The Four Agreements, a best-selling book by Don Miguel Ruiz, suggests that four simple principles exist that, when lived, can change your life.
Early on in life we develop concepts of what people and things are. We learn and are taught to judge ourselves and others. We are rewarded for following rules and often punished for going against rules. Our belief system becomes a book of law, and an inner critic uses our book to evaluate and limit us.
Ruiz suggests that your word is the power you have to create, and your intention manifests through your word. In order to manifest a fulfilling life, he offers us four agreements to follow:
1. Be impeccable with your word. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
2. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t assume that everything is about you. All people live in their own dream in their own mind. What they say is about them and not about you. You are not the center of everyone’s universe, only your own.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Sadness and drama are created when we make assumptions. We may think that if people love us they should know what we want or how we feel. Tell people what you need and ask them how they feel.
4. Always do your best. Keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so regardless of your circumstances, simply do your best at that moment.
Every day is a new beginning. For most of us, the alarm ringtone starts our awakening to a new day. Often we get up quickly and hasten to the shower or the kitchen, whatever our favorite ritual to begin our day.
Whatever our routine, we must remember most of all that each day holds a promise for a new beginning. Every day you have an opportunity to “erase the slate” and create the day that you want to have. Reminding yourself of this idea can be a powerful part of your daily ritual.
Here are a few tips:
Before going to bed in the evening, spend some time in prayer and reflection by remembering the blessings of your day–the challenges and the accomplishments–in essence, the learning.
The fact that you wake up and have another day is in itself a blessing.
On awakening each new day, before getting out of bed, remember to express gratitude for this new day and an opportunity to be of service and to extend love and joy to others.
Decide in the morning that, in addition to any specific intention you might have, this is your chance to start anew.
Forgive yourself and others for anything that has troubled you.
Be determined every day to make this a great day.
Your intention may involve a desire to improve yourself somehow, whether this means reading a book, exercising, calling an old friend, or doing a neighbor a favor.
Decide that you will be the best version of yourself today!
I have studied a great deal of Native American culture in my energy medicine work, and one of my favorite stories is about two animals and how they relate to life: the eagle and the mouse.
The teaching is to balance the eagle and the mouse within us. At times we are the mouse, scurrying about the floor, picking up every crumb, scrutinizing everything in our small world.
At other times we need to become like the eagle—to fly over the situation and to assess the bigger picture. From a higher or greater witness viewpoint, we can look down onto the stage of our story and see the bigger picture of what’s going on. While seeing our lives from this witness viewpoint, we are less likely to get caught in the little minutia of the moment.
If we can learn to balance the energy of both animals within us, we can bring greater balance into our lives and into the world.
Self-esteem can be seen as the combination of how you perceive yourself and the value you place on the self you see.
You have core self-esteem which is the value you place on yourself at your core, and situational self-esteem which is the value you place on yourself determined by situational factors (work situation at the moment, weight at the moment).
Certain researchers say that core self-esteem is in place by age 4 and is determined by how your caregivers responded to you. No matter what, it is exciting to know that your core self-esteem can be improved. How?
If you suffer from any thoughts of being a victim, expand your awareness so that you are able to decide that victim consciousness or self-blame is simply toxic now. Let it go.
Make a nonjudgmental inventory of your talents and strengths and set goals for accepting them and continuing to improve yourself.
Stop neglecting your own needs to take care of others. Be compassionate and loving, but not disrespecting of yourself.
Do your very best at any given moment (it will vary depending upon what your circumstances are).
Remember that positive self-esteem is not created by “all or none” thinking. Allow yourself to risk-take and realize that even seeming “mistakes” can help you grow!
Let go of the cultural standards of beauty and FEEL your beauty from WITHIN. Offer that as a gift to yourself and everyone around you. People are drawn to others who feel good about themselves.
Learn to speak about yourself with directness and honesty. Express your integrity through the harmony of what you say and do.
Above all, celebrate your risk-taking and your successes!