slow healing, heal, presence, mindfulness, go slow, empowerment, Nine Domains of Healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Slow Healing

Show up.

Go slow.

Pay attention.

My mantra for healing.

The mantra that saved me.

I’m not a slow girl by nature, and I’m stubborn, so I’ve come about my mantra (and healing) the hard way.

Going fast helped me get a lot done and acquire the many attributes of what I thought was a successful life. For many years I worked hard to develop myself as a mom, a physician, and a person. This always involved a forward progression of accumulation, of layering on qualifications, attributes, and skills that made me feel more worthy, like it all added up to a cumulative score of how successful and valuable I was in this life.

But it turned out not to be the basis of my success or worth at all. It’s not about what we are or what we achieve.

No. It’s about being. Being totally, openly, fully… us. Present.

That’s all.

Going fast kept me distracted and out of touch with how I felt. It distanced me from the signals of my body and my own inner wisdom. And it plain wore me out.

My fast life was not sustainable. A fast life does not lead to healing.

Because healing—sustainable healing, deep healing, the healing we’re all looking for—is, first and foremost, about being Present.

I call this slow healing. It’s about creating and living a healing life.

Slow healing looks like this:

We show up, go slow, and pay attention. We claim time. It’s there. Just obscured by distractions, speed, and tired brains trying to do too much.

 We claim healing as our own. Calling our power back from the “experts” we’ve asked to heal us, who we think know more than we do.

 We trust that healing is our innate potential. That we will heal given the right conditions—letting go of the toxins and irritants that get in our way, and nourishing ourselves with all that we need to thrive.

 We claim our worthiness to heal. Putting ourselves first on our list, and rejecting stories of shame, victimhood, scarcity, and unlovability.

 We unwind the cultural imperative to go fast, numb out, displace our own innate wisdom outside ourselves (to the “experts”), and take on too much.

 We relax, trust ourselves, and learn to love our bodies and their great wisdom. We know our bodies will always tell us exactly how we feel and precisely what we need.

 We breathe deeply, stay present, and fully live our healing life.

Have a Beautiful day!


p.s. From my Archives:

Get Your Mind Out of the Way of Your Healing. 2018.

p.p.s. My exclusive Facebook group for inspiration and support from likeminded travelers on the healing journey:

Grit and Grace.

 p.p.p.s. My healing e-books:

Big Energy: How We Bravely Reclaim Our Health, Our Potential, Our Lives—It’s All In Our Stories. 2018.

Let Go—the Nine Domains of Healing: Step One. 2018.

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.

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