I first read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz shortly after it was published in 1997. This powerful book came to me at a time when I was knee-deep on a path of self-awareness and exploration. I was attending conferences and reading everything I could about healing. My mind was swimming with information, knowledge and questions. This treasure of a book quieted my chaotic mind and brought me clarity. It is the reason that I turn to The Four Agreements again and again—and why so many do—more than 20 years after it was published. This book gave me the tools to think simply—and to be more discerning.
The Four Agreements
This book advocates freeing ourselves of beliefs and agreements we’ve made—with ourselves and with others—that create limitation and unhappiness. Here are the Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
The Gift in No. 4
The first three agreements provided new information to me. These became the tools that helped me move forward in my own healing and to be of help to others. I didn’t think there was anything for me to learn from #4. After all, “Always do your best” was the message I received throughout my Catholic education and into college. But for me “always do your best” meant negative consequences if I didn’t. Ruiz helped me to understand that my “best” changes with each moment—and situation. For example my “best” when I’m healthy is quite different than my “best” when I’m feeling unwell.
Ruiz teaches us to simply do our best under any circumstance—without self-judgment. Understanding this helped me to let go of my old conditioning and the self-abuse that went along with it.
My “tip” for this issue? If you’re feeling stuck, read—or re-read—The Four Agreements. You’ll find these agreements will build a solid foundation to accelerate the life you want to create. They encompass every aspect—mind, body and spirit.
But don’t stop at simply reading this book. Put these agreements into action. Repeat them daily. Then watch you—and your life—change. Some may not like the change in you—some people, for example, don’t like that I’m more direct than I used to be—but that’s okay. As Ruiz teaches, “don’t take anything personally.” What others say or do is a projection of their reality. When you’re immune to the opinions others have about you, he explains, you won’t endure unnecessary suffering.
Doesn’t that sound lovely?
I Can Help
Change, as we know, can be difficult. If you need assistance incorporating The Four Agreements into your life, I’m here for you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-631-0824.