Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

posted by Melissa
(and why do so many of my blog titles involved bad 80's songs?)

Hello again, blogosphere world.  Yes, we are still here.  I think the lack of posts from this week goes to show the human-ness of us two blogging ladies.  Sure, sure I know there are bloggers out there with 12 kids and a job and they run a soup kitchen and sew all their kids clothes, all while milking their own goats and making homemade cheese and ice cream (i know, gross)...and they still find time to blog.  

But really, truly, that is not us.  While we may be super women in our own ways, we don't even have goats.  I doubt we could at our apartment building.  We are, however, striving for balance in life.  This blog is giving us an outlet for creativity and learning new things...but it was never intended to be something that felt like a chore, or exhausted us.  It is to fill us up.  I hope that our faithful readers (love you all!) can understand and find some inspiration in that human-ness that we sometimes show when we are absent for a few days.

Tai chi @ the Greenwood Senior Center
Which reminds me of yoga.  What doesn't remind me of yoga?  
The other night as we were about to fall asleep in bed, Jamie and I were talking about yoga.  
I literally said, "It's like all of life happens right there on your mat."  
Jamie said, "Yoga Nerd!"
But I meant it.  All the mental trials and tribulations of life, all the joys and triumphs, the pain and suffering, the is all happening right there on everyone's mat.  Silently.  I am so inspired by it.  

Yoga offers me a place to live past what I thought my potential was.  I can try everyday to move further into a pose, and yet I have to learn how to know myself and my body enough to know when it is time to rest and not move further.  When to give myself a mental slap in the face to stop my stupid whining, and when to let the whining wash over me and let go of it and take a savasana.  It is like that with the blog.  We do want the experience of moving into situations that may be uncomfortable, like meeting new people at a tai chi class, working through writer's block, waking up early to go to do something "for the blog" when your bed is sooo cozy and find that you learn something life changing or meet someone that says something forever meaningful.   

But we also need to learn when life has become too busy and it is time to slow down.  
And being ok with it, still loving yourself through those feelings of being a total loser.
That can be harder than pushing yourself sometimes.  

So, this morning, I got up and went to another tai chi class.  Well, it wasn't really a class, it was an open practice.  It was at the Greenwood Senior Center and was hosted by a group called The Five Willows.  As usual, I was nervous to walk in and meet people and be the newbie.  And as usual, the woman I met was very kind and welcoming.

After our introductions, I was helping her move a table.  
"Are you pregnant?" she asked.   
"No." I replied.
I used to get that questions ALL THE TIME.  From my early twenties to two years ago, when I worked as a cashier at a least once a week a customer would ask me if I was pregnant.  It used to piss me off, really piss me off.

Today, it didn't.  OK, maybe for a second or two, but only after I reminded myself that I should be pissed.  As I followed along during the tai chi short form, I kept going back to that two sentence interaction.  I laughed inside at jokes I could have said..."oh, yes, I am pregnant...with my chi baby."  and thoughts passed my mind on what I could be pregnant with in an esoteric way.  But why was this comment popping up again, now, when if anything, my pouchy belly is smaller than in years past?  After many possible reasons, this one emerged victorious.  I think it is to remind me to engage my core.  I struggle with that in yoga, and I know it can improve my practice.  

So, today, on day 19 of our 30 day challenge...that will be my practice at yoga, to engage my core. Thank you tai chi lady.

The class was sweet.  The senior center was past is mid century heyday, it had that "real" feeling that I have mentioned in previous posts.   So much of Seattle is all about looking perfect...the houses, the landscaping, the skinny jeans tucked into tall leather boots.  Even the hipsters, that I think are supposed to look like they don't care, are striving for perfection in their own I-don't-care-about-your-fancy-shit way.  As much as I long to fit into that prefect world at times (ok, a lot of times), I find the "real" world where people just are who they are without the fancy clothes or name brand sunglasses to be refreshing (for moments). 

The class went through the yang style short form three times.  I did my best to follow along.  I wanted to quit and leave at some points.  I felt the chi and loved it at other points.   

Kinda like life.  Kinda like yoga.

I did find out about a Thursday night beginner class within walking distance to our apartment, so I am going to go to that this coming week.  And this group that I met to day practices from April to October at Volunteer Park, outdoor on the grass at 8am on Saturdays, near the dahlia garden.  
That sounds really nice.  

What I found to be most inspiring to continue on with tai chi was a comment made to me by the pregnant, I mean reminding-me-to-engage-my-core-lady.  She said she learned the short form 25 years ago and knew that is was something she wanted to have in her life when she was older.  She is now in her 50's and she has tai chi "in her medicine cabinet" and will have it for the rest of her life.  

That sounds really nice too.


Bob Redmond said...

Four out-loud-chuckles, and one loud out-loud laugh ("Yoga Nerd!"), two thumbs up, thanks Melissa!

Melissa Baumgart said...

thanks, Bob!
the yoga nerd in apt #1

Jamie said...

Man, you are a funny woman. Chi baby...that's great. May yoga always be in your medicine cabinet


Matty said...

I need something like tai chi in my lifetime medicine cabinet. Namaste.

Melissa said...

Jamie, you're just happy it isn't a real baby ;)
and always out there for you, just waiting for you to pick it up and put it in your cabinet.