“Be impeccable with your word.”
“Don’t take anything personally.”
“Don’t make assumptions.”
“Always do your best.”
These are The Four Agreements. Simple words that when taken to heart can make an incredible transformation to your life. Simple words, yet sometimes so very challenging to put into action. Don Miguel Ruiz authors this simple book of Toltec Wisdom as well as The Four Agreements Companion Book. We’ve selected for this month’s Book Club, as the wisdom contained within applies so deeply to our yoga philosophy.
In The Four Agreements Companion Book, Ruiz writes, “The Four Agreements are a tool for transformation, leading you to stop judging, mainly yourself, and to start practicing another way of life. They lead you to stop the guilt, the shame, and the self-rejection; they help you break the agreements that limit the expression of your creativity, and replace them with new agreements that facilitate the expression of your love.” How perfectly this aligns with our mission at Yoga Home, to provide a safe space for self-exploration, a judgment free space where you’re encouraged to explore body, mind and spirit.
For many, while all of these four agreements apply, there is often one that resonates deeply within. I was on retreat almost ten years ago when my retreat leader suggested I read this book. I was caught in a place of guilt, shame and defeat. I was overwhelmed in juggling family demands and work commitments. Self-care was the last thing on my ‘to do’ list, when it should have risen to the top. In fact, I was only on retreat because it was fulfilling a work commitment! While I saw the need for all agreements in my life, “Always do your best.” stood out for me. Ruiz says, “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less…When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself, and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal.” Finally, I was able to release the desire to constantly go ‘above and beyond’ and allow myself the space to do my best, whatever that was on any given day.
While I’ve worked to adopt these agreements on a regular basis, I often find I’m challenged to do so. Again, simple words, but not always so easy to put into action. I close many of my classes with an opportunity to release any negative energy – guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, sadness – with a big release breath. The Four Agreements is my reminder to release that which doesn’t serve me, so I can invoke more creativity, joy and love.
Which of The Four Agreements resonates most with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Please share your comments below and join us for our Book Club Meeting, May 26th at 7:30 at Yoga Home. It’s a FREE event – open to all! ( Both the Four Agreements and the Companion Book are available for purchase at the studio)