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Mindfulness and The Four Agreements

May is a time to reflect on being Mindful.  We invited Maria De Vivo, meditation and mindfulness expert from The Healing Butterfly Touch , to share with us her personal journey to being mindful on a daily basis and what has inspired her practice. 

Many years ago, on my path of self-improvement and the search for Truth, a beautiful Earth Angel put in my hands a book. This book was The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Don Miguel Ruiz is a Mexican author and direct descendant from the ancient Toltecs, who has dedicated his life to sharing their wisdom. The Four Agreements is one of his bestselling books, where he teaches us very simple principles to help change our lives. Realising that we see life through the light of our own “smoky mirror”, Don Miguel Ruiz encourages us to unlearn so many agreements we have made since we were very young and instead, presents us with a very simple formula that if put into practice, can take us to the next level of awareness, open our consciousness and reduce our suffering.

The four agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your word. By this, he means to always speak kind words to and about others. He advises us to always speak the truth in a constructive way.

2. Do not make Assumptions. If you are not sure, check. As we all see life from our own experience, we see things differently and we can’t assume or make conclusions without checking first. We sometimes take as a fact, a situation that only exists in our own mind, bringing unnecessary pain to our existence.

3. Do not take anything personal. As said before, we all act from our own experience and from our own pain. Understanding that the way a person acts only has to do with the way they are feeling and seeing life at that moment in time and that it is not really related to us, we can free ourselves from fear of judgment and from getting offended by someone else’s story or behavior.

4. Always do your best. Our best is not always the same. We can’t do as many things on a day we are feeling sick, as on a day that we are healthy and rested. There are days when we can run a marathon and others when we can’t get out of bed. Be compassionate with yourself and if you fail to practice the agreements one day, there is always another opportunity to try again.

This great gift given to us by Don Miguel Ruiz goes hand in hand with our Mindfulness practice. By practicing The Four Agreements we are forced to be aware of our every action and the impact it has in our own and other people’s lives. Out of the “automatic pilot”, we become more present and our actions will come from a place of love and are more balanced.

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