Embracing Change

Cassandra Tondro, "Rooted," abstract painting

Hi Friends!

One of the eerie things about hiking through the burn area is the dead silence. No rustling in the bushes, because there are no bushes, nor any animals. No wind in the trees, because the trees are mostly gone. But the other night I heard crickets! They’re making a comeback. I was so excited I almost cried.

There are some tentative signs of new growth in the hills. It’s not much yet, but it’s a start. Some gentle rain would help — i.e. not torrents of rain!

Cassandra Tondro Ventura fire While hiking, I was talking to a friend, and we were discussing the weird weather we’ve been having this winter. The ongoing drought and global climate change give me feelings of anxiety, but she was saying that she really likes change — any and all change.

She feels that change keeps her mentally sharp, and makes her more flexible and resilient. She embraces and thrives on change.

I thought this was an interesting point of view, and I had never heard it expressed quite that way before. Many people (myself included) are afraid of change and resist it. But what if we adopt an attitude of curiosity? What if we were to say — how interesting, I wonder what this change will bring?

It’s the Buddhist concept of detachment — taking a step back and being an observer without being emotionally involved. Just observing without judgment.

Possibly easier said than done, but talking to my friend made me realize that there’s a different way to view change that doesn’t involve fear or dread. And since we’re in a time of great change, it might serve us well to find ways to adapt and maybe avoid some of the mental turmoil.

Personally I could use a little stability, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now. So let’s find ways to embrace change, dear friends!

How do you feel about change, and how do you deal with it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Painting at top: “Rooted,” 18″ x 18″, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas



  1. A recent change in our lives was the clear cutting of the lot next door where we had had a small woods. It has changed not only our privacy but the light as well. I was fussing and fuming about it until I came across a hyku – “The barn burned down – Now I can see the moon.” It made me start to see the positive side to the situation and now I am planning how to adjust the garden from shade to more sun and designing a fence to give us more privacy. I am now at peace with myself.

  2. What a wonderful discussion. I love this idea. I am not sure exactly how this is applied in day to day life, but I look forward to hearing more about it and shifting my own fears of change to embracing the expansion change brings. Thank you for sharing this inspired concept. Lisa

  3. Cassandra:

    You know I’m a big fan of you and your work. You and it are simply remarkable.

    I want to weigh in on something you said – about the Buddhist concept of detachment. It’s actually the idea of non-attachment, which is a distinction many don’t understand and one that I’ continue to grapple with.

    Detachment denotes a lack of feeling, almost a numbness in relation to something. Non-attachment, in my humble view, is different. You / we may have a reaction to something, but we’re not attached to it, the outcome or the situation. It’s a state of being able to observe things and stay centered. In that place, we are able to continue to see what takes place, to see the larger picture (hopefully) and to act freely, not encumbered by emotionality or prejudice.

    Again, this is my own perspective. But as a practicing Buddhist, the idea of non-attachment is something I work to incorporate in my daily life. It’s definitely a challenge, but a worthy effort!

    Thanks for continuing to offer your perspective on what’s taking place. I enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas.

    All the best.

    1. This is wonderful! Thank you for the clarification, Debra. I can see the difference between detachment and non-attachment now that you’ve said it. Yes, let’s strive for non-attachment. Very well put.

      1. I agree, thank you Debra for sharing, I feel the difference and am excited to incorporate non-attachment into my life.

  4. I am finally embracing change in my own life. It feels that you’ve written and I read this today as a continued part of my journey. I love the way you are heading in art. Not only is your work beautiful but the titles/the writing are inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. You are an expert at focusing on the micro and bringing it into the macro. I love your positive thoughts in restoring order from chaos. Your wee blades of grass popping up are part of the natural process of restoration, so beautiful in all of life. May the crickets sing for you tonight in joyful celebration!

  6. I am not sure exactly how this is applied in day to day life, but I look forward to hearing more about it and shifting my own fears of change to embracing the expansion change brings. Thank you for sharing this inspired concept.

    1. Hi Martha. I used to hike Will Rogers and Temescal when I lived in Santa Monica, and those are wonderful trails. My very favorite is Charmlee in Malibu, but it’s a bit of a drive. Just off of Encinal Canyon Road.

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