“We need a great deal of courage to challenge our own beliefs. Because even if we know we didn’t choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them.”
~ don Miguel Ruiz
I recently taught a four-week meditation class based on the book The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Over the next weeks, I am going to share some of the key points, from the book, in this blog. If you haven't read this book or haven't read it in a while, I highly recommend reading it and adopting the agreements. Ruiz is a master in the Toltec tradition and he shares powerful teachings from the Toltec Wisdom.
One of the first concepts that impacted me was the belief that humans are domesticated just like dogs and cats. As children, we did not have a choice in what to believe. We learned the rules we had to follow based on our culture, society, parents, teachers and adults in our life. We were punished if we did not follow the rules and we were rewarded when we followed them. I learned to please others so that I would be praised and accepted and did not break the rules for fear of being disciplined or judged unworthy. I became so well-domesticated that I no longer needed the adults in my life to punish me. I did a great job of beating myself up and chastising myself for any misdeed I committed. Ruiz calls these beliefs the ‘Book of Law’ and we each have our own set of rules that differs from everyone else. I judge myself and others based on my Book of Law, which causes serious problems because everyone is playing from a different set of rules.
One idea that affected me the most was the fact that I didn’t have a choice about the rules when I was a child. But, now as an adult, I can take time to examine the rules and see what I accept and what no longer serves me. I want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, therefore, I have found the courage to break the agreements that are fear-based and claim my personal power. I will be authentic and no longer say or do things from the perspective of pleasing others. I know from within that I am lovable, worthy and good enough and I no longer will seek approval from others. This isn’t easy and is a work in progress, but awareness is crucial for the transformation.
The Four Agreements will be discussed in future blogs. The agreements are:
During our domestication process, we learned the rules to be a “good girl” or a “good boy.” What were the rules in your house for being “good?” What did your caregivers consider "bad?"
What agreements do you need to break that are fear-based and claim your personal power?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.