by Kari Lindberg at Enjoy TM News, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine blog
14 November 2019
Being a female firefighter and K9 handler for a bomb squad
I am currently a K9 handler for the Bomb Squad in Columbus, Ohio. I have been a firefighter and medic for over 32 years in a very busy and continually growing metropolis. I was fortunate to have learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique 42 years ago.
Since then I have never missed a day of meditation. I credit my TM practice and exercise as the means to a successful career in a male-dominated and extremely stressful occupation.
Learning to Trust My Inner Voice
Since my first years as a firefighter, the number of women in the field has gone from 1 to 2 percent female. Not only is the actual job stressful, but there’s the added pressure and scrutiny of being in the minority, which can test anyone’s sanity.
And as if firefighting isn’t stressful enough, I set my sights on joining the highly selective K9 unit on the Bomb Squad. After applying numerous times, I was finally accepted. My K9 is a red Lab named Jackson.
For the most part, I have a lot of support from my coworkers, but as in any profession, there are always challenging personalities that you come into contact with. At most events that we work, I am the only female K9 handler and sometimes the only woman in the security team.
A Calm Interior in a Crazy World
With the help of my TM practice, I was able to learn to trust my inner voice and to recognize it amidst all the noise in a very crazy world. Knowing when something rings true, in that deeper part of yourself that knows all, can bring comfort and calm no matter what the situation.
With any success there is the cost of give-and-take and compromise, but I know for sure that the road would have been even harder without the tremendous help of the calm interior that I have gained from my TM practice.
I am eternally grateful to TM!
Kari Lindberg is a firefighter, medic, and K9 handler for the Bomb Squad in the Columbus, Ohio, Division of Fire.
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