The Four Agreements – don Miguel Ruiz

In this week’s Blog I want to talk about one of my favorite books.   The Four Agreements,  by don Miguel Ruiz.

This book would speak to anyone that reads it.  It is  simple but profound.  The book is a short read also, but it is one that you could read over and over.  The Four Agreements are so simple yet so difficult.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word: This reminds people of Mindful Speech. This agreement helps people to pause and think about what they want to say to people. You could also use this reference when you are tempted to gossip.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: People are coming at you from their own filter or their own experience. When people are rude towards you in a negative or a mean spirited way,  depersonalize their behavior.  Try and look at the situation and  try and step into the other person’s shoes and notice what may be going on for them.  Furthermore work on noticing your own personal judgements or biases and work to neutralize them.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions: In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) it teaches clients to not make assumptions, but to look at the facts of the situation. If in doubt, ask questions.  “Did you mean this when you said that?”  Often times you find out that you were misunderstanding  the situation or miss heard the situation.
  4. Always Do Your Best: The way to approach this agreement is it is great for you to do your best! But  keep in mind what is doing your best can be dependent on the day.  If you have not slept well for a few days and you are fighting a cold, then what is your best in that moment?  Love the days when you are on fire and are having a great day!  Those days are easy to do your best, and sometimes are best while fighting a cold may look a bit different, so don’t not beat yourself up.

Pick one agreement at a time and decide what each agreement means to you.  Focus on one per week and make it a part of your daily practice.  Once you feel you have the agreement down move on to a new one.  Remember they are very simple, and they are not easy to embody, so if you find yourself breaking an agreement, just take a few deep breaths and try again.