If you’re looking for a book that will pack a whole lot of wisdom and advice on living a happier life in just over 100 pages, pick up “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Using information he’s learned about his Mexican ancestors and their spirtual journey known as Dream of the Planet, which is the Toltec theory that each of us is dreaming our own dream of the world within which we exist, Ruiz takes us on a journal of self-discovery. Ruiz is our guide on this journey, where he lays out The Four Agreements, that are simple enough in nature, yet somehow complex. These four statements of wisdom are those phrases that are common sense to us as humans, but so very hard to actually follow.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. This means avoiding gossip, hearsay, and speaking only with love and honest truth.
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.
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.
These Four Agreements are things we are often told to do, but rarely ever follow through with. Don’t we sometimes fall into the traps of gossip? Don’t we cry when someone yells at us, even when they don’t mean to? Don’t we assume things because we are too afraid to ask for the truth? Don’t we beat ourselves up when we can’t perform the way we believe we should?
I know I’ve done all of these things. When I read more about The Four Agreements, I realized how right Ruiz is about the way humans should interact with each other. If we all lived by his four rules of wisdom, life would be much, much easier. I would highly recommend anyone checking out this book if they’re looking for a quick read that just might change the way they think about the way they interact in the world.
If you’re interested in reading this book, you may be interested in practicing yoga that features a moving discussion about this book and ourselves. Check out Karma Yoga in Bloomfield, MI! The owner, Katherine Austin is currently in India on a month-long yoga retreat and when she returns she will be discussing “The Four Agreements” as it relates to our yoga practice – our lives. If you’re interested in joining, read the book for “Omwork” then check out her yoga classes in March. A refreshing spin on the “book club.”
You can read more and buy the book on Amazon.com.
You can also check out a video with an audio sneak peak of the book here.
To read more from Lauren, check out Lauren’s Thoughts.