1: to free from impurities or unwanted material
2: to free from moral imperfection: elevate
3: to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
4: to reduce in vigor or intensity
5: to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth



Refine (v.): 1580s, of metals, c. 1590 of manners, from re- + obsolete fine (v.) “make fine,” from finedelicate.” Compare French raffiner, Italian raffinare, Spanish refinar. General and figurative sense is recorded from 1590s; of sugar, from 1610s.

Fine (adj.): mid-13th century, “unblemished, refined, pure, free of impurities,” also “of high quality, choice,” from Old French finperfected, of highest quality” (12th century).” The English word is from c. 1300 as “rich, valuable, costly;” also in a moral sense “true, genuine; faithful, constant.” From late 14th century as “expertly fashioned, well or skillfully made,” also, of cloth, “delicately wrought.” Of weapons or edges, “sharp” from c. 1400. In reference to quality of gold and silver, late 15th century.



“The more refined one is, the more unhappy.”

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904, Russian playwright and master of the modern short story, who probed below the surface to reveal the secret motives of his characters)

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“People are complex. You can be smart and still look hot. You can be a punk rocker yet have a refined vocabulary. It’s all about this mashup that makes us who we are and I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

Nadia Glosia (b. 1980, Canadian celebrity chef, comedian, and punk rock singer)

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“Rawness and refinement are not opposite ends of a luxurious spectrum… they are two complementary features with which to populate a luxe environment.”

Kelly Wearstler (b. 1957, author, designer, decorator, and muse)

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“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Russian author, a master of realistic fiction, and one of the world’s greatest novelists)

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“We are all sculptors and painters, and our materials is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man’s features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.”

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, essayist, poet, practical philosopher, New England Transcendentalist, and author of the book, “Walden”)

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“I know we should aspire to be higher philosophical beings, contemplating the universe and becoming more refined humans, but if all we did was think, then arguably we’d never have invented the wheel.”

Mariella Frostrup (b. 1962, UK-based journalist and television presenter, mainly known for arts programs)

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“Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.”

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969, founder of the Japanese martial art of Aikido)

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“Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.”

Morihei Ueshiba


In the art of Chi Gong the season that is associated with refinement is autumn. Transformation in nature during this time happens slowly and delicately.

The fall is a time of letting go.  It’s also a time of endings and new beginnings, one of our year’s reset buttons, which gives us the ability to balance and recalibrate our lives, accordingly.

It feels as though we are all beginning a new school year, even though many of us will not be in school.  It’s a time of sorting through and of reorganization so we can learn and co-create more widely and at deeper levels.

As we embark upon this long holiday weekend, what are those things that can elevate our thoughts and refine our spirits?  Is it a good book, a great movie, a walk in nature, a run in the woods, or a long drive?  Or is it all of the above and much much more?

As we pause and embark upon this new beginning, let’s celebrate all that we are and all that be refined.

Be safe, sojourners, and have Glorious weekend!

Much Love, Tonya




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