Dashing Through Life in a One Horse Open Sleigh…………..

English: Sloes on a blackthorn hedge, near Tha...

The hedge along the Phoenix Trail had a profusion of fruit, nuts and berries at the end of August.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are you doing with your dash? I presume since you are reading this, you do not yet have a dash. Or, to be more precise, you do have a dash, but hopefully it is a dangling dash. The dash I speak of is that little straight line between the year you were born and the year you die. For instance, my dash I hope will be 1953 – 2073~yes I am planning on living 120 years. (That is why I can call myself middle-aged.) Apparently living to 120 is not all that far-fetched as long as I eat a lot of live culture yogurt and nuts and berries and keep to my walking routine (which is trying to keep up with my walking partner who walks very fast….)

Anyway, back to the dash. In 1996 a woman by the name of Linda Ellis wrote a poem called “The Dash” and it was picked up by a lot of funeral homes. Now there is quite a tight copyright on the poem as I guess she was none too happy that a lot of people were using her words without accreditation/payment. (Something I understand.) So I will not use her poem here except a short excerpt where she asks “would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent YOUR dash….?”

Dash is of course her euphemism for life. I have decided that the best way to use my dash is to try and follow the four agreements set out by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book of the same name:

1. Be impeccable with your word.

2. Don’t take anything personally.

3. Don’t make assumptions.

4. Always do your best.

These are not easy ways to spend your life, but I cannot think of a better way to try and find my bliss than by at least trying to keep these agreements.

Do you think the four agreements are a way to find bliss?

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes I do, and I am definitely a work in progress….I may never reach the above four agreements but what is life without a goal.

  2. I’m not sure if the 4 agreements is a way to find bliss, but they are a great guideline for being authentic and someone others can respect. I guess that would be bliss after all.

  3. I do agree with these four agreements. I think bliss sometimes just comes as the result of good karma, but then good karma would come from following the four agreements.

    • very true — though the four agreements are not particularly easy–they are what I aspire to

  4. 3. Don’t make assumptions
    I think if I could take this one to heart then I wouldn’t have a problem with #2. Don’t take anything personally.

    I think they are good guiding principles for life in general. I can see why you want to live by them in order to identify bliss. Good luck.
    Cat x

  5. Love these. Love this post, Lou Ann. LIVE your life is another one if you know what I mean. And tell the people you love, that you love them frequently. What a wonderful post — I needed this. Thank you my friend.

    • LIVE your life is so important — we forget to do this and it is a shame. We tell each other we love each other at lot at my house–something we did not do growing up – though it was a given

  6. I think the Four Agreements are very cool. Have enjoyed reading Don Ruiz. However, I think that each of us are so unique that we need our own unique agreements with Spirit. And only we can figure out what they may be. (In order to make our dash the most worthwhile of all.) I love reading blogs like this!

  7. I loved these books and truthfully, once I started practicing these agreements my life seemed to balance itself and I was (am) so much happier.
    Wonderful Monday post!!

  8. I’m going to have to look up Ruiz now.. I think I try to live by #4, but the other three principles come a little harder for me. It’s worth working on.

    • they sound simple but are not easy at all — I try and fail, try and fail, but I keep trying

  9. I love this post. The dash idea is great. I, too, have hopes of living a good long life – as long as technology kicks in and Dr.’s can dispense a pill that acts as the fountain of youth, then I’m good to go. haha!

    Seriously. I try to practice the four agreements. I think it gets slightly easier as we get older. We lose the ego and so don’t take things personally. I’ve been wrong too many times so I steer away from assumptions. When I was young my word was not so impeccable, as you found out in my concert going post. LOL! All in all, I do try my best and I think that covers the other three agreements.
    As my son likes to say, “The best I can be is me.” (That’s when I’d roll the newspaper up and swat him on the head. (This was his clever answer for everything during high school.) haha!

    • I think you are right, as we get older we see the wisdom in the agreements and though they are tough they are worth it — I think we all have stories to tell from our youth (though yours was better than many of mine) but now we are mature grown up people, or at least that is what my age is telling me — my mind is a different thing though

  10. I think I’ve got #3 & #4 down pretty well. #1 almost – #2 ummm….still a long ways to go. I take things personal even if they are not towards me (Toward a loved one – for example).

    • a lot of times I think we take things harder when it is directed at someone we love

  11. #2 is always a hard one for me, even as I consciously remind myself not to. I’m getting better at #3 but it kind of gets tied to #2 because in making assumptions, I assume the worst and thus take things the wrong way. But I do agree that with these four things, life would become pretty blissful for me! 🙂

    • I find two and three difficult too — I try to not take things personally, but sometimes it is hard — but it would be bliss if I could

  12. Well, I do always try to do my best. The rest I am not too good at. The dash. Life. It is such a grand and vast thing to wrap your brain around.

    • it is–and to take responsibility for –that is what I am trying to learn–that my bliss is my responsibility

  13. These four agreements have been the difference between me losing it, and coping and then rising above it. They are so simple and so profound… and there’s much more to them than meets the eye!!!

    • they seem simple but they have a depth that if you can fathom you have it made- I am still working on it

  14. 120 years. I wish you luck. that would help me with my goals. Why didn’t I think of that when I named my blog?

    • gives you more time to reach all your goals–you have set your standards hight–but why not?

  15. Yup, you and I are going to live forever and stay immature the entire time but still try to follow the four agreements at the same time right? The Dash is one of my favourite poems, and it has deep meaning for me as my son, Bryan, read it out loud at my father-in-law’s funeral.

    • It is a beautiful poem in that it makes you think–for sure we are going to live forever but stay immature–maturity is a true life killer–working with those three agreements and trying to achieve them takes a lifetime – enjoy your vacation–wish I were there

      • I wish you were too – we could cause some serious damage LOL!!

      • oh yes we could! Thelma and Louise (without the killing) watch out!

      • We would have to have lots of chocolate on hand to keep our energy levels up though right?

      • absolutely – you cannot party on healthy food alone–where is that lampshade?

      • What colour would you like? And do you want tassels hanging from it? 🙂

      • Tassels for sure–chartreuse (sp?) would be nice

      • Done! 🙂

  16. I think that most people try naturally try to be honest and do their best. They work on trying to not take things personally, but I don’t think they think that much about not making assumptions. Some things seem so obvious to us, that we don’t even consider that it could be different for others. And that causes a lot of problems from wars, political battles, and small family arguments.
    However, I may be making an assumption about all of this. 🙂

    • I think sometimes assumptions if based on facts are allowed — but I suppose if they are based on fact they are no longer assumptions. Yes I think we all try to keept the four agreements–but it is not as easy as it sounds!

  17. There is an inner rebel inside that makes me fail at pre-set goals and commitments. I am better at trying to decipher the jumble of Rules for “Dash” scrambling around my head for attention. But, maybe at 120 we will know if we really did do our best.

    • I am kind of like that too– my husband gets so frustrated that I do not like to plan, but I find that plans fall apart–and believe the saying “Man plans, God laughs”


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