Day 8: Cultural Contracts
You have entered the World of Agreements, boldly going where few dare to venture. The first aspect to look at is around cultural contracts - the agreements that are forced upon you by the society in which you live. There are many of these types of agreements that you have accepted over the years simply by "following the rules." That is not to say that the rules of society are necessarily bad, nor to say that they are good - the point here is that there are agreements you have lived your life by that you did not choose.
When you were in school as a kid you were taught the values of money and time. You were even tested to see if you understood how to tell time and how to count money, but chances are you were never asked if you agreed to the systems time or money, you were just expected to adhere to them because that is one of the conditions you must accept in order to be a functioning member of society. This goes further than just time and money, this extends into laws and expectations of behavior when you enter new lands. You have no choice to agree to the laws that are enforced, but there are definite punishments if you act outside of these laws - which you also did not agree to.
Aside from living completely off the grid, growing your own food, gathering your own water, etc. there is some necessity in following the rules of the society in which you live. You cannot disregard the law and continue to live among those who respect it without facing the consequences. So what do you do about it?
The answer is this: just because you did not create the agreements that define the ways in which you does not mean you are powerless. First, you can release any bitterness, any resentment around the fact that these conditions were forced upon you. Then, you can powerfully choose to agree to the rules of the society in which you live. This allows you to take your power back and it keeps you accountable because you have made the conscious agreement to follow the rules. Also, when you are able to transform your relationship to time and money (which you will do later this week), you become the master of your time and money will flow into your life in a way that is empowering. Any time you can create or recreate a relationship based on solid, conscious agreements you empower not only yourself but with everyone else involved as well.
When it comes to agreements, always remember:
Read the fine print!
Don't go unconscious at the last minute; take the time to educate yourself before you agree.
1. What are some of the cultural contracts that you had to accept as a kid? Do you still live by these agreements? Are they serving you in any way?
2. What are some of the cultural contracts you have accepted over the years? Are you forced to live by any today? What is the effect of these contracts on you emotionally? Mentally? Physically?
In case you missed it, here is your World of Agreements Call. PLUS, this week, try out this Attention Training: Finding Your Voice. The focus is on asking for what you want and sharing something vulnerable - two key elements in making clean agreements. Also, this Attention Training focuses on speaking onstage, which is one place where you get to create the agreements with your audience.