A few weeks ago I wrote about 7 Ways How To “Unlock” The Heart From Within. As this article spread its wings and flew around the world, one of the readers shared how she felt during the first few practices and how it reminded her of the four agreements of the Tolteca Culture. I have been practicing living by these agreements ever since they came into my life. I’ve never stopped to think about how they have actually affected and shaped my life. I have been given the opportunity to go within and explore my own story through the eyes of an observer. So with immense gratitude, I share my journey through these practices, wishing you to find the messages between these words, as you have been guided to.
For those of you, who are not aware about the four agreements from the Tolteca Culture, taught by Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Jose Ruiz; they are four simple yet effective practices that when lived by, create a more peaceful and happy life for you and the world.
1. "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..."
We are all magicians and our words are like spells that create a positive or negative effect. Everyday we use the power of the words, communicating through speech or writing. This agreement I believe it to be, if not the most important and crucial one, the backbone of it all. When I read about this agreement for the first time, I understood that practicing being impeccable with my words meant taking responsibility for my life and cease being the victim. If I didn’t, being impeccable with my words was going to be impossible to achieve. The reason for this is that once you understand that it is through words and thoughts that you create your world, you realize you must be very careful on how you communicate with others, but especially to yourself, as this has the power to create heaven or hell on earth. We are a reflection of each other and when we speak from fear, like when we gossip, give negative opinions or say mean things, what is really happening is that we are pouring that venom not only on to others, if they accept it, but also onto ourselves. Like Don Miguel teaches us, “words are like seeds, our minds are the soil and all minds are fertile, but only for the seed they are prepared for. The key is to discover, that our minds are fertile for the seed of love, so we can receive those.”
I have been practicing this agreement ever since I read about it a few years ago. And to tell you the truth it is the hardest agreement I have encountered, because we have been domesticated to gossip and lie since childhood. Looking back at my story, one of the things I have done in the past is to do push-ups every time I communicated negatively. It worked like magic, my vocabulary started to change and I was able to speak from love more easily, instead of communicating from fear. These days I find, that I need to work more on making sure not to gossip or when giving an opinion to do it from a place of love. Meaning if I am going to speak about someone or give my opinion about something, I should only do it positively or practice silence. At the end if I speak negatively about others, I am only poisoning my own self. This agreement is only possible to achieve when one thinks, thinks and thinks again before speaking. Writing this article has brought to my attention that I needed to become more aware of how and what I communicate for not only the sake of others but for my own healing. Because what I do for me I do for others and vice versa. Being impeccable with our words is to fully understand that we are one and that we live in a “planet of mirrors”, meaning what I see in you is me and what you see in me is you.
2. "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 suffering..."
I love this agreement, it is fun to practice and it has the potential to shift how you feel in a second. Taking things personally is the maximum expression of selfishness, because we believe everything revolves around us, it keep us in the “dream of hell”.
When we take things personally we feel offended and we react defending our beliefs and creating conflicts. You create a mountain out of a grain of salt, because you feel the need to be right and for others to be wrong. In the same way, whatever you do or feel, it is only an expression of your personal dream/world, a reflection of your own beliefs and agreements with yourself. Not taking anything personally helps us understand that we don’t need recognition from anyone, as we know who and what we are. For example when someone is angry they will express anger towards you and when they are happy they will express joy, this makes us understand that what others say or do to us, has nothing to do with us at all, because their point of view depends on their world. They are in their world and you are in yours. I know this may be a hard one to swallow, but don’t complicate yourself by trying to break it down, stay in simplicity and remember each one of us is a world within one. But with this been said, we also must be careful with what our minds tell us. Our mind is capable to speak and listen, when we let the “monkey mind” take over, we are not able to differentiate what is ours and what is not. This is when listening in silence is important, with practice we are able to quiet the mind and pick what agreements and beliefs are ours, and those which are not. This means, not everything you think is true, just because it came from your mind, it does not mean it belongs to you. I practice this agreement constantly, especially as soon as I feel an urge to react or find myself giving my opinion with the need to be heard. In that moment I realize that I am letting others poison me with their venom and that I need to stop taking it personally, because it is their world not mine. I also play the reflection game, this is where I take a step back and reflect on what and why something someone said bothers me. I do this because it helps me heal parts of me that I wasn’t aware needed healing. Again because we are mirrors, what you say to me, is a reflection of your world and what I hear is a reflection of mine, so if something triggers you then it is a sign that one must explore why, so we can understand ourselves better and move into the light. I believe this agreement brings freedom to myself, as soon as I put it into practice I feel this sense of relief, like everything is okay, there is no need to be angry, sad or jealous because nothing that I just heard is mine, except what I choose to make mine. I have the free will to choose, to believe or not to believe in something. When we don’t take anything personally we become immune to the black magic wizards and no spell affects us. I have realized that by not taking anything personally, I start trusting that I make the right choices and that I am responsible for myself and not others. Making this a habit can let you experience peace in the middle of hell. It also helps you with making decisions in your life and opening a space within you, where you can speak your truth without judging yourself.
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..."
It is through assumptions that we have won many movie awards in our life. We are all unbelievably powerful creators and as amazing as it sounds, we should be careful when creating, because we can create love or destruction. Not making assumptions is a habit we need to practice all the time, probably every two seconds, especially when something didn’t go the way we planned or when we are left in silence by others. When we make assumptions about what others have done or thought, we believe them to be real, we take them personally and then we judge and react towards others with emotional venom in our words, all because we took the liberty to assume something that never actually happened. This right here is the number one drama creator.
When we make assumptions it is because we took something personally and this provokes us to start gossiping. This is how we poison each other. All our sadness and dramas have roots in assumptions. Assumptions create suffering, that is why it is always better to ask. If you don’t know something and want to know, just ask. Especially in all types of relationships, we tend to think that the other knows us so well, that we assume they should have done this or known that, when in fact we should have asked or communicated clearly what we wanted or needed. The human mind needs to justify and explain it all to comprehend so then we can feel secure, when in reality all we need to do is have clear communication and trust. It’s simple, when we assume, it is because we haven’t had the courage to ask and most of the time we make assumptions in a fast and unconscious manner, as we have established agreements to communicate in this way. We also make assumptions about ourselves; this is when we either over or under estimate ourselves. When it is as easy as asking ourselves a few questions, so we can be guided towards what we need to do. Practicing this agreement like the rest of them, is a daily thing, learning these agreements is the first step, but it is in the action that we start seeing what they can do for us. Since practicing this one, I feel I am able to easily catch myself when I am making an assumption and if I don’t then somehow I always get a sign that reminds me I have started creating a false movie. When I do create the movie, as we all do, I feel anxious, unbalanced, fearful and all over the place. This is when I ask myself, am I living in truth or in a lie I just created out of nothing? Not making assumptions has simplified the way I communicate with others and myself. And has taken away drama that has never been needed or wanted, creating a more balanced and relaxed atmosphere for others and myself.
4. Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret..."
This one I had to learn through a tough time. There was a time when I was very ill for about 3 months. During these months I wanted to be at my best, or what I considered my best when I am healthy, but it was impossible, I was sick. Through a tough time, I learned that my best was different depending on my situation but nonetheless it was still my best. As simple as it sounds it wasn’t until this situation arose that I was able to understand this. This agreement has given me the opportunity to see and understand how I self sabotage myself, especially through self-judgment and punishment. Practicing this agreement comes easy to me, as I always give my best to every situation or at least I try.
But for me giving my "best" wasn’t what I needed to learn from this agreement, what I needed to learn was that my best changes within every situation and when it does, I need to embrace it for what it is, my best. To always do your best is to be present in your life, to be able to do everything with passion, and without wanting to get anything in return not even from yourself. Doing your best means being in the now. It is to give it all you have got, and to do everything as a ritual. For example some days my best leads me to be fully present from brushing my teeth all the way to how I speak and communicate with others. On other days my best is to make it to my yoga mat and both are okay, because they were my best. But to do our best, we must remember one thing, one must be present. Because it is only in the here and now that we can give our best. This agreement is of great support for the other agreements as it encourages us to practice them all. Like I love saying: “do your best and forget the rest”.
I want to acknowledge and share with all of you how I came to know these agreements. A good friend of mine gifted me The Four Agreements book because the author had the same last name as him; I am grateful for that synchronicity because it has brought so much joy and awareness about others and myself. I feel like I was born knowing all these agreements and that with domestication they were taken into nap mode. But thanks to beings of light like Don Miguel and his son, we are able to awaken them and reclaim our power. I am a big believer that no matter what practices and tools we use to awaken and move forward in our lives, they bring the same outcome; they move us from our darkness into our light, from fear into love. Helping us come back to ourselves, because it is within each one of us that everything we know and need resides. I want to say thank you to the reader who acted as a messenger to remind me that I had stopped consciously practicing these agreements, which I once made to myself. So, Thank You for bringing awareness into the place that needed healing in my life. I wish for these agreements to guide you into being more present, and aware of how powerful you already are, remembering that all roads lead back to you. Namaste beloved ones.
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