Hey Bill, you will get to the point where you can place the mouthpiece then inhale for sure. Again, the fact that you recognise the difficulty you are having is the path to finding the answer. Take two different approaches: 1. Break it down step by step and look for trigger point i.e. old habits that are kicking in. 2. Place the mouthpiece, inhale and release and see ow you go. compare the feelings.
Are you using the visualiser and tissue? That is a great starting point.