The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz, is just about my favorite book. The author went to medical school and practiced neurosurgery. If I could do my life over, one of the things I would change is that I would study neuroscience because I love to study about the brain. I suppose that is why I am drawn to Ruiz, because he not only understands the physical brain, he also poetically writes about the human mind and how to improve it.
According to Ruiz, everything we do is based on agreements we have made — agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, and with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. With these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible.
The Five Agreements:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are tired as opposed to well rested. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
- BE SKEPTICAL, BUT LEARN TO LISTEN
Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.
The Four Agreements slowly helps you to recover your authentic self, and the real you starts to awaken. With The Fifth Agreement comes the complete acceptance of yourself just the way you are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is your eternal happiness. The Fifth Agreement is made with words, of course, but its meaning and intent are beyond the words. The Fifth Agreement is ultimately about seeing your whole reality with the eyes of truth, without words.
Make the Five Agreements your way of life — love yourself, enjoy life, and make your personal world a dream of heaven. And, by changing your world, you are changing the world.
As Don Miguel says, by practicing the Five Agreements, what you are really doing is respecting everything in creation. You are respecting your dream; you are respecting everybody else’s dream. If you use these tools, your effort is really for everyone, because your joy, your happiness, your peace, and your heaven are contagious. When you are happy, the people around you are happy too, and it inspires them to change their own world.
This way of life is entirely possible, and it’s in your hands. The change begins with you. Why not start now?
The Science of Random Acts of Kindness
Studies show that Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) has a positive effect on your health, well-being and psychosocial function. Further, it indicates that RAK are beneficial to your hormonal system.
For example, when you give someone a gift, studies show that a person’s hormone DHEA increases. It works for both the giver and receiver. (This only works when the person is open to receiving and both people do not experience guilt or negative emotions regarding the giving. If that is the case, it will have the opposite effect on the body. So it is important to discern, without judgment, who to give to.)
As we age, our hormone levels, including DHEA, decrease. The hormone DHEA helps us to feel better, look younger and maintain our sex drive.
Your body naturally produces the hormone DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is classified as an endogenous hormone, and serves as a precursor to the sex hormones, androgens and estrogens. As a person ages, the body’s natural production of DHEA declines. Certain disorders, such as kidney disease, osteoporosis, depression, type 2 diabetes, and anorexia have also been associated with low levels of DHEA.
Because of this, the hormone is often taken as a supplement to control various diseases. A simpler solution is to offer someone a RAK because it will increase a person’s level of DHEA. According to science, it will help you both feel better and look younger!
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” Winnie the Pooh
“Kindness creates confidence. Kindness in giving creates love.”
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.” Kahlil Gibran
(Here is my favorite Gibran quote: “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”)
‘Individual empowerment results from quality honking’
Lessons from Geese provides a perfect example of the importance of team work and how it can have a profound and powerful effect on any form of personal or business endeavor. When we use these five principles in our personal and business life it will help us to foster and encourage a level of passion and energy in ourselves, as well as those who are our friends, associates or team members.
It is essential to remember that teamwork happens inside and outside of business life when it is continually nurtured and encouraged.
As each goose flaps its wings it creates an UPLIFT for the birds that follow. By flying in a ‘V’ formation the whole flock adds 71 percent extra to the flying range.
When we have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and can help each other to achieve our goals.
Lesson 2 – The Importance of Team Work
When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.
If we had as much sense as geese we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
Lesson 3 – The Importance of Sharing
When a goose tires of flying up front it drops back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other’s unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.
Lesson 4 – The Importance of Empathy and Understanding
When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground to help and protect it.
If we have as much sense as geese we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.
Lesson 5 – The Importance of Encouragement
Geese flying in formation ‘HONK’ to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed.
We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups and teams where there is encouragement, production is much greater. ‘Individual empowerment results from quality honking’
Another story about Geese
“A flock of wild geese had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock had been captured by a gardener, who had clipped its wings before releasing it. When the geese started to resume their flight, this one tried frantically, but vainly, to lift itself into the air. The others, observing his struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encourage him; but it was no use.
Thereupon, the entire flock settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong within them. For several days they waited until the damaged feathers had grown sufficiently to permit the goose to fly.
Meanwhile, the unethical gardener, having been converted by the ethical geese, gladly watched them as they finally rose together and all resumed their long flight.” Albert Schweitzer
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
“Here are a few positive affirmations from Christ’s Letters… these are great lessons to follow regardless of the phase in your life.*”
“The loyalty, kindness and generosity you would like to receive when in trouble – give to others when they are struggling with heavy burdens. Never turn to them a cold shoulder.”
“Give acceptance and forgiveness you would like to receive. What is true forgiveness? It is a state of understanding the other person and their reasons for their behavior so clearly that you can say in all honesty – there is nothing to forgive.”
“If someone wants to tell you how you have hurt them at any time – stand or sit still quietly and know that this is a true challenge to your ego-drive. This is your big moment – your greatest testing-point. How will you handle it? Will you make excuses and defend yourself, considering, even saying, that your actions should not have hurt the other person – and were fully justified in the circumstances? If this is how you respond, then your ego-drive is still in perfect control of your consciousness.”
*I read these quotes from the following blog which originally come from Christ’s Letters:
Most world religions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness, and many of these teachings provide an underlying basis for many varying modern day traditions and practices of forgiveness. Some religious doctrines or philosophies place greater emphasis on the need for humans to find some sort of divine forgiveness for their own shortcomings, others place greater emphasis on the need for humans to practice forgiveness of one another, yet others make little or no distinction between human and divine forgiveness.
The most common question I am asked is how to deal with difficult relationships. There is not an easy answer. I think it is something we all universally have to work through. I have found powerful healing techniques that have worked very well for me.
The first one is called the HO’OPONOPONO (ho-o-pono-pono) practice. The second one is called MORRNAH’S PRAYER.
There are relationships worth trying to repair. And there are times we need to release relationships that no longer serve us. It is first important to discern between the two. When people display the following characteristics, it may be time to let them go (and if you fall into these categories, it may be time to acknowledge it and get help):
Verbally, emotionally or physically abusive
Sexually demanding, yet incapable of intimacy
Addicted or obsessed with pornography
Persistent jealousy for no reason
An alcoholic or drug addict who refuses treatment
Emotionally draining, yet never satisfied
Always the center of attention, deeply uninterested in others, spoiled or selfish
Narcissistic, sociopath, psychopath
Consistently unavailable physically and/or emotionally
The following practice will help you to heal relationships and repair the ones worth repairing. It will also help you and others heal on all levels. When you release relationships that do not make you happy, you create space for better people to enter your life. And if we desire, we can attract healthy “family members of choice” in replace of unhealthy blood relations.
The prayer can also be used to strengthen existing relationships. I often think of loved ones and say the prayer with the intention of improving a healthy relationship, asking for forgiveness, forgiving others, expressing my love and appreciation, etc.
Hoʻoponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Traditionally hoʻoponopono is practiced by healing priests among family members of a person who is physically ill. Modern versions are performed within the family by a family elder, or by the individual alone. I use it on my own during meditation and waking states, silently or out loud.
Hoʻoponopono is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”
Literally, hoʻo is a particle used to make an actualizing verb from the following noun, as would “to” before a noun in English. Here, it creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as “goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.”
Ponopono is defined as “to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”
Hawaiian historians documented a belief that illness was caused by breaking spiritual laws, and that the illness could not be cured until the sufferer atoned for this transgression, often with the assistance of a praying priest or healing priest. Forgiveness was sought from God or from the person with whom there was a dispute.
It has been described as a practice of extended family members meeting to “make right” broken family relations. Some families met daily or weekly, to prevent problems from erupting. Others met when a person became ill, believing that illness was caused by the stress of anger, guilt, recriminations and lack of forgiveness. Hawaiian historian Kupuna Nana Veary wrote that when any of the children in her family fell ill, her grandmother would ask the parents, “What have you done?” They believed that healing could come only with complete forgiveness of the whole family.
Hoʻoponopono corrects, restores and maintains good relationships among family members, loved ones and with God by getting to the causes and sources of trouble.
It also helps us easily release people who do not serve our Highest Good.
HO’OPONOPONO MANTRA (Hawaiian)
I AM SORRY
PLEASE FORGIVE ME
I LOVE YOU
Repeat constantly, not directed anywhere in particular, although you may offer it to the Divine, or your (or other’s) inner child. The energy and vibration of these words have the power to heal and cleanse on all levels, in all directions of time and space. These are true words of power.
Somehow they connect with whatever needs its energy to heal, within us and others, and we do not even need to know what needs to be addressed or how it works for it to be effective.
In Ho’oponopono, a person assumes 100% responsibility for their reality (with NO sense of self-blame). They know that what they have created, they can change, and by accepting full responsibility you accept the power to heal. Nothing is ever anyone else’s fault. To change your experience and reality there is only one thing to work on, and that is one’s self.
The following, is another very powerful cleansing prayer. The intention is to cleanse any blocks and resistances, known and unknown, to the manifestation of our good, and to clear the way for positive inspiration and manifestation.
This prayer also has great healing power. You may direct the following prayer to your god/goddess, an experience, your past lives, any part of yourself or anyone else…to your cat, dog, or even your car. It may not make sense to your CONSCIOUS mind, but your subconscious understands exactly what is going on. It can be instant, or a gradual process. Either way, it WORKS.
MORRNAH’S PRAYER (Hawaiian Shaman)
Divine creator, father, mother, son as one…If I, my family, relatives and ancestors have offended you, your family, relatives and ancestors in thoughts, words, deeds and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present, we ask your forgiveness. Let this cleanse, purify, release, cut all the negative memories, blocks, energies & vibrations and transmute these unwanted energies into pure light. Thank you. It is done. It is done. It is done.
1. Have an increased awareness and appreciation of yourself and your body.
2. Set aside time each day to perform rituals, or to relax and meditate.
Do yoga, QiGong or tai chi (amazing for stress reduction), read the bible, pray, and be thankful & grateful.
3. Keep in touch with close relationships. Avoid toxic people.
4. Have the ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions.
5. Always crave physical activity and healthy foods–exercise, eat right, and take good nutritional supplements.
6. Laugh a lot– a great comedy can really make you feel better. You can also force a smile (this works wonders and is contagious).
7. Have more fun.
8. Always see the glass as half full. Have an optimistic attitude and be hopeful.
9. Always care about how you look and about your body in a healthy way. Your outside is a reflection of your inside!
10. Feel your feelings and then release them.
11. Reject worry. Don’t ever sweat the small stuff!
One of the most important prayers you can say is, “God, please teach me to have right-minded thoughts.” Do this on a regular basis and you will be amazed at how your life will change for the better.
I learned this from A Course in Miracles.
You can modify the statement and make it be more specific by saying:
“God, please teach me to have right-minded thoughts about health.”
“God, please teach me to have right-minded thoughts about prosperity.”
“God, please teach me to have right-minded thoughts about love.”
…or insert anything else that you want to experience.
We are co-creators with God and it is important to not just expect miracles to instantly pop into existence. Instead, God works through us and miracles come about by us having proper thoughts about what it is we want. Our thoughts are electromagnetic energy and have the power to manifest into reality. Everything ever invented was first a thought.
The ultimate goal is for us to be self-sufficient and not have to depend on Higher Beings or anyone else for assistance. It is similar to us wanting our children to grow up and be independent without always coming to us for help because they know they are perfectly talented and capable of managing their own lives.
The Course of Miracles deals with Universal Spiritual themes.
To learn more about it, please click: www.acim.org
There are 365 lessons, here is an example of the first one:
Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.
Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:
That door does not mean anything.
That body does not mean anything.
That lamp does not mean anything.
That sign does not mean anything.
That shadow does not mean anything.
Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. That is the purpose of the exercise. The statement should merely be applied to anything you see. As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.
This lesson should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening. Nor should it be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.
How It Came into Being
In 1977 in response to many requests for a brief introduction to A Course in Miracles, Helen Schucman wrote the following, which appears as the Preface to the Course. The first two parts: “How It Came” and “What It Is,” Helen wrote herself. The final part, “What It Says,” she scribed through the process of inner dictation.
A Course in Miracles began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal. Their names were Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. They were anything but spiritual. Their relationship with each other was difficult and often strained, and they were concerned with personal and professional acceptance and status. In general, they had considerable investment in the values of the world. Their lives were hardly in accord with anything that the Course advocates. Helen, the one who received the material, describes herself:
“Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something happened that triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that, ‘there must be another way.’ As if on cue I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.”
Although their intention was serious, they had great difficulty in starting out on their joint venture. But they had given the Holy Spirit the “little willingness” that, as the Course itself was to emphasize again and again, is sufficient to enable Him to use any situation for His purposes and provide it with His power.