transformation

Choices, Not Resolutions (Happy New Year!)

love, power of choice, positive affirmations, successful change, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, HEAL

We just can’t help ourselves, can we?

We know we’re here for a purpose. We feel the fire in our bellies. We want better, more meaningful, more connected lives. We want to be our best and do our best in the world.

So in this cool, dark, quiet space of winter, standing at the precipice (and promise) of a new year, we take pause. We take stock. We consider our dreams. What can we do to make them…

read more

Why Affirmations Don’t Work

karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, heal, nine domains of healing

You know what I’m talking about here, right?

Those words and sentences so carefully crafted. Precious containers for our deepest yearnings. Our hopes, dreams, and desires. Crafted and spoken (or written) with prayerful, reverent, earnest intention and energy.

So why don’t they work?

I’ve worked with affirmations and prayers my entire life. Organically, fueled by necessity and anguish at…

read more

Thanksgiving Contemplation of Blessings

grateful, gratitude, blessings, thanksgiving, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

I like to use Thanksgiving as a time to beef up my daily practice of gratitude.

It’s been looking like this lately…

I’m grumpy and annoyed to be displaced from my kitchen and living spaces (two months now!) while new flooring, lighting, and paint go in. The rest of the house is cluttered, dusty, and I can’t find anything!

But I get to do this. I get a new floor, gorgeous lighting and new wall…

read more

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…

read more

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…

read more

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…

read more

My Big Slow Down

slow, slow medicine, slow healing, slow down, my big slow down, letting go, mindfulness

Ever feel like life is going too fast? There’s too much to do? Not enough time?

Me too.

But I realize it’s all a matter of perception… and the choices I make.

I choose what to do. I can do less. And time? I choose what to do with that too.

There’s plenty of time for what’s important. And what happens when I’m less stretched and more present? Timelessness.

My four-year book project went into…

read more

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…

read more

“Suffering is Annoying… “

wisdom, truth, wise, transformation, suffering, heal suffering, this too shall pass

In speaking to my son about the grind and muck of graduate school and the uncertainty and trials of putting the pieces of his dream together, I showed him a beautiful book I’m currently reading that I thought was relevant to his situation. Written by renowned Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh, it’s called “No Mud, No Lotus.”

He looked at it, and before I had a chance to explain, he commented…

read more

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…

read more