Ah, 2018 is upon us (seriously, the countdown is on at my end here in London) and just in time before the new year rolls in, I have finished a potential life-altering read of a book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. It’s the type of read you want to make New Year’s resolutions to and actually uphold them.
Ever read it? Read it if you haven’t, reread it if you have. And then read it again for good measure.
It’s a simple read with relatively simple concepts. The difficulty lies in practising these concepts, or ‘agreements’, as they are referred to by author and nagual, Don Miguel Ruiz.
Ruiz distils ancient Toltec knowledge for our benefit. He reveals, and I quote,
My sister from another mister, Cait, lent me her copy. It was perfect timing because a woman like me—abroad and away from home and family and tradition—found a lot of solace in Don Miguel Ruiz’ straight-to-the-point words.
What are the Four Agreements?
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t speak ill of anyone (#gossip = a no no), including yourself. Mean what you say.
Don’t take anything personally
It’s never about you. And as someone who has family members that take their pain, chew it up, and spit it out in the form of very hurtful words, I can attest to the fact that it is not about me.
Don’t make assumptions
Communication is key. Communicate communicate communicate. Ask questions whenever possible to avoid confusion and unnecessary drama. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either.
Always do your best
Self-explanatory. Do your best with the above Agreements all the while keeping in mind that ‘your best’ differs depending on the time of day, your health, and whether or not you’re hungry. Just do your best.
It seems simple enough and in a way, it really is. Yet as someone who has spent the better part of the past week trying to implement the Agreements, I can assure you it’s work. But I’m doing my best and thank Toltec for the fourth Agreement.
My breakdown of the Agreements above is not enough to do the book and its teachings justice. Go forth and read it for yourself and maybe add four New Year’s resolutions to your list of resolutions.
Happy New Year!