In my work as a palliative care nurse I have come to learn that cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation (CPR) is only effective in a small percentage of the population. CPR can have more harm than benefits when one's organism - when one's body - has already deteriorated significantly due to chronic, progressive or terminal disease.
In other areas of my life, I notice that this concept of shocking hearts and using some amount of volition / force to get them beating again when they have stopped - this is actually a genius idea. Can you imagine? A sort of CPR for boredom, apathy or feeling stagnant? A lightning bolt of remembrance that knocks you back into remembering who you are or what you love? This - this I can endorse whole heartedly.
Thus, I propose a that
CPR for dying souls =
1. Shock them with wonderment
(repeat as needed)
2. Continuous infusion of magic, as tolerated
A perfect example of this shock of wonderment or reality-disturbing element of surprise is the work of British Street artist Banksy. His work is seems to both arrest and incite resurrection for me in the part of myself that is beyond physicality. His work breathes back life into my rebel soul.
This pause is sublime.
It reminds me:
I am sublime
You are sublime
the box that I didn't even know I was inside before goes poof! + disappears for a moment
and the stillness gently nudges me into a pool of beautiful, greater awareness, of possibility.
Rachel Carson gets it:
“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
Hell yeah :)
This is the only time I would sign up to be a full code.
If I have a cancer that is spreading through my body and seems to not be stoppable by any combination of chemo, radiation, surgery, miracles or any combination of holistic-self-care-extravagance
If I have had heart disease for a decade and my kidneys are beginning to fail and I find myself in the hospital with a particularly nasty pneumonia and you find that I have stopped breathing quietly, unexpectedly and peacefully as I was sleeping ...
don't bring me back.
Don't do CPR.
In both cases, my amazing yet time-limited fragile human body has given obvious signs that its expiry is imminently on the horizon. I am ready for my next adventure.
On the other hand -
If I am feeling dull, listless or disconnected -
Surprise me with an unexpected joke.
Blow my mind with a ridiculous feat of beauty.
CPR my heart, soul, my spirit anytime.
Blog post originally written March 27, 2013 / Revised February 12, 2016