I am a fan of Don Miguel Ruiz. We have followed the philosophy in his “Four Agreements” for many years. Today as a new year begins, it seems fitting to recommend his next book, The Fifth Agreement. The concept, according to Ruiz and his son Jose, is that everything we do is based on agreements we have made — agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, and with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. With these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. His idea of agreements corresponds to my notion of beliefs. Now he is adding an agreement that is dear to my heart. As an advocate of deep listening, this fifth agreement is right down my alley of beliefs. I am copying words written in the advertising promotion, which is a quick and easy way to review all five:
Consider the circle. That shape has been a universal symbol for God. It suggests the infinite, never-ending inclusion of all. Many years ago, I learned to deliver a curriculum, “Magic Circle”, to schools. It was designed by Dr. Valo Palomares and his ex-wife, Geraldine. The structured circle sessions helped children feel at home in the affective domain–the world of feelings. From that training in Magic Circle and my own doctoral dissertation (an experiment about emotions and our language of origin), I came to value the use of a circle as a place for groups to participate. My Women’s Wisdom group always sits in a circle. Each gets a fair share of the time, there are no “put-downs” and we listen to each other respectfully. So, I recommend that you hold meetings in the circle, much like the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. There is a chance we can create Camelot again. It works in families, in churches, and in business meetings.
Someone asked for my latest reading list. Here are the books Paul and I are studying these days:
These ideas are forming after studying the book by Patrick Lencioni, “Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars”.
FOUR INTERNAL SILOS THAT OPERATE LIKE EXTERNAL SILOS AND ONE SILO OF HOPE:
I. The SURVIVAL silo
Habit and tradition
Fear and victimization
LMNOP (I love the alphabet)
I had a really big experience this week. Interface Flor brought me in to New York for some workshops on “How Full Is Your Bucket?” The Interface showroom is a beautiful facility with great design and all the stunning new products displayed. That, in itself, was a treat. The new carpet tiles are so beautiful and still are meeting the Zero Footprint goal of environmental Sustainability. Congratulations to David Oakey and his design team. I especially admired the pattern called “Vermont”. Beautiful!!