity. Moreover, there are glaring inadequacies of both parties because of a lack of view big enough to address the complex issues facing America and global partners today. This certainly helps one understand partisan political division, discord, and complexity in today’s evolving, awakening, and growing world; and it reinforces why folks, including neighbors, are unable to agree on what America needs to unfold for generations to come. We are evolving and there are simply different levels of consciousness in our respective cultures, communities, and neighborhoods.

Is there an option to political party sorting? Integral politics holds promise and offers a process perspective; a map of consciousness and human development; a way of comprehending life and reality in broad yet precise terms; a meta-theory that incorporates the core truths of hundreds of theories; and organizes the profound insights of the spiritual traditions, philosophy, modern science, developmental psychology, and many other disciplines, into a coherent whole. It simply integrates the perspectives that great thinkers, teachers, and researchers have brought to our understanding of self and world, the individual inner-mind and emotions-and outer-physical body-and the collective inner-family and culture- and outer-institutions. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 9-10, 114-15.)

Despite all the characteristics that differentiate us—race, language, religion, gender, wealth, and many others—we are all equal in terms of our basic humanity…The problem is that when we see ourselves only in terms of this or that group, we tend to forget about our wider identity as human beings…A key element in biased feelings is what we call “attachment”…What I am calling for is that we move beyond our limited or biased sense of closeness to this or that group or identity, and instead cultivate a sense of closeness to the entire human family. The attitude of “us” and “them” can and often does lead to conflict, even war. Much better, and more realistic, is the attitude of “we.” (Dalai Lama, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, 2011. NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, pages 29, 51, 52.)

The evolutionary impulse intends to transcend and include, to improve the political processes, and to resolve the political party sorting issues. We are interdependent, share humanity, and target for happiness and avoidance of suffering. Life is short! Let us nurture quality in all we are and all we do, universal compassion, common good, virtue, authentic showing up, be here now, and a sense of We the people.”

 

 

 

 

WOODY and BIRDY BALL

Golf, entertainment, fun and creative, these are just a few of the words that capture the spirit and story of Woody and Birdy Ball, the caretakers of readers who take the opportunity to experience the journey of Golf as Guru: Mind”full”ness, Awareness and Self-Restraint.

Our culture today has become driven by entertainment through media frenzies, predominantly inspired by television and social media. As the manuscript for Golf as Guru was being completed and a publisher being selected, the inspiration arose to have the book be entertaining for a reader. Thus, were born the spirits of Woody and Birdy Ball, the two golf ball characters to be discovered on the cover and at the beginning of each chapter as one enjoys the journey through the book.

Woody and Birdy were born around a table at a Mesa, Arizona Starbucks. Project participants were my dear wife, Cindy; Aubree Garrett, Graphic Designer and Illustrator (aubreeshae.com); and the author. After business and creative vision dialogue, Cindy and I turned Aubree loose to create Woody and Birdy. Initially, since she was not a golfer, it was challenging for her to create golf ball characters who were dressed like golfers and in golfing motion; however, once we gave birth to Woody Ball and Birdy Ball, Aubree was off to the races. Weekly, as each illustration arrived, Cindy and I would grab the computer and excitedly view each illustration, fist pump, celebrate and be entertained. It was a fun project; and our hope is that you will enjoy the journey of Woody and Birdy Ball as much as we have. You will quickly note that on the cover of Golf as Guru are Woody and Birdy riding their magic carpet to The World Golf Hall of Fame, St. Augustine, Florida. Enjoy!!

JUST SIT!

Pay attention, trust, let go; and do not lie.

It feels like the country is a mess and that post truth, and consequently mistrust, is bubbling with conspiracy, spins, lies, partial truths, and more lies! Simply unhealthy ego, work-in-process human condition, and evolution. Daily, media headlines unfold racism, police shootings, mass shootings, voting rights suppression, political party sorting and associated partial truths, Jim Crow laws in new clothing, immigration crisis, critical race theory, LGBTQ rights, gun control chaos, automatic weapons violence, and politicized COVID-19. Americans are suffering, democracy is suffering, and the country is crossing the line of departure for a civil war, and more pain and suffering. Where have all the common good, virtue, compassion and love gone? A culture that deliberately creates human suffering is wrong! And each of us are expressions of our culture.  Collectively, we can do better!

An analytical glance reveals a least common denominator to be polarization, nurtured by festering, unhealthy selves that unleash pain and suffering in many forms. Collective, interactive dialogue offers a breath of evolutionary optimism and hope for Americans to have productive, interactive, authentic dialogue, build coalitions, work together, and experience compassion as the antibiotic to confront this nasty infection. No one needs to suffer, and no one wants to suffer. A nice place to begin the journey from unhealthy self to the authentic self is to have fun buying some stickers. Catherine Price, in her Mindfulness Journal, recommends,

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, the wall behind your kitchen sink, your alarm clock, or the cover of this journal. Every time you see one of these stickers, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BREATHE, AND BE.

Yes, stop what you are doing, take a slow, deep breath, enjoy the present moment, sense the emptiness, zero, spaciousness, and freedom. You might want to consider putting stickers on your computer, the car mirror, or the bathroom mirror. And have fun picking out stickers: Hobby Lobby offered beautiful butterflies, and they work like a charm.

If you are not already a meditator, a recommended next step is that you find a meditation coach and start a meditation practice. If you have never meditated before, have fun with it and be patient. To get you started, each morning practice sitting meditation for at least ten to twenty minutes. Find a comfortable, quiet place. You can sit in a chair, on a cushion, in your truck or car, or on the floor. When you sit in a chair, place your feet flat on the ground and sit upright. If you sit on the floor, sit in whatever way is comfortable: cross-legged, on a pillow, or on a meditation bench. Select a way that fits you! As you begin to take your seat, rock to the left and right, and then back and forth, to settle your buttocks. As you begin to settle in, sit with your head erect and your chin tucked in slightly. Put your shoulders back. Visualize your ears being aligned with your belly button; lift your head and neck as if they were being pulled by the sky. Find a comfortable position for your hands, such as resting them in your lap or one hand on each of your knees. You can sit with your eyes open or closed. If you sit with them open, lower your gaze, pick a spot on the floor in front of you, and let your eyes rest there. In sitting meditation, posture is like a foundation and is quite important for a resting mind: as the body goes, so goes the mind; as the mind goes, so goes the body. Good posture facilitates the easy flow of the breath, too. Pay attention, trust, and let go. As you settle into your chosen posture, spend a few moments paying attention to your breathing, focusing on each in-breath and each out-breath. Feel your abdomen expanding when you breathe in. Feel it contracting when you breathe out. Note how the breath tickles the skin between your nose and upper lip. There is nothing to be accomplished, nothing to be gained. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Do not attach yourself to them, and do not reject them. Just observe them, let them go, and keep breathing. Experience the thrill of just being with everything. If you find you are having difficulty staying focused on your breath, use the technique of counting your breaths as a support. Take one in-breath and one out-breath, and count one, in, out, and count two, and so forth, until you reach ten. Once you have reached ten, count backward. Keep in mind that the point is not in getting to ten but in staying connected to your breath, being mindful of your breath. Pay attention, trust, let go.

Sitting practice offers a tremendous sense of freedom and peace. With daily practice, meditation can quite easily become a part of daily activities. The deep game is not about being dealt a better hand, but about playing the cards we are dealt with as much intelligence, care, and creativity as we possibly can. Now you are finally free to be the freedom you have been from the beginning. ‘Just this’ is the ultimate reward that comes from inhabiting the particular cartoon character you drew from this Kosmic deck of cards. Lao-tzu’s (Stephen Mitchel, 11) wisdom is clear, concise, and complete:

We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.

We work with being, but non-being is what we use.

Just sit; be transparent, authentic, pure, safe, all seeing, and feel the freedom. Simply do not lie.

LEADERSHIP 101

As Americans, we each will have important “leader” decisions to make in November 2024: Who are the best qualified persons is to lead this great Nation? As we reflect, muster, and share thoughts and ideas, some of the significant challenges for political leaders: inflation, economy, pandemics, racism, global warming, energy, war and threats of war, inequality, unemployment, health, and partisanship. Unfortunately, amidst the absolute chaotic disaster and endless distractions—confusion, hatred, violence, party-sorting, institutional destruction, inconsistent messages, investigations, absence of governance, and deliberate, planned division that arouses emotions, passions, and prejudices—it may be difficult to relax, focus, and develop a personal perspective concerning a vision of what the country can be.

Great ideas emerge from Democrats; great ideas emerge from Republicans; great ideas emerge from Independents; and a reasoned, first step, ethical decision will be to identify leaders who are physically healthy, emotionally balanced, mentally clear, and spiritually awake; who are virtuous and morally solid persons; and who have the background, experience, interests, talents, and skills to consciously evolve and create a lasting vision of this Nation for generations to come. Essential competencies for the challenging assignments are as follows:

LEADERSHIP: Leadership is an earned, trust based, influence relationship between the respective leader, other leaders, and followers who intend ethical changes that mirror common purpose.

ETHICS: The art of being a good person and practicing goodness in everyday life. Ethical persons are masters of the authentic Self and model the way as persons; in relationships; and when skillfully helping others.

STRATEGIC VISION: Create and inspire a vision and direction for the Nation and the globe.

MISSION DRIVEN: Peace-of-mind with purpose and connections built on a foundation of compassion. Has a bias for action, for trying new things, and for getting things done.

FINANCIAL SAVY: Plans, communicates, monitors, and controls; establishes risks, solves problems, and makes sound decisions concerning economic and financial performance.

STAFFING and STAFF DEVELOPMENT: Attracts and selects talented, well-qualified people. Assesses the short and long-term needs of the institution and develops plans to improve the overall structure and talent and skills strength of the institution.

QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS: Develops, uses, and sustains strong, cooperative relationships with persons. Uses effective listening and interpersonal skills to achieve mutual trust and respect.

COMMUNICATIONS: Keeps persons informed and creates communication forums to give and receive information.

BUSINESS and POLITICAL SAVY: Has a worldview perspective, is aware and understands the implications of changes in the globe. Has “street smarts,” sizes-up situations quickly, is practical, and knows the right things to do and when to do them.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: Achieves results by motivating and inspiring a winning team. Builds commitment to common goals by communicating a sense of mission and by energizing the team. Creates an environment where differences are valued, where systems work equally well for all and wherein persons can retain their uniqueness and contribute at their full potential.

EXECUTIVE MATURITY: Acts appropriately in business, social, and political situations. Displays control in complex, ambiguous, or stressful situations. Identifies with persons, shares their values and beliefs, and is comfortable with them.

HUMAN NEEDS SATISFACTION: Is “in-tune” with mental and emotional needs of others, cares about people, and puts action plans in-place to create an environment to improve the quality of life and personal productivity that is beneficial for persons. Links recognition to accomplishment and shows appreciation and expresses pride in the team’s accomplishments.

HANDLING COMPLEXITY:  Analyzes and solves complex problems. Deals effectively with large amounts of data, changing conditions, incomplete data, or uncertainty. Understands how seemingly unrelated issues interact and affect one another. Gets to the essence of complex issues quickly, generates a variety of alternative courses of action, and makes effective decisions.

IDEA LEADERSHIP: Implements breakthrough and innovative ideas, programs, and processes that make a genuine difference.

VALUES and PRINCIPLES:

Values: trust and trusted; high integrity; direct; open; honest; caring; compassionate; morality; joy; virtuous; and hope.

Principles:

-Does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.

-Objective, not self-serving, and acts in the best interests of the people being served.

-Committed to the concept of 100% responsibility: life happens because of me and not to me. Does not blame others.

-Learns from one’s own experiences in an intentional and self-directed manner and applies that learning to new challenges.

-Sets a good example for physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, spiritual awakening, ethical behavior, and integration of hidden, subconscious reflections.

There is “more than enough of the American Dream to go around.” Leaders who are aware of, understand, and are committed to conscious evolution of this remarkable country for generations to follow will model the way, be visible, and emerge to inspire and influence virtuous and ethical action. Through teamwork, exemplary leadership, goodness, and caring attention to detail, “we” will unleash all that we are and all that we can be. Let us do the homework and select political leaders who will know where the country is and what it needs; who will be surrounded by exceptionally well-qualified associates; who will diligently work to create a worldview vision for the country; and who will lead the development of the policies and plans to evolve this country toward the vision for Americans. To wet your “re-think the vision” juices, here are some preliminary reflections: 1) Openness and self-awareness extend beyond the personal; 2) Worldview lets go of ego-self as the center and anchoring reference point from which the complex dance of persons, relationships, and experiences is viewed; 3) the Kosmos is continually evolving through us; 4) Each of us are conscious agents of evolution and the way of integrity uncovers the authentic self; and 5) We are highly intuitive, flexible, transcending and including, and leading edge. Let us put quality, common good, compassion, and virtue in all we are and all we do. We need to break the habit of doing more of the past.

 

%d bloggers like this: