The Four Agreements: Are You the Best You Can Be?
WRITTEN BY TAYLOR JACKSON | PUBLISHED MAY 4, 2020
Isn't it important to have a reference to look back at, when we feel lost? Or maybe angry…or depressed… or doubtful…maybe insignificant. There were times when I let the negative ideology of others ruin my present self and often my entire day. I learned about the teachings of ‘Toltec’ wisdom in a short book by a shaman of the Toltec tradition. ‘The Toltecs’ were an ancient group of scientist and artist that was formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. The root of these traditional beliefs are indispensable steps to the spiritual paths of freedom. The “root” are known as the four agreements of life. Don Miguel Ruiz is the shaman that graciously released a book titled, “The Four Agreements”. He described these agreements as the mastery of transformation.
The first agreement is ‘Be Impeccable With Your Word’, as it is a force. Our word gives us the power to express and communicate, to think, and thereby create the events in our life. “But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you…The word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know.” How many people reading this can think of a time that someone hurt you by speaking; when was the last time you verbally wounded someone else? As you think about this, acknowledge that these emotional poisons are an opinion, an ego, and a dream. Being impeccable of your word can give you an immunity from anyone planting a negative seed into your head.
The second agreement is ‘Don't Take Anything Personally’, ANYTHING! Not the bad. Not the good. Taking things personally means that you agree with whatever that was said. It holds the assumption that they know what is in our world and most reactions are to try and impose our beliefs on their beliefs. When was the last time that you took something personal? And, was it really because of you? Let’s be real and cut out your lie… Now. Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves. I’m sorry to dim the flattery or the angst that you carried but people LIVE in their own mind; they are in a completely different world then the one you live in. “Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but about them”. If I say anything that hurts you, it is because you have “wounds” that I have touched by what I said. Right? So you are only hurting yourself. If you get NOTHING from this second agreement, remember this: “Dont take anything personally, because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing.”
The third agreement is ‘Dont Make Assumptions'. “Assumptions” is a term that might as well equate to the word, conviction, because you see it true. Ruiz says, “We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking— we take it personally— then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word”. Making assumptions is just asking for problems. Maybe you’ve made assumptions about yourself… maybe you once thought, “My love will change you” or “My pain will make you feel sympathy”. How’d that work out? In the circumstance that it didn’t go your way, all you have succeeded in is amplifying your emotional poison. Don’t assume, just ask. Be clear with your communication and your personal relationships will change into what it was meant to be.
Lastly, 'Always do your best’. Doing your best will allow yourself to avoid any self-judgement, self-abuse, self-emptiness, self-disgust, self-abandonment, and regret. All because you did all that you could do, the best way that you could. “If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough”. When we follow this assumption in its intent, all of the other agreements will not be in vain because you did your best.
Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements. Hay House Inc, 2008.
Photos of quotes courtesy of Jill Conyers.
Taylor Jackson is one of our newest yoga instructors, she will like to send a special thank you to Monika Shepard for her Yoga Teacher Training. Taylor has a B.S. in Psychology and will graduate with an M.A. in Counseling from Texas Wesleyan University in August. For more information about her, please follow her on Instagram at @miyogii & @best_amigo. She will also be featured on our YouTube channel.