Three years ago when I created my Rakta tagline of Passion, Precision, Perseverance, I didn’t realize how often and how much perseverance factored into my life. The definition of perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. In advertisements, we see perseverance in a glistening, sweaty hardbody striving to achieve a goal—it looks glamorous and sexy. In my reality, perseverance looks messy and is usually accompanied by feelings of depression and low level nausea.
The first time I really had to persevere was when I started my PA surgery residency. I had recently moved across the US from Colorado to Connecticut and was still adjusting to grey skies, grey snow, and grey landscape. I wasn’t certain I even liked surgery, but there I was.
Our days began with ICU rounds at 4:30am followed by lectures at 5:30am. I was homesick and adapting to a new East Coast culture. I tried desperately to learn laparoscopic surgery assisting by practicing with instruments in a box. I tried and failed to grab things and tie knots. I felt incompetent, inexperienced, and uncoordinated.
We spent full days in surgery and rounds and followed them up with hours of studying for the next day’s case. We were on call every third night. I had no idea what I was doing and I wanted to go home to Colorado blue skies. I felt shell shocked from every angle.
After four months, though, I had begun to settle in. Even my box laparoscopic skills had improved. By graduation, I was hooked. I was in love with surgery and stayed for two more years to work.
Oddly enough, I had a similar experience when I decided to move back to Colorado and switch from the now familiar world of surgery to emergency medicine. Once again, the learning curve was steep. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I had no idea how to get back to anything familiar. Fighting for traction, that same gnawing feeling, low level nausea, and fear of failure accompanied me for months and I tried to convince myself that leaving Connecticut wasn’t a good idea.
I am reminded of the power of perseverance when multiple things aren’t working well and I start to feel overwhelmed and stressed. These are the moments when I want to quit and walk away. When I was opening Rakta, my life was full of these moments. Permits were delayed, construction issues occurred one after another, and the heat and humidity didn’t work. The only thing I felt was the pit in my stomach as I questioned what I was doing and why.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt COVID weariness as a business owner. We were experiencing multiple issues around delivery of online classes. I was frustrated, teachers were frustrated, and clients were frustrated. Working with no firm reopening date or sustainable business plan was taking its toll.
Fortunately, my past experiences have taught me to take a breath and regroup. There is always a light. There is always an answer. More often than not, I’ve had to get out of my own way to find it. When I let the passion for yoga and health guide me, when I lean in to perseverance, I can focus on precision.
Keep persevering—and I can’t wait to see you in the studio!
In light and love,