And this week’s episode, we are talking about a book called The Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz. And I really think this is a conversation worth having. Because this book ties up several things that go on, internally, I think anyways, into four tidy concepts that are easy to relate to the first one, which is being impeccable with your word. So how did you guys internalize that concept of being impeccable with your word?
Nobody did . Ok…
Well, and there’s this fun little, um, I guess…. I’m done.
This is this is really good.
Yes, um so part of it, there’s a component there is a visual aid for those of you who like that kind of thing. And that it has four different sections to it. So be impeccable with your word. A) would be speak with integrity, B) is say what you mean, and C) is avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others, and D) is use the power of Your Word, and the direction of your truth and love.
Well, that was very teachery .
You’re welcome. So if people are looking for more what that looks likes, looks like and sounds like that’s, that’s some additional information.
One of the things about the Four Agreements that if you unpack the Four Agreements itself is the original book by Don Miguel Ruiz. And it’s the first of I think it’s now 13 different books inside the Toltec wisdom, tradition. And he has written I think, four and his sons, each of his sons have written multiple books. And then they’ve co authored with some other people and stuff. And you realize how much of their stuff does come back to this original book, The Four Agreements, and more importantly, I say, let’s say this, the first agreement, if you read the book, you’ll actually say, if you can do this, if you can be impeccable with your word, and you unpack what that means, you can then fulfill everything else, that all those other 13 books are talking about. That that list that Jen just read off is. Jen, actually, could you read that list again?
Yes. Sorry about that. Alright. So A) is speak with integrity. B) is say only what you mean? C), is avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others, D) is used the power of your word and the direction of truth and love.
So having read all of the books, all the Toltec wisdom books, I’m aware of just actually how much he means when he when he kind of packs up those four different definitions that are the broad definition of what he means when he says, Be impeccable with your word. And I remember the first time I came across this book, it was in a business discussion with a friend of mine who’s a realtor. And he had found this book years ago, and he had bought a case of them because it was so impactful for him, the different agreements. And I heard it in that kind of business leadership, personal growth, self help space. And therefore for me, I’m much more of a spiritual minded individual. And I thought, Man, okay, I’ll get to it someday, maybe. And once I actually did get into the book, through my own story, about how it came to me, it was a very spiritual thing, and realized, Oh, my gosh, this is one of those books that millions of people have read on a surface level. And it’s very true, and it’s good, and being impeccable with your word is great. But if you take the time to dig down to what the author really freaking means about it, you realize that it will absolutely change how you view everything in life, it will begin to give you the capacity to create heaven on earth, and discover that the kingdom of heaven is inside of you, which goes back to what my hook was in the beginning. So I think it’s it’s worth noting, read the beginning of this podcast that, that there is layers to these agreements. And your ability to internalize them really does determine kind of how, how meaningful this these concepts can be for you. I don’t know if you guys have found the same thing to be true as far as those layers. But for me, it is it is absolutely a stark difference between what I’ve, I’ve known many other people to get out of this book, versus what I’ve personally gotten out of it.
Well, certainly, and I know you reference this thing all the time, especially in the last few months. I think maybe it’s also useful to start with, why do we need to be impeccable with our words, because your word is powerful. And they really emphasize this, like your word has the power to create, or destroy. And I know a lot of us already believe that. But it’s like, oh, so if you believe this? Well, let’s really dive into it. Let’s really get into it understand, you know, the importance of being impeccable with our Word. I think a phrase like they mentioned gossiping in this chapter in this agreement. And, you know, that’s something that a lot of us know, yes, but you shouldn’t gossip, it’s not good. It’s just not a good thing. However, when you realize that what you’re putting out, when you gossip, the destruction that you could potentially be causing when you gossip, the Yeah, just just the things you’re unleashing in the universe, when you are choosing to not build up somebody behind their back, but doesn’t tear them down, behind their back. stuff matters. Um, I was
on one hand, I was. And maybe it’s just because of the way, the way that we have had with all the stories about like, you know, like Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter or whatever. To me, it seemed that using the the terms of white and black magic, kind of cutesy in a sense, I don’t know, I think it kind of has, has lost a little bit of the meaning. Maybe
it causes my ears to perk up like what this is, like, we’re talking serious concepts, these
black magic. Yeah. Cuz cuz I mean, I don’t know, it, maybe we’re just a little more used to this stuff. Or at least I feel like maybe I am. Because I felt like it didn’t quite convey the importance of what he was saying with it. Maybe more like curses and blessings, in a sense, maybe that at least for me, that would have had a little more. But it’s, it is that important with gossiping with speaking bad about somebody with calling people names. I remember the story that, that he talked about the little girl that the mom was just having a bad day, you know, and she was just singing. And I know, for a fact, I sometimes have bad days, and my son just likes to talk and he looks you know, and she and I could relate to that. And I’m thinking, Okay, how many have I ever cursed him with, with what I was saying with a concept? With just a casual comment, you know, just be quiet, or just stop talking or whatever. I mean, I’ve never gone as far as to say your voice is ugly or anything like that mom said, but, I mean, that’s after having multiple years of being exposed to the understanding that, hey, what you say matters. You know, the, the power of life is in what I say in specially people under my care people under my sphere of influence, or whatever, my responsibility, my words are going to carry more weight. But, um, and so you understand that, okay, you need to be careful with what you say, but I feel like calling it you know, it maybe it’s just that I just don’t understand what he means by black and white magic, or the, the, the words might have a different meaning for him than it does to me.
But that kind of goes along with the whole book doesn’t having kind words,
yeah, maybe so maybe so. But to me, it’s like, is more more so more of a curse like you, you? You curse people when you are not careful with what you say? And why would you want to curse your children? And on top of that, understanding that the words that you say are so important.
Did you hear that? Oh, yeah. Feel better.
I think what David saying because his word, the word edge did kind of rubbed me the wrong way. And part of it was I kept because I usually read hardback book. And this time around, I listened to an audio and I was wondering, if I was like, as I’m reading, he’s talking about, like, how Hitler, you know, changed minds and convinced them I’m like, would I be? Would this be different if I was reading it, as opposed to hearing someone else? read it to me with inflection and the tone. But that also goes into all of what we’re talking about in this first agreement on, you know, you’re not only what you say, but how you say it in your tone. I kind of think of it as a bucket, you know, am I am I putting something in someone’s bucket and filling it up? Or my dumping it and kind of against the blessings? And the cursing? Or? What was the term that he used to Curt spell? He you spell? Yeah. So, that was kind of ,kind of didn’t sit well with me. But that’s just I guess me.
Well, you know, I mean, the story that David mentioned is from the book, you know, to dye myself out here, going back about 13-14 years, I still remember telling you in church that your voice was off. And it and I meant it in a way like she was harmonizing. And she was you know, did some time in like college choir. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, definitely knows how to sing and all that. And I was just like, it just was like, I was singing the melody or whatever. And she was doing, you know, going off and doing her own thing. And it wasn’t that I was trying to make her feel bad, just like sounds like something’s different here. And I couldn’t put a finger. And so the word they used for clumsy and hurtful. And I mean, we were newly married at that point, I think. And I think it’s the next week came back and the guy like in the front row turn, right. Next week was like,”you have the voice of an angel”. And I was like, that probably should’ve been me.
Sorry about that.
I actually really liked the, the wordage of that your words are like casting spells. Because when you have that picture, it’s someone sending intention and sending ideas. And it’s not that it has to be word for word, what goes into someone else’s life, because they still have their own interpretation, and their own insecurities and their own filters. But it’s, it’s that your words affect the world around you, and they’re going out, and that they’re doing something, you know, if we believe that every word we spoke was doing something good or bad, you know, if you want to look at it as white magic, or black magic, or blessings or curses, it’s doing something, it’s either creating life or it’s tearing life down. But that’s the idea that got me is that our, everything we speak is doing something. And we all have those moments in our life that we can look back on little comments that people made. And it’s not their fault that it affected us the way it did. You know, we have our own responsibility. But just that everything we say, affects the world around us.
Yeah, and I think one of the things that he brought out to me was the whole concept of the soil that you are essentially being receptive to negativity or not. And I think that’s a helpful thing to also take note of, when thinking about, because we’re talking about how we’re affecting other people lot, right now, but in how we take things in also, and like you said, we have a responsibility in that. And even if someone says something negative, if we are only tuned, in a sense to positive, then that’s going to just basically bounce off of us and not be a big deal to us.
That gets into the other agreements, which he says, you know, again, if you can be impeccable with your word opens up the door to a whole new way of life. These other the other three agreements are essentially the, the, the how tos to kind of to, to buttress up against this first agreement. And so you know, for it will get the other get more detail, but the other three being, don’t take things personally don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. And so I if, you know, this is not a new concept, it is as Christians, former Christians, the, I think it was, is it, James or john, which one was good to some of their gospels mixed up, or they’re just those mixed up, but it’s that you hold the power of life and death in the tongue, right, and he who can control his tongue controls the whole body. And the, I mean, that’s a, that’s a pretty massive statement that in, in an epistle in the Bible, that’s talking about how to live righteously, and how to be perfect. It gets boiled down to well watch, watch your mouth. Like, that’s pretty, that’s pretty crazy. When you consider all the mechanisms that have to be in place, in order for your word to be impeccable, in order for you not to gossip, in order for you not to take things personally, in order for you not to, to tear others down, or whatever I have found, the longer I’ve sat with this, that my default position is, is to become more and more quiet, and observant. You know, obviously, I have people that I can verbally process with that it’s safer to kind of just verbal vomit, if you will, and, and find conclusions and kind of stumbled my way through things, in hopes that you know, whoever it is that you’re not taking things, personally not making assumptions about what I mean, and I’m able to process but when I’m with average Joe Schmo in my life and more, I’m saying less than that’s not because I’m thinking I’m better than them. That because I’m not having enough don’t have any thoughts. But it’s because somewhere in there, I’m beginning to you the tools of, of these four agreements and the impact ability of my word, and it is creating so many additional things under behind my tongue, that I can absolutely, you know, ironically, for the first time, in all my years studying the Bible, I’m starting to get why I want to say it’s James, but why the controlling your tongue, and that it being like a rudder that steers the ship. And that if you can control your tongue, you can control the whole man. Like, it’s, it isn’t just about, oh, you know, don’t, you know, don’t make that confessions of your life because you’ll be sick and poor forever. Like it’s not it’s not the silly, don’t say mean things, right? It’s not the name it and claim it stuff, or the if you can’t say anything nice was saying it’s none of that stuff, it is the true mechanisms behind why you say what you say that if you can put these filters and these agreements, in the process, you will find you’ll go oh my gosh! This really does this is kind of a never ending yeast inside of this thing known as my identity, that if I start here and i and i mean the thing about it is it is the the creative. Literally mouthpiece of who we are all other senses are intake, except for the mouth, the mouth is worth intake and output. Right. And there is there is something to be meditate on, about how you have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two hands, two legs, you know all this, but you have one mouth. Right? And the reality that that is the so much the creative center, that’s how God created the earth, in Genesis and in in so many things to kind of consider the power of everything behind the the tongue that then gets filtered and boiled down to a sentence. This book does an amazing job in my mind of, of kind of boiling down even the domestication part, the fact that we’re speaking English on this podcast, the fact that the word English means it’s a language, and we know what the word language means, because we’ve all in agreement that that’s what those sounds are. And my blog, I get into that a little bit, you know, when I use the word sky, we know what sky means, because we speak that language. But the truth of the Word sky is something that doesn’t need words. And this is evidence by there’s dozens of other languages that have a different word for the same truth. And so when you realize that even down to what is truth, and what is it what is communication, and what is the energy of the realities of existence, that out of your mouth comes your identity, in in in a form that other that you are now imparting to other people, and that there is so much underneath that, when you say anything, it does begin to realize you do be and realize, well, if I can just focus my attention on being impeccable with my word, I may actually change my entire identity.
Now, you mentioned you know how this has kind of its roots in Christianity. But you also mentioned that it’s its roots inToltec wisdom, can you can you briefly describe what that means? What Toltec wisdom is for some .
I can! So Toltec are pretty much their pre Aztec and Inca, Native American or central Native American. Their main city was Teotihuacán, which is translated as the city where men become gods and thousands of years old. It’s it is not a religion in the sense that you will not find seminaries and you know, buildings to pay whatever. But it is a wisdom traditions kind of like Zen. And it’s it’s largely having a resurgence because of Don Miguel, and his family. Not that it was lost, but that just wasn’t very popularized or made public the wisdom of it was not made public. And so yeah, it’s, it’s from Mexico Teotihuacán is 30 miles north of Mexico City. And they have different websites they have.
They take trips down to Teotihuacán multiple times a year, they have seminars and stuff all over the place. So it’s just a system of thought.
Right on Well, I guess, cruising right along here.
Could I say before, before we go and briefly mentioned that we talked about the words that we speak, but also the words that are going on in our head, and being impeccable with conversations in our own minds. Because it kind of starts there, as far as what comes out and how we view ourselves and all that.
Yeah, he says though, he says don’t use the word against yourself. That one’s really easy to do without saying anything.
Yes, it is.
I’m such a loser.
No, you’re not.
I think honestly, just getting really familiar with or starting to really recognize all the conversations that go on in your own mind. Because we have so many conversations all day long, without even thinking about it, if you’re not allowing yourself to be aware of it, it’s just so normal and natural.
And so just just picked up a new tool. This This actually pretty cool. If you want it’s it can be exhausting to monitor your internal dialogue 24/7, right, because at some point, you have to like buy groceries, and stuff. And so one way to kind of take an overall inventory about your internal dialogue, is if you look at a situation or look over any particular subject, and you ask yourself, what your expectations are of that situation. So Exactly. Examine your expectations. And you’ll realize the you’ll discover the predominant direction of thought that you have. And if you have negative expectations about stuff, whether it be your weight, or your job, or your kids or whatever, then you will, then you will that’s that is the fruit of a consistent negative thought pattern.
But if you don’t have expectations,
Then you probably are, amazing.
What do you mean?
I don’t know, like
cheeky one, go.
And it’s now kind of in me, like, it’s a sad thing. But um, I was talking with someone and I was like, Well, I don’t know, I just don’t have expectations. That way, I’ll never be let down. Like I just, I have, you know, no expectations, because then you know, it doesn’t line up, I’m not disappointed. So I find sometimes that I just don’t have expectations, and maybe the why is more telling then then whatnot. But
to me, that sounds like an expectation to not have an expectation
that you’re going to be let down. If you have them.
I realized it after I said it, the lines were drawn, but whatever
But that’s helpful to point out, I think.
Yeah for sure, well, expectations are the normal stuff, humanity. Right? It is it’s actually just in the in the it’s the law of the universe of creative power known as God, that God is always forward moving. Right? Nature is always forward moving, it is never about the past, it is always about creating more, it’s always, you know, use the example, if a forest fire burns down the forest, come back five years later, they begin to see a new forest growing, like there’s-always-forward-movement-nature-never-stops. And so expectation is an energy that is directly tired, tied to movement. And it’s directly tied, tied to forward movement. And so it is, by our default, it’s actually something I don’t believe we were meant, or are really able to not have expectations. Because it is in our it literally in our spiritual DNA to expect. That is because we live, our minds being of the substance of spirit, are able to live outside of time and space. And so if we were a pure instinct and pure intuition, we would always be in the now. And expectations will not be a thing. But we’re not we’re soul and spirit. And the Spirit side of us lives in a realm that is always forward moving. So it is there’s healthy ways to manage and build and foster expectations. But in the end, you still have them.
I had a cousin who I distinctly remember about 20 years ago saying that he was constantly aiming low to avoid disappointment, that was his mantra. And I think, you know, biblically, these are, these are the types of thoughts that we need to take captive. And we need to recognize when we’re having these, whether they’re negative thoughts about our ourselves, our futures, our prospects, whatever it is, or just, you know, this underlying mentality that, you know, failure is imminent,y’ know, take that captive and recognize it. And then, you know, then you can do something.
My I find, this is a confession moment,
that I’ve struggled my weight my whole life. And I have the expectation that I will continue to struggle with my whole life. Right? And then, and it’s, oh, I have never actually reached the point where I’ve expected to be fit. Right. And I’ve, I mean, I’ve been doing the work around. I’ve been doing mind work for years now. And I’ve never been able to get to the point where I’ve expected to be fit. No, it’s it is a telling you just kind of skip to the end. What’s your expectations, that will tell you what your thought patterns really are?
Sure. And I think in the book, they’re really, really blunt about it. Like, all your friend says you’re fat or something like that. And that, but like I was saying was like Well, what do I say about myself? Like when I look in the mirror, and I see myself like I’ve been working on for a while now. And it got me wondering like how I’m open for critique here by I’ve been constantly telling myself. You’re getting there. But does that mean that always just be getting there? Never there?
Yeah, I mean, along the same lines, David and I were just having this conversation today that something that I realized recently, we have a camper that we’ve been working on for a while. And we were putting a lot of hours on it. And it was just in this state of just perpetual working. And we were getting to the point, finally, because we had a deadline that we had to meet, that we were wrapping things up. And it felt so bizarre, like it can’t explain how bizarre it felt to me that we were actually finally coming to the end of a project. And I realized that that’s how I just have felt in life for so long that we’re always going to be just in a perpetual state of trying to catch up trying to get ahead trying to just struggling to make things work. And that had just been like, my mental state forever, and to the point where I couldn’t even comprehend, like what it would be like to be on the other side of that. And so similarly, with the weight thing, like getting getting to a different place in the agreements, in my mind with what my life looks like, it’s, it’s so weird to try to try to get to a point that you’re that you’ve never been before and make that a new normal, I guess.
And it’s funny, because I totally feel you there with the whole weight thing because I’ve like, since I was in school, I’ve had kids telling me I was fat, you know, and making jokes about my weight and stuff like that. And I remember, like four or five years ago, I was actually I got to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired of being Yeah. And so I was just like doing great. I was hitting hard, and I was making some awesome progress and everything. And then we got busy. We had to travel a bunch. And I was like, Oh, I guess I’m never gonna make it. And I just kind of, you know, just kind of let it go. And I’m like, Yeah, see, now I’m probably just gonna get all fat and everything in
and you’re just getting older, obviously, I’m getting
older, I’m just gonna get all fat and whatever
got some work to do.
Alright, so I think we’ve thoroughly established idea, you know, the importance of being impeccable, the word internally,externally, we ready to move on?
Alright, so next one is don’t take anything personally.
This one’s hard, man.
Should I read this?
For me? It
Yeah. Let’s do it
So the a’s b’s and c’s of don’t take any. Don’t take anything personal.
You can do it into the mic that even better?
Don’t-take-anything-personal. I don’t know, when I read it just felt very double negative.
And don’t take that critique personally there.
Allright! A, nothing others do is because of you B) what others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. C), when you are immune to the options, the options and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. It’s good stuff right there.
Probably opinions and actions of others.
Did I read that wrong
Oh, what did she say?
it says there’s a “t” they’re
It’s supposed to be opinions.
Whoever yeah somebody typo’d that,
It’s all good. Um, I, I think this is one that I thought I was doing a really good job on. But this kind of highlight some areas where I, you know, I could do better. Just the idea that the way people interact with me, isn’t always because of what I’m doing is, I think, you know, they’ve got their own shit to deal with. And a lot of times, you know, they’re putting that on me because of what’s happening in their life. And sometimes, that’s, you know, sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s not, but I’m not gonna, you know, take it personally, anymore.
I’d say that the the way people react to you is never about you, that if you think about it, you are the only one in your world, you are only ever the only one in your world. And everything. Think about it, it’s easier, if you look at yourself, everything you do is always about you and always about what you think, and your opinion of someone else and your filters. And if you can turn that around and project that on everyone else in your life and realize that they are the only ones their whole world revolves around them. So everything’s going to be about their lenses, and the way they see things. And that literally nothing anyone does, can ever be about you. It’s always about them.
It’s just one of those things. It’s it’s, so in the books, he talks about how this one gives you immunity from the world.
Because it is essentially, is the acknowledgement that you all we all live in our heads. And that is the only place we live is the only it is it is. You know, even in the closest relationships, if you consider the percentage of time that you spend in external conversation, it’s maybe 5% of the day, that you’re actually talking to somebody else. And 95% of your day is in your own head. And when you realize just the vast majority of thinking, and decision making, and opinion making, how much it is based on the domestication of the individual, you know, their their what they would what the galleries would call their book of law, you know, that this is moral or this is not moral, this is right, this is not right. And you realize that you can take almost any subject, almost anything you could do or say, and you insert it into another time and place with another culture or another person in what that person took personally and offendedness and all that stuff. a completely different person in a completely different scenario wouldn’t think twice about it.
For example, you think about people in other countries eat dogs, but here in the United States, it’s like a abhorrent to think of me of eating a dog, but in their culture just fine. So and and those, that’s kind of an extreme example. But we do that with everything in our life. Everything is just a belief, just a lens, just a viewpoint. And society has dictated that we have these massive viewpoints that in the United States, we all believe this one thing we all believe it’s not okay to eat dogs. But it’s just it’s still just an opinion, just because millions of people believe it, it’s still just a thought it’s still just an opinion.
So I mean, I think it was Bruce Lee, he talks about the idea of knowing yourself yourself so well. That you can then begin to know your opponent and understand them. Does that is that the thing that jives with what Don saying in this chapter? No. I was gonna look that up. But we have too much silence.
It’s a good question. I’m sitting here, you know, for me, having read all of his stuff, I think he would say it’s So one of his major, major things, and it’s not in the Four Agreements, you start to get into the fifth agreement, the mastery of love, the voice of knowledge is like that. But one of his main things and teachers is respect, that respect is such a powerful word, in relationships. And so in getting to know your opponent, and I would even say the other half of this is love without condition to love everyone. And so if you’re attempting to understand the people around you, and I, you know, use the word opponent loosely, it’s not that everyone’s an opponent, but there’s other people in your lives. So if you’re trying to get to know them, and understand them, then if you can have a respect, and a love without condition, and while at the same time, not making assumptions, not taking things personally, being impeccable with your word. You know, the fifth agreement, which we’re not getting into today, actually says, be skeptical. Don’t believe anybody, don’t believe yourself, but always listen. So the fifth agreement, he even says is kind of all the other Four Agreements wrapped up into one of realizing that everyone is, is dreaming their own dream, everyone has their own lenses. And in the end, it’s all lies. trying to convey the truth of experience. So when I tried to do and I tried to point out something in this guy to somebody who doesn’t speak English. The truth is, there’s the thing in the sky, we can both see it. That’s the truth. The moment we use words, we introduce distortions, infiltration is based on our upbringing, so on and so forth. And so being skeptical and not believing anyone, including yourself, does kind of get to this some level like to know anybody is potentially in some ways is impossible. And another way is you can know everyone on the same level with love without condition. And
alright, so moving on to the third point, which is, don’t make assumptions. Seems pretty cut and dry out. Maybe there’s some subplots, definitely, under the surface here.
point A,)find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. B), communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, or drama. C), with just one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
I’m sorry, I’m going to read that again. Because I read it wrong. C) with just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Ah, I read a little differently.
inflections is a thing.
Yeah, I mean, personally, I was waiting for this one to kind of do some marital counseling on the recorded post on the internet. Assumptions in the marriage and whatnot.
What are you assuming, sir?
I just think it’s important to communicate all the time, maybe overly communicate, I think I Don might agree. Maybe somebody else has an opinion on something,
I like this one, I use this consciously, the most out of these four agreements, in work and in relationships. And it takes it takes this takes some vulnerability this one does. Because it’s one admitting that you’re not understanding or admitting that you’re not sure or to ask questions, and do not assume something. You have to kind of expose that you’re doubting yourself and be willing to listen and want to learn so that there is a lot under just not making assumptions. There’s a lot of maturity that has to happen, if you’re going to push into asking questions. But on the plus side, you understand people so much better. This is improved my relationships with my boss at work so much as asking her questions, but having to be vulnerable myself to ask those questions.
Hmm that’s good? Yeah.
I think that Oh, go ahead.
the the, the reality of assumptions that we often make, does often go hand in hand with taking things personally, especially in relationships, we make assumptions, so that we can be offended.
How often do we make assumptions that someone’s really awesome?
I totally assume that they’re going to do what they promised they’re going to do.
Like when you’re falling in love, this is when that one is really going okay.
You know, that’s an interesting, that is the truth of when you are falling in love, and you’re in there is this kind of assumed it’s it’s the honeymoon effect that Bruce Lipton wrote a whole book about the honeymoon effect. And, but beyond that, there is largely and in our culture, in a assumptiveness of negativity, personal attack, unreliability, you know, people being lazy people being stupid that so so many of the assumptions are very negative. So does bump right up against the second agreement of not taking this personally, but it is. For me, I totally agree with Joanie, that it is an awareness of yourself that so the first the second agreement is immunity to the world, not taking this personally. This one, he says is immunity to yourself, because assumptions only tear you down. And then they come out in a lack of ability with your word. And it’s all intertwined. And this assumptiveness in our minds, is a fool’s errand. So many times, and I’ve learned I’ve taught people like if you’re going to make assumptions, assume the best. And you just see how silly some of your assumptions are. And there’s times where people can’t even figure out what the best assumption would be, because they’re just so sure that that person’s an idiot. Right? There’s so sure that the person is going to let them down, they’re so sure that that person’s being an ass. And so I kind of go the other way of like, if you’re going to assume that what’s the best? What’s the best of that person’s actions was the best intention behind that thing that’s confusing you. And you just realized just what your thought patterns are, and your judgment patterns are. When you when you when you watch this in yourself, it is you realize, holy crap, I have given myself high blood pressure for years, for no reason.
If I can’t make assumptions, that that means that I can’t spend time and energy having imaginary arguments with people like taking that away from me?
Then he’s gonna say, and then I’m going to let him have it. I’m going to bring this back down so hard on his face.
The thing for assumptions for me is, we all have different backgrounds and different perceptions, and even different definitions of what words are. And so Matt brings up communication, and he has an idea of what communication between us would look like. And I have another reason what, what it looks like. And if we never get on the same page, and we never talk about that, we’re just going to keep going assuming, assuming, assuming. Or we make this agreement Hey, this is what this is what it looks like, and then not revisiting it. A couple of weeks down the road, things change, life changes, we we change our personalities and perspectives. And so if you’re not, if you’re just writing something in, in sand, and stone and all this is what it is for now on and never revisiting it, then you have misconceptions built on assumptions built on misunderstandings, and it just becomes this big monster.
I don’t know why you tapped my leg like that ?
I think. Um, I’ve been pretty good for a long time about making good assumptions about what other people’s, like coming up with good scenarios of how someone didn’t mean to offend me or whatever. Or wasn’t. Yeah, in most other people that like the people that I don’t really know, or people that close to me, but I haven’t been great at it in, in closer relationships, because I find that I want. And I think this is probably fairly common with women. I want for example, David to be observant enough. In our relationship. To me, it feels like more loving if he just can know, something that I want. And I understand I actually I’m really good at communicating when I have a problem with something. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m having trouble with that. But the communication of not assuming negatively, like sometimes I honestly, I just like I can’t comprehend. Like someone was saying I forget who it was, but I can’t comprehend of a scenario that makes sense. In the other person’s head of how that couldn’t have been a negative thing. And like, for example, there was a something that happened with some of my friends. Not super long ago, we had a conversation on Facebook Messenger. And we said that we were going to do something together that day. And, and I said, Okay, yeah, someone suggested, yeah, let’s let’s do like maybe shopping. And something else I forget. And I was like, Okay, that sounds cool. I’m down for that. Then come to find out later, those two friends were out shopping without me and hadn’t communicate with me. And I could not for the life of me come up with a scenario that it made sense if they hadn’t communicated after we had that agreement, or whatever. So that was a scenario that I was like, really hurt by I confused by? Um,
I didn’t take it personal.
wait, but that you agreed. Yeah. You mentioned that it was cool to do it. And then they went shopping. Yeah. And did not tell you didn’t tell me anything. Yeah.
I found out that they were out and and let’s see met up later that day. And they didn’t try to hide the fact that they were doing it without me. And so I was so confused. It was just weird. Um, I let I just let that situation go. Because I cared more about the relationship. I didn’t want to make it weird. At some point, I might ask them, you know, like, what was up with that, but they clearly didn’t think it was weird or have any, I couldn’t come up with a scenario where that made sense in my mind. And so like, you can be really good at coming up with. I mean, I don’t know, maybe, maybe that shouldn’t even be the goal. Maybe the goal should not be coming up with good scenarios,
because that just becomes another assumption in life. You say, hey, like, I thought we were going together What happened?
Yeah, and I would have done that, but it at that time, it just wasn’t a good thing to do. I could tell. Um, and so I’m cool with it now. Like, I just let it go. I don’t really know. I never came up with a good scenario. But I was still able to let it go and not be offended, like, eventually not be hurt by it. And not, it wasn’t a big deal anymore. Um, but yeah, that’s just an example where even coming up with good scenarios may not be like I said, maybe that’s not the goal. And I don’t know if Austin you have anything to say to that whole way of thinking about relating with people or whatever. I have a feeling you might
when I tell people will assume that if you’re going to assume assume the best. Yeah, it is it says it is the so in the human brain, there is a I can’t remember what it’s called. concept of very simple, this that we do not know how to handle unfinished math, like, we inherently connect the dots, this is the same part of you, that if you’re you know, using the analogy of shooting, you know, shooting skeet with a shotgun, that can that can connect that I need to shoot here, because by the time the shots get there, the you know, the skeet will be where that is. And so that’s the idea that you can guess what’s coming next that you can, that you can know what’s going on in traffic, because you’ve, your mind is already able to put together what’s probable. And so we do that, but we do that with everything, right? And we do that. And then those equations are built on our past ability to fill in the blank. Right? So we have had these experiences, therefore, it’s normal for me to expect that this will be continued to be experience. So that’s why when somebody innocently says something, that for years has been a sore spot for you, then one year attracting that vibrational, but two immediately assume that they’re just piling on to the same thing of it, you know, because you’re filling in the blanks, and our minds do that, with assumptions. And the assumptions are based on past experience. And so it is almost like a drug it’s in, it’s very much like an addictive behavior, to stop making assumptions. And so my secondary piece of advice is, but if you’re have to, if you’re if you’re struggling with that, you know, it’s kind of like quitting cocaine cold turkey. Like if you’re struggling, kidding, quitting cocaine, cold turkey, maybe, you know, drop down to something less? I don’t know. And so if you can’t stop making assumptions, then make the better ones. And you’ll still hook into a lot of the same things. But in the end, yeah, do it is the right answers. Don’t just don’t make assumptions,
right. But then, in scenarios where it doesn’t feel like it’s good to actually even potentially communicate about that, or like, put somebody on the spot, maybe or, like, do you just like you said, like that? I identify Well, with that what you said about needing not not being able to the whole thing about math? And yes,
unfinished math. We don’t.
That’s Yeah, that makes sense. Like our brains do want want things to make sense. So like, do we just, yeah, I’m not quite sure. And this scenario, like it really, it just, it’s out there? I don’t know. It’s definitely not a finished thing. And I don’t, I don’t care anymore, honestly, at all. But I’m not really quite sure how I got there. So
Jen, could you read that list of the subject points underneath this one again?
Definitely. So for don’t make assumptions a is find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want, which I think is what we’ve been kind of talking about. B)communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding, sadness, and drama. C), with just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
So I want you to read those because essentially, I mean, this exact scenario, it is that ask questions, communicate as clearly as you can. It’s gotten to this point now for me, people my life, like Joanie can probably attest, I asked shit, tons of questions. And it’s not because I don’t it’s not because I don’t believe the answers I’m getting. It’s not because it’s because in all my questions, you can give me an answer. And I’m still making it happen and other assumptions about what that answer means. And so trying to dig down to Okay, well, when you said this answer, I’m still realizing I have filters and distortions, and you have filters and distortions. And so let me ask it again, in a different way, so I can truly understand. And obviously, the more weighty the discussion, the more questions I believe, should be asked. Because, you know, it’s one thing to when you talk about shopping, it’s a whole other thing, when you talk about spiritual truth, or how to raise your kids or, you know, whatever, I mean, that those those get super, super important to make sure that you’re not, you know, it’s like Jen was saying, Oh, we should communicate more. What is the word communicate mean to you ? Right.
So what you’re saying, though, that it sounds to me, like you’re saying that your goal is still finishing math?
Yes. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that’s good. That’s absolutely, yeah, it’s absolutely not to live a life where you don’t, I don’t know why anybody does anything.
You’re going to finish the math no matter what. So if you can do that in a way that helps you better understand the other person and that you’re not coming up with the math? Do you know the end of the problem yourself? Right, um,
I think in this case, I ended up just finishing the math on my side of things. And just the reason that I was able to resolve it for myself was just okay. This is why it felt like this for me, this is this, this and this. And this is how it related with my relationship with God and all that kind of stuff. And so I think I just finished it on my side and cross it out on the other people’s side, I guess, I don’t know.
I think that’s where that’s where knowing yourself, kind of knowing why you’re finishing the math in that direction. helps a lot before projecting it on somebody else.
Right, well, and I would also push into what does finishing the math mean, you know, is it finding the solution to the problem? Is it equalizing the equation? Is it coming up because like, even when you think of an algebraic equation, you have to do certain things first, before you can come to the end product. And so part of that your equation could have been figuring out how it correlates with myself and God, and that, you know, that’s my maybe the multiple multiplication division part of it. And then the addition and subtraction part of it is how do I go about communicating with my friends and and helping them become better friends and relationship builders, because they understand where you’re coming from in your perspectives. And so, while we are trying to connect the dots and get the math, there’s always going to be lots of layers to it. And that’s part of the fun this is finding out.
So did you see that Don,Don Ruiz as Don Miguel Ruiz has a order of operations. Is that what you’re getting out there,
My Dear Aunt Sally, says so yes.
What is like, okay,
that’s, I mean, there’s, we talked about, you know, there’s so many layers, and we’ve got a body, we’ve got a spirit and we had a soul. And there’s things on the surface, and there’s things under the surface, we’ve got a conscious and subconscious, there’s never just like, one answer, there’s never one solution to this problem, there’s always going to be multiple ways to get to the end of the math problem, there’s always going to be multiple ways to show your thinking, sorry, I get my teacher hat on guys. But you know, there’s, there’s, there’s just, there’s no one way to eat a Reeses like there’s the solution is there, it’s how you get there, it’s how you put it together is going to be unique for every individual.
And it also depends on what other equation, other parts of the equation, you have other agreements you have. So in this case, perfect place to enter into what I believe is arguably the most important agreement you can have with yourself. That is the truth, that everything is for you. That everything that that life, it’s impossible for life to be against you. And if anything is true, there’s a way in which it is true. And so if you truly believe that, then when your friends don’t call you to go shopping, then you have this thing inside of you that says, Well, what what in this moment is for me, then you can you can start unpacking stuff. And if you’re not taking it personally not making assumptions, but you’re still letting it be a lesson, you’re letting it teach you something or expose something in you. Like, that’s a whole other piece of that equation, as you rightly so Jen, you’re saying like, it’s not just what is what is finished the math mean? Well, if one of the major components in all of your math questions is life is for me, life is always for me, then that’s that flavors everything differently. And that is where you get a kind of the, the order of operations of your agreements, ie beliefs, will determine how you finish the math, and what flavor you put on it and what assumptions you make. But I do I do think, again, if you can get to the point of not being a crack addict, and having to make assumptions. That is definitely the true goal of finding the kingdom of heaven within you.
Right on and so to, to move to the last and fourth agreement. It’s an agreement that, you know, propelled me to share this whole thing if my kids probably know, half a year ago, maybe four months ago, I don’t know, I just walked to school, my kids in the morning, and always do your best, I figured that’d be a great agreement to end on our walks. But just all these build in this one, I think saves you so much time of sparing yourself the question, What if, if you always do your best? Then you you take that? You know, all the wondering, like, what if I had done more? If I tried harder? What if I really push to finish this or whatever? You know, how would my life be different? Like I think that that question haunts me in particular sometimes. And so the idea that I can, I can free myself from all of that mental energy, just by do my best when the time comes. That’s huge man.
You want to hit us with those points.
Sure. Point, A), your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick, B)under any circumstance, simply do your best. And you will avoid self just self abuse and regret.
Which I think you summed up nicely.
I think for this piece for me. And part of my day job is supervising people. And so I find sometimes people will say things about me when I have to hold them accountable for their actions. And I have to do a lot of don’t take things personal. When things are said like, Oh, she doesn’t do anything. And I’m like, I do think all the time. And I’m like, you know what, like, I know what I’m doing, I’m doing a good job, I can’t do anything any better than what I’m doing, I show up every day, I’m doing what I can, and that really helps me ride through the top three, you know, things, it’s just like I’m doing my best. And if I could do anything differently than I would so or better, I guess
Yeah I guess it definitely helps when you have to, like sometimes justify your actions to another person, maybe a boss. Yeah.
I think for for me the the do your best. So Don Miguel, it says of all of his agreements of all of his books, this is his favorite. Because this is the one that takes what you’re doing on the inside and actually puts it into action. Right? Because you can think you’re doing this and think you’re doing that you’re doing that. But if you don’t actually bring it into your life, you know, if you’re just deluding yourself, and you’ll find when you bring it into your life that you you know, you spent however many years you’re alive, you have mastered being you, if you’re trying to change that, then you’re going to find that there will be days where you fail. And so doing your best does release you essentially from the past. And namely regret, or questioning or doubt or whatever or that guilt that comes with to to do your best. For me, the question really becomes, have you ever been in a scenario where you knew the better option, or you had the energy of the better option? And you consciously said, I’m not going to do that right now. Right? And, and I it’s not the same as saying is consciously being aware of like men, I would like to but I just, I don’t know, if I can, it’s different. There, it’s one thing to be have fatigue or be sick or like no, you know, if I was having a good day, I could do this. But right now, it’s just, it’s just too much. So your best doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re always in peak performance. But is there ever been a time where you, you’re totally capable of doing it. And for one reason or another you chose choose not to
that happens a lot of work.
Just don’t feel like it, I’m just not going all the way.
And, and that’s the you, for those of you especially at work, but it’s if you want to truly continue to work on yourself, you will find that that the smallest things will become the evidence is of the did the deeper bigger things that you’re not actually doing your best on.
And so it’s it is
it’s something that is can be beautiful, and bringing it and bringing your internal world into existence in the in the physical plane. But it is one of those things that, you know, there’s people who habitually just don’t, don’t do their best. And I like how in the book, he says, you know, if you if you’re not used to this, start doing the small things your best, like literally take the best shower you’ve ever taken, brush, brush your teeth, and floss, the best that you’ve ever done. Make make that macaroni and cheese the best you’ve ever made it. And the silly little things, comb your hair, the best you’ve ever come to. And in even I think uses examples of like dress up, or you know, drive the drive, drive your car, the best you’ve driven it. And you’ll find that there is a sense of fullness to your to your life in that moment. Because you are, you know, I my chiropractor asked me one time said, you know, how much does a tree grow? It grows, all. right?, it grows, it just grows until it’s not growing. And so how, how much is your best, it’s it’s the fullness of what’s possible. And you realize if you live there energetically, that you’re not always leaving this little, this this percentage of untouched energy, you’re always in everything you’re doing, you’re doing your best, you will significantly raise your vibration. And your life will change.
I as you’re talking about doing all these little things your best. I’m like, weelll, make everything take a lot longer. Because I feel like look so like how does this work for for example, perfectionist? So like, there’s gotta be some sort of caveat here something or like, disclaimer, I don’t know, because like,
You managed your time your best
there’s got to be a hierarchy here, I guess maybe we could say, okay, because for sure, like, I don’t want to do the world’s best job on so many things. So. Okay, so the hierarchy thing that makes sense. Right?
But does he say, your shower for four hours, and you realize you missed all these appointments, you probably didn’t manage your time the best?
Yeah, there’s definitely got to be a prioritization for this.
It’s it’s an energetic target, not a mental target.
It’s it’s mostly for, you like your best is going to impact the world around, you ,you know, for the better. But I’m thinking about work. I’m also a supervisor. And I know when I’m, you know, you catch someone, you know, falling short on something they should have done, and you confront them about it, you know, when they didn’t do their best, because all outcomes, all the excuses outcomes, although you know, this and that. But if you know they did their best, then you can feel the difference in what they’re saying. And you’re like, oh, okay, but when when they haven’t done their best, and they’re just fudging their way through the day. It just totally feels different. So being able to live in that energy of I did my best. It totally, it’s for you and and it impacts the world around you.
Yeah, you can definitely feel that energy in yourself to whether or not you did your quote unquote best in every scenario. and in best in other words best not meaning perfect, but like, Well, yeah,
okay. Again, it’s energetic. Yeah. And then, you know, do you feel confident, do you feel are you feel or is there a measure of weeell ….
Just being sloppy and dumb.
right, and then you start checking all the areas in your life, and suddenly that becomes your vibration.
And actually, I get that, because I’m a perfectionist also. And, you know, there’s areas of my life where things are never good enough, but giving yourself permission, and freedom to just do your best, actually, especially as a perfectionist, lets you take a step back and release yourself from the obligation of having to meet some standard that’s really only created in your mind anyway. So giving yourself the freedom and permission to just do your best has been really, really freeing. Also,
that’s actually a huge point that I’m like, yeah, cuz it’s easy to do your best, it’s easy to kind of beat up on people who don’t do their best. It’s because it’s, it’s been to pull you forward or higher. But then for the perfectionist that’s out there, who beat themselves up for not being the best. It’s, it’s, it actually pulls them back down to reality of, hey, it’s okay. If you did your best, and it’s still not the best, and it’s not perfect, that’s still okay. Because you can still put your head down on the pillow at night and know you did your best.
I also saw a thing I think it was on Facebook the other day, it was talking about, you know, someone’s only had five hours of sleep, and they’re complaining about how tired they are, and you only have three hours of sleep. And you know, you’re complaining about how tired you are not to discount their experience, but really five hours sleep for them, they’re tired, so and that might be their best that they’re doing their best with that. So also, it helps not to judge other people, and to kind of not make assumptions and assume that other people are also doing their best. And that that’s their best. And give them some freedom and grace in that too.
All right, well, maybe it’s time to go around the circle here and get our closing thoughts in on all four agreements.
My thoughts? I think we had a lot of good thoughts.
The best thoughts, right?
I think the thing that I like most about this book is that four is a really manageable number. The agreements are not rocket science, they’re not anything new. But it’s, it’s pretty great to put them down in in a concept like this and be able to dive into it, apply it to our lives. And then you know, it’s a great thing. We’ve done a book study on this, we’re reviewing it, good conversations. And so for me, it’s just that continual learning, and never just settle with, you know, life as it is and kind of always continue to do your best to learn and grow.
For me, the Four Agreements that changed my life. As I said, in the beginning of the podcast that I know many people who read it, and you can read it on different levels, even on the most quote unquote, shallow level, or surface level. Those four agreements, they are simple, they aren’t rocket science, and it is a matter of like, yeah, if you could just start to implement them at work or implement them and with your family, you would find a significant improvement in your quality of life. And if you go Let it go deeper, and to do that, I would highly suggest getting their other books and getting into the Toltec wisdom tradition as a whole, you can check out newagechristianity.org, I talked about a ton of this stuff all over the place, because it has been so impactful for me that the Four Agreements can drive super deep into, I daresay, helping you find heaven on earth. This isn’t just about being a cool person to hang out with it is about the reality that the kingdom of heaven is inside of you. And if you to what that would mean is that regardless of what’s going on outside of you, that you are happy that you are you do have joy, you know, Jesus says, I came that you would have life and have life abundantly, that your joy may be made full. Like there, there’s there’s something inside of you in a way of being inside of you, that rises above circumstances. And the Four Agreements is the book and the concepts that begin to open my eyes up to just how true that is. So if you have the the the leading and intuitive leading to date, dive into it, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Yeah, also say, you know, in addition to you know, we tackled the the main Four Agreements, which were the main points of the book, but the first chapter in the last chapter, he talks about our view of the world. And this was a really unique. he talks about it being the dream of the world, and then we each have our own dream, and that you’re essentially creating your own reality. And some of the quotes that I wrote down,
One of them was one of them was when you, when you don’t do your best, you are denying yourself the right to be you, and in trying to be good enough for someone else, you lose your personal freedom, most of us aren’t even aware that we aren’t free. So so much of the results of following these agreements, is freedom is creating the life you want, is creating the dream you want to live in, and not just dreaming of, you know, the house and the dog and the picket fence and everything. But literally the way you view the world that you have the power and the freedom to create that in your life. So I’d highly recommend, you know, if this intrigues you go read the book, because there’s even more in the book that we didn’t even get into that I highly recommend.
Just a couple things that I wrote down.
One thing that I just thought of when we’re talking about the whole that I, whatever, when I was listening to the book earlier today, again, that being impeccable with your word. And the way that we try, we’ve been trying to reframe the way that we speak even to our children and in instructing them or whatever. Rather than, oh, watch out, don’t do this, saying rather do this. So focusing on what you want, versus what you’re trying not to do, is something that I feel like for us as is part of being impeccable with our Word. And then one of the statements in the book about everything that someone does is is about them not about you. Made me think like, what about Jesus, that’s kind of a weird thing to think about. And I didn’t really have time to meditate on it. But it’s something I think interesting to think about. Um, and then one last thing was, from the book also about taking action for enjoyment versus reward. Um, the things that we do, it goes along with doing your best and doing it, do it everything you do doing it with enjoyment, versus like, I’m going to get something out of it or whatever. And that, in a sense, makes you a, it gives you more of the power for enjoying things, I think, if you’re not just trying to get a reward out of it. I don’t know.
Oh, yeah, I was just sitting here thinking about the fact that this is a little bit like, reaching maturity, emotional maturity, in a sense. When when, when you’re a kid, when you’re a baby, you you react to things, and you’re susceptible to your environment. And know, when a kid comes by have the toy that you want, take it away from them, the kid, it’s you, then you cry, these are all reaction things. This is this is kind of like, learn to be an emotional or. Yeah, and to be an emotional adult. Learn how to handle situations like an adult. Learn to not let you know not not assume that everything is against you and not assume that everybody is doing things to hurt you. Don’t let don’t don’t don’t let all these things that happened to you. Don’t take them in a personal way. And and I was thinking about it. The fact also that man, we would have such a such a better society if people learned how to act this way.
Well, it’s kind of funny when you’re saying that, because it sounds like what we’re saying was your world is all about you. But at the same time, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Like something that we say but like, I don’t know what you’re saying that it’s like, weird to think about?
Maybe maybe the world is all about you. You just need to know how to handle what the world is giving you? I don’t know.
Well no what you’re giving your own world?
Or what your own world is giving…
It’s got to be YOUR world.
Alan Watts has some really good stuff on that particular question you have there or thought that you have. But I think this is a this is a 90 page book. It’s a really short audio book, I call it the audio version of it. It’s not something that I think you encounter once and you say, I got it. Moving on. Even in this podcast, you know, I said something, and I phrased it a certain way. And I was fairly deliberate about it. And then God kind of called me out on it. I don’t know, if I remember exactly what it was about. I think I was saying most things that people do are not know, against me. Right? Yeah. Um, and she’s like, Well, I think even say, you know, none of the things.
Because there is sometimes I think we have this internal resistance to, you know, this, this cognitive dissonance of just, this is what I believed for so long. So, everything has to form around that. And when you start to break into that, it’s not always the first swing of the of the bat against the Piñata, that that gets it all out. It’s it takes, you know, sometimes several swings. I, you know, I used to think that, you know, maybe like the last decade or so that I’ve been very impactful with my word, you know, the words really mattered, I made it a point to not, you know, with our kids, especially, for example, if they failed, it was it was an event, they failed, they’re not a failure, maybe they lost, they’re not a loser, it wasn’t an identity that I wanted them to take on. You know, I, I struggled for a while with trying to find alternatives to saying, Be careful, you know, so I was trying to say everything, but because I was like, I was like, do I really want my kids to be careful Is that the kind of, you know, person that I want to raise up something that’s constantly like worried that, you know, they might be doing the wrong thing? No, just I think it’s worth the time. You know, we’ve we’ve gone through a lot of this. You’ve heard from our internal our internalizations is about it. But I think for the listener, if you go through this on your own, you’re going to get some unique things for yourself. So we didn’t spoil it. We primed it. It’s what we do out here we prime these things.
foreplay man,its just the foreplay.
We’re getting you warmed up. That said, please feel free to pimp our podcast, you know, let people know that it exists, head out to our Patreon ,our Patreon account be a ,be a a Patreon help us out that way. If you can’t you don’t get the cash at the moment. Go ahead and just like subscribe, share all those kind of social media terms. Find us at epoch @epochideas and of course, theepoch.org with that’s EPOCH for epoch, did I forget anything?
All right. See you later.