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Archived Newsletters - Non-Resistance:

Newsletter July 2002
Vol. III, Edition 7

Non-Resistance

by Joan King

Whenever we resist something, that very resistance indicates a belief in the power of that event or person to hurt us. On the golf course, does someone or something "push your buttons" and cause a feeling of disheartenment, which then causes you to lose focus? Although it is really powerless, does your mistaken belief in an unkind remark about you or your golf game induce despair?

What you resist, persists!

By not resisting, you can dissolve the false belief and consequently the false power to be hurt. For no one can hurt us emotionally without our permission. It is not the outer action that brings unhappiness; it is your inner reaction that causes pain. When you no longer resist the event, you no longer believe in its false power. When you no longer believe in its false power, you no longer suffer. The suffering is in our acceptance of its false power, and not in the event itself.

Now that the USGA and Wimbledon Champions have been crowned, it is a good time to review what we learned about mental non-resistance from the players in these tournaments.

1. Patience: In the USGA Open the players took five plus hours to play in twosomes. Most golfers believe the myth that says, "when the play slows down I lose my rhythm". We all watched as Tiger maintained his demeanor, and his swing tempo while playing with Sergio who waggled over the ball up to two dozen times.

How do you stay focused and maintain your rhythm? You don't give away your power and attention by resisting the event. You stay focused when it is your turn to hit. You will only "lose" your rhythm if you think of something other than the task at hand and your tempo. It isn't the fact that you are moving at a particular pace that gives you your rhythm, it is what is going on inside your head. You can regain your tempo and rhythm by swinging the club, humming a song, and deep breathing. You can lose your rhythm by focusing on what the other players are doing, or thinking about anything other than your shot. Patience has to do with control. When things go the way we want them to, most of us have a lot of patience. We lose our patience when we feel that we have lost control of the situation. The reality is that we don't have control over things outside of us. Champions know that the only thing they can control is themselves and their reaction to the outside events.

"Patience is needed with everyone, but first of all with ourselves."
-Saint Francis de Sales

2. Positive attitude: Despite ribbing, catcalls, and verbal insults about his family and his girlfriend throughout the USGA Open, Sergio Garcia was able to maintain his composure because of the attitude he had adopted prior to beginning the tournament. He did not resist the attacks against him. He laughed at them, and went about his business the best way that he knew how. The players who complained about the condition of the golf course, the length, rain, etc. weren't seen near the winner's circle. Phil Michelson fended off leading questions by reporters by consistently talking about the good aspects of the tournament. He didn't resist the noise of the New York fans. He relished their support. Do you have a voice in your head that says Ooooh when you miss a putt, just like the galleries did at Bethpage? If so, what does that do to your demeanor? Can you apply the principle of non-resistance to the mannerisms of the people you are playing with?

3. Perspective: When asked about Tiger, Sergio said, "I respect his game and his persona, but we have to remember we are just humans trying to put a little ball in a little hole." Is your attention on trying to beat someone, or make a certain score happen? When Gary Player won the US Open, his focus was on the bigger picture. He prayed every morning in church and didn't ask to win the tournament, but for courage and patience. Every day he looked at the scoreboard and visualized his name on it. He saw Ken Venturi's name in gold (the previous year's winner). Every day as he walked past the scoreboard, he stopped and visualized his name in gold replacing Venturi's name.

4. Imagery: The Wimbledon (Tennis) Championships are over, and a new champion has been crowned. Lleyton Hewitt at 22 is the number one player in the world. Part of his preparation on his rise to that position was the constant use of imagery. In his matches he imagined himself as David fighting against Goliath (better players) and beating them. He constantly played the music from the movie "Rocky" to give himself the motivation and energy to win.

5. Perseverence: Annika Sorestam who was the only player in the USGA Open Women's) Championship to score four rounds par or better and came in second. "I did everything I could today and I think I did everything I could this week to finish under par in this championship on this golf course." Sorestam said. "Juli (Inkster who had 66 in the last round) played really good today. There was nothing I could do about it. When you give everything, what else can you do? So I'm going to walk away from here this week and I'll be smiling anyway."

6. Goal Setting: Serena Williams beat her sister Venus to win the Wimbledon Women's (Tennis) Championship on Saturday in London. On Sunday the Williams' sisters won the Wimbledon Women's Doubles Championship. They are number 1 and 2 in the world rankings. When Serena was asked how long she would savor her straight-sets victory against sister Venus, her reply was, "That was so yesterday. We have plenty of time in the future to savor it." And Venus added, "We're already looking ahead." "Right now, people are trying to get better and improve their games, so we're going to have to do something else."

All of these champions have a great attitude that they have practiced over and over again in their competitions. They do not let outside events influence their level of play. They know there is really nothing to fear, therefore, nothing to resist. They know that there is nothing to fear, except fear itself", as Franklin D. Roosevelt said. No one can hurt you, no matter what they do to you. Nothing can upset you, (unless you let it) regardless of what happens to you. This simple truth, creates miraculous inner tranquility and confidence.

It is not what we do today, but how we do it that counts.

Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performance!

Copyright PMI 2002. All Rights Reserved.

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