Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 4 Agreements

A small book with a huge ripple effect!

My friend, Cydney, and I came across this book written by Don Miguel Ruiz a few years ago. We had a lot of drama in our lives as our kids were in the midst of serious teenage angst. We read the books and thought it would be great to have them read the books as well. The principles were so simple and it would be so helpful for them to get control of some of the reactions they were having to circumstances that presented themselves.  Cydney bought several books and strategically placed them throughout their house.  I don't know if her children read them. In my house, Michael read it and loved it. (Of course)  Katie skimmed it, but wasn't interested really. And Alyssa let me read pieces of it to her. She often could see how it applied to others, but was having a hard time applying it to herself.

So Cydney and I decided we would simply try to learn more about it for ourselves. We read articles on line, listened to podcasts, and even attended a workshop focusing on an overview of The Four Agreements. We were hooked! We signed up for some more intensive study and began taking a Thursday night class. If we were going to see this work in our families, perhaps we simply needed to start with ourselves.

The 4 Agreements are simple:
1. Be Impeccable with your word means to speak the truth to yourself and to others. Avoid gossip.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally is understanding that it's not really about you. What others do or say tells about them, and their projections. When you recognize this, you can avoid so much pain and drama.
3. Don't Make Assumptions is all about communicating clearly. Check and double check if you are understanding what someone is saying or doing before you spin off weaving some story in your mind that may not be accurate at all.
4. Always Do Your Best, and this varies from day to day depending on how healthy we are that day. But strive to be the best we can be and avoid self-judgement and self-hatred if we fall short. Simply continue to do your best each day.

So today we're off to a weekend workshop on some of these principles. We discovered that it wasn't just the teens that needed to clean up some of the negative self-talk going on. We needed it too!

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