I will be writing two book reviews for the month of May.
I first want to feature one of my favorite books by Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”.
One of my clients gave me a copy of a book she is reading and I found it so fascinating and informative I decided when I finish it I will be posting it in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!! The book is “Why Does He DO That? Inside the minds of Angry and Controlling Men”, by Lundy Bancroft.
The Four Agreements
The reason why I find “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz such a great book is that it’s a very practical guide to personal freedom because it is based on the agreements we have made with ourselves, other people, with society, with God.
The most important agreement I believe is the one we make with ourselves. The agreements tell us who we are, what is possible and what is impossible.
The agreements that come from fear require us to expend SO much energy, but the agreements we make from love help us gain more energy.
If we want to live a life of joy, we have to find the courage to BREAK the agreements that limit you and choose new ones based on love.
These four agreements are based on an ancient Toltec wisdom that offers a simple code of conduct that can transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, love and authentic happiness.
The First Agreement: BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
This one is the most important and the most difficult one to honor, it sounds simple but it is very powerful! Through our words we manifest our intentions and it is how we communicate with others. The word impeccability means “without sin.” A sin is anything you do against yourself. You go against yourself when you judge or blame or reject yourself. Being impeccable means taking responsibility for your actions, but stopping your inner critic from sending you those negative messages about yourself. Speak with integrity, and say exactly what you mean, the truth will manifest itself through you and clear all the emotional pain inside of you
The Second Agreement: DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
When we take things personally and we ALL do, it is the biggest expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.” We were taught to do this, BUT nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves! All people live in their own dream, in their own mind, it when we feel offended and defend our beliefs it is because we have to be right and they have to be wrong. Your point of view is yours alone, it is no one’s truth but yours! Be truthful to yourself and you will save yourself a lot of emotional pain. You are NEVER responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for YOU.
The Third Agreement: DON’T MAKE ANY ASSUMPTIONS
We have a tendency to make assumptions about everything; the real problem is that we BELIEVE they are the truth. When we make assumptions about others we take it personally and then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word.
We only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear, we are afraid to ask for clarification so we make up OUR story, defend it and try and make others wrong. The way to keep yourself from doing this is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear, if you don’t understand ASK. We don’t feel safe asking because we think our loved one should know what we want and how we feel, but with clear communication our word becomes impeccable and all our relationships start to change! The biggest assumption we make is that everyone sees life the way we do. We assume they think, feel, judge and abuse the way we do, and this is why we fear being ourselves around others. Take action by training your mind to STOP ASSUMING!
The Fourth Agreement: ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
This agreement is about the action of the FIRST THREE… always do your best, no more and no less, but remember it is not going to be the same from one moment to the next! Your best will differ and regardless of the quality of your efforts, keep TRYING. If you try to do more, you lose energy and in the end it won’t be your best and you go against yourself, if you do less then you subject yourself to guilt, frustration, and self-judgment. If you have done your best your inner critic tries to judge and you need to answer “I did my best.” When you always do your best, you take action because they love it not expecting a reward. Most people however only take action when the expect a reward and don’t enjoy the action. Whatever life takes away from you let it go, when you surrender the past you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment You were born with the right to be happy and be you!
Try these wonderful agreements and just live one day at a time, today is the beginning of a new way of life!
I hope you take the time to read this book. I look forward to talking with you soon,
p.s. Stay tuned for my next book review. “Why Does He DO That? Inside the minds of Angry and Controlling Men”, by Lundy Bancroft. “He says he loves you. So..why does he do that?” You may have asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men so you can change YOUR life! A male counselor who specializes in working with abusive men shows the reader how to improve, survive, or leave an abusive relationship. I’ll be reviewing it fully in a couple of weeks.