The squiggle sense and the complementary nature of nursing

by Daniel Pesut

I once heard a quote and am not sure to whom it is attributed: “Life is bipolar and everything contains its opposite.” I have had my share of challenges trying to negotiate and reconcile what seem to me oppositional issues in my own life. I now have a new understanding of the complementary nature of polarities and paradoxes.

The squiggle sense has been proposed by scientists J.A. Scott Kelso and David A. Engstrom to represent the complementary nature and coordinated dynamics of opposites that, in fact, are components of a greater dynamic process. Such coordinated processes are linked to the way the brain processes information and engages in sense making. Kelso suggests the tilde or squiggle (~) as the symbol of the complementary nature that relates contrarities, opposites and their kin. Think about the squiggle sense and the complementary nature of nursing.

For some time, I have suggested there is a complementary nature to nursing and that the opposite of nursing is negligence. Thus, the squiggle sense of this would be nursing~negligence. I believe most nurses have a well-developed sixth sense about the complementary nature of nursing care. Now we have a way to represent—and perhaps make explicit—our squiggle sense of complementarity in terms of patient-care needs. Other complementary pairs relevant to nurses and the care they provide also come to mind.

Consider the complementary pair of any nursing problem with its opposite or desired nursing-sensitive outcome. For example, pain~comfort, anxiety~ anxiety control, impaired mobility~mobility, body~mind and self-care deficit~self care. In fact, one of the essential aspects of nursing is management of the complementary nature of human responses to health~illness situations. I wonder what would happen if nurses moved away from the development of problem lists and began to identify and note the complementary nature of each identified problem in terms of its coordinated opposite. We would then be identifying problems~outcomes and, perhaps, have a new appreciation of nursing care responsibilities in light of the squiggle sense of issues presented by individuals, groups, families and communities.

Why not explore the complementary nature website and see how the theory of coordinated dynamics resonates with your own thinking, personal experience and the practice of nursing. The squiggle sense mission is to provide an “evolving online resource for the study and appreciation of a sixth sense of the complementary nature, and its philosophical~scientific grounding in coordination dynamics, the science of coordination.” Nursing is grounded in the science of coordination. I hope you accept the invitation to explore the complementary nature site and reflect on how coordinated dynamics might influence your thinking, doing and nursing practice. 

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

The DOC Squiggearium
TMM

always~never

Only always, only never, either always or never, both always and never, always changing to never, never changing to always, between always and never, beyond always and never…

TMM

opposition~function

Only opposition, only function, either opposition or function, both opposition and function, opposition changing to function, function changing to opposition, between opposition and function, neither opposition nor function, beyond opposition and function…

TMM

CD~levels

“In coordination dynamics, the real-life coordination of neurons in the brain and the real-life coordinated actions of animals are cut, fundamentally, from the same dynamic cloth. Integrity is in turn preserved because it is never threatened. Psychophysical unity is undergirded at all levels by coordination dynamics.” -Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1930– )

TMM

contraria~complementa

Only contraria, only complementa, either contraria or complementa, both contraria and complementa, contraria changing to complementa, complementa changing to contraria, between contraria and complementa, neither contraria nor complementa, beyond contraria and complementa… ~;)

TMM

mingling~opposition

Only mingling, only opposition, either mingling or opposition, both mingling and opposition, mingling changing to opposition, opposition changing to mingling, between mingling and opposition, neither mingling nor opposition, beyond mingling and opposition…

TMM

Review of TCN

The Complementary Nature ~ A Review by Olaf Sporns “The division of our world (natural and social) into distinct contraries or opposites has become almost universal practice in most fields of human endeavor and inquiry, including science. Undeniably, imposing such divisions on space and time, wave and particle, order and chaos, action and perception, or organism and environment have enabled

TMM

Nursing~negligence

Only nursing, only negligence, either nursing or negligence, both nursing and negligence, nursing changing to negligence, negligence changing to nursing, between nursing and negligence, neithe nursing nor negligence, beyond nursing and negligence…

Essay by Daniel Pesut

TMM

Discovery~invention

Only discovery, only invention, either discovery or invention, both discovery and invention, discovery changing to invention, invention changing to discovery, between discovery and invention, neither discovery nor invention, beyond discovery and invention.

Essay by Lisa Kimball

TMM

analysis~synthesis

Only analysis, only synthesis, either analysis or synthesis, both analysis and synthesis, analysis changing to synthesis, synthesis changing to analysis, between analysis and synthesis, neither analysis nor synthesis, beyond analysis and synthesis…

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THE METASTABILIAN MOVEMENT
The Metastabilian Movement
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9AF803D0-7885-4EC5-AD4D-5D9FF4E093C6

(TSS) "Sixth Sense” of The Complementary Nature, to the dynamic ‘yin~yang’ dance of inextricable complementary aspects. It is a modality present in every human nervous system. Ironically, most remain unaware, are ‘blind’ to its existence and crucial role it plays in their daily lives. The ‘Metastabilians’ seek to awaken and engage their Squiggle Sense to wield it in their life pursuits in any field, at any level of interest. Metastable brain~mind perception~action. The Squiggle Sense is a modality of ‘relative phase’—produced by and sensitive to the Coordination Dynamics. The Complementary Nature, the inextricability, complementarity of complementary pairs, the "coordinated dance" of complementary aspects. Once intentionally engaged, awareness of such inextricable dynamic complementarity is the essence of “Eureka moments”. A person that has awakened and engages their squiggle sense to be inspired by, explore, appreciate and intentionally engage the complementary nature of themselves and their world we call Metastabilian."

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