Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I was cleaning out a section of a closet last weekend and found a small box containing a card deck of Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements. His book is divided into four main concepts:

  1. Don't Make Assumptions

  2. Be Impeccable With Your Word

  3. Don't Take Anything Personally

  4. Always Do Your Best

It's been a couple (five?) years since I read the book and apparently I also bought a deck of cards to use as daily or weekly affirmations/reminders. I think the main concepts were written on cards to make them portable but I'm thinking I could also use them as writing prompts.

And since I seem to have been extra sensitive this week to coworkers' comments, I think I'll start with a card from the Don't Take Anything Personally stack.

  • Ignore the Opinions of Others: Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don't take it personally. Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so whatever they think about you is not about you, but it is about them.

Good advice to remember I think. Except I have trouble remembering it. Maybe I should put the cards in my lunch bag so I can see it a couple of times a day? Anyone have a suggestion for keeping an intention front and center during the day? Because that's how I see this exercise, as trying to incorporate a positive intention into my daily-ness. And I don't think I was particularly successful at it this week. Hmmm.

Just read this blog and it reminded me of when my girls were little. As we started getting busy with preschool and library story times and all the other things one does as a stay at home mom, I realized I wanted to make sure we took time to slow down and just be, so I tried to have one day a week be "jama day", a day to stay in our pajamas and read and relax and slow down, without doing chores or errands or any of the other things that cause mamas of little ones to stress out and forget the reason we stayed home in the first place. It was nice remembering those days. I know my girls remember days like that even now, despite the fact that they're 21 and 26 years old.

I'll try and get some photos this weekend, despite the weather forecast of cloudy and rainy. I'm still working on the baby blanket squares although I need to quit and work on some washcloths for my mom's Mother's Day gift. I want to make a trio for her in pastel colors, her favorite. So far I messed up the first and second one, so I'm behind schedule. (how does one mess up a washcloth pattern? You'd be surprised how easy it is.)


  1. I have messed up dish cloths. I think it's because we think that they're so easy we don't have to pay attention.

    How to keep an affirmation front and center is kind of hard. Maybe you could assign a concept to one each of 4 bracelets and wear whichever one is appropriate for your day. Seeing the bracelet would remind you of the concept.

  2. That's a great idea!! Thanks, I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

  3. On ignoring the opinions of others, I can only say that it's hard. The sentiment you posted is correct though, it speaks more of them than you. I like Stephanie's idea, but I also think these may be good sentiments to share with your classroom. Perhaps writing it on the blackboard is appropriate where all can see and learn.

  4. Another great idea! Especially at the end of the year when we're so focused on test preparation, it's nice to throw a little character/critical thinking education in the mix. Much more interesting. I'll let you know how it goes.