May 28th, 2020


Beyond the Nose: Body and Beyond


A body, face, ordered, accepted, altered, makeup-ed, hated, loved, made, unmade, allowed, blow-dried, ignored, tried out, given away, half-worked out, fully moved, whatever the season swept me into.

Overall, this body and mind has been a joy to inhabit. I can stretch my leg straight above my head, get drunk on three glasses of wine, run easily, (this is not a gift I take lightly), and will never, ever take the health I enjoy for granted.

At various stages in my life, at the tail-end of bad choices towards over-service (my bad habit is over-helping and then getting resentful, so I need to monitor that one - I think I have an unconscious masochist) I've experienced kick-my-ass exhaustion. I could barely get up a flight of stairs. At the same time, my awareness of our reality expanded and I awakened to greater truth.

There has not been a single gain in terms of my understanding of a metaphysical reality that has not had some commensurate physical experience. A physical experience and a spiritual one cannot be separated, as we are both the perceiver and the experiencer of this energy and these awarenesses. Our brain, the perceiver, is pink grey matter, wiring and electrical impulses. Our human body needs to integrate the spiritual experience.

The trauma: I had my nose fixed a few years ago. I'd missed catching a baseball years before, had gotten a black eye and had that hard baseball smash my nose in. I cried, fell over clutching my nose as stars turned overhead, and vowed to never play baseball again, as I did not have the required hand-eye coordination. Over time the cartilage had collapsed on the right side of my nose and each year it was getting worse. I am vain. I finally made the decision to get it fixed - he called it 'reconstruction'. I had them smooth it.

Two years ago I developed chronic sinus issues. Extremely painful ones. I had to postpone flights. I had constant colds and a blocked nose. Ear-aches. I eventually booked an appointment with an ear-nose-throat doctor; she told me with one little peek, very matter-of-factly, that I'd need to get it fixed again. The nasal passages were collapsing on one side, my breath was impacted and the cartilage fragile.

I walked out in a daze. I stopped thinking for a little while. 'Ostriching', I believe they call it. Sometimes we just put off what scares us; we think procrastination is a character flaw, but that means that we're disallowing just a normal human emotion; plain fear. And I am scared of surgery. I also had an ultrasound that same day with news that I do not want to share right now, but may another time.

I have not fixed it. But I have done a lot of thinking about this body. Claimed it differently. I'm ignoring the prescription for thousands of different decongestants and not taking them. Wondering at the state of my body.

This body has all sorts of time to be here, many lives, many loved things, many hopeful changes, and it is just a form, one I love. So what is there to be truly worried of as it changes, feels safe and unsafe, healthy and unhealthy, beyond the comfort of certain states? Can I be okay no matter what?

I want healthy. I want healed. I want strong. Most of us do, unless we are getting some benefit out of our illness. But there are times when that is out of our control, and external situations will require adjustment to those expectations. That reality goes beyond my nose of course; that requires an awareness that our lives change over time, and so do our bodies. "Acceptance of the things that are". That requires the most absolute surrender. That singular thing feels the most difficult, aspirational and demanding of all spiritual practices. Yet it is a key to awakening.

I think we are rather conditional in most of our development. We surrender... while we feel safe. But what if surrender is required in situations that are more extreme? Our mind health, our body, our life, our identity of self?

Can we allow that state of surrender, accepting all that is? To go beyond the body is also beyond mind and identity.

I do not want to be extreme, yet these questions about gradients and percentages of application of our practice should be expected as we evolve. I am dying and I am living, and so are you, and the way we experience it comes down solely to our perception of it.

These questions are how I grow my understanding. I'm including you in them for a reason; I imagine you have and are in your own process and life, and sometimes we read something that hits us, marks us differently, helps us relate. My nose is yours too. And only mine. :-D

I'm wondering how I can see this differently. If I exist beyond the body, then do I really need to be worried as the physical experience alters itself? Can I be still within that? Peaceful? What is, is. Where is the dividing line of resistance and surrender?

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