The Four Agreements is a story told by Don Miguel Ruiz based on the beliefs of ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltecs were “women and men of knowledge”, they were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge of their ancestors. They came together as naguals (masters) and students at Teotihuacan, the city of pyramids outside Mexico City. It is known as the place where “Man becomes God”. The Toltecs believed that all energy is derived and governed by the universe.
During our early lives we began making agreements. We were rewarded when we did what people wanted and punished when we didn’t. We learned behaviors and habits in school, church, from other adults and friends. The tools used to reward and punish us were mainly emotional, sometimes even physical. “. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created”. During all of this, we created agreements in our minds of what we should and shouldn’t be, who we were and weren’t. We learnt to live our lives based on these agreements. During the domestication process we made choices based on the opinions of others versus our own.
“We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self-criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. These assumptions and the faith we express in them is just one way that we are not impeccable with our word.”
Three thousand years ago, there was a man who was studying to become a medicine man, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors. However, he didn’t completely agree with everything that he was learning and he felt, in his heart that there must be something more. One night while he was sleeping he had an outer body experience and saw something that transformed his life forever. “He looked at his hands, he felt his body, and he heard his own voice say ‘I am made of light, I am made of stars’.”
Through this, he realized that it’s not the stars that make the light, but rather the light that makes the stars. He realized that everything is made of light. He discovered that everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call “God”. He came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light.” He described dreams as an illusion, and this changed his life. After all of this he saw himself in everything. He saw himself in other humans, animals, trees, nature and in the earth.
The man realized that we have the ability to change the entire dream of our life, only when we are truly ready though. There are four agreements that are very powerful that can help us to break our agreements from fear. “You will see the drama of hell disappears 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”.
The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. To say only what you mean and avoid using the power of your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
The second agreement is to not take anything personally. One must realize that nothing others do is because of you. It is only a perception of their own dream.
The third agreement is to not make any assumptions. Ask questions and express what you really want, not just assume. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid any misunderstandings.
The four and final agreement is to always do you best. Under any circumstance always try to do your best and know that your best will change depending on the situation.
As you begin practicing living these four practices your life will change dramatically. In the beginning you will find it challenging to adopt these new habits, but that’s only because you have been taught to do something for all of your life up until now. Things will get easier and easier every single day.