Kalin Art & Spirit

The 4 Agreements; book review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz ISBN I-878424-31-9
The Four Agreements Companion Book ISBN I-878-424-48-3
This short, easy to read book, and its sequel, both come highly recommended. They are available as 200 page paperbacks and should be accessible at your public library. As easy as they are to read, they may be more difficult, yet are imperative to incorporate into your life!
These four basic rules are purported to have come down through oral tradition of the author as basic tenants of Meso-American civilization. They are each golden as rules.

I recommend you work on them as daily exercises for one month, as it’s been proven that it takes 30 days to establish a new habit upon one’s subconscious.
As an exercise; repeat the words quietly to yourself, as frequently as you can, while establishing an ‘anchor’.
An anchor is a physical reminder that stays with one’s subconscious and reminds it to *pay attention* to what your conscious mind is saying/doing. Ie. by turning a ring around your finger or pressing your fingertips together, you can establish an anchor.
Then, while closing your eyes and breathing slowly imagine what this means to you and how you might apply it to your life. This will incorporate the principles into your subconscious throughout the day. After 30 days of effort these new habits will be established.

1. Be Impeccable with Your Word; speak with integrity, say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or others. Direct your words toward truth and love.
I would add, try using only positive words to describe things, give more compliments and try to keep your thoughts and words focused in the present moment. Learn to stop teasing and gossiping. Have the courage to say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said.

Air = thoughts, inspirations, words and dialogue.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally; nothing others do is because of you! What others do and 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.
This one can be the most difficult because we naturally tend to be egocentric beings. If you can step out of this perspective and try to maintain one that is larger, and all-encompassing, you will be able to side-step many pitfalls.

Fire = passion, intention, and actions.

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!
Connecting daily with your heart center then connecting to others through it, allows only your best, most sincere feelings to come through. Displeasure or correction can come from this place of love, and will be more easily accepted by others.

Water = emotions and feelings, heartfelt communication.

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-judgement, self-abuse and regret.
Holding personal integrity in your place of ‘power with’, rather than ‘power over’, will allow you to be the most effective you can be in your life. Putting your efforts toward your ‘daily best’ frees you from the chains of holding yourself to unrealistically high achievement standards. It allows you to be gentle with your Self. By finding compassion within, you will discover that it will be second nature to relate to others with that same compassion. Love starts within one’s Self.

Earth = our physical reality manifest by our thoughts.

Integrity; sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty and sincerity. IMO one must prove personal integrity by communicating it via thoughts, intent, words and deeds.
It will be noticed!

originally published July 17, 2011

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Posted in Daily Practices and Meditation and Muse-ings by kalin on August 19th, 2012 at 8:58 pm.

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