The Four Agreements

I read this beautiful little book by Don Miguel Ruiz a couple of years ago, but was reminded of it recently. Because I am struggling. That’s usually when something bigger intervenes, and sends me these reminders.

In the book, Ruiz describes a code of conduct for life based on four agreements:

1. Be impeccable with your word (watch what you say, how you say it, and that you live what you say)
2. Don’t take anything personally (this one is about not letting ego interfere, one of the toughest ones for me)
3. Don’t make assumptions (assumption and judgement…we do it all the time and it inevitably predisposes our mind in a negative direction…another tough one for me)
4. Always do your best (in all things, drop the walls and filters, and let your true self and essence shine)

Four simple little rules that are so powerful when I really think about them. In fact, when things are not going so well–when I am feeling anxious, unsettled, edgy, or just plain off–I can usually trace it back to being out of sync with one or more of these agreements.

I think what these agreements are really getting at has to do with living our lives in alignment, from a place of peace and tranquility. Easier said than done perhaps. Especially in the moment when life feels like it might be going off the rails. Having the awareness to recognize that things are off and the discipline to try to bring them back into sync.

What is perhaps most profound is that fundamentally, at our core, I think we all have these built into us from birth. But somehow many of us become distant and estranged from them as life unfolds.

So it’s not about learning a new way of being, it’s really about discovering, or rather uncovering, what’s already there.