“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”
~Don Miguel Ruiz
Have you read the best selling book (bestseller for 7 years!) THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz?
He writes of four agreements to practice and much more. These four agreements stay with you! These principles help to create love and happiness in your life. I really enjoyed reading the book several years ago and re-visit these agreements to remind myself of their power. These agreements are simple, but simple isn’t always easy. Actually living these Four Agreements can be challenging.
Don Miguel Ruiz left his career as a surgeon and became a Toltec shaman following in the traditions of his family. The ancient Toltecs lived in the south of Mexico not far from the Guatemalan border. He began his career as a surgeon but then instead followed his family’s traditions of being a shaman. He moved to the United States before and has lived here after writing the book. THE FOUR AGREEMENTS was published in 1997. It’s based on Toltec Wisdom he learned from his family. He shares these ancient Toltec teachings as a way to find happiness, peace, and love. He has now passed these traditions onto his sons.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word:
Say only what you mean. Avoid saying things against yourself or gossiping about others.
This is some of the best advice in the book. I gave up gossiping years ago. The advice of the poem, “words will never hurt you” is so wrong! Words hurt people very much and if you’re talking behind someone else’s back they can feel it. Or they may find out from someone else. The negative talk you tell yourself is equally as hurtful. Your subconscious believes what you tell it. Stop both!
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say is their own reality, their own dream. When you stop taking things personally, you can analyze why someone’s actions.
I love this one. It’s advice my mother gave us years ago. She’d say, “If someone is angry or trying to make you feel guilty about something it’s because they have a problem, not you.” I always take that to heart. After initially being hurt or angry sometimes, I try to delve deep into what might be going on in that person’s life. This person may be dealing with financial issues, relationship problems or any of life’s big dramas. I don’t accept letting others treat me in a negative way, but I also don’t take it personally. I try to extend non-judgment to everyone.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Maybe you learned the same thing as me about the word assume? It makes an ass out of u and me? It’s still the same! It’s the same as the agreement above, “Don’t take things personally”. If you make assumption, you might miss what someone else is going through in life. Try, once again, to imagine that’s it’s their problem not yours. Use your inner wisdom and practice non-judgment.
4. Always Do Your Best
In any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
I know that I was always told this as a kid: “We’re happy as long you’ve done your best.” Your best is going to change from moment to moment. Somedays your best is incredible. Other days your best is just so-so. Your best will always be changing depending on health, wealth or wisdom. Do you best and avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, or any regret.
Each of us will find one or more of these agreements difficult to do! Pick the one or two that you need to work on more. It will be different for everyone. And these are great to share with your children!
It’s a short book and you may want to give it a try! Click on the book below to get it at Amazon.
And by the way Don Miguel Ruiz’s son Don Jose Ruiz has released a sequel with his father, The Fifth Agreement, which adds a further agreement:
5. Be Skeptical but Learn to Listen.
I think I’ll read this book over the summer! Read more about Don Miguel Ruiz, his family and their books at his website… click here.
“Everything is there for us, but first we need to have the courage to open our eyes, to use the truth, and to see what really is.”
~Don Miguel Ruiz
If you live near Denver (or even if you don’t!), I’d like to invite you to a workshop I’m giving with Tricia Gast of Body Talk. We’ll be teaching about releasing negative emotions like stress, worry, angry from the body, becoming a Peaceful Parent, finding your passion and becoming a positive thinker. We’ll be laughing a lot, practicing Yoga and giving you some practical tips on integrating all of this into your life right away. The workshop will take place June 28th from 8:00 to 12:00 in Littleton, Colorado with lots of heathy snacks included! The cost… you decide… that’s right! It’s based on the Buddhist principle called “Dana”: giving what you feel the program is worth. If you’re interested please email me at thezenmama (at) gmail.com and I’ll send you more information.
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