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The Four Agreements (Agreements), by don Miguel Ruiz, are four self principles to consider, when peace, ease, and happiness are of interest. The Four Agreements are summarized below:

Agreement 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.

Agreement 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.

Agreement 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.

Agreement 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 circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

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I have been reading The Four Agreements for many years and refer to it often when I become aware that I may be 'breaking' one of , or out of sync with the Agreements.

Agreement 2, Don't Take Anything Personally, and Agreement 3, Don't Make Assumptions, are the two Agreements that provide me with the most opportunity for growth and development. 

Which of the following Agreements provide you with the most growth and development?

 
Often over the last nine months, which have been primarily spent diving and residing in my mental abyss, which is my perceived life, I have often thought that I 'don't know' what I thought I knew. Beliefs, opinions, identify and stories (from autobiographic accounts to thoughts or suggestions someone else shares with me that I attach to), psychological processes, etc. - I am not sure that I know anything of what I consider to be the substance required to assist with living an even keel life of ease, peace, happiness, and love (to receive and give). 

I believe there to be a faint light, hope perhaps, in not knowing, no matter how uncomfortable the symptom of this present moment self realization is. Alas, I do know something; that is, that I 'know' that I do not 'know'. Wayne Dyer's suggestion of 'why not start there' is gently whispered in my Mind as I write. [Perhaps Dyer's whisper would be 'louder' if there were less constructs, such as thoughts and beliefs, to contend with...there is a lot going on up there.]

Last night during dinner, after what I experienced to be a higher-power, source connection sharing (more of a transmitting/delivering a message to the Devotional Retreat attendees) with the eleven of us Devotees, a consensus was reached to join in a very comfortable, inviting for most, warm living area for a 'hands-on (so to speak)' healing session. [This reminds me of my first attendance at a Unity church in Sacramento, California. I remember telling my, at the time, wife, that "no body better come up and try to hug me". That's the fear based rigidity I started with many years ago. I am so grateful to her for dragging me there.]

In the mid to late 1990s, I recall stepping into a ring for my first full contact, no pads, mixed martial arts event. I had prepared as instructed and was fearfully ready to set into the ring and face another man with similar experience. I was ready for three rounds, which would last 90 seconds each. Before I was to negotiate the crowd and walk into the ring for me debut, the event promoter shared with me that the main event contender, a Canadian don't ya know, had injured his knee hours ago and was unable to compete. Five minutes later I was convinced that the Universe had provided me with a remarkable opportunity and that I could end up the Champion of this annual event - I only needed to knock out the well respected, massive, extremely skilled veteran who had held the title for many years, knocking out all but one or two of his opponents. [side note - I was not actually convinced of anything as the event promoter was shady with weak negotiating skills....very cheap salesman-like attributes...yet an unhealed part of me did not want to let a man down, and, I actually did like the idea of stepping out into the stoplight as the main event]. An hour later, with the spot light warmth in my face and my song Drowning Pool song 'Let the Bodies Hit the Floor' blaring, I was led by a small entourage (I knew only one in my entourage) to the ring for the main event. Enroute, I vividly recall hearing the announcer state "...and for the main event...seven, three minute rounds...). As Seinfeld's Kramer often said: "Mama!"  There is more to this story, but it is not why I am writing this morning.

Back in the present I was walking from the kitchen, where I was able to clean with another, hiding really, while the remaining nine Devotees commenced 'healing touch', I recalled the above life event. Was there a time in my life in the distant past, or not so distant past, that I would choose stepping into a ring with Goliath over the softness and  gentleness of 'healing touch'? I suppose it's not important to answer that question. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Today is not the past...the past no longer exists except in thought form in my Mind (yikes). Tomorrow does not exist and in fact may have yet to be written (I suppose I do not know this for certain either).

When I stepped into the ring (opps...wrong story...arrived in living area, I noticed an opening in the middle of a very large couch, and I literally took a dive and landed on my back, and proceed to roll to one side. I was down for the count! Took a fall! If there were people in the audience watch this main event, they would be disappointed and want their money back. What ever! "Pay them, please!"
PictureRumi's Cleansing Conflict from Coleman Bark's 'The Soul of Rumi'
I have read Rumi's 'Cleansing Conflict' daily for over 18 months now straight. Lines committed to memory and exhaustively Tweeted, such as "What sort of person says that he or she wants to be polished and pure, then complains about being handled roughly?" and "...don't turn away from cleansing conflict, or you will remain weak." are a well received reminder that undoing of MY Ego, detaching from identify stories that lock my in victim-hood or suffering, takes work and may not appear to be pleasurable. It often feels like resistance. Resistance is my 'training partner'...very reliable in the present...punctual, willing to always show up, and will go the distance with me...there for me as long as I choose.

During the 'healing touch' experience, I was effectively able to identify with thoughts and feelings such as abandonment, unworthiness, thoughts of not really loving (more like not giving a @#$% about) myself, and a wondering if I have lived in a state of being shutoff to love for too long and now being broken or unable to feel/receive. This was immediately followed judgmental thoughts of 'knowing better' than to subscribe to such thoughts, back to 'but there is empirical data to reinforce these experiences', then shifting to 'you do not know anything', etc. This roller coaster of thoughts kept me everywhere except present, in the room. 

It feels good to get these thoughts out of my Mind and onto 'paper'. Nothing like memorializing my insanity via the Internet!!

No more self judgement this morning, so subscription to doubt thoughts, past identifies or stories...acceptance and gratitude for the realization that 'I do not know any of this'...this not knowing feels like a 'get out of jail FREE' card from monopoly or an easy button. Yes, the potential exits that this 'hall pass' feeling could be missing the mark, as I do not know for sure about it either.

As I mentally prepare for my solo morning walking meditation, Mary Anne Radmacher's words on courage enter my Mind.

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
In my nearly twenty years of completing with another man, one on one, I have never been knocked out, knocked down, or even taken a knee. There is a courage, strength, and willingness at my core...I CAN step into the 'healing touch' arena!!!
 
Intention for the Day: To be aware of and willing to consider that what I see in  others is potentially a reflection, and or a projection, of myself. All of it...the not-so-favorable or preferable, AND, the super-duper, awesome!! Not too concerned with judgments or discernments today, other than to be Tolle's Observer of each, which assists with my desired non-reaction, if (it's actually 'WHEN') they surface...