Have you read The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz? It should be on everyone’s bookshelf. It’s a perfect read to start off the new year.
Reading The Four Agreements helps us to understand how to distinguish between a tale and the truth. Ruiz writes about letting go of the attachments and beliefs that are in the way to a direct route to a happy and meaningful life.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
‘Nothing others do is because of you. What others say is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’
Don’t sweat the small stuff…It’s easier said than done but helpful to know that when someone is unkind and yells, gossips or harms you that it’s not about you! It’s based on what that person believes in their personal fantasy. Once we agree with what others have said, we take things personally. If we didn’t agree, the things that others say would not affect us heartily. If a decision can be consciously made to not take it personally then, words or behavior no longer affect the heart.
Always Do Your Best
‘Under any circumstance, always do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.’
Give great effort in all that you do and enjoying that effort without expecting a reward. The pleasure comes from finding the fun in the effort and enjoying the moment…not expecting anything in return. When making the choice to “always do your best” this allows us to be fully alive in the moment and not worrying about the past or present. Transformation happens when we are taking action and living without regret.
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.’
It is so easy to get lost in our imagination and dream up what people are thinking, saying about us, doing… When we imagine these assumptions, we sometimes believe that they are true. This whole story that we’ve imagined may only be true to us but the mind believes it and one assumption leads to another…just like band, The Fixx sang:
Do what they say, say what you mean, and baby
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long but then
One thing leads to another
Instead of making assumptions, ask questions and say what you want. Communication solves the problem of assuming people know what’s in your head.
Be Impeccable With Your Word
‘Speak only with integrity. Say only what you mean.’
When love and gratitude goes out, those closest to you feel it and will return the same positive energy. If we tell someone, “I’ll be there” but we don’t mean it, your words have less value. Say only what you mean even if you have to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it.”
To be impeccable is to use your word in the direction of love and truth. When applying the practice “always do your best,” and “being impeccable with your word,” it has incredible rewards…allowing you to create your life as a magnum opus.
This is a spiritual self-help book that can shift your life in the most positive way. I read The Four Agreements for my yoga teacher training and found it to be truly meaningful and it falls right into place with my yoga practice.