Based on the writings of don Miguel Ruiz and published in 1997, this is a life-changing book whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were “people of knowledge” ~ scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve not only the traditional spiritual knowledge, but also the practices of their ancestors.
The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy ~ material or ethereal ~ is derived from and governed by the Universe. Don Miguel Ruiz, born and raised in rural Mexico, was brought up to follow his family's Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and his grandfather, a Toltec shaman. Despite this, don Miguel decided to pursue a conventional education which led him to qualify and practise for several years as a surgeon.
Following a car crash, don Miguel Ruiz reverted to his Toltec roots during the late 1970's...studying and learning in depth the Toltec ways and then healing, teaching, lecturing and writing during the 1980's and 1990's...when he wrote The Four Agreements.
The simple ideas of The Four Agreements
provide an inspirational code for life.
In wartime, after continual strife, Agreements, Treaties and Pacts are made between/among countries to end the battle (be it bloody or otherwise) and to live as peacefully as is possible thereafter.
Businesses have Agreements which designate the protocol of behaviour and principles to which employees must adhere…for not only the success of the company but also to create a pleasant working atmosphere (conducive to camaraderie and achievement).
Parents, to have a family living in a harmonious environment, set standards of acceptable actions by which ALL must abide; failing which, negotiations must be discussed, reorganized and agreed upon.
The Four Agreements are geared to us personally ~ our thoughts, our actions and our coping strategies.
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
Speak with integrity.
Say only what you mean.
Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
Interpretation: Impeccable means without 'sin' and sin is something you do or believe that goes against yourself or to others. To be impeccable means to take responsibility for yourself, to not participate in “the blame game”. Impeccability starts at home and will reflect in your life and your relationship with others. This Agreement can help change agreements, especially ones that create fear instead of love.
My Opinion: When speaking, it is important to have knowledge and to explain with clarity so there is no misunderstanding. I will not be “party to gossip”. The best solution is...“Think Before You Speak” and choose your words wisely.
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do 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 suffer.
Interpretation: We take things personally when we agree with what others have said. If we didn't agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behaviour could not affect us.
My Opinion: If a friend insults or belittles me, I will react in defence of my character. If a friend becomes controlling, I'll readily state my position
“Words mean nothing…when your actions contradict.”.
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 one agreement, you can clearly transform your life.
Interpretation: When we make assumptions, it is because we believe we know others' thoughts and feelings. We believe we know their point of view, their dream. We forget that our beliefs are just our point of view based on our belief system and personal experiences.
My Opinion: I fully agree and I do not assume anything without supporting facts.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your best is going to change from moment to moment;
when you are healthy, it will be different as opposed to sick.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Interpretation: Doing your best means enjoy the action without expecting a reward. Pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun ~ not from how much you get paid. Enjoy the path travelled and destination will take care of itself.
My Opinion” With any project or task, I'll try my best. I don't want to reassess saying, “I could have, I should have...”. I just don't worry about things over which I have no control.
For your own personal satisfaction, Readers...
how would you address these "Four Agreements"?
Words of Wisdom
"Don't sacrifice what you want in life for what you want now.
Do something today that you will thank yourself for in the future."
Merle Baird-Kerr...written July 23, 2014
Comments appreciated...e-mail to:
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