by Florence W. Deems, August 25, 2001

We don't have to set time aside for yoga, etc. We just monitor our thoughts, words and actions as much as possible, examining our motives. If we find ourselves sinking into the realm of ego, then we make adjustments. And we forgive our lapses and also forgive others for their lapses. If we can't live comfortably with their lapses, then we send them love, but absent ourselves as much as possible from their influence. We keep our tendency to indulge in judgments and blame to a minimum, for this is the arena of the ego. And we also observe, but do not get involved (esp. emotionally) in the dramas occurring around us. We empathize rather than sympathize. We assist when asked, if we can. We don't cast our pearls of wisdom before those who do not appreciate their value.

"The Four Agreements" (Don Miguel Ruiz) - this book was published in 1997, but only now is gaining the notice it deserves - on the NY Times bestseller list. These are agreements you make with yourself:

  • 1) 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.

  • 2) Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

  • 3) Don't make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

  • 4) Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

  • I had the privilege of hearing Don Miguel speak a few weeks ago. He spoke from his heart to us as if we were all his personal friends. During his talk, I realized I could see his aura! Pastel golden-white rays issued from his head, fanning out to about a foot and a half to 2 feet above the top of his head. Arcing across the top of these rays was a golden crescent, like the top half of the halos you see in paintings of the saints. Wow!

    So you see, although it's wonderful to be able to have the time for what we usually consider spiritual practices and rituals, if we remember that EACH THING WE DO is a spiritual practice, then life becomes much easier.

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