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Grace + Steel

Polar Opposites Creating Greatness

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iStock/Getty Images
iStock/Getty Images

Olympic ice skaters glide across the ice with ease and grace. Yet, in order for them to achieve such greatness, their determination, fortitude, desire and commitment are as strong as steel.

For their success, grace and steel are inextricably linked.

This unexpected union creates a powerhouse. A force to be reckoned with. It entices. It awes. It inspires.

Steel gets strong from the art of tempering. The art of taking rigidity and making it pliable, moldable, bendable and then plunging it into cold water to immediately harden and shape. Tempering allows it to form into something ‘that is’. The repeated heating and cooling process creates the additional strength that can hold up a building or hold the precision edge of a surgeon’s knife.

Steel without tempering doesn’t have the strength or the edge.

In our lives, it’s the bumps and the bruises. The hard knocks. Our life lessons start the process of tempering. Our life lessons became the foundation of our strength. And it is the pause that we create afterwards, to reflect and introspect, that tempers us and allows grace to ease in. It is the grace that allows us to become confident. To lean in more. To try again. The more we push through the discomfort to grow, the more we develop our confidence and grace follows with ease. That is the shaping.

Only if we allow it.

Only if we are open to it.

When we forget to pause, to reflect and to introspect, the bumps, the bruises and cuts develop thick scabs. We pick at them. We don’t allow them to heal. They become scars. The continued discomfort is sometimes the place that we feel most comfortable to remain. So we stay there. And in turn, we become hardened and scarred. We forgot to temper the steel. And just like steel that has been irregularly tempered, it becomes warped, distorted and it’s these distortions that compromise overall integrity. We too become ill-tempered losing our clarity, our resilience to uphold what we may have been so impassioned at one time to pursue. We get off balance and disallow grace and ease to enter.

There were many times in my life where my tenacity, the grit, the STEEL, the desire to chase what I was chasing over-shadowed any grace. The steel became the armor for my heart. The armor created numbness. The fuel of being driven by head over heart. And unless you really knew me, did you know that there was a ‘soft underbelly’ (as one of my friends would caringly say). The steel was used as a defense mechanism for self-preservation. The grace was overpowered by the steel.

At times throughout my life, I was termed “too much”, “too impassioned”. I look back and say yes AND. The tempering and the grace were out of balance. It’s not about needing to be ‘quieter’, or softer’, but rather, the needed shaping and refining to create the experience where others are inspired to listen. One might one say that it’s the process of allowing us to form into who “we truly are” without any internal battles, with ease.

Tempering is needed for us to step into our greatness.

Confidence allows the steel to be managed with grace. To rise above the calling. To rise to the challenge. Like an Olympian ice skater – grace encapsulates the steel.

  • Our knowledge, our emotional constitution, our values and perseverance allow us to move through the difficult. That creates our strength. Our strength is our steel.
  • Our life lessons + the pause, the reflection and the introspection is our tempering.
  • Our kindness, our empathy, our ability to engage and debate respectfully with one another is our grace.

The ying and the yang creating beautiful strength, demonstrating beautiful courage.

Grace AND Steel. The perfect pair.

Have our over commitments, our busy schedules, or the need to be right rather than taking the time to understand, disallowed us to pause, to reflect, to restore and refocus? Have we become like steel that has not been tempered properly and have lost sight of grace?

Where in your life have you only leaned in with your steel and missed the tempering or the grace?

#soulfulmoxie. #dreamlouder  #grace

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