March 2013

April 7, 2013

After enthusiastically sharing The Four Agreements with many of my coaching clients and emphasizing to them how important it is to strive to follow these foundations for Integrity if they want their life to flow with ease, fun and prosperity, I managed to personally break ALL FOUR Agreements in one day – in 10 minutes, in fact! Here’s what happened:

I was talking to a gentleman who has been my purpose coaching client for just about a month. I didn’t know him before he was referred to me, and we had not yet formed much of a personal “bond.”

I came home at the end of the afternoon from a day spent on the road. It was a great day, but I was tired when I got home from fighting rush hour traffic, and was dismayed to realize that I was scheduled for a 90-minute coaching session with him before I could relax and have some dinner.

The truth was that I just didn’t look forward to making the effort to re-focus my energy and give him my BEST coaching. I just wanted to put my feet up and spend time with my husband.

So without giving it much thought, I did something I try to do very rarely, but must do from time to time when a personal emergency or illness interferes with my coaching schedule: I asked him if we could reschedule the call.  He paused for a few beats and then said, “I don’t want to go forward anymore. I think we need to end our coaching.”

He was firing me on the spot!  I thought I must have misunderstood, so I asked him why?  He replied, “You rescheduled last week when you had a cold and I understand that. But I made plans to be ready tonight and I am not comfortable with changing our plans again.  I believe Intention equals Results and I don’t think you are the right coach for me.”

As I sat in stunned silence, my initial reaction came from pure Ego: How DARE he!  Doesn’t he know how dedicated I am?  Doesn’t he realize that my clients reschedule their appointments fairly frequently, and yet I try to be flexible whenever I can?  Once I found my voice again, I just said, “Good luck!” in a curt tone and we hung up.

The next morning, the reality hit me instantly: I had broken ALL of the Four Agreements that Don Miguel Ruiz says are the necessary foundation for creating a life that looks like “Heaven.” And I have always told my clients that they can’t expect to manifest their heartfelt dreams if they are not willing to live in integrity!

Oh boy.  How frighteningly easy it had been for me to break all of the Four Agreements in one 10-minute conversation and not even realize I was doing it!  I was:

1)     NOT BEING IMPECCABLE WITH MY WORD by breaking my agreement to coach my client at the appointed hour that night.

2)     TAKING IT PERSONALLY, when he was simply stating what was not working for him in the way I was behaving and standing up for his needs.

3)     MAKING ASSUMPTIONS that he would be “fine” with rescheduling for the second week in a row.


Admitting to breaking the Always do your Best agreement hurt the most.  I pride myself in striving to give my BEST to my clients.  I am human and sometimes I fall short, but I really TRY to put my clients’ needs first. So if someone calls me unexpectedly for “spot” coaching, I usually drop everything to help them.  But I had to be honest with myself that with this client at that moment, I was NOT doing my best.  I could have; I simply chose not to.

After I recognized the ugly truth, I called my now-former client because I didn’t want to leave him feeling disempowered nor to carry my own integrity mistake forward with my other clients. I left him a voice mail, apologizing for my unprofessional tone and assuring him that he had handled himself impeccably.  I also sincerely thanked him for providing me with the wake-up call I needed to be able to give GREAT service in the future.

He emailed me his response, stating that our brief coaching had been valuable to him and that he held no hard feelings.

So I am living proof of Don Miguel Ruiz’s warning that these Four Agreements present an ongoing challenge in ALL of our daily communications and interactions.  We wake up to that challenge anew every day and it is never “handled” as long as we are alive.  Yet, as we consciously practice keeping the Agreements, we will become more aware of them, which makes living according to them easier as time goes on.

I hope you will agree that the effort is worth it, as I share each of the Four Agreements in more detail throughout this month!

P.S. To learn more about Don Miguel Ruiz and The Four Agreements, go to his website at

 March 31, 2013 

Welcome back to A Cup of Caroll!

Yes, it’s been awhile! I’ve missed our connection at the beginning of each week, and I’m very excited and happy to be picking up my “pen” again.

After writing over 100 blogs in a row, I realized that I needed to take a break, but I never imagined it would last almost TWO years! The time has flown by with a LOT of challenges and blessings happening in my own career and personal life.

In the interim, I’ve gained new clarity about HOW and WHY the Law of Attraction works to help us manifest whatever we want to show up in our life. Now, as we resume our weekly chats, I’m eager to share some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned personally and from my clients, which will hopefully make YOUR path smoother. I promise to keep each weekly blog as short and sweet as possible – for your sake as well as mine!

This January, I re-read The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, a licensed medical doctor raised in rural Mexico, who eventually gave up western medicine to practice the ancient wisdom of the Toltec nagals (spiritual masters). I hadn’t read this powerful little paperback for at least a decade, but at the dawn of the New Year, I somehow felt guided to pluck it off my bookshelf.

Re-reading this book had a profound effect on me that I don’t remember feeling the first time around. I’ve been recommending it to my current coaching clients, and I want to share the key teachings from it with you, too.

For the month of April, I’ll discuss each of The Four Agreements, along with some examples of why each one is so important for us to strive to keep on a daily basis.

I’ll begin our discussion next week by “telling one” on myself.  And it’s a doozy!