I’ve always been a bare-faced girl, only rarely wearing a little lipstick — but I always felt pretty good about it. Living in a small, progressive, mountain town in the west, natural is the norm.  But lately, at 41, I’ve been having a hard time feeling beautiful in my natural skin.

I’ve put back on the thirty pounds I worked hard to lose a couple years ago; I can no longer say I “have a little gray” in my hair — my hair IS gray; I can see the indications, around my eyes and mouth, of wrinkles that will deepen. I’ve been wondering if it’s “too late” to start using anti-aging products, too late to dye my hair, too late to learn how to wear makeup– most of all, I’ve been wondering if it’s too late for me to be beautiful.
This photo of me completely arrested that line of thought, and made me understand something in a different way.
What looks beautiful to me about this photo is the feeling. I look relaxed, happy, glad to be who and where I am. I was on a walk by the river on a beautiful day with my four-year-old and our dogs. I felt at peace with myself, and THAT is a beautiful thing.
What creates beauty is what I do, what I share, how I feel. Not what I do or don’t put on my face, my hair, my body.
The way to be beautiful is to seek out the things, places, people, and experiences that make me shine on the inside – it turns out that’s what shows up on the outside, too.