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Escape from the Heart's Past and the Mind's Future

Updated: Apr 23

A Poem about Reconciliation and Finding Your Breath

Those of you who have attended my practices and retreats may well have heard me share these following words. Sometimes I make it through the whole poem without crying, sometimes I don't. It only comes with me into practice when I feel someone needs to hear the beautiful words and be reminded to breathe. As you flow through this poem now, soften into the words, expand into your lungs and BREATHE.

My Brain and Heart Divorced

A decade ago

Over who was

To blame about

How big of a mess

I have become.


They couldn’t be

In the same room

With each other.

Now my head and heart

Share custody of me.

I stay with my brain

During the week,

And my heart

Gets me on weekends.

They never speak to one another.

Instead, they give me

The same note to pass

To each other every week.

And their notes they

Send to one another always

Say the same thing:

“This is all your fault.”

On Sundays,

My heart complains

About how my

Head has let me down

In the past.

And on Wednesday,

My head lists all

Of the times my

Heart has screwed

Things up for me

In the future.

They blame each

Other for the

State of my life.

There’s been a lot

Of yelling – and crying.


Lately, I’ve been

Spending a lot of

Time with my gut,

Who serves as my

Unofficial therapist.

Most nights, I sneak out of the

Window in my ribcage,

And slide down my spine,

And collapse on my

Gut’s plush leather chair

That’s always open for me

~ And just sit sit sit sit

Until the sun comes up.

Last evening,

My gut asked me

If I was having a hard

Time being caught

Between my heart

And my head.

I nodded.

I said I didn’t know

If I could live with

Either of them anymore.

“My heart is always sad about

Something that happened yesterday

While my head is always worried

About something that may happen tomorrow,”

I lamented.

My gut squeezed my hand.

“I just can’t live with

My mistakes of the past

Or my anxiety about the future,”

I sighed.

My gut smiled and said:

“In that case,

You should

Go stay with your

Lungs for a while.”

I was confused

– The look on my face gave it away.

“If you are exhausted about

Your heart’s obsession with

The fixed past and your mind’s focus

On the uncertain future,

Your lungs are the perfect place for you.

There is no yesterday in your lungs.

There is no tomorrow there either.

There is only now.

There is only inhale.

There is only exhale.

There is only this moment.

There is only breath.

And in that breath,

You can rest while your

Heart and head work

Their relationship out.”

This morning,

While my brain

Was busy reading

Tea leaves,

And while my

Heart was staring

At old photographs,

I packed a little

Bag and walked

To the door of

My lungs.

Before I could even knock,

She opened the door

With a smile and, as

A gust of air embraced me,

She said,

“What took you so long?”

~ By John Roedel

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