The First Agreement
"The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz
is a great, simple read that summarizes truths that we all know somewhere within, but may often forget or disregard in our day to day. These are simple understandings yet are so, so powerful.
I eventually want to write about all four agreements, but today we'll focus on the first agreement - which is a huge teaching in and of itself. This is one of my ultimate intentions of this year to stay aware of. I'm writing about it today because it is something I am still working on and put a lot of energy into bettering.
The First Agreement, "be impeccable with your word",
is something we can practice to expand our mindfulness practice; this simple agreement has changed so much of me and my relationship with others - a huge step towards living authentically. This is a part of the core teachings in Buddhism's ethics training: Right Speech, which is the third step of the eight-fold path. In Yoga, Satya is one of the five Yamas, the virtuous restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one's expressions and actions. You can find that the teaching of the first agreement is present in the foundations of all religion and ethical beliefs.
So what does this mean, to 'be impeccable with your word'?
"Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, you intent manifests through the word; what you dream, what you feel, what you really are, will all be manifested through the word.The word is not just a sound or written symbol, the word is a force." -Don Miguel Ruiz
On one level, it helps to nurture relationships with others. For instance, I'm sure we all have moments when we catch ourselves talk about something or someone in a way that we wouldn't say in front of them or others. This could get tricky because you can be talking about the same thing to two people, but the way you word and present it could give it different meaning/opinion. This practice is to be truthful with not only our words, but with our expression. When I started being more aware of the way I spoke, even with the smallest things, I felt my relationships grow. Not only does it help with my relationship with others, but I simply feel more in tune with my higher self - more honest with myself. I always practice this imagining that God (or Source, Universe, whatever you would like to call it) is listening to everything and all is being heard.
Going deeper, this agreement extends beyond the word on a physical plane - into being a powerful energy. This relates to a lot of what we were talking about on mantras. It is when we use our word, our directed energy toward manifesting, changing, creating things. It is a way of living more truthfully in many ways. When you doubt yourself, when you tell yourself it is impossible - your body hears you. Your mind, your soul, Source, hears you. And that's basically you pointing yourself in that direction. But when you trust in yourself, when you believe in your power and strength; when you tell yourself that you can do it - that sends positive energy through you, and your body and subconscious responds to it. The Universe conspires to help you; it's all apart of our creative energy. Our will power. 'The word is not just a sound or written symbol, the word is a force'. It's also just a simple practice of mindfulness in itself. Bringing awareness to all you say and do, being present - the ultimate teaching.
So I invite you to practice this - to be aware of what you say before you say it. To be mindful of the energy and the words that you put out. But also, don't be so hard on yourself - even Oprah and the author tell us that it is the hardest agreement to fully learn and put into action. It's all the process. No judgement, let's just keep doing our best. You are infinite!