30 Days, 30 Ways to Practice the Second Agreement

The second agreement is by far the most challenging, I think.  Practicing it for 30 Days was the best way to make it a habit.  Here are some tips, inspirations, or motivators to stay on track…..

Day 1: Read the recap of the beginning of my practice two years ago….Don’t Take Anything Personally

Day 2: Remember…..”A negative look from someone else may mean nothing more than they’re constipated!”  – Daniel Amen

Day 3: We often forget that Karma means action – action comes from thought.  If you want to act differently, then you must think differently.  Instead of taking something personally, think about the other person who is saying these insults about you….what their life must be like?  And then we can act from a place of compassion, rather than anger, towards them.

Day 4: If choose to take something personally, just remember – The only folks you ever need to get even with are the ones who are good to you.

Day 5: When you take things personally, you allow people to poison you with their negative thinking.

Day 6: Here’s a nice little reminder from George Takei

Here’s a little Internet tip: If you feel offended by something someone else posts, remember two simple rules:

(1) It’s not about you.
(2) If you try to make it about you, you’ll sound ridiculous.

–Uncle George

Day 7: Don’t give other people permission to degrade you.

Day 8: At least half of the items on this list of things we think about too often can be dealt with by implementing the second agreement.  Which ones do you think they are?

Day 9: “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally…..Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves.” –Don Miguel Ruiz

Day 10: Do No Harm, but Take No Shit

Day 11: Rather than feel affronted by someone who is rude, just realize why they behave that way.

Day 12: As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force.  I decided to follow the latter course.” — Martin Luther King Jr. (This is probably one of my favorite quotes of all time!)

We can allow what others say to poison our spirits, or we can choose to focus on our own goodness.

Day 13: Often times we fear the idea of being “alone” because we have been made to believe that it is a sign of personal failure to make people like us.  When you stop taking things personally, you can focus on liking yourself enough to enjoy hanging out by yourself – ALONE – because it leaves you feeling better than if you had conformed to someone else’s expectations just to get them to like you.

Day 14: Too often we chastise ourselves for having any wounds, but they leave so many beautiful scars – the scar of compassion, the scar of empathy, the scar of understanding, the scar of faith, and the scar of finding love for oneself again. Remember this, as you start to untangle yourself from old agreements that caused you suffering, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” — Rumi  

Day 15: Sometimes, we keep friendships that are not healthy for us simply because we worry about how the other person will feel more than how dysfunctional the friendship is.  Instead of worrying about taking care of another person’s feelings, you first have to worry about whether or not the friendship is healthy for you.  

Day 16: “Just as being truly compassionate doesn’t mean always being sweet and nice (sometimes it means being cold, harsh), being truly honest doesn’t mean speaking your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Other awarenesses and intention must be at work—and a recognition that the truth is not solid.”  – Susan Piver Browne, from “Right Speech”

Day 17: This meme is a two way street. Remember that the next time you take something personally – it is the other person’s choice to behave the way that they are behaving and it is none of your business why they made that choice. Instead focus on the choices you have – you can choose to take it personally and stay inside the circle of their personal misery, or you can move forward and take care of yourself. Your sweetness of mind is your business – invest in it, cultivate it, nurture it, and it will grow and give you plenty of reward.

Day 18: Taking things personally means you are making an effort to conform to another person’s ideal way of being. 

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” — Rita Mae Brown

Day 19: When you stop taking what others say or do so personally, you begin to live your life on your terms, rather than at their mercy.

Day 20:  If you take things personally, a break-up can be devastating.  I know from experience that you feel as though you will not survive the heartache.  After I allowed someone to have that much power over my sweetness of mind, and I was left a shattered mess, I decided it was time to make a serious change in how I approached relationships.  The second agreement is one of the new agreements I had to make if I hoped to regain my sense of self. 

Day 21: Unburden yourself from trying to please everyone.  By not taking things personally, you are free to succeed at being your true, authentic self.

Day 22: “Whatever you believe you will experience.” –author unknown.  If we believe what others say about us is true, especially if it is negative, we will begin to experience these opinions as our own personal truth.  To change your experience, you must change your beliefs.  In order to change your beliefs, you must change your thoughts.  Practice this everyday!  

Day 23: When you stop taking things personally, you stop participating in another person’s personal drama.  

Day 24:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Day 25:  Your damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so do what you want and don’t do what others want you to do. 

Day 26:  You’ll be a lot better off when you can stop taking things personally.  

Day 27: Not taking things personally also means that you don’t involve yourself in business that does not concern you.

Day 28:  “People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” ~Joseph F. Newton (psssst….we build up walls when we take things personally…)

Day 29:  As I walked through the challenge of implementing the Second Agreement a couple of years ago, here is what I learned: Agreement #2 Follow Up

Day 30: In short…..