Golfers are an amazing slice of humanity, obsessed and willing to try and to buy just about anything that may help their game. Still, there is one vast and obvious area that golfers have yet to explore in the eternal quest for improvement: our own selves! While the latest greatest clubs and balls lure golfers, there is no escaping the fact that better equipment alone doesn’t guarantee better golfing. It is really the skill of the golfer that is and always will be the decisive factor.

We all know that golf is the most vexing of games. Confronted with hitting a tiny white ball into a small hole hundreds of yards away, we are engaged in every metaphor, challenge, pitfall and triumph of the human body, mind, emotions and spirit. There seems to be a gap between the shots we see in our minds and the shots we actually make. Golfers often feel plagued by the variability in their swings from one day to the next, even one shot to the next. And despite tremendous advances in golf technology, there is no statistical evidence that golf scores or handicaps are dropping any more than before.

Here’s the thrilling part: When you can combine greater personal mastery and mind-body fitness with the finest technological advances in golf, you’ll be poised to make quantum leaps in performance. We can all realize so much more of our golf, and human, potential!

People everywhere were fascinated by Tiger Woods as he exemplified new dimensions in achievement and self-mastery. Under his parents’ tutelage Tiger trained body, mind and spirit through both eastern and western approaches to learning. Annika Sorenstam roared to the top of the LPGA, becoming the first woman to break 60 on tour and setting amazing win-records. When asked the secrets to her success, she tells of adding physical conditioning and martial arts training to her golfing preparation.

Today’s top golfers and athletes all incorporate mind-body / east-west training approaches on-purpose, to maximize their abilities and become great winners.

So – where to start to play and be your best? You need a combination of:

a) strong, toned, flexible muscles

b) an uncluttered, concentrated, tuned-in mind c) a peaceful, confident emotional state. KiAi Golf Training provides comprehensive Mind-Body Technology for Golfers, rooted in principles and practices to develop your innate abilities to much higher levels. Having been a state and national Junior Golf champion and later senior winner myself, and become a 6th Degree Black Belt in Aikido, psychologist and holistic fitness trainer, I have learned two essential universal principles for success. These are what the Japanese call KI, or life-energy; and AI, or unification, harmony – that naturally lead to a third essential - KiAi: integrated body-mind activity and action.

Golfers too often grasp at mechanics and “tips,” ending up in a frustrating array of interesting yet ultimately ineffective pieces. And without coordinating our physical, mental and emotional activity and action on the golf course, we’re left to inordinate amounts of struggle and suffering. Gaining greater mastery of our own energy-systems is THE hidden link to playing better golf.

KI: It really helps to become aware that it is your life-energy that makes the golf ball go! KI-power is the prime natural resource moving and breathing inside everyone. When swinging a golf club you’re coiling and delivering your KI at 70-120 mph of clubhead speed, to launch and guide the golf ball from tee to green. All your energy-systems – of moving, thinking, feeling – come into intense play in the golf swing and on the golf course. Your golf game asks you to breathe freely; relax & flow; be stronger & more flexible; develop greater clarity of mind & emotional balance.

AI: The common truth that The whole is greater than the sum of its partsreflects the power of AI Oneness. It is so true of the golf swing and golf game! Learning to align, balance and unite all your body parts – and the mind with the body – is key to better performance. Imagine the power, grace and ability of any great athlete or artist in action and you see KI and AI at work.

It really is time for more holistic golf instruction that teaches Ki-Ai: unified mind-body-spirit action. Let days of killing-the-ball, beating yourself up, or trying to think or buy your way to better golf be over!

There are great mind-body skills to learn along with swing mechanics: Centering, Grounding, Breathing, Balance, Relaxation, Unification. Exercises to build KI, warm-up the golf-body, integrate mind & muscles and pattern powerful fluid swing motion feel great and make sense. Everyone has the power within to bring about the magic of a sweet shot or great round of golf, more often and more consistently.

There are mechanics to thismagic. Learning and practicing KiAi skills is the missing link, the basis for unlocking and unleashing your true potential So warm-up and condition both your body & mind – and you are guaranteed to feel great so that you can Play & Be Your Best!

Dear Colleagues & Friends,

I've been a teacher, speaker and active outspoken human all my life. Speakers always have a story - and this one just lost her ability to speak.

I do know it is a temporary chapter, thank goodness, but right now it feels like awful eternity. I'm in the fledgling aftermath of a nasty bicycle accident that's left my jaw wired shut for 3-4 weeks, in scary helpless pain not to be suffered by any soul. I thought I’d share some notes from the trenches of trauma, as the nitty-gritty always has major life-lessons and at least I can raise my voice in writing. It feels important to speak not from the light and heights, but from the dark and depths, in real time. I sincerely hope you will find some ideas here to use in your own life, and leadership.

Through the years I've been privileged to work with so many people, applying my knowledge, skills and Aikido principles to helping us all be more centered and discover how to Stress Less & Prosper More. The intention in all my talks and sessions is to bring out our best - our peak performance - as wholly empowered, embodied, empathetic people, parents, golfers, athletes, artists, businesspeople, leaders.

Yet I must say, though I’m a strong Taurus, martial artist, psychologist and 'Excellence Trainer,' this has been friggin' freaky and tough. Through these excruciating endless hours, I have seriously wondered how I’ll make it through, unable to open my mouth, in agony, barely sipping in food or even air. How to peak perform when you’re hollowed out, going through the worst?

In each trying moment, it is clear that I must marshal every shred of strength just to get through this overwhelming ordeal. Finding greatness looks very different from deep inside pain and the challenges of just keeping going and recovering. How often do we say that one's true mettle is tested - in fact required, demanded - not when things are going smoothly, but in the really rough times? A diagnosis. Divorce. Discrimination. Natural disaster. Chemo. Grief. Finances fall through. Employees and kids mutiny. The 2-minute drill to get to the Super Bowl, or not let all that hard work slip away. A global pandemic. Economic shutdown. An accident.

The rubber hit the road for me when my chin crashed hard on the pavement 9 days ago. I was blinded riding into the setting sun, didn't see a speed bump painted yellow and went flying, then crashing, then to the ER, then to surgery, now beginning an arduous recovery, in silence. It happened an hour before I was to chant for Yom Kippur services; a week before I was to be on a panel with the great author Michael Murphy and PGA Tour veteran Bobby Clampett, and play in our 10th annual Golf In The Kingdom tourney at Harding Park; and a variety of upcoming virtual speaking and teaching engagements.

Yes, deep sighs, many woes is me, during COVID no less, and on top of a knee scope just 6 weeks ago. My wife stuck far away in Israel. Loss of opportunities, total losses of income. The whole country a stressed mess. No, I must not let myself count those ways. That is the common default, and too depressing and useless no matter how tempting. Who isn't struggling these days, from a little to mightily? Yet how can I manage, when things feel honestly unbearable??

Hard as this is, I know it is vital to keep reminding myself and believing / feeling / knowing that healing is happening; this too shall pass; everything happens for reasons; and better tomorrows will come. These truths are guiding stars, buoys in the big ocean marking healing bays. It is absolutely essential to have love and support, and to have compassion for self and others. We have to let ourselves be helped, no matter how tough we may think we are or for some reason need to be. Being strong is about digging deep to do our part, while letting go to the course of events and the necessity of giving and of receiving - from helping hands and hearts that grace our lives, in times of crisis and at all times.

Much is said about the attitude of gratitude. It is a high vibration, and cornerstone of positive thinking and attracting the good our way. l believe we need to learn better how to operationalize gratitude, in a continuous multitude of specifics, in good times and bad. Here's a story I like to share, told in the book Happy Money by Ken Honda:

In Japan, a man desperately in debt went to ask for help from Wahei Takeda, a wise wealthy businessman who was the author's money-mentor. Honda says his teacher was the happiest individual he ever met because this man knew the secrets of appreciating what you have, and of ‘enough.’ In his day, Takeda was the Warren Buffett of Japan, earning his fortune on the basis of candy made by workers hearing children happily singing "Arigato" (Japanese for Thank you!) for the treats as they made them. He believed the energy in the thankful little voices went into the candy and gave it a magical competitive edge. Takeda agreed to help the destitute man but said: "First you must go say 100,000 Arigatos." The indebted man went away, completed his assignment over many months, then returned. He bowed and said to the wise wealthy man: "Arigato, I have paid my debts, I no longer need your money."

I love this story, for affirming the relationship between gratitude and prosperity - even when the chips are down or stacked against you. And for giving a simple way throughout every day to be 'woke' to all our fortune, large and small. Sometimes it's crazy hard. Sh.t happens, things are not fair and can really just suck. Yet energetically, the way to cultivate and receive abundance is to express our every gratitude, with a sincere heart, coupled with kindness and generosity. This creates a positive and powerful flow of what I feel as ‘goodness energy,’ that is remarkable and really helps.

I have built up about 40,000 Arigato’s since first reading this story. Let me suggest you set an initial goal of one thousand, said within or aloud, in regular chunks of 25-50 throughout your day. For example, here are some of my Arigato’s, in the midst of the first horrors and agonies of the accident:

1) Arigato, I had my helmet on 2) Arigato, two people heard my wails and rushed over to help 3) Arigato, I could call my friend, who came and took me to the ER 4) Arigato, I was conscious and could get up and walk. 5) Arigato, nothing else seemed to be broken. 6) Arigato, road rash is bloody and hurts, but heals 7) Huge Arigato, my knees are OK, shoulders too 8) Arigato, ER admittance was quick. 9) Arigato, they started a morphine drip asap 10) Gigantic Arigato, no brain problems 11) Arigato, I have health insurance, no kidding what would happen without it?? 12) Arigato, they could scan me head to toe 13) Arigato, the nurses and docs were all very kind 14) Arigato, there's a jaw specialist in Reno 15) Arigato, they gave me an ambulance ride to the hospital there 16) Arigato, I got a safe clean ICU bed, away from any COVID ward 17) Arigato, my Covid test was negative 18) Arigato, I managed to call my brother. 19) Arigato, for surgery the next morning, and such a capable and kind surgeon 20) Arigato, for every bit of sleep that comes over me.

You get the idea. Things aren’t usually so dramatic, but you can feel the productive energy, and relate to awareness of good things going on even in the midst of tough circumstances.

So try the Arigato experiment: Stop several times a day to say 25-50 Arigato’s (or Domo, like a simple Thanks in English). Notice you immediately become present and appreciative, which is a winning combination. With presence, you can grow and smell the roses, and find riches in each moment. With presence, you are there for yourself, deeply experiencing your life and available for its lessons. You are able to reach out, share your empathy and resources, and simply, vitally, be helpful. This truly is wealth.

The offerings of comfort, encouragement, soup, smoothie ingredients, a ride, a foot rub, a journal book in the mail, supplies left on my porch, a clean change of sheets, guided meditations, distance healing, comments and hearts on social media - every one literally means unspeakably much. Every gesture builds incomparable relationship bonds, rooted in genuine felt care, and just when needed most. So much good follows and flows. What else is there really?

We are each responsible to be the leaders of ourselves, in connection with the great power of life we have within, and the power of support and community that we all need. We are all in fact terribly fragile. And we are outfitted with inborn potential for miraculous resilience.

More than ever during these harrowing COVID times, leaders are called upon not just for expertise or acumen, but for empathy and humanity. The same is true for every one of us. What can you give, and receive? How to find and restore hope and flow when you, or another, are crashed? How do you up your game when you're down? What do you do to dig deeper? Where and how, for whom and for what? Good questions for breakout groups, even better for inner inquiry, understandings and breakthroughs.

I sense I'm almost out of my worst woods. Boy do I hope so! So many challenges, learnings and changes lie ahead. How to embrace being up for the tasks, especially when not feeling well? In this battered state, it becomes clear how much is vanity and unnecessary, that doesn't actually matter so much now and won't in the end. It is about our love, presence, and inner and outer connectedness, all along the way.

Prioritize sharing, helping, and the spirit of Arigato. Focus on the meaningful, the rewarding, the caring. And know that none of us is here to get ahead or past others. We are all co-equals, here on this planet to be collaborative and contributing, centered in both our commonality and precious uniqueness and diversity, while asked always to be ready to help and to say: Arigato, Thank You!

How do you deal with setbacks, seeming mistakes or failures that inevitably happen because you’re alive and human? Have you been taught about resilience, or thought of the ability to bounce back as a basic life skill? It really is, and one that you need to get good at since life isn’t really skipping down a yellow brick road, and Oz turns out to be more fantasyland than the real world.

Resilience is a wonderful thing, and has become one of my favorite life-fitness words. Curve balls come at us every day. Stressors press all the time, and things so often don’t go the ways we wanted. It’s easy to get discouraged, lose your mojo and confidence, and even feel like giving up. Maybe your spouse cheated on you, or said s/he’s done, or was abusive and you’re traumatized and had to leave. You got a poor job performance review; a co-worker was promoted while you weren’t; someone let you down; you’re applying for schools or positions but keep getting rejections. Maybe you lost a deal, or bought stocks that tanked or a car that’s a lemon. You didn’t make the team or land the job you had your sights on; missed a putt or catch or free throw that would have won the game; broke your sobriety with a drink or drug or cigarette; missed a flight, or showed up to the wrong place and missed an important meeting. Maybe your phone was lost or stolen, or your account hacked. Examples go on and on, and trying times accumulate most every day.

Almost every motivational speaker has their story of bouncing back from hardship, to inspire persistence, vision and resilience. TV networks show the challenges and sacrifices of Olympic athletes so that watching them compete blows us away that much more. We all lose loved ones, and are touched to tears seeing people grapple with and overcome devastating illnesses, injuries, natural disasters, traumas, tragedies.

Then there are the tales that never get old, of celebrities we would never suspect endured major failures on their way to fame and fortune. Elvis was told by his first manager: “You ain’t goin’ nowhere son, go back to drivin’ a truck.” Walt Disney was fired early in his career for “not being funny enough”, and it took him 302 tries to get funding for his Disney World dream. Colonel Sanders was turned down over a thousand times before he found backing for his fried chicken recipe. A casting director once told Oscar-winning black actor Sidney Poitier: “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Fred Astaire’s first screen evaluator failed him: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.” Albert Einstein’s teachers thought he was “slow” because he didn’t speak fluently until age 9, and he was expelled from school and didn’t get accepted to technical college because he was too rebellious. Elton John nearly died of an overdose in 1975, and Drew Barrymore was in and out of rehab as a child/young actress before becoming an adult film star and producer. Steve Jobs lasted only one semester in college before dropping out to backpack travel and take psychedelics – which later inspired his Apple genius. And Oprah’s first boss told her she was “too emotional” and “not right for television”!!

Resilience stories are always so amazing, and I never tire of hearing them. Take time right now to reflect on or write about your own personal experiences. What difficulty or setback occurred? How did you feel? What helped you bounce back? Where did you go from there? Was there a gift in what happened? What did you learn, and how did your life evolve as a result?

So many stories start flooding my mind, from big crises to small troubles. Like stumbling over a hurdle to lose a 6th grade track race; dumping salt instead of sugar into a giant yoghurt-&-fruit salad I was helping make, that ruined dessert for over a hundred people; sitting on the sidelines for months from sports injuries; years of asthma attacks and migraines; to so many impossible moments caring for our beloved mother through the terrible twists and turns of Alzheimer’s disease.

I look and see my tendency to sink into doom and gloominess. There are so many ways to go down – in fear, anxiety, frustration, helplessness, pessimism, judgment, stress. Freeze, fight and flight reactions. I can feel negativity set in, and crippling energies wanting to overtake me. Then, surprisingly, somehow amidst all that, I can sense something inside that manages to bubble up, an inner spirit that always seems to appear to help me help myself through. The miraculous power of resilience won’t let me stay down, and rises within to help me rise back up and move onwards.

Bouncing back is really a trip, and so essential and empowering! Knowing the ins and outs is so important, so here’s a roadmap: 12 Steps to WALKING THE RESILIENCE ROAD.

1. REST: Take time out. Setbacks hurt and usually are draining, so start by taking time to retreat and rest. It’s okay to sleep, lick your wounds, and give yourself some down-time. 2. RECOVER: Realize you’re in a recovery process, from some level of trauma. There are feelings that need to be felt, thoughts and beliefs that need to be explored and expressed, and wounding that needs healing.

3. REMEMBER: ‘This too shall pass.’ Your body, mind and spirit like to feel good, and resilience is built in to you. Bouncing back is part of the DNA of your cells and systems.

4. RELEASE: Discover how to let things go, and you’ll feel better surprisingly quickly and be able to move on. The past really is over, but negative memories and pain linger and ruin the present when we hold on instead of letting go.

5. REVIEW & Take RESPONSIBILITY: Look for lessons learned, strength gained, and silver linings for the future. Take responsibility for your part in things then, and your thoughts, actions and resiliency now.

6. RE-SET: Everyone has personal patterns that get triggered by difficulty and defeat. Recognize and reset yours!

7. RESTORE: Trust. Harmony. Self-esteem. Respect. Confidence. Optimism. Hope.

8. REFRESH: Give yourself energy boosts by eating and sleeping well. Get moving, have fun, and do little or bigger things daily that allow you to feel positive, accomplished and upbeat.

9. REVIVE & RENEW: As you refresh your energy, renew your passion for having what you want!

10. RE-FOCUS: Choose and re-focus on your next moves, with excitement and commitment, so that you can get up and go after your good in new and renewed ways.

11. REVIVIFY! Feel your life-force strong and revived, revitalizing all you think, feel, say and do.

12. REJOICE! You’ve survived and are on your way to thriving, probably stronger and better than before, or quite possibly ever.

Resilience doesn’t require going through every step, unless you feel the need or want to, but keep to the general order. If you’re not sure you need to take bounce-back action, pay attention to your mood and mindset; feelings of apathy, anxiety, depression; shame and blame; intense sadness or anger; ongoing worry, dread or despair. Are you defensive or down on yourself? Short with others? Having trouble sleeping? Eating poorly, or self-medicating with addictive behaviors?

Prolonged negativity can be dangerous to yourself and to others. Resilience is positive energy and attitudes, coming from your core and leading you outwards into constructive action. It is an innate healing resource right inside your body, heart and mind. Turn to it and turn on its power!

Thomas Edison was told by his teachers as a young boy that he was “too stupid to learn anything.” It was by mastering resilience and the art of bouncing back that he grew up to become a legendary and prolific inventor: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” It took Edison a thousand tries to get the electric light bulb to work, and he’s the person who famously said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

It’s worth wondering if you might be one of those people - and being sure you’re not. If you’re struggling or discouraged right now, or next time you are, remember to climb up somewhere onto The Resilience Road. And remind yourself what Yogi Berra so rightly said: “It’s never over ‘til it’s over!”

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