The Four Agreements
I've had to take a couple weeks off of writing this newsletter because honestly, I was so angry and upset with the state of our country that I couldn't find anything helpful to write you all. Like many of you I've been experiencing the 7 Stages of Grief, specifically the stages of anger and depression. I've gone down all the rabbit holes, read all the articles, ranted and raved about the missteps, and have come back to a place where I am available to be present again.
This newsletter is not a platform for my political opinions or a place to rant about the state of the world, this newsletter is a vehicle to bring positive and helpful tips and tricks for living a better life during today's bizarre world. So when thinking about what can be helpful this week, I want to focus on how to better communicate with others during this time, when we're triggered, angry or despondent.
When I read articles like this one, from my own town of Denver, where health care workers were blocking protestors that want to re-open the country, my heart breaks, my blood boils and I want to scream and beat my chest. So how do I take that energy and turn it into a constructive conversation? Is there a set of guidelines I can follow to protect me from getting in a tizzy over every piece of news or every person that has a differing opinion from me?
I brushed off an old copy of The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a simple, yet extremely thoughtful book that has alway brought me peace of mind. He breaks down the Four Agreements needed to live a powerful and happy life. I've been using them as a guideline for the past week and it's been helpful:
The Four Agreements:
Be impeccable with your word: Be impeccable with your word. Have integrity in your conversations. Don't hear something and just pass it along like fact. If you don't know the source or if it's true, don't repeat it, because at that point it's just gossip. Ask yourself: what energy am I contributing to the world? Your word is your power: get informed, have more conversations, speak up, create change. And before you speak up, read up! Have intelligent conversations that are constructive. Be conscious about how your energy affects others, and the weight that words have. Words have started revolutions, ended wars, created dreams and birthed new nations. Respect yourself, respect others, be kind and be impeccable with your word.
Don't Take Anything Personally Understand that every story has two sides and every person is looking at things through their lens. My friend told me a story about how a man in the supermarket said something snarky about her in her mask and she wanted to unleash on him right then and there, but she didn't because in that moment, she looked into his eyes and realized he was in pain, that he wasn't trying to be an asshole, he actually was trying to connect. Reminder: be kind, for everyone is fighting their own battle.
Don't Make Assumptions Don't assume that the person talking understands the content in the same way you do. We're all looking through the lens of our own lives with our own upbringings that have programmed us through different lessons, beliefs, and understandings of how things work; so just because you might both be talking about the same subject, don't assume you're hearing or saying the same thing.
Always Do Your Best It sounds simple, but it's like that old adage: anything worth doing is worth doing well. There is power in that. How are you stepping out into the world? Are you showing up fully? Are you putting your best foot forward. Are you the version of you that you want to be? How will you be remembered? If you're always doing your best, you're putting that extra amount of care and thought into what you do.
Have a good week. Stay safe