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Refinement Is To Let Go & Build

O P E N your mouth wide, breathe out and say, “AHHHHHH”, for 5 seconds.

Now, look in a mirror and do it again. We’re in agreement. It may feel a bit strange and look even stranger when you see your reflection in the mirror, mouth ajar with a stretched face.

Hang in there. We’re going to ask you to do this exercise once again, but this time, sit or stand quietly for at least one minute and breathe in and breathe out, first.

As you breathe out and say “AHHHHHH”, once again, this time imagine that every belief, action, situation, behavior and plans you have experienced that did not quite live up to your expectations or efficiently pan-out was attached to each molecule of breath.

Exhaled breath is comprised of approximately 78% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen and small amounts of gases such as argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and hydrogen.


I M A G I N E that each molecule carried with them your internalized negative feelings of failure, defeat, discomfort and/or disempowerment and imagine those experiences which have held dead space within your life, no longer do.

You have now created an opportunity to cultivate something new, different and refined in your life. Seeking to refine our lives or elements within them cannot occur if negative personal beliefs and habits block our growth, life progression and goals. One way we can begin to refine our lives, is to let go.

L E T T I N G G O does not necessarily mean forgetting, but it can act as a catalyst to foster the process of refining our lives and/or a goal. Some important features of letting go include:

1. Accepting and Embracing Change

Change is inevitable. It may be the change we experience in our bodies, a change of home, or a necessary change in an experimental design in a science project. This change, or rather, a transformation-- may be better experienced when our minds and hearts stand to be proactive in helping to cultivate it, not only responding to it.

2. Discovering Your Power

We have power in our language: verbal, gestural, written, or other. We have power in our joy and triumph, and power in our struggles and pain. While feelings of discomfort and challenge might function to help us emotionally and cognitively grow, unless we learn from our lessons, these challenges may be a hindrance. Letting go may help us understand the power we had to hold on to negative emotional dead weight, and transform it into a power used to align our actions with our values to construct a better you or something important in your life.

3. Exploring New Perspectives

Sometimes the way we perceive ourselves and others may become limited, to where our experiences in life keep us stagnant for way too long; preventing learning and dynamic engagement in life. Exploring new ideas and perspectives can help us understand ourselves and others at deeper levels. Gaining new perspectives can help us creatively problem solve, understand the nuisances in situations and critically analyze them for the purpose of gaining knowledge and applying solutions.

In short, neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to modify, change, and adapt structure and function as we experience life. It helps improve high-level brain functioning. Improving neuroplasticity may be helped by learning or practicing specific new skills, through repetition, intensity and patience.


A S WE let go of negative emotional dead weight in our lives, we equip ourselves with the ability to refine them.

Refining our lives is to: improve our goals, align our actions with our values, reduce stress, improve the accuracy and precision in our completion of tasks, live our truths, grow and much more!

So, how do we refine our lives?

While the process or approach can vary and be quite different for different people, 3 key elements stand out to us.

1. Acknowledgement

Refinement may occur when we acknowledge our negative self-limiting beliefs, our need to improve a skill through education and/or experience, or understanding the benefit of collaboration to improve developing new ideas or solutions to issues. Self-introspection and/or project focused introspection may allow us to objectively analyze ourselves, a process or a function of a task or goal and determine areas of improvement. Acknowledgment may also mean, be real with yourself, understand how your values are lived and what your primary purposes are.

2. Strategic Planning

Refinement may occur once we understand the faults or ineffectiveness of a plan or naming the negative belief, learning about the topic through careful research, talking to a trusted person to help you brainstorm ideas for change and even organizing your thoughts through planning. This is a synthesis/commitment stage where you've developed a plan to acquire a new goal. Although the plan may be actionable early on, or later, strategic planning may assist your refining process. It allows you to organize your thoughts, develop a plan, consider their impacts and weigh the importance of their understood values.

3. Taking Action

Refinement may occur when your plans or not only organized processes, but they are expressed by taking action. Not only do we need to think, imagine and fully accept new modes of living: their feelings, structure and position in our families, communities, jobs and institutions, we must also bring it about through physical change. Emotional change may show itself in being more mindful with your time, language use, communication responses to situational shifts. Physical change may show itself in engaging in a new activity, altering your schedule or managing your time more or less deliberately, improving your health and wellness regiment or altering a method to observe different interactions.


The most common chemicals used in brick clay is 55% Silica (SiO2), 30% Alumina (Al2O3), 8% Iron Oxide (Fe2O3), 8% Magnesia (MgO), 1% Lime (CaO), 1% organic matter.

Although an absolute refinement process is probably not realistic for anyone throughout their lives because the human condition can show itself in various ways in different given moments, refinement is comprised of letting go and building. We let go of emotions, processes, habits and actions that defer our best selves. We build better lives and goals by consistently and deliberately removing and adding knowledge, new skills, efficient practices and creative expressions that align with our passions, values and the actions we take to acquire our goals.

As we exhale negative beliefs and emotions, try new skills and processes, and become more deliberate about building our lives, refining ourselves and our goals will help us transform, the goals we have and the communities we live in for improved wellness.

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Unknown member
Nov 01, 2021

Thank you for including a breathing exercise! 2021 has been about accepting and embracing change and discovering that we have the power to change our mindset. I will definitely come back to your article at the end of this year to guide my reflection of 2021 and manifest what 2022 can be :)


Queenster N
Queenster N
Sep 16, 2021

Norbaya- WOW. What a timely piece!! I really appreciated your definition of refinement and how tackled the letting go and unlearning that first needs to happen before learning new things and building. I look forward to implementing some of your suggestions for the ILAC and my personal life. Thank you so much!

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