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Beyonce Wisdom for Veterinary Professionals

Beyonce texas hold em
No Texas Hold Em Here...

So - is anybody else completely obsessed with the ear worm that Beyonce released last week?

I might have played Texas Hold Em over 50 times already. I might have also hoed down. Who knew that Queen B and country music could go so hard. I didn't.

I also might be reading too far into the lyrics, but in a world where it seems like all people want to do is disagree because they haved anchored their identity around strong held opinions, this song feels like a breath of fresh air. It also feels like a much needed reminder that we can operate from love and meet in the middle, even when we have different opinions.

disagreement, conflict
Seems to be the general state of humanity these days....

We all know this is an election year in the USA, which means months of political vitriol,

blaming, shaming, reactive low emotional intelligence, and general middle school BS including name calling, finger pointing, and siloing. B called it 'a heat wave, coming at us' and 'all these problems just seem dramatic.' PREACH.

Beyonce Wisdom for Veterinary Professionals

You may be wondering, how does this apply to people in veterinary medicine?

Well...first if you are human, then this applies to you. But in regards as to how this applies to people working in our profession, first take a deep breath and honestly answer the following questions:

  • How do you experience disagreements with your clients or coworkers? How does it feel - safe? unsafe? What happens to your body? Your thoughts? Your emotions? Do you contract and become tense, or are you loose, open, and allowing? Do you feel charged or neutral when you interact with people who hold different beliefs from you? Do you feel loving and open, or irritated and closed? The next time it happens, watch yourself and see what you do.

  • What do you do when these people are talking? Do you allow people who have different beliefs to share with you, or do you tend to interrupt them, talk over them, or tune them out and jump in when it's your turn to speak?*

  • Do you only associate with people who share your same beliefs? Or do you create thought and belief diversity and inclusion in your social and professional circles?

  • Does it feel like the disagreement or different opinions create barriers or divisions between you and other people?*

  • Does it stress you out when your clients don't follow your recommendations? If so, what do you do with those negative thoughts and emotions - process them in a way that is healthy or compassionate to all parties involved, or do you suppress in the moment only to spread toxicity and validate yourself by venting to colleagues and coworkers later?*

  • Have you had or can you have a civil, safe, open conversation with a person who holds a different opinion regarding their pet's care than you? Or does your mind tend to snap closed with the minute the other person starts to share their beliefs?*

*no judgement if this describes you - welcome to the human race, we've all been there omg I feel like I am preaching to myself. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Despite the coming political storm and all the other things we can disagree with others on, 2024 can be an excellent opportunity to raise your EQ and become a more enlightened, compassionate, mature individual. If you choose to accept this mission you can expect:

  • to elevate yourself and everybody around you

  • potentially inflammatory conversations to flow more easily and feel less threatening

  • to expand your connections and enjoy a more socially diverse human experience

  • to create a more peaceful, fulfilling situation for everyone involved WIN WIN WIN!!

If this all sounds good and you wish to raise your EQ be forewarned:

This can be challenging, especially if you are in the daily habit of consuming news, rehashing and reacting to everything you read, venting to others about 'how stupid' certain people groups are, etc. It's low key like breaking an addiction to the negative. This can be hard because, well, habits are familiar. Your brain likes familiar and will choose it over unfamiliar, even if the familiar isn't the best expression of yourself. However, if you persevere, you will free up mental space and energy to create new habits that support true wellbeing.

And when I say true wellbeing, I mean that sense of deep, abiding inner peace that persists no matter what happens outside of you vs. the temporary dopamine hit you get when you vent and are validated by other like minded people. Know the difference.

It can also be difficult if you find yourself in an environment that favors judgement of people who believe differently and rewards associated toxic behaviors, aka the toxic workplace. We all know that our environment reinforces behaviors, and if you want to change yourself in this type of environment, you may encounter pushback from others or temptation to engage in old behaviors that favor judgement and separation. Just be aware of it and continue to practice compassion for yourself and others.

It can also be really difficult if you see people who have different beliefs than you as 'the enemy'. If you see them as the enemy, then you brain will do everything it can to 'protect' you, which can include name-calling, isolating yourself from them, or poopoo-ing their beliefs and values. Don't judge yourself if you have been in the habit of doing this - remember it is just your brain's way of 'protecting you' from perceived 'enemies' and 'psychological threats'. If you find yourself doing this, just laugh, send yourself a little self compassion, practice acceptance of the other person's beliefs, and remind yourself that 'the war is over'. This will defuse the reaction in yourself and help yourself feel better in the moment. The truth is you deserve to and have the ability to feel happy, good, safe and loving, even when you are dealing with people who disagree with you. If you really struggle to do this on your own there is no shame in getting help from a mental health professional.

ALSO: Acceptance isn't approval, it is caring for yourself in the moment. If you wanted to put a medical spin on it, remember that self care and staying calm and unaffected by the words of others halts the cascade of cortisol and other stress chemicals that are ramping up in your body, which is good because you do NOT want to look or feel like a cushingnoid dog. NOPE.

Lay Your Cards Down, Down, Down

compromise, agree
While it ain't the gold standard, it may still bring you some peace.

At this point, you may be thinking 'this seems like a good way to be a human but I'm not sure how to apply this to veterinary practice.' WELL - check out these resources I created for IDEXX Vetiverse:

Hopefully you will find some good pointers to get you started! If you want more, you can read Daniel Goleman's book 'Emotional Intelligence' and if you really want to take a deep dive try Robert Sapolsky's book 'Behave'. Both of these books will teach you everything you need to know about the neurobiology, why humans behave badly, and how to become an emotionally intelligent super human. If that is too much, here is an article that you can read in 10 minutes that also has good tips. Or, you could just listen to Texas Hold Em 50 times and learn Beyonce wisdom for veterinary professionals by osmosis. It's not a bad idea.

The truth that you already know is you can still love and respect other people even if they hold different beliefs than you. Instead of falling back on old patterns of suspicion, closed mind, and judgement that are reinforced by the 24 hour fear, I mean news cycle, choose new patterns that support connections with people of all beliefs. Give this world and the people in it good energy, and good energy will come back to you.

As Ghandi would say, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'

As holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl would say, 'Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.'

Or as Beyonce would say 'I'll be damned if I cannot dance with you' and 'don't be a bitch come on take it to the floor now.'

From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours,

Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity Crew 😆

Sarah Wooten

PS We are holding the 2024 Vets Against Insanity in the home of country music - Nashville, TN!! Please join us - who knows, maybe Beyonce will show up! 👸🏾


Great words for me! I need to work on this! Thanks

Replying to

Oh's a life long project for me. ;-) Namaste!

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