Expect the unexpected and don’t take things personally. That’s a core tenet of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, a favorite book. (Homework #1: get it on Amazon or at your local bookstore immediately!)

I am working on not taking things personally. I’ve observed that when we say “Why me?” it makes things a hundred times worse. My counter-thought is “Why not me?” I have amazing and honest people in my life, enough to know we all suffer the unimaginable. As I heard Nora Ephron say, “Who needs fiction?” (Reality can be unbelievable!) When unexpected inconvenience comes along, my personal question is actually not “Why me?”; it is just “Why?” I’ve been trying really hard lately to see through the lens of opportunity.

Why, if this felt right and well-intentioned, and might I be so bold as to say inspired, then why this hiccup, this unexpected obstacle in the road? Was this not meant to be? I struggle with these questions. And more: Why am I getting this curveball? (Wait, am I taking this personally?) I am not sure there are answers, except to expect the unexpected in this imperfect world we live in.

The curveball is not about me. However, I must still respond and make adjustments for it. I often begin by swearing, freaking out and “acting bipolar,” as my children say, and then I try to regroup. Eventually I find the opportunity to find some forgiveness (for my own sanity; I am no martyr). I remind myself that I’ve thrown a few wild balls in my time. Some on purpose.

Here’s my unexpected: I think I need to take this website down for a day or two. Regroup; get the technical inner workings cleaned up, and start afresh.

There’s good news though.


There are a lot of you interested in this commitment to cultivating some peace. That’s a gift to ourselves as individuals and as a community. We all need community. I know I do.

The reality is that we might not start “on time.” Hopefully the first “inspiration” will start this Wednesday, but it may be later in the week. To know me is to know I am always just a tad late. And the good news is that Lent is actually 47 days (Who knew?) So, technically speaking, we have a few extra days to get to “40 days of peace.”

A favorite Gil Bowen sermon (of Kenilworth Union fame) was all about waiting three days when something less than perfect happens and you’re left feeling irate, depressed, hopeless. Give yourself those three days and then reconsider the predicament. (It’s an Easter story!) This also helps settle the overreaction. Go figure, I have about three days to figure this out. So, if I’m late, or the website is down for a day or two, fear not. Breathe, and practice patience. I will be working on the same.

A couple other suggestions:

First, find a friend who will do this with you (have patience if the sign up is down). Community is key for me, and a partner in the journey makes all the difference. And second, enjoy the music I’ve linked below. It’s good energy. Share it with someone you think might need it.

Thanks for your patience while I deal with unexpected technological interference.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Paige H

    The “why” questions remind me of my own Kairos retreat and the message behind the whole Kairos program. It is definitely an important message and one that can be looked at in many other perspectives as you mentioned. I love this 40 days of peace idea, and it is one that more people in this world need to think about and take part in! Xo

  2. Moolie

    Awesome words of wisdom. In the big picture, really what difference does 3 days make?? (Or 7). The message is that it is not our time to determine when/how things operate in our very linear world, but rather to just ‘BE’ and let our clocks run on the timing of the ‘universe.’ Ironically I’m in England and as close to THE clock, determining Greenwich mean time, but why is that even considered ‘official?’ I’m committing to 40 days of peace and allowing the clock of the Universe to drive my life . Remember, we are not ‘human beings’ but rather ‘beings having a human experience.’ (Stolen material). I’m looking forward to simply chilling during lent! Thank you Elinor for your inspirational motivation!

  3. Joe Barbour

    Elinor: Thank you taking the initiative and the time to put this together. Great kick off and know it will be a very meaningful experience!

  4. Jenny D

    Thank you Elinor. As I am reading this I am traveling with my husband and have been diverted with a long delay. I am going to practice the “why” instead of “why me” and see what lessons are there for me. There always seems to be some positive growth that happens in these diversions of everyday life. I will let you know the outcome when I find it! Namaste ! Live now and be well!

    1. Rosemary

      Thank you Elinor. I am looking forward to sharing these days of peace and inspiration with you and the community. With much gratitude for your initiative. I am spreading the word.

  5. Jessica

    Your words as always are an inspiration , and always speak the truth…
    Relevant to the core.
    Grateful and happy to revive any words of wisdom… and looking forward to much more… whenever they come….!

  6. Jen Pen

    Lovely piece about peace.
    The video has stunning photos!
    Pretty music too.
    Thank you for your effort and love poured into this devotion!

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