Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pregnant Melinda's 30 Day Challenge

Posted by Melissa
Today was day 4 of the 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge and, for me, day 23 of my Whole30 program.  Starting my yoga challenge this time feels very different than when I usually do one.  Typically, I drink wine and eat junk like there is no tomorrow for at least a week, if not months, before a challenge.  This time, I started my 30 days feeling healthy and mentally strong.  I showed up to the studio and appreciated my growing muscles and increasing focus during the postures, instead of hating on my body.
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And then we took some photos for the blog.  There I was, Pregnant Melinda in full force.  All I could see was my protruding belly, my thick middle.  It took me some time to handle that awkward reunion with my previous BFF, Miss "You're Never Good Enough", and remind her that it's over.  I knew I didn't need her anymore, but her voice is so familiar.  I thanked her for her misguided protection she offered for so long.  She helped me to not open up and let others in.  She shielded me from the dangers of vulnerability.  So, I thanked her and bid her farewell.

I think somewhere along the way I decided that if I told myself I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, rich enough...I would match up with what everyone else thought and everything would make sense.  No one would want to want to love the real me, and I wouldn't have to risk letting them.  Those thoughts only served to hold me back.  To cut me off from enjoying life's moments.  When we are too busy with our inner chatter, bullying ourselves, we are missing out on the life right in front of us.

Those "too beautiful to bear" moments are becoming easier to just be with and enjoy.  I am learning how to be in my body, and enjoy those experiences.  To not rush through where I am in my physical experience, so I can get to the part where I have a nice memory to carry around with me.  I am growing patient with myself and with life. 

This is what I learn in yoga.  To not rush through and to be patient.  That I am good enough, no matter how I show up on my mat on any given day.  As difficult as 90 minutes of Bikram yoga can be day after day after day, it's way easier than the deep inner work that comes bubbling up when I am off my mat.  But I am so deeply grateful for it all.  It's worth it.  Every bit of it.

Monday, March 2, 2015

30 Day Challenge

Posted by Amy & Melissa

Even though we've written about our love of Yoga and Bikram Hatha yoga numerous times on this blog we've never actually selected doing a 30 day challenge as one of our things. So, it's on, people!
Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana
 For almost a year now, we've been been Karma cleaning at The Sweatbox, one of our favorite woman-owned businesses in our neighborhood on Capitol Hill. This is the place it all started. Last year we completed a 60 day challenge--something neither of us had done before. It was self-motivated (i.e. not sponsored by the studio). This month we join other 30-day challengers at The Sweatbox.
Locust Pose - Salabhasana
If you can't commit to going to yoga for 30 days in a row, we encourage you to at least give Bikram a try once or twice this month. The more you can make it to class...the better!

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Leaf, at around 3 months, UWMC NICU.

Today is the 16th anniversary of the death of my first child.  Leaf was born at 25 weeks old and his lungs were always sick.  I just spent the morning rereading my journal of letters to him while he was alive.  All the ups and down of the oxygen saturations levels and O2% being raised and lowered, morphine levels increased and decreased, heart surgery, blood transfusions.  Disappointments and hope beyond hope.  I’ve always been someone that believes in the best outcome, no matter how big or small the stakes are.  I stand and cheer when the stadium is empty and it’s the 14th inning.  I keep clapping and hollering for an encore, even when the lights have come on.  And I never gave up hope that he would pull through…every day of his life.  I really got to feel that again in reading over my letters to him.

Through the years, some people have told me that I didn’t grieve his death properly.  That I still had a “lot of work to do” to get past the pain.  The thing is, I have always, since the beautiful and sunny day that he died, been incredibly grateful.  If this tiny, perfect soul had only a short time to spend here on earth, how lucky am I that he chose me to be his Mama?  I got to spend every day, hours upon hours in the NICU surrounded by his pure love.  I treasured being there with him.  I miss it, every single bit of it.  Sure, there is pain, but it’s the kind of pain that you don’t “get past”, but instead, through gratitude for the time you had with that person, transforms into the most beautiful love.   Like a rare diamond grows out of a lump of coal.  Or a pearl from a grain of sand.

On this last day of gratitude month, I wanted to share one of the things I am most grateful for in my life, Leaf Haddon Terry, born October 15th, 1998.  It’s not something I talk about a lot, because honestly, I find that it makes others uncomfortable.  I’m done taking care of the assumed feelings or reactions that others might have by editing myself.   I’m going to be me, speak my truth, and keep cheering for the best outcome.  And trusting that just because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, doesn’t mean that I can’t be grateful for the experience.