We weren’t broken then.
We aren’t broken now.
Not our world. Not our communities. Not the planet.
If not broken, what the hell are we? What kind of Pollyanna idea is “unbroken” anyway?
I’ll tell you what it means. We’re … Complicated. Messy. Mean as hell. Heartbroken. Scared. Gorgeous. Amazing. And Beautiful. All these things. All at once.
But not broken.
Because we are always doing precisely what we’re designed to do at any given time, in any given circumstances.
We’re amazing biological, psychological, and spiritual systems of miraculousness, intrinsic wisdom, and potential. We live the primary urge of all nature—of all living things—to adapt, grow, heal, and survive.
When we adapt, grow, heal, and survive without conscious intention about what the hell we’re doing, especially when we’re scared, we shrink.
In our unconscious wisdom we get smaller to survive. This makes us quiet, compliant, and unwilling to take risks. Sometimes this is exactly what we need to do—we might consciously choose to get small and wait out the danger.
But we’d better look out—being small and safe can make us mean and defensive. It gives others dominion over us. And sometimes we forget to stand back up and fight.
But if we are consciously wise, if we dare to consider where we want to be, we expand. In our conscious wisdom we expand to survive. We take risks. We step up into our power even when we’re scared and don’t know what the hell we’re doing. We adapt, grow, and heal to become better than we were … to thrive.
Conscious Change to Our Advantage
Personal control and freedom are what make us unique amongst living things. While the rest of nature makes due, we get to consciously change our environments and life circumstances to our own advantage. If we choose.
We have the capacity to understand ourselves and adjust to our challenges in ways that unleash our vast untapped potential.
This capacity for personal control and freedom is our hope, and the promise of our amazing humanness. Once we see it and know it, it becomes our responsibility to live it and teach it to others, to better our world beyond ourselves.
So, I stand by what I said before:
We’re not broken.
We’ve just messed things up. In a big bad way. We’ve made bad choices. But we’ve always done our best based on what we’ve known.
For most of us that’s not good enough anymore.
We don’t want to just survive. We want to be awake. And alive. We want to step into the amazing potential for which we were born. We want to thrive.
The principle of We’re Not Broken is represented by this equation:
+Best personal choices you could make at the time
= You in your wholeness
This equation is based on the science of Human Potential: Epigenetics, Neuroplasticity, Core Functional Medicine systems biology, and positive body-mind-spirit psychology.
This science supports our new cultural narrative of hope, healing, and personal control over all of our outcomes. We get to direct our own healing.
How do we start?
Just say “yes.”
“Yes” to your healing. “Yes” to a better world. “Yes” to personal freedom and potential. “Yes, yes, yes!” (Being awake isn’t rocket science!)
Then we forgive ourselves and others for how we messed things up. We did our best, remember? Our task now is to stay awake, accept the love and resources all around that support us, and raise the bar on what our best can be.
And, relax. By simply saying “yes” you pass this amazing heritage of vast potential on to those watching you (because they are, you know). They may be less bold than you but are ready for your inspiration to create a safer, more beautiful world where all of us can thrive.
Thank you for listening!
How do you say “yes?”
Resources for Thriving:
Karyn Shanks MD. Heal. Heal Literary Press, 2019.
Karyn Shanks MD. Your Healing Story. 2019.
Karyn Shanks MD. Born to Heal: Our Call for a New Healing Paradigm. 2020.
More on Empowering Your Healing Story:
Empower Your Healing Story Table of Contents
How to Empower Your Healing Story (A Manifesto)
Let's claim our healing stories. Let’s begin this healing journey. To claim our power and our wisdom to know what’s best, to own our bodies.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (What are Stories?)
If we didn't get stuck we'd all be healed, wouldn't we? Learn to recognize and let go of the disempowering stories that slam the brakes on your healing.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (By Reimagining These Five Stories)
Why can't we heal? Why can't we get unstuck? Learn to reimagine the 5 common stories that get in our way. You'll learn to tell-and live-a healing story.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Lessons in Story Mining)
Learn to rewrite the stories that get in the way of your healing. Learn the tools, perspective changers, and a self-guided roadmap to set you free.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Rewrite Your Failure Stories)
Learn to deconstruct the tyranical and disabling stories we tell ourselves about failure. Your failure stories will become stories of healing and freedom.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Claim Your Emotional Genius)
We. Must. Feel. The stories we tell about our complicated emotions can block our healing. In this article, you'll learn to claim your emotional genius.
Born to Heal: Our Call for a New Healing Paradigm
We’ve got to write a new story of what the best healthcare is, what the best medicine is, and what it takes to live a healing life.
How to Become the Expert on You: Write Your Story of Healing
To become the expert on ourselves we must know who we are. This is our power. The first act of reclaiming this power is telling our story of becoming well.
Every life challenge pushes us toward mastery over our circumstances.
How to Claim Healing as Your Own
Healing is ours. Our birthright. The primary urge of all nature. But we must claim it as our own. Our healing-our potential-rests squarely in our own hands.
How to Use Anxiety as the Empathic Wise Guide Within You
Anxiety is my guide, my inner wisdom, my genius! Anxiety contains wisdom we can all share, and action steps we can take to relieve the burden of it.
We’re not broken. We're … Complicated. Messy. Mean as hell. Heartbroken. Scared. Gorgeous. Amazing. And Beautiful. All these things. All at once.
Learn the art of staying curious as a strategy managing uncertainty. Curiosity is the mother of intelligence and creative solutions.
What Makes Healing So Hard?
Reclaiming our agency and autonomy takes energy, paying attention, learning, action, and taking our power back from the experts we’ve asked to fix us.
Permission to Fail
I give you my full permission right now to make all those beautiful mistakes that aren’t really mistakes but just road signs showing you Your True Path.
How to Survive Storms, Pandemics, and, Well, Everything.
To heal, we have to see all the events of the past year as a call. Not a series of random calamities, not bad luck, not cruel misfortune.
I want you to remember how joyful life can be. And how it’s possible to live both a hard life and a joyful one at the very same time.
Everyone’s Got Stories to Get Out of Their Way
Carrie healed by blasting through the tenacious energy of those old disempowering stories that kept her sick and suffering for five years.