“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Lessons from Winston Churchill and glass
Last week, I spent time at a glass studio learning to make icicles.
It was fun, frustrating, and rewarding to build this new skill - using a torch to melt glass rods and shape them into these delicate decorations.
The process was pretty straightforward:
Heat the glass in the flame until it’s hot enough to adhere to another glass rod, continue heating until it’s molten, then twist and shape it, continuing to heat the rod and twist until you have a finished product.
However, it was not easy.
I had to learn to find the right melting point, how hot the glass needed to be so I could manipulate it. And also learn that the shaping is best done outside of the fire.
Heat, shape, heat, shape. It’s a process.
But you can’t let the glass get cold. Even after you get one part how you like it, you have to keep it warm in the flame as you work other parts of the icicle. If it gets cold, it’ll crack. And there’s no way to salvage it.
When you’re done - when you have a finished, formed icicle you’re pleased with - you’re not really done. You have to give it a heat bath in the flame and then let it cure in the kiln so it becomes stronger.
As I drove home from the studio, I reflected on the parallels to life and growth and challenges we face.
There are times in our lives when we desire change. When we decide we don’t want to be plain glass rods; we want to be delicate icicles instead.
But that change doesn’t magically happen.
We need to put ourselves through heat - stress and challenges and hard circumstances that temporarily weaken us - so we can mold ourselves a little bit more like the people we want to be.
And we have to do it over and over again. Each challenge gives us a twist or a turn in our shape.
Even though we may think we’ve finished the challenge and moved on, we have to revisit those lessons learned - keep them warm to preserve our growth and keep from cracking.
We can’t rush it. Each challenge will take as long as it takes as so many factors go into the growth process -
How hot the flame is, how close we are to it, how much change we’re trying to create.
But we don’t have to go through all of this alone. There are tools to help, resources we can use. There are people to support and encourage us, people who’ve faced similar challenges and can both shine as an example for us and be someone to lean on, to ask our questions so we’re not fumbling on our own.
We can’t always know what the final outcome will be. We could have an idea in our head of what we should look like, but find we twist and turn in other directions. That instead of being straight, perfect icicles, we’re crooked and windy.
But there’s beauty in imperfection. We can celebrate all that we’ve become, even if we’re not perfect.
Once we’re done, we’re not really done. We need time in the kiln to cure so we can regain our strength.
We are glass - delicate and strong at the same time.
Pliable when in the right circumstances, but we must handle ourselves with care.
Two of my icicles broke as I unwrapped them.
Though it seems like all is lost for these, it’s not. If I bring them back to the studio, I can melt them in the torch again, and reshape them into something lovely and unique.
Life can be so hard sometimes. We may feel like we are in the fire and that we’ll be stuck in the heat forever. But if we keep on going, keep trusting, find that melting point so we can mold ourselves into something beautiful, we’ll come out even stronger and more beautiful.
We are glass, and the work of our lives is shaping ourselves into who we want to be.
Is it time for you to mold yourself into something different?
Let’s talk about what what it’d be like to work together.
Weekly Journal Prompts:
Use these prompts as written or as inspiration to uncover what you need in your life this week. And know that I’m always here to support you and answer questions you have along the way!
What do you want your life to look like?
How do you want to feel about your life?
How does this compare with your life and how you feel about it right now?
Where are you feeling called to grow and stretch yourself?
What challenges do you need to invite so you can grow?
What lessons can you learn from what you’re going through right now?
How can you take better care of yourself so you have the endurance to make it through this challenge?
One Journaling Idea I Love:
Take some time before the end of the year to do a review of 2022. What were the highlights? What lessons did you learn? Who were the most memorable people who played a part in your year? How did you grow this year? What habits played a part in your success? How can you celebrate all that you’ve achieved and learned in 2022?
Work with Me in 2023!
I work with clients both 1:1 and in my group programs to develop journaling practices that help you design and live a life you don’t want a vacation from.
My group program, Better Me in 2023, is a journey to rediscover and claim our worth. Even though we’re all inherently worthy, it can be hard to feel it - especially when we’re ambitious go-getters, always on the hunt for the next challenge to tackle, the next thing to learn, trying to outrun the feeling of not enough.
Each month we’ll focus on a new theme and journal our way to self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-worth.
We start on January 2 with a deep dive into all things self-care.
Interested in learning more? Click HERE to set up a time to chat.
I can’t wait to journal with you! 💛
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