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an open poem to a world-weary empath

you can’t leave Earth yet

~ because I just flipped ahead about a hundred pages in your story and I read that someday you will be the reason someone else doesn’t give up on their life

I’m sorry to spoil the end of your epic tale

~ but someday you will be the one who ignites

the blaze in another person’s heart that

won’t ever be put out again

don’t complicate the plot of your story

~ you are here to be lamplighter that hands out

little bits of your flame to ensure the rest

of the world doesn’t exist in darkness

I know you have been scorched so many times

~ to love the world is to sometimes be burned at the

the stake by others who mistake your gift

of compassion as a personal weakness

I know it’s not easy to be a bringer of light

to those who have become addicted to shadows

~ but we need you to be a gardener of effervescent seeds

that you will perhaps never see grow into burning rosebushes

that can be seen from space

Oh, my love, don’t give into the calling despair

~ set your life on fire with kindness and watch how many

other people come out of their caves to sit by your

campfire heart to share their own stories of survival

Oh my love, you are my favorite element

~ john roedel

Artist: Yogeshkumar Velari

COME WRITE WITH ME THIS YEAR If you are feeling ready to start exploring the untamed wilds of your heart and embracing the perfectly weird person you were made to be!

I am exceedingly thrilled to have been asked to present my "Unafraid Storyteller" retreat at the legendary Omega Center, located on more than 250 acres in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley.

The retreat is set for June 9-11, 2023 and I’m already counting down the days!

You will be able to find the link to register and other information on the comment thread below.


We exist in a world where our photos are expected to be perfectly edited and our social media posts have to be carefully crafted to prevent us from accidentally showing the “real” person inside.

Life is meant to be messy. Life is supposed to be a bit chaotic. Life is an adventure where we are always a single phone call away from heartbreak or the fulfillment of our wildest dreams. Of course, this is exactly what makes being alive the best game in the universe.

People are craving authenticity.

So, let’s give it to them.


It takes courage to tell the authentic story of our lives without worrying about what people will think about us. To let people see past our Instagram filters and straight into our often-untidy hearts takes an act of bravery. Giving people a chance to witness the wildness of our own existence can give them the grace to appreciate their own miracle of their uneven adventure.

As storytellers, it’s not our job to impress people with the story of our lives—it’s more about giving the reader the opportunity to embrace the highs and lows of their own journey.

Through journaling, group interaction, creative exercises, physical movement and hands-on activities, this high-energy experience with poet, writer, and comedian John Roedel provides you with the tools to tell your own story without fear of what the world will think of you. With his trademark comedy, emotive style, and obsession with keeping his presentations interactive, John shares his own journey while offering his wisdom on how you can share yours as well.

Writers, storytellers, or humans who simply just want to live and share their lives with more authenticity are invited to join John for this unique writing retreat.

This 3-day retreat for writers, artists and human beings on how to fully embrace the story of our lives.

This interactive experience is for new writers, seasoned writers and *non-writers. It's really for anyone who wants to embrace the epic story that exists inside of them. (I know some people coming who are really just coming to listen to me share my work - which is so incredibly humbling.)

I won’t be there instructing on how to become a best-selling author - but rather, I’ll be sharing the wisdom I’ve learned once I found the courage to start sharing my story with unafraid authenticity.

You’ll also be able to explore the other incredible opportunities the retreat center has to offer while you are there.

If you have any questions about the retreat please reach out to me at

I absolutely cannot wait to meet you there!!


Omega is a nonprofit, donor-supported, educational organization at the forefront of holistic studies. Omega offers a wide variety of workshops, retreats, conferences, and professional training, in-person and online. Since 1977, more than one million people have come to Omega for reasons big and small—to spark creativity, explore spirituality, improve well-being, and connect to a community of lifelong learners.

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