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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Heartbeat‘ as in… heartbeat and breath are two parts of one thing. We can’t have one without the other.

I’ve been using the Headspace meditation app since 2014. When I began, sitting still for even 5 minutes was quite challenging. To clarify: my body could sit still for 5 minutes, but my “monkey mind” was jumping all over the place. Over time and with practice, I continue to learn and practice ways to lessen the commotion. Sure, there are times when I’ve been thinking of 237 other things, but I continue to bring myself back to the rhythm of breathing.

I’m grateful to be using some really nice headphones with the app. When I put the headphones on, I can’t hear anything else. Recently, I was in the middle of an exercise, focusing on my breathing. I could hear my breathing; the slow, steady rhythm of drawing in a deep breath, holding it for a moment, then slowly exhaling, letting the breath all the way out. While doing that, though, I also heard my heartbeat! What the noise-canceling headphones could not cancel out was the sound of my own heartbeat. It was like when I was a kid visiting the doctor and being fascinated by the stethoscope, which, aside from providing a distraction, acted as an amplifier of my beating heart. Now during my 20 minutes of meditation, I’m focusing on both heartbeat and breath together, the two becoming one, syncing up: 6 to 8 beats per inhale and about the same exhaling. Breath and heartbeat paired together now trigger all kinds of gratitude.

The guiding narrative for what it means to be a spirited person acknowledges that we thrive by affirming that we are inspired, animated, and enthused by the Source of all Life and that every breath is a gift! God gives each of us the profound gifts of heartbeat and breath. As we live and breathe, the Spirit equips us to make the dream of God’s kingdom a reality here, on earth, as it is in heaven. We simply can’t have one without the other.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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