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Author Archive

The Four Agreements III

The third agreement, Don’t Make Assumptions, is profoundly connected to the second.  When we make assumptions about anything or any one, at conscious and/or subconscious levels we become invested in expectations.  When our expectations are not met, we take it personally.

Don Miguel says, “We make assumptions that everyone sees life the way we do.”  This assuming is particularly evident at the beginning of a romantic relationship.  Both parties asking few questions, assuming a great deal, and over-investing in their expectations.  As the romantic phase fades, reality sets in and the parties are stunned by their failed expectations.

Asking questions and clarifying communication are the keys for avoiding the ensuing drama of making assumptions.  The majority of us are quite timid when it comes to this critical aspect of communication; afraid to make ourselves vulnerable; fearful of being judged.

In The Four Agreements Don Miguel states, “If you don’t understand something, it is better for you to ask and be clear, instead of making an assumption.  The day you stop making assumptions you will communicate cleanly and clearly, free of emotional poison.  Without making assumptions your word becomes impeccable.”

The Four Agreements II

The second agreement in the Toltec Wisdom book, The Four Agreements, is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”.

The human majority beleive that other people or situations can make us respond in certain ways.  For example, ‘My boss made me so angry.’ or ‘My friend really hurt my feelings.’  We re-act from a place of conditioning.  Anger is a choice, albeit also a conditioned response.  As Don Miguel states, the comments and behaviors of others which ‘hurt’ us, hurt us because these things touch personal wounds that we carry.

To not take things personally is very challenging work.  Yet, when we establish the habit of non-reaction to the feedback of others, both positive and negative, we find our true center, our true self-esteem.

The Four Agreements

In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz details what may appear at first to be four simple tenets for the spiritual warrior.

The first agreement is to “…Be Impeccable with Your Word.”  Words are a potent power.  Words can soothe and support or incite and ruin.  It is a great challenge to master our use of words.  Don Miguel states that…”Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.” 

When we consistently show this honor and respect for ourselves, we will treat others in kind.  This process is rooted in our thoughts.  I invite you to become an active observer and editor of your thoughts; thoughts about yourself and others.  When the emotions of fear, envy, hate, condemnation, lust, greed and gossip to name a few, dominate your thinking, it is not possible to be impeccable with your word.  

Bringing the truth and love voice of our inner editor to our thought process will reduce  our use of negative words.  The integrity and power of our word can then be honored, even among our enemies.

The Spiritual Path

“In the stillness of my Being I find perfect balance.  I am poised on the middle path between the invisible and visible, master of the poles of opposites, and I see the holy unity of  Spirit and matter.  I see the invisible domain of the Kingdom, and I see the manifest realm of heaven on earth.  I see my path illumined by the inner Light, extending from the secret place within out into the world of form and experience.

“I live with patience, determined to follow my path and fulfill my plan and then to carry out other plans in life as my future unfolds.  I gratefully accept all that greets me on the path, for I know that the activity of God is the Power in my life, and I trust the divine process.  I move forward, steady in the Light of my Holy Self and in the company of the angel, who will keep me in all my ways.”

The Angels Within Us,  John Randolph Price

Harvest

As we approach the Fall Equinox it is a good time to take stock of your personal harvest.  How are your investments doing?  This inventory is not limited to material/financial reality, but includes your personal growth and your relationships with others and with the Divine. 

Fall  bursts forth with all it’s abundance and beauty, and, as it whispers of Winter’s coming, we make our preparation  for the changing of the Seasons.

What are your accomplishments this year to date?  Are you satisfied with your results and returns?  The Fall Holy Season invites us to reflect, assess, evaluate, and, most importantly, to give thanks.

Intention

“Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect.  If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect.  In this most profound way, we are held responsible for our every action, thought and feeling, which is to say, for our every intention.”  Gary Zukav, Thoughts From The Seat of The Soul.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is focusing on the present moment, on the now.  It means bringing conscious mind, day-dreaming mind, the deeper mind…the whole self, including it’s shadow aspects,  fully into the moment.

Nothing, no thing we do is unimportant.  From the simple act of tying a shoe to the more complex actions and decisions that living demands, all are important. 

As with meditation, breathing is essential…mindful breathing.  Focus on each breath.  Bring the full attention of your whole self to the rhythm of your breathing.  You will experience distraction, and when you do, bring the fullness of your attention back the passage of your breath.  As you practice, focusing will become easier.  The mind begins to clear, anxiety eases, a sense of peace and well-being grows steadily.  You can achieve a deeper harmony with the Divine.  Life gets better regardless of what is happening around you.

Bringing mindfulness and meditation together in daily practice is free.  And the investment of time and energy will pay great dividends.

Meditation Style

Finding your ‘meditation style’ can be so challenging that many of us often end up believing that we just can’t do it; that meditation is just not our cup of tea.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2004) lists as the second definition for meditate,  “…to engage in deep mental exercise directed toward a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”

There are many approaches to and styles of meditation geared toward helping us to achieve greater spiritual awareness and connection with the Divine.  But before you choose a particular discipline, it is vital that you identify what kind of meditator you are.  Are you a passive or active meditator?  An active meditation style will find frustration and failure in passive methods, and, likewise a passive meditator in active styles.

An example of passive meditation would be sitting as still as possible  in a place of quietude and breathing into that place of oneness.  Toning, chanting and music may or may not accompany.  A good example of active meditation can be found in the walking meditations of Thich Nhat Hanh.  Breathing is essential to all meditation practices, and no less so in active meditations.

If you have a personal, spiritual goal of attaining a stronger spiritual connection and heightened level of awareness, then I wholeheartedly encourage  your exploration into discovering your meditation style.

Give and Take

A fair exchange, a balance, can be summed up in these two words, give and take.  We most often express this idea in the act of commerce, buying and selling.  Our commerce is based on the premise of ‘fair exchange’ and ‘good faith’ transactions.  Inequities in this exchange, perceived or real, can and do create a range of responses from minor disappointments, to violence and full-out war. 

To focus the law of exchange primarily in the material world is short-sighted.  The tenets of give and take  apply equally on all levels of existence.  It is far more challenging to be fair and honest on the psychic plane, in the spiritual or energetic realm, than in the material world.

I invite you to examine your expectations and any subsequent actions (or non-actions).  One of the greatest contributors to imbalance is that we often expect something from others that can only be found within ourselves.  We all have expectations, it is the over-investing in them that leads to disharmony and our sense that give and take is unequal.

Karma is the result of an imbalance in fair exchange.  This applies equally to giving and receiving.  Today, practice being mindful of your giving and receiving and the energies attached to these actions.

Why Worry?

Everyone worries.  We worry because we do not know what is going to happen to us, our children, our friends, our jobs, our health, our future, our planet.  Worry is more than a useless emotional endeavor.  Worry creates stress. Worry affects our physical, emotional, spiritual health and well-being.  Worry robs us of living life to it’s fullest.   Worry steals precious moments  from our lives and those moments are unrecoverable.

Ask yourself if worry has ever helped you?  Has worrying ever changed an outcome or made you feel better, happier or safer?  I am confident that the answer is no.

Worry presents an opportunity to practice mastery over our emotions.  Fears and worries arise spontaneously, coming and going as they please.  Our task then, is to interrupt the fear, acknowledge the worry, and then replace them with thoughts, words and emotions that are faith-based and positive.  Inner peace comes from accepting that whatever the future may bring, you will have the strength, wisdom and courage to manage the circumstances well.  You will also be in a position to fully enjoy the good, the pleasant, the quiet and the awesome moments of beingness.