The four agreements
Women & Design // Behind the scenes The four agreements is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz. It opens up the readers to 4 pathways to experience heaven on earth.
The last few months of 2020 were particularly hard for me. Many things were going on, and I was letting the stress get to me. Years of spiritual practices and meditations have helped me separate myself from my outer (worldly) experiences. However, every so often, it (stress) affects my inner experience. In usual everyday life, my inner peace is intact no matter what the external circumstances. Because I was conscious of this shift in behavior, I decided to religiously practice the four agreements, as an experiment for an entire month. By far the longest month I’ve had!
‘The four agreements’ is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. An agreement, as Ruiz describes are beliefs (conditions) given to us by the physical world (our environment). Any statement you believe in becomes true in your experience of life. For example, A woman who is ridiculed and called ugly, no matter how beautiful she may be, if she believes she is ugly — that becomes an agreement. Statements of hatred, lack, anger (and other fear motivated thoughts) can create the most destructive agreements that make people do horrible things to themselves and others. Whereas love motivated statements can have the opposite effect, they bring immense joy and in Ruiz’s words can create what he calls, “Heaven on Earth.”
The four agreements I was meant to follow were pretty straightforward. 1. Be Impeccable with your word, 2. Don’t take anything personally, 3. Don’t make assumptions, 4. Always do your best. Pretty simple? NOT EVEN CLOSE! The hardest agreement is hands down, ‘Be impeccable with your word’. This means that your word must be without sin and it includes our thoughts as well because they are contributing factors to what we say. So one month of no negative thoughts towards myself or others. Sigh! So hard but it got easier after the first week. The next 3 however are easiest to practice with people you know nothing about. The hardest when it’s someone you care about! How can you not take something personally when it is directed at you? How can you not assume when you don’t get closure? How can you do your best when you feel like you are being taken for granted? Really sucks when you care, am I right?
I’m going to take you through how I consciously practiced these agreements and did I experience “Heaven on Earth”? Let’s find out!
Your words are Spells!
Be Impeccable with your word
Your words have power. They have energy. They have value. In a book I’m currently reading, (Conversations with God, Vol 1) God says, “You shall not use the name of God in vain. You will understand the power of words, and of thoughts, and you would not think of invoking the name of God in an ungodly manner. You shall not use My name in vain because you cannot. For My name—the Great “I Am”—is never used in vain (that is, without result), nor can it ever be. And when you have found God, you shall know this.” Because anything that comes after the words ‘I am’ instantaneously becomes true. That is the power of your word.
This agreement is especially painstaking because it requires you to constantly check yourself. There wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t aware of what I was saying or thinking. On the bright side, by the fifth day, it became second nature. I had clean thoughts and I didn’t participate in conversations that didn’t serve my higher purpose (to be stress-free, my only purpose tbh). And everything I was saying — I thought about and it was sans the sin! Just taking a second to think before you mindlessly let it all out can be life-altering! It literally shapes your external reality.
Detachment is a bad word?
Don’t take anything personally
Your reality is a reflection of your internal state. Therefore your reality is 100% your responsibility. You have the power to change it, perceive it as you see fit. And the same goes for everyone else. Nothing anyone ever does is about you, it is always a projection of their reality. They may call you names, put you in their tiny boxes, and treat you differently. But, it’s always about them, never about you! To me, this sounds like freedom.
Separate yourself (inner self) entirely from the outside world, practice detachment. When I say I’m practicing detachment people always assume that it’s cold and that you don’t care. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Detachment is the understanding that our outer experiences are always subject to change so, we embrace it, and we witness it, but we never hold on to it. Hence, It would never affect your inner peace. When we come to the understanding that we are pure consciousness and we see the same consciousness in others, there will exist only unconditional love for all beings alike. Detachment is not the absence of love but rather the existence of eternal love and unwavering faith.
Assumptions are injurious to health.
Don’t make assumptions
Assumptions are injurious to health because they don’t help at all. It eventually becomes part of the ‘I thought you meant….so I did……It’s all your fault, not mine’ blame cycle. Do not assume, especially when you’re someone that overthinks and analyses everything. It’s not going to make you feel any better and it’s not going to change the situation you’re in. Instead, we can just ask questions and have a conversation! Better yet, if it's not something too important, just let it go! Assumptions can also be expectations. However, you know what they say about expectations right? They lead to disappointments!
You may ask, how can you not assume when you don’t get closure? For me, it’s always one of two things. If things go the way I want them to, it's a blessing — It was meant to be that way. If things don’t go my way, no sweat, it's guidance — Something better is on the way! Because it’s all rigged in your favor and the universe works for you. Rejection is always guidance and your acceptance of this will free you!
You are a star!
Always do your best
By doing your best every day, you are living 100%. Every aspect of life becomes wonderful because you will also be feeling your best! It can be the smallest of things like, cooking a meal — give it you all and see the magic unfold! You are full of light and potential, don’t believe anyone who says otherwise. In the book, Conversations with God Vol 1, God states the magnificence of human beings. How he created you in all his likeness and his greatness. That people are his most beautiful creations! But we put ourselves through so much condemnation we forget about our magnificence. You are a star! Believe it and live every moment reminding yourself that you are wonderful.
If you do the best you can, you will never regret any of your actions. Our good intentions will always bring out the best in our actions!
Practice these 4 agreements and let me know how it goes! Would love to hear about your experiences. If you can, please read the book too. It will give you a deeper understanding of each agreement.
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