“The Four Agreements” to enjoy the holidays

It’s that time of year again—time for gatherings and celebrations at work and at home. Although these can be enjoyable times, sometimes the relationships we revisit during these events have a difficult history and seem challenging.

It is within the power of each of us to turn each moment with other people into either an opportunity for connection and growth, or a stressful encounter that can leave both parties feeling diminished.

As I was thinking what can I share in my newsletters in this period that will help you the most I thought of the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is a book I have known for many years, and to this day I still refer to it often. If you have read the book you will remember that the four agreements are:

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

What a great time to remember and intentionally start using these concepts!

This week I want to focus on the first agreement. Here it is in full:

“Be Impeccable with Your Word: speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” – The Four Agreements

What does this mean?

First of all we have to consider our Word to be much more than the construct of words and phrases that comes out of our mouth. Our Word is the force with which we create, and includes everything we express. It includes our emotions, physical actions, thoughts and our attitude. Walking around being silent while filled with hate or self-rejection doesn’t meet the meaning of impeccability.

Expressing yourself impeccably is to express yourself in the direction of truth and love. This includes expressing love, respect, and acceptance for yourself and others. It can also include honesty that provokes a discussion, but leads to more understanding, authenticity and connection between people.

People learn many habits over the years that condition them to use emotional and verbal expressions in ways that are unkind to oneself or others.

This week stop and pay attention to the words you use the most towards yourself and others. Remember that with awareness you can start any transformation.

When you communicate without criticizing, analyzing, blaming, or diagnosing yourself and others–describing your observation, sharing your feelings, and clearly and respectfully asking for your needs, you are more likely to inspire compassion and cooperation.

To keep this one seemingly simple agreement will require some time and practice to master. Just know that every day that you become more impeccable with your Word you will have more love and happiness in your life and relationships. That is the truth! And it applies for Holidays and for your life.