Don Miguel Ruiz drops gems for Daaaaays in the form of four chords that I call habits. He points out that we have been domesticated by parents/guardians, schools, religion, their peers, advertising, etc. And it is because of this domestication that we suffer, ourselves, in a negative way, and we create and complicate self-limiting convictions. To get rid of this domestication, it is necessary to create new habits or new arrangements. First, you need to be aware of the agreements you need to make. Today`s world is full of suffering and cruelty. From birth, we are trained to accept the rules of society as « as they are, » but consent to those rules prevents us from becoming our true self. But there`s another way of life. If we replace the old agreements with four simple new agreements, we can break away from the old rules and find peace and happiness.
These chords are: 1) Use your words flawlessly. 2) Don`t take anything in person. 3) Don`t make assumptions. 4) Always do your best. The main function of the brain is to dream – and it dreams 24 hours a day. The reason dreams seem distorted when we sleep is because there is no logical or material scaffolding to add a linear direction. Our ancestors created a great dream, an external dream that can be called « the dream of the planet. This dream is a collection of all the little dreams of humanity. This common dream is a dream of communion, family and humanity. The subcategory of the great dream are the beliefs, laws, cultures and religions of society. It contains ways to realize humanity`s dreams — governments, schools and events. Use this exercise to identify some steps you can take to remove some of the old agreements that will hold you.
Making assumptions and taking things in person (two and three chords) goes hand in hand, leading to gossip, conflict and suffering. Everything we accept as « as it is » is an agreement. But too many of these agreements are hurting ourselves and others. Think, for example, of the teenager who is starving to adapt. Think of someone who stays in an unhappy relationship because that`s all they know. « The four chords » changed me. When I pledged to accept these agreements, I swear that the trees were greener, that the sun was shining and that I felt nothing but love for all and everything. Don`t let it be distorted – I`ve loved it many times when I`ve shaped these habits, and I continue to do so. They could fall, too. But be patient with yourself.
There`s a lot of out there to attack you. Don`t go after me, boo. It is the practice that makes the master. You will be a master in the formation of these new habits when you practice. This agreement is also a simple concept, but it will allow the other three agreements to become more ingrained and effective.