While on this journey of learning coaching, knowledge was gained. And knowledge, so we’ve been told, is power. Initially I wanted to share it, tell everyone about it and change the world with this knowledge. But I missed the point of why I had gained it and after mountains of inner work, I’ve concluded that my focus has been wrong. Instead of trying to change the world which ultimately means that I’m saying the world and the people in it are all wrong, I was meant to use this knowledge to understand myself better and become more of who I am. And I now understand that learning and becoming more aware isn’t about changing the world. It’s about learning to appreciate it more and change how I view and experience it. And with this shift in focus, more compassion and understanding will hopefully be my experience of myself and other’s experience of me.
And with this new found understanding, follows the first agreement from “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. A book that has always been on my mind, yet avoidance got the better of me. When I first heard about it and these four agreements years ago, I was not interested in something that seemed sooo basic. I wanted complicated and complex because the world isn’t an easy place to live in. Ah, this Universe though, hey! I even ended up buying another book from this author without noticing it and wow, yes, it was complex in comparison. I’d visit bookstores and never remember ever seeing a copy of it even though it was so popular until I visited my favourite secondhand book-HOUSE recently (Rutland Bookstore if anyone resides near Pretoria, SA) and there it was. It was time to read it and I was ready; my ego had no more excuses.
Back to the first agreement – Being impeccable with your word means not using the words you speak against yourself. It means if you insult someone, those words are really against yourself because you’re enticing negative energy to come back to you. In a similar fashion, he explains that when you take things personally, you feel offended and your reaction is to defend your beliefs. But your opinion about a person or anything else has nothing to do with them and as he puts it, “…it does not affect me because I know what I am. I don’t have the need to be accepted.”
I’m not about to go into detail with each agreement (read the book!) but I can say what stood out for me. Intention is a big one; facing your fears and emotions is another big one and trying to learn more about your own agreements that you have created with the world is a ginormous one.
This book will be on my list of books to read annually. No, I didn’t have such a list before but now seems like a good time to start it. The book is easy to follow, practical and has basic examples that make the agreements sound so simple (which they are) but nothing in this book fools you into believing they are easy to fulfill. What kept me interested is this notion of living in a dream we call reality and how we’ve created this dream according to agreements that ultimately have been imposed on us. We behave more and more according to these agreements and less and less according to our true selves. The four agreements he provides are guidelines on how to achieve letting go of this dream we’ve been told to believe in, in order for us to become who we are meant to be.
The book is a roadmap to achieving personal mastery and if you’re like me, you’ll want to look at the map a few times before you grasp where it’s leading you to. As he emphasises through the book, none of what he is suggesting you to try is going to be quick and easy, so be gentle and kind with yourself because remember…the first agreement is to be impeccable with your word.
“I want you to forget everything you have learned in your whole life. This is the beginning of a new understanding; a new dream.” – DM Ruiz
Here’s the link to my blog done last year on his book called, “The Toltec Art of Life and Death.”