Today's Veterinary Business

DEC-JAN 2017

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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36 Today's Veterinary Business Community What is more interesting to notice, though, is how we feel as those waves arrive, since that is the only part of the experience we have any control over. Are we overwhelmed? Coping? Thriving? Are we getting pummeled by the waves and dreading the next one, or are we seeking a thrill from them, exhilarated like a seasoned surfer eagerly greeting a big swell? Or are we somewhere in between? Perpetual Distractions This question brings us back to "flow," the state where we are fully present and meeting the challenges of the moment with a calm, clear focus and access to all our resources. The unfortunate reality is that most of us do not have much of a sense of flow or know how to access it. Instead, our minds are caught in a state of perpetual distraction, often not aware of the arrival of the next wave. As a result, we can swing wildly from complete dejection over perceived negative situations at one end of the spectrum to elation over perceived positive situations at the other. And even if we seek to step into flow, the culture around us is not much help. Instead of encour- aging us to center and find the stillness within, we are distracted by an endless stream of messages competing for our attention, mon- ey, emotions, and on and on. If you've ever tried your luck at surfing, it's easy to see how it can serve as a metaphor for our human experience. Life comes at us in waves, no matter who we are or what we are trying to accomplish. It does not ask if we're ready, nor is it completely predictable at any given moment. And sometimes it sends us a big one to deal with. The only thing we all know for sure is that the waves will keep coming. Community GO WITH THE FLOW By Jeff Thoren, DVM, BCC, PCC The surfer's guide to life Every once in a while, we come across a reminder that there is another way — a middle path — that resonates with us. By Trey Cutler, JD But every once in a while, we come across a reminder that there's another way — a middle path — that resonates with us, like the Taoist story of the old farmer who had worked his crops for years until one day his horse escaped and ran away, leaving him no way to work his crops. The townspeople were all sympathetic to the farmer's plight, saying: "We are so sorry that this has happened. Now you have lost your horse and will not be able to take care of your crops." To which the old farmer just said, "We'll see." The next day, the farmer's horse returned with two other strong, young horses and the townspeople were amazed, exclaiming, "What good fortune! Now you have three horses, when before you only had one." To which the old farmer again replied, "We'll see." The following day, the farmer's son attempted to ride one of the new, untamed horses, but was thrown off and broke his leg. Again, the townspeople were distraught, saying, "Your son has broken his leg and will not be able to help you with your crops. What horrible luck!" And again, the old farmer just replied, "We'll see." A day later, military recruitment officers arrived, conscripting the young men in town to duty in an unpopular military campaign. All the young men were forced to join the military except for the old farm- er's son, who was spared because of his broken leg. At Peace With What Is This tale works on several levels. For starters, it demonstrates how circumstances that seem to be positive or negative at the outset can play out far differently than we might originally expect. The farmer's reaction to his constantly changing circumstances also illustrates what it would be like to be fully present with those circumstances without getting wrapped up in them. Instead of riding a roller coaster back and forth between dejection and elation, he's at peace with what is, but not

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