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Where and How Will You Nurture Your Genius?

-Article and images by Michael Maser

“Each of us has some genius to bring to life and each life is a meaningful story trying to unfold from within.”  – Michael Meade, ‘The Genius Myth’ 

Michael Meade is spot on. The veteran cultural anthropologist and author shows in myriad ways in his 2016 book, The Genius Myth, how our birthright is to serve our innate genius nature, and that our paths to genius are necessarily unique. In other words, there’s no blueprint: some traits of genius are revealed early in life, others take years of experience, thoughtful reflection, and practice to hone.

No matter the origin, the animation of genius blossoms when it is recognized and nurtured. That might be in a workshop or a coffee-shop, a library or a barn, a laboratory or a forest.

Mainstream schools and institutions, with their learning standards and regimens, are poorly suited to nurture genius; they talk a good story about it, but too often genius nature is unacknowledged and considered ‘outside the box’ they’re willing to support.

The Graduate Institute for Transformative Learning is foremost dedicated to recognizing and supporting your genius — your learning goals and sensibilities.

I know, I’ve been a faculty member here since its inception in 2012 (then known as the ‘SelfDesign® Graduate Institute’), and since then I have come to know and support many diverse learners following (‘blazing’!) their paths to genius.

Above: GIFT (SDGI) learner Clarissa Tufts receiving her degree from her thesis advisor and GIFTL faculty instructor Darrell Letourneau at a recent convocation ceremony. Pictured at the top of the article: GIFT faculty Ann Adams in conversation with learner Vanessa Calabrese at our summer residency. Photo credit: Michael Maser

Our graduates include a lifelong early childhood educator pioneering an innovative gardening program at a daycare in Taiwan, another developing and leading wilderness trips in the Rockies, and another writing about the deep meaning of beauty in her life.

The common thread among them and all GIFTL learners is that they are ‘calling the shots’, focusing their studies on the things about which they are most passionate. To no surprise, the scope of learning and discovery is limited only by imagination, something I discern as a hallmark of true genius (as opposed to a belief that genius only reflects special gifts and talents).

To revisit Michael Meade, “If each person has natural gifts and innate talents, then the true nature of education must involve the awakening, inviting, and blessing of the inner genius and unique life spirit of each person.”

And so the question I put to you is where and how will you nurture the precious genius residing in your soul?  

Michael Maser

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