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Living the Four Agreements:
A life changing Journey

By Ivan Dzido

In 1997, Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican author of New Age spiritualist and neoshamanistic texts published a book with the magic title “The Four Agreements – A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”. This book can be considered as his most famous and influential work, and has sold around 4 million copies. In “The Four Agreements”, Don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life.

Adopting and committing to these agreements seems to be simple but actually living by and keeping these four Agreements can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It can also be one of the most life changing things you will ever do. As you practice living by these four practices your life will dramatically change. In the beginning these new habits will be challenging and you will lapse countless times. With practice the agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.

How did it come into being? Meet the Author

Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.

A near-death experience changed his life. Late one night in the early 1970s, he awoke suddenly, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. Don Miguel remembers that he was not in his physical body as he pulled his two friends to safety.

Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert. His grandfather, who had then died, continued to teach him in his dreams.

In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, is dedicated to sharing his knowledge of the teachings of the ancient Toltec. For more than a decade, he has worked to impart this wisdom to his students through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.

What are the four agreements?

1. Be Impeccable with your Words
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

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.

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.

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.

The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

Impeccable means “without sin” and a sin is something you do or believe that goes against yourself. It means not speaking against yourself, to yourself or to others. It means not rejecting yourself. To be impeccable means to take responsibility for yourself, to not participate in “the blame game.”

Regarding the word, the rules of “action-reaction” apply. What you put out energetically will return to you. Proper use of the word creates proper use of energy, putting out love and gratitude perpetuates the same in the universe. The converse is also true.

Impeccability starts at home. Be impeccable yourself and that will reflect in your life and your relationships with others. This agreement can help change thousands of other agreements, especially ones that create fear instead of love.

The Second Agreement:
Don't Take Anything Personally

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 behavior could not affect us.

Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal dream.

Our personal “Book of Law” and belief system makes us feel safe. When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others. If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared. They need to defend their point of view. Why become angry, create conflict, and expend energy arguing when you are aware of this?

The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions

When we make assumptions it is because we believe we know what others are thinking and feeling. 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 and have nothing to do with what others think and feel.

We make the assumption that everybody judges us, abuses us, victimizes us, and blames us, the way we do ourselves. As a result we reject ourselves before others have the chance to reject us. When we think this way, it becomes difficult to be ourselves in the world.

Take action and be clear to others about what you want or do not want; do not gossip and make assumptions about things others tell you. Respect other points of view and avoid arguing just to be right. Respect yourself and be honest with yourself. Stop expecting the people around you to know what is in your head.

The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

Doing your best means enjoying the action without expecting a reward. The pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun, not from how much you get paid. Enjoy the path travelled and the destination will take care of itself.

Living in the moment and releasing the past helps us to do the best we can in the moment. It allows us to be fully alive right now, enjoying what is present, not worrying about the past or the future.

Have patience with yourself. Take action. Practice forgiveness. If you do your best always, transformation will happen as a matter of course.

References

Living the Four Agreements: A life changing Journey. Toltec Spirit: Common Sense Wisdom for the Spiritual Warrior’s Journey [online]. [cit. 2013-08-14]. Dostupné z: http://www.toltecspirit.com/

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Barnes & Noble [online]. 2013 [cit. 2013-08-14]. Dostupné z: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-agreements-don-miguel-ruiz/1100993587?ean=9781878424310

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Michele Laub [online]. 2013 [cit. 2013-08-14]. Dostupné z: http://www.humanpotentialunlimited.com/Summary-content.html

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