One of the "Four Noble Truths" under the Buddhist tradition (ie, the what is what of Buddhism) says the cause of suffering in life is attachment. (The first noble truth, by the way, is that all of life is suffering. I know, it's bleak stuff. But nonetheless true in some respects, no?)
So we constantly suffer in life and this suffering is caused by our attachments - to objects, people, feelings, and life itself. Everything is constantly is a state of motion (even the laws of physics tell us that). This constant state of motion brings about incessant change, day in and day out.
Here's the grand, mind-blowing (logical) conclusion we can draw from these first two truths: the less attached we are (to anything and everything), the less we will suffer. And the more we accept, maybe even embrace, the ebbs and flows of life, the happier we will be.
Looking back at the most rewarding, inspiring, beneficial experiences in my life, it's easy to see that they have all resulted from making (perhaps rashly even) a big change in my life, completely oblivious as to what lay ahead.
They are, in chronological order:
1. Leaving my home, my friends and my family - though only for a summer - when I was 17 to live in Valencia, Spain with a host family I had never met. (For someone who had never left home before prior to that time, except for a 3-day cheerleading overnight camp, this was a BIG change).
2. Deferring my acceptance to law school for a year and backpacking around the world instead. (Everyone, especially my parents, thought I was crazy).
3. Giving up a great internship I had lined up in San Francisco the summer after my first year of law school to follow a boy I had just started dating up to NYC. (Today, that boy is my husband of 4 years.)
4. Becoming a yoga teacher while continuing my law career.
This week I started a new law job as well. There was a part of me that was terrified to leave the only real full-time job I have known (and the people I've been working with for the last 6 years) for something completely new and different. What made this change even harder is the fact that I really loved my old job. But the new one presented some really exciting opportunities. So while there was something inside me saying no, no, no, no, I said yes and I took the leap.
And, the goods news is, I landed on my feet. I'm thrilled to be where I am today. It may be the best decision I've made in a really long time.
Things are always going to change. If we accept that and maybe even proactively take steps to bring about change, we may realize that change is good. Really, really good.