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Take a deep breath.


Take a deep breath.

Feel the air moving through your body.

Close your eyes.

Sit still.

Quiet your mind.

Pay attention to your body and your breath.


I’m not an expert on meditation or deep breathing. I don’t have my own practice of deep breathing or mediation. I have, however, done plenty of reading on the benefits of deep breathing. But the reading is as far as I’ve gotten. I think in practice it sounds great. Yet, with the day-to-day realities of my life I haven’t carved out the space to actually take the time to breathe deeply.


That is until I’ve become overstressed and pushed to my max, until I lose my patience, until I can’t think straight, and it’s in those tense moments that I realize I haven’t taken a breath. After all day going and going and caring for others. After picking up toy after toy. After washing just one more dish. After changing diaper after diaper. After anticipating the needs of others. I realize I haven’t taken a breath.  


So I try to remind myself to stop and breathe.


One deep breath after another.

In and out.

Reminding myself that I am enough.

Trusting that I am loved.


I see it in my daughter, too. Her constant movement. Her over-tiredness. Her fighting naps. And the meltdowns that come when there’s nothing else to do but cry. At times she can hardly catch her breath. The tears coming down her face and the gulps for air. I don’t know what to do other than to take my own deep breath and grab her in my arms. It takes a while to calm her down when she gets so worked up. I understand her feelings. So I know that all I can do is remind her that she is loved. That she is not alone.


That it takes one deep breath at a time.

In and out.

Reminding her that she is loved deeply.


We both need to slow down and breathe.

We both need arms of love wrapped around us.     


So as I write this piece, I’m taking my own advice.

Breathing deeply.

Sitting still.

Focusing on my breath and the words that are coming from my mind.

Being gentle with myself.

Breathing deeply.

Reminding myself that I am loved.

One breath at a time.


Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website: or follow her work on Facebook:


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