This is one of my favorite books. I first read this so many years ago that I can’ t even remember how long ago it was!  Since it has been so long ago, and I have gone through so many changes since the last time I read it, I decided it was time to read it again and learn it all over again.  It’s time to reclaim my power the Toltec way.

So what are the Four Agreements?   Be impeccable with your Word.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t make assumptions.  Do your  best.

Be Impeccable with your word:

What does Impeccable mean?   According to Don Miguel Ruiz, it comes from the Latin language that means “without sin” and a sin is anything you do which goes against yourself.  He says, “When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself. Sin begins with rejection of yourself.  Self-rejection is the biggest sin that you commit.”

To me this simply means, “Say what you mean; mean what you say.”  Yet it goes a bit deeper than that as well.  Watch your words.  What you say about yourself (even in jest), you will believe about yourself.  What you say about others is just a reflection of what you think about yourself.  So if you are telling a friend that you think another friend is useless or ugly or mean or bitchy, what you are really saying is that YOU are those things.    You are rejecting yourself.  You are sinning, and tearing yourself down.  Your word is how your create your life, your thoughts, your dreams, you intents. It is pure magic. It is your creative energy put into action.  Be careful..be IMPECCABLE with it!

Don’t take anything personally:

You might laugh and say, “well that’s hard if not impossible”.  But it can be true, and it is so very important.  I am not talking about the gossip you heard about yourself from a friend of yours; I’m also talking about the GOOD things you hear about yourself.  Don’t take ANY of it personally.  What you hear about yourself from other people is THEIR perspective/version/dream of you and how you fit into their world.  It is not YOUR TRUTH.

The other day, while I was watching the Oscars, I thought about how amazing it would feel to have someone stand up in front of  millions people (okay, I would be happy if it was just in front of my family and friends) and sing my praises (like they did for the nominees for Actor/resses in Leading Roles).  Those speeches were so beautiful.  I thought that unless you win some type of award, you usually don’t hear these things until someone dies praises are sang during the Eulogy.  I wanted someone to sing my praises to my face BEFORE I die.  *laugh*  Wouldn’t that feel amazing?  I also remembered an exercise I had to do while attended a James Ray seminar.  We were told to write an introduction for ourselves that would be read at an awards ceremony….like the Oscars.  So I wrote this amazing speech about how amazing and successful I was/am.  And I wrote my acceptance speech as if I won this award.  These pieces would be voted on by the workers at the seminar and 3 winners would be introduced with their speeches by James Ray at the awards banquet.  Sure enough, I was one of those people that he introduced.  Hearing my own speech made me cry.  Feeling the love and support from that standing ovation was like no other feeling I have ever had.  It was awesome.  Yet, here I was watching the Oscars and wishing someone ELSE would write this speech about me and give me some kind of award.  *laugh*  Then I read this part of the books again.  Don’t take anything personally!  Not even the good stuff!  So now what?

Ruiz tells us that we create our own movie!  We are the director, producer, main actor/ress of our movie…everyone else is secondary.  What other people think just doesn’t matter!  Our point of view is personal to us, and its no one’s truth but our own.  As long as we pay attention to our own movie, speak impeccably about ourselves…that is all that we need.  We don’t need other people to write those introduction speeches.  We should just write them for ourselves!  Believe me, just writing them and feeling that feeling of endless possibilities is a very powerful experience!

When we stop listening to other people’s opinions about us..we we stop giving them the power over what we believe about ourselves, we let go of fear and negative feelings.    “We can say “I love you” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected.  We can ask for what we need and feel free to say yes or no to people’s requests without guilt or self-judgment.  We can choose to follow our heart…all the time.”  How powerful is that?!

Don’t make assumptions:

You know what they say about assumptions……

But have you heard this, “All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally”?  Ya, I hadn’t either until I read this book.

This may seem overly simplistic, but it is so true.  “It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions st us up for suffering.”  So why don’t we ask questions?  We are afraid of being told “no”.  We are afraid others will judge us, abuse us, victimize us…like we do to ourselves.  It seems so easy on paper.  I teach this..”Ask for what you want” in the self-esteem classes I teach to young girls.  Yet it is hard.  We have been “beat into submission” or Ruiz calls it “domesticated” by our parents and society to be/think/feel/act a certain way…this includes fear of rejection.  But by living these new agreements, we learn to stand on our own two feet and change our dream.

So here is an example of this.  This morning, my daughter (Omi) get’s up and gets dressed for school, then she lies on the couch under the blanket until it is time to go.  Then she gets up and brushes her hair and teeth and puts her shoes on.  And we are off to school.  When I get to the end of the road, ready to turn onto the major street, she realizes I am about to turn left and head to school.  She was hoping and ASSUMING I would turn right and head to the convenience store to buy her breakfast first.  So instead of being assertive and asking for what she wanted, she made an assumption.  When she saw she wasn’t going to get what she wanted she said, “I guess I can live without breakfast.”  I asked her to repeat what she had said.  Then I reminded her that she had been laying on the couch for at least 30 minutes..plenty of time to get up and make herself a bowl of cereal (which we had plenty of at home).  But she chose not to, in hopes that I would take her to Maverick.  I let her know that if she had wanted to go to Maverick, she should have ASKED me and not made the assumption.  Because now, she is not going to have breakfast and will likely be hungry all  morning (suffering).  I told her that all she had to do was ASK, but the answer might have been “no” because we had food in the house to eat.  And hearing NO would have been okay, but make the assumption is NOT okay.

It is our right to ask for what we want/need.  But is also the right of the person we ask this of to say yes OR no.  Then it is up to us not to take ANY OF IT personally.  There is true freedom in this!

Do your best:

How many of you have said or heard, “It’s not about whether you win or lose, its how you play the game.”  Well its true!  This agreement is probably the most important one out of all of them.  While we live our lives, we are bound to make mistakes.  While we are changing our agreements and changing our dreams, we are bound to make a mistake.  We are bound to speak out of turn and not be impeccable with each of our words.  We are bound to have hurt feelings by something someone said or feel our heads get a bit bigger at a compliment.  And (as a married woman) don’t even get me started on assumptions!  But as long as we are doing our best, things will get better!

We are going to make mistakes.  So recognize them, and then tell yourself, “tomorrow is the start of a new day.”  Or, “From now on, I will be impeccable with my word.”  Pick yourself up and move on.  Forget about the past, don’t worry about the future and focus on THIS moment.  This moment is all that we have.  We can choose to live these new agreements in each moment of our lives.  If we mess up..guess what, there is always the very next moment to start all over again..FRESH!  JUST DO YOUR BEST!

Also, realize that doing your best in this moment make feel different that doing your best in the next moment.  If you are a morning person, your best is gonna feel alot better than the best you give in the evening after a long day.  That is okay, as long as you are giving your best in each moment..whatever “your best” looks like!  Be grateful for each moment and realize that with each breath (each moment) you have the opportunity to direct your own personal movie and change your dream!  It’s up to you!

I will leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from this life altering book:

“The first step toward personal freedom is awareness.”

“Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art.  And you can change your life anytime you aren’t enjoying the dream.”

“You can choose to believe anything, and that includes believing in yourself.”

Finally…

“I am awake, I see the sun.  I am going to give my gratitude to the sun and to everything and everyone, because I am still alive.  One more day to be myself.”

P.S.  Stay tuned..my next blog will be on Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Fifth Agreement.  I have never read this before, and I am excited to hear what the 5th agreement is!!!

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