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The Four Agreements

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Blue Rising
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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:35 pm

3-Don't Make Assumptions

This one really is self explanatory. People make assumptions every minute. I think this comes from a need to make sense of the world, but that's neither here nor there. Every word we hear and every action we observe is an opportunity to make an assumption based on our individual dream. When that dream is the one handed to us in childhood, and one that we have reinforced all our lives, these assumptions create unnecessary drama. Life is messy enough. So the moral of the story here is that if we ask questions instead of assuming anything, life can be more free of drama. That was the extent of the class discussion.

We were broken up into groups to discuss the agreements, and my partner and I were given this one. Her perspective on making assumptions was that we are wired to do so. It is our nature, and the best we can hope for is to minimize this with mindfulness. My perspective was that if we can peel away the layers of self, it is possible to approach each situation as an observer. From this position as observer, there would be no making assumptions or taking anything personally.

Which, of course, she argued is impossible to do.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:08 pm

4-Always Do Your Best

This is about self acceptance. Many things influence what a person's best is, and at every moment that may be different. Sometimes, your best may be at your highest level of functioning, other times at your lowest. I have a little issue with this one, because when my best means I can't get everything done I have a tendency to compare that to the times when my best was through the roof. Comparison does not serve. Throw in knowing there is Divinity within, that I am a spiritual being in a body, I sometimes think my best should always mean functioning at some arbitrary level of excellence.

There is no need to try to function beyond your best, either. Ruiz told a story in the book that illustrates this point:

There was a man that wanted to transcend his suffering so he went to a Buddhist temple and asked a Master how long it would take him to transcend if he meditated four hours a day. The Master told him 10 years. Then the man asked how long it would take if he meditated 8 hours a day. The Master told him 20 years. The man asked how that was possible. The Master answered that if he could get it done in 4 hours a day, doing it 8 hours a day would be wasting his energy, thus it would take him longer. Wasting his energy meant spending time meditating instead of living his life intensely and in turn would sacrifice all of his joy. With this joy of living being in balance with his desire to meditate, he would be able to do it more efficiently.


That story wasn't discussed in class. But I understand it very well. I need to spend more time living with joy, enjoying life. And I do see how this would help. Actually, it reminds me of what a therapist told me one time. She asked how much time I spent doing things I enjoy. Hell, I spent no time on that because I was overwhelmed with taking care of my family. And she explained that I should take time to do things I enjoy, things that bring me joy, because those activities charge a person's battery. Fully charged, I can handle all the other responsibilities so much more effectively and efficiently.

Now, I have shared my thoughts on the Four Agreements, and how the class reacted to them. The class didn't go any further in the book. But I might. There is still a chapter called The Toltec Path to Freedom and another called The New Dream. Seems like those would be important, haha...can't say I'm surprised that we didn't cover those, but seems like there will be jewels in them...

I am overwhelmed with the amount of homework I have, and good lord that is on top of taking care of some pretty heavy stuff in real life...but just for my own Self I am going to try to finish this book.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:43 pm

It is as I suspected, there are some real gems in the last couple of chapters of this book. I have discovered that it is a real challenge for me to finish this, thus I have made it a priority over the other things pulling at me. I have been reminded of a great many things by pressing forward. I will outline a few of them here.

The Toltec way of life is one of empowerment. No teachers, no gurus, it means finding your own Truth and Living it. Speaking it. I guess that makes us all, around here, Toltecs. :D "A Toltec becomes wise, becomes wild, and becomes free again." Sound familiar? I love this stuff.

There are three Masteries, the Mastery of Awareness, the Mastery of Transformation, and the Mastery of Intent.

There is a parasite that makes us very sick, imprisons us, lies to us, and does not want to die. It is in the mind, infects the mind, and uses the Judge and the Victim that we accepted and created as our first exercise of Attention as children. I cannot believe how spot on this is with my own experience. Sounds like 9eagle's Their Mind, sounds like the Monkey Mind, sounds like the Ego Mind...does not want to die so it fights with everything it has.

Fighting against this, fighting to free oneself from it, fighting to release it...people who have done this have called themselves Warriors. And choosing to be a Warrior is a type of rebellion. I knew a person who worked for a long time to identify this parasite, and upon so doing was able to release it in a single day. This is not common, as far as I can tell, and Ruiz says as much also. But even if a person is not able to get rid of it in a single day, and if one battles this for a lifetime and never seems to get completely rid of it...Ruiz says that it is better to be a rebel and fight against it every single day than to give up and give in to that internal Victim. And if we choose the fight, at least in the end we will not be among those who never fought back.

One final point about the Warrior. She is in control, of herself, of her emotions. This seems to be the very Mastery that I have focused on for quite a while. When I hold tight to that balance point, that beam of energy through my body, that anchor, that center...this is Success.

Facing the angel of death, Ruiz says, is facing every fear we have. Going within...shadow work...knowing self... yep. Same same. Living each day authentically. Living my Truth. Doing my Best. No human being has been promised tomorrow in physical form. All we have is this moment.

Word.

So glad I finished this. Thank you all for nudging me along.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Eelco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:01 pm

Blue Rising wrote:4-Always Do Your Best

This is about self acceptance.
Many things influence what a person's best is, and at every moment that may be different. Sometimes, your best may be at your highest level of functioning, other times at your lowest. I have a little issue with this one, because when my best means I can't get everything done I have a tendency to compare that to the times when my best was through the roof. Comparison does not serve. Throw in knowing there is Divinity within, that I am a spiritual being in a body, I sometimes think my best should always mean functioning at some arbitrary level of excellence.


That one is a struggle at times...
Especially if you find, like the example below you have spend No time to enjoy yourself..

My best a few months ago was taking in another teenage woman.
And her animals...

This morning I had to take 2 cats and 1 dog to the pound..
My best doesn't allow for a small house occupied, with 9 people, 3 cats and 1 dog.
especially as the dog and me and the missus have to sleep in the living quarters...

Now working to accept myself for realizing my best wasn't good enough to juggle all these beings needs in a way that is empowering for all.

sigh...

Blue Rising wrote:Many things influence what a person's best is, and at every moment that may be different. Sometimes, your best may be at your highest level of functioning, other times at your lowest. I have a little issue with this one, because when my best means I can't get everything done I have a tendency to compare that to the times when my best was through the roof. Comparison does not serve. Throw in knowing there is Divinity within, that I am a spiritual being in a body, I sometimes think my best should always mean functioning at some arbitrary level of excellence.

There is no need to try to function beyond your best, either. Ruiz told a story in the book that illustrates this point:

There was a man that wanted to transcend his suffering so he went to a Buddhist temple and asked a Master how long it would take him to transcend if he meditated four hours a day. The Master told him 10 years. Then the man asked how long it would take if he meditated 8 hours a day. The Master told him 20 years. The man asked how that was possible. The Master answered that if he could get it done in 4 hours a day, doing it 8 hours a day would be wasting his energy, thus it would take him longer. Wasting his energy meant spending time meditating instead of living his life intensely and in turn would sacrifice all of his joy. With this joy of living being in balance with his desire to meditate, he would be able to do it more efficiently.


That story wasn't discussed in class. But I understand it very well. I need to spend more time living with joy, enjoying life. And I do see how this would help. Actually, it reminds me of what a therapist told me one time. She asked how much time I spent doing things I enjoy. Hell, I spent no time on that because I was overwhelmed with taking care of my family. And she explained that I should take time to do things I enjoy, things that bring me joy, because those activities charge a person's battery. Fully charged, I can handle all the other responsibilities so much more effectively and efficiently.



With Love
Eelco
~ “for what it's worth”~
~Placebo~

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:45 pm

Aw. Love you, Eelco.

If I may...it isn't that your best wasn't good enough. It is about accepting your best that day. If someone else were sitting in a chair next to you, telling you they had become overwhelmed and had made these same tough decisions, would you not feel compassion for the choices they faced? And give them support for the difficult decisions made...to the best of their ability?
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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Eelco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:07 pm

I would say that, I say that to myself..

I'm sure I'll get there...
Just wanted to show how knowing something isn't always the same as experiencing it.

It will take some time to accept that this is my best on every level.
My head is there already.
My heart needs some more time...

WIth Love
Eelco
~ “for what it's worth”~
~Placebo~

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:18 pm

Eelco wrote:Just wanted to show how knowing something isn't always the same as experiencing it.

WIth Love
Eelco


I know exactly what you mean. I live this daily.

I have heard "you are already there" so many times I could not count them. And I sense this to be true, though I have not been able to penetrate this bubble and sit in it. Even so, it seems to be what I want to say to you, so maybe we both need the reminder. You are already there...

To myself, I say this...and what I get back is the Knowing that I need to release everything but that. I need to Allow the Experiential Knowing of this. I can Sense this...but can't quite get into the "space"...will keep working.

Much Love right back at you.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:07 pm

I thought I was finished with this, done talking about it. But...I can't help thinking out the First Agreement - Be Impeccable With Your Word.

Nestled in the heart of this agreement is the Truth that words are Magic. They are thoughts put into motion. These thoughts are usually lies. How many times have I been told that words are spells? Too many. I know this is true.

There was a song I loved, a while back. It's a powerful song, an emotional song, and I thought it was beautiful. It's called Bring on the Rain. It is one woman's observation that life was dishing out more than she could handle. And as she watched this play out, she finally just said to herself, "okay, then, bring it on." In a sense, this is a statement of rebellion. It struck me as having a bit of Pollyanna thrown in, because she says "I'm thirsty anyway." So she was accepting this reality and trying to make the best of it, by spinning the way she experienced it. And it was a statement of pulling back her judgment (this is too much), and exchanging it for acceptance (okay, I will deal with what is), I equated this to becoming the Observer.

Well...one day I was belting this out alone in the car (is there a better therapy that singing at the top of your lungs when you are driving alone? haha), and I realized that by expressing these sounds with such intense emotion, I was telling Universe, myself, that I was accepting this reality and asking for more. "Tomorrow's another day, and I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain." Bring on the rain? Hell no! What was I doing? What was I thinking, putting this out to Universe??? I realized in one very powerful instant that I was putting a Spell into motion.

And that was the end of listening to that song.

I have gotten better at catching the thoughts before I give them life. I am reminded sometimes that I have a choice to believe a thought or not, whether to let it take up space in my head, whether to put it into motion. (I know the choice is always there, I just don't consciously catch myself all the time.)

What is difficult is talking about what challenges I face. Take the example of my injured shoulder. If my shoulder hurts, I have stopped saying things like "my shoulder hurts all the time." Because by thinking and saying that, I am telling my intelligent cells to perpetuate the pain. And they do. So I stopped that. I will not go to a doctor about it because I do not want anyone putting a ton of energy into their words and beliefs, and then aiming all that at me. And I cannot ignore it, because it hurts. (hahaha)

So where I am, in this very moment of the journey, is trying to maneuver how to express things I notice without perpetuating these very things. Some are physical. Some are mental (if I have trouble remembering things, and I express that, it perpetuates the problem.)

There is the surface layer of Truth that being impeccable with your word can actually be life changing. And then there is a deeper layer of Truth. And a deeper layer. And a deeper layer.

Peel that onion, baby.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.


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