Episode 90 | The Key To Freedom (in Vet Med and Life)

In this episode I share the Key To Freedom, and explain how most of us are going about it all wrong… and creating unnecessary suffering for ourselves in the process.

Many of us dream of experiencing more freedom in our lives and we work really hard to create or obtain the variables we believe make freedom possible.

The truth is, we’re going about it all wrong.

Freedom isn’t something we achieve through action. 

It’s not dependent on the perfect work schedule, the absence of work, the presence of large sums of money in the bank or a healthy retirement account.

It’s not contingent on the people we work with, the family obligations we’re under, or even our personal health.

So if you’re working really hard to create freedom, and believing it’s never going to be enough… you’ll never be free… well, you’re right. 

But don’t despair! The path to creating freedom for yourself is much easier than the path you’ve been on. In this episode I explain why, and how to move forward the right way for yourself. 



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The pursuit of freedom and why the approach so many of us use keeps it just beyond our reach. That's what we're talking about in episode 90. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, and this is the Joyful DVM Podcast. Hello my friends. Welcome to episode 90. Today we're gonna be talking about the pursuit of freedom and specifically what the key to creating freedom actually is. Many of us,

if we think about what it is that we want for our lives, we would just say we wanna feel freedom, we wanna be free. We wanna have the freedom to do what we wanna do, to be who we are, to buy what we wanna buy. We want to be free of the obligations, we wanna be free of the pressures. And this idea of freedom sounds so amazing if we allow ourselves to just sit in what that freedom would be for us individually.

Many of us can get a little bit kind of simultaneously excited and discouraged both at the same time. So the idea of if you allow ourselves, if we, when we allow ourselves to consider it, to just sit in what it would be like to be free and to dream a little bit about what that would look like for us, that feels really amazing.

That's creates a lot of hope and excitement and contentment and peace. But what snaggles that all up for us is the how our brain automatically switches to how do we do it. And so that is where we get stuck. Our freedom is not trapped in our circumstances, it's trapped by our awareness. And that's what I wanna talk about today. When we think about freedom,

what freedom actually looks like for all of us is different. It's very individual. What I consider to be freedom for me is gonna be completely different than what you consider to be freedom for you. And that's not a problem. You get to create your freedom in whatever way that you want to. However, the approach that most of us use to create that freedom for ourselves is pretty universal,

at least at the beginning. It's because of what we believe is keeping us from freedom in the first place. So ask yourself that question, What's keeping you from feeling free? What's keeping you from experiencing freedom in your life and in your job and in your relationships? The answer to that question reveals a lot of secrets. Let's take a look at our jobs.

So if we think about our jobs a lot of the time, we would identify our work, our jobs, as one of the things that blocks our ability to be free, that our freedom, our personal freedom, our freedom in our lives, freedom to live our lives on our own terms, that it is our jobs, our work obligations that make it impossible.

We might even identify components of our jobs that make it impossible. So for example, we might be thinking that if we worked a different schedule, then we would have more freedom. We might be believing that if we made more money, then we would have more freedom. We might be believing that if we didn't have to carry an on-call pager, then we would have more freedom.

Or maybe even if we worked with different people who weren't so needy or were just better at their jobs than we would have more freedom. For some of us, we might even take it another layer more personal, if we were better at our jobs than we would have more freedom. Whatever that story is for you, we wanna recognize that your freedom has then become contingent on circumstances in your lives.

Your freedom has become contingent, perhaps on the presence or absence of an on-call pager. It has become contingent on your work schedule. It has become contingent on the people you work with and the money that you make. And so I have to ask you, do you want your freedom to be contingent on those things? So many of us have made our freedom contingent on those things and we haven't even realized it.

And in pursuit of freedom, we have gotten to work. We've gotten busy trying to fix all of those circumstances. We've tried to find the job that has the perfect schedule so we can feel freedom. We've tried to find a job that pays better or we've tried to work harder in order to earn more money so that we can feel free. We've tried to micromanage or train up or even perhaps get fired some of the people that we work with so that we can experience more freedom in our jobs.

And all of these efforts, they have something in common. They're all outside of you, and most of them, if not all of them, are dependent on somebody other than yourself. So these contingencies that we've placed on our freedom, not only keep us in action in sometimes frenetic type action toward trying to reach this status of freedom through your achievements, but it also brings in another layer that you will never control,

which are all the other people in the world. It's no wonder so many of us start to feel hopeless and despair. It's no wonder that the common narrative in our profession and even in the world is one of always being as a victim, always being victimized by other people, by clients, by coworkers, by the public, by the organizations, by the governments.

It's no wonder that it's so easy to find all the examples of what's keeping you from living your best life and experiencing freedom at its highest level. But my friends, I'm here to tell you the key to freedom is none of those things. The key to your freedom is simply your awareness. Yes, your awareness. It starts there. And that beginning is the anchor of the entire process.

We have to first understand what we believe freedom is being restricted by. Before we can change our experience, we have to understand what we believe freedom is contingent on before we can take different actions because my friends, our freedom is not restricted or contingent on any of those things. Every single thing in our life is simply the result of our perspective, everything.

And if we never slow down to question the perspective, to question the narrative, to question the story that we have about the areas of our lives, particularly the areas of our lives where we recognize discontent, then we will stay on this frenzied action path, trying, working, overextending ourselves to get to that other side. We don't even realize in that constant stream of action that the path is not moving forward.

We stay really busy, we stay really distracted, we become exhausted. All of that then plays into the story that's underneath all of it. The story of being victimized, of all the things you have to do, of all the things you can't do, of all the ways that you are, less than that, you're at a disadvantage at the story about all the things that are keeping you from living a different experience.

That frenzied action just compounds and reinforces that story. Remember the story of your lives, The narrative of your lives are simply the combination of your thoughts, your opinions, your beliefs, and your conclusions. And unless you take a moment to stop down, slow down and become aware of what those individual thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and conclusions are for yourself,

you will never create anything different. It is the stories of our lives that filter create the filter of our awareness. It's a funny little part of our brain. The particular activating system takes everything that you focus on and it uses it to program what you're aware of your consciousness. And so if you don't ever intentionally stop to ask yourself, What do I believe?

What is my perspective? Then you will just continue to ex accept the perspective that is offered to you by friends, family, clergy, and probably most influentially, that lower brain of your own. It's all programmed by other people unless you decide otherwise. And so your freedom does not lie in your actions and achievements. You cannot achieve enough to create freedom for yourself.

Trust me, in this, you cannot achieve enough to create freedom for yourself. Because even if you worked 30 years and you build up an amazing retirement account and you left your job after all that time and you're like, Okay, I'm finally gonna get to live my life, my friends, if you have never put any attention into the quality of your own awareness,

you will not have a different experience on the other side. You just won't. I wish that it were different, but it just isn't. Trust me in this, your experience is 100% dependent on your perspective about your life. Remember, our experience is creation created by our emotional wellbeing. And our emotion is created by our thoughts, our opinions, our beliefs,

and our conclusions. In other words, by our awareness. And so if we never take a moment to question, if we never take a moment to ask ourselves whether or not the things that we believe about our lives, our jobs, our relationships, ourselves, whether or not those beliefs, our factual, our provable, and are useful, then we will continue to live in an emotional state of unwellness in an emotional state that does not support the life that so many of us dream of.

And my friends, you have every right to dream of a life different than what you have. Those dreams that you have for yourself, they're intentional. They're actually part of the greater plan of this entire planet, of the entire human experience. We all need each and every one of us to pursue the things that we are interested in, to pursue what's on our heart,

to pursue our dreams and our goals. Because when we individually pursue what's on our heart, it actually helps the collective. It actually increases the vibration of the entire planet. It actually makes things possible for other people. But instead, what many of us do is we just accept reality as it is. And yes, you have probably heard me and probably dozens if not hundreds of other people say,

it is what it is. And when we say that what we mean is the circumstances are what the circumstances are, you can't change the circumstances as sole path to creating something different for yourself because the circumstances are actually simply a result. What we experienced today is simply the result of the decisions that we made before today and the decisions that we made before today were driven by the emotions that we experienced before today.

And those emotions that we experienced before today were created by the narrative or by the awareness of our lives before today. So if we wanna create something different tomorrow, we must become hyper aware of the story that we tell. What do we believe? What are our opinions? What conclusions are we drawing? What do we think? If we don't start there,

we will never create anything sustainably different for ourselves. And in doing that, we will just continue to reinforce the idea that we are stuck, that freedom isn't possible. We might also continue to live in the cycle of belief that life is something that you get to live once you get to retire, or once you make a certain amount of money, or once you find that one amazing relationship,

or once you find the perfect job, we continue to live in a cycle of making our freedom and our hope contingent on our circumstances. That's completely the wrong approach. It's the wrong approach. And I know if you're anything like me, you've probably been living with this approach your whole life. You've been awarded for the achievements that you have made for the,

the benchmarks that you've reached. You've been praised for things like good grades. You've given yourself praise, allowed yourself those moments of feeling proud when clients have been happy with you and when patients have gotten better. But none of those things are evidence of your value. None of those things are evidence of your worth. None of those things are evidence of your potential.

None. The only thing that limits your potential happens to be the only thing that limits your freedom, and that is your awareness. If you don't understand the the framework, the mental framework, the perspective, the narrative through which you're living your life, if you don't give yourself a moment to investigate that, then just know you will never create anything different for yourself.

It starts at the level of belief. And thank goodness for that because belief is the only thing you control. You get to decide for you what you believe about yourself. You get to decide for you what you believe about what's possible, what you believe about the job that you chose, about the place that you work, about the clients you serve, about the future you're building.

You get to decide that. And when you frame those decisions in a way that elevate your emotional state, that increase that vibration, you will begin to take actions that create the results that you're seeking. But if you don't, if you keep telling yourself a story of, Wouldn't it be nice if, Oh, I sure wish I could all contingent on things that you don't believe you can do or achieve,

you will never create something different. The good news is it all only depends on you, and it doesn't depend on you and your actions. It depends on you and your beliefs. Awareness is the key to freedom in every single area of your life. When you approach your awareness with this relentless intention to understand, it's amazing how quickly you can begin to shift your experience.

Now, I know for many of us, we don't even know where to start. I know I did not know where to start with this. I could understand conceptually that what I believed about my life and about myself and about what was possible I, I understood that my beliefs around that were influencing the way that I felt day in and day out. And I could believe conceptually that how I felt drove the actions that I took and that those actions then combined would create results for myself.

I could understand all of that conceptually, but I didn't know where to start. It just seemed so overwhelming, especially when I had a lifetime, decades and decades and decades of looking at the world and one specific way looking at myself and what was possible in my job and my career. And then I got into my career in veterinary medicine and everybody offered me all of their opinions.

And it was so much worse than I ever realized. And I felt like such a fool. I felt like such an idiot. Why didn't anybody ever tell me that this job was gonna suck the life outta me? It was disheartening, It was so disappointing. And I felt trapped. I felt stuck. I felt like I made the biggest mistake of my life by pursuing this career,

even though at the time I knew I wanted to do it. But when I got out into the real world where I got caught up, which is where many of you are caught up, is in believing what the other people tell you. Friends, the common narrative around what it's like to work in veterinary medicine, the common narrative is not one of positivity.

It's not one that builds hope. It's not one that builds confidence. It's not one that builds joy and empowerment. The common narrative, the one that is most prominent in Facebook groups and in workplace commiseration, is not one that's empowering, it's defeating and it's nonsense. It's simply a combination of people's thoughts, opinions, belief and conclusions. It's a combination of narratives that have been passed on and passed on and passed on within this profession for decades.

And what we focus on, we create. And so as we continue to bring new veterinary professionals into this profession, into our organizations, and then we feed them so much bullshit, it's no wonder that as a collective, we feel like our profession is just falling apart. But the truth is, that's not the truth. That's not the facts, That is simply opinion that you're accepting without awareness and the way that's impacting then everything that you believe is possible for your life is significant.

What's also true is that there are dozens, hundreds, probably thousands of organizations that do not function this way, that are not commiseration stations, that are not fostering this continued defeatist belief system. Those organizations do exist. And you might think, Well, where are they? I don't see those people. I never hear about that. Yeah, you know why?

Cuz they're living their lives. They're not spending their time on social media complaining about things they'll never have control over. Instead, they're more aware of their perspective. They're deciding for themselves what they wanna believe, and they're functioning in their lives through that, through a perspective that they chose for themselves. So my friends, I understand the influence, I understand how we got here,

and I don't want you to beat yourself up for where you are. But what I do want is for you to consider that you're wrong about what you believe is possible for you. If anything that you want for your life has got a contingency built into it, there's nothing you have to achieve to get moving in the direction that you want to go. The only thing that you have to do is become willing to explore your awareness,

to be willing to consider alternative perspectives. Over here at Joyful dvm, we created a program called Vet Life Academy. And there's a, there's a course, the Vet Life reboot course that's actually been approved for 10 hours of race ce. And in that course, we dig into the narrative of all of it. It's an entire 10 hour CE course that helps you to understand your veterinary experience.

It helps you to build awareness around what's been happening, about what's been contributing, contributing to the experience you have in your career and in your whole life. It gives you a framework to start to investigate your own perspective, to build awareness around your thought processes so you can understand your current reality. Because once you understand what's happening, then you have the tools you need to begin to change it for yourself.

There's no longer the need to keep hopping from job to job to find happiness. There's no longer the need to put off living your life until you retire or until you quit or until you earn more money. You can start actually living your life today, enjoying today, having freedom today. And through that freedom, you'll start to make different decisions. You'll start to make decisions that are more,

are more aligned with who you are and what you want. So if you don't know where to start, at least from the veterinary perspective, vet life reboot is the place to go and it will change everything in a hurry. And the concepts within that course, the concepts are applicable to your entire lives. Now also here we are as I'm recording this episode,

where are in October of 2022, and coming up next month is a workshop. So for those of you who love the logic, the left side brain, and then we have very scientific logical brains. We love data points. So for those of you who love the data points and the logic and the left side brain activities, we have the workshop, the strategic job in life analysis workshop.

This is a very analytical process of going through and looking at your life from an analytical perspective, gathering facts. And as we gather the facts of our lives and we couple those facts with the desires for our lives that we have, we can then start to see the path forward. So what put together this workshop, first time ever, we've actually combined those strategic job analysis workshop with a strategic life analysis workshop.

And so for those of you who are feeling really stuck, who just need something to help propel you forward, definitely get on the wait list, joyfuldvm.com/workshop to be notified as soon as registration opens for the strategic job and life analysis workshop, it's a great place to start. It's a very analytical, logical process of evaluating all the different components of your job in your life so you can see exactly where the gaps are and where your opportunities are.

Then to create something different for yourself. It's a beautiful starting point, especially if you're feeling really trapped and as if you have no freedom in your job. All right, my friends, the key to freedom is your awareness. It all comes down to that. If you're feeling trapped and you, somebody's asks you why do you feel trapped? And you come back with a whole list of circumstances from here forward,

you get to question that because it's never your circumstances that keep you stuck. It's simply what you believe about them. And thank goodness that's the one thing you have 100% ability to control. And my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this week. Hope to see at the workshop, apply for Now.