the four agreements for communal living

(photo by Tia Loren Hayes)

be impeccable with your word. don't take it personal. don't make assumptions. always do your best. one of my favorite books and easiest reads is the four agreements by toltec writer, don miguel ruiz. the four agreements can be applied to any aspect of your life, and offer you immediate calmness in any stressful situation. i often say the four agreements in my head so I don't forget them. they help me to navigate living in cooperative housing, where there are many people with unique perspectives living under one roof. the first agreement "be impeccable with your word", offers you noble character. because of it, you will always see through the commitments you make and people(your housemates) can count on you. the second agreement, "don't take it personal" is helpful in times of disagreement. just because you don't agree on how to divvy up chores, doesn't mean the other person is trying to attack you. remember, everyone has their personal values and boundaries to protect, and usually if they disagree with you it's because their personal values and boundaries are at risk. the third agreement, "don't make assumptions" means to stop trying to mind read. this is not the time to guess, so if you want to know how a person (housemate) feels about something, simply ask them! lastly and most progressively, "always do your best" because issa mood that is contagious. when people see you doing you best, it inspires the to do the same. nobody is perfect, we all fall, have our bad days, need to edify ourselves. all you can do is your best, and trust that everyone else is doing the same. if we all can commit to the four agreements, can you imagine how our planet and society would improve?

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