“There is in all things visible … a hidden wholeness.” ~ Thomas Merton
You don’t swing a golf club or cast a fly rod with your arms. You don’t kick a soccer ball with your feet or run with your legs. Your whole body moves and the way your body moves is the way the club or rod moves. It determines the path of the ball when you strike it, and the accuracy of your shot or cast. When we try to work with just the pieces and parts the movement becomes fragmented and so do we. We lose our feel for the thing.
Ben Hogan’s advice for golfers who wanted to improve their game was simple, “You can learn good golf if you use the sense of feel,” Hogan said. “The chances are that you now don’t recognize the sensation of a swing.”
Learning to recognize the sensation and develop that sense of feel connects us with an embodied knowledge and learning that we rarely access. Practice your skills for sure. But skills without feel can only take you so far. Develop your feel and you may surprise yourself with what you can create and accomplish.