self-healing

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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Healing is Not Always Curing

healing, healing is not always curing, curing, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

True, we all want to be cured. We all want our pain to go away, our wounds to heal, our function to be restored, and our energy to soar.

But I think there’s more. I hear this in what my clients blurt out when I ask them about their goals and aspirations. How they want to feel like their true selves, to live their best lives, and reach their full potential.

They’re talking about healing.

And…

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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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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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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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Softening

soften, empowerment, relax, relieve anxiety, wisdom, self-healing, self healing

Softening: a simple practice to take the edge off what feels impossible.

What do you do when the overwhelm of life runneth over? Melt down? Succumb to worst-case-scenario thinking? (That is what our brains were designed to do, after all!)

And there’s a certain sensual satisfaction in a juicy meltdown, isn’t there? But I always regret it. It never leads to positive, constructive resolution.…

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