The Four Agreements

“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” 

– don Miguel Ruiz

What if I told you there were four simple agreements you could make to live a more fulfilling life?

One in which you express your essence fully and completely.

One in which lies in truth.

One in which embodies transformative personal freedom.

Imagine if you will:

No conflict. No guilt. No shame. You’re free to express yourself fully without fear of being judged. You love and accept yourself just the way you are. Mindful living full of connection, love, and meaning. You go after what fuels you because you are connected to your purpose. And you allow space for others to do the same. Relationships based on respect and understanding and honoring the Divinity within them. Enjoyment. Opportunity. Empowerment. Inspiration.

How did that feel for you?

I would guess pretty damn good.

don Miguel Ruiz is a Mexican author and teacher of Toltec wisdom and neoshamanism. His work focuses on ancient teachings that serve as catalysts for spiritual growth and personal enlightenment and authenticity. He has merged the wisdom of the ancients with modern physics and produced practical steps for long-term personal transformation in his book, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” The Four Agreements highlights and explains each of these steps, clarifying why and how they inspire incredible transformation in our lives.

Standing in the shadows of our daily experience, is the unconscious programming that drives our actions, thoughts, and feelings – our belief system. This is what makes our choices for us, whether we’re aware of it or not. This programming is what subtly leads our lives, and can often set us up for unnecessary suffering.

“But there is really no reason to suffer. The only reason you suffer is because you choose to suffer. If you look at your life you will find many excuses to suffer, but a good reason to suffer you will not find. The same is true for happiness. The only reason you are happy is because you choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering.”

The Four Agreements allow us the opportunity to transform this programming into one that serves us by way of letting go of those belief systems that hold us back and keep us small. They are tools for our transformation, opening space for stepping into our full authenticity and power. The result is you – the real you, not the you that is the belief system. It is embodying the essence of ourselves and experiencing a life – our life – that serves us and leads us down our own unique path. It is living our purpose and allowing others to live theirs. It is authenticity in its full expression.

Our true nature is one that is powerful, infinite in its possibilities, and free. We are truly limitless and have the capacity to create the life that we’ve always dreamed of having. We just have to become aware of this truth, and most importantly, believe it. Once we shift our belief system into one that supports this truth, we can experience true happiness, purpose, and fulfillment.

So, what are they?

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. Our words are a force in themselves, an energy that manifests the reality we find ourselves in. It is a force we cannot see, much like the subtle bodies we talked about here. But yet – they have the power to create tangible results that we can see plainly. Being impeccable, or precise, with our words manifests a deliberate and purposeful life – one that matches that which we desire. Being thoughtless with the words we say, or misusing them, tends to lead us to avoidable suffering. We can be impeccable by speaking with integrity, saying only what we mean, avoiding using words that speak against ourselves and others – in other words, gossiping – and always choosing those words which support love, truth, and kindness.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. This is one of the most challenging agreements, but definitely hugely transformative. Nothing people do is because of us. This can be a bit confusing at first, but we have to realize that everyone is living in their own reality. What others do is simply a projection of themselves. The way we see and act in this world is based on the agreements each of us have made. When we truly understand this fact, other’s actions and opinions stop affecting us and we can allow them to be without attaching ourselves. This lack of attachment frees us from victimhood and suffering and opens space for more freedom to be ourselves – and others, too.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Most assumptions are not truth – they are fictional stories we’re telling to both ourselves and others. We jump to conclusions, take it personally, and end up suffering for it – for no reason at all. We assume we know others intentions. We assume they know what we need. This agreement encourages us to start asking questions and expressing ourselves clearly and fully in order to avoid assuming which leads to drama, pain, and misunderstandings.
  4. Always Do Your Best. This is the agreement that opens space for the first three to become ingrained in our habits and psyche. Our best may change from moment to moment, which is normal. Regardless of the circumstance, doing our best ensures that we are living in a way that reduces opportunities for self-judgment, self-criticism, and regret. Our ideas are only ideas until we act on them. Without action, there is no manifestation, no chance for success, and no opportunity to be rewarded. We take action and become the master of our lives – transforming ourselves, transforming our stories, and ultimately transforming our lives.

The Four Agreements is a process of unearthing and becoming our full essence. We realize that we have the power and freedom to let go of what is not serving us, embody our truth, and create the life we’ve dreamt of.

“The dream you are living is your creation. It is your perception of reality that you can change at any time. You have the power to create hell, and you have the power to create heaven. Why not dream a different dream?”

The agreements are simple, but incredibly profound. It may not always be easy to follow them, and that’s okay. It took  years for our old belief systems to solidify themselves, and it will take time to reframe them as well. What matters is that we practice, doing our best to follow them each and every day, in each and every way.

Agreeing to each of these gifts us the greatest gift we could ever give ourselves and others.

The freedom to be who we are.

xo

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29 thoughts on “The Four Agreements

  1. Reblogged this on A Healing Grief and commented:
    This blog piece relates to our topic today. I am definitely going get my hands on this book. We need to understand that we must be honest with ourselves first and foremost and then with others. This is the way obtain true freedom. We need to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and take the chance in order to truly be free.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wisdom, clarity and tenderness is what I read when I read your words, this was very enlightening to me and I actually did not foe once skim read! I read a lot and tend to read downwards instead of across to be able to read more in a day! But this, your writing i read across and savoured each and every word. It was elegant and seductive to acknowledge my true worth from your words. May I add a little? Maybe its completely off this topic you have written…but….I could only begin to practice the four agreements when I forcefully removed a negative entity in my life, a physical presence that was strangling me and making me a keeper of grudges. Once I removed that the rest flowed easily. Thank you Kayla! I loved this very much.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Gina, I so appreciate you and your words. I’m incredibly honored that you felt called to read the entire piece! Thank you. 💜 also, yes you make a wonderful point. It’s important to clear our lives of toxicity, definitely. I will say that the number 2 agreement kind of speaks towards that – not taking anything personally – which can make it easier to let go of any perceived slights that may give rise to grudges. Just a thought 🙂 thanks again, Gina. Always love hearing from you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. you are welcome , but it was your words that compelled the read and reflection. Yes #2 seems right about that except I felt it was not only not taking offense – a more passive attitude – but taking action and removing ourselves from the source of negativity – pro activity for our own soul protection. thank you for writing this and accepting my humble comments

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “Pro activity for our own soul protection.” So true! And you’re right, sometimes we need a more active attitude when dealing with those sources of negativity. 🙂 Thank you for sparking that realization!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Singledust: You are so right, boundaries are an important step. It’s difficult to swim very far tied to an anchor. We must cut loose negative anchors – with as much empathy toward them as we can manage – but they do need to go. The coaching field refers to it as “upgrading community.” Good for you!

      This was a lovely review for me, Kayla – I stumbled upon the book many years ago and had a similar reaction to it. Thank you for sharing these words today (especially – unusually strange day for me).
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you. It was just a thought really. and something I had to do without any advice of coaching, something I knew had to be removed for me to go on and heal. Kayla’s review was magnificent!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you, Madelyn! I am so glad you enjoyed it. I also really appreciate your use of “upgrading community” when speaking about cutting our negative “anchors.” Hope you’re well! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’re welcome, Kayla. And to be perfectly vapid here – I want your hair!!! My own is stick straight (except for a youthful period when I permed it – a time-consuming procedure that took a lot of subsequent conditioning, etc. and abandoned after a few years).

        A few of my curly headed friends said they’d trade if we could figure out how. Never could, of course. 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Lol! Thank you so much! 🙂 Yes, it’s definitely a “grass is always greener on the other side” experience for most people. I straightened it for years when I was younger and finally embraced my curls once I was out of high school. It took forever to figure out how to work with them, but finally got the hang of it and haven’t looked back since. 🙂 I will say I do get jealous of the smoothness of naturally straight hair sometimes, though!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. lol – Straight hair has it’s time-consuming challenges too, as I’m sure you learned.

        Why is it so common that females compare themselves to others with envy? We do seem to outgrow it eventually, but it’s sad we have to experience it at all.

        Men don’t seem to struggle so much with self-acceptance – but then their “worth” is more likely to measured by society in terms of earnings vs. attractiveness, and there are more than a few supportive books and bloggers advising otherwise in that regard.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I totally agree. I feel like it’s a long held paradigm that’s often pitted females against each other because the inherent power we all hold becomes tenfold when we’re actively supporting and working with each other. I think it’s also at the hands of corporations and the media trying to sell a “mold.” I do believe we’re in the midst of this paradigm shifting though, which is exciting and incredibly encouraging. 🙏🏼💜
        I also wonder if maybe men do struggle with much of the same things we do, but are brought up in a society in which they are not allowed to nor welcomed to express these struggles, so either keep it locked up tight or simply act out in anger.

        Like

  3. “This lack of attachment frees us from victimhood and suffering and opens space for more freedom to be ourselves – and others, too.

    I am working a lot with my own shadow piece around victim mentality right now and what you said here really helped me pull back another layer.

    Liked by 1 person

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