Connect: Love and Connection

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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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…

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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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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…

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RAICES, love, love children, give love,

Dear One,

Isn’t everything we do about love—ultimately?

It is for me.

My family. My work. My friends. My writing. My walks in the woods. My struggles and overwhelm. All of it.

It all adds up to bringing more love into this world—my world, your world, our world. The only thing that matters.

Here’s what I did today: I gave my support to RAICES—The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and…

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permission slip, permission, self-empowerment, self-care, self-help, wisdom

Do you have one or two (or five!) people in your life who challenge you?

Yes, me too!

I’m a big fan of permission slips but I forgot mine recently and got into big trouble with one of the energy vampires in my life (you know those people?). Dang if they didn’t sneak up on me, leaving me feeling exhausted and angry (for letting myself become disempowered).

I forgot my permission slip! But it’s…

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be loved, love, self-love, you deserve love, let go

“… We have not come into this exquisite world

to hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run, my dear, from anything

that may not strengthen

Your precious budding wings,

Run like hell, my dear,

From anyone likely to put a sharp knife

into the sacred, tender vision

Of your beautiful heart…”

-Hafiz (Sufi poet, 1310-1390)

 

Yes, he nailed it. We deserve love. We’re worthy of love. (Yes, ALL of us.) We…

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empower, self-empowerment, courage, brave, don't make assumptions

I love this story my husband sent me from Reddit:

Nobody dared go near the tower. A fearsome dragon sat on its top.

Until one day, a knight rode up:

“Do you need help getting down?”

“Please.”

This is a story about assumptions—Big Assumptions. Assumptions made about how the dragon was to be feared, that he was dangerous, that he was a dragon.

This story reminds me of an angry client I once…

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peace, self-acceptance, self-love, love, jealous

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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help, helping hands, heal, karyn shanks md

Carol’s Thirty-three Year Undiagnosed Illness

Carol and I were comfortably seated across from one another in my consultation room when I asked, as I do with all my new patients, what her goals were for our work together. She said without missing a beat, “I want to get my life back. I’ve been sick for thirty-three years. That’s half my life. I would like to be a well person and do what…

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new years resolutions, self-care, self-love

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” -Walt Whitman

I love the freshness and promise of each new year, but I’ve never liked the harshness and punitive nature of New Year’s resolutions that feel so judge-y–like we’re not good enough until we drop those pounds or start that exercise routine or accomplish this or that, believing that the new year will bring the magic that we need to create better…

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thrive through holidays, holiday stress, self-care, love, functional medicine

I find the holidays to be curiously stressful. There have been many past holiday seasons when I have struggled with sluggishness, irritability, and resistance to the challenges and expectations that seem to be part of it all.

And yet our winter holidays are a time of celebration in the many ways of our diverse traditions–light within the darkness, family, sharing, and coming together. The new…

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healing relationships through empathy functional medicine karyn shanks md liftoff

Empathy heals.

I believe that it is the empathic connection that I’ve forged with my healthcare team that has ignited my own healing. While they may be smart and skilled and filled with great ideas, it has been their interest in me, in getting to know me, in hearing and understanding my story, in encouraging me and rooting me on, that has been the foundation and the power of our work together.…

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