In the past few weeks I have experienced some heightened drama coming from my middle school students. Much could explain this phenomenon, such as cold and snowy weather, the winter blues, and standardized testing season, nonetheless, I chose to add and connect the practice of mindfulness to the wisdom of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
I decided to write on the board and planned to explain some new rules, expectations, and agreements for the class…
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 won’t 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.
I keep the Four Agreements listed on the board and refer to them everyday. In addition, these connect directly to my daily mindfulness PAUSE practice I walk the students through. I think most students try to keep these ideas at the front of their mind while in rehearsal and connecting it further to their life and the music we perform. I have noticed a slight change in overall energy and awareness toward being more mindful of gossip. Also, I have noticed a change in my troubled and challenged student due to the other students being impeccable with their own words and doing their best. The benefits of putting your attention on things you want to expand.
Drama at the middle school level is almost always running at a high level so any help with addressing this drama is always welcome. The Four Agreements are some of the greatest and simplest ways to live a better and happier life. I think if any of my students pick-up only one or a few of these ideas and develop them, not only will middle school and high school be better, but life in general.
How do you address drama in your life?
Do you have any toxic gossip stories and how you addressed them?
Try to live by and teach the Four Agreements…
How are you doing? Share your experiences.