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.
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.