The Nose Knows

This post isn’t really about the “nose” knowing so much as the body knowing something the brain does not.

I have moved more times than years I’ve been alive. Not all of my moves have been major – sometimes it was a matter of moving from one furnished sublet to another – but needless to say, I’ve lived in a LOT of places. Given my history, I think it’s understandable why I’m hesitant to jump into new housing situations. Primarily, I’m scared of making a mistake, of putting myself in a worse position than previously. I’m scared of the unknown, of the “what ifs,” of the things I can’t possibly know yet.

The nose knows.

The nose knows! Especially Groucho Marx’s.

When I said “yes” to the place I’m moving into at the end of the month, it wasn’t an impulsive decision. I talked it over, thought it over, made a pro/con list. I felt paralyzed with indecision due to fear. “Would this place be worse? Will it be something I regret? Would it have been better to stay put?”

What helped me to make the decision with more peace of mind was paying attention to my body. I took my mind out of the equation and put my complete attention on the sensations in my body. When I thought about moving into my new place, I felt warm, at peace, relieved. There was some slight anxiety in my upper back, but for the most part, I felt great about the decision. When I thought about continuing to look for a place, I tensed up, my stomach clenched, I felt terrible about the decision, so obviously my body was saying, “Move. Move. Moooooooove.”

I realize not everyone has moved as often as I have, but I’d wager that we’ve all experienced indecision. That our minds have become like hamster wheels we’ve been unable to leave. Reason and logic do not work for me in these instances. I have to bypass my brain and go straight to my body and get in touch with the wisdom there. I do not know everything and I cannot know everything, but my body can give me more information. Thank goodness because otherwise I might still be looking for my “perfect” place to live.

I dream of a world where we get in touch with our bodies and examine the sensations we’re experiencing. A world where we understand our bodies may provide us with a wisdom that our brains cannot. A world where we realize the nose knows.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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2 comments… add one
  • Erika Jun 16, 2014, 4:31 pm

    Oh man, there’s so much truth in this! This part especially resonated with me:

    “Primarily, I’m scared of making a mistake, of putting myself in a worse position than previously. I’m scared of the unknown, of the “what ifs,” of the things I can’t possibly know yet.”

    That’s where I am right now. I’ve had a mixture of living situations in the past — great, good, and bad — and I’m trying to use what I learn in approaching the next one. But sometimes I get scared and just want to stay put because at least I know what I have. The uncertainty scares me — and making a mistake that I can’t get out of easily or have to live with for a long time is daunting.

    It is funny how we question and doubt. I’m trying to be positive because even with the bad living situations, they have led me to positive change eventually. They have driven so many things in my life. But still, I don’t want to have to go through that again and I also just feel so much more peaceful when I’m in a home I love. 🙂

    • Rebekah Jun 23, 2014, 4:05 pm

      I hear you Erika! And I’ve absolutely found it to be true that the bad living situations also led to good things. And yeah, who wants to go through the icky experiences again?!? Maybe a part of the process is understanding we can’t prevent the bad stuff but we can certainly deal with it as it comes up. My friend talks to me a lot about resilience. I’m working on it myself.

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