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The four agreements: keys to a fulfilled life

- Categories : Health and wellness

I'm sure you've already heard of the famous Four Agreements, so well known are they around the world! They're a set of timeless principles that guide individuals towards a life of freedom, happiness and inner peace. Shaman and author Don Miguel Ruiz originated these agreements in his world-renowned book,"The Four Agreements: The Path to Personal Freedom". These agreements are much more than a simple guide to personal development, they are an invitation to a radical transformation of perception and reality.

But who are the Toltecs?

The Toltecs are part of an ancient civilization. They are a people of sages and seekers of truth, whose teachings have been preserved down the ages. Sometimes the book is known as the "Little Book of the Law" or the "Book of the Law". Don Miguel has given new life to these ancient truths, making them accessible to everyone.

In his book, Don Miguel Ruiz clearly and concisely takes up the principles of this ancient civilization. He gives detailed explanations and concrete examples to help readers understand and apply these agreements in their daily lives. Dealing with topics such as speech, assumptions, personal relationships and self-perception, these agreements offer a powerful framework for personal awareness and transformation.

In this article, you'll delve into the meaning of each Toltec agreement, and together we'll see how to apply them concretely in your daily life. Through these agreements, you'll discover the ancient wisdom that lies within these timeless teachings. Through these agreements, men and women are invited to question their limiting beliefs, free their minds from the fog of perception and live in harmony with their deepest nature.

These Four Agreements are an invitation to discover inner peace, personal freedom and unconditional love in your own life.

Let's go?

The Four Agreements: origin and definition

The Four Agreements is a book on personal development published in 1997 by Mexican author Miguel Ruiz. In it, Ruiz shares rules for living based on the Toltec culture, from which he comes.

Who is Don Miguel Ruiz?

Born in Mexico in 1952, Don Miguel already had an affinity with the Toltec teachings, as he himself comes from a family of healers and studied traditional medicine with his mother, a healer and herbalist. He also practiced medicine for several years, and then switched to spiritual teaching and philosophy, drawing inspiration from the teachings and wisdom of the ancient Toltecs;

Don Miguel Ruiz's teachings emphasize the search for truth, personal transformation and inner freedom. His approach to spirituality is practical and simple. The principles he explains are simple yet powerful. They are aimed at all those who wish to live a fulfilled and balanced life.

As soon as it was published, the book became a best seller, translated into many languages around the world.

In addition to this famous work, this man has written other books which have also touched millions of people around the world. These include "The Fifth Agreement", "The Mastery of Love" and "The Fifth Dream".

The origin and purpose of the Four Agreements

The Toltecs were known as "women and men of knowledge". They were renowned for their esoteric knowledge and commitment to the quest for truth and wisdom. Even after their disappearance, their teachings have been preserved and passed down through the generations as a precious legacy to seekers of truth throughout the ages.

List and definition of the 4 Agreements

The Four Agreements are like a guide to living a more fulfilled life aligned with our true nature.

1. Let your word be impeccable.
2. Whatever happens, don't make it personal.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

The domestication process and the planet's dream

The approach that Don Miguel Ruiz presents in his book refers to our social and cultural conditioning. This comes not only from our education but also from the surrounding culture: the rules, the habits, the references. It's as if we live through a filter and as a result our real choices are virtually non-existent.

This process of domestication, as he calls it, can lead to limiting beliefs, restrictive thought patterns and conditioned behaviors that do not necessarily reflect our true nature. These conditionings can limit personal freedom, restrict creativity and hinder our spiritual development.

The dream of the planet, which he also calls the collective dream or the human dream, refers to the set of beliefs, norms and behaviors that are perpetuated and reinforced by society as a whole. This “dream” represents the set of thought patterns and collective behaviors that keep individuals in a state of suffering, fear and illusion.

Moreover, for Ruiz we have been in a collective “dream” since our birth. This dream is characterized by illusions, judgments, unrealistic expectations and fears which fuel conflict, suffering and disharmony in the world.

The objective of these teachings is to awaken individuals to the reality of this process of domestication and the dream of the planet, and to help them free themselves from these conditionings to access greater freedom, a higher consciousness and a more fulfilling life. It involves questioning conditioned beliefs and behaviors, cultivating self-awareness, and deliberately choosing to live in accordance with one's true nature.

The Toltec way to freedom

Continuing to free oneself from conditioning, Toltec teachings emphasize the search for inner freedom, peace and self-control.

At the heart of this search for freedom are these famous four Toltec Accords, which are simple but powerful principles aimed at transforming the way we think, speak and act, in order to live a life more aligned with our true self. nature.

This involves knowing how to challenge limiting thought patterns and conditioned beliefs that keep us in a state of suffering and limitation. The author invites us to cultivate a higher consciousness, take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, and live in love, truth and freedom.

The Toltec path to freedom also involves freeing oneself from the “planet dream,” that is, the collective thought patterns and social norms that perpetuate suffering and illusion in the world.

Men and women will be able to access a state of inner peace, joy and well-being only by freeing themselves from this social and cultural conditioning. There are many ways to achieve this, whether through meditation, introspective reflection, practicing mindfulness, or putting the Four Toltec Agreements into practice in daily life.

What are the four (4) agreements?

First Agreement: Let your word be impeccable

The first Toltec Agreement, “Let your word be impeccable,” is the most important one. it highlights the power and impact of speech. In Toltec culture, speech is considered a powerful creative tool. Every word we speak has the power to build or destroy, to heal or hurt. This first agreement invites us to be responsible for our words. By being aware and choosing our words carefully, we can positively influence our lives and the lives of others.

Impeccable speech agreement invites us to use our speech with integrity and kindness. This means avoiding lies, gossip, backbiting and hurtful words. By cultivating impeccable speech, we honor our own authenticity and that of others, creating deeper, more authentic connections with those around us.

The Toltec agreements reveal a timeless truth about speech: it is what gives creative power, because whoever discovers it can rely on it and thus become stable.

If you want to create a world around you, you must speak words of wisdom that will attract beings of Light. But your word must be truth, one with the light of true being which animates all beings. It must be individualized in your verticality, in your center, in your internal fire.

What you pronounce as a word attracts beings who come to live in the ethers around you. If your words are false, wicked, deceptive, hurtful, kind in the world of men but filled with false wisdom, human intelligence, even spiritual, you attract corresponding beings who take over your life to use you for their purposes. purposes without your knowledge.

Second Agreement: Whatever happens, don't make it personal

The second agreement, “Whatever happens, don't make it personal,” is a principle that encourages us to cultivate detachment and avoid harboring a spirit of revenge and taking things personally. . Whatever is said to us, it should not affect us. The idea is to succeed in detaching ourselves from the actions and words of others so that they do not affect us (anymore).

In Toltec culture, emotional detachment is essential for mental and emotional well-being. When you don't take things as a personal matter, you can stay calm and centered, even in the face of challenges and conflicts.

The second agreement reminds us that each person sees the world through the prism of their own subjective reality. Our point of view is personal. This is our truth and no one else's. Likewise, what others say and do is often a reflection of their own experiences, beliefs and emotions. It should not necessarily be construed as a personal attack. Moreover in his book he tells us: "So, if you are angry with me, I know that you are really only confronted with yourself. I am your pretext to make you angry. And this anger is caused by your fear."

This involves leaving aside this fear, but also the ego and its defense mechanisms. Rather than reacting with anger or resentment, we can choose to respond with compassion and understanding, recognizing that everyone acts according to their own reality, their own experiences and their own motivations.

Third Agreement: Don't make assumptions

The third agreement, “Don’t make assumptions,” tells us:

"We tend to make assumptions about everything. The problem is that we then believe them to be the truth. We would swear that they are true. We make assumptions about what other people do or think , because of which we make it a personal matter, then we blame them and we communicate emotional poison to them through our words. This is why every time we make assumptions, that we attribute intentions to others, we create them. "We make assumptions about what other people do, we misinterpret them, we make them personal, and we end up making a big deal out of nothing."

I think the point is clear enough! This third agreement invites us to stop assuming or interpreting the actions and intentions of others. This principle also highlights the importance of clear and open communication to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. Expressing your needs, desires and concerns directly and unambiguously reduces the risk of misunderstandings and conflicts.

This agreement encourages us to ask questions and seek clarification rather than assuming the intentions of others. Practicing open communication and expressing concerns constructively allows us to build relationships based on trust and mutual respect. This avoids feelings of frustration, anger or betrayal.

Fourth Agreement: Always do your best

In his fourth agreement, “Always do your best,” he tells us:

"Whatever the circumstances, always do your best, no more, no less. But remember that your best will never be the same even from one time to the next. Everything is alive, everything is constantly changing, therefore your best will sometimes be at a high level and other times at a lower level. On mornings when you wake up feeling fresh and full of energy, your best will be better than when you are tired at the end of the evening. It will also be different. Depending on whether you are healthy or sick, sober or drunk, your best will vary depending on whether you are healthy and happy, or irritated, angry, or jealous.

This agreement invites us to adjust the height of the bar according to our mood, our abilities, etc. He tells us not to do too much or too little because otherwise we will spend more energy than we need. This encourages the happy medium.

It is up to us to recognize that perfection is not realistic and that we are all subject to error and imperfection. Always doing your best does not mean achieving an impeccable level of performance, but rather doing the best you can with the resources and skills we have at any given time.

We will then be able to feel deep and authentic satisfaction, a feeling of self-confidence and personal pride, regardless of the final result.

What is the 5th agreement?

Yes, there is a fifth agreement! Don Miguel Ruiz talks about it in his book "The Fifth Agreement". This fifth agreement is:"Be skeptical, but learn to listen". It complements the original four agreements by encouraging us to question our own beliefs and habits and remain open to new perspectives, while developing the ability to listen with empathy and respect.

How can I put into practice and apply the principles of the Four Agreements?

1. How can I make my words impeccable?

• Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are saying is true, necessary and caring.
• Speak positively. Use positive, not negative, affirmations.
• Speak with integrity.
• Speak with authenticity: express your ideas frankly but with kindness.
• Avoid criticizing or judging others. Practice empathy and compassion in your communication.

2. How can you not make it personal?

• Accept not knowing!
• Take a step back: don't let other people's comments get to you.
• Ask for reason: Seek to understand the motivations of others rather than reacting emotionally.
• Express yourself clearly and calmly.

3. How to avoid making assumptions?

• Avoid ambiguity in your communication. Ask questions if this is not clear to you.
• Don't jump to conclusions.
• Listen carefully to others without interpreting their words.
• Understand and overcome sensitivities.
• Overcome self-centeredness.

4. How can you always do your best?

• Live the present moment intensely
• Let go of results
• Celebrate your progress and appreciate every step of the way.
• Use each experience as a way to grow and improve.
• Consider that others also always do their best.

Why read or not read the Agreements? Opinions.

Has this article made you want to read the book? Opinions differ on the subject. But if you're motivated, the book is available on the internet in pdf, and it's only 55 pages long!

Positive reviews:

Those who have enjoyed the book say that it has transformed the way they think, speak and act, and that it has helped them in their everyday lives.

Importantly, these teachings are simple and accessible. They're easy to understand and apply in everyday life.

Some people report that the Four Agreements have helped them free themselves from negative thought patterns such as judgment and assumptions. It enabled them to have a more positive and open mind.

And then, many people noticed an improvement in their relationships with others. They had more compassion, open communication and mutual respect.

Critical opinions:

For those who didn't like it, on the other hand, they felt that the 4 Agreements oversimplified the complexities of human life. Where others think it's a good thing that the agreements are simple, others think they're simplistic for solving complex problems.

Some skeptics question the effectiveness of the Toltec Agreements and say there's no proof that they work

Personally, and without talking about the Toltec Agreements in particular, I think simplicity is good. And I don't know why people think that if it's too simple, it won't work. Maybe that's a reason not to get moving?

And what about you, have you read it and what do you think?

Tell us all about it in the comments.

Conclusion: Living by the Four Agreements

What is living according to the 4 Agreements? We could conclude by saying that, above all, it's a commitment to a lifestyle of awareness, integrity and compassion. Above all, they are common-sense principles that everyone can put into practice in their everyday lives. These teachings invite us to move beyond limiting thought patterns and destructive behaviours that hinder our personal fulfillment.

They invite us to cultivate more authentic relationships, develop greater mental clarity and find lasting inner peace. Each agreement offers us keys to the path of liberation from unnecessary suffering, and to a life more aligned with our true essence.

And there's one thing that seems very important to me: the Toltec Agreements invite us to break out of the thought patterns and conditioning we've been subjected to since childhood, and which keep us in a state of suffering and limitation.

The idea is to become conscious and responsible, to become the artisans of our own reality, capable of creating a life of freedom, happiness and unconditional love, a life of our own choosing.

We are thus called to transcend assumptions and judgments, to raise our consciousness beyond the fog that the Toltecs describe as hindering our clear vision of reality. We are invited to free ourselves from judgment and backbiting, to recognize the value of every human being, and to respond to life's challenges with reason and compassion.

In a society where hell can be a reality for some, especially young children and the most vulnerable, the Toltec Agreements offer a path to inner peace and mastery of intention. By transcending our fears and recognizing the beauty of every human being, we can create a new accord, a new order where unconditional love and mutual recognition reign.

We've come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed it.

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