“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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.