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For 30 years, I was convinced dying was my biggest fear. When I get to the end of my rope I don’t want to feel like I didn’t live to my fullest potential.
I held on to this belief like a newborn to its mother until 2018.
When Don Miguel Ruiz turned my beliefs upside down, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air style.
During episode 12 of the podcast – How to be the best version of yourself, I asked my guest Delilah Cruz, to share a tool that had been indispensable to her self-care.
Without thinking, she said: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Shortly after the episode aired, I picked up the book, and my life was never the same.
The book begins with an introduction to the Toltecs,
A society of scientists and artist committed to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones in Mexico.
Immediately I am moved by the idea that we’re artists, and our life is our canvas.
Don Miguel Ruiz is a descendant of the Toltecs and, through his books, reveals their powerful teachings.
From the introduction, Ruiz sets the tone for this book,
“The real us is pure love, pure light.”
At the time I was intrigued by this line,
Although full transparency, I didn’t fully understand it.
Chapter 1: Domestication and the Dream of the Planet.
Chapter 1 brings our attention to what he calls:
Domestication and the Dream of the Planet.
A few things stand out here:
- The way we learn everything is through repetition,
- From an early age, we learn what to believe and not believe,
- We judge ourselves and others for not following the rules.
But perhaps the real eye-opener was the quote below.
“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”
Here’s where everything changed for me.
Was I terrified to live?
It turns out Ruiz was more spot-on than I cared or wanted to admit.
If you’re new to the world of self-awareness, when you reach this point in the book, you have a decision to make.
Because there’s no going back if you keep reading.
Chapters 2 – 5: The Four Agreements.
- Be Impeccable with Your Word.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally.
- Don’t Make Assumptions.
- Always Do Your Best.
Watch the video for a deep dive into each of these chapters.
Here’s what I cover:
- How the Four Agreements helped me through depression.
- How taking things personally impacted my marriage.
- The problem with making assumptions.
- How doing our best avoids burnout.
Take your time as you review each agreement.
Allow yourself the space to make peace with their discomfort and give yourself permission to be challenged in a kind & compassionate way.
The first time I reviewed the agreements, I became aware of how much I struggled with taking responsibility for my actions.
I understood why taking everything my husband did personally was hurting our marriage, and I walked away with strategies to release that burden.
These agreements are simple but not easy.
… And it is that simplicity, paired with the discomfort that comes from taking action that makes this book so powerful.
Chapters 6 – 7: Implementation
Ruiz ends the book with a closer look at how to break old agreements that don’t serve you and make room for the Four Agreements.
He outlines a step-by-step process to tap into your inner warrior to take action and unlock your most authentic self.
The most beautiful part of this process is that you can control it. Your success doesn’t depend on anything outside yourself. It lies in your ability to turn inward and build your strength with inner guidance, by leaning into self-awareness.
Self-Awareness is the mother of healing.
Since the first time I read this book in 2018, I’ve re-read it every 3 – 6 months.
Every time I receive its lessons, I see why self-awareness is the mother of healing.
It would be impossible to understand why the four agreements are so important, and we wouldn’t be in a space to be available to execute them.
Everything begins with self-awareness.
The Four Agreements invite you to experience freedom differently.
At first glance, this can be an easy invitation to dismiss.
After all, healing comes with its fair share of discomfort and change. There is a reason we shy away from anything unfamiliar.
It doesn’t feel pleasant or safe.
But when you accept this invitation,
You create room for long-lasting inner peace, joy, and unconditional love.
The type of love that words cannot articulate; it can only be felt with the heart.
“Imagine living your life without fear of expressing your dreams. You know what you want, what you don’t want, and when you want it. You are free to change your life the way you really want to. You are not afraid to ask for what you need, to say yes or no to anything or anyone.”
I know this is possible because it is what happened to me.
Death is around the corner, but life is here and now.
It all begins with self-awareness.