Well, these are not really my four agreements; they are from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. Why do I call them mine? Because they are amazing! They are a life saver, and I had to own them to live them. Here is how I was introduced to them.
During my 8 years of working as a weight loss consultant, seeing so many clients, and helping them through issues and life, I kind of had my way of doing things in this job. To be honest, I did not focus as much on diet and exercise but more on how to have a more joyful life with meaning and love for yourself. I assume I had that kind of perspective just because I have had counseling from an early age and I had an amazing mom who believed in affirmations and positive thinking. To my surprise, I got busy as a consultant because I shared my way of seeing life. All I did was to direct my clients to that kind of thinking.
One day a client of mine gave me a book; she said, “Mary, this book is you. Everything you have taught me is there. You should read it.” Guess what, I don’t like reading, and I didn’t even see the title. I just said thank you and put it in my drawer. You know that drawer right? That one where you put everything and have no idea what is in there? LOL!
Years went by, and it was time for me to dedicate myself to my family full time, so I quit my job. I remember during those 8 years working for as a weight loss consultant that some of my clients and coworkers got to see a little bit of how I reacted to things. Most of the time I reacted in a healthy way, and some wondered how I did that. To give you an example, I remember one day being at the front desk while saying good bye to a client, and all of a sudden a big Toyota Tacoma came speeding in the parking lot and crashed into 3 cars. Of course one of those cars was mine. It was hurtful just to see my little SUV shaken. I left everything behind and ran into the parking lot.
“Are you ok?” was the first thing I said to him.
“Oh my God,” he said, “who is the owner of this SUV?”
He came into my office, and we called the insurance company, everything we were supposed to do. Many of the clients in there told me: “Mary, why are you so nice? You should be pissed at him. Why aren’t you upset?”
My answer was: “Would being upset fix my car?”
That kind of answer was for me an “AHA!” moment. Back then I was not aware of many things. I was just me, the easy going girl that always had good luck, who wouldn’t get upset easily. I was proud to be who I was, but very deep inside I felt very differently and didn’t know many people like me. Most of the people around me would always complain, defend themselves of whatever injustice was going on and make sure they were on top of things. Let’s say that I said pretty often to life “Whatever.”
Yes, I would sometimes feel kind of alone because I didn’t know so many people that would focus on positive thinking a lot. I am not saying everybody was negative, but I was looking for people who actually lived a life that I would admire and want to learn about. Well, life usually gives you what you ask, so I became closer to a friend who actually loved reading about all of these books about self-improvement. So the day I was picking up my things from the job because I quit, she helped me. The “magic” drawer was there, and the book that I was given years ago was there too. As my friend was helping me, she said to me: “That is the book I am supposed to buy for my class at my church. Can I borrow it?” Of course I said yes, telling her that I had never even read that book.
After two days my friend called me and said: “I know you don’t like reading, but you have to read this book. This book is you Mary. You have been talking about how you don’t know many people that think like you. My church is all about that. You should come and check it out and read the book!” It made me think about what she said. I was a little hesitant to start reading, but I did. I started reading The Four Agreements. I couldn’t believe I had that book for years in my “magic” drawer and never even dared to take a look. I couldn’t stop reading that book.
The Four Agreements is a practical guide to personal freedom. That is how Don Miguel Ruiz describes it. I describe it this way: a simple guide to have a life focused on love and joy. It is a way of living. It is a way of waking up to a new reality that you create every time you decide to follow these agreements. I am sure everybody who uses these agreements probably do it in different proportions. But as long as you are trying, I think that is a big plus. I started to teach them to my son a few years ago.
What are the four agreements? Let’s start with number one: “Be impeccable with your word.” Very simple right? Be kind in the way you speak or respond to someone. Easy? Very easy when the other person you are talking is also kind, but what happens when that is not the case? But it works, it is amazing. “Don’t take anything personally,” is the second one. Hum... this can be difficult, especially when someone is doing something directly to you. How in the world am I not going to take it personally!!! Right? Well, it can be done. And when you master it, you are free. Third one, “Don’t make assumptions.” Ayayay!! Not to make assumptions? Why not? LOL. But it is true. Practicing this one has been hard. But hey, I get to practice it every day. And last but not least, “Always do your best.” Yes, always, whatever your best it is. It does not say to be perfect, just to do your best. My best sometimes is amazing and other times it is not, but it is my best.
You might think, “Oh come on, is just following this little bit of advice going to make my life better?” Yes, it will! Will it be easy? No, it won’t. But hey! Do your best at following this simple guidance. It totally put me on the right path to love, help and becoming a life coach. And there are plenty of other books that I will be sharing here so you know how I got to be my true self, but I started with this one, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
If you want to learn more from him and are in the Denver area, I am so excited that he will be here on March 18th at Mile Hi Church. If you are interested just go towww.milehichurch.org for information and tickets. I will be blogging about my experience at the workshop. And with that, I leave you. Don’t forget this very simple step: try these agreements and let me know how you do. You know where to find me:firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook page: Balance My TrueSelf.