Empower Yourself

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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Release Grief Meditation (2019)

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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It’s a Privilege of a Lifetime

be your true self, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Heal, Nine Domains of Healing

Do you ever wonder why we’re here? I mean really—why we’re really here?

How do we sum that up? Can we do it in just a few words?

I think Carl Jung did a pretty good job when he said this:

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.”

I like this because it doesn’t presume a particular purpose with a definable outcome. (Whew!)

And it includes all of us—excluding no one because…

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