I read a book a while back that I’ve been noodling again recently. It’s called The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. I found it in an English language bookshop in Panajachel; the one back inside the tourist trap restaurant by the Chicken Bus stop, not the one down in the pink building by the post office. I would have passed it over completely if it hadn’t just been recommended by a friend. I rented it for two weeks (yes, you can rent books there) and tried to keep it dry reading the first chapters on the long, choppy lancha ride home, to the far end of the lago that afternoon.
The essence of this book is a call to living from your higher self and a road map for doing so. It’s become something I return to when I need to refocus on the journey, both internally and externally.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word:
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally:
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions:
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best:
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
I’ve read the weighty philosophers and I’ve read the modern drivel designed to boost self esteem and sort out our childhood issues, but these four agreements, that we make with ourselves, are seminal. Of course the book delves deeply into the other agreements we’ve made with ourselves and our communities that hold us back and keep us from living fully. I love his discourse on how the world, and all of life is a dream we create for ourselves. That will keep you thinking for a while.
So have you read it? If not, I recommend it, heartily!