It was nearly Thanksgiving.As I I drove my truck and a loaded 12 foot Uhaul trailer across the country, I was unable to see anything but the dark gray clouds and snow around me. By the time I arrived at my sister’s home, I was a wrung-out dish rag. For months after betrayal, ugly divorce, leaving my home, and abandoning my thriving practice, I tried to get my footing. But mostly, I drifted aimlessly through a thick mental fog.
The welcome and warmth of family and friends gathered for that Thanksgiving dinner reminded me, while I had lost much, I had much to be grateful for.
That Thanksgiving was a turning point. With encouragement (and a few well meaning shoves) from my family and friends, I began to force myself to take a step forward, then another.
I began to take daily walks. Everywhere, in the woods, on the sidewalks, down the road. I’d always loved the outdoors and nature, but now it became my therapy.
Watching plants, animals, trees, go through the cycles of seasons, I began to see bigger pictures and possibilities that I hadn’t been able to before. I began to notice the beauty that surrounded me and the love. I began to take a hard look at just how I ‘d gotten here, and, more importantly, form a more clear idea of where I wanted to go.
I began making skin care because it was something I had always loved, and with a long history of practicing Chinese herbal medicine and dermatology, it seemed natural. I went to India and learned a bit about Ayruvedic skin care. I came back and concocted, then took a course in formulation. SunWindSnow was born.
I am grateful (although not always in the moment) for the hard parts of life because they make the good parts all the sweeter.
Four years later, I can tell you that my life has never been better. Although getting here was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, it’s been worth it. I am so grateful for the hard times because they make you stronger and show how truly fortunate we are to have so much good in our lives. I am grateful for all the people who have given so much help and encouragement.
Life is hard, beautiful, and amazing. Just like climbing a mountain, trying a new sport, or making time to get outdoors and breathe some fresh air when your schedule is full to overflowing. The effort and determination to make it happen actually make the thing more meaningful, more beautiful and worthwhile.
Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to the human mind. We’re programmed for negativity as a survival mechanism. Those mental ruts run deep. Which is why we have to make an effort to practice gratitude just like we practice yoga, or fitness, or a good skin care routine. It’s the daily routine of taking a moment to notice your blessings and be thankful for them (and maybe even writing them down, which is even more powerful).
Why am I talking about gratitude on a skin care blog?
Because gratitude is good for your mood, your health, and your skin. A happier, less stressed person has better skin. Studies have found that grateful people experience a number of health benefits-all associated with a more radiant complexion.
This is because hormones like cortisol, inflammation, and negative emotions (all BAD for your skin) are reduced with gratitude. You also sleep better, which is the number one health and beauty treatment.
Practicing gratitude also boosts your immune system which helps skin repair itself.
One day a year, we gather together, eat a wonderful meal, and give thanks for all of our blessings. I love this holiday.
This year, let’s just keep going and find gratitude every day. Even when it seems hard to be grateful. Even when your life feels like it’s falling apart.
I am grateful to you for reading this blog and for supporting SunWindSnow. Between now and midnight on Monday December 2 we are offering 15% off any orders on our website. Just use the code: