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Kristen's Blog

Founder & Creator, Native Genius

It’s not about the shoes

Years ago, I volunteered at the library to read books to kids — itty-bitty three to five year olds. Every week, when I would walk in with my arms full of children's books — before I could even get settled — the kids would swarm around me, curious about the books for the day. 

One day in the swarm, something happened that had never happened before. 

An older girl tugged at my arm, and said, “Hey! Look at my new shoes!” sticking her shoe out for me...

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WDYT of this phrase?

I don’t know who said it, but it’s kind of a nice phrase, “Bloom where you’re planted.” Or is it?

When left to their own devices, Hosta plants find shade and flourish unless someone tries to plant them in the sun. Fish innately breathe beautifully in water but perish if someone places them on a dock. 

The same thing is true for us humans…when someone or something (any vast array of accumulated conditions) puts us where our wiring doesn’t work,...

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Novels and dance

Do you let yourself do what you love? In little ways, in your life?

Do you let yourself read a novel, or do you always choose the “good for me books?” Business, finance, health — you know the drill. But what about the delight of curling up with that novel in a sunny spot on your sofa?

Do you let yourself go to a dance class instead of running errands every Saturday morning because, “you need to get things done?” But what about the delight of bopping around to...

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Elephants and Pollen

Has anyone ever tried to convince you that you should do something they love? And you hesitate because you’re not remotely interested and therefore doing it sounds hard — like foreign territory. 

But as enthusiastic “convincers,” they keep trying to convince you by saying, “It’s not that hard!” because it comes so easily for them. For example, convincers like this…

My master DIY brother who says, “Just pick up a showerhead at Home...

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The mask of the “good soldier”

One day my client, Raj, gets a call from the number two person at his company. She asks him to come to a brainstorming meeting on new names for a product. He gets a sinking feeling in his stomach.

He’s been to these brainstorming meetings before and sits there glazed-over thinking, “I’ve got nothing.” He knows his Native Genius doesn’t turn on in these situations, because his mind doesn’t work this way.

The “Before-Native-Genius-Raj” would have...

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“You warm enough?”

This weekend my mom, niece, and I were in New York City. My niece is nineteen. Being from Texas, my mom and I were very concerned about her warmth as we roamed the streets of Manhattan. Everytime we ventured out, we’d insist that she bundle up. Meanwhile, there she was in her platform boots, sleeveless jumpsuit, and open coat. We couldn’t stop asking, “You warm enough?” “You warm enough?”

Then on Saturday night her voice came out loud and proud in the most...

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When you feel opposite from everyone else

At one of our in-person team workshops, we were on a break and I ran into a woman coming out of the bathroom. She had tears in her eyes. I paused and said, “Hey, how’s it going for you?” The group had just uncovered their Native Geniuses. Sometimes people are flying high, sometimes they’re befuddled, and most times it’s a bit of both. 

She said, “I’m realizing some things. A few of my Native Geniuses are about being slow and methodical, going...

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Why I got the sideways look

When I was in tenth grade, something kinda funny happened when I went to the mall with my friend for the New Years sales.

After rummaging through racks for a few hours, we were standing in the check-out line and I bent over with my hands on my knees and started flexing and arching my lower back. My friend gave me the sideways look and whispery shouted, “What are you DOING!?” I whispery shouted back, “I’m stretching my lower back!” She rolled her eyes. We both...

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Step One for Dancing

One of my dance teachers, Patrick, who was also my boyfriend, showed me something really important.

We used to go to open dance events that had no set starting time or agenda. People would improvise by themselves or with a partner.

The first thing Patrick did when he arrived was lie on the beautiful wooden floor for as long as he wanted. I started doing this too, because I wanted to learn everything about dancing so I copied him a lot. While most people were moving around in the center, we...

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Who likes to cook?

“Who likes to cook?” is an apt question this time of year. Sometimes it’s an unequivocal “I do!” or it’s someone running out the back door as they shout “Not me!” But often that’s not the whole story. Cooking (like all activities) is a reflection of Native Genius and it comes out in different ways for different people.

  • Claire likes to improvise when she cooks, but glazes over when she has to follow a recipe.
  • Shana likes inviting people...
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