A Note From Our President: Miriam Zacharias

What I Agreed to on My Summer Travels

Despite the title of this article, I haven’t had much downtime this summer. In fact, as I write this, I’m working on a project in North Carolina for most of June, far from my home (and hubby) in Tucson. I’m working with an energy medicine company, and what I’ve learned about quantum physics, consciousness, awareness, intentions and their relationship to health is blowing my mind! This is a whole new ballgame for me, and I truly appreciate their patience and humor as my clients introduce me to, in their words, “a whole new level of crazy” when it comes to their work.   

Telling others about my enthusiasm for energy medicine, though, is going to be tough. It’s hard enough discussing my involvement in holistic nutrition to the average person! I remember talking to a conventional doctor about natural approaches for a condition I had and had to bite my tongue when she rolled her eyes and said to me, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE people.”

As I ponder my dilemma – excited to tell others about biofields without having them question my sanity – I’m using one of my favorite books as my guide. It’s called The Four Agreements, written by Miguel Angel Ruiz, MD and Janet Mills. It identifies four essential agreements that, if adopted, have the power to transform our relationships with others. The authors go so far as to say that by following them, “you will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes.” Given my predicament, the promise of such a result is quite compelling and from where I sit, undoubtedly worth exploring.

The four agreements are listed below, along with what each means and how I’ll use them to help me in my conversations. Although these agreements look simple, they aren’t all that easy to follow.

The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. When we are above reproach with our words, we plant the seeds of love and understanding, setting the stage for robust communication. It can be hard to talk about holistic healing without complaining, blaming or using sarcasm about today’s conventional standards of care, and that can turn people off. Therefore, I must be truthful about my passion yet discuss it in a way that positively influences them. After all, if my goal is to open others’ minds to new – and somewhat unusual – insights, the words I use will need to be constructive and faultless.

The second agreement is, don’t take anything personally. We tend to take things personally because we think that everything is about us. But it’s not. Each person sees the world in their own way, lives in their own subjective reality. If the person I’m sharing my insights with seems irritated with me, maybe it’s because they had a lousy day, or just got some sad news. Maybe they’re hungry or late for a meeting. Or they just don’t get it. That’s OK; they’re entitled to their opinions. However, so am I. I cannot allow them to hurt my feelings or dampen my enthusiasm, nor discourage me from pursuing what I believe to be true.

Third, don’t make assumptions. There’s another name for this:  It’s called mind reading. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge. However, when we make these assumptions, we are usually wrong, and that often ends badly. I know that as I share my ideas, I must open the space to ask questions and get to their truth, too; to make sure I understand what they’re thinking without prejudice. In this way, we will base our conversations on fact, and I’ll have a greater chance at making inroads with them.

Finally, agreement four is to always do your best. If my goal is to encourage more people to think outside the box, I can’t take shortcuts; I must dig into the science and provide the evidence to support my ideas. Nor should I be attached to getting their approval or acceptance right off the bat. The goal is to powerfully share what I’m learning, the very best way that I can. At the same time, I must be mindful not to push my ideas so hard that I push people away in the process. Ruiz states, “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less.” As with most things, striking a healthy balance between the two will win the day.  

I believe that if I follow through on the life-affirming agreements above, I’ll be able to directly influence others to embrace new perspectives on mind, body, and spiritual wellness. Some of my pals will think I’m a little out there, but that’s OK. I’ve already made progress with them toward accepting the principles of holistic nutrition to support their health.

I’m ready to take them to the next level of crazy, too.


Miriam G. Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHN



President, National Association of Nutrition Professionals