September Book Discussion: The Four Agreements
What did you think of September's Book Club pick? I love this book and it's one I try and read every year. The four agreements are SO simple and yet they seem to encompass so much. If we all followed the four agreements...well, let's just say the world would be a very different place. I've included some discussion questions below which I answer but I want to hear from you. Leave me a comment on one or all the discussion questions. For a quick synopsis, the Four Agreements are:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don't take anything personally
- Don't make assumptions
- Always do your best
1. Which of the four agreements most resonates with you?
I personally resonate with #2 - don't take anything personally. This is something I've been sensitive to since I was a little girl. I am unsure why but personal criticism is a tough one for me. What I love about his perspective on this agreement is that people can only project their personal reality and it has nothing to do with me. A compliment or a negative review is about the state of mind of that person in that moment and how they see the world. Do they see the world as fair or unfair? Just or unjust? This alters how people act and react to what other people do. It's quite liberating to think about it this way.
2. Why do you think the four agreements, albeit simple, are hard to follow?
I really don't know! They are the simplest guidelines out there and could solve so many problems. Even when I know this and want to practice them I get caught in the very things that are harmful, like taking things personally. I also think we are creatures of attachment. We attach to our ideas, opinions, and perspectives pretty tightly. These guidelines are in a way about letting go. To not attach to someone's actions and to only focus on the self and your personal intentions. It's easier to look out there for things like happiness, success, joy, gratitude as well as unfairness or blame instead of looking within. I think some people spend their lives trying to find such simple happiness and really it's within your hands right now.
3. What do you think personal freedom means?
I think personal freedom is what so many search for. Some seek through meditation and prayer, some through song and dance. Personal freedom is a spiritual freedom from the human ego. It's place where you live in alignment with your highest self which has no purpose for things like judgment, fear, or jealousy. Your highest self is quite harmonious and lives in a constant state of liberation from suffering. Instead, in a state of personal freedom you live with unconditional love, compassion, and gratitude. This is what some call awakening, nirvana, or enlightenment. Few have achieved this and I mean literally a few people.
4. How will you practice the four agreements?
By doing just that - practice. There is no time limit to the four agreements. They require nothing but intention and patience. The next time I feel criticized I will try and remember it's not personal and that the person criticizing is coming from a place of hurt. This goes hand in hand with the first agreement, be impeccable with your word. Just as I don't want to take anything personally I also want to come from a good-intentioned place with my words and my writing.
Thanks for joining me for September's book, The Four Agreements. Leave me a comment with your thoughts on the above questions! -Andrea
Don't miss out on October's Book Club selection, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Can't wait to chat about this! The discussion will be on Monday, October 27th.