Like so many things in life, glassblowing can be unpredictable. There are many variables that can’t be controlled, and due to the nature of the medium, there’s a high rate of things that can go wrong. Despite knowing this logically, I used to be really hard on myself. I’d get so caught up in having to make things ‘perfect’ that I would even start to procrastinate, because I was so afraid of failure.
Doing the Process freed up my attitude and helped me challenge my patterns of perfectionism. I now try to approach everything as a learning experience, instead of always trying to get it ‘right’ first time. Slowly, I’m learning to let go and shift perspective, from always seeing failure as a ‘bad’ thing to keeping an open mind.
For example, I was making glass birds for a friend’s wedding and from that I got the idea to make table placeholders. After many attempts, I still couldn’t get the result I wanted. Frustrated and disheartened, I dropped the idea and felt I’d wasted my efforts. A few weeks later, I re-looked at the failed birds to see what else I could do with them, and turning one on its side, I realised it could be made into a decorative hook instead. This was very exciting for me, as I’d been looking for small products I could make easily and were more affordable.
My relationships with my colleagues have been more rewarding too, as I can view any challenges as a chance to reflect and investigate what the triggers are that I need to address within myself. I now make an effort to respond appropriately rather than react, which can be difficult in the studio where things happen very quickly, especially when we’re making glass and we have to work very closely as a team.
A lot of communication is done through body language or eye contact, and I feel more intuitive and able to pick up nuance. We’re a small team, all from different backgrounds, so situations can easily be misconstrued, but I now keep firmly in mind what I learned on the Process – we each have patterns inherited from our parents and no one is to blame. I try to have compassion and empathy for what each person might be going through. I certainly feel happier and less obsessive at work.
If you’re considering doing the Hoffman Process, I’d say DO IT!!! Admittedly, the cost was a concern for me, but mental health and wellbeing is priceless. I see it as the most valuable investment I have ever made in myself and following from that, an investment that also benefits my family, friends and the wider world.
Like the safety briefing on the aeroplane, we must put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others. We can’t control situations or change other people – true change comes from within. Through that, we can inspire others from our own actions and personal journeys. If everyone did Hoffman, I’m sure the world would be a better place, with less crime and war.
My next project is a chandelier/light sculpture of the planets in our solar system. Now that my inner flame has been rekindled, I would like to spread the wonderment, magic and mystery of the universe and higher consciousness through my work by bringing light into other people’s lives.
You can find out more about Candice’s work on her website: glasscandydesign.com