In the pursuit for more presence in life (and over the holidays), yesterday I summarized one of  the first Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, from his book that blows up self-limiting beliefs through a simple and effective “code of personal conduct”. Today, I get into one of the most FREEING agreements of them all.

Don’t take anything personally. BOOM!

When you begin to know the storyteller that resides inside yourself  (review agreement 1), you understand the way others act around and towards you is really fueled by THEIR storyteller. Basically, projecting the lies they’ve gathered throughout their life experience. This is where you can finally know (and possibly say) –

“This about you, not me.”

Knowing this, helps us disengage in the pattern of being ‘hooked’ by their words and believing the biggest lie which was that how they were acting or what they were saying was because there was something wrong with us.

When we were kids we never had a choice about what to believe because everything we agreed to believe was imposed on us.  Sadly we create a lot of our stories as innocent children who interpret these interactions in very simple terms.

“I must have done something wrong. I’m not okay. Who I am and what I do is bad. I am bad.”

Now, we have the opportunity we didn’t have  when we were kids.

We get to tell a new story.

Our new story can be based on the truth that resided in us BEFORE we grew up and absorbed the lies (beliefs, expectations, roles, responsibilities) imposed on us.

Look at babies. They are the fullest, truest expression of themselves. They don’t quiet themselves down for fear of upsetting anyone or hurting their feelings. They don’t play small or shrink. They are larger than life in terms of their spirit. They are open to give and receive love to the fullest.

In not taking anything personally anymore, we liberate our self from the suffering of believing it was always about us, our value or our worth. It never had anything to do with us – and in this new place we can STOP continuing the cycle of spreading emotional poison.

Allowing this agreement into my life, liberated me in ways I never imagined. It had be immediately become acutely aware of other people acting out their stories and paying attention to how I interpreted those actions. I became a skilled detective about what was mine and what was theirs.  With every old reaction and dicey interaction, I was empowered to examine my thoughts and look for the story I was telling myself about what was happening. Doing this allowed me to sift out what felt really true and what felt like someone else’s story. It didn’t mean I became immune to reacting or having my feelings hurt.How people treat you is their path.How

With practice and the willingness to get curious about what is really going on in me, I continue to learn more my own evolution and grow more confident in my own skin reconciling all the misunderstandings I’ve collected over the years. As these layers continue to unravel and disappear (note there is no end destination) my level of authenticity increases and with it come a LOT MORE FUN.

Not taking anything personally also allows more room and space for compassion to show up when people are on the attacking. Sometimes its possible to rise above it and love them regardless of what’s shaking out and other times we know to walk away from these experiences. Either way, we become more empowered in our own experience.

All of the above being said, I don’t think this is about never getting “hooked”. I still get hooked. Not as often, but it still happens.

The difference now is that I’m not victimizing myself as the first one in line to throw under the bus. I have this sense that reason I’m reacting so strongly is because whatever emotion is arising, is doing so because it’s ready to be felt and released back to wherever it came from. I embrace the process knowing it’s mine. And afterwards (not in the moment – I’m not that friggen Zen) when I feel lighter and clearer , I feel DEEP appreciation and relief that it’s gone.

I see these triggers as opportunities for my own growth and I become increasingly grateful to not just what comes from the process but to who helped me discover it. Now THAT was a surprise to me in this bizarre ride.

Or, what I commonly call (in spiritual terms of course) turning a F*CK YOU into a THANK YOU. 

(she throws down the mic and exits)


Keri-Anne Livingstone is a Mom of two boys under five, a Wife and former Corporate Marketing Professional who transformed her “unconscious” life in every way by exploring one powerful concept – Daring to Suck. Today she serves the world as Certified Professional Coach, Speaker and Author-In-Progress daring men, women, professionals and entrepreneurs to unleash their authentic self and “come alive” in their life and work. Keri-Anne demonstrates when we listen to our heart, leap into the unknown and TRUST…. that amazing experiences and our full potential are waiting on the other side of resistance, hesitation and fear.