Originally published in The Chalkboard Mag on June 5, 2019.
N THE BESTSELLING BOOK The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz provides a simple but powerful code of conduct to help us tap into our higher selves and lead a life guided by intuition and authenticity. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, his breakdown of these timeless teachings have helped millions find clarity on some hard to grasp spiritual concepts — a modern manual to self actualization so many within our wellness community have been empowered by.
Recently, Ayurvedic expert and TCM contibutor, Sahara Rose, had the privilege of interviewing the author on her Highest Self Podcast (check out her convo with Deepak Chopra here!) and the conversation is certainly one that will leave you inspired. We asked Sahara to share some highlights…
So, no big deal. I recently interviewed world-renowned author Don Miguel Ruiz on my podcast, Highest Self, (which is the number one spirituality podcast on iTunes right now!). I read his mega-popular book (and Oprah favorite), The Four Agreements, many years ago, and was very excited to chat with him about how to apply it’s message to our modern lives.
If you’re not familiar with his books, Ruiz is an MD turned spiritual teacher of the Toltec tradition, known for his extremely simple and authentic interpretation of spirituality. Don Miguel believes there are four baseline agreements that if each person can agree to, the world will achieve balance…
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.
+ Speak with integrity.
+ Say only what you mean.
+ Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
+ Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
+ Nothing others do is because of you.
+ What others say and do is a projection of their own dreams.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
+ Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
+ Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
+ With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.
+ Your best changes from moment to moment.
+ Your best is different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
+ Simply do your best under any circumstance to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
These agreements are simple — but extremely difficult to follow — especially in a world of triggers, haters and, of course, #firstworldproblems. In our conversation, I asked him how he got the download to write The Four Agreements, how we can harness our own intuition, advice for aspiring authors, how to teach kids not to take anything personally and so much more. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
SAHARA ROSE: Different agreements will resonate with you at different times in your life. The one that’s really supported me the most is don’t take it personally. When someone says something mean-spirited to me, I tend to overthink it and take it personally, and I think a lot of listeners would agree. What are some mindset shifts or tools you recommend so we don’t take what people say personally?
DON MIGUEL RUIZ: Well, it’s about being aware. Then you’re aware that you create a story in the one you live, the story of your life. That story is only truth for you, but for nobody else. Then in that story you are the main character, which means that everything is about you. And for everybody that you know, it becomes a secondary character in your story. But they do exactly the same thing, they all create their own story, and their story is the only truth for them — you are only a secondary character of their story. The same way that they’re secondary characters in your story, you are a secondary character in everyone else’s story.
Then when you think you know someone, the only thing that you really know is what you believe about that person and vice versa. Whoever thinks a person knows you, they really don’t know you, they only know what they believe about you. When you don’t take anything personally, it means that you understand that another person only knows what they believe about you, they don’t have any idea what you really are. Then whatever they say may be true in their story, but not in your story.
SR: I’d love to know, what do you recommend for us to harness our own intuition?
DMR: Well, like I said before, it’s so important to love ourselves and accept ourselves just the way we are. To love ourselves unconditionally — you will find out that the main problem all of humanity has is we learn to love in the wrong way. And this is for 99.99% of humans: We learn to love the same way that our parents loved, the same way that society loves and they love with conditions. Which means, I love you if you let me control you, then I love you. If you don’t let me control you, I will reject you. This is how we learn, this is how we see everybody around us. And the worst part is that we learned to love ourselves the same way, with conditions. I love myself if I become the way I should be according to everybody else’s point of view, and including our own point of view.
SR: What advice would you have for your 20-year-old self?
DMR: My 20-year-old self — well, I will tell myself, Don’t worry any longer. Don’t try so hard. Just be yourself and enjoy every single moment of your life, which is the only thing that you really can do. Enjoy your life.