The Unspoken Life:
Recognize Your Passion, Embrace Imperfection and Stay Connected
by Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM, CCFP
As veterinarians and caregivers, we sometimes feel dark and lonely—trapped by our obligations and the expectations of the world. We care for so many lives. Yet our own lives can feel unspoken for. In The Unspoken Life, veteran veterinarian and speaker Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson rebuilds the bridge from darkness to connection and shares how to:
- Find balance between the negative and the positive
- Harness the seven core principles of connection
- Overcome challenges with empathy and humor
- Recognize, embrace, and connect to life again
We don’t have to blame and judge ourselves for being in a dark place. We don’t need to be fixed. We are normal, loved, and wanted. More, we are in control, and we can move forward with our lives. We are one life connected. And we can cross that bridge back to connection, starting with just one step.
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The Unspoken Life is a must read for veterinarians. Understanding that we are not alone in the struggles that come along with this rewarding but also challenging profession is comforting. But Dr. Pope-Robinson also offers clear and useful advice for how to shift one’s mindset to more productively face professional stressors. With her keen insights, she is improving, if not literally saving, the lives of many veterinary professionals. I highly recommend this book to veterinary professionals and those who love them.
I recommend The Unspoken Life for any health care professional looking for a re-connection to the passion that brought us to our field. For myself, just a few years after graduating from vet school the excitement of being a new veterinarian faded into pressure and disappointment. I attended many self-care talks and workshops trying to find answers, but Dr. Pope-Robinson’s method is quite different than the typical “cure all” message of living positively and taking vacation. She does not profess to have all the answers, but guides each individual to help understand the negative feelings around their career, where they come from and how to embrace them and move forward. The book is easy to read and understand, has beautiful illustrations and there are detailed worksheets available that can help you capture how the concepts apply to you, your career and your life. Through these tools Dr. Pope-Robinson provides a method to build your own road map to a sustainable and fulfilling career.
Picture, if only for a moment, what you wish your life was like as a veterinarian. If you are cynical and disengaged with your work, or wish you hadn’t become a vet, it does not have to be this way. Through her mastery of emotions and a series of heartfelt stories, Dr. Pope has crafted a transformational tool of empowerment that is unique to veterinarians. We all deserve to be happy and actualized in our work. This book will get you there.
The Unspoken Life helped me to understand how my thoughts can lead me down a certain path, and that it is my choice to go on a positive vs. negative path. The chapter about the negativity bias really struck home for me, as I saw how quick I was to see something such as a evaluation score of 5.65 out of 6 as not good enough, whereas it could also have been interpreted as a really good score. The stories in the book are down to earth and relatable to me, especially in the areas of perfectionism and self worth. This book provides more than just self evaluation/reflection, but also some how-to information that you can apply immediately. It also gives us common language to use to help our colleagues – everyone who has read this book or has heard Dr. Pope-Robinson speak can remind each other to fill balloons, and we all know what that means. This is a book written by one of us, for us, which makes it so unique and special.