1 : carefully selected : CHOICE
2 archaic : ACCURATE
3 (a): marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or elaborate execution; (b): marked by nice discrimination, deep sensitivity, or subtle understanding; (c): ACCOMPLISHED, PERFECTED
4 (a): pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection; (b): ACUTE, INTENSE; (c): having uncommon or esoteric appeal

Source: www.merriam-webster.com


Exquisite (adj.): early 15th century, “carefully selected,” from Latin exquisituschoice,” literally “carefully sought out,” from past participle stem of exquireresearch out thoroughly,” from ex-out” + quaerereto seek.”

Originally in English of any thing (good or bad, torture and diseases as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. The main modern meaning, “of consummate and delightful excellence” is first attested 1579, in Lyly’s “Euphues.”

The noun meaning “a dandy, fop” is from 1819. Bailey’s Dictionary (1727) has exquisitousnot natural, but procured by art.”

Source: www.etymonline.com


“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.”

Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert in 1931, an American contemporary spiritual teacher and author of the 1971 book, “Be Here Now.” He is known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary in the early 1960s and his travel to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba. He also founded the charitable organizations: Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation.)

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“Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.”

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American Poet who was known as the mystic of New England. As a teenager she lived a reclusive life where she took care of her sick mother and filled her notebooks with poetry and hundreds of letters. She was later educated at Amherst Academy (now known as Amherst College) and the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and was an excellent student despite missing school due to illness and depression.)

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“It was in the 1920s, when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it.”

Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986, 20th Century American artist, painter, and pioneer of Modern Art. She was born in Sun Praire, Wisconsin and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She later married photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who gave her her first gallery show. After her husband’s death she moved to New Mexico where she was inspired to paint her best known paintings of large-scale flowers, close range natural forms and landscapes.)

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“An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportion.”

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867, French poet, essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe, and was known as one of the most compelling poets of the 19th century. Victor Hugo’s contemporary, Poetry Foundation wrote: “Baudelaire is distinctive in French literature also in that his skills as a prose writer virtually equal his ability as a poet.”)

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“Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.”

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, and best known for her wit. She was born in West End, NJ and grew up in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Her childhood was traumatic one. Her mother and step-mother died when she was young; her uncle Martin Rothschild, died on the Titanic in 1912; and her father died the following year. Parker attended a Catholic grammar school and then a finishing school in Morristown, NJ. Her formal education abruptly ended at the age of 14. She sold her first poem to Vanity Fair at the age 19, and at age 22 took an editorial job at Vogue.)

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“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849, American author, poet, editor, and literacy critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe’s father and mother were both professional actors who died before the poet was three years of age. He was raised a foster child in Richmond, Virginia by a prosperous tobacco exporter, John Allan, who sent Poe to the best boarding schools and later to University of Virginia where he excelled academically. Poe was forced to leave the university when Allan refused to pay Poe’s gambling debts.)

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“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.”

— Ram Dass

Do you see the exquisite beauty of your life?

I beginning to do so, especially now.  Perhaps, it’s because of this new season.  Or maybe it’s where I am personally in my stage of my life.  I’m letting go and trusting the Infinite Wisdom of the Universe, knowing for sure that we are all being taken care of.

This stage and state didn’t come so easy.  Personally, it’s taken some time to empty my psychological garbage and emotional baggage.  But, I now know the possibility of abiding more deeply in peace and exquisite simplicity even in the midst of life’s challenges.

My pursuit for meaningful life began after I had my children.  Out of necessity, I embarked upon a soul-wrenching and emotional vision quest.  That course of transformational cycles was fast and furious and would not let up, not even at my request.  Soul-wise, I was changing at every turn and could barely keep up with how much I was offloading and what new and fresh paradigms were shifting into my life.

In addition, I was a new mother nurturing and guiding the well-being of two beautiful, healthy, and advanced souls into the world, while acquiring new spiritual teachers of my own, building spiritual practices, and serendipitously separating and divorcing from an emotionally indifferent marriage.  It was a tough time, but one of great commitment to change at every level.

I could no longer ignore my mystical relationship with God or my intuitive gifts and sensitivities.  I had to not only stop resisting who I was and my unique connection to the Greater Universe, but I also had to stop wanting from a perspective of scarcity.   And the more I did, the more I found Unconditional Self-self Love at every turn.  I opened myself more and more to contemplative spiritual practices, allowing stillness in.  I let it be, while allowing all the exquisite beauty to encircle me.

Years ago, I stood before a huge statue that was almost four-stories tall outside the St. John the Divine Cathedral in NYC.   When I first witness the great work of art it was a little scary to me at first, mainly because many homeless men sat around.  But, for reason I kept going back to understand its meaning, no matter my perceived peril.

At first, I could only take in the statue at my eye’s length, images of the Sun, the Moon and the tip of the sword that pointed to the head of the devil.  It took weeks for me raise my head and finally see a glorious and huge representation of Archangel Michael.   He bigger than the sun and the moon, especially as he tenderly caressed three giraffes while battling evil.  I was so awestruck by His exquisite beauty and magnificence that for many weeks I could not get over why it took me so long to see the scope of this art piece in its totality.  It dawned on me that I wasn’t ready until I was.

We all have our spiritual and emotional blind spots, unable to see the beauty of our world, close at hand.  Sometimes we have to mature to see what we are looking at.  It is in the humbling ourselves and opening of our hearts that we can see a little bit more.

Sojourners, may you continue to see the exquisite beauty, truth, and light of your magnificent lives.

Much Love, Tonya






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