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The Four Agreements + The Tao of Inner Peace =. The Tao of Inter-relatedness and Personal Transformation a/k/a “How can I be who I am and be OK with that?” Jeanne Bowers, M.A. The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz. Be Impeccable with your Word Don’t take anything personally

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The four agreements the tao of inner peace

The Four Agreements+The Tao of Inner Peace=

The Tao of Inter-relatedness and Personal Transformation

a/k/a “How can I be who I am and be OK with that?”

Jeanne Bowers, M.A.

The four agreements don miguel ruiz
The Four AgreementsDon Miguel Ruiz

  • Be Impeccable with your Word

  • Don’t take anything personally

  • Don’t make assumptions

  • Always do your best

The tao of inner peace diane dreher
The Tao of Inner PeaceDiane Dreher

Why did the ancients cherish the Tao?

Because through it

We may find a world of peace,

Leaving behind a world of cares,

And hold the greatest treasure under heaven.

(Tao Te Ching 62)

The first agreement be impeccable with your word
The First AgreementBe impeccable with your word

  • What matters more, what you say to others, or what you say to yourself?

  • Do you spread poison or truth?

  • Do you create or destroy?

Our word is our bond
Our Word is our Bond

  • Trust is a fragile thing. Once it is broken, it is impossible to return it to its original pristine state.­

  • Major life lesson from Dr. Kim. “Things are easy to fix. Broken relationships not so easy to fix.”

Embodiment of your word
Embodiment of Your Word

  • Through our words we manifest.

  • What does your internal and external dialogue manifest in your life?

  • First, be present;

  • Second, tell the truth;

  • Third, let go of the consequences of telling the truth.

The second agreement don t take anything personally
The Second AgreementDon’t Take Anything Personally

  • Surprise, it’s not all about you.

  • “Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication” (Ruiz, p. 49).


  • Ouch, why am I so defensive when I am corrected? Is it because instead of understanding I “made” a mistake, I truly believe I “AM” a mistake? What do I have to prove anyway, and to whom?

  • In the face of correction or criticism, first consider the source. If it is valid, take a deep breath, listen deeply, and remind yourself it is nothing personal, just an opportunity to become more self aware, correct faulty behavior or thinking, and put the correction to use in your life.

News flash
News Flash!

  • Personal transformation is not a bed of roses. It oftentimes feels like the thorns.

  • You are worth the effort.

Where attention goes energy flows
Where attention goes, energy flows

“Those who focus on Tao

Will be one with Tao.

Those who study its power

Will be powerful.

Those who focus on failure

Will certainly fail.”

(Tao Te Ching 23)

“We get what we cultivate in our lives. Like seeds, our thoughts take root in our experience. If we focus on the power of Tao, we become powerful. If we focus on failure, we fail. Even our unexpressed thoughts affect our work, our relationships, our daily lives” (Reher, pp. 38-39).

The third agreement don t make assumptions
The Third AgreementDon’t Make Assumptions

  • You’ve heard it before. When you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

  • How about the trouble we get into assuming that those closest to us know what we think, feel, believe? How unfair of us is it to place that burden on the people we love?

Suffering versus freedom
Suffering versus Freedom

  • Does this sound familiar? How about the assumption that your love will change someone or their love for you will make them want to change?

  • “Just imagine the day that you stop making assumptions with your partner and eventually with everyone else in your life. Your way of communicating will change completely, and your relationships will no longer suffer from conflicts created by mistaken assumptions” (Ruiz, pp. 71-72).

The cure
The Cure?


Coming home
Coming home

“Know the Tao

Without leaving your doorstep.

See its face

Reflected in the window.

To seek it outside

Is to leave it behind.”

(Tao Te Ching 47)

  • “The way of peace begins with self-acceptance. To seek peace outside is to leave it behind” (Reher, p. 49).

Personal authenticity
Personal Authenticity

“The Tao person knows himself

And makes no display.

Accepts himself,

And is not arrogant.”

Tao Te Ching 72)

“Tao people have no need to hide behind artifice and ostentation. Living the simple truth of who they are, they’re beyond envy, competition, and artificial display” (Reher p. 50).

The fourth agreement always do your best
The Fourth AgreementAlways Do your Best

  • Self-acceptance versus perfectionistic torture (loving oneself versus never quite being good enough).


  • Slow down and pay attention versus multi-tasking mistake-making pseudo efficiency.

  • “When you do your best you learn to accept yourself. But you have to be aware and learn from your mistakes. Learning from your mistakes means you practice, look honestly at the results, and keep practicing. This increases your awareness” (Ruiz, p. 81).

The principle of harmonious action
The Principle of Harmonious Action

Tao people never try. They do.”

(Tao Te Ching 48)

  • “Tao people don’t waste time worrying or efforting. They dare, take risks, live with commitment… Te means daring to live deliberately. Tao people have no time for halfhearted attempts” (Dreher, pp. 18-19).


  • “The Tao Te Ching teaches us to cooperate with the natural patterns in our world. This is the principle of harmonious action or wu wei: blending with the energies around us without imposing our will on other life forms” (Dreher, p. 35).


  • If you err with your word or deed, remember that apology is only partially about repair. To make an apology real, we have to follow through with commitment not to repeat the offense.

  • Remember, forgiveness is for-giving.


  • It’s OK to look at the big picture, but remember it is made up of small details and pay attention to them first. Small things become big things very rapidly.

  • Pay attention to what you think, what you say, and the effect it has on you and those around you.

  • Don’t assume you know a damn thing, and when someone else makes an assumption about you, don’t take it personally. They can’t see you. Not really.

  • And lastly, do your best. When you feel you haven’t done your best, then do your best at forgiving, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do it all over again, only better.