presence, mindfulness, practice slow, miracles, empower yourself, karyn shanks md

Learning to Practice “Slow”

Dear One,

Oh my God, I’m so impatient! Can you relate?

I’m not gunna lie, I want it now. I want to see the results. Now. I want to feel the transformation. Now.

I want to get there fast. And I want the world to keep up with my brain and my intentions.

About ten years ago I received two speeding tickets in rapid succession within a mile from my home. Within a mile!

One was on my way to work. My route passes through a land preserve of Iowa prairie and forest. There’s a vintage red barn and cows—cows! And when I got my ticket, the road was lined with the radiant plants of summer—sunflowers, asters, coneflowers, and grasses.

But I flew by them, day after day, in my haste to get to work—to the future events I couldn’t wait another second for.

Until I was stopped in my tracks by the nice officer who didn’t care about my agenda. Who pointed out my excessive speed and wrote me an expensive ticket.

I was pissed. And I went along my way, inconvenienced, but back on my track.

Until it happened again just a few days later after dropping my kids off at school. I didn’t realize I was going thirty-five in a twenty mph school zone.

Humble pie. A nice big slice.

Thank you, officers. This time I decided to take your advice to slow down to heart.

The Universe knocked twice. I decided to listen.

I started driving the speed limit as part of my Zen makeover.

It felt interminably slow at first. But as I got used to it and looked around me on my country road, I was blown away by those flowers of summer, so radiant, faces rising toward the sun, swaying gently in the breeze, throwing off light, knocking my freaking socks off.


I slowed down and saw what I hadn’t seen before—really saw. I let in the beauty of the world all around me. I felt that beauty permeate me. Tether me to the present moment. Transform me.

I learned two big things.

When I’m impatient I’m only focused on the future. I miss what’s right in front of me—I miss my life.

And when I go too fast I don’t leave space for the beauty—the miracles—all around me.

I’m still impatient. I still want it NOW.

But I practice “slow.”

And while I’m still a work in progress, I’m more present to it all, my life is richer, and the world rewards me constantly with Wow.

Have a Beautiful day!




Karyn Shanks MD


Karyn Shanks, MD, is a physician who lives and practices in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by the revolutionary science of Functional Medicine, body-mind wisdom, and the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her twenty-eight year career. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves.


    Hi I have just had an operation cancer scare I got the news I wanted but o my body so ached I’m inpatient I want to be myself my head is thick every morning but I am grateful I no it’s going to take time but it’s so hard


    Yes it is. But your body wants to heal. Be patient. And find people who truly support you
    to be on your recovery team. Keep hope alive!!


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