What does it mean to Refine? My purpose here with the blog is to bring the intentions I have in my own life to those around me and my readers. I have always found it important to refine my life, and by that I mean, to constantly edit and cut out the pieces that don't benefit me and help me grow further as a person.
Refining your life can be anything from the big stuff- careers, who you spend time with, where you live and how you live. It's also very much the little things from morning routines, the foods you decide to fuel your body with, the way you spend your 10 minute breaks each day, the way you only use soap that foams or the way you always keep certain items in your car to make your commute better. Annie Dillard says it best- "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives".
So my intent here is to focus on the small things that make up the big things and help us all "refine" them. Let's get intentional with how we spend our days, so at the end of our lives we're quite pleased with how it all turned out. Let's keep only the things in our life that benefit us and help us to continually grow. May our environments always contain only the things that we we've carefully curated and truly love. May our relationships raise us up rather than bring us down, may our choices, big or small, always be to encourage our best selves in gaining more knowledge, more compassion, more curiosity, and just.. more.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit". - Aristotle
As the quote above by Aristotle suggests, excellence is just a matter of habit. And to create a habit is a choice you have to make, that's it, it's really that easy. If you decide to take care of yourself and "show up" every day for this crazy thing called life, the habits you choose to do so, can create excellence. Therefore, there are no naturally excellent people. We're all the same, except some of us choose to refine our habits into what produces excellence, and others choose habits that produce mediocrity and enough to get by.
What can we do today to refine our life and increase our habits of excellence? I'll be here with many suggestions along the way, but for now, let's reflect on what we really want our life to look like. There are so many questions you can ask yourself to assess how you're currently living:
Do you want to maintain the habit of waking up, throwing on leggings and "getting by" each day? Or do you want to be intentional, wear something nice that shows you value yourself and your opportunities to come in the next 24 hours?
Do you want to continue living with clutter you don't necessarily like, or do you want to go through your home and keep only what serves you and create a light atmosphere that inspires you?
Do you feel good when you drive a filthy car, or do you want to make an effort to drive through the car wash for a few bucks each week (at the very least), to present yourself well when you arrive places?
Do you want to keep hanging out with that friend that gives you backhanded remarks, trying to disguise them as innocent comments? Or do you want to let these people go and only keep those around you that lift you up? If you struggle to let these people go, why? It doesn't matter how long you've known them, if they drag you down, they drag you down. Life is too short to surround yourself with those that aren't kind and look out for your best interest.
There are so many ways we can refine our lives and so many questions we can ask ourselves. One great method of measurement to refine is to ask yourself- "Does this make me happy?" If it doesn't, let it go.
Imagine you're holding sand in your hands- all of the grains slipping through your fingers no longer serve you, let them go. Imagine those grains are people, habits, jobs, belief systems you grew up with, ways of living, useless routines, dumb bills you're paying because you just haven't stopped (cancel lame subscriptions you don't use), bad food that doesn't fuel your better self, and anything else that doesn't fit into the future, excellent you. Let those grains of sand go. When you're done, you should have a tiny pile in the center of your palm and this is your core. It's what you need and only what you need. It's your finest habits, your favorite people, your most adored objects to live with and anything else you've perfectly curated to lift you higher.
Be discerning; create your standards and everything and everyone around you will rise to meet them. You're not here to compromise.
Cheers to your well-refined life.