My grandmother has always been a proponent of yoga, Tai chi, Qigong, and other wellness modalities. She instilled within me an appreciation of these from an early age. I remember as early as five years old I would do Yoga Kids VHS video-guided yoga sessions with her. I would also accompany her to yoga classes and learned numerous poses from her. Meditation was another major lesson that she taught me. Learning to be conscious of breath and body movements was key in developing this.
The other day while studying for the NAVLE on campus, I found out that the room in which I was working happened to be reserved for the meditation club. I did not even know that such a group existed on campus! It was a small group of attendees. Apart from the school staff member leading the meditation, it was only me and two of my professors. It was serendipitous that I had chosen to work in that room because I was definitely in need of a thirty-minute recharge. For that half hour, I could totally disconnect from staring at a computer screen, thinking about patients, and the many obligations within and outside of vet school.
It’s a gift to be entering the profession I am, but it does come with a lot of emotional baggage. Rotations have a way of snaring even the most stable individuals and throwing them for a loop. Meditation, exercise, reading, or hanging out with friends (and dogs!) are not only enjoyable but may be crucial components to surviving clinics. I find aspects of meditation similar to Shabbat (the Sabbath) and am very grateful for said day of the week as it is an opportunity to relax, reflect, and reclaim myself. Though I don’t know if I’ll be so lucky as to meditate with the group in the coming months, I am thankful for Shabbat. And it is nice know that others are carving time out of the workday to incorporate meditative practices into their daily routines.