1: to free (as metal, sugar, or oil) 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 what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth



Refine (v.): 1580s, of metals, c. 1590 of manners, from re-, intensive prefix, + obsolete fine (v.) “make fine,” from fine (adj.) “delicate.” 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” (12c.), a back-formation from finire or else from Latin finisthat which divides, a boundary, limit, border, end” (related to finish (v.)); hence “acme, peak, height,” as in finis bonithe highest good.”

Refined (adj.): 1570s, “subtle;” 1580s, “elegant;” 1590s, “purified.”



“The natural effect of sorrow over the dead is to refine and elevate the mind.”

Washington Irving (1783-1859, called the “first American man of letters,” best known for his short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”)

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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, Russian author and ranks among the world’s top writers, best known for the acclaimed novels, “War and Peace,” “Anna Karenina,” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich.”)

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“Poetry should help, not only to refine the language of the time, but to prevent it from changing too rapidly.”

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965, born Thomas Stearns Eliot, American-born British poet, critic, essayist, editor, and playwright; one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry; received The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.)

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“As your consciousness, refinement and pureness of heart expands you will become less judgmental, less corrective, less reactive, less black-and-white, less critical, less apt to blame and less tormented by others and their faults and views.”

Bryant McGill (b. 1969, American author, speaker, and activist in the fields of human potential and human rights)

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“I will not leave a corner of my consciousness covered up, but saturate myself with the strange and extraordinary new conditions of this life, and will all refine itself into poetry later on.”

Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918, Jewish-English poet, painter-poet, poet of war, great and minor poet who died at the young age of twenty-eight.)

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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


Every day, we must do a little bit of focused self-examination and douse our circumstances with playful enlightenment, washing away those things and issues that no longer serve us well.

It can be difficult to do this at times.  Life, infinitely creative, does throw us every now-and-again some hard and fast curve balls, challenges we could not have anticipated no matter how long we pondered.

But, if we pay close attention to what triggers us, like experienced paleontologists, we will unearth our own healthy bones; brushing away those layers of dirt and sand, that served previously as armor and made us so feel protective, will expose our soft and new vulnerabilities.

If we stay with it and drill down to the deep recesses of our psyche, we will acquire many opportunities to have a life of great refinement.

Let us continue to stay alert to Life’s delicate lessons and enlarge our abilities to co-create.

Faithfully Yours, Tonya


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