It is no secret that I love to play golf. The need to be active is in my DNA. And, when I am active on a routine basis I am more creative. We all are.
In order to re-calibrate myself I often go to the driving range to hit golf balls. I focus solely on my swing and in making contact with the ball. Really, sessions at the driving range is like doing yoga for me.
I find my tempo as I settle into the routine of hitting golf balls. I am relaxed, focused and gradually I enter a state of mindfulness as all other responsibilities are shelved for this time. Coming out of the practice session is like a breath of psychological air – I have a new perspective on challenging issues.
Recently as I headed to the driving range, I witnessed an elderly woman at the chipping area. She had to be in her 80’s. She had curly white hair, she was hunched over which was partly due to her age and partly due to her swing. She was focused, determined and the majority of her chip shots were landing within 18 inches of the hole. I marvelled at her determination and her focus. I smiled at her and said ‘Hi’. She replied “Hello” and laughed with “Given my age, chipping is the one area of the game that I can still improve on.” I replied that “it doesn’t look like you need much improvement”. She answered ” this game has been very good to me for many years, and I love the solitary practice”.
As part of our life routine, it is important to find at least one activity that we can enjoy and become mindful in. Hitting golf balls is one activity, practicing a musical instrument is another, gardening, pottery etc. something that lets you enter that state of mindfulness.
When challenges enter your life ( i.e. a divorce, a job loss, anxiety or anger) having an activity already established that allows you to enter the state of mindfulness helps you get grounded and enables you to navigate the difficult times more effectively.