Areas of Specialty
Sometimes creativity is impeded by difficult or traumatic experiences that cloud our judgment and block our feelings. In order to allow our creativity to flow, we may need extra help to overcome these difficulties.
We believe that we are all children of God who are individually infinitely valuable. We teach that as such, each divine child is a creator after the pattern of the One who created us.
Trauma can convince us of a variety of false beliefs that get in the way of this truth, and require special help in overcoming. Much like a massage therapist working on knots in our body, we seek to help individuals dislodge false ideas that have calcified within us, and then help them learn how to prevent them again from forming. As we root out the embodied trauma and work within ourselves to prevent the causes, we can find personal power and peace.
Our program provides self-help and one-on-one counseling sessions centered around practicing good mental habits, healing emotional wounds, teaching the fundamental principles of choice, accountability, and stewardship, and how applying these reinforces a default state of inner peace.
Where needed, we may make recommendations to individuals to seek professional help. While we have resources that can provide considerable assistance, some cases may be beyond our abilities and means.
ESTABLISHING PERSONAL PATTERNS
Sometimes students struggle to tap their creativity. This might be due to a lack of structure or skills. It also may have to do with the the lack of healthy intra or interpersonal skills. In order to help students reach their potential, we help students identify and develop the necessary abilities that will allow them to express their creativity to its fullest extent.
While many educational systems are preoccupied if not dominated by ideas and theory, we seek to move students from the isolation of strict ideas and theoretical principles to a world of practicality, functionality, application, and relevance.
Ideas are only as good as they look when manifest in the real world. We seek to help students test their theoretical knowledge in the light of application. We do this by helping them establish practical and workable routines that are designed to assist them in the achievement of the goals they have set out for themselves.
Often this takes the shape of routines that teach self-reliance, whether spiritual, physical, intellectual, or emotional. We advocate means of integrating oneself into society without undermining the individual's self-directed and self-fulfilling purpose, identity, motivation, or independence.
Assess the Student's Objective
When we meet with the student initially, we help them establish a standard for what it is they wish to become. Sometimes the student already has an idea of some of what they wish to develop or change about themselves. We help them articulate and expand on this in a way that helps both them and us to better wrap our heads around exactly what our assistance might look like.
We then prescribe a varied curricular approach that includes both theory and application. Trainings, classes, and performance oriented experiences all conspire to help the student find the tools to fulfill their goals.
Establishing Valuable Routines
Trainings fall within four categories: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, and Emotional.
Spiritual trainings are based around those activities that cultivate positive spiritual habits to help clarify and align the governing motivations within the student. The routines or behaviors we teach are designed to help them question, recognize, and cultivate their inner motivations so that they might find reliable inner strength and purpose, and therefore greater self-respect, love, and peace.
Physical trainings include everything from exercise to employment to hygiene to cooking to personal style to caring for one's personal space. We help students build habits that are woven into the social fabric in order to help them feel more integrated and normalized to the culture they wish to be a part of. While each culture does things a little differently, we try to adapt these routines to the local customs, always taking into account the desires established in the beginning by the student.
Intellectual trainings take on the appearance of a class in which students learn the fundamental principles of life and everything. We hold a class discussing these ideas once a week for an hour and a half. They are described in greater detail below under the heading, "Principles and Patterns Discussions."
Emotional trainings might take on the look of moral support and appear as surrogacies of sorts for those who have lacked certain positive role models in their development. Surrogate fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters are the most common moral support structure we provide.
Helping With Transitions
We not only help students with establishing positive routines, but we assist them by helping them recognize what to expect through the many transitions that might occur as they make these changes. We also help them by assisting them when necessary through difficult life transitions they might experience. Helping establish realistic and predictable expectations surrounding transitions helps them to adjust to these changes and maintain the positive characteristics and results of the new routines they are seeking to integrate.
At the Thirdofeight Institute for Creativity, we see creativity itself as story making on the most fundamental level. We train students to use the lens of story in divining and developing their unique and original ideas. We find that narrative provides an intuitive and relatable framework within which all students can thrive. That's because each student has experiences and is living a life of their own.
We simply point each student to their individual experiences and encourage them to attempt to reflect that story into their own creations. In this way, no two stories are the same, and each student will be overflowing with subject matter and personal relevance. This is how we help students find their own identity and creative voice, all in a supportive and inspiring environment of truth and light.
In the beginning, each student is sorted into one of three groups distinguished by an assessment of the student's strongest personal story-making inclinations. Students are by no means limited by this construct, but it's a way to hasten initial participation and success by beginning with what they are best at or most inclined to pursue.
Students will be put into one of three groups: performance artists, crafts people, or world builders.
Performing artists tend to be occupied with the internal feeling or expression of the immediacy of the moment. Dancers, actors, and musicians fall into this category. These story makers are drawn to express their creativity through the feeling within the moment. They often rely on live audiences and incorporate their bodies in the expression of the feelings they seek to convey.
Crafts people often are preoccupied with the externalization and contextualization of story through objects, spaces, or environments. These are usually expressed outside of and beyond the physical body. Set design, costume creation, wood working, handicrafts, and prop creation all would be subcategories of this group.
Authors, stage directors, film producers and directors, and dungeon masters would fall within a category of creativity that could encompass performing artists and craftsmen, but also incorporates a broader scope of a larger macro narrative; rather than preoccupying oneself with the nitty gritty of an individual character motivations or the look of a space, these creators are primarily drawn to the widest and grandest scope and scale of story. They deal with themes and overarching messages by trafficking in laws and principles and fundamentals of the world.
Once a student and mentor determine a student's dominant medium of story creation, he or she is invited to enroll in one of our exploratory classes. Each class is designed to explore and expand the student's existing capacities and to provide them with knowledge of other similar mediums that they might be good at, but due to ignorance or lack of experience may have never had the chance to explore thus far in their lives.
Once a student gets perspective on the types and forms his stories might take, and he determines where he'd like to begin to invest his time, the mentor will help the student connect to a specialist in that field. Students will then be enrolled in the appropriate lessons.
We currently offer a variety of specialized skills, classes and lessons listed here.
Each of these hands-on classes can last anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours in length, and generally happen once a week. Length and frequency depend largely on the subject, the number of students attending per class, and the current level of expertise of those participants.
Field trips and other applied learning experiences are an integral part of learning to tell good stories, and we incorporate them often.
On certain occasions, special experiences, skills, and/or tools may require costs in addition to the price of general enrollment. Specialized shoes, clothing, musical instruments, uncommon construction materials, and ticketed access are some examples of these extra financial requirements. In this event, costs will be made clear to parents and students before students engage in the particular activity.
Principles and Patterns Discussions
Each Wednesday we devote one meeting for an hour and a half to discuss the foundational principles of the nature of the world. These are the principles which define us and govern all processes. They are the principles upon which our instruction on creativity is based. A deeper understanding of these principles will assist students in comprehending and gaining competence in their goals or objective.
These virtual classes are more like open discussions where students can learn at their own speed from a mentor who adapts the ideas to the level of understanding of the group. These principles are listed and explained in detail, and can be read and studied ahead of time in our manual, which can be downloaded here.
Once a week we hold informal video conference calls for each specific area of study and preoccupation. They are typically on Sundays, and are made up of both students and mentors. After introductions, it becomes an open forum where participants can ask questions, make specific requests, volunteer information and resources, and/or just seek guidance from their peers.
We also hold in-person gatherings with the same purpose in mind.