As part of my path over these many years, I have honored and followed the teachings of the Four (now Five) Agreements, the story told by don Miguel Ruiz as a Toltec teaching, and I highly recommend his books. I spent a year, many, many years ago, focused primarily on these teachings. I have always carried them with me. Those five agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
5. Be Skeptical of our own Lies but Listen for Truth
With my other current studies, as we always are growing ourselves and learning while we have the privilege of life in this body, in this lifetime, I am currently taking don Miguel Ruiz’ seven week Course in Mastery. There was an interesting take away from the class this week that prompted further messages to come through, which I wanted to share with all of you.
In the class this week, don Miguel said that our purpose in this life is to be happy – “to be happy.” In the Q&A after the live lecture, a woman was startled by that pronouncement. She asked, with all the people in the world and animals that need help and that are suffering, how can we just be happy when they all need us to work and help them, etc.? His answer was about spreading your joy to others and also focused on the global change and shift that is happening, and that it doesn’t happen all at once. Wise words.
After the class lecture and Q & A, I happened, as I like to say “for some reason” ; ), to be put in a breakout group with this woman. As we all spent time discussing and integrating the evening’s lesson and working through the assigned exercises, she brought this question up again, as she still felt she did not have the answer to her question, despite don Miguel’s wise words. She was looking for more specifics, to break it down and not look at it more globally or from a humankind approach, but from her individual perspective. How did that apply to her life? What was she to do? How was she to look at it? Act on it? I had not chimed in on the Q&A, but I did on the phone, and here is what I said…
Being happy does not mean that we do not work or do the Work. We have jobs, we have responsibilities. But more than that, we also do the Work to grow not only ourselves, but to help others. This includes being of Service. Being of Service is work, and it is not always easy, but being of Service is “the Work” with a capital “W”, and to me, being of Service is joy. The Work and being of Service to others is part of fulfilling our soul’s purpose in this world, aligning with our True Will, our true and Higher Self, merging our souls, and serving others as we heal ourselves and the worlds. (For more background, in my last blog “The Power of Story, the Story of our Souls,” I talked about the three souls or three selves from the perspective of the teachings that resonate with me from the Temple of Witchcraft tradition and other traditions.) All of my life, there have been elements of this Service to others, though I did not always have the words to explain.
Often it starts with small steps, one person whose life we touch at a time, one moment in time. It is being of Service by modeling that joy-filled, Spirit-filled life, walking in line with our True Will, operating from the Heart space of Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. It is awareness, about our stories, the stories of others and the stories of society. Being of Service does not have to be big or glamorous, as sometimes the smallest things make a difference. How many times have we seen this play out in our own lives, when we walk in that space and the little things that we do have a synchronistic effect in the Web of Life and touch and lead to healings or what I call “ah-ha” moments for others? Yes, it can be bigger things, like doing volunteer work, speaking engagements, offering services to the community like teaching, ceremony and more. It is whatever you are called to do – what calls to your soul.
Yet, while being of Service, by doing the Work, and living from our Higher Self’s perspective, it is important to remember that we are human beings, incarnate in a body. Living in this space does not mean you will not have challenges, or that you will be perfect or do what is expected in the challenging moments as they arise, because you are still a human being in this human body. I think it is important to honor that, to honor our humanity. Not honoring our humanity causes suffering in the world. Too often we do not honor the process of our humanity, body and emotions or are rushed through the process.
We judge ourselves, we make our stories about it, play society’s stories about what is expected in its Dream of the World. Judgment is a story that we tell. But it is us, as a human, in this body…and these moments and even our reactions in those moments are sacred and to be honored as part of ourselves, and we should set aside our stories of judgment. It also means that you will not always, in every moment, honor the Five Agreements, yet you are aware of them and awareness is key…and then through that awareness, you work to process through the challenges and bring those agreements to the forefront of your consciousness and into practice again.
It is still important to take the time to honor that human process when challenges arise in order to truly transform the experience and partner with our inner, hidden selves, with our Shadow…or as don Miguel Ruiz discusses, with our “Parasite, addicted to suffering” – the story of judgment, as our story or that of others, is suffering. We do not stay in that challenging moment forever, but it takes time to honor that process, partner with our Shadow or Parasite, recognize the stories being told by us and others, and go through our Work of processing those challenges, and integrating them into our whole self/selves. The simple, yet not truly so simple, act of healing ourselves is being of Service to the world and doing the Work.
How do we do that? Integrating those challenges as soul and life lessons includes recognizing that they are always opportunities to heal yourself on a soul level and to help heal others – you never know how many ways your experiences will help others down the road. It turns your challenges into joy and happiness through being of Service to others.
You may recognize that right away yet still not immediately transform those challenges into opportunities – and that is o.k.! Again, we are humans, in a human body, and that process can and should take time to fully honor it. In the end, this is our opportunity to have joy by being of Service through the Work, thus healing ourselves, others and the worlds. In that process, we have happiness.
“Work” and the “Work” does not have to preclude being happy and leading a joy-filled life, and to me the opposite is true. I believe it truly must go together – to be truly happy in this life and be joy-filled actually requires being of Service. You never know how this will happen when you are open to it, when you flow with the Spirit that resides in you, with your True Self, and you are a conduit for Spirit. Just by choosing to be in this class, and stay on that call for an hour with this handful of classmates, I was able to be the tool for Spirit to use to reach this woman who had been struggling with this question for years. I am honored and humbled, and through the process, I also grew further as well. Because we are all growing, evolving, changing.
One moment. Every journey begins with one moment. One step. Step by step we heal the worlds.
Links of Interest:
Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon – http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/143014982512092/?fref=ts (events/classes)
don Miguel Ruiz – http://www.miguelruiz.com/
Michael Harner Foundation of Shamanic Studies – http://www.shamanism.org