NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.
There is just one more agreement, but it’s the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.
When I first began to study the fourth agreement, I noticed that I kept getting hung up on the word “best”. I had a hard time getting past an old belief that doing my best meant measuring up to some standard of perfection. Somewhere along the line, I had adopted the belief that “doing my best” meant “being the best”…which, of course meant that my best was rarely good enough.
Always do your best has nothing to do with being the best. As don Miguel Ruiz explains, it is about fully honouring your life in every moment. The following quote beautifully summarizes the spirit and intention of this agreement:
“That was then. This is now.
You can always connect with your true nature at any time and be free of everything that went before.”
- Chogyam Trungpa
The first three agreements will only work if you do your best. Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word. Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally; just do your best. Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best.
In India they perform a ritual called puja. In this ritual, they take idols that represent God in many different forms and bathe them, feed them, and give their love to them. They even chant mantras to these idols. The idol itself is not important. What is important is the way they perform the ritual, the way they say, “I love you, God.”
God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now.
You were born with the right to be happy. You were born with the right to love, to enjoy and to share your love. You are alive, so take your life and enjoy it. Don’t resist life passing through you, because that is God passing through you. Just your existence proves the existence of God. Your existence proves the existence of life and energy.
Your own body is a manifestation of God, and if you honour your body everything will change for you. When you practice giving love to every part of your body, you plant seeds of love in your mind, and when they grow, you will love, honour, and respect your body immensely. Every action, every thought, every emotion then becomes a communion with God.
When you don’t do your best you are denying yourself the right to be you. That’s a seed that you should really nurture in your mind. You don’t need knowledge or great philosophical concepts. You don’t need the acceptance of others. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others.
Doing your best really doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy whatever you are doing. You know you’re doing your best when you are enjoying the action of doing it in a away that will not have negative repercussions for you.
Doing your best is a great habit to have. I do my best in everything I do and feel. Doing my best has become a ritual in my life because I made the choice to make it a ritual. It’s a belief like any other belief that I choose. I make everything a ritual, and I always do my best. Taking a shower is a ritual for me, and with that action I tell my body how much I love it. I do my best to give to my body and to receive what my body gives to me.
- don Miguel Ruiz
Choose to honour the four agreements. If you break an agreement, begin again tomorrow, and again the next day. Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Always do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you.
Wise Women, I am so glad I chose the following passage to closing my readings yesterday. I was not sure what drew me to tie it into the teachings of the fourth agreement, but it was obvious that the reason I was called to share it was to stimulate the rich and open dialogue that ensued….
YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” - Hopi Wisdom
The world needs more dreamers, artistic, peacekeepers and awakeners. More change-makers, creators, poets, and remembers. More visionaries, healers, shamans, and believers.
The world is ready for more empowered, self-assured, potent women. And men who support Her rising. More women who trust their intuition without waver. More women who believe in their own medicine and share it freely. More women who women their power, know their worth and do not dim according to who walks by. More women who aren’t afraid to show the world who they really truly are - no matter how magnificent or inconvenient. More women who recognize that we are all on the same team. More women who understand the true meaning of sisterhood.
Wise women, wild women, boisterous women, fierce women, idealistic women, Priestess women, medicine women, healing women, stubborn women, expressive women, ‘too much’ women, unapologetic women, compassionate women, courageous women, encouraging women, opinionated women, confident women, self-assured women, radiant women.
The world is crying out for more mothers - of the Earth, of the unfortunate, of the unprotected, but mostly of themselves. More mothers regardless of birth and babies.
More nature-walkers. More ocean-swipers. More bridges-of-the-worlds. More spinners-of-time-and-space. More weavers of the whispers of the ancients and the concerns of our antecedents. More ceremonies. More ritual. More truth. More meaning.
More women knowing - in their bones and their hearts and their souls- that it iis possible to heal this wonderful planet by first healing ourselves. More women remembering that they chose to be here at this time. More women finding the courage to rise.
Rise Sister Rise
How are you being called to rise?
- From “Rise Sister Rise” by Rebecca Campbell