The Four Agreements Author – Don Miguel Ruiz


The Four Agreements

Author – Don Miguel Ruiz

I am on my third reading of books by Don Miguel Ruiz, I have tried to adapt myself to follow some of his teachings, It is not easy. The books can be bought on It is very difficult and a challenge to follow this Toltec method. I wanted to share this with you, as I believe it to be a wonderful way to live. My reason for being on my third reading…it is very difficult to live by, no… it is almost impossible. For those of you that practice these teaching already and are successful I have the greatest respect. For me, I keep trying!  If I could master the four below I would be happy.  They make sense to me.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you will not be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always do your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.


The City of Destiny…


The City of Destiny…

I have the key to the city of destiny.

Through me, you will find the entrance

to everlasting tenderness, to those

who are lost. I myself have built this

imaginary city from beginning to end

with wisdom and love. It has seen

many dauntless days. The entity of life

said I am deathless; I do not die. I feel

distrust, I am a coward in this city of

Will you be fearful if I tell you that this

place is one of doom and darkness, one

of the damned, filled with heartless

secrets? As the darkness closes in on the

city, wailing begins loud the weeping

of unending pain. The voices with

passion filled the night, our souls

dancing in the wind. In this

everlasting night.
A Voice filled the darkness, do you fear

the Lord, the God of many, and then

this voice spoke of hope and death.

There is memory of them on the earth,

those lives that remain behind, and

their outcry does not reach your ears

in this make-believe place. Is there

justice beyond these walls, move

quickly or you will be doomed. The

souls are unnumbered.
I thought the whole city as dead, is

this retreat before everlasting life.

I saw the victims all naked and loud.

Weak and painful, some with blood

upon their faces. I gazed forward

and beg for daybreak to end all this

and me, wake me before it is too late.

Before me is nothing, a fearful abyss.
Then demons rose, one after the other

descending into the chasm. The evil

seed of the demon did this throughout

the endless night. I lay there silent with

an unspoken thought, he will come, and

he will spur justice and fear for those

that are within his reach, those that call

his name.
Then the ground began to tremble. It was

a terrifying sound. The wind rose and a

blood red moon cast its light upon the earth

where we stood. I sank further into the

dreadful dream hammering me with

waves of fear.

Wake up!




A Place of Reality…



A Place of Reality…

I have spoke of horrifying things, are these

weak words built from understanding. I am

neither a coward nor a saint, my thoughts

are clear, my plan open to change. There are

times when I live in the “Outer Place”, where

no one can get to me where no one knows me

where I will not be bothered by human drama.
There is no place that I can flee; I fear I was

born too early or maybe too late. At night I

dream of heaven, I traveled from star to star.

Do I have a wish in that dark realm, there

looking toward Earth I see the creation. Heaven

was not open to me, nor was Hell; the dream,

the darkness of night, it was a strange descent

into my place of reality.
It is there in reality that I search for truth, as I

dream, I follow a dark stream to the sea, and it

is there that I find a sacred place for me to

dwell. The place that I dwell is not for the faint

hearted, it is on this path that I find my true

worth, within time I find whom I may follow.

There are no more delays to this life; there will

be no more words. I must travel forward on

this hard and dreadful way.





The End is Near…



The End is Near…

The day is quickly fading, the damp air settles around me

as I look out over the pond. I can hear Earth’s creatures

toiling under the fallen branches and leaves. I must face

another bitter cold night, alone. The power of

disappointment overtakes me; the night will be long and

fearful. My mind strains vainly to remember a time gone,

a time that no longer exist.
I lie in a darkness that grows deeper and menacing, fearing

that I might dream of him that I may have pressed too far in

remembrance, fearing, that which is no longer living. I have

lived life and crossed the infernal sea of violence; I have

endured both his fate and mind. I have walled up a world

around me; here my rules overcome his victory. I must stop

this madness and put to rest that moment in time that lies

behind me.

In the darkness, I try to remember the truth of my salvation.

I have seen unspeakable things on this road called life. The

words I speak of now are weak, weaker than those spoken

without wisdom in the past. I rise, my steps in the darkness

sound magnanimous in this bare floored room, and my

cowardness is born. Am I infirmed with fear, I am scared of

the beast living in my mind, in the shadows that cover my

eyes. I dwell within hope of heaven and fear of hell.

O Lord, I stand in the light of your wisdom, I praise your

presence. I fear the hurt of hell. I was faithful, his judgments

were poor and he broke all promises. I aided him as long as

he was on this earth; it was I that lived in anguish not he. It

was death that threatened him, he never lived in dread, and

he broke all of your commands. I must always turn away as

my eyes fill with tears; I beg you hasten my life. No more

words, no more displays, I have lived that rigid and frightful

way too long. The end is near.


Books by Author at


The Nightmare..



Last night, I sensed emptiness, a darkness closing

around me. I wondered did I stray too far off the

path that God had set for me to follow in this life.

The darkness was bottomless and menacing it

would not release me from my fear. Terror like the

cold hands of death and panic assumed a position

around me.

I had let no one know of the fear that had imprisoned

my spirit and soul every night when I went to bed

the darkness suffocated me. I felt hopeless with no

guidance, the hours passed slowly, I do not wake.

When sunlight appeared in my window and the

night was no more, the desecrated black waste

hung over me. What was it that I experienced

during the night, Hell!

I rose from where I lay and found my feet up

on a another path that was unknown to me, it

was a lighted way and when I look back toward

where I had lay there was nothing but rushing

muddy waters. There should be no water where

I slept. My eyes surveyed all that and I stood

quietly in a whirlpool of my own fears. Why

can I not wake from this sleep?

Fear rose in my throat, choking me. I could not

breathe, the light of mercy will never shine

upon me again. I walked through a valley, I

tried to climb out, there was nothing in the

landscape before me or behind me, no sun,

no sky, no trees, no homes, nothing. I slumped

to the ground where I stood. There is no breath,

had creation ended? I lifted my head tossing

back the once brown flowing mane, suddenly

white as a winter’s snow.

I screamed this darkness does not own me,

nor my heart and soul. I had not been

unfeeling in life. Oh Creator cleanse my soul,

deliver me from this inferno where I stand

among the bones of those who have gone

before me. I heard a voice call to me in the

darkness, I wanted to wake from this

nightmare, I wanted to be safe, and I wanted

my spirit and soul to feel the sun as it rises

in the morning.

Here in this darkness my life is shown to

me, and I remembered everything, from

beginning to the soon to be end. I moved

slowly in the dense darkness, my mind

moved from time to time good days and

bad days. The abuse times still burnt into

my mind. There is no hope, no safe place

for me. What is that I see a sliver of

sunlight penetrates my eyes and mind?

I was not dead and I cried releasing

myself from the darkness and void that

had taken over my body and mind. I

live for another day, God has given

me another chance.



Realm of Peace…



Once again the New Year speeds by and one week of winter weather has our town wrapped in a cluster of snow and cold where going outside is not a thrill.  The Holidays over, many having to return to work, the downside of the season grips us as well, leaving many with a gloominess that is hard to get rid of…


I was thinking about a conversation I overheard during the holidays and from it came the poem below.  I believe that we are the masters of our own universe; that if one has lived allowing others to control their life; then break the bondage and learn to be the master of your own world.  If one had rather let another control their life and the reason is that it removes them from any responsibility; sadly this may cause one to live behind a wall of truth, living a lie.  There is no magic potion to take that will bring back the world of no responsibility, it is clearly dead and at some point everyone has to pay the price that life imposes upon us all, that is to be responsible and find some measure of happiness while there is time.


May all of you be blessed in the coming days of this New Year, remembering that you are important and deserve to be happy.


Realm of Peace…
Life may be that of a pawn, caring for others and boring toil; moments of memory shows no beauty and grace, and chaos is written in the lines upon their face. Chaos is painful as life rewinds, unfolding, sadly to a different time. As weakness causes one to hide behind the veil of truth where they are miserable, lost, waiting for a magical being, an Angel to bring happiness and wealth into one’s life.
Voices speak, penetrating the unhappiness suffered through time; like waves beating upon the shore and passes quickly, as sand returning to the sea. Between the swirls of time one may ask, “Who I am”; defeat the ache of disappointments and this miserable burden will go away. Who in this anguished world possesses your soul? Look pass the ruse of your own life and rise to carry yourself into a peaceful realm of tomorrow.



Dreaming Life is Fine, Fine as Honeydew Wine…



I walked down the dusty road toward Flint Creek; I sat on the bridge, muddy rushing water twenty feet below the bridge. I was a motherless child, I could not think, I slid with ease off the rough planks into the Creek; I sank.

I broke the muddy water with unrestrained speed, I rose from the dank depths and gasp for air, the second time I emerged I swam to the slippery bank heaved myself onto its clay sides and I cried. The water was cold; I wiped the tears from my eyes, if it had not been for the Angel I would have died.

Yes, there beneath the cold muddy water swam an Angel, she smiled shaking her head; go home she spoke softly in my ear, life is not always fair but you have nothing to fear.

I was at the fork of the road, one road lead home the other up the mountain where the sheer cliffs towered over the land. I stood there, I hollered, I stood there and I cried; I was a motherless child.




The Chickasaw – Part 8


The Chickasaw – Part 8

Sipsee and Jane thought life at Chadwick Manor was worse than they could have imagined witnessing pain and sorrow.  They also learned to live in a world where freedom was recognized only by the color of one’s skin; they learned that the world they lived in showed hatred for both the Negro and the Indian people.  The Indians were mostly free in many of the states that withdrew from the Union.

They would learn how to survive…

Jane had wonderful memories of her mother and father; she also had nightmares of seeing her father killed and of the Master of Chadwick coming to their one room shanty during the night.  The sadness of moving from the forest onto land where she was surrounded by cotton, and living with her mother’s sadness, Jane knew that both she and her mother would need to learn a new way to survive.

As a favor to Sipsee, Mistress Chadwick-Alboin and Master Alboin allowed Jane to be schooled along with their daughter;  Jane learned  reading and writing, elegant manners.  Her mother told her that an education was the only way she would escape from being an Indian; Sipsee wanted her only child to do extremely well in this new land, to be accepted in any social setting.  Jane did want to learn the white man ways; she would never forget that she was the daughter of Hawk Over-Town.

Their home may have been a one room shanty in slave quarters, but it was home; Jane was a tall gangly girl that did not have the beauty of her mother, instead she was to bare the hard sculpted features of her father.  She felt safe when she and her mother were roaming the woods collecting herbs and plants for medicine.  Sipsee would teach Jane the ways of their people, the custom, the culture, they would grow strong and some day be more than slaves to rich landowners.  Sipsee wanted to see the day when she and her daughter did not have to address these people as Missus and Master.

Then War came to Chadwick Manor…

The State of Alabama declared that it had seceded from the United States of America on January 11, 1861.  Jane was thirteen-years-old; she had learned many things like gracefulness and proper manners; Sipsee had succeeded in keeping her daughter from the Master, now she had to worry about the soldiers both Union and Southern, neither respected women.  It was during the beginning of the war that Sipsee found out about other Chickasaw’s living in the area; the Mistress of Chadwick sent them there to be safe, neither side Union or Southern bothered the Indians.  When they arrived everyone greeted them, they were shown kindness; it would be their home until the War Between the States was over.

Jane right up to the end of her life would not talk about the War.  She and her mother were happy when it ended; Jane was seventeen-years-old.   She would only say that the greed of the white man would be their downfall.  Sipsee and Jane remain in the Chickasaw village when the War ended.

It was there that Jane met Pap.  He was a scout for the South, and Jane just became a teenager and was smitten by him.  Sipsee did not care for him as he was twenty years older than Jane was; Sipsee hoped that he would not come back; Jane felt a sadness she could not explain.  

To be continued…

Story Resources:

Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father.

Grandson – Roy C. Johnson

Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter




The Chickasaw – Part 3


I will continue the story of my great great- grand parents and of course…Ma.

“I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.  This was to be the father of Jane Over-town “Ma”.

Hawk grew into a man that was respected by all, as his father one day he would hold a powerful place among his people.  He also was in love with a pleasing to the eye, Choctaw girl named Sipsee; she was named after the Cottonwood tree.  He knew that she loved him too.  They had known each other all their lives.  Hawk had watched her grown from a skinny weed into a beautiful exquisite flower.

All of their lives were changed with the removal of all Native Americans from their ancestral lands.  The grandparents were all gone, Hawk was glad that his grandfather did not live to see them removed from their home.  Hawk, his parents, Sipsee, and her parents packed what they could for survival and all herd together to a holding pen.  Hawk could see that all people of his ancestral blood as well as other tribes.

They all spoke softly among themselves about what was happening and of the strange land, they were taking them too.  What use to be a proud people, they were now faltering under degrading conditions. Many elders, young children and babies died as all were herded like cattle on a dusty path.   Many years later, this action by the white man against the Indians would be called “The Trail of Tears”.

Ma had not yet been born but her parents believed that what would have been her grandparents died before reaching the end of their journey…


Resource – Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton”
1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was
Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything,
It was her body that was ready for death; she lay
down for an afternoon nap and woke only to
say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter


Looking at a blank page – Part 1


I am so drained by the actions of the President of the United States, all politicians, lobbyist, protesters, those who hate, destroy or wish to destroy history; the news media, you get the idea… I must return to my safe place within my mind to rest.  That place is the blank page before me where thoughts come alive and I remember the stories of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”.

   She told me of Fosee, a descendant of many generations of warriors.  Born in a round birch bark dwelling in the circle of a Chickasaw Over Town Tribe in what would later become Eastern Mississippi. His father had given him the name Fosee; the meaning of that name was “Bird”.   The other boys teased him because of his tall skinny body; they would jeer at him and run away singing “Little Bird, Little Bird, fly away”.   So, he played alone, kicking around the Chukka Ball in the open yard in the middle of the town’s circle of dwellings; he hunted small animals.

   Fosse’s father held a place of importance in the tribe; he was a powerful warrior, a skilled hunter.  His mother was an exotic looking woman from a Choctaw Tribe in what would become Alabama Territory.  Her beauty and gentle nature were the reasons his father has chosen her to be his bride.  Fosee was their only child, living in the same dwelling with his parents and grandparents.

   He remembered all of his grandparents.  Yet. it was his Chickasaw grandfather that he loved most.  He remembered the elegant clothes and colorful beading sewn onto the soft deerskins by his grandmother.  His grandfather’s white hair flowed about his shoulders and when he would go to the river with him to bathe, Fosee could see the dark skin engraved with the scars of war. 

   Fosee would listen to the stories his grandfather told around the cooking fires, he would see his eyes soften and glisten when he talked of the loss of family and friends in battle.  Fosee was just a boy when all four of his grandparents died from a disease brought into many villages’ by the white man.

Fosee was my great-great-grandfather…   

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree-Part 1- Fosee

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