In the room where I journal and read there are three book shelves. One contains more photography or business books, another are just books I want to read or reference and on the top shelf that is so high I need a step ladder to reach it, I put the books that made me think. No novels---those favorites have their own shelf, but here you can find small precious books such as, A Gift from the Sea, A Year by the Sea, The Invitation and The Four Agreements.
I'm reading The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz--again. The premise is that we are taught or agree to certain behaviors from the time we are small. Many agreements are based on culture--how to speak, act and talk. We don't have a lot of choices, our parents and teachers dictate what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, as we grow and learn to get along with others, we still manage to find ourselves surrounded by our insecurities and self-judgement, even self-disdain. The Four Agreements is an offering of four simple statements that for me, need to practiced everyday for the rest of my life!
Reading this little book I've felt haunted to "create something" using the author's words. My original is 12"x12" that may end up on the wall as a daily reminder.
Each agreement reminds me that change is always possible.
1. Be impeccable with your word. I am reminded this means to everyone, all the time. That includes communication with someone I don't agree with, it means gossip, or the way I talk to myself when no one else is listening. Ouch!
2. Don't take anything personally. Big One! Mr. Ruiz claims that we all have our own agendas and to base our lives on someone else's opinions or actions opens us to needless suffering.
3. Don't make assumptions. Alleluia! Isn't that the way misunderstandings flourish? I've been guilty of that one.
4. Do your best. The reader is reminded that our best changes with our moods, the situation, our health, etc. Guilt isn't part of the equation! If we do our best in the moment, that is all we can expect from ourselves.
What do think of the Agreements? Agree? Disagree? Do you think using them in your day to day life will make a difference? I look forward to hearing from you!
with peace and gratitude, Angela
PHOTO NOTES: For this project the texture was the initial focus with the photo of a lily as an afterthought. Kim's texture already includes the subdued text, I added the darker text creating 5 different text layers so I could play with font, size, leading and placement. Finally, I added the photo of the lily. It is above the texture (in Photoshop layers) however I reduced the opacity so the texture shows thru. Then I added a layer mask to the photo layer and using a black brush with about 70% opacity, I "masked" the edges of the photo and around the flower so you can't see hard, straight edges.