practicing presence. four agreements.

In our chat about A New Earth, we’re learning that the anti-dote to ego is stillness, presence, acceptance… a magical space of neutrality and non-judgment where we have time to pause and ponder before reacting…

Sounds great. Until someone blatantly hurts your feelings…

Then what? Are you supposed to just sit back and let that happen?

Turns out this magical place is not a destination, it’s more of a journey, a forever one that’s going to take a lot of practice. Fortunately, things like yoga, meditation, running, hiking… anything that cultivates pointed concentration can help create this mindful, “thought-less,” magical space.

I’ve also adopted “The Four Agreements” as kind of a mantra when my mind starts getting the best of me, especially when other egos are involved:

1. Don’t take anything personally.

Remember, our egos are built the same way – focused on the past, stories, conditioned thoughts, beliefs and patterns. Trust me, whatever they said, probably has nothing to do with you. They have enough going on up there without taking on your stories as well.

2. Don’t make assumptions.

You have no idea what’s causing their reaction… At best, you can be compassionate, knowing they’re struggling with their stories, just as you struggle with your own.

3. Be impeccable with your word.

Especially what you say to yourself…

4. Always do your best.

Keep in mind this is a lifelong practice … perfection is not probable, maybe not even possible.


More on these here, including a link to an interview Ellen DeGeneres did with don Miguel Luiz, author of The Four Agreements for “O” magazine.