Empower Yourself

How to Get Unstuck

self love, self-love, get unstuck, heal,

Sometimes we work so hard and keep showing up and still aren’t where we want to be.

Take my client, Grace, for instance.

She’s been sick for twenty-five years, mostly without a diagnosis. (And, to be fair, we still don’t have “a diagnosis,” we’ve got a chronic problem that’s created a wide path of destruction—it’s no longer “a diagnosis” but a constellation of dysfunctions, all needing our…

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You Do Not Have to Be Good

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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How We’re Fooled By What We Can Measure

“We don’t know how to measure what we care about, so we care about what we measure.”

-Richard Tapia

Whoa. That’s powerhouse! And from the mouth of a mathematician!

I think he captures how uncomfortable we are with the uncertainty of our lives (what we care about), so we cling to what we think we know. Isn’t that part of what we get from measuring things? A feeling of certainty? Even if we…

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The Law of Attraction May Not Be What You Think

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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When Help Hurts

empower yourself, healing is in your hands

I struck a resonant chord with my discussion about asking for help last week. Thank you so much for speaking up about your troubles and insights—you can be sure there are a whole bunch of others feeling exactly the same way but choose to stay quiet. We have so much to learn from one another!

What did I learn from you?

There’s a whole other angle to the help story that often gets us…

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Why’s It So Hard to Ask for Help?

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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I’m Not Feeling Better: Is it Failure? Or is There More to Do?

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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How to Claim the Story of Your Power

powerful woman, claim your power to heal, heal, story of your power

Have you ever been given a medical diagnosis or advise that you knew, deep in your heart of hearts, wasn’t correct? Like maybe they hadn’t heard your whole story and were leaving key parts out? Or maybe they’d heard you but went a direction you did not expect or just didn’t feel right to you?

What did you do?

Did you ask a lot of questions? Did you say, “that doesn’t seem right to me?”…

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How to Overcome Fearful Thinking for Life

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: Identify the Competing Commitment Standing in Your Way

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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