Living from the HeartJun 29, 2022
A visit of friends from Argentina brought up cherished memories about my time there. All that I lived there, all that I learned. The ups and the downs. The laughter, the friendship, the easy pace of life. The way they brush up all that’s not gone well with one standard phrase No pasa nada. Living in the now. Playing polo. Playing from the heart.
I had no idea what this business of the heart was about before I started playing polo in Argentina. And then, one day, just like that, I got it. And this was the biggest gift Argentina had for me. It taught me to play from the heart.
The following is a fragment from “Seven and a Half Minutes,” the third book of my trilogy "The Polo Diaries", the books I have written about my adventures as a female polo player in Argentina.
There are three types of people who play polo.
There are those who play from the head. You see them looking around the field with wrinkled foreheads and half-closed eyes. Calculating, imagining, visualising, thinking. Thinking hard. They practice a lot, repeating the same movements over and over again. They obsess about the game before they play; they think hard during the game, trying to anticipate what’s happening; and they can’t stop thinking about it afterwards, analysing the details, trying to remember and create a formula of all that went well, trying to eliminate all that went wrong. They are the thinkers.
Then there are those who play from the guts. Instinctual, passionate, visceral. They play from deep down inside, from the place where we all live and survive, deep in the belly, the place of our identity. They play to feel good, to look good, to make good all that went wrong before. They play with the fierce instinct of the survivor. They play for honour, for glamour, for recognition. They play hard, and they give it all, as if polo were the one thing that would redeem them in their own eyes and in the eyes of all those around them. They are the feelers.
And then there are those who play from another place. Who don’t think and don’t feel, either. Who flow. Those who are so deeply immersed in the moment that it simply does not matter any longer what happens on the field, because the game, the horse, and the mallets have all melted and become one. They play from a place of infinite beauty, from a place of timeless joy. They play from the core of their beings, the same core that connects them to the horse, to the field, and to one another. They play as if this moment were everything. And in this place of timeless beauty, of deep connection to everything, of joy and flow, there’s no space for either thought or feeling. They play from the heart.
This book is for them.
Five years after I hit my last polo ball, these words still resonate. Only that in the meanwhile I understood that what polo taught me was not really about polo. It was about life. And the deepest of lessons are often the simplest of lessons.
Whatever you do, find that place in the middle between your head and your guts and do it from there. It’s not about thinking and it’s not about feeling either. There’s a third option and it comes from being. And the place where being resides in your body is, simply put, the heart.
So live from the heart!
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