9 Domains

write healing story, heal,

Dear One,

“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

—Mary Oliver, The Wild Geese

Who among us hasn’t worried about being good enough? Guilty of being ourselves? Shameful for having our own minds, hearts, and ideas about what’s true?

I’ve spent a…

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law of attraction, heal

I love the idea of the law of attraction.

You’ve heard of it, right?

The “law” of nature that (purportedly) says, “think it, feel it, celebrate it, take action toward it, and it will come.” That we create our reality. That we can manifest our dreams.

Saying those words fills me with hope. They make me feel I can control my outcomes. Direct my life.

And we can to some extent, right? We know this…

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heal, healing is in our hands, our lives are miracles, karyn shanks md

I have a problem with nice.

Do you know what I mean?

Those people who tell you what they think you want to hear? How your hair always looks great (even when you know it doesn’t), or how your food is always the most delicious they’ve ever had (even the peanut butter and jelly sandwich), or what you’ve written is awesome (when you know it’s crap).

I don’t need that. In fact, I hate that.

See, I…

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help, helping hands, heal, karyn shanks md

Does asking for help make you squirm?

Yah, me too.

Why’s that?

I remember a time when I would NOT ask for help. Not ever. I thought I had to do it all myself. You know, pull myself up by the bootstraps, be tough and self-sufficient. Thinking I’d be a bother to others in asking for help or show some inherent flaw in my character, or weakness in my know-how.

Geeze, what crazy silly stories those…

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the three tack rule of healing, Functional Medicine

“This food plan isn’t working for me.”

“This treatment has done absolutely nothing.”

“I thought I’d be feeling better by now. This is a failure.”

 

Do these “failures” sound familiar?

Healing can be so hard. And can take so long.

What if you’re working hard? To recover your energy and wellbeing? To get your life back? And you still struggle?

Have you failed? Is your healing strategy a…

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fearful thinking, worst case scenario, anxiety, catastrophic thinking, how to heal, heal, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

“This could go very, very wrong.”

“They might hate me for this.”

“This new, uncharted creative project might flop.”

“This investment is risky—it could fail.”

 

Recognize these fearful, anxious thoughts?

On the one hand, it’s good to be prepared and plan for what life might throw at us. Smart, right?

But what happens when we habitually lock onto those fearful stories about what could happen? In…

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how to heal, stories of healing, how to change, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, heal

We all know how to live a healthy life, right?

We’re smart. We’re savvy. We’ve done our research. We know how to craft the perfect self-care plan (food, sleep, movement, meditation, and so on) to address our genetic legacy, our problems, and our many sensibilities about how we’d like to feel and function at our best.

But many of us just can’t make our best plans work. We can’t sustain…

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meditation, heal grief, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We need tools to help us manage the challenging emotions of grief, like anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. While these emotions are entirely normal aspects of being human, they can get stuck. It’s important to give them assistance to flow and release.

I have used this simple breath visualization technique on difficult emotions that were too painful for me to take on with my mind. It’s easy to…

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declutter, create space, heal, nine domains of healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

You’ve heard me say it a thousand times:  We’ve got to create space for healing to occur.

No matter what ails us, we go no where without focused attention to our problem and freedom from the toxins, irritants, and negative energy that get in our way.

An easy start is removing the clutter from our living spaces.

“Does it spark joy?”

You’ve heard those words, right?

The stuff whisperer, Marie…

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wired for the climb, resilience through challenge, strong, brave, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Heal, Nine Domains of Healing

What are the best solutions when life gets tough?

Stop our lives? Hang out on the mountain top? Get a divorce? Find a new job? Send the kids to boarding school?

Hmmm… sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

Yah, I want to get rid of the friction too sometimes.

I want to go straight to the bliss.

But what if I told you we thrive the most when we’re challenged? That we figure things out and grow our…

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

We all need to revive the fire in our bellies from time to time. I love the way inspiring words and acts of others drop into my life to do just that.

Let this one wash over you:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a…

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heal, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

I like simple. And focused. It’s easy on my brain. And helps me grasp pieces of more complicated conceptual problems and ideas—like me and what I need to do to heal.

Give me three simple steps and I’m all over it.

But do I fool myself into thinking anything is that simple? Ever?

Those three simple steps get me started. It’s what I can focus on today. But we all know, with our mature…

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empowerment, self-love, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

Yes, sadly, those were my own words.

Uttered as I caught a glimpse of myself in my husband’s photos of our magnificent hike in the Maui rainforest. We’d come upon a waterfall spilling into pristine waters below and couldn’t resist going in. But rather than seeing the magic of what was all around us or the completely relaxed posture I stood in (like no one was looking, like I really was

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slow healing, slow medicine, self-love, feel, emotional healing, Nine Domains of Healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Yikes.

Slow can feel dangerous.

I’ll give you a hint:

When we go slow we feel. When we feel we hurt. When we hurt we may not know what to do.

So instead we go fast. Bypassing the hurt. Staying busy, achieving, climbing the ladder, collecting evidence of our worthiness, numbing what we don’t want to feel.

But here’s the rub:

No pain, no joy. We have to go slow to feel. And we…

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slow healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Meditation, mindfulness, presence

Remember my mantra?

Show up.

Go slow.

Pay attention.

Going slow leads to Presence.

And Presence is the absolute, non-negotiable key to claiming a healing life.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Not for me!

But I’ve got power tools to help me.

Journal writing. Yes, I’ve been keeping some kind of diary my entire life. But as a young ‘un in my early thirties I started…

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slow healing, heal, presence, mindfulness, go slow, empowerment, Nine Domains of Healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Show up.

Go slow.

Pay attention.

My mantra for healing.

The mantra that saved me.

I’m not a slow girl by nature, and I’m stubborn, so I’ve come about my mantra (and healing) the hard way.

Going fast helped me get a lot done and acquire the many attributes of what I thought was a successful life. For many years I worked hard to develop myself as a mom, a physician, and a…

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root cause healing, Functional Medicine, Heal chronic fatigue with Functional Medicine

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,…

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