Last week, I had the opportunity to facilitate a one-day Life Design workshop at Folsom Lake College with my colleague Megan. What a great experience!
Our Fall Semester “What Could I Do With My Life” coaching course is coming to a close. In the second week of class, we had students define their story by writing 20-25 I Am Statements.
For Week 12, we had students reflect on what they learned about themselves over the course of the semester by completing the I Am Poem activity. The I Am Poem was created by Patrick Barlow (from Madison Area Technical College); I adapted the Poem to correspond to the work in the “What Could I Do With My Life” course. My goal was to have the Poem reflect purpose, meaning, and vision for one’s life. Here are the instructions:
The “I Am” Poem provides you an opportunity to reflect on your life. The poem will have you write unique information about yourself to help develop further insight regarding the things that are important to you; it may also point out the things that inspire and provoke you. You will be asked to look deeply inside yourself, writing down your feelings, thoughts, and ideas to create a poem about yourself. The “I Am” Poem begins with you describing two things about yourself; write two special things that other people might not know about you. Avoid obvious and ordinary characteristics, such as: “I am exciting and personable.” Instead, think of things about yourself that are distinctive, such as: “I am someone who lives life to the fullest and enjoys being around positive people.” The second example above is better because it give a sense how you are unique. Dare to be different – because you are! You will see below that there’s a line-by-line guide to follow. The first two words of each line are required for your poem; you construct the rest of the sentence (the words in parentheses) based on your own thoughts and/or experiences. To be most effective, write the first thoughts that come to mind (usually your most honest); therefore, it’s usually best to set a time limit to complete the poem (usually around 15 minutes). It may seem strange at first to write a poem this way, but give it a try; you may surprise yourself. Note: It’s best to write from your heart and your soul, not your ego.
I am (describe two interesting characteristics about yourself).
I notice (describe something you study or observe in other people).
I see (describe something you see – real or imaginary).
I feel (describe the way you feel about something or someone in your life).
I say (describe something you say out loud or to yourself).
I touch (describe something that you touch – real or imaginary).
I need (describe something that you MUST have).
I yearn (describe something positive you want from other people).
I love (describe something or someone you have a deep love for).
I am (describe something unique about yourself).
I pretend (describe something that you pretend to do).
I cry (describe something that makes you cry).
I worry (describe something you worry about).
I understand (describe something you accept or know to be true).
I hear (describe a sound you hear – real or imaginary).
I wonder (describe something you are curious about).
I imagine (describe a “picture” or “image” you have in your head about life).
I believe (describe something you believe could happen to you).
I plan (describe how you want to make a difference in the world).
I am (describe something positive about you that you give or share with others).
I value (describe something that’s very important to you).
I want (describe a change you want to see in the world).
I will (describe one thing that you will do to make a change in your life).
I appreciate (describe something that you’re grateful for or thankful for).
I cherish (describe something that you hold close you your heart or something you treasure).
I desire (describe something you actually long for/crave).
I dream (describe something you dream about).
I wish (describe something you want to come true).
I hope (describe something you hope for others).
I am (describe how you feel right now as you complete this exercise).
And here’s the Microsoft Word file of the same document (includes examples and a I Am Poem worksheet as well): i am poem activity, 11-1-18.
Depending on the amount of time left in class, we’ll either have the students share their Poem with a partner (and their thoughts about doing the activity) or just ask one or two volunteers share their poem with the class. And to go along with the theme of vulnerability, I share my I Am Poem with students, which you can find here: i am poem activity – bill example, 10-31-17.
We believe this activity is a great way to sum up what they’ve learned about themselves over the course of the semester – and how they view their life on a grand scale.
If you have 15 minutes, complete the I Am Poem for yourself – and see where you’re at and where you’d like to go.