When I was in training to become a nurse, one of the things we had to master was simple. Taking someone’s blood pressure. You know. The cuff that you inflate, the stethoscope at the inner elbow. Easy, right?
Not so much.
I couldn’t hear what I was supposed to hear in the stethoscope. While all the others in the group were practicing with great success to hear that pulse sound we were told to expect, I just couldn’t hear it. I tried harder. Still nothing. I tried harder. Nothing.
I thought, “Oh, God, I’m going to fail in nursing because I can’t do something as simple as a blood pressure!” I was ready to walk away. When someone suggested I could be trying too hard. I thought, “How is it possible to try too hard? Giving your all is giving your all!” I didn’t know how to give anything less than everything I had.
I started to accept that I was not going to master it that day. “Maybe tomorrow,” I thought glumly. “That makes me the dummy of the class, but maybe tomorrow.”
The girl I was practicing with suggested I just play with it and see what happens. I inflated her cuff, put the stethoscope on the inside of her elbow and let my attention wander just a bit, wondering how sore her arm would be with all that puff puff puffing.
BOOM! There it was!
How could I have missed that? It was so LOUD!
I tried again, and there it was again. And again. And again. What a relief!
Now, how many other things are all around us, ready to be heard, ready to be approached – how many other dimensions, creatures, how much telepathic information is right there that we can’t see or hear or know? When it’s totally out of our range of experience, how can we perceive it?
Maybe not by trying hard, but by trying easy.
First published July 2012 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.
UPDATE: April 23, 2013. Over this past weekend I came across a calendar with stereoscopic images. Remember them? They were popular a few years ago. If you focus (or don’t focus) your eyes a certain way another image almost jumps off the page at you. I had no success on the weekend, but I put very little time into it. It reminded me of the blood pressure. The image was right there in front of my eyes, but I couldn’t see it. How many more things are right there but can not be seen?