The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz's 4 Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz’s 4 Agreements

“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.

Like what you’ve read and want Zen Mama delivered to your email? I promise your email won’t be shared. Subscribe here:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

This entry was posted in Book Review, Finding Ourselves and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Four Agreements

  1. Betsy, The Four Agreements is one of the books I love to re-read and browse from time to time. Thank you for sharing with us how much it has meant to you in your life. Right now I’m working on #2, Don’t take anything personally. Your mother gave you valuable wisdom! I find that connecting with the Earth brings tremendous healing to me that is beyond words and thinking.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Martine,
    “Don’t take anything personally” is one I’ve been working on, too. If we can remember that we can stop anger and resentment in its tracks when someone says something that just seem quite right. I love connecting with the earth, too. I don’t think a day is complete without it.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    [Reply]

  2. Danelle Hill says:

    A very very nice post today

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thank you Danelle! I have the book if you ever want to borrow it!!

    [Reply]

  3. The Four Agreements is one of those ageless books that come back over and over with excellent reminders of how to live. Thanks for reminding me yet again of these four powerful truths!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Glad you love this, too, Kathy!
    I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    [Reply]

  4. Lucy says:

    This is one of my favorite books. Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my greatest spiritual teachers. Thank you for sharing and summarizing the 4 agreements with such brevity and ease. Best wishes for the workshop. Sounds beautiful. Wish I could attend.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Lucy,
    Wish you could attend, too. If will hopefully be the first of many!!
    I did try to be as brief yet informative as possible with the agreements. Glad it came through that way.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    [Reply]

  5. Christine says:

    Hi Betsy!

    This is so interesting! I just read a list of book recommendations yesterday and The Four Agreements was on there. And now I read your wonderful post about it! And strangely enough, the book has been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for a very long time. Looks like it’s time to start reading it… :)

    There’s so much wisdom in all of the agreements. I think the one I need to work on the most is #2. There are times I have to remind myself that it’s “not about me.”

    Thanks for this!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Christine,
    Sounds like one of those coincidences that really isn’t one! Let me know what you think!!
    Thanks for taking the time to comment!!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  6. Ted says:

    I loved your blog!!
    Mom

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks Mom! Always happy to have you as one my readers!!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  7. Melissa says:

    Love this post Betsy. What a great reminder not to take things personally as well as watch your thoughts and words. Words can and do hurt often more than sticks and stones. I also like what you said about doing your best. Your best may not be perfect but if you try to do your best and have the best intentions no matter what, it is ‘good enough’. Thanks for sharing girl!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Melissa,
    So glad you enjoyed! We need to let go of our attachment to words and know that usually the other person is going through something that has nothing to do with us.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this insightful comment!!

    [Reply]

  8. Betsy,
    I read the book a while ago and the one take away I had from it was always to remember not to take things personally! That helped me a great deal.
    Great book – great reminder of good strong principle to live by.
    Thanks!
    Angela

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Angela,
    I read it first a long time ago and take time each year to revisit the main principles. And the “not taking things personally” is my favorite, too. Usually people have other problems that have nothing to do with you!
    Thanks for taking the time to comment!
    xoxox

    [Reply]

  9. The Four Agreements is one of my most favorite books. When I first read it, the ideas opened my mind to a whole new world. The agreements are so powerful every day that I typed them up on nice paper in a beautiful font and framed them. They sit on my desk as a constant reminder to me and those I work with. Thanks for sharing this Betsy!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Paige,
    That’s great that you have them right there on your desk! I, too, was introduced to many interesting ideas, not just the agreements, when I read the book. It’s always close by with some of my other beloved spiritual books.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment! Always love to see your name here!!

    [Reply]

  10. Classic Betsy! This read vibes with me; not taking things personally marked a big shift in my life, from being angry to being at peace. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Ryan,
    Not taking things personally seems to be everyone’s favorite! Mine, too. What a difference it makes in the anger department!
    I really appreciate your comment and having you here as part of our positive community!! Cheers!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge