My husband took this picture of me getting ready to meet a friend for brunch. I had overslept, and really, overl ounged in bed playing on my phone, and suddenly only had 15 minutes to get ready. Instead of reaching for makeup (or deciding not to care) I grabbed my beloved devices and started using them both at the same time. One in each hand. At the end of the exercise I felt fresh, glowing, lifted, perky. I threw on some blush, sunscreen, and mascara, ran a brush through my hair, threw some clothes on that I had picked out the night before, then ran out the door.

It was only later I realized I probably could of gotten away with a little undereye concealer, some highlighter, pouty lip gloss, and a little extra moisturizer. Instead I thought - depuff eyes with Ziip while contouring cheeks with Nuface. Puff lips, use Nuface to depuff eyes.

My new form of no makeup is actually wearing no makeup... while also lavishly treating my face with the most innovative skincare devices on the market.

This surely does not count as the gestalt of "no makeup." Is there a post in this? Does the quest for makeup free perfection lead us to pursue increasingly silly...

And then I started laughing.

I took a beat. I checked my brain. I thought, Dena. What are you really feeling right now as you look at this picture?

I have so many amazing things! I got to sleep in! My skin looks amazing! What a flattering picture my husband took of me being my ridiculous self! These green sparkly toes look so good! I love my bed, those grey linen sheets are so soft but so chic! I have so many pink bags! I'm so lucky! 

This, this gratitude.It feels good. It's not deep, or especially meaningful. It's just being happy, right then, in that moment. It's so simple and sweet, like an old, wor nout song.  It washes over me like a fine, sugarpuff mist of pure joy. My breath fills my lungs with the sweetest, purest light. For that moment my body is not in pain, I am not exhausted, I am not dizzy.

That is the power of gratitude. It makes me feel so good.

So obviously I take reflections on gratitude very seriously. If I can get that much joy from a camera picture, imagine the untapped potential for gratitude that further contemplation might bestow on me.

Thanksgiving is an important holiday to me in the way I was taught it - as a day to give thanks. Even while I  balk at the revisionist, white-washed version of history that this holiday actually represents, I can't help but enjoy a holiday dedicated to gratitude. A day of giving thanks.

If you've been with me in this story for a while now you know I think you should add, subtract, exfoliate, polish, fluff, massage, paint, pluck, shave, lavish, mask, or none of the above as it pleases you and brings you joy. I think the answer  to most questions is just to let people do whatever they want. Without judging them or having long conversations about what the word "real" or "mine" actually means. I am grateful for the freedom to do whatever I want or need to my body whenever I can. I want you to feel that way too.

My most powerful, most enduring gratitude continues to be from what I do here. It's  gratitude for everything I've learned. Not the bottles I've amassed, or even the potions in them (love those.) Not the glowing, bouncy skin I can regularly count on to show up (love that even more.) It's how much new knowledge about the world, my body, all bodies, organs, and chemistry. My brain feels gloriously full of new information. I hope you've enjoyed learning along with me. I hope I've taught you things, and I am so grateful for all the things you've taught me.

I'm not going to ask you to comment below on what you're grateful for - DM me, obviously - but know that I am grateful to be your counsel and your student. Your friend, inspiration and inspired by constantly in a sharing of something that is too beautiful and fun to fully define in words.

I feel like we are all hedge witches, sharing our secrets, herbs, knowledge and healing. Comforting each other. Acting as a resource for each other.

Thank you for sticking around on this journey with me, for sharing me with your friends and your friends with me. For trusting me with your skin, your faces, your purchasing power, your questions.

If I could figure out how to insert *thank you prayer hands emoji* here I would insert about 18, but I can't so just imagine those things here.

lots of love and gratitude,