There are ten keys to Affirmative Poetry. Today you will not learn them all. I will say and define them all. You will get a handout listing them all. We will do a couple of exercises that contain a few of them. At the end of the session, you will offer someone a poem that contains at least one of them. I guarantee it. That poem will be an SFD – a shitty first draft. There may be lots of it that you will find fault with. But there will be something in there that will express one or more of the ten keys. You may know and appreciate it right then. Or it may take a day or a week for you to see this, but eventually the fog of self-criticism will clear and you will say, “That sentence (word) was right – had authenticity, was genuinely affirming, I can stand behind it.” I guarantee it.
I’m going to take you through a lot of activities in this hour. We are going to get off our duffs if we are going to have something meaningful happen in one hour – but we can do it. Some of what I’m going to ask you to do may be embarrassing – probably will be. Embarrassment is the glue that holds all the rest of our stuckness in place. As long as we are afraid to be embarrassed we will remain frozen. We will never get completely over being embarrassed, though we can get to where we can do all kinds of wild things and be embarrassed a lot less. But embarrassment is just a feeling like any other – it comes and goes like the weather. Don’t take it serious. jump in and do the activity even if you feel embarrassed.
That being said, aside from hurting yourself or somebody else there’s nothing you can do wrong in here. If I ask you to do something that you really just don’t want to do, you can do it anyway – or you can not do it. Do something else. Talk about something else. Preferably stay with your partner. If you have had it with talking, walk around the room. Preferably stay in the room. If you need to leave the room, leave the room. Preferably come back. If you need to not come back, approve of yourself for leaving.