Three years ago I read a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and I can honestly say that it was a life-changer for me.
Insights possessed by the Toltecs a thousand years ago, in the region now known as Mexico led to the creation of four simple 'agreements' that one makes with themselves in order to live a more balanced & contented life. Which ultimately benefited the community as a whole.
Don Miguel Ruiz does not call them 'rules' because he suggests that we should not have to enforce them like rules. Rather, we make an agreement with ourselves that we should always strive towards putting them into practice in our daily lives.
He says in his book “you need a very strong will in order to adopt the Four Agreements—but if you can begin to live your life with these agreements, the transformation in your life will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream—your personal dream of heaven.”
Toltec Temple ChichenItza, Mexico
Image source: http://www.ramweb.org/toltec-people.html
Ruiz also states that all children are born perfectly loving, playful and genuine. Which as a father to a 19month old baby, I completely agree with. My son Esteban reminds me of this on a daily basis.
However, us parents tend to teach them standards of behavior they must follow in order to receive love and avoid criticism. Eventually these standards become internalised into a life script: an unconscious set of instructions for living. And the key to freedom is to become aware of our irrational and limiting thoughts so that we can replace them with healthy ones.
I post daily Abraham quotes here because I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction - which basically states that like attracts like. So simply put, positive thoughts attract positive events!
Check out the one I posted this morning: https://steemit.com/spirituality/@samstonehill/abraham-of-the-day-the-more-good-feeling-thoughts-you-focus-upon-the-more-you-allow-the-cells-of-your-body-to-thrive
Having just read 'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne a few months earlier (which looks exclusively at the Law of Attraction) the words of Ruiz really really rang true for me.
The importance of a having a system
The problem was putting the theory behind Law of Attraction into practice. It's all well and good saying 'Just think positive thoughts!' but another thing altogether when it actually comes to doing it. Our minds work on auto-piolot most of the time and we are not even aware of it. Past experiences can create knee-jerk reactions which happen so quickly, the words come out and then there's no turning back... because they usually just create more anger!
The Four Agreements came at the perfect time for me (as is the way with the Law of Attraction!) for suddenly I had a system to stick to. A simple system I could memorise and practice every day until it became second nature to me.
Ruiz goes on to describe the four agreements in great detail in his book, perhaps even padding it out a little more than necessary, but that's how it is when you write a book that can be condensed into four paragraphs!
So, without further ado I give you the essence of his book and Toltec Wisdom
Why is this relevant to Steemit?
Well, just as the Toltecs wanted to create harmony in their communities, so too do we.
So let's break it down:
If we are impeccable with our word we will quickly gain respect within the community, leading to an increase in our number of followers. And they will be the kind of followers we enjoy interacting with.
If we don't take anything personally, those occasional negative comments will slide right past us like water off a duck's back. And we will still be in the perfect mood to create another awesome post!
If we don't make assumptions we will experience clear communication with those who interact with us.
If we always do our best, we will rise quickly to that Whale status we all dream about :)
Like I said, these four agreements have helped me no end in letting go of negative thoughts and the resulting negative events manifested by them.
Now, there are only 'events' because I make no judgement of them.
And in this manner I am living a wonderful life of joy!
If I am going to be completely honest and 'impeccable with my word' I have been struggling recently to see the perspective of my very pregnant partner who is currently on a hormone roller coaster ride accompanied by sleepless nights & the job of looking after Esteban while I do my work... and I consistently catch myself playing out the old knee-jerk programming in the way that I react to her energy or words. Which always leads to arguments.
And it is only when I don't react because I am not taking it personally, that the flow of good feelings can continue.
Luna is due in 2 weeks and will be born in Ubud, Bali.
I am no Buddha, but I am always improving and I will never give up trying. A good trick is to stick the agreements somewhere you can see them every day - IN LARGE WRITING :)
Once you have learned them, you can simply say them in your head when you feel one of 'those' moments coming on.
I'm not gonna lie to you and say it's easy. But I am going to say that it might very well be one of the most important steps in your life.
That's me and Sabrina, Russia 2014
If you are interested to read a bit more about the four agreements here is a good site for you: https://experiencelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/28-the-four-agreements.pdf
Hope you enjoyed and learned from this post.
Love & Light to you all.