Interview with Michele Laub
Judy: Hello there. I'm here with Michele and we wanted to have a conversation. She said something the other day and that really got me thinking, well, I'll address this to you. You said something the other day that really got me thinking. I know that's your job, right?
You said, “There has not been one day that I have not practiced the Four Agreements.”
So the Four Agreements, for those who have been living under a rock are:
Be impeccable with your word
Don't take anything personally
Don't make assumptions
Always do your best
So you've practiced these Four Agreements every day since you first learned about them. How long has that been?
Michele: Well, the book was published in 1997, and I read it in 1998. So I would say that I practiced the Four Agreements for 20 years. So it's taken me a lot of observation and awareness to see how deepen my practice and how, now, it's just part of who I am. So there was a point where I focused on being aware that something happened and it was an event where the Four Agreements was important. The more I practiced it, the more I saw there were many events all day long. I was taking things personally, that second agreement that so many people have a challenge with in many ways, and because of that, judging a lot, judging other people, judging myself. And so, as I became more and more aware of the ways that I have made older agreements and when I am involved myself in the Four Agreements, I break the other agreements that I made because they don't work for me, and then I have new agreements that work in my life. So the more I practiced, the more I practiced.
Judy: Interesting point. You know, it's one thing to talk about the Four Agreements in a class, but it's a whole nother thing to use them in daily life. Can you give me examples of how these might come up in day to day living?
Michele: Yes. I certainly can, the Four Agreements are very practical, so they come up a lot in everyday life. Let's look at the first agreement of being impeccable with your word. Most of the agreements that we've made are a result of the specific domestication, or in other words conditioning, that we received from our family of origin and the place in which we lived when we were born. We made certain agreements about how to be in the world very often to avoid punishment and in our seeking reward. Most of our behavior is conditioned, or in the terminology of the Toltec, domesticated through that process of reward and punishment. So we learned to avoid the punishment and to enjoy the reward, and we learned that pretty early in life when our parents said, good girl, good boy, if we finish the food on our plate or even if we didn't throw it on the floor or if we were able to somehow communicate it what it was we wanted. We got that positive feedback and that felt good, and so we thought more of it. And then as we age, as we become more aware of how to behave, and what I'm going to call the dream of the planet, what's expected of us, we practice more and more avoiding the punishment and seeking the reward. What ultimately happens is we're so busy doing that that we don't even pay attention to who we really are.
Many of us don't really even know who we really are. I would say that in the last, oh … maybe 10 years, people who are coming up, coming of age at that point are more aware of who they are because they have parents and grandparents like me who have more awareness than we had when we were in our twenties and stepping out into life. However, the world still expects us to behave in certain ways and very often that way is not really who we are. That is how we stop ourselves from being impeccable with our word, and then we judge ourselves and see ourselves through the eyes of limitation. By doing that, we never become the fullness of who we are and there are parts of ourselves that we haven't even met yet. So impeccability of the word not only means to speak from your integrity, it also means to speak from the perfection of who we are and not from the limitations that we've learned to become.
Judy: Well, I can certainly see where this would be a lifetime of learning ahead of all of us and thank God for teachers like you, which kind of brings me to my next question. You have an incredible, impressive list of credentials tagging along behind your name. When I read about Michele, I see, licensed mental health counselor, clinical and medical hypnotherapist, past life regression specialist, certified Four Agreements facilitator, Law of Attraction facilitator, Power of Belief mentor, and most recently a licensed Religious Science Practitioner. I'm wondering which one of these means the most to you?
Michele: Well, at this point, you know, I think they're all connected, but as I was studying and that really my deep study and my interest came after I received my master's degree in Mental Health And School Counseling and while I was a high school and middle school guidance counselor in Long Island and also in Brooklyn. I needed to learn how I could communicate with the students that I was responsible for getting through school and their parents and supporting them. So I was on a search and then in a personal way, not only professionally but personally, I realized I guess in my twenties that there were people who had happy and joyful lives, that they were positive and excited about life, and my experience from my domestication, the way I was conditioned, was not to be one of those people, but really to look at everything through the eyes of what is wrong with it. I learned that mostly from my mom but also for my dad, and my parents weren't the happiest of people nor were they the happiest of couples. For me it was, well, how can I be more like those happy people?
So my search began and then as I searched, I sought for the whole of my education about how I can be one of those happy people. So I kept on searching. Sometimes when I was in private practice as a psychotherapist, I would be working with a client and we would realize that there was something going on in their behavior and their lives that they just really couldn't get their finger on the origin of that. That's when I became interested in past life regression because as I began to talk to people, I got clearer and clearer about how individuals are not necessarily experiencing life in the present moment but rather not only bringing their behavior and their thoughts and their actions and what they say from the past into the present, but sometimes that past was in another lifetime. It really was at that point that I expanded my vision and began to understand more about energy and that what we are, each of us, is energy. The me of us is created by us and from the environment in which we live. So I started studying more, and I guess it's just been my way of being in this lifetime to be a lifelong learner and go deeper and deeper into whatever it is I'm learning about.
Judy: My next question is, how do these credentials uniquely qualify you to help the rest of us just wandering the planet life. Your description of the past life regression specialist certainly makes that clear. Are there any other places where you see that benefit?
Michele: Well, this is an interesting question because even though you're saying that we are wandering the planet, most of us have an interest, something that is really ours to do or what we like to do, and not everybody is looking at human behavior. So I am. I'm always looking at human behavior. Even as a child I had this nickname of 4 and 20 questions because I would always ask these questions or why do they do that? Why do they say that? Why is that happening? I'm sure it was a challenge for the adults around me and that's how I got that name, but I couldn't stop asking those questions. So I came in with that curiosity. Whereas someone else who's also living on this planet has an interest in how to build a house, or how to decorate a house, or how to sing, and most of us are getting well versed in some area of our life, and so I got well versed in human behavior and from my point of view, it's not good news till you share it, so that's been how I've structured my life around the work that I do. I'm also a mom and a grandmother and a human being, and I love to work out, do yoga, but that part of me that had that curiosity is the part that I share with others professionally.
Judy: Which one of these would you say has benefited you the most personally?
Michele: The Four Agreements has benefited me the most personally and what I realized as I was studying the Four Agreements is that each agreement leads to the next and is sort of circular. So when, for example, if you look at the fourth agreement, always do your best. When you are doing your best, then you are by your very nature of doing your best, you need to be impeccable with your word. When you're lying to yourself and lying to others and sitting in judgment, you're lowering your energy and you're not being impeccable. When you take things personally and make assumptions, I know that that's what I have created drama in my life. When I'm creating drama in my life, I am not doing my best. I'm lowering my energy, getting distracted by the drama, and I am not doing my best. I can't even do my best. I would get so involved in the drama.
The Four Agreements work in synchronicity with each other when we're working them, and then what ultimately happens, and I noticed this even before the Law Of Attraction became so much part of our culture. I noticed that when I was working the Four Agreements being impeccable, not taking things personally, not make big assumptions and doing my best, that my life would work. That things that I wanted in my life would show up. That I was aware of them.
So when the Law Of Attraction came about, I was really interested in that. To see if there was anything I really hadn't learned about attracting what I wanted in my life from the Four Agreements, and so I studied that and in studying the Law of Attraction, I learned to use some tools and techniques that were not part of my Toltec study. At the same time, I was creating what it was that I wanted.
So from my point of view, all of these aspects of life that I have studied are connected, and then the last thing that I studied was the Science of Mind, which was brought forth into this world by Ernest Holmes, who had a radio show and was pretty famous in his time, and he talked all about doing your best and knowing that everything is one. That everything is connected, and Miguel talks about that in his books, as well. So I see a synchronicity in everything I've studied, and each aspect of what I've studied has deepened my ability to connect with people who are different from me and have different experience for me, and yet each of us is really looking for what makes us happy and what supports our personal freedom to be who we really are. So I hope that answers your question. It's really hard for me to, at this point, to separate what I've learned. It is all connected.
Judy: Obviously, and yes it has. I have been reading your work and in a recent blog post, you talked about your seven years and seven shifts, referring to your visits to Teotihuacan. Which year stands out as the one where you took the greatest strides.
Michele: Well I can talk about a very important experience in my life that shifted my whole perception and it was in Teotihuacan, the pyramid city built by the Toltecs over 2000 years ago, and the intention of the building of that city was to be a living legacy for the generations that came after. The people who populated the pyramid city were building this living legacy while they were figuring out what they wanted to leave for those who came after.
There is an area under the Pyramid of the Sun, which is a really intense deep cave. I had the opportunity to be in that cave. While I was there, I could see … that cave had been protected for probably 1500 years or so before anyone even thought of going under the pyramid to see what was under there … and the molecules in the air were apparent. You could see the air. You could see the structures of the molecules, and what that did for me was so mystical, so uniquely different from anything I had experienced that it opened me up to the mystery of life in a different way. It opened me up to understanding more about energy and how what we really are is light reflecting light, and I wasn't the only one who saw those molecules that way, and that really validated my experience. My teacher was there with me, and she saw it, too.
So I know that there is this great mystery of being alive, and it's beautiful and opening and exciting, and there's always something new to experience. I love being able to bring that knowing to other people. So I would say that that journey was the most significant for me for that reason.
Judy: I can understand that. I'm seeing that you're planning another trip to Teotihuacan in September, and if people listening want more information, they can find it here:
But what part of the whole experience excites you the most?
Michele: I love seeing the shift in people when they visit Teotihuacan. The pyramid city itself was built in a way for individuals to pay attention to their beliefs, and to let go of the limiting beliefs that they're carrying with them in life, and create new belief based on love, based on the Four Agreements, based on no fear, based on knowing that time is forever, and people change their lives after that experience. I'm always so curious to see how that happens for people and what the results are. What I've also noticed is that once people have this awareness at Teotihuacan, and they go back into their daily lives, they aren't the same. They bring with them more of who they are and what they know about themselves, and are more willing to take giant leaps and make changes in their life. That is the most exciting thing for me.
Judy: Is there anything that you personally are looking forward to experiencing there? Do you have goals for your next trip?
Michele: No, you know, Teo sings to me in a way when I get there. It is when I start knowing that I'm going to Teotihuacan, and that's been for a couple of months now, I feel like Teo enters into my everyday life and shows me more information about what the experience is. So I like to go, and I tell this to people who are going as well, to go open, just open, and let Teo sing to you. Teo has a wisdom beyond our individual human wisdom, and it will bring us to what it is we need to know at this time … what it is we need to experience at this time. So I love to go and be surprised, and I really work on not having a curriculum in my mind.
Judy: Well, I know that you're having preparatory calls, pre trip calls for people to kind of get into the mindset of going and to attune to that singing for themselves. So if they want more information about that, they can contact you directly.
Michele: So there are ways to connect to me. The other thing that I'll mention here is that if you want to have a consultation with me, you can go on my website and set up an appointment, and we can talk one on one.
Judy: And yes there is a calendar appointment program on your website. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us? Have I missed anything?
Michele: Well, I'd like to say that we are living in a phenomenal time. In many ways, we get stuck in the chaos of this time, but if we can move ourselves out of the moment of what the chaos might feel like, and go into appreciation and gratitude for this time where we can communicate, where there's so much information that we can research anything through our computers, through our devices. There are so many ways to learn. So much information is available to all of us, and I would just like to end by saying, let's take advantage of that.
Let's be the biggest and the best and the happiest we can be. We live in an absolutely beautiful world and let's love it, and love ourselves and love each other and enjoy our lives. There's no reason to suffer. There's no reason to feel lonely and alone. There's no reason to have questions that we can't find the answers to, so I would like to leave people with that notion and to just move forward in their lives and deepen their experience of life itself.
Judy: Thank you so much. You remind me of the idea of taking the limit off of the amount of joy we allow ourselves have … the amount of love that we will let in. So this has been an honor and a blessing. My name is Judy Lee Thurber, and you've been enjoying our conversation with Michele Laub, and we'll follow this up with notes for the website and phone numbers and events upcoming. Thank you.
Michele: Thank you Judy, and thank you so much for your brilliant questions and your extraordinary listening skills. I really enjoyed talking with you today.
Judy: It felt like a minute. Thank you! Have a good day.