self-care

Body First

body first, self-care, self-empowerment, self-healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We get the truth of body-mind-spirit integration, don’t we?

But in our rush to get to the bliss and awe we forget about the work we have to do first. Right?

I think it starts with the body.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I don’t eat well, or skimp on sleep, or slack off—or push myself mercilessly—it’s hard to access bliss and awe.

That comes with the discipline and vigilance of self-care.

When I…

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The Paradox of Hope and Honesty

hope, honesty, paradox, empower yourself, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

Do you ever think about how it’s possible to dare to hope and believe in a better future AND stay honest about your feelings as they are right now (which may be a soup of misery!)?

It’s a paradox!

On the one hand, we want to hold onto faith that our possibilities are endless, and our potential infinite. We want to drive that faith with the kinetic energy of hope. To make things better.

But we…

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Self-Care is Subversive

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 the hardest on in…

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Already Strong. Already Beautiful. Already Whole.

already strong, already beautiful, already whole, self-care, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

What if we think about self-care like this?

It doesn’t make us better. Not better versions of our selves. Not better than anyone else.

We may feel better, we may function at a higher level, we may experience life in a whole new and vibrant way, but we—who we truly are—was there all along.

Those savvy food plans and vigorous exercise regimens don’t make us stronger or more beautiful.

The…

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My Happiness Meter

happiness, you deserve to be happy, born to be happy, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing, Big Energy

I had a wonderful conversation with a friend the other day… We were both explaining the ways we’d been slowing down the pace of our lives. Doing just one thing at a time. Doing less. Working less. Playing more. Loosening expectations. Letting go of obligations that no longer feel like a good fit.

We spoke of this as if it were radical. Not quite whispering, or confessing (but close)—capturing…

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Get Out of the Way of Healing

healing, nine domains of healing, self-care, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

One of my greatest challenges as a physician is to get out of the way of my clients’ healing.

Inspired by wanting to help them feel better, to relieve their suffering, and achieve their goals, it’s tempting to try to “fix” things. To lock in on their pains and problems and employ every root cause-level magic bullet in the toolkit. When what they most need is for me to get out of their way.

What…

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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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