Living the Four Agreements: The Action of Transformation

Living The Four Agreements, The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz, HeatherAsh Amara

Living the Four Agreements: The Action of Transformation

Last weekend I taught a workshop with the Ruiz family in Austin. Don Miguel, don Miguel Jr, don Jose Luis and I had so much fun teaching together that the next day I asked don Miguel, “Would you want to do more teaching with the four of us next year?”

His reply was simple, as it always is. “Yes, I loved it! Take action, sweetheart. Make it happen.”

So I share this line from the heart of don Miguel to all of us: “Take action, sweetheart. Make it happen.”

Transformation takes action. Living the Four Agreements is an action that comes from the awareness of our witnessing self rather than our judging self. If we want to master transformation, we consciously bring the energy of “sweetheart” to ourselves, rather than the energy of victim or judge. Action from love, excitement, or playful curiosity transforms our experiences much faster than action from fear and doubt.

In the Toltec teachings we cultivate three main attitudes: patience, perseverance, and humor. These three qualities are potent ignitors for creating inner and outer change without struggle.

Patience is an action, not a passive state. The action of patience stems from not making assumptions, and staying present and relaxed. We take action, and then step back and wait for transformation to unfold. When we don’t make assumptions our patience is vast.

Perseverance comes from doing our best, over and over again. We learn to take action even when it is difficult, or we don’t want to, or when we doubt ourselves. We stick with our desires and dreams until the transformation takes hold.

Humor stems from not taking ourselves personally. It is crippling to transformation to be too serious, because we then fall back into self-judgment or being paralyzed and not taking action. Make fun of your mind and your worries, and they will dissolve.

We start with an awareness of what we want to transform, and then using these three attitudes we choose where to start. The key is to not get overwhelmed. Imagine that inner or outer transformation is like cleaning a house. If you look at the entire house, it feels overwhelming. Where to start? But if you pick one area to transform it is much easier to take action. And continuing to bring in patience, knowing that sometimes transformation takes time, perseverance, being willing to act not matter what, and humor keep it fun and joyful.

So whether you are tackling one drawer in your kitchen, or gossiping at your lunch hour, take action and do something different! You don’t need to know the perfect right action to take, any action will do to break the old patterns and habits and start the flow of transformation.

Next blog we will explore how to use The Four Agreements to focus and hone the mastery of intent.

This week: Last blog post we explored awareness, and how to use The Four Agreements become more aware of our actions and reactions. From this foundation of awareness, we can now pick areas in our life to take action. Every day pick one thing to transform. It might be what your first thought is when you wake up, what you eat for lunch, who you call when you are upset. Look for the little changes that you want to transform, and take new action. Then you can build up to larger transformations.


Heather Ash’s apprenticeship with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreementsbegan in 1994, and she now teaches with the Ruiz family. She is the author of The Toltec Path of Transformation and founder of Toci, The Toltec Center of Creative Intent.

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