ISHINE x Lauren Steele: The Process

Nothing of value comes without being earned.

So many times in our life, we forget the beauty of the process. The measure by which we try and craft and refine and work is the portion of our progress—not any singular accomplishment or title or moment. You know, not a single damn thing that exists in this world has come to be without a process. And nothing that has withstood a transformative process is without value.

The most valuable portions of my experiences and my character have come into their final form by way of trial. There have been gut-checking, dreadful moments that required me to get uncomfortable—but growing pains are never comfortable. Now, I look at myself—this twentysomething woman with a college education and a full heart and a curious mind who was raised on a modest farm in the middle of nowhere Missouri and I’m here in Iceland dancing across black sand beaches and climbing up glaciers and smiling so hard my face hurts.

That little girl on the farm in Missouri would have no reason to be here—but the woman who I grew into after years of learning and trying and going and working and growing—she belongs here. She belongs anywhere.

A finish line isn’t impressive without miles behind it. The peak of a mountain is just another lump of earth without the effort of each vertical footstep underneath it. A diamond is just a lump of coal before it’s cut and polished. A college degree is just a paper without the hours of dedication. A book is just ten thousand words strung together without the people and places and things moving along in their story. A friendship is just two people in the same moment without the collection of memories while going through life together. Heck, a manicure is just ten lacquered nails without the imagination and color of a process.

It seems silly to compare a manicure to climbing a mountain or creating a friendship, but all of these processes together are the collective movements and moments that construct our lives—the biggest process of all.

So take pride and joy in each process—from starting to put the first sentence of a story down on paper that will end ten thousand words later, to those steps you take along the race path that test you all the way to the finish line, to the final brush strokes of a topcoat on your next manicure.


View the Iceland Collection here

Written by Lauren Steele -