Breakthrough and Transform

Transformation. A word I've always found to be heavily weighted with so much depth and meaning. For some, it's a scary word synonymous with fear and pain. For others, it's a word synonymous with hope and positive outcomes.

For me, transformation is both. I work with people daily to help them overcome the fears holding them back and work through the pain of change to accomplish their goals and improve their lives.

I've recently undergone some transformation of my own, which why this post is all about transforming. I took some major steps in my business - moving to a new office, hiring a new employee to work with me as I grow, leaving the safety and comfort of my previous work community...all of which were scary on many fronts.

But I know in order to grow and bloom (a.k.a. transform), it requires breaking through barriers, facing fears and taking a leap of faith.

I also took part in another transformation this past month - refinishing a desk for my office. It was painstaking and time consuming work, but a great reminder of the difficulty of personal transformation.

When I decided to take on this project, I knew it would be hard work, but severely underestimated the extent of time and effort I'd need to put into it.

I found the desk at Goodwill for $35. They say one person's trash is another person's treasure; and this discarded desk riddled with scratches, dents and stains was my big find. Sure, it was a little worse for wear, but all I could see was potential; and I was determined to remove the scars and layers of damage to release its inner beauty.

I got the desk home and started to work. It took me three applications of stripper and days of scraping to break through the thick layers of lacquer and stain to reveal the natural wood beneath.

But I wasn't done yet. After days of scraping and scrubbing, I still hadn't removed all the stain, cuts, scrapes or dents. That would require more work, so I got out my power sander. I wore through multiple layers of sandpaper and scrubbing pads, then eventually switched to hand sanding (to get those hard to reach places and the ones that just needed a little extra elbow grease).

At this point in time I was 3 or 4 days into the process and starting to question why I was doing this. I was working around the clock. My back was starting to hurt. My hands were tired. I was exhausted. And guess what, there were stillhints of previous scars and stain embedded deep into the wood.

I decided I was okay with that. That those little nuances were part of this desk's history, and that they would always be with it. They were part of it's character, part of what make it what it is - perfectly imperfect.

I found the exposed wood absolutely beautiful and vulnerable. It was a blank canvas primed for change and transformation, ready to show the world (or at least my office visitors) it's true potential!

I decided to stain the wood with one coat of transparent stain to bring out and enhance it's natural beauty. I didn't want to use an opaque stain or color that would cover it up or hide any of its flaws. This little desk had already been through so much and deserved to show off it's true self.

As I applied the stain I couldn't help but find the irony in how hard it was to remove the old stain and scars, yet how easy it was to re-stain.