The 4 Toltec agreements: the law of personal freedom
Surely you must have come across this somewhat dark term by chance. Maybe it was on the internet, during a conversation or even in a bookstore? It is indeed a book drawn from Mexican culture entitled "The Four Toltec Agreements: The Law of Personal Freedom" and written by author Don Miguel Ruiz. If these principles were immediately approved without ever being denied by the community of personal development and alternative medicine, it is definitely not for nothing!
He describes how we try to change the world around us so that it is more beautiful or more bearable for ourselves, even if it is on a virtuous basis. The only way to free yourself from these unconscious practices is to discover how to develop true unconditional love. Let's see together what this means!
Look beyond the smoke mirror
The foundations of the book come from the millennial culture of the Toltecs, these Mexican builders from the Teotihuacán region were well ahead of their time. Their knowledge has been transmitted from generation to generation to shamans called "Naguals" who were able to introduce their students to this age-old wisdom. In these precepts, a very old prophecy announced the need of humanity to find the forgotten knowledge. This is how the author Don Miguel Ruiz initiated himself into the lineage of the "Knights of the Eagle" to transmit this knowledge to us. What is astonishing is that most current esoteric traditions already put these great rules into practice without having posed a no on them. He explains in particular that it is because it is not a question of a religion, but only of a way of living on the path of happiness and love.
He begins by explaining how to see the universe by telling the story of a man who lived 3000 years ago. This man was living normally without worrying about life, when he had an out-of-body experience that made him see the world very differently. He traveled the universe and realized that everything was light. She was a messenger of life, because she connects everything to form a great whole. He realized that matter was like a mirror that reflected and gave life to light. Sometimes this image is distorted by a foggy cloud preventing you from seeing things clearly. In short, to see the world clearly, this fog had to be cleared away. The author explains that he considers man as a mirror who perceives the world differently depending on his view of illusions (or dreams).
Agreement 1: Let your word be impeccable
The first of the agreements is the most important in the eyes of the other, because it already allows us to radically change the way we see the world. It is also the most difficult to put in place because we have to completely review our way of acting and thinking.
What it means
Take for example a situation that could happen to anyone. You come back from a very trying day of work and you are only tired. At home, a member of your entourage is the opposite of your situation and sings cheerfully to express his joy. Imagine asking him to stop singing, because his voice annoys you and gives you headaches. You make a pact with that person and they might even get into the habit of not singing in your presence, until maybe even convincing themselves that their voice is horrible and they sing out of tune.
The principle of impeccable speech demonstrates that one should not judge others, say things that one does not think at the time or even do not peddle rumours. This implies remaining totally in agreement with our actions and with our words, because everything we express has a power that can impact the other and can even act on ourselves. By removing these thoughts and words, our relationship to others becomes clearer and more positive, which makes us happy.
As this is one of the most complicated agreements to put together, it is completely normal for it to take a little time, especially if you live in a toxic atmosphere.
First, start by avoiding saying mean or demeaning things to yourself or others. If you don't like something or something was wrong, try to express it differently than usual.
For example, you may prefer the expression "these are things that happen" rather than "it sucks to have broken this cup". You can even discuss these difficulties with one or more people you trust to start making this change as a group. You will see that your thoughts will quickly become clearer and more accurate.
Agreement 2: Never take things personally
Putting oneself at the center of the world is something that anyone uninitiated in the Toltec agreements does regularly without even realizing it. What if stopping taking everything personally allowed us to unify our thoughts with each other?
What it means
You are on public transport and this colleague with whom you do not get along well does everything to complicate your life. She falls behind on all her files to finally let you save her the day every time. In addition, she whispers behind your back and that's for sure: she allows herself to criticize your way of doing things behind your back and it makes your back hairs stand on end... And if this situation had nothing to do with you, at all ?
When we make everything around us a personal matter, it's as if we impose ourselves on the world as its main character. Maybe this colleague has very serious personal problems and she can't manage to get out of it? Maybe this person has simply been conditioned since childhood to act this way? You should not try to oppose your own world to that of the other because we are all part of the same common world. We must seek to remove any selfish approach to remove this very idea that everything that happens concerns us. This would allow us to say stop to the majority of conflicts that are part of our lives.
As soon as something happens against you or even you imagine that things are happening behind your back, try to remain lucid. Get high and calm down. Couldn't it be that selfish little voice trying to tell you what to do?
Think that life brings people and situations before you because you have to face them to somehow transcend yourself. This is in no way personal, as others are already way too busy not enforcing this Toltec agreement to make your life hell.
Even if it's not easy, tell yourself that not all the actions of those around you are motivated by you and that other things could motivate them to act in this way.
Agreement 3: Never make assumptions
This agreement is directly related to the previous one, because our imagination often leads us to take things personally, especially when we come to a negative conclusion.
What it means
You met an acquaintance in the street and she didn't even greet you when you think she saw you well. Maybe she doesn't want to talk to you anymore? Maybe it's that time you put a sugar in her coffee as she takes it hard? No, that's for sure, it's because that other person said something to them and something big is brewing behind your back... What if you stop making assumptions to develop your paranoid side?
When we allow our imagination to express itself without restrictions, it means transforming our beliefs into truths. These truths then make us believe that others have bad intentions to create problems that have not even had a reliable source yet. Assuming something we don't know creates uncomfortable situations for ourselves. We perform in a unique way and then make it personal to ultimately create a big interplanetary drama. After all, if that person didn't greet you, they were probably just in a hurry or in their thoughts, right?
When that little voice in your head starts to spark your imagination to come up with an implausible reason for a daily situation, try to write it down. You can even ask him to shut up and tell him that these are just unfounded volatile thoughts.
If you're used to doing this sort of thing, maybe you can stimulate your imagination in other ways by reading or playing logic games. In case you cannot free yourself from them, you can always write them down in order to fix these thoughts elsewhere than in your mind.
Agreement 4: Always do your best
Isn't that the worst thing you can say to a procrastinator? But it's the truth ! When you don't do your best, regret could slowly eat away at your spirit and make your days a whole lot worse than they are right now.
What it means
It's Sunday and you think a little sleep in could do you a lot of good. And while we're at it, why not eat in bed? Besides, now that it's the afternoon, a game of video game in the warm... Damn, what did you do with your day by the way? You had to do the housework, the laundry, the shopping... Maybe you should have given your all to achieve all this and free your mind?
This is the last agreement and it is also the one that allows the first three to be fixed in the long term. Without the "do your best", it is indeed impossible to apply the first three precepts, and even less this one. It consists of always undertaking everything in the best possible way so as not to develop regrets. Frustration is our greatest enemy because it keeps us from feeling our best, from being happy, and from feeling fresh and available for the good things that might happen in life.
If you combine the missions and the caps in your life, it is because you have necessarily chosen it at some point. What if you asked yourself and took stock of all your daily actions? Write down the tasks you have to do on a piece of paper, then write them down to rank them from the most pleasant to the most difficult to do. Do the same with your more optional missions of your daily life.
See what tasks can possibly be distributed and delegated to other people if you feel overwhelmed. Maybe you can take care of the dishes and your partner does the laundry?
Then, the Irish use a well-placed expression to help you: "eat the frog". This means that if you want to eat a good meal and enjoy life, it can be interesting to first quickly eat the slimy and tasteless frog and then have fun and do the best activities. We therefore advise you to establish a schedule of all your worst missions to get rid of them as quickly as possible during the day or the beginning of your week in order to keep a motivating and pleasant rhythm. The idea is not to do more, but to do better!
What you must remember
The objective of these agreements is to take stock and settle down in a moment T to enjoy the present with others without any judgment or imposed pressure. It's not about putting pressure on yourself to become a perfect being, because every human being has flaws. The best advice we can give you is to be kind to yourself and those around you, don't take things too seriously even if you're being blamed or your Jiminy Cricket is giving you terrible ideas. .
Stay in tune with yourself as much as possible while applying yourself to behave with others as you would like them to behave with you. We want to end with a quote from author Don Miguel Ruiz: "When you get into the habit of practicing these new agreements, your best will become even better than it was." Feel free to read this story or listen to it in audio, as we did!