|The Four Agreements|
I recently finished reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Luis, and it has left an impressionable mark on me. So many things that he said resonated with so many of our lives' problems or communication issues we may have with our close ones as well as work colleagues, and if we want to take it to another level to how our world view is shaped. He states that there are four agreements to live by in this world that you need to make to yourself:1. Be Impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally
3. Don't make assumptions
4. Always do your best.
These may perhaps be relatively simple techniques and can be found in great religious texts, but him putting it in such a practical way clicked with me. I gave it to my husband, who is not an avid reader of novels - and it clicked with him too.
The first rule - Be impeccable with your word - what does that mean - use your words carefully and without sin - so if the words that come out of you are going to hurt the other person - stop yourself - watch yourself - before you speak. Simple, but so difficult to practice. How many times do we say something and immediately after it came out of our mouths we regret saying it. How many times have those words hurt the other person? And how many times are we aware in how we use our words. We underestimate how much others are impacted by our words - positive or negative - and the first rule - makes us become aware of that. It is literally an exercise in practicing mindfulness. As a mom, it is also a reminder to me to be watchful of the words I use with my child - knowing that if i say something negative - he can begin to internalize certain images of himself.
And the last one about Always doing your best. If we give something our best no matter what circumstance we also avoid the possiblity of self- judegment. If we are constantly judging ourselves, we fall prey to victim mode, we fall prey to the role of self-abuse. But if we give something our best, we have the right intention, we have given it our all, and we are accepting of our actions. If we always strive to do our best - our words will be filled with love, we can learn to understand others better, and we can learn to ask the right questions and express ourself fully - our thoughts, actions, and words are in sync with one another, or so my beloved master so eloquently put it "Unity in thought, word, & deed.".
Pick one of the agreements you want to work on - Let's say it is assumptions - Begain a 5 minute writing piece with the following sentence " I make assumptions when..... Or I am assuming that..... or Assumptions are..... Try it different ways and read it out loud to yourself or if you want to to someone you trust.
You can make a journal entitled The Four Agreements- and capture images, quotes, poems, and glue them in your journal to help you remind yourself of the agreeement you are making. Create entries for yourself and do regular writings on each of the four agreements.
I'm reading The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Luis and when I'm done with that, I will share my thoughts on that.