Don Miguel Ruiz and The Four Agreements

Given my recent art cruise to the Mexican Riviera, Don Miguel Ruiz came to mind.

Born in 1952 and raised in rural Mexico, Don Miguel was brought up following Toltec ways by his mother who was a Toltec faith healer. However, Don Miguel pursued a more conventional education which led him to becoming a surgeon - practicing for several years.

After a car crash, Don Miguel reverted back to his Toltec roots in the late 70's. He first studied and learned in depth, the Toltec ways and then teaching, healing, and writing throughout the 80's and 90's. In 1997 he wrote The Four Agreements. My friend Dianne gifted me with this book several years ago.

The simple ideas of this book provide an inspirational code for life - sort of a template for personal development, behaviour, communications and relationships. Here is how he summarizes The Four Agreements:

Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Agreement 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.

Agreement 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. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement 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.

Don Miguel has also written The Mastery of Love (1999), The Four Agreements Companion Book (2000), and Prayers (2001).


T.Allen-Mercado said...

One of my favorite books, I think I may have to revist it-thanks for reminding me of its wisdom.

Pretty Things said...

I try to practice number 1 always.

However, number 2 kicks my tail all he time. I'm thin-skinned. :-(

Household 6 said...

I need to master #2. Yes. I really really do.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I must get this book - these are four of the best life rules ever!

I'm going to link to this post on my next blog entry - everybody should read it!

Robin said...

Great advice to live by!

Samantha Marshall said...

I agree, very good advice.

Anonymous said...

It has been on my bookshelf for years, and is one I refer to often to remind me of how I ought to be living my life.
Thanks for putting it out there. Time for a re-read.

Lezlei Ann Young said...

I need to get this book!

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh my goodness. I am going through something right now and these words are perfect to put everything into perspective. Thanks you

Charmingdesigns said...

I just posted a link to your blog today.

Utah Grammie said...

Hi Sherry - I have seen you on may blogs that I visit and wanted to finally jump over and say hello - I love your work and am now happily a follower. You have a kind heart and and artistic eye. I look forward to visiting you more !

Ange said...

Some time this week I am going to put this on my blog with a link to yours. It's marvellous. They are universal words and I try to make these agreements fresh every day (number 1 is a bit difficult for me when the 3 kids get really naughty but I'm getting better) Number two has always been natural for me, No 3 always needs working on and No4 Is the way I was brought up - and the way I bring up my kids. It is indeed a very special friend who gave that to you... Hugs, Ange

Sherry said...

The Four Agreements is such a complex, simple book. It’s kind of like a primer for life, if we could only remember this on a daily or even moment to moment basis. Thanks for posting this summary. If people could read even the summary they might take something away into their daily life. I just wrote a post called “Being Impeccable With Your Word” and would love your feedback. Namaste, Sherry
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