Today I am excited to discuss Toltec Wisdom and my favorite book of all time The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.
A little background for those not familiar with Toltec Wisdom, The Four Agreements and the other works by Ruiz pictured above are based on ancient Toltec philosophies (which originated in Mexico and have been passed down orally for generations). The author Don Miguel Ruiz has adapted these teachings to be applicable in our modern world I will admit I had The Four Agreements in my possession for several years before I felt compelled to actually pick up the book and read it. The timing was just right (it always is), and the book ignited a passion for spirituality and learning that has now become a permanent part of my life.
At the root of Toltec teachings is the belief that our reality is in fact an illusion (in the book the term “dream’ is used) based on our own individual perceptions, and that by changing our perceptions we can manifest a more positive life. The roadmap, if you will, to achieving a more positive perception is adherence to the following four guidelines/agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always try your best
These “agreements” may sound simple enough when first read. However, depending upon the curveballs that get thrown your way in life, sometimes it is easier than other times to remember these teachings and maintain a positive perspective. If you find yourself slip up and start looking at things from a more negative slant, that is totally ok (and human), just take note of what is happening and then redirect your mindset to get back on track.
If any of this at all sounds intriguing, pick up your own copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom at your local bookstore or here on Amazon. If you are feeling compelled to learn more, that is awesome, and the experience will be life changing. Also feel secure in knowing you are right on time (and always will be)!
I started off writing this post with the intention of highlighting some cute outdoor accessories (ie lawn ornaments) for your backyard and/or balcony. Now I approached this task fully accepting two truths, Number One: the term lawn ornament is in itself hilarious and Number Two: It was very likely I would stumble upon some really terrible items that make absolutely no sense and may even cause me to question humanity as a whole.
Needless to say my research did not disappoint and my theory on both points was fully supported. The items people choose to decorate their outdoor space with are so perplexing and the options so far reaching, I quickly realized a blanket search would not even cover a small fraction of the current inventory of crap you can throw in your yard (haha). Thus I decided to limit my search to one specific category the lawn ornament classic: the Garden Gnome. I had no doubt this one particular subgenre would provide hours of entertainment and more than enough material to satisfy my goal. It did not disappoint.
Take for example, Gottfied the Gigantic Garden Gnome pictured above. Does anyone really need a garden gnome statue the size of a small child…? I sat with this question for quite some time, my mind puzzled by what I was seeing. That is when it hit me. Are lawn ornaments actually just a giant joke we play on our friends and neighbors? Do we put random stuff outside just to see what kind of reaction we can muster from unsuspecting visitors? Have I been missing the punch line all these years? Is a gnome taking a selfie while holding a squirrel (pictured here) the most accurate yet subversive critique of our current culture that I have ever witnessed? I am still not sure.
However, as I ponder all of these deep life questions, I can say this for certain: the other two gnomes pictured above (excluding poor Gottfried, bless his heart) are pretty darn cute (the little cement guy is supposed to sit in a potted plant… I die!) and whether they are funny or social satire or simply decorative objects, both would have a welcome home on my balcony!
One excellent way to pay homage to your animal loves is to incorporate animal elements into your home décor (how about that smooth transition haha?). My condo is chockfull of woodland animals. It might have something to do with a childhood fantasy of being a Disney princess, or just my attempt to remember my connection to nature even when in the heart of the metropolis. Either way I feel best when surrounded by the likenesses of all my favorite creatures. [Read more…] about Animal Apartment