I see changes. People around me see changes. My skin is brighter, shinier, and healthier looking. I love that.

But not only outside changes. The subtle outer softening and brightening skin tone seeps inside. My inner tone is changing too. A new light emerges–slowly.

Lightness is a state of being more than weight, skin tone, or even mindset. It’s about choice.

For example, my encounter at Starbucks this morning rode the edge of a hostile or happy outcome. The place was crowded. I was waiting for a friend to arrive for our appointed chat over a cuppa Jo. I sat at a table with three seats and got up to order a coffee, leaving tote bag and keys on the table.

When I came back, a couple sat at two of the chairs at the table, despite my territory clearly staked out. Ordinarily, that would rattle me not just a little. I’ve got anger issues sometimes, no doubt. But today, I calmly spoke, “Oh, I was expecting to use two of the chairs.”

They both looked up and the woman said, “We’ll get up.” But they didn’t. I sat down in the vacant third seat, and my friend arrived. She asked if we should go somewhere else, but I told her that they said they’d move.

She waited in line for her drink; the couple at the table got their drinks and got up to go. I was struck at how civil and easy it was. I expected a confrontation at some point and braced myself for it somewhat while keeping passive and hopeful on the outside.

I’ve witnessed so much hostility in simple exchanges between people lately–let alone everywhere in the world–that I was genuinely grateful that they didn’t try to justify their behavior or project blame on me (probably not cool that I took the table before getting my drink and was prepared to give the table up to someone with drinks already).

I reached into my bag and handed the woman a mini facial packet and said, “Here, have a free mini facial on me, and thank you for being a decent human being.” She was happy to receive it, though her table mate asked, “Where’s mine?” We laughed, and all ended well.

Ordinarily, if I didn’t grumble something sarcastic, I would have tried to burst them into flames with my glare and hostile vibes. But that instinct stayed buried. And I’m pleased it did.

Changes are emerging. I’m not suggesting the Rodan and Fields skincare products on my face produce miraculous personal growth. That’s happening because it’s time for it to happen. But all invisible forces converging at once–inner and outer–are peeling away the layers of unwanted ruts and ravines, habits and impulses, a microscopic layer at a time.

Time. I breathe the mantra over and over daily. It takes time.

On the wrinkles and age spots front, there’s still the problem of lighting, position, and angle for proper comparison, but I’m surrendering to my photography skills as they are. Sometime in a few weeks or so, I’ll return to the very spot and hour that the first photo was taken and have the person who took it do the final comparison shot properly.

For now, this is what I have:




What do you think?


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