Empower Your Self

We are empowered when we have the tools and knowledge to create intentional change and respond to life’s challenges in ways that ennoble us and support our quest for a True Life.

We need fortifications for such challenges. As one of my clients said to me, “Healing is not for sissies.”

We need the strength of our minds, hearts, and spirits as we navigate the rough waters and bumpy terrain of our healing paths, and as we discover our potential.

These articles offer inspiration, stories, and practical tools to inspire your powerful inner-guide.

Eat Like You Love Yourself

eat like you love yourself, self-love, self-care, self-healing, Nine Domains of Healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

A slogan boldly displayed on the entry wall of Evolve Juicery and Kitchen, our new healthy meal service and fresh smoothie/juice kitchen in Iowa City.

And I love it! It’s perfect.

“Eat like you love yourself.”

Because it ALL comes down to self-love, doesn’t it? Every single choice we make, at every moment in time, forever.

And it’s where all the rest begins.

Our clear, vibrant, resilient selves…

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Choices, Not Resolutions (Happy New Year!)

love, power of choice, positive affirmations, successful change, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, HEAL

We just can’t help ourselves, can we?

We know we’re here for a purpose. We feel the fire in our bellies. We want better, more meaningful, more connected lives. We want to be our best and do our best in the world.

So in this cool, dark, quiet space of winter, standing at the precipice (and promise) of a new year, we take pause. We take stock. We consider our dreams. What can we do to make them…

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Why Affirmations Don’t Work

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

You know what I’m talking about here, right?

Those words and sentences so carefully crafted. Precious containers for our deepest yearnings. Our hopes, dreams, and desires. Crafted and spoken (or written) with prayerful, reverent, earnest intention and energy.

So why don’t they work?

I’ve worked with affirmations and prayers my entire life. Organically, fueled by necessity and anguish at…

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“Despair is Hubris”

hope, faith, optimism, heal, healing, empowerment, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Not my words. These are the words of Stephen Cobert, host of The Late Show and creator of the iconic Stephen Cobert Show.

He was asked the question, “what do you do to stay hopeful?”

His reply was:

 

       Despair is just hubris.

       Because you think you know what’s going to happen.

       As Gandalf says, “Not even the wise know all ends.”

 

I haven’t been able to get these words out of…

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Get Your Mind Out of the Way of Your Healing

lens of love, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, heal, body-mind healing, mind-body healing

Healing gets tricky.

Because our minds are tricky. You know, how they serve both survival and wisdom?

How they see just enough of a situation to instantaneously conjure the worst-case-scenario? Or lure us into seeing just what we want and expect to see?

While, at other times, amazing us with mind-blowing assessments of the deeper truth of things.

All in one mind!

And that’s what makes healing…

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Toxic

toxic, detoxification, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, HEAL

I’m writing you this week from one of the most polluted places in the world.

You guessed it—Northern California.

Emissions from the Camp Fire fires accumulated downstream in the San Francisco bay area, reaching record levels exceeding the most polluted cities on the planet.

Experiencing this level of toxicity has been profoundly eye opening about the human cost of uncontrolled pollution and…

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Thanksgiving Contemplation of Blessings

grateful, gratitude, blessings, thanksgiving, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

I like to use Thanksgiving as a time to beef up my daily practice of gratitude.

It’s been looking like this lately…

I’m grumpy and annoyed to be displaced from my kitchen and living spaces (two months now!) while new flooring, lighting, and paint go in. The rest of the house is cluttered, dusty, and I can’t find anything!

But I get to do this. I get a new floor, gorgeous lighting and new wall…

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Body First

body first, self-care, self-empowerment, self-healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We get the truth of body-mind-spirit integration, don’t we?

But in our rush to get to the bliss and awe we forget about the work we have to do first. Right?

I think it starts with the body.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I don’t eat well, or skimp on sleep, or slack off—or push myself mercilessly—it’s hard to access bliss and awe.

That comes with the discipline and vigilance of self-care.

When I…

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The Paradox of Hope and Honesty

hope, honesty, paradox, empower yourself, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

Do you ever think about how it’s possible to dare to hope and believe in a better future AND stay honest about your feelings as they are right now (which may be a soup of misery!)?

It’s a paradox!

On the one hand, we want to hold onto faith that our possibilities are endless, and our potential infinite. We want to drive that faith with the kinetic energy of hope. To make things better.

But we…

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Self-Care is Subversive

self-love, self-care, love yourself, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Big Energy

I saw this powerful quote the other day:

Self-love is a subversive act.

In trying to find who said it (I think it was Brene Brown), I came across this:

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

-Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light (1988)

Nailed it. Both of them.

This is our trouble with self-care. It’s what I work the hardest on in…

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