Thursday, July 15, 2010

Co-creation: Become an Artist of Life

When I was a teenager I came across "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz and it changed my life. Ruiz was so clear, so simple, so honest in his articulation of the Truth, it helped me through a very difficult time, and I have carried his teachings with me ever since.

Lately I've been contemplating what Ruiz calls "the victim & the judge". The victim and the judge are like two characters that the ego likes to identify itself with, two archetypes, if you will, that often unconsciously dominate our experience. The "victim" perceives life as happening to her, rather than with her, she feels small, stuck, trapped on the hamster wheel of samsara (the wheel of suffering). The "judge"is exactly what it sounds like: harsh, critical, rigid, perfectionistic, perpetually trying to control the world by judging it; no matter what happens, it's insufficient & unworthy to the judge, no one and nothing are ever good enough. Sound familiar? Clearly, this tendency of the ego to misidentify itself does not serve to enhance our life, rather it increases the feeling of limitation and powerlessness. So how do we get out of this victim/judge cycle?

We do yoga. And we learn how to become artists of life, using every experience as an opportunity to unfold our self and create the life that we want for ourselves, the planet and all of its creatures.

Yoga is the place of the middle, between the victim and the judge, between the helpless and the overbearing. Yoga literally means "to engage yourself", to engage your body, to engage your mind & heart, and as a result, to engage your life as the empowered co-creator of reality. We are neither the victim of our experience, nor so arrogant as to believe that we are in complete control of it. Instead we are actively receptive, empowered to receive whatever life is offering us (even when we don't like it) and empowered to use that experience to create the life that we want. Co-creation inherently means that we don't get to choose everything that happens to us in our life, but we do get to choose how we engage with whatever life is offering, in this way we become artists instead of judges. Furthermore, we do get to choose what it is that we want for our life, for ourselves, for the planet, and future generations. By knowing what we want, we become deeply empowered and deeply responsible, no longer the victim.

A beautiful practice that you can use on or off the mat is asking yourself the 3 questions of Yoga:

What do you want?
Why do you want it?
What are you going to do about it?

As soon as you engage these 3 questions, you are no longer the victim or the judge, but the empowered artist skillfully weaving the desires of your heart into the fabric of the universe.

Written by Amy Reed


  1. Thank you for this beautiful, inspiring, and energizing post Amy! It made my day. :)

  2. Thank you, Amy! This is really inspiring & I am now really looking forward to reading the 5th agreement...
    Soon after I read your blog article, I was reading an essay by Alice Walker that, for me, spoke to the three questions of Yoga and the "weaving" you write about. Walker made a statement about her children's generation, and their ability (their option, maybe?) to root in love, truth, and justice while responding to painful legacies.

    "We can say with conviction that anything they love can be sheltered by their love; anything they truly love can be saved. First in their own hearts, and then in the hearts of others. They have only to make their love inseparable from their belief. And both inseparable from hard work."

  3. Dear Amy-ji - ॐ -

    have you posted a blog somewhere using your vocabulary of worthiness and unworthiness? you make such a useful statement, and there are a couple of people who haven't come to Yoga-Sanctuary that I would like to share your words with.