Downward Dog DVM: The 100th Post

Just turned 100…my 100th blog post, that is!  Can’t believe that I’ve been able to keep at this blogging thing for more than two years now.

I started writing to explore how yoga could help me through a stressful time of transition. And it did.  This gut-churning period in my life was a true test of Self.  By joining the studio, I found skills through yoga and writing that have allowed me to live better.  I have chosen to work a little less and curb my spending.  Among many things, it means fewer new shoes, dinners out and taking a really long time to build my house…one day it’ll be finished!  I’m grateful to my husband, my family, my friends and my colleagues for their support.  I’ve grown so much.  I still have my triggers (my family can attest to that!) but I’d like to think that I’ve become a little more aware of them.

I wish the blog had more stories about pets and their owners or more posts describing difficult cases with amazing outcomes.   If you’ve noticed, when I do talk about people, I rarely use names and I speak about things in generalities but with enough detail to make the story interesting.  There have been many other veterinarians who have authored books and done this type of story-telling much better than I could.  Instead, I’ve chosen to write about how it feels to work with worried owners and sick animals.  There isn’t as much focus on this side of the veterinary profession.  I have described a little about my experience in veterinary acupuncture.  It’s still progressing.  I’m taking my time to understand Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine so bear with me as I learn more.  I’ll share more when I feel ready.

In the last 3 months, I’ve tried three times to write something to mark the occasion.  I didn’t feel that I was hitting the mark.  So I gave myself permission, and more time, to think.

What is “D3” all about?

It’s my exploration into finding and expressing my True Self.  My nature is to help and please others.  Sometimes, I do this at a sacrifice to myself.  So, it becomes a lifelong journey to balance the two.  How best can I spend time in this “mortal coil”?  What can I do to serve?  How to I help myself so that I can continue to do this?

D3 is a place for me to integrate and express my thoughts on what I’ve been reading and learning.  I am grateful to live in the age of the e-library and the Internet.  Lately, my interests turn to fiction about Faeries, werewolves, the science of neuroplasticity, meditation, veterinary acupuncture and yoga.

As I read, I fall into the fantasy world that my favourite authors have created.  I’m fascinated how they can turn simple words into vibrant characters and worlds.  I wish that I could do that.

Meditation has given me the skill to observe my thoughts, pause after they happen and then continue to breathe after I let them pass.  A little less reactive, I hope.  Research in neuroscience has shown that meditation improves blood flow in the brain and creates new neural pathways, even as we continue to age.  How good is that?

My chronic hormonal cramping led me to getting treatments with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines.  I was tired of popping a whole bottle of Advil every month.  I had an inkling of interest in this, how it might help my animal patients, and that motivated me to pursue training in veterinary acupuncture.  Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine gives me a different insight into the disease and treatment process.

And yoga?  It’s my refuge.  My place to feel grounded, energized and supported by a wonderful local community.  I love sharing the practice with others.  Yoga asana has taught me to be more aware of my body.  Holding postures on my mat helps me tune into my body’s sensations.  I’m slowly getting better at sensing the edgy feeling that precedes those hormones as they start to kick into full gear.

I also dream that D3 is a space where readers can find inspiration, and maybe refuge, in work and life.  I hope that more veterinarians, veterinary technicians and animal health care providers can read from this blog and find tidbits of advice that help them deal with the stresses of our wonderful, exciting, stressful, unpredictable profession.  It is exciting to know that my American veterinary colleagues are offering mindfulness training.  It’s a step in the right direction.

That’s what D3 has been about so far.  Maybe I should focus my writing more on one area?  Something to work on…I had to start somewhere, two years ago.  I’m continuing to refine what I want to accomplish in this blog.  Stick with me and you’ll get to see what happens.