Dear One,

We weren’t broken then.

We aren’t broken now.

Not us.

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.

Unconsciously Wise

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.

Consciously Wise

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:

Genetic Potential

+ Environment

 +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?”

Love,

Karyn

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.

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Karyn Shanks MD

About the Author

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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