In this post I would like to recommend you a book by Don Miguel Ruiz, which carries deep ancient wisdom and is still so precious and valid for today. The book in question is The Four Agreements
It is – as the subtitle says – a guide to personal freedom and peace. The author himself was educated as a shaman from a toltec lineage of wise-man. The baseline of the book is that we are all making different agreements with our surrounding and with ourselves. Another word for agreement would be also assumption and belief. These agreements/beliefs are usually build on a very unstable foundation, born from fear, missing self-love and past-traumas. Don Miguel Ruiz gives us four major guidelines in order to break out form this cycle and start living from a base of love and understanding.
Agreement No.1 : Be Impeccable With Your Word.
So, what does that mean?
Words have power. We know that when we simply think of situations, where just one phrase is putting us into a rage or one can deeply hurt us. Ruiz states that words being used incorrectly are like poison, which slowly toxifies us. It does not matter if the words are used for another person or for oneself (negative self-talk… 😉 ). The first and most important agreement, everyone of us should really take to heart, is to always speak kindly and sincerely. Words have so much power since they can install ideas, concepts and beliefs inside us. Our mind is a very fertile ground and it loves words as seed to grow new crop. Imagine what crop you are yielding, when you always talk negatively about yourself or when you always blame yourself? And now imagine what crop is there for you, when you start seeding phrases of positivity inside of you?
The seeds you sow inside of you with kind words will ultimately blossom and ripple into your outer world as well.
Agreement No. 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.
I guess we all know the situation: We are having a call with a friend and he or she sounds strange/ speaks differently than usual and we don’t know whats going on? Immediately we start thinking what we have maybe done that our friend speaks like that? Or that he/she maybe is holding against us? Right away, our mind starts to create the wildest scenarios in order to figure out what possible went wrong? And it’s even worse when texting with someone, right?! 😉
It does not even have to be a friend. It’s already enough that we are being treated impolitely by a stranger on the street. Right away, we will think: “This person does not like me.”
Well, what if this stranger just had a bad day? What if I told you that we are taking us too much as the center of attention and that every statement or action another person is doing to you has nothing to do with you but all with them?
Every person is having his own mind and living in his own world, perceiving it in his own way. Taking things personally would mean that the other person would know how it looks inside YOUR mind and YOUR world! But, sorry guys, it’s not.
Even if someone is insulting you, it has something to do with them. The moment we take it onto ourselves is the moment we voluntarily drink that poison and that emotional baggage from them. It can happen that it will resonate with something in you but that is just because you have some agreement with yourself, which reflects the insult back to you. It is neither them leading a personal war against you nor your person being a reason for them to do so (more on that topic in my post Autumn Storms )
By taking nothing personally, we ultimately stop the cascade of hurt and insult and proceed on the way of inner healing 🙂 .
Agreement No. 3: Don’t Jump To Conclusions.
The third agreement goes along very well with the second. How I have already stated: Everyone perceives the world differently. Everyone has made different experiences, has different belief systems and different agreements made in his mind.
That means that by definition, how I will see a situation will be completely different from how You will experience it.
The second fact is the following: The main problem with conclusions is that we easily tend to take them as THE truth. The ONE truth.
So what happens when we combine these two facts?
We perceive the world in our way, you and me differently, and we simultaneously see it as THE truth. So, which one is correct? Who is right? I guess you get the sense for the consequences of such an agreement. We simply cannot make any conclusions no matter the situation because we are never (and NO ONE is) omniscient and omnipresent to see ALL angles and THE truth. What this usually implies is that we get into smaller and bigger misunderstandings because “I have thought that you will do….” or “Well, you said that…”
Take all there is simply and plainly as what it is and start to detect your own conclusions in that. You will start to feel the relief in that right away 🙂 .
Agreement No. 4: Always Give Your Best.
The last agreement is actually supporting all three mentioned before. No matter what time, no matter what situation, always give your best!
Why? Because when you always give your best, you will never feel the need to defend yourself or feel guilty for something. This means that when you are not well, you will still give your best but also accept that “this best” might be different to “that best” when you were in top form. Concerning other people you will also become more mild and accepting because you know that they are also always trying their best 🙂 .
It means that in each moment “the best” might change and that in order to understand that you will automatically always stay in the present moment to keep up with “your best”.
And moreover it will take away the personal pressure when trying to live by these Four Agreements: If for some reason you will find yourself in a situation were you have not stuck to these agreements you will no longer judge yourself because you KNOW that you always give your best. And maybe in that moment your best was simply focused onto something else.
By stopping to blame yourself you also enforce agreement No. 1 of using kind and impeccable words on you, which again positively supports living to ALL Agreements.
In the end it will result in a positive feedback loop, which finally will lead you to transform your own reality into one of bliss, peace and joy.
I can recommend reading this amazing manifesto to everyone willing to find his own way to freedom and inner peace with my full-heart and I am sure that bit by bit and person by person, we will be able to transform our whole experience in this world…. ❤