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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

The Knack: Taking the Vegetables Door...or something.


I think my most favourite movie ever is Hunt for the Wilderpeople by Taika Waititi. It's an incredibly compelling movie, like Beasts of the Southern Wild or The Florida Project.

There is this chapter in the movie where they talk about the knack. The knack is defined as "an acquired or natural skill at performing a task" and that you've got to work at getting the knack, or at least to refine or strengthen it.

Watch this scene if you want to get a sense of this movie.

I've been working pretty hard with regards to building my capacity as an artist and a leader, with the National Theatre School Residency, taking the Banff Cultural Leadership course and deliberately putting myself in situations with very smart and experienced people to build those knowledge networks and relationships.

But it wasn't always like this, it use to feel like I was "trapped in a maze built by wolves". Do you ever feel like that?

I seriously felt like that a few years ago, about 5 and I had to do some pretty intense reflection and work on figuring out who I am and I realized that life, or how I positioned myself to receive life had made me feel powerless. Which led to some pretty serious health issues.

I found that my spirituality was being crushed on the daily, that I had lost my reference point on protecting my values, I had let my cognitive fitness go and the tank for my ability to be compassionate and forgiving was almost empty but most importantly I realized that I needed help.

As an intergenerational survivor of trauma, I knew that I needed to assemble a serious plan for my wellness and I did and I maintain it and I wanted to share with you some of my resources and approaches as an offer.

Ideologically, I've landed on the fact that life is challenging period, we aren't owed anything, life isn't hard on "me" it is just hard period. I've also realized that life is equally composed of beauty, generosity, love and kindness and the more and more I continue to work on the knack, my capacity to meet life lovingly, the more and more I see the tenderness, beauty and kindness.

I'm still fighting old patterns, rewriting neurological and spiritual pathways is a lot of work but I've built in measures in my life to make conscious decisions to be able to shift how I see and receive things. I reflect often, not asking if it's right or wrong or with judgement but asking what is my impact on others. It also holds me accountable to my projections and when I'm using them, which is usually always from a fear based place. This one is actually really huge because I gained my power back realizing I was and or am projecting my own fears onto others, a problem with others was usually just a lack of kindness, forgiveness and love for myself.

In an era where I believe we are living in a vulnerability scarcity, where fear is the driver for too many of our decisions, I want to be brave and vulnerability is the door so here goes:

1. Find a health practitioner that is rigorous and makes you face your truth. It took me seeing 3 psychologists before I found mine. Don't quit when it get's hard and or you hear things you don't like, cause I almost did. People didn't tell me that the doorway to healing is cracking through the the pain of the truth and that has been some of the most difficult work I've ever done. Here is mine. And yes, this redskin girl see's a white dude for help. It makes me chuckle but I would not be here in this moment, feeling this content without him.

2. Spirituality - this podcast kinda dives into why having some kind of practice is important. I am not religious, my spirituality is based in values and teachings of the earth, the connectivity and relationships with it, to one another and ourselves to find peace. Take a listen with your critical and open mind and see if it awakens or illuminates anything for you.

3. This book has been incredibly eye opening. I've been looking into Buddhism for research and for myself, they call it "the science of the mind" and I've read it twice and will probably read it once a year for the rest of my life.

4. Meditation - I've been meditating for 4 years now, almost every day for at least 2 mins a day and it has been a life changer. I usually do 5 mins when I wake up, 5 mins after a run and then I've been falling asleep to like deep sleep meditations, some that are around 45 mins in length. I look at this is a my mental strength training and the only person who loses when I miss a workout is me.

5. Running - I run 4-6km a day 4-5 days a week, holidays are an exception but I avg 7-10km of walking a day when I'm out of town. I run because I'm not one of those people that is born naturally happy so I have to literally kick start the release of endorphins in my body. I hated running, when I first started about 3 years ago, I could barely get to half a km and I was going slow, but now I can do a 10km really any day of the week and the most I've ran is a 17km. I use to barf at people who "like running" but now I see why people do it. Find your thing.

6. Listen to Brene Brown on this and this episode. She literally studies vulnerability, she's amazing so do yourself a favour and listen. Because I'm not religious, I replace religon and "god" with spirituality and the Earth.

I think this is good for now and remember they are just offers, they are things and tools and my approaches to ensure that I can find my own peace and I'd love to hear about yours, so please do send me a message.

Vulnerability elicits courage and I believe we've all got a lot more courage in us and I can't wait to experience it all.

With compassion, understanding and love,

kim.