A Conversation with Don Jose Ruiz

Conscious Life Journal: I would love to hear about your grandmother and how you grew up with this tradition that your family has.

Jose Ruiz: My grandmother was a great teacher, a great mentor who taught me the power of faith, believing in something 100 percent. She always told me that we humans don’t believe in ourselves, we don’t have faith in ourselves, we always doubt ourselves, we make ourselves less. If you really respect yourself and what the Lord has given you in life, you can close your eyes and imagine where genes come from. So when you open your eyes I want you to realize you are an artist. That’s what Toltec means—“artist of the spirit.” With this you can create anything, you can overcome anything, you can achieve anything. The only thing is you have to believe in you.

But you can also use your words against yourself. If we are negative, we open up vortexes of negativity that become our living nightmare, and then we don’t realize we are living a nightmare and we cannot wake up. That’s why it’s important to realize that we can control any weather within us. If we feel sad or nervous or feel an emotional drain, any emotion coming through us, we can change the weather, and this is where we place our faith. In ourselves. This is why it’s beautiful to hear my father’s Agreements, to realize that the kind of life I was leading was just a nightmare that I created. The Four Agreements teaches us to be in our integrity with ourselves. The first time I read it I told my dad, “I know this information.” “Of course you know it,” he said. “Everyone knows it, because it’s integrity talking to integrity.” I said, “Okay, these Agreements are so easy I’m going to master them.” Two weeks later I came to him. “Father, these Agreements are very difficult.” “No,” he said, “these Agreements are easy. What’s difficult are the agreements that you’ve made in your life.” In that moment I knew I was going against my integrity, I was misusing my faith.

Emotions are hard because they make us feel pain, guilt, shame. The moment we stand in the storm and know that we’re going to change it, then we don’t give power to any story that affected us any longer. The stories are not real anymore. In Toltec tradition we unlearn what takes away our inspiration to live life. So I’m grateful to my grandmother because she taught me the power of faith, that we can live any reality we want to. The important thing is to take action when we have that faith in ourselves.

CLJ: How old were you when you woke up?

JR: The first layer of waking up was when I was eleven with the death of my grandfather. I woke up a little bit. But the moment I completely woke up was probably seven years ago when I realized the meaning of my life is to take care of Jose. I realized that myself, my body, my reflection, is my mind who has been loyal to me, but I haven’t been loyal to it. I have to protect myself from myself and not give power to the things that make my life a nightmare. Little by little I began changing my relationships, changing my direction with people. I don’t always have to be right because the truth doesn’t care to be proven or debated, the truth just cares to live and exist.

From this point on I understood the higher pull of the Toltec which means respect, respect for everybody else’s mind, everybody else’s temple, everybody else’s belief system, especially my own. We humans tend to sacrifice our happiness for things that support negativity and we don’t even realize that. But we can begin waking up the artist and being responsible for our actions and knowing that we’re creating something on this earth. When you’re aware that enlightenment is just an act of clean consciousness, and when your consciousness is clean, you are in the state where Egyptians say your heart is like a feather, and you can be in heaven. If your consciousness is not clean, then you’re never going to be in heaven because you’re never going to be at peace. But when you make peace with yourself and keep your consciousness clean, then you don’t have to lie, you don’t have to pretend, you don’t have to wear a mask for anybody, you don’t have to sacrifice, you can be your authentic self without judging yourself.

Everything bad that happened to us was supposed to happen because it happened. And the moment that we begin healing from that something happens to us. This is the beautiful thing about forgiveness, to forgive ourselves for all the lies we have been living, for judging ourselves, for putting ourselves down, for hurting others when we didn’t know any better. Now when we awake we gain consciousness and integrity. We’re responsible for what we create and this becomes like an inner independence. We find our freedom and the freedom isn’t outside the box, it’s within us. We no longer use the word against ourselves or against others.

We’re gathering awareness and negativity is showing its face big time. Because it feels the presence of the truth. It feels the presence of humanity waking up. Whenever there is negativity there comes healing and the healing will come on stronger than the negativity will ever imagine.

CLJ: Do you think that’s what’s happening in our world right now? This is a part of the collective consciousness, that opening to healing?

JR: Absolutely. Our sacred hearts have a calling. There is no accident that the Internet exists because the Internet can give information at the speed of light. Humanity cannot lie, or pretend, or cover up things anymore because the heart is completely awakened. Catastrophes happen around the world because a lot of healers are waking up from many traditions, from religions, from military schools, from different walks of life. The voice of the truth begins to speak up. Everybody begins to be impeccable with their words and we cannot lie to ourselves any longer. That’s why the change begins with ourselves, then it continues in our homes, in our workspace, and it’s not the words that we share, it’s the presence that we carry because this is how we’re communicating. Everything that is happening in this world right now is in perfect timing because we’re ready for change.

This time is the correct time to take this action. And gratitude is the key to freedom. Gratitude to ourselves that we learn to listen, that we accept that we don’t want to be living in lies. We want to be authentic and open-hearted and giving gratitude to our families and our ancestors for giving us this information. It’s an honor to open our hearts and to help change life because once we were one of those lives that got changed, and the best way to do it is to pay it forward, to give what was given to us.

We don’t have to corrupt every word or every story to become addicted to suffering. We can free ourselves from that and use the word with integrity because what we say is what creates dreams and the magic behind them. If we feel upset and we’re not impeccable with our words we can be full of poison and hurting our bodies and the words that come out of our bodies are going to be full of poison and break dreams, break inspiration, and hurt people. But we can control our own poison as well. We can have respect for the words that come out of us because we have returned to integrity. This is the gift of the Four Agreements. The return to integrity to ourselves to live in a peaceful world in the way that we deserve to live, the way we were meant to be. Every time that voice begins playing that you’re not perfect and nobody loves you and you have self-doubts that sabotage your own dream, don’t believe it. Be skeptical of that negativity. That’s what the Fifth Agreement is all about, to be skeptical of our own negativity and to listen to our hearts. We like to make it complicated because we believe that we cannot change, but when you believe that you can change, you will change, because that is the power of your faith.

CLJ: Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?

JR: Don’t sacrifice your art for anything. And when I say art I mean your life, your happiness, your joy. Be thankful you live like it was the last moment of your life. Enjoy each moment and make your life a masterpiece of art because this is what you’re here for. Let’s give our loved ones something more beautiful than we can ever give them materially. Let’s change ourselves, the negative habits. Let’s begin training right now, because wherever we put attention, that’s what we’re going to perceive. So this moment make that intent, make that a new agreement with yourself that you’re ready to let go of things that don’t serve you anymore and it will create a presence that you will share with yourself first, and then with your loved ones. This is what resurrection is all about. To resurrect the divine heart that exists in every one of us so we can wake up and really change this world, beginning with ourselves and continuing with our brothers and sisters. May your sun shine bright, my brothers and sisters.

Don Jose Ruiz, son of don Miguel Ruiz, is the international best-selling author of The Fifth Agreement, Ripples of Wisdom, and My Good Friend the Rattlesnake. As a Toltec Master of Transformation and modern-day Shaman, don Jose has dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec through his books, lectures, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.