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Dear Artists, Creatives and Other Broken Saints

I wrote the following poem about four years ago to help me stop worrying about what my neighbors/friends/relatives/dentist or other writers thought about my writing style and ability.

I was so concerned about how I would be perceived by the world that my words often came out like the blandest of vanilla puddings. I was overthinking and over-sanitizing everything I wrote to the point of paralysis. I spent years carrying the needless weight of other people’s expectations before I realized how much easier writing would be if I traveled lighter.

Writing this poem brought me peace to move forward in writing fearlessly about my life with vulnerability and courage. This is at the heart of what we will be doing during our time together at the Art of Living Retreat Center this summer (July 2022). It will be a non-intimidating experience where we will all work together to connect to our hearts so we can tell our stories without fear of judgment.

I’m so thrilled to host this retreat and I absolutely cannot wait to meet you!

P.S. The image included is the actual photo I took at the time I wrote this while staying at a really rustic cabin in the middle of the rocky mountains.


dear artists, creatives
and other broken saints,

I used to
be so careful
about who I showed
all of the little beautiful
things that I was creating

I was afraid
people would
break them and
then all of these treasures
of mine wouldn’t
be quite so beautiful any more
so, I dug a hole
and buried all of my lovelies
in a grave where all
unknown art goes to
be carefully hidden
from the world

then when I was 40
the moon showed up
at my bedroom window with
a bottle of cosmic red wine
and a haunting song

as the moon poured
me a short glass of
ruby star-filled liquid
she sang to me a tall
proverb of clear wisdom

“Quit planting
all of the art
you have created
so deep in the dirt
where nobody can
find them.”

I replied
“But I’m so scared that
somebody will break them
if they get discovered.”

“My love,” the moon sang. “That’s impossible. Everything little thing
that you have ever created is already broken.”

Her words sank me.
“Why are they broken?” I asked.

“Because you are broken.” she replied
in a melody.

The moon felt my sadness and it rested her head on my shoulder.
“What’s wrong, dear one?” she sang

“I just want to make beautiful things,” I said looking straight
into the growing midnight.

“You have and you will,” the moon hummed with
a note I had never heard before.

“But you said that I’m broken…”

“Yes, you are – and it’s with that brokenness that you will
make something that will reflect light and be so very beautiful.”

I drank down her spirit and her words
in one gulp.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

My darling Moon kissed
my cheek and sang a secret
that I had long forgotten.

“Of course, love. If anybody knows how to take their
brokenness and turn it into a reflection of
a beautiful light it is me.
I have risen from ash and dust
and now I guide those in darkness
back home.
My fractures became
a vessel of light for those trapped
in shadows.
My brokenness has become
my gift to the world.
As will yours.
As will yours.
As will yours.”

We sat in silence,
the moonlight and I,
holding each other
for an hour until
the orange clouds came from
the lip of the mountains to usher
her back to the beyond
that is exactly the moment
when I stopped being so afraid
and when I decided to quit burying
all of my beautiful little broken things.

The Unafraid Storyteller

Tell Your Story with Authenticity
July 29–31, 2022
Learn to live and share your life with more authenticity—join John Roedel for this unique creative retreat.