Unlike so many other brilliant, beautiful bloggers out there in blog-land, I have intentionally chosen NOT to list any New Year's resolutions this year. And I'm not really sure why I didn't make any resolutions this year, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that over the past few years my health situation has deteriorated to the point where just making it through the bloody DAY seems like a major accomplishment to me sometimes. Oh sure, I'm all about self-betterment (is that a word?) and all, but even thinking about resolutions right now exhausts me, so I'm just not gonna go there. (Which is really, really hard for a perfectionist like me.......)
BUT, my lack of resolution-making skills does not mean that I'm not inspired, sometimes on a daily basis, by something I've read or heard about. Why, remember my post in praise of Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth? That book really resonated with me and my food issues, and has helped me to both lose weight AND keep it off.
And then there's always Oprah Magazine and Real Simple....I don't think most people can read through a copy of those hefty publications and NOT be somewhat inspired, at least in some small way.....
For me, however, the MOST inspiring book I have ever, ever read would have to be The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz........I have probably re-read this little book twice a year, every year, since it was published in 1997, and have given it as a gift to so many special people in my life........
The Four Agreements is truly a life changing book, based upon the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The simple ideas of The Four Agreements provide an inspirational code for life; a personal development model, and a template for personal development, behavior, communications and relationships. Here is how Don Miguel himself summarizes The Four Agreements :
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.
(For me, this means no more calling myself a big ol' fatty tub o' lard, and really trying not to gossip!)
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.
(This agreement is SO important to the hyper-sensitive, like me! I try to remember that everyone is just trying to get through the day, as best they can.)
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.
(After all, to ASSUME is to make an ASS out of U and ME!!)
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.
(I think this is my favorite agreement--I am trying to do fewer things, but do them really WELL, to the best of my abilities)
Of course, Don Miguel goes much deeper into each agreement in his book, but this is the summary I have printed out and prominently displayed on my bulletin board. Just re-typing these today has given me a feeling of calmness and centeredness....JUST what the doctor ordered!
I promise to come back soon with a few great new recipes for you all...until then, have a wonderful day!