Cohort Agreements


for Tracy Rittmueller’s Writer-in-Residency at FUMC, Feb 25 – April 30, 2023 ©Tracy Rittmueller, 2022. All rights reserved.


1. We agree to become increasingly aware of our own neurobiological, preconscious fight/flight/freeze responses. This means we are open to learning how to protect ourselves from unwanted over-activation of the central nervous system in whatever way we need to, and to soothe/calm ourselves back into a state of regulation (leave the room, close our eyes, stand up and walk, fidget, breathe….) after we have been activated.

2. We agree to consider, respect, and ask for the support we need in order to feel empowered in this space. When things come up, this may include reaching out to the Artist-in-Residence for the help, accommodations, and or/resources we need to participate to the full extent of our ability, in a way that makes us feel safe, connected, and brave.


3. We agree that all perceptions are valid. There is no hierarchy to perceptions or experiences. All humans’ experiences are equally real; all are equally meaningful. In that spirit, we allow for the free expression of pain/suffering in this place. We agree to support one another’s poetic and lyrical expressions with nonjudgemental witness.

4. We will respect one another’s agency, allowing each person to choose what they are ready to explore within themselves, what they are not prepared to dig into, and how, when, and to whom they will share their inner wisdom and disclose their truths.

5. We agree to practice restraint of speech, to speak only when it is our turn, and to listen respectfully when it is someone else’s turn.


6. We agree to notice when other cohort members’ words and expressions move us, inspire us, and/or engage us. We will practice being an empowering person in this world by communicating our appreciation and gratitude.

7 We agree to learn and practice the skills of editing our own writing, in order to grace the world with creative works that are both beautiful and true.