Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene fame directed me to this book, as it was on her suggested reading list. Because I want to be her I gave it a go. (That’s also how I found the previously-reviewed The Tree of Yoga). In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz passes along what he refers to as centuries-old Toltec wisdom. I’m not versed enough to know whether or not that is accurate, but I figured if this book has been a best-seller for a decade there must be some sort of appeal to it.
The Four Agreements are four ideas or “dreams” that we should live in instead of “poison” dreams that harm us. The agreements are as follows:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
If we start with these four agreements, Ruiz writes, we’ll have a great start to getting the poisonous hellish agreements out of our minds and souls and become much more free, loving, and heavenly.
While I don’t think these ideas are groundbreaking or necessarily everything a person would need to have a fulfilling life, they’re certainly not a bad start. I think they say in poetic or religious terms what psychology might say about beneficial mindsets. As someone benefitting greatly from cognitive-behavioral therapy, I do place high value on mindset and so that is appreciated. Going back to the book and its idea of “dreams”, both personal and cultural, it’s a worthwhile observations that there are many ways to say the same thing, or many “dreams” holding the same gems of truth.