self-care

Five Things I Must Do to Start My Day (Hint: Yep, Think Slow)

five things I must do to start the day, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, wisdom, start slow, practice slow, slow medicine

Aren’t those things we do—and say to ourselves—in those first minutes after awakening, the tone-setters for the whole day?

Jumping out of bed and racing out of the house, coffee in one hand, kid in the other—leads one direction. (Eek! The dreaded time pressure, high survival launching out the door—I remember those days! Oh my gosh—my chest is clenching!)

Versus slow. Slow start. Slow breaths.…

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Permission

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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Clean Out Those Toxic People–Make Space for Love

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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We’re Special: No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

functional medicine, N of One medicine, personalized medicine, epigenetics

Dear Ones,

Are we just outsiders? Outliers? Losers?

Or are we unique?

We failed those treatments that came straight out of our physicians’ “practice guidelines” or that we read about on-line. Even those popular “miraculous” food and lifestyle protocols that worked so well for the authors, or our friends, did nothing for us.

What’s the problem?

Guess what? We’re not all the same.

Part of my work…

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Fewer Genes Than a Grain of Rice–Our Genetic Story

epigenetics, human genome, human potential, functional medicine

Yep. As humans, we have fewer genes in our books of life than a grain of rice. Or a worm. Or many of God’s smallest creatures.

Does that mean we’re just puny and insignificant? Do we have far fewer options than we believed? Less wiggle room as our destinies unfold? Did the genome project leave us high and dry?

Not at all. In fact, the truth about our genetic legacy is just the opposite.

Let’s…

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Trust Your Body

embodiment, trust your body, you body never lies, transformation, empowerment, self-empowerment, self-healing

Trust your body–it will never lie or judge you.

Have you struggled in your relationship with your body—like me?

I used to be completely disconnected from mine. I thought my mind was in the control seat and my body was just my servant—to submit to my absolute authority. I ignored it, pushed it, abused it, and rejected it, not knowing it was the source of who I was, the answers to all my…

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Great Ideas–One Drawer at a Time

clutter, ideas, self-empowerment, karyn shanks md, functional medicine

Ever feel stuck? Can’t quite get the project started, or that great idea to emerge? Me too.

Here’s what I do: clean a drawer.

“Is she nuts,” you ask? (Well, yah, but that’s beside the point…)

That’s right, if you need that idea to pop, try cleaning something. De-clutter.

I choose drawers because they’re small, doable in a short period of time, and because, well, I’ve got a lot of “black…

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Inner Wisdom: How to Find and Trust it

wisdom, guidance, inner wisdom, inner guidance, the small voice within, intuition, trust your intuition, empowerment

I call it inner wisdom. Or inner guidance. Others refer to it as “the small quiet voice,” “intuition,” “gut feelings,” “inner knowing,” or, “the heartbeat of God.”

It’s the truth of what we know–truly know–deep within. A knowing that is innate to us all, that can guide us effortlessly once we learn to recognize it, listen to it, and trust it.

I believe we are all born with the capacity for…

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New Year’s Resolution: Be Soft, Be Gentle, Be Kind (and start with yourself!)

happy new year, change, how to change, new year's resolution, self-care, self-empowerment, neuroplasticity

We all know how hard it is to get our New Year’s resolutions off the ground. Or harder still—sustain them for the long haul.

Why is that? Why is it so dang hard to create positive change in our lives? Change that we want? Change that we know will lead to better lives?

Maybe we start too big. We’re better at small changes—even the small things lead to big shifts in our lives.

Or maybe our…

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Focus: My Five Favorite Tools for Diving Deep

focus, focus in, ADD, concentration, ADD treatment, How to focus, healthy brain

Focus Then

Focus has been a lifelong challenge for me. I frankly don’t remember studying in elementary or high school. How’d I get away with that?

I remember being antsy and impatient with reading and problem solving. What was that “x” they were talking about in algebra?!

Partly I didn’t have the tools to organize myself and get down to business (I’d never learned how). But I also had a special…

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