As I was participating in one of Nina Brown’s lovely S.T.A.R. a NOW State of Being Google+ Hangouts, I started seeing some interesting relationships between the S.T.A.R. (Surrender, Trust, Allow, Receive) approach and Don Miguel Ruiz‘s original Four Agreements (be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, always do your best). Now that I look at all of them again together like this, I have this definite yin/yang feeling running through my mind. S.T.A.R. has this receptive set of concepts attached to it, where Ruiz’s agreements have striving, relating-actively-to-others, sensibility. Not aggressive, of course, but actively curious and integral in your actions (asking questions rather than making assumptions, being integral in word and deed, doing your best). Fascinating.
Wait, now, don’t go there. Yeah, we could play the masculine vs. feminine game, but it doesn’t quite work that way. The S.T.A.R. concepts actually originated with James F. Jereb and were passed on to Nina Brown. And Don Miguel received his shamanic training from his mother. So, both visionaries carry a balanced and integrated legacy forward into the New Age. Pretty cool, eh?
Although S.T.A.R. seems focused on the individual’s path to inner peace and personal manifestation, and the Four Agreements seem more about the connections of self to others and how we behave in the world, I’m finding the more I look at them, the more these systems seem complementary, and the more I see their actual common foundation.
On the surface, it looks like one would start with a S.T.A.R. perception and attitude to what happens to us in the world and then use the Four Agreements to actually act in the world. But when Nina began talking about the next phase of her vision, the Fascinated Observer, then the two systems really came together for me. Nina’s fascinated observer detaches herself from emotional reactions to a given situation, instead using the S.T.A.R. principles to let go of anxious attachments, thus allowing more loving results to form. What we anticipate is often what occurs, so the fascinated observer, as I understand him, steps back mentally and emotionally to Allow for a peaceful resolution of any challenge.
Meanwhile, if we look closely at Don Miguel’s agreements, we can see that they are all based on the same fascinated observer’s position in relation to events and people in the world. The key to inner peace here is to again let go (Surrender) our attachments to being “right” or seeing certain results, and Trusting in our own integrity to Allow circumstances to evolve to Receive the best conclusion for ourselves and all those around us. Muddying the water with our own desires for control or trying to use deception to manipulate circumstances will only lead to pain for all concerned. Being impeccable with our word allows us to present a transparent being to the situation so things will be clear, and not taking things personally is definitely the way of the fascinated observer. The fascinated observer is also “fascinated” and therefore curious, so she will not make assumptions about a situation, but will ask questions to clarify instead of trying to force a desire outcome. Doing our best then becomes a natural outgrowth of letting go of specific results (S.T.A.R.).
This way, Nina Brown’s Fascinated Observer naturally keeps Don Miguel’s Four Agreements with total integrity and consistency.
There you go. If you haven’t explored either of these two awesome visions and visionaries, check out their books below and sign up for their workshops and hangouts to practice these wonderful wisdom paths.
And let me know what you think of the connections I’ve made here. I’d love to know!