How to embody your TotalGloriousOneness (AKA your gateway to resilience).


That’s right, TotalGloriousOness. Your TGO.

What’s that?

We’ve been talking about resilience. The attribute that allows us to thrive through life’s challenges. Sometimes gliding, other times struggling, but always finding our way without losing robustness.

Challenge is the key to resilience, the strength, energy, and adaptability we must have to continuously grapple successfully with the hard things in life. And there are many of those, aren’t there? So, this is a conversation well worth having.

How we grapple with challenge is the crucible from which resilience emerges with all the right sauce—a personal healing terrain dialed in to support our needs for energy, strength, and adaptability.

What’s this healing terrain?

The terrain is all that makes us us. It’s our roadmap to resilience.

The healing terrain is composed of all the internal and external influences and experiences that create and shift our biology, our bodies, and our selves.

By getting to know our terrain and how to work it to our advantage, we shift ourselves into an equilibrium of resilience to rise out of pain, suffering, and illness, and to expand into our potential and possibilities.

Let’s see if we can make this easy.

We’ve established that mind and body and spirit and planet are not separate. They’re intimately interconnected. One, really. We just don’t have the language for it, so it’s hard to say and hard to conceptualize.

So, let’s make up a new word to represent the whole of us—body, mind, thoughts, stories, emotions, gut feelings, spirit, soul, energy, and all our interconnectedness within ourselves and with others, our communities, our planet, and our Universe. One big fat all-inclusive word.

How about TotalGloriousOneness? TGO for short.

Like it? Go ahead and create your own word. I want us to become stakeholders in claiming the totality of who we are in our lives and in this world. And to get it, once and for all, to really carry the truth of it in our bodies, that everything is connected and everything we do effects everything.

So then, what’s the terrain of our healing?

Can you guess?

Yes. Everything.

It’s everything that has an influence, positive or negative, on our state of being. Our health. Our happiness. Our growth. Our energy. Our potential as humans. Our ability to change the trajectory of our lives. Our TGO.

But we don’t have to discuss everything. And you don’t have to think about what you need to do to heal as everything. We can break this down into the simplest elements of our everyday experience and draw everything we need to know from that to jumpstart, sustain, or upshift our healing.

Here’s how I think about the terrain of our healing, the terrain that makes us us. It’s the dynamic relationship between our:

  • Gene expression.
  • Life experiences.
  • Environment.
  • Lifestyle habits.
  • Mindsets and beliefs.
  • Communities and culture.
  • Ancestral legacies.
  • Purpose.

Each aspect of this terrain is part of us, shapes us, is identifiable, and personally directable.

We’ll immerse ourselves in each part of our terrain in upcoming emails.

Until then, revel in your TGO!!



p.s. Unbroken: Reclaim Your Wholeness, my new book, is deep in edit. My editor is a taskmaster but he’s helping me make this book so incredible for all of you! Thank you for your patience. I love your comments as I share excerpts!

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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