heal, nine domains of healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

Resuscitate the Fire in Your Belly

We all need to revive the fire in our bellies from time to time. I love the way inspiring words and acts of others drop into my life to do just that.

Let this one wash over you:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have a hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.” 

-George Bernard Shaw, referred to as “A Splendid Torch,” a private conversation between GBS and Edwin Bjorkman, his official biographer. Quoted in A Serious Bernard Shaw.

I heard these words as they streamed extemporaneously from the mouth of actor and musician, Jeff Goldblum, having been asked by Steven Colbert what fueled his passion for his life’s work. My husband and I looked at each other amazed, jaws slack, eyes wide: Whoa.

Did you feel it too?

That ache inside that cannot be ignored as your gut recognized the truth of those words? That perhaps whispered yes! Or shouted yes, yes, yes!!

Yah. That’s why we’re here, right? To feel and live and breathe our purpose. And to allow others—like Jeff Goldblum channeling GBS, or the many inspirations that land in our lives—remind us.

What’s inspired you lately?

Have a Beautiful day!


p.s. I love what I do too and am fueled by a powerful sense of purpose. But passion and purpose require energy—energy we create through reverent self-care. Yah, we’ve got to feed and rest our passion! That’s what makes a healing life. Join me for more in my e-book series: It’s time to heal.

And stay tuned for my upcoming book: Heal—Claim Your Energy, Your Potential, Your Real You: a Roadmap for a Healing Life. I’ll keep you updated but am expecting an early fall launch!

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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