The Creative Mojo Dojo – Youth

CMD-gold

The Testing Ground for New Zealand's Next Generation of Female Creative Problem Solvers

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The Problem

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The not so great facts:

  • It is estimated at only 20% of our girls make it out of adolescence happy in their own skin.
  • Our youth suicide rates are double that of the U.S.
  • There has been a noted increase in the amount of cutting behaviour, anxiety and depression among our female youth.
  • Helplines have doubled the amount of serious calls they are fielding in the last 3 years.

Theory of why in New Zealand and why now.

Mandi Lynn documentarian and founder of Every Body is a Treasure has been working in the field of holistic women's health for the past 20 years as a Nurse Consultant and an artist.  She has worked on three different continents and the last 17 years in New Zealand.   This global view has caused her to wonder about the unique challenges faced by New Zealand...and what can be done about it.

Her theory is that there are several factors unique to New Zealand that are playing a contributing role.

1st world Factors

  • Trillion dollar beauty and diet industry only succeeds when women are under pressure. This creates a global culture that undermines female value if she strays from the unattainable standard by doing something culturally shameful like aging.
  • Dopamine Flooding - Research is starting to show a correlation between cellphone use and depression at a neurochemical level beyond just the sadness of your latest instagram post not getting many likes.
  • Schools allowing Bring Your Own Device leaving children unable to disconnect and do deep work...
  • Children lacking real-life natural adventures and connections because they are nose deep in a device and not receiving the emotional cues of those around them.

Uniquely Kiwi factors

  • Cultural damping of emotional literacy (Harden up mate...She'll be alright) in the country due to a numbing effect found following emotional trauma. Triggered by historically recent colonization and several world wars where NZ lost the most number of men per capita in the Common Wealth.
  • Tall Poppy Effect - Just as a child is beginning to unfold their own unique genius...culturally they are told to tone it down.  This creates a shame around their "super powers" and a potential deading of what is uniquely designed to bring joy and purpose to a person. ("The kumara does not speak of how sweet it is")

A Possible Creative Solution

CMD-gold
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Teach Emotional literacy and creative problem solving using photography as a tool.

Girls are given creative adventure challenges that

  • enable them to explore in depth a holistic health model
  • requires them to name and access their emotions
  • name and access their needs
  • help them to learn to treat their body as their best friend
  • work collaboratively with other girls to create a safe emotional space
  • become cheerleaders for each other's gifts.
  • encourage critical thinking regarding media

Workshops are taught with mothers and daughters in parallel.

  • Daughters afterschool
  • Their mothers in the evening

Open to girls aged 10-14.

Mandi Lynn

The Every Body is a Treasure

Wheel of Wellness

Wheel of Wellness
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Course Framework


Our intention is to create communities of girls who are

  • Emotional Literate and Resilient
  • Self Compassionate + Empathetic
  • Creatively Gritty
  • Able to stand comfortably in their own personal creative power
  • Comfortable with other girls standing in their own power as well

Our Artistic Outcome goals : Girl are

  • transitioning from novice to able to use manual settings on a camera.
  • developing skills to become a visual storyteller
  • collaborators in bringing together an exhibition of their work
  • creatively resilient and able to translate complex emotions into art

 

 

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The Wheel of Emotions

developed by Dr. Robert Plutchik.  The template we will use to identify the shades of emotions we are feeling.

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The 7 Areas explored in the project

Grounding | My Safe Place - Where I draw my Strength

  • Ancestors - What is my place in the world...where do I descend from?
  • Zones of Safety - Where is my base, my safe space?
  • Grounding into our body - Understanding how technology can take us out of our body and how to get fully back in.
  • Body Gratitude and Compassion - How to become your Body's BFF
  • Mindful Eating and compassionate exercise
  • Earth Compassion

Photography Lesson - Camera Body + Where to Start

  • What do all of the buttons do?
  • Care and feeding of a camera
  • Composition basics, Automatic settings on the camera
  • How to save your files in a way that makes it easy to identify them later

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the red cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour red must be used in some form in all of the images.

grounding

Sensing | Feeling our feels - Understanding the transitory nature of emotion

  • Mindfulness - Understanding the transitory nature of emotion "You are the sky, not the clouds"
  • Staying Present in the present
  • Developing a toolbox for handling strong emotions
  • Breathing exercises to find centre
  • Checking into our senses
  • Neuroscience exercises to have a deeper access of our senses.
  • Mindful eating

Photography Lesson - The senses through a lens

  • Aperture - what is your depth of field
  • Sensual Photography - Can you smell, taste, touch, hear your photograph?

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the orange cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour orange must be used in some form in all of the images.

the senses

Respecting | Mana - My personal power to impact change in the world and my responsibility to ensure it is used with compassion.

  • Developing a Bully-Proof Fence around your precious spirit.
  • Dropping victim speech as a means of prevention from revictimization.
  • Extreme ownership of our own emotional stuff and physical space.
  • How to release our powerful emotions without inflicting harm on others.
  • Standing in our power.
  • Allowing others to stand in theirs.
  • Forever dropping the tall poppy traumas.

Photography Lesson - The speed of light

  • Speed Settings - To blur or not to blur that is the question
  • Photographing for Power - Where do you place the camera to change the power of the subject?

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the golden cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour gold/yellow must be used in some form in all of the images.

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Connecting - My network of support and the support I offer others - my woven love kete

  • The difference between an energetic  sun person and an energetic vampire
  • Ties that bind and ties that support
  • Relationship safety guides.
  • How to distance from toxic influences
  • The art of being a magnet for compassionate friends
  • The art of forgiving
  • You can get anything you want in life as long as you help as many people as you can get what they want in life.

Photography Lesson - Social Photography

  • Portraiture
  • How to be photogenic, the art of posing people
  • Mental footbinding and photoshop
  • Sensual Photography - Can you smell, taste, touch, hear your photograph?

 

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the green cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour green must be used in some form in all of the images.

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Expressing | Mastering My Creative Expressions

  • Finding our style
  • Understanding our own unique creative frequency
  • Two ears one mouth - one reason
  • Compassionate communication - with self and others
  • Non Violent Communication deep dive exercise

Photography Lesson | The Value of My Authentic Voice

  • Developing my style of communication
  • Visual storytelling
  • Expressing critiques
  • Expressing Applause

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the teal cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour teal must be used in some form in all of the images.

Expression

Thinking | The Power of our Mind as a Creative or Destructive force - we get to choose

  • The Neuroscience of how our brains develop through our life.
  • Further dialing down of our inner critical voice.
  • The fine art of effective creative brainstorming
  • Understanding Creative Resistance

Photography Lesson | Mastering Our Craft

  • 10,000 hour concept
  • Creative Grit
  • The Art of Planning a complex photoshoot
  • Tools outside of

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the indigo cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Choose and an emotion that your image represents for you from the emotion wheel.  Each of the 3 different images can have either the same emotion or a different one it is your choice always.

Creative Challenge: The colour indigo must be used in some form in all of the images.

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Serving | Opening your mind to creativity.  And making it about more than yourself

  • We explore where ideas come from.
  • Our roles as artists to be open to them and to become masters of our crafts to allow them to effectively flow through us.
  • Understanding that when Ego enters the building true creativity leaves out the back door.
  • Pay it forward - In this section, the girls also plan a fundraiser to support the next lot of girls to go through the course.
  • Shipping our creations - Art is meant to be shared, we will plan and execute our own exhibition of our work.

Photography Lesson:

  • The art of printing
  • How to hang an exhibition of your work

Homeplay:

Pick a word that speaks to you from the Purple cluster and create at least 3 images that explore that word in your experience.  You can pick as many words as you wish to explore but you must have at least one series of 3 of a single word.

Creative Challenge: The colour purple must be used in some form in all of the images.

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How you can help

Camera in the closet

What we need:

  • Digital cameras that have the option of manual settings
  • at least 1 lens included
  • It needs to work and have batteries and charging cables
  • No film cameras please - (we don't have a budget for developing )

 

Please send them to

Every Body is a Treasure Trust
191 Plateau Road Te Marua, UH 5018

(04)210-7776 if you have any questions

Thank you again,

Mandi Lynn,

Every Body is a Treasure Charitable Trust Founder

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