In this episode Dr. Cari Wise shares about her experiences with unexpected events throughout the week. She discusses how unexpected events are a normal part of veterinary medicine and emphasizes the importance of recognizing that fear is often the root cause of the desire to control.
Dr. Wise suggests focusing on emotional wellbeing and choosing our reactions to unexpected events. Despite the chaos and unpredictability, she explains how it is possible to maintain calm and provide good service to her clients.
She encourages listeners to recognize their own ability to navigate unexpected events and let go of the need to control and be perfect.
Resource: Vet Life Academy
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Hi there. I’m Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career, or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DBM podcast is absolutely for you. Let’s get started. Hello my friends.
Welcome to another reflection Friday here at Joyful DBM. Today is January 26th, 2024. So today I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about navigating the unexpected, and as I look back over this last week, it was full of unexpected events, which prompted this to be our topic today. So the week started out with actually Sunday night. So before the week even started,
we unexpectedly had our basement flood. Super fun. And so with that happening, I needed to call out of work for the next day, which I was able to do. So I wasn’t able to go into the clinic The next day I was able to contact leadership and get that cleared. So unexpected that I was going to be home the next day.
The next unexpected event was that there was actually an ice storm overnight. So not only was I not able to get to work to the next day, but nobody was. So the hospital ended up being closed and appointments had to be canceled and moved. Anyway, so quite interesting how that ended up playing together, but still unexpected, which then led us to Tuesday,
which was unexpectedly though kind of maybe a little bit predictably, even though that does seem to kind of contradict each other a little bit crazier than usual because we did have some appointments that had moved from the day before over. But then there were just some unexpected additions to the schedule beyond what we typically see on a Tuesday. So again, another unexpected day.
Then Wednesday as that day progressed, got a little busier throughout the day, and then there was an unexpected euthanasia in the late afternoon. So this euthanasia was a young kitten, so super cute calico kitten. And as y’all know, if you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know that I love calico cats. I actually have three of my own.
And as a fun cue, there’s one sitting here right beside me as I’m recording this. And so very sad situation with a very critically ill kitten that these wonderful owners had found as an outside kitty and had brought in and tried to nurse to health and brought to me and just had some, some things that we weren’t going to be able to repair. So very sad,
but very good service for the kitten unexpected event. From there, the next unexpected was the following day, which was yet another euthanasia. So a euthanasia this time of a patient that I’ve been seeing, seeing for a while, a senior pet that had lived a really, really good life and just the unexpected event that this was the day that it was time and not knowing in advance.
So these, this particular client and patient came in as a walk-in in the afternoon, so didn’t know it was coming. And as I think back and I reflect over this week and all the unexpected events, and that’s just a handful, there were a million other unexpected events because so much of what we do in veterinary medicine is simply unexpected. It reminds me to notice how we actually are able to navigate all of it.
One of the things that we tend to do in veterinary medicine, especially if we’re feeling anxious or stressed, is we try to control all the things. And some of the things we try very hard to control is the actual schedule and the clients themselves. So looking at our appointment book for the day, looking at what is booked there, trying to adjust or maybe move or make sure that people don’t come in as walk-ins or that everything is confirmed.
We try very, very hard, many of us to make our day flow the way that that appointment book looks like at the beginning of any day. And I’ve been in veterinary medicine long enough to know that that’s just not going to happen. But the more that I believe that it should happen that way, the more stressed out and anxious I become every late client,
every unexpected add-in everybody who is a no-show. All of those things, if I’m really holding very tightly to the schedule, every one of those things has the potential to derail my day, to ruin my, my mood, to negatively impact my wellbeing. And as I’ve learned over time to let go of the schedule to, yeah, let’s look at it.
Let’s have an idea of what might be coming. But then just to realize there’s just a lot of unexpected, even what somebody says they’re coming in for often is not at all what we end up addressing. As we just kind of give into that as a very normal part of what we do, we can then start to see what I was able to see very clearly this week,
which is we are equipped and capable of navigating it no matter what it actually ends up being. This is a gift that you can give yourselves the gift of letting go of the need to control tightly what happens during the day. Because my friends, you’re never going to control it. And the only reason that you might be trying is because of fear. It’s all rooted in fear.
Being afraid you’re not going to be able to handle it. Being afraid you’re not going to have enough people to help you, being afraid that you’re not going to have enough time and you’re going to end up getting out of work late, being afraid that the client is going to be unhappy because what you have the ability to provide as far as care at your facility is different than somewhere else.
And we believe they need to go somewhere else. So just whatever the fear is underneath there, I want you just to recognize that if you’re holding very tightly to trying to control what happens during the day, at the root of that is fear. And if you’re going to try to argue with me and say, no, it’s not fear, it’s this, that,
or the other, you’re going to come up with some other negative emotion and every one of those negative emotions, if you’ll dig deep enough or all rooted in some type of fear, this is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a very normal human reaction, but we have to start noticing what emotional energy we are interacting with or through when it comes to our interactions with others in the way that we do our job.
Because the emotional aspects of this, so our own personal emotional wellbeing is the greatest influencer on the type of life that we have. So our emotional wellbeing is our energy is our creator of our overall quality of life. If we aren’t paying attention to the way that we’re feeling, then we just keep trying to control things externally to adjust the way that we feel.
It’s a backward system, and the world has taught us this. The world has taught us that when all the things externally are aligned or aligned, and I won’t use the word aligned, when all the things externally are all lined up and predictable and and actually happen the way that we predict that they will happen. When everything is kind of calm and predictable in our external reality,
then we can feel calm, we can feel happy, we can feel peaceful, we can feel confident. And if things in our external reality are out of whack, if they are a little bit sporadic and unexpected and a little bit chaotic, then wellbeing and peace are unavailable to us. And anxiety and stress are, are our only options. This is never true.
And this is what this re this week really reminded me of is because we had so many unexpected things every single day throughout the week at work, as well as the unexpected things in my personal life throughout the whole entire day, history would have taught me, so I would’ve been taught historically. What I would’ve believed historically is because of all this unexpected chaos.
The result was going to be that I was going to feel a little stressed out and strung out this week. That was not my experience, and it was not my experience. Not because the chaos wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t my experience because I didn’t let the chaos have an influence on how I felt. This is the key, this is the superpower,
because as we start to recognize that the things in our external reality are just going to keep happening, the things that are unexpected in a day in a veterinary clinic are just going to keep happening. That’s just part of the world that we live in. When we realize that a bit of chaos and lack of predictability is actually the norm, then we can stop trying to corral it all.
We can stop trying to control it all, and we can stop letting our wellbeing be conditional on the chaos being absent. Your wellbeing, my friends, is completely dependent on where you put your focus. And so if we’re looking at all these unexpected events and we’re telling ourselves a story that this shouldn’t be happening, that this is just a disaster, that it’s a completely crazy day,
that it’s really, really stressful, that there’s just too much going on, and we get in our head about they shouldn’t have been late, they shouldn’t have been early, they shouldn’t have just walked in, expected to be seen, they shouldn’t be showing up for a medication refill without calling in advance. If this is where we’re putting our focus, then that means that’s where we’re putting our emotional energy,
which means we are compounding stress and anxiety and frustration. And that does not equate it wellbeing for you at all. It does not equate a high quality of life, and it’s all optional. That’s the key. It is all optional because whatever happens in our external reality, we get to decide how we react to it. We get to decide the stories that we tell ourselves about it.
So as I look back over the week and I can notice the pattern of unexpected events, that’s just the circumstances of what happened, but how I felt, I can also now retrospectively look back and see how I felt, and I can see that I was able to maintain my calm. I can see that I didn’t get all freaked out about any of it.
You know, were there moments of Oh, great, the basement’s flooded. Yeah, of course there was. But did I stay in this frustration and anger about it? And in this whole story about how it shouldn’t have happened? No, that was not going to do me any good. I didn’t do that. I’m like, okay, it did. And now what?
What can I do now? All the different unexpected events throughout the day. Did I want to do two, two euthanasia this week? Not the thing that I would’ve intentionally planned, but was it necessary? Was it the best thing for my patients? Was it the best service of those clients? 100%, yes. Was I equipped to do that? Absolutely.
Was I able to create a good experience? I think so. I think that it was a good experience all the way around considering the circumstances. So again, not what I had planned, but what the universe had planned, what was always going to happen anyway. And I was equipped to tackle it. And as I watched myself going through these things this weekend,
as I was watching you and my team go through this, these things this week, and I could see the different ways that they interacted with these unexpected events, it just reminded me once again, how much we have the ability to choose our experience of these circumstances. And if we don’t realize that we are not required to make unexpected events mean something bad,
then we will always feel frustrated and angry when things don’t go the way that we expect them to. And on top of that, we will take that one step further and we will become these control freaks, these people who are unable to delegate these people who are unkind to each other in the workplace. Because we are trying to deal with our own emotion around the unexpected.
It is so much easier for us individually to realize unexpected is just part of the deal. It doesn’t mean anything’s going wrong, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us. And that we can decide even in the unexpected moments, what we want to believe and how we want to feel because all of that is calibrated first by where we put our focus. We aren’t required to dive into the pool with all the chaos,
we can notice the chaos, and we can stay outside of it interacting with the components that we have some ability to influence without being pulled into the chaos. And that is really a superpower that every single one of us can develop. So my friends, as you look back over this last week, I would love it if you could identify where those points of unexpected events popped up for you and give yourself credit for how you navigated those things.
’cause there’s one thing that I know for sure and for certain without a shadow of a doubt, is that every single unexpected event that you encountered last week, you got through it. You are still here. We are on the other side of it. And if we can just start noticing that we are actually completely capable of navigating even the most unexpected things that happen day in,
day out in our professional life and in our personal lives, then we can stop trying to avoid them by controlling, trying to control things we will never control. And as a result, the pressure starts to release and we are more capable of enjoying what’s happening in the present moment every single step of the way. All right, my friends, something for you to consider.
I hope this helps. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.