Coach’s Challenge for 9/21/09
Good day, team,
This past week I’ve been reminded of the wisdom of Don Miguel Ruiz. He is the author of “The Four Agreements,” one of my favorite books.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, here’s a bit of background.
Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and nagual (shaman) grandfather. They anticipated Don Miguel would embrace their centuries old legacy of healing and teaching and, as a nagual, carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Don Miguel chose to attend medical school and later taught and practiced as a surgeon.
After studying traditional medicine and finding that its healing capacities were limited, Don Miguel began teaching the Toltec traditions he had learned from his mother and grandfather. Beginning in 1987, with his mother, the curandera Sarita, he taught small groups of people in a small room in Logan Heights, Calif. He began with healing practices. As his knowledge of English grew, he realized that he preferred to share his lineage through oral tradition.
Don Miguel’s students grew in numbers and his mythologies and guidance grew with them. He gave lectures in Santa Fe, N.M.; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; and many other locales. When he witnessed his students struggling to quiet their minds, he began to share the wisdom that resulted in the creation of “The Four Agreements.” Don Miguel created a specific series of practical tools that, when used by anyone, can result in consistent and long-term personal transformation.
His teachings are based on common sense and shared with such simplicity that the underlying message is recognized by many. His message is straightforward, practical and, when implemented even incrementally, life-changing.
In the Toltec tradition, a nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Combining new insights with old wisdom, Don Miguel has dedicated his life to sharing the ancient Toltec wisdom by translating it into practical concepts that promote transformation through truth and common sense.
Here are The Four Agreements:
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 reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
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 is going to change form moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Your challenge this week is to take a look at “The Four Agreements” and decide which one will help you gain more personal freedom. In my case, it will be the first one, “Be impeccable with your word.” Because I spend so much of my time at work conversing with others, this first agreement is one I have to continually be aware of and practice. Speaking with integrity requires the ability to hear what I’m saying as I say it, and that takes a lot of attention.
Whatever agreement you choose to work on this week, embrace it with compassion for yourself and others. These teachings are not meant to increase your self-judgment or to scold you. They are meant to give you guidance and peace of mind.
Have a good week!
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