Category Archives for "Podcasts"

Oct 10

Turnabout: Colleen Pelar interviewed by Tina Spring


UNLEASHED (at work & home) is on it's 50th episode! 

Over the past two years, I've had so many amazing, insightful conversations with pet professionals about resilience.

My goal has always been "real conversations about real life." I don't want the guests to be experts; I just want them to be authentic, to share their personal truths.

It's been an awesome experience. Every episode has provided strategies and suggestions for other pet pros to try, so they can manage their stress, focus on what really matters to them, and find more joy.

I've loved every minute of it. As we're heading into our third year, I've got a great lineup of guests and topics ahead.

We're on a roll!

When I was thinking about who should be the guest for the 50th episode, a listener challenged me to be the "guest" and to ask someone to interview me. 

I resisted the idea at first. I love interviewing my guests and didn't want to give up the fun. And besides, I reasoned, I'm not nearly as interesting as they are. (See, we all have that negative voice in our heads.)

But we've all heard the phrase, turnabout is fair play, and after considering it a bit more, I decided to give it a go. So the next hurdle was finding a guest host.

How do you ask someone to interview you? 

That's such an odd request. "Hey, let's get together and talk about me!" Awkward.

Fortunately for me, dog trainer Tina Spring has a gift for embracing awkward moments and making them fun. (You've got to listen to her episode on authenticity.) She knows that life has many layers and nuances, and there's something to be learned from each.

Tina agreed to take on the challenge, and what followed was a rollercoaster of an interview. It was truly a "real conversation about real life."

In my work as a coach and trainer, I've seen that pet professionals of all types are searching for ways to make their lives easier, simpler, more joyful. The work is difficult and draining, but there are tools and strategies that can help.

If you're a pet pro seeking support and connection, check out the free Facebook group, Circle of Resilient & Thriving Pet Pros.

If you're ready for a deeper dive into your own personal growth with interactive learning and the warmest, most supportive group of pet pros you can imagine, join us in the UNLEASHED Resilience Community when the doors reopen on October 28th.

Sep 26

Service: Veronica Sanchez, MEd, CABC, CPDT-KA


What service do you provide? How do you measure your impact?

Pet professionals are all in service professions. 

Every day, you make a difference in the lives of animals and other people.

But do you feel it? Does it stick with you?

Do you walk out at the end of the day feeling satisfied by a job well done? Or do you feel exhausted and drained by all of the demands on your time, attention, and expertise?

Far too many, pet professionals feel weighed down by their work, not energized and excited by it. 

The oft-cited crisis of veterinary suicide has roots in the need to be of service and the difficulty in feeling acknowledged, supported, and valued. It's not just veterinarians who are struggling.

I hear similar stories from vet techs, kennel staff, shelter and rescue personnel, dog trainers, and pet sitters. Across the board, pet pros are struggling to find the boundaries between their service and their own wellbeing.

Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws joined me to talk about service. Veronica teaches other dog trainers how to train service dogs. We wrestled with the word "service" because it has so many negative connotations.

As Veronica said, it's closely linked to servitude, which isn't far off from what many pet pros describe when I talk with them about their jobs.

Do you give joyfully or from a place of pressure? Do you feel obligated to meet your clients' every need? Do you feel guilty when you turn someone away? Do you ever beat yourself up for not doing enough, knowing enough, being enough to meet the constant demands?

I loved that Veronica emphasized a very important point. She encourages all of her students to remember that they cannot see the full effect of their work. It's impossible.

Think about it from the perspective of your own life.

  • What's the best advice you ever got?
  • Who helped you understand something from a new perspective?
  • Who inspired you to develop your talents?
  • Who made a suggestion that you didn't adopt until much later?

Does the other person in these stories know the effect they had on you? Probably not. For them, it was just an ordinary moment in an ordinary day.

But for you, it changed the way you see the world.

Ripple effects are powerful--and subtle. 

This conversation with Veronica is sure to give you lots to think about.

What impact would it have if you could stop measuring your effectiveness by the changes you see immediately, and instead adopted the perspective of planting seeds? 

You may not be present to see grow; your job is simply to sow with care and good intentions.

Sep 12

Financial Freedom: River Lee, CFMG


How are you doing money-wise? Are you feeling flush or struggling to make ends meet? Does the idea of financial freedom seem laughable?

For many pet professionals, money is a huge concern. Across the industry, pet pros of every kind are overworked and undervalued.

River Lee, CFMG, owner of Savvy Groomer, joined me to talk about money. She's had her own share of financial challenges and now she's on a mission to help groomers find their way to financial security.

Budgeting is like dieting. We all know the basic principles, but implementation trips us up.

In this week's episode, River and I discussed practical tips that will help you 

  • Set a budget ... that you'll actually stick to
  • Create an emergency fund
  • Explore your values to ensure you're spending your limited funds on the things that really matter to you

What's your biggest money challenge? What steps are you taking to address it? Join the conversation over on the Resilient & Thriving Pet Pros Facebook page.

Aug 29

Acceptance: Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA


What would your life look life with more acceptance?

Life is beautiful ... and challenging.

There's an unavoidable polarity in all experiences. It can be uncomfortable at times. 

This week, ugh, this week has been a perfect example for me. A challenging situation arose on the personal front, and it sapped my energy and diverted my focus from my work.

That's to be expected. It's normal. It happens to everyone!

And yet, I'd catch myself thinking that I should be more productive. I fretted about this podcast post in particular. 

The incredible Grisha Stewart joined me on UNLEASHED (at work & home) to talk about acceptance, about leaning in to what is, and about letting go of the struggle for perfection (or even for something different).

It's a great episode. You've got to listen!

And, even though I'm well-versed in acceptance and resilience, I still had moments of struggle. I had to remind myself that fighting against what I cannot change weakens my ability to enjoy what I have (and change what I can).

Here's the thing: 

Resilience is not a merit badge. You don't achieve it.

You are already resilient. Look at what you've already overcome. Look at all the challenges you've faced. No one makes it through life without learning to bounce back.

But ... you can learn to bounce back better, quicker, faster, more easily. You can learn to shake things off and move on. You can learn to reset your emotions and find peace, contentment, and even joy in moments of struggle.

Resilience is a mindset and a skill set. It's something you practice.

It'd be great to be happy all the time, to never experience fear, anxiety, regret, loss, anger, frustration, or disappointment. Great, but not realistic.

Uncomfortable emotions are a normal, natural part of life. Every life. Even yours. (And, as I've been reminding myself this week, even mine.)

The trick is to learn to lean into what you're feeling with a measure of acceptance, peace, and calm.

When you're happy, allow yourself to really feel it. Notice what happens in your body. How does happiness show up inside you? What can you do to feel this way more often?

Similarly, develop some curiosity about the things you wish were different. What about the situation is causing you distress? How would things be different if you were able to accept the current reality without trying to change it in any way?

Simple, but not easy

The real truisms of life are often like this. There's nothing particularly profound about encouraging you to explore your feelings, to really notice what you notice, and pay attention to the stories you tell yourself about why you feel the way you feel.

But this simple strategy takes effort and commitment. It's not easy. 

Fortunately, you'll get lots of ideas in this episode that will help you keep growing and developing your gift of acceptance.

Links worth clicking

Aug 14

Positivity: Becca Keiser, MSc, ICBP


What’s good?

It’s such a simple question: What’s good?

Don’t be fooled by its simplicity.

This question is a really powerful tool.

In this week’s episode of UNLEASHED (at work & home), Becca Keiser of Blue Heron Consulting and I talk about rewiring your brain to notice and appreciate the good.

Becca Keiser
A surprising number of people don’t actually know what they’re thinking and feeling in any given moment. They get caught up in the situation and respond reflexively.

Taking time to stop and mentally check in with how you are feeling right now is a great way to develop self-awareness. Ideally you should do it multiple times of day.

But what if every time you check in, you discover you are cranky? Or discouraged? Or sad?

What do you do then?

Who wants to develop greater awareness of uncomfortable emotions?

Well, you do. Trust me on this.

Honoring your emotions—the full gamut of them—helps you navigate the world more effectively.

Positive emotions broaden your perspective and build connections between you and others.

Negative emotions narrow and focus your attention. They help you identify problems and inspire you to take action.

All emotions serve a purpose. All emotions have value. It’s good to feel them, understand them, and appreciate them.

HOWEVER … there’s a catch.

Your brain has a negativity bias. It’s constantly on the lookout for danger and threats.

Evolutionarily speaking, this is awesome. It keeps you alive.

Those people who didn’t wonder about what went bump in the night? They didn’t survive to become your ancestors.

You come from a long line of worriers who were great at spotting potential problems before they became life-threatening.

Most of the issues they worried about weren’t life threatening. They were just ordinary situations that didn’t require any special attention.

But their brains, and now yours, believe it’s worth sending 999 false alarms rather than miss one serious threat.

Again, from an evolutionary standpoint, this is awesome.

But the problem is it creates a lot of unhappiness and stress.

Your internal wiring is designed for survival, not thriving.

To move yourself north of neutral, to fully experience joy on a regular basis, requires some deliberate action.

And that starts with actively seeking the good.

There’s always something good in every situation. It might be something small. Microscopic even. But if you look for it, you’ll always find something good.

Being able to induce positive emotions when you want them gives you a secret superpower. Positive emotions help you generate more creative ideas and inspire better communication and collaboration.

Listen in to learn a variety of simple strategies you can use to not only notice what’s good, but also to spread positive emotions in your encounters with colleagues and clients.

Aug 01

Curiosity: Zazie Todd, PhD


What are you curious about? What intrigues you enough to dig deeper, learn more? How does curiosity benefit you?

These were some of the questions on my mind when I invited the passionately curious Zazie Todd to talk with me on UNLEASHED (at work & home).

Zazie is the author of the Companion Animal Psychology blog, which I love because I'm interested in the science, but can't force myself to read dry reports of academic studies.

Instead, Zazie does the hard work of reading, distilling, and translating important findings into clear, relatable language. So grateful!

Zazie Todd

Your brain has a surprising paradox. It craves certainty and predictability, but also delights in novelty and change.

Your curious nature helps you learn new skills, identify solutions, and find ways to thrive.

But sometimes, you fall into a rut. Over time, it's easy to slip into comfortable routines that no longer challenge or interest you. And when you think of something new you could explore, you sigh and say, "Ah, it's too much trouble."

This is dangerous ground!

Becoming complacent (and often, bored) diminishes your opportunities for pleasure, growth, and mastery.

Every time you encounter something new, your brain lights up with dopamine and other feel-good chemicals. When nothing's new, it's hard to get excited about much of anything--even the things you once loved.

Dorothy Parker curiosity quote

So I offer you a challenge: Identify one thing that you'd like to learn a little more about and spend an hour exploring the topic.

  • Perhaps you'll read a book at the library about it. 
  • Or sign up for an introductory lesson.
  • Or find yourself clicking link after related link.
  • Or call someone to ask them questions.
  • Or go visit a museum, training center, art school, or wherever is best for you to learn more.

The more you open your eyes, even a little, to the questions that run through your mind, the more you open yourself up to joy, exploration, and re-invention.

So, I ask again, What are you curious about?

Link to UNLEASHED Resilience Community page

Links worth clicking

Jul 18

Self Care: Tabitha Kucera, RVT, CCBC, KPA-CTP


Self-care is a touchy topic. It's become a bit of a buzzword that has overtones of self-indulgence. Like, who has time for "self-care" with its yoga, essential oil massages, and meditation cushions?

Well, yoga, massage, and mediation are wonderful tools for building resilience. Chocolate, hot baths, and dinner dates with friends are nice too.

Why should you feel guilty about those things?

Let's imagine you spent your weekend hiking and then napping in a hammock.

Why is it that you'd be more likely to get a snarky comment from your friends and coworkers than a show of support?

We're not in a contest. No one is going to win the gold medal in toughing it out. 

And what's particularly interesting to me is that those warm, restorative elements of self-care, while very nice and definitely beneficial, are only half the picture.

There's a deeper, more difficult side of self-care that requires facing uncomfortable truths and taking action on them.

All the movie dates in the world aren't going to help you if you aren't looking reality in the face and making choices that serve you.

I invited Tabitha Kucera to talk with me about self-care because she made me laugh when we had a previous conversation in which she said, "If one more person suggests I try yoga, I might scream. I've tried yoga! It's good, but it isn't enough."

Ah, an honest, forthright realist. My kinda person.

Tabitha is a registered veterinary technician who specializes in behavior and focuses on reducing fear, stress, and anxiety--in cats, dogs, and people.

You are in for a treat. Listen in as Tabitha shares hard truths, boundless compassion, and tried-and-true strategies.

Get ready to lean into both the yin and the yang of self-care. 

Self-care is not selfish. You matter. It's time to make some tough choices.

Tabitha Kucera

Links worth clicking

Want to continue the discussion on self-care and colleague compassion? Check out this episode on self-injury and suicide with Sally Foote, DVM.

Jun 20

Creativity: Victoria Schade, CPDT-KA


I've known Victoria Schade for more than a decade, and I always marvel at her innate creativity. She's always throwing herself into something new--and rocking it.

She writes novels and also nonfiction books and articles. She dances. She podcasts. She creates videos. And she composes ridiculous poems on the fly.

Together we explored creativity and how allowing yourself the joy of doing something just for fun can be a great pick-me-up as well as a source of inspiration and productivity.

Allowing yourself space and time for creativity produces measurable improvement in problem solving, feelings of purpose and accomplishment,  and your ability to focus.

What can feel like a waste of time may actually be what you need more than anything else.

So next time you're feeling boxed in by all the "shoulds" and other people's ideas of what is right, appropriate, or worthy, ask yourself, "Who made these rules and why do we have to abide by them?" Carve your own path by trying something new.

Here are two of Victoria's silly poems to brighten your day.

Caught off guard,
on our daily stroll,
I used twig chopsticks,
to grab a poo-poo roll.

An Ode to Olive's Mouf
i would like you to meet
these four little teef
four in the front
and two underneef

What feeds your soul creatively? Do you sing, dance, write, paint, build model airplanes, garden, doodle, make up stories about strangers, create math problems based on road signs? Share your favorite creative outlets in the comments.

Want to keep the discussion going? Listen to this episode on critical thinking with Ginny Price!

Jun 06

Boundaries: Marie Holowaychuk, DVM


Boundaries. It's another one of our popular buzzwords. People talk about needing good boundaries, but it can be hard to know exactly what that means. 

As Marie Holowaychuk, DVM, and I discussed, boundaries are the limits you set--and enforce--related to your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.

Boundaries are your path toward wholehearted living because they keep you in alignment with your values and priorities.

UNLEASHED (at work & home) guest: Marie Holowaychuk, DVM

It's tempting to avoid setting clear boundaries because you want to be nice. Most veterinarians and other pet professionals are people pleasers. 

You want don't want to inconvenience anyone. You don't want to make waves. You think it's easier to do everything yourself rather than take the time to delegate, teach someone else, or simply say no.

And then you start feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, irritated, resentful. All because you're being nice to others at the expense of yourself. Hmm, that's not a good plan.

I'm curious: How would your life change if you committed to being as nice to yourself as you are to others? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

How to find Marie:

If you liked this episode, you'll enjoy this episode on trauma and adverse childhood experiences with Samantha Clarke!

May 23

Honesty: Sharon Garland, LVT


Honesty is an amazing character strength. It's associated with closer friendships, greater trust and confidence, and lower stress and anxiety.

But it can be tricky too. As your goal is always to improve your relationships with others, you've got to find a way to communicate what's important without harming the relationship.

When I was growing up, I was known for being "honest to a fault." Clearly I needed to work on my communication skills.

My mother had three questions she encouraged me to use before sharing my opinions. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? She told me to shoot for all three, but always have at least two.

Three questions for communication

I struggled with those at times. We all do.

My guest this week, Sharon Garland, is a licensed veterinary technician and former practice manager. We talked about the benefits and challenges of honesty in our professional roles.

Our goal is always to provide pets with the best care possible. To do that, we've got to improve our human-to-human communication! Listen in for some great tips.

UNLEASHED (at work & home) guest Sharon Garland, LVT

Regarding honesty, I've found two main challenges for pet professionals.

Saying too little. You don't want to rock the boat, so you don't speak up. But then problems begin to fester. You become more and more irritated because things are not improving. Eventually you wind up in a much worse situation, and your relationships with your clients or colleagues are strained and fragile.

Saying too much. The flip side of the coin is letting it all hang out and sharing the truth as you see it without regard for other people's perceptions. There's no ill intent; you're not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. But that seems to happen anyway.

So how do you speak your truth with honesty and tact? Well, it takes practice, that's for sure. But there are techniques you can use for to make it easier. Download the free guide below.

Download your free guide:

Find the courage to address issues and the words to convey your thoughts.

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    Eager to develop your listening skills? Check out this episode with Laurie Schulze, DVM

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