The Only Constant Is Change

Mindfulness practice can help us change for the better. It can also allow us to sit with the things we can’t change and help us work with the inevitable changes life brings.

Adobe Stock/Monster Ztudio

The superb science journalist Sharon Begley, who wrote a regular column for Mindful until her untimely death in early 2021, was fond of studies of personality: the different types, how much they’re influenced by our environment and our relationships, and—most potently— whether our personalities can change.

Even if we’re hard-pressed to say precisely what personalities are, we know them. Some people are laid back, others stubborn, some happy-go-lucky, others a little gloomy. Some folks we know are sharp-tongued while others talk smooth. Some are rugged individualists; others conform. Arche-types capturing these human variations abound. In Southeast Asia, since ancient times, shadow puppets have depicted stock characters dancing, laughing, fighting, fleeing. The troupes of stereotypes in the Italian commedia dell’arte allowed audiences to laugh at themselves and each other. In modern times, we’ve created the Enneagram, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DISC Assessment, and countless other schemas to suss out and navigate the type of person we are.

Not only that, thinkers from Sun Tzu and Socrates to Maya Angelou and bell hooks have urged us to get to know who we are, the better to thrive in the world. If getting to know who we are…


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About the author

Barry Boyce

Barry Boyce is Founding Editor of Mindful and A longtime meditation practitioner and teacher—as well as a professional writer and editor— he is the editor of and a primary contributor to The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life. Barry also worked closely with Congressman Tim Ryan, as developmental editor, on A Mindful Nation and The Real Food Revolution. Barry serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for a Mindful Society and the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto as well as on the advisory board of Peace in Schools, in Portland, Oregon.