Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 41 of Your Year to Wellness: Being Open

 Open to Wisdom
Whenever I lecture at a conference, I try to sit in on other presentations. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned were ignited by a teaching outside of my world view or interest. I am often amazed by how the lecture of an aerospace engineer, a computer geek or financial analyst will shed light on my life for wellness.

I had one of these illuminating experiences recently when I heard a presentation on how to interpret an x-ray. I sat in a room filled with pediatric critical care nurses and wondered what I I was doing there. The presenter, Dan Jacobson was bright, witty and obviously passionate about his work. He talked fast but the folks in the room were writing faster and no child was left behind; not even me. His explanations were so clear that by the end of his presentation when he showed one x-ray after the next and invited the audience to interpret, I found that even I could identify the issues and illnesses. The guy was good but what made him amazing was the fact that while teaching us what we did not know, he told us what our heart understood but had not been able to express. This is the key to being a great speaker because when people hear something that they knew but couldn’t say or hadn’t recalled they become open to everything that follows.

What Dan taught was simple and yet profound. He was talking about looking at an x-ray, but he was also talking about life when he said, “You see what you look for and you look for what you know.”

 I knew he was talking about health care professionals but I felt that he was talking just to me (Which, by the way, is another thing that makes a speaker great.) How often had I gone in search of the right guy and got just what I had wanted; too often to admit. At first, I’m elated because I’ve found just what I wanted, but then I’m sad because I got just what I wanted. The problem is just as Dan pointed out; we only look for what we know.

When it comes to wellness, relationships and life, we truly need to know more. When I open myself to wisdom I see that it does not always come from the people or places I’d expect.

There are bird feeders on the windows where I sit to work and every day I am amazed by what I learn. Some birds sit and eat all that they can while some eat one nut and fly away. The titmouse will eat one nut and hide another in a tree and the squirrels watch and wait for whatever drops. Some squirrels are bold enough to jump from the back porch onto the window hoping to knock the feeder down, but even the squirrel has a learning curve.

I marvel at the fact that throughout the animal kingdom it is the male who must dress up and perform for the attention of the female as she alone is able to give birth. (I hope you really give this some thought.)

I learn from my dog Othello who has trained me well and from a child who can barely speak. I marvel at the rising of the sun and the stages of the moon and I am moved to tears when I look up at the stars.

Everything speaks and all of life whispers telling us that there is so much more to see but as Dan pointed out, we see what we look for and we look for what we know. Today’s lesson is simple; when you know more you will see more.

·         What lesson did you learn today?

·         When was the last time you heard something profound but hadn’t expected to?

·         Wisdom and knowledge are not the same; what’s the difference?

·         Put away your handheld device for 30 minutes today and pay close attention to the world around you.

·         Approach a subject, any subject as if you know nothing and learn something new.

Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom, but with all thy getting, get an understanding.

Be well, be you, be Wise

Bertice Berry, PhD.


  1. Great information today for everyone to keep with close.

    This is what I learned :-)

    “You see what you look for and you look for what you know.” Therefore seek more of what you don't know in order to see more.

  2. So true Sensei, so wonderfully true.