I have made it to day eleven doing #30daysnomakeup. I have been so inspired by the founders beautiful and authentic blog encouraging me along the way. They put this quote on their 30 Days No Make-Up Blog that really sat with me.
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
– Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
This whole campaign has caused me to leave my ignorance behind and face myself with courage and respect. Some days my courage is small and more in the mustard seed genre, however think those are the days were I really grow.
For Thanksgiving week I have been spending time with my husband's family in northern California. We are amidst the tall trees and cooler temperatures. As I write this I am surrounding by family and a cozy cracking fire in the fireplace. I am really grateful to have kind and accepting in-laws. My mother-in-law totally supports me in my campaign and reminds me how beautiful I am even without the make-up. She skips the cosmetic ads on the TV because she knows how much I miss my make-up. It hasn't been as hard here. I don't have to go to work and feel the pressure to be on make-up. There isn't a lot of need to check the mirror here. We do other things like read books, make homemade food, go on walks and go shopping together for a 20 pound turkey at the farmer's market. We have quiet mornings of sleeping in and coffee. Here I feel like I can be a bit more gentle with myself and my face. (even though I have somehow created a monster zit right under my eyebrow: driving me nuts)
Early this weekend though Scott and I were invited to a fancy exclusive club by his sweet and extravagant grandparents for dinner. There was a dress code: guys in suits and gals in dresses. We were not allowed to look at our phones. There was multiple courses and the wine flowed. The powder room was filled with women re-applying their make-up, hair spray and gloss. I was literally afraid I would be kicked out for not wearing make-up. I ran into a woman who "snuck" into the bathroom to check her phone so she could see if her kids were okay at home. She said it was her first time at the club. I said it was mine too and I shared about my campaign and how nervous I was. She was so inspired by this campaign and talked about how she chose not to wear make-up one day and that the world sees her real face now. I can't say I will give up make-up for all eternity but it certainly made me think.
There is something intrinsically courageous as well as respectful and gentle to one's self to bare your real face to the world. Initially I thought, Is this disrespectful?! People don't want to see my real face! It's like I'm imposing my face on the public! But the more I think about it the more I realize how much it's an act of self-love. It takes a lot of guts as well as a TON of self-compassion to do this. I have to be on my side to do this and it's so much easier said than done. I can be very hostile to myself. I feel like this process is helping me be more gentle with me and in turn, more gentle with those around me. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for having people around me who encourage me and are kind to my face even when I snarl at it in the mirror. Besides no one needs lipgloss to fully engage one's senses in eating turkey! (or tons of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and STUFFING)