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.

I’m Grateful

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A grateful life takes work, doesn’t it? Even in the face of so much to be grateful for.

The stresses and traumas of life can tether our focus to what upsets us, needs to be fixed, or has to be done. It’s how our brains were designed—to keep us alive. It’s so easy to forget what makes us blessed and lucky, though our lives are filled to the brim with these things when we look hard enough.

I am…

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Hope.

hope, have hope, create hope, hopeful, karyn shanks md, empower yourself

Dear One,

Someone once told me that hope is just wishing that things could be different than they are. They didn’t want to have “false” hope after so many struggles and disappointments.

I hear this concern expressed by my clients—many have suffered greatly. Promises were made. The positive outcomes did not come through.

Someone else told me (essentially) that hope was for sissies. In their…

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Learning to Practice “Slow”

presence, mindfulness, practice slow, miracles, empower yourself, karyn shanks md

Dear One,

Oh my God, I’m so impatient! Can you relate?

I’m not gunna lie, I want it now. I want to see the results. Now. I want to feel the transformation. Now.

I want to get there fast. And I want the world to keep up with my brain and my intentions.

About ten years ago I received two speeding tickets in rapid succession within a mile from my home. Within a mile!

One was on my way to work. My…

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Jealous: The Heart’s Quest for Belonging

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Jealous–we ALL know the sting of it and have been smacked down by the shame of it, but it’s really a normal part of being humans who thrive on connection. In this article I demystify jealousy, look at it’s purposeful role in our lives (yep, you heard me right), and remove the burden of shame and indignity that always seems to go with it.

Jealous: We All Know it Well

Two recent conversations…

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My Wayward Bag Smackdown: A Tale of Freedom

simplify, freedom, liberation, stuff, be yourself,

A Story of How I Found Freedom From My Upended Plans

“If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” -ubiquitous quote (with humbling accuracy)

Travel Anxiety

I morph into someone unrecognizable–a muddled mess of worry and anxiety–when packing for travel. My hard won calm and cool utterly abandons me, my body taken over by a strange frantic girl, who shoves me out of the way to oversee…

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The Dangerous Myth that Self-Care is Selfish

love, connection, self-care, self-love, functional medicine, transformation, wellness, healing

The Antidote? Self-Love (In Five Simple Steps).

How Caring for Ourselves FIRST is Vital…for Us AND Others

You’ve heard it a million times. Why? Because it is vital:

“In the event of cabin decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your…

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Forgiveness: Essential Power Tool for Health Resilience

forgiveness, self-love, self-care, empowerment, transformation, body-mind healing, mind-body healing, letting go, health resilience

For me, forgiveness has been one of those life lessons–and practices–that has had mind-bending and life altering payoffs. I’ve learned the hard way that holding onto past hurts and trauma consumes precious energy and mind power.

Clinging to anger and resentment is an energy suck that drives stress—the smoldering kind of stress that hangs on and leaves decay and destruction in its path. That…

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Practice is a Superpower

karyn shanks md, functional medicine, the power of practice, neuroplasticity, neural networks, self-empowerment, empowerment, self-care, wellness, enlightenment,

Fact is, we’re always practicing something… we might as well be intentional about it.

“What nine months of attention does for an embryo, forty early mornings will do for your gradually growing wholeness.”                                                                                                                                …

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How We’re Wired to Go With the Flow (Really??)

fearless, courage, change, lifestyle change, self-empowerment, self-care, mindfulness

That’s just crazy! Is there anything we work harder at?

But hear me out on this… we’re actually designed to go with the flow–to change, to engage with the uncertainty and mystery of our lives, to soften our resistance.

Yes, we’re all nervous about change. Our trepidation about flowing with our lives, rather than keeping things the same, is based not only on the uncertainty of the outcome

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The Upside of Our Uncertain Lives

uncertainty, change, navigate change, how to change, wellness, empowerment, self-healing, self-empowerment, courage, be brave

“The suspense is killing me.”

“I’m absolutely certain…”

“Because that’s how it’s always been.”

These words roll right off our tongues–unconsciously–because we’re wired and trained to resist uncertainty. Honestly, very little unsettles me more. I’m a bit squeamish about not knowing what happens next.

But we can go to extremes to “know for sure:”

  • By creating stories that just aren’t true.
  • By…

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