Oh So Refined


I once heard a Shaman on a podcast (Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I said that...), speak about a governing principle of this planet we call home. Earth, he shared, is not a planet of perfection, but of refinement.

While it's definitely obvious re: the perfection thing, I must say I was absolutely struck by the concept of refinement. 

Refinement may conjure up images of cotillion classes, Jane Austen novels, and sipping champagne with pinkies out - as it did for me initially.  But as the concept has percolated a bit, I've begun to see refinement a little differently, and I think my Shaman friend would agree. 

You see, refinement often takes friction. A refined carrara marble statue was born of a rough, tough, bit of stone. It took intensive chipping, sculpting, clearing (and a heck of a lot of elbow grease) to free the masterpiece within. As such, our time here certainly includes frustration, pain, confusion, but if given purpose in this process of evolution, or if the evolution process is the process, it can become much more meaningful. 

Refinement isn't always a fun experience. But the point may very well be to learn patience with ourselves and others as we go through its paces. To perhaps understand what it means to see the unfolding of our lives from the perspective of benefit (love) versus the perspective of fear. 

Because if we're brave enough to try on a new perspective of meaning and life on this planet, if we're bold enough, then everything has a purpose. Every challenge, every "rub," every block or hurdle is actually perfectly placed to make us better.

It reminds me of this quote: "no one is your friend, no one is your enemy, everyone is your teacher."

The holidays are particularly rife with opportunities (challenges) on the journey toward refinement. The people and circumstances that trigger us the most can also provide the biggest boon to our own healing and self-actualization.  

So here's the million dollar question:

Can you embrace said moments of refinement - even when uncomfortable?

Can you breathe through them, find compassion within them?

Or will you miss a chance to free the authentic masterpiece within? 

Joanna Andreae