Attentional Living With the Four Agreements

I went dark last week: no blog post and very little social media. It felt more than a little weird for B Here Today to be radio silent. Here’s why:

I’m part of a team working on this little project called UNITE To Face Addiction and our web site launched April 20. We are mighty busy assembling the pieces of a national rally the likes of which the recovery movement has never seen, let alone the general public.

To see more about our event on Oct. 4 on The National Mall in Washington click UNITE To Face Addiction.

I’m having an immense amount of fun but I’m a little frazzled too. On one of my flying passes through Facebook early last week, a friend posted a little ditty about The Four Agreements, a book I purchased and read right after its publication in the late 1990s.

Do you remember The Four Agreements?

I didn’t. Not all four. The first one, yes, but not all four. Huh, I thought. That’s interesting.

And I went on about my work.

A day later I realized the book was still on my mind. So I searched my bookshelves and, finding it, sat down to read a bit.

Don Miguel Ruiz’s words may not be genius, but when the mind and body are stressed, they are nuggets of gold.

Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that which we want to perceive. We can perceive millions of things simultaneously, but using our attention, we can hold whatever we want to perceive in the foreground of our mind.

That’s good stuff for overachieving multi-taskers like me.

It strikes me that abiding by the Four Agreements might just make my life a little easier if I put my attention to really owning them.

The Four Agreements

Be Impeccable With Your Word

I frequently forget how powerful words are. While I’m not responsible for the way others receive my words, being impeccable to me represents never using my words to manipulate or extort or even twist another’s response for the sake of being right.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

This one is probably the most challenging for me of the four because I tend to take everything personally. I am much better than I once was but not at all where I’d like to be.

When I’m taking things personally, I think others are acting with me in mind. Talk about the need for an ego check! I think I’ve done something to elicit behavior that may have nothing to do with me in the first place. Can you relate?

When I take things personally, I question motives and nose around in other people’s business when I should be “tending to my own knitting” as my mama used to say.

Don’t Make Assumptions

This one follows closely on the heels of taking things personally. My ego tries to tell me I see all there is to see–the picture really isn’t any bigger than my scope of vision. How can I see the big picture?

The truth is I can’t; only GUS–God, Universe, Spirit–holds that perspective. So until such time that I reach a god-like state, I need to stop assuming and questioning everyone’s motives.

Always Do Your Best

Don’t you think this agreement is a tiny bit vague? Could you be more specific, Mr. Ruiz? I guess he couldn’t–this one needs to stay open-ended because everyone’s best is different. If I’m paying attention, I instinctively know when I’ve living right and doing my best.

My best means I’m centered in love and focused on being love. I’m a giver. I honor all forms of life.

When I live in the first three agreements, the fourth comes naturally. I realize I’m happy with who I am, where I am and what I’m doing.

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  1. Congratulations on your big launch! I love the Four Agreements, but like you I don’t always remember them consciously. Thank you for the reminder. I hope they make your life a little easier and mine too.

    • Beth says:

      You know, Sandra, there’s something about writing (or typing) something and making it public that instills it in my consciousness. Five minutes ago I reminded myself not to make assumptions when I started to feel judgy about a family’s circumstances.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you!

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