21 February 2012

Random Acts of Wisdom: The Four Agreements

"Everything we do is based on agreements we have made - agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth."  ~don Miguel Ruiz

{Wisdom Heart by Darla Kirchner on Etsy, inspired by the Four Agreements}
Some time ago I found a link on a blog called The Jungle of Life written by my friend Lance Ekum that turned me onto don Miguel Ruiz and his message of The Four Agreements. I have not read this book (but I am going to look into it!), but a passage about what the Four Agreements are really struck me.

The Four Agreements
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.

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.

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.

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.

~ don Miguel Ruiz

Without knowing that there was anything called The Four Agreements, I realize that this is something I have always strived to live. But having this neatly bound up in a book makes it seem more like a plan of action. I am going to look for the book to learn more.
At one time I had signed up to receieve uplifting messages to my inbox from don Miguel Ruiz. I don't know if they just stopped coming or for some reason I just wasn't receiving them, but for many months they weren't there, and I had forgotten all about them. All of a sudden last week, they started up again. And this was the message that I received on February 17th:
Healing is on the way, and it's just a matter of time before things will be better for you.

The weird thing is that this is the exact day that I was out sick.

I have continued to receive the messages each day. It is like an old friend has turned up on the doorstep with a few well chosen words of wisdom. It truly feels random that they have appeared again in my life. I like that don Miguel Ruiz starts each one with the request to "Take a few moments to quiet your mind, open your heart, and reflect on these words being offered to you today." So that is exactly what I am doing. They have become a framework to my day and help me to focus my energy in a way that I haven't been for so long.

I am glad that these simply powerful messages have found me when I needed them most.

What messages or random acts of wisdom have found you lately?


Unknown said...

I have had this book for about 2 years and have tried to start it but keep putting it off. I think now I will do it! Thanks for the prompt.

Erin Siegel said...

Thank you for sharing this! I had not heard of Don Miguel Ruiz before. I will definitely check him out.

Sally Anderson said...

I read this book about 12 years ago and love it (and him). My daughter has met him and said he's magical. He's had some health problems and his son is now working with him. I hope he goes on and on and on!

Alice said...

While the basis of these four agreements have been around since the beginning of time in some form or fashion, its nice to see them laid out so concisely.

Your post has come at the perfect time for me today. I need to remember that the things that hurt the most are actually the product of another's lack of self-worth, and in defence of their own mistakes and failures. I need to let it roll off my back like water on a duck. But that is not always easy to do when it comes from someone close, or when it begins break down ones own feelings of self-worth.

I might have to find this book--it looks like a good one to have. Thank you.

Malin de Koning said...

Oh what a lovely lovely post Erin! Of course YOU live by these agreements. It is completely obvious. I think I have heard of don Miguel Ruiz before, but have never read a book or any such thing. I think I will print these agreements out and put them on the wall somewhere in our house. Such wise words. And so true. I also want to live by them. And I think that is what I have tried to do for quite some time. But I have never thought of having them collected and presented like that. That knowledge is exactly what I want to give to my children. Plus a little more: follow your heart and trust your gut feeling. Be proud of your self and who and how you are.

Thank you so much for sharing Erin!

Zuda Gay Pease said...

Wonderful post! I have never heard of Don Miguel Ruiz before. I will have to look for the book. Thank you for sharing!

Therese's Treasures said...

Thank you for sharing this post today. I have never heard of the Four Agreements or don Miguel Ruiz before this is definetly something to look into. I try very hard to live my life this way, just not knowing it was written in a book, most of the time it is easy, but there are times when it all goes out the window. I am going to share this with my co-workers.

Sarah Sequins said...

What a brilliant man! His words are like a gooey brownie right out of the oven. :)

I really needed to read that bit about doing our best, and how our best is different when we're sick. It makes me realize I've been beating myself up a bit for doing less, when I've actually been doing a lot for someone who's not feeling up to par.

Here's one of my sources of inspiration: http://pinterest.com/galadarling/personal-heroes/

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Thank you, Erin, you always manage to write exactly what I need to hear <3 You are incredible. Thank you!!!!

cw whitedogjewelry said...

What an inspirational piece you have written today. You have no idea how many people you have touched, not only today, so wisely, but many days when you post such worthwhile words of wisdom and inspiration. Thanks so much!
I do hope you feel better soon.

jeannieK said...

The world works in mysterious ways

Courtney Breul said...

Thank you for this post. I love the Four Agreements and will look into Don Miguel.

Such true words and ways.

Have a great day.

SummersStudio said...

I'm not familiar with this author but you have captured my interest. Probably it comes as no surprise that I have been doing a fair bit of wisdom seeking lately. Well more than usual. I've turned to a set of CDs by Tich Nhat Hanh 'Living without Stress or Fear.' I actually got these a while before my current situation made them so appropriate. It's funny how what you need at the moment often turns up in life.

Michelle said...

Thank you for a wonderful post, Erin. I hope that you are doing well. I've been down in the doldrums lately...and this post today (i haven't been in blog-land for awhile) is just what I needed. I've never heard of this gentleman, but will check him out.
Michelle :-)


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