When people lose their sense of awe,
people turn to religion.
When they no longer trust themselves,
they begin to depend upon authority.” Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell
Our life experiences get down to our agreements.
A few years ago I began to experience considerable physical pain. My body went beyond the morning crankiness to pain that kept me up at night and made my waking hours physically difficult. I used Thai massage, meditation and a little yoga to treat it. This all helped but the pain remained.
When I went into my doctor (whom I visit about every 5 years for a check-in) I told her about my pain. She referred me to an arthritis specialist whom she believed could “diagnose” and prescribe me the medications to “treat” it.
I took the card.
I never went to the specialist. You (and I) know what would happen if I went to an arthritis specialist – she would find arthritis and give me medication (that could ultimately damage my liver).
Specialists tend to see their specialty.
I chose instead not to be in agreement that I had arthritis or that it was something I would have to live with the rest of my life (I am 55).
Even if it had arthritis I would choose not to be in agreement with it. (I go further into challenging agreements in my book, Wheel of Initiation.
Instead I sought out my acupuncturist. I went in for several months, took the Chinese herbs he prescribed, altered my diet some and (as I shared in a previous blog,) got rid of my treadmill and walk outside every day for 4+ miles. I continued with Thai massage and my meditation.
Six months later I am pain free. I have no symptoms of arthritis.
This is just my story. Yours will be, well, yours. You may be in agreement with some specialist or another and find that it works great.
It’s about knowing what we are in agreement with and making conscious, intuitive choices. I have other stories that point to how it is our agreements that direct our lives. Obviously I chose to be in agreement with my acupuncturist. This all influenced my experience (and health in this case).
In every conversation there is an agreement being made. Do you know what it is?
Your attitude today, or toward others, or some situation is due to your agreements. What are you in agreement with? What do you no longer agree with?
Do you know the culturally endorsed agreements you are living by?
All our negative habitual patterns are based on agreements. All our happiness is based on agreements. Can you identify the agreements that bring forth more joy and creativity in your life, right now?
New clients will often ask me about my “approach.” I don’t really have one approach. I consider myself only an expert in showing up. I do my best to check in with my assumptions and agreements and suggest we both come to the conversation “as we are.”