Challenge to Love

Posted by Gary on Nov 21st, 2010

The challenge is not just to love.  We’ve all done that quite successfully and easily as children.  The greater challenge is to love with awareness that the world is a difficult place, where people are not always kind, or what we want them to be.  The challenge is not to love people when they are beautiful, but to love them when they are not.

The challenge is also to love and accept your self, even when don’t measure up to your beliefs about what you should be.  This is a spiritual warrior’s challenge.

Posted at: A Spiritual Warriors Challenge to Love

Website:  ToltecSpirit: A guide for spiritual warriors based in the Four Agreements

 

 

For the Love of Christ

Posted by Gary on May 19th, 2010

The evangelists stopped by my door this morning.  They brought their bibles and were sharing the message of Christ.   They were two nice ladies so I spent a few minutes with them.  We got to talking about love and one woman said, “That’s what we should do.  We should love more.”

Saying that, “We should love more,” implies that we aren’t loving enough. It’s kind of an indirect way of putting your self, or someone else down for not doing what they were supposed to do.  I don’t think that was Christ’s message.

His was more like. I love you just the way you are.

 

Morals and Ethics

Posted by Gary on Apr 30th, 2010

In the basic quest of morality and ethics “right” trumps “wrong”. In Advances levels of morality and ethics,,,, Love and Respect trump “being right”. The challenge for those who are attached to “being right” is that if they cling too tightly,,, love and respect appear to be wrong.

 

A Word about Truth

Posted by Gary on Feb 2nd, 2010

Words aren’t the truth.  Words are symbolic meanings for something real or abstract.  Words are not truth so there is no sense in investing any faith in them.

But if you listen carefully to honest people you might find kernels of truth within the packaging of their words.

 

Speak Up For Your Self

Posted by Gary on Jan 23rd, 2010

Speak Up For Your Self

Speaking up for your self doesn’t mean that you have to speak down to anybody.

 

 

Four Agreements Companion Book

Posted by Gary on Dec 20th, 2009

A question from a subscriber to my on line course in Self Mastery,,,

Hello Gary,

I started reading The Four Agreements Companion Book yesterday and noticed that it had exercises like your Self Mastery program.  The first exercise in the book was dealing with image of perfection but I’m still about ten sessions away from your Image of Perfection session.

I am aware that the sessions in your program are in an order for a purpose, so I wasn’t sure if it would be okay to continue reading the book or not.

Should I… continue reading the book and do the book exercises with your program? or stop reading the book until I finish your program?

Thanks for your time,

Curious

Hi Curious,

The Four Agreements Companion book is great and I recommend that you read it.  However most people I’ve talked to that have attempted the exercises have gotten overwhelmed.   They see so much of their belief system so fast without first having control over their attention that they slip into a victim point of view.  That induces a feeling of overwhelm, powerlessness, and then hopelessness.   Then their inner judge kicks in and berates them for failing.   They lose motivation and close the book,,, stop the exercises…  defeated.   They end up feeling worse than when they started.

So that’s one of the reasons why I don’t start with the  Image of Perfection beliefs.  It’s also why I have people develop some other skills over their attention and beliefs before trying to change their whole belief system.  It’s like eating beef.  It’s much easier to do one bite at a time so you don’t get crushed by the whole animal.

By all means read the Four Agreements Companion Book.  But, I’d suggest doing the exercises in the Self Mastery before starting the exercises in the book.  And if you want to challenge and dissolve your Image of Perfection beliefs, (which is a necessary step to eliminating self judgments) then I suggest the using the steps in the Advanced Series of the Self Mastery program instead of the Four Agreements Companion book approach.   In the Advanced Series I not only walk you through changing the Image of Perfection beliefs, but also walk you through the different issues of resistance that come up to letting these go.

After that, you’ll be better prepared to do the exercises suggested  in the Four Agreements Companion book.

Hope that helps,

Gary

Original post at ToltecSpirit.com a Four Agreements resource for Spiritual Warriors
http://www.toltecspirit.com/2009/12/four-agreements-companion-book/

 

Being a Moral Person

Posted by Gary on Aug 8th, 2009

Being a moral person has gotten confused by a lot of people to mean being right.   I don’t think it really means that.  Being moral person has more to do with being kind, compassionate, and respectful.

 

The Four Agreements – Why is it so Hard?

Posted by Gary on Jun 6th, 2009

Living by the Four Agreements,,, why is it so hard?

We read the book the Four Agreements and feel better by the simple clarity it presents.  It tells us something about our self, other people, and the world that we have always known, but not been able to put into words.  With that clarity we have a sense of hope and excitement about changing our life and our relationships.  It is possible to end the drama of emotional suffering and be happy.

We take the next step and adopt the four agreements as principles and practices that we continually live by.  We are excited about the possibility, but then the reality sets in. Living our lives by the Four Agreements is challenging.  It can even appear impossible.  Why is it so hard when they are so simple?

We Make Endless Assumptions

It is because we have been practicing doing the exact opposite for almost our entire life.  From the time we were 2 or 3 years old we have been making assumptions.  We do it so continually we aren’t even aware how automatically we do it so often.

We Take Everything Personally

We also assume that we are the center of the world.  We assume that people do things because of us.   People react to what we say or do and we think it is about us. We aren’t aware that they have their own beliefs and interpretations that cause them to react.  This assumption blinds us to personalize everything to our own point of view.  We have done this for years and practiced it until we do it automatically.  We have become masters of taking things personally.

We don’t believe we do our best.

The judge in our mind has been hard at work telling us what to do for years.  It has been a constant reminder of what we should and shouldn’t do.  In our child hood we learned to follow it as a god like authority in our life.  We wouldn’t dare question what it tells us we should be.  Because our obedience to that inner judge we never feel like we are doing our best.

Living by the Four Agreements is a Life Changing Commitment

All of this, making assumptions, interpreting everything from our own personal point of view, and living by the voice of the inner judge is the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.  And we have been doing it for years.  Practicing it every day for years,,, the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.

When you decide to adopt the Four Agreements you are changing the course of so many of the habits of your life.  You will not make these changes in one day, or even one week.  However, if you work at it over time, you can make extraordinary changes in your life.

If you decide to adopt the Four Agreements as a means to change your relationships and your life, don’t do it for a day or a week.  Decide to do it a little bit each day for a year.  Then see how much you have changed.  To attempt to measure your results in a week, or a month is to make a gross error assumption in the magnitude of your undertaking.
For practical exercises in implementing the Four Agreements take advantage of the free sessions in the Self Mastery Audio Program.

This post originally posted at The Four Agreements by Gary van Warmerdam

 

Recommended Reading: Socrates Cafe

Posted by Gary on Mar 30th, 2009
Only about 50 pages into the book, Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips, and I am delighted.

Socrates was in a devout pursuit of the Truth. His method was inquiry that usually took the form of questions.

He battled with the Sofists

soph·ist (s?f’?st) Pronunciation Key
n.
One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation.
A scholar or thinker.
Sophist Any of a group of professional fifth-century B.C. Greek philosophers and teachers who speculated on theology, metaphysics, and the sciences, and who were later characterized by Plato as superficial manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic.

The Sophist seemed to espouse rhetoric of what is is to be good, better, and ideal. They would give you what you needed to know and all you had to do was believe them.   I would liken this to the people of today who write and speak about all the “good things you should be doing” even for your own happiness.

However, in their pursuit of the prettier picture and self image of success, they have sacrificed an honest inquiry for the Truth.

It is the difference between accepting what you are told is the truth, and finding out for your self.

The first approach is easier and can give a quick and easy peace of mind. However, it leaves you no peace in your soul. To find the truth for your self you sometimes have to scratch and claw your way with inquiry past all the illusions you hold. However the skills over your attention, discernment, and perception, will serve you well for all your remaining days and nights. It will make it difficult for any liar or sophist to betray you.  Even your own mind.

You may have found in my writing and audio that I am not inviting you to believe me. If you work with me individually, you will also find that I often don’t answer your quesitons directly. Instead I likely ask you a question in response to yours? This is is not to annoy anyone, but rather to invite them into a process of finding out for themselves, instead of putting their faith in the stories of someone else.

For specific exercises for identifying and dissolving fear based beliefs based in the Four Agreements, begin with the free practices in the Self Mastery audio program.

 The original  post located at Socrates Cafe

 

Be Impeccable with your Word

Posted by Gary on Feb 15th, 2009

In the book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz offers the suggestion, “Be Impeccable with your Word.”    Some people interpret this to mean, “keep your word.”   It doesn’t.  Impeccability is not that simple.   For starters, being impeccable with your word has more to do with expressing your self in the direction of truth and love.  Other aspects are of significance, but this interpretation is most important.

It is important to use your word carefully. The way you express your self will impact your life, and others.  You have to be aware of what you say, and how you express your self to do this.  One of the results of impeccability is that you will say only what you mean, and you will mean what you say.   From the outside this appears to mean “keep your word.”

When the meaning of “Be Impeccable with your Word”  is taught as “keep your word” it is because one of two reasons.  First, the person leading the teaching is not familiar with the more important expression of truth and love.   The second happens when the person leading the group has an attachment to controlling the behavior or actions of others.

If you subscribe to the idea that impeccability is really about keeping your agreements, then you subject your self to possible harm and abuse unnecessarily.  Very possibly you end up using these four agreements to inflict emotional suffering on your self instead of freeing your self from it the way they were designed to do.

Suppose that you make the agreement to get married.  You make a big commitment to love, honor, and respect another for all the days of your life.  But perhaps after months or years together, the person you are married to changes.  Perhaps they become abusive.  Perhaps they are emotionally withdrawn, involved in addictions, or have an affair.

At a certain point you become tired of being abused and you want to end the relationship.  But by now you have this new spiritually enlightening agreement to Be Impeccable.  You think the agreement means that you can’t change your agreements.  With that interpretation you use the idea of impeccability to remain in a relationship that is abusive and disrespectful to your self.   This is not being kind and loving to your self.  This is not expressing love towards your self.  You are breaking the more important meaning of impeccability.

Besides, if you are in a relationship and your partner is disrespectful, unkind, and abusive, they have already broken the relationship contract.  They have not kept their side of the marriage agreement.  If someone is abusive to you, you do not have to keep your agreement to stay with them.  Staying with them all the days of your life was made within the context of love, honor, and respect in the relationship.  If they can not hold up their end of the agreement, then the agreement is broken.  You are free to go.  If you try to keep your half even when they have broken their half, that is not being honest and truthful about what has happened and therefore not impeccable.

Of course the two of you can each work on your half of how you treat each other.  It is very common to have lapses.   If your partner has lapses, but they have remorse, and they make an honest effort to improve, it can be worthwhile to work through the challenges.  However, it is very subjective to each person how much patience to have with someone.  No one can make that decision for you.

If and when you decide to end that relationship, you do it because of the love you have for your self.  You love your self so much that you want to be happy.  You also abide by the truth that you deserve to be happy.  With that impeccable expression of your love, you break your agreement to stay with the person abusing you.   In this case it is completely impeccable to break your previous  promises .

To be impeccable does not mean that you live your life according to the agreements you made in the past.  Practicing impeccability is just as much about freeing your self from the fear based and self limiting agreements of your past.
For exercies and practices in mastering the Four Agreements download and listen to the Self Mastery audio sessions.

Original post located at Be Impeccable with Your Word

 

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