Poker Life Ritual: Unpack Your Bags

What kind of baggage are you planning to take with you into your poker game in 2011? It is clear to me that when poker players take emotional crap with them into the game, they play weaker.
 
It's a simple fact. Emotions control our thoughts, and thought control our actions.
 
Today is the first day of the rest of 2011, and for me, January 1 is a sacred day. It helps me set the tone for my entire year.
 
Do you have a ritual to start this New Year? I do and I'd like to share it with you. It is simple and will help you release that which no longer serves you, both in your life and at the poker table.
 
How to prepare for success in 2011:
 
Take a clean white piece of paper and write down everything you want to release, old ideas, hurt, anger, donkey play, timidity, poor judgment, letting other players push you around… whatever. Write fast and furious. Write with intention.
 
This is your opportunity to bitch, moan, and let it out. Don't be shy. Write it all down. It may take you 30 seconds, or it might take 30 minutes.
 
Crumple the paper and carry it outside. Find a safe place and burn it. Watch the paper go up in flames. As it burns, turn your back on it and walk away, never looking back. You have permission to let that garbage go.
 
It is done.
 
Until next time, remember my motto,
 
When you can't raise, don't call.
 
Donna Blevins
Poker Mindset Coach

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10 Responses to Poker Life Ritual: Unpack Your Bags

  1. SteveNo Gravatar January 1, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Hi Donna, that is the one thing I never do when ready to play in a tournament, is that nothing is in my head but the t ournament.  As we have talked, I bowled semi-pro and it was the same back then, I concentrate on the task at hand and not bring anything else in my mind . 
    I bet alot of players bring their baggage to the table .

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar January 1, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      That is wonderful, Steve. With that in mind, give this process a try. There is stuff we keep with us that nags at a deep level.

  2. Jim HagemanNo Gravatar January 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Donna,
    Thank you! I am going to apply your advice.
    My game has been horribly off since Oct 2nd… a date that a person in my life made choices that greatly affected our lives. I really need to let it go and get on with life.
    Thank again,
    Jim Hageman

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar January 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      Thank you for sharing, Jim. “I release that which no longer serves me” has dramatically changed my life. Hope it serves you well.

  3. Helen RaptoplousNo Gravatar January 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    This is a wonderful and special ritual Donna! I can see how powerful this exercise could be! I could even use it as part of my monthly ritual of New Month's Eve. I love freash clean starts and one a year just insn't enough for me, so I celebrate 12 times a year!
     
    Hope your 2011 is just outstanding and fabulous!!
    xox
    Helen

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar January 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      Helen, thank you for sharing your New Month’s eve idea with me. You are RIGHT! Once a year is not enough. Just like we celebrate BirthWeek in our family.

      My 2011 is already fabulous!

  4. TaniaNo Gravatar January 2, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Donna, Happy New Year! As you know I have a lot of baggage that I carry around but not to the poker table. Poker is good theraphy and allows me to let go of all the pressures I am under. I never feel more relaxed than at a poker table.

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar January 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

      We are so proud of you Tania, and we look forward to your blossoming in your life and your game in 2011!

  5. LindaNo Gravatar January 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi Donna, Happy New Year!
      As you know I am carrying around a lot of garbage that also carries over to the poker table.  Poker has been good therapy for me but my play has been hurt by the chaos.  I just did the Ritual you recommended and thank you for sharing your advice.  I think I will have to do it more than once, but that's okay to be free of the garbage.  Thanks again for the advice!
    Linda O

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar January 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

      Linda, poker literally saved my life and helped me move to the moment, realizing that the only thing I had control of in my life was how I played the cards life dealt me at that moment. It was useless to fret over the hand I just played, or worry about the coming cards.

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