The Cycles of Life: Breath and Growth

In relentless pursuit of success, we’ve been conditioned to view personal growth as a perpetual upward trajectory. Behind the unspoken assumptions, we imagine figuring a magic formula that will catapult our progress, much like a logarithmic curve stretching endlessly upward.

But what if this linear model of growth is actually getting you stuck?
What if true personal development follows a more natural, cyclical pattern – one that mirrors the very breath that sustains us?



I know most of you reading this post might deny seeing your journey to a successful life in this way. My clients and I have also smiled neglectfully at this simplified representation. But I invite you to pause and reflect honestly:

If the growth is not a constant straight line upwards, how do I treat the falls and flat lines on the curve of my life?


The Cycle of Growth

is just like a cycle of life through the seasons of day and night, seasons and months: they go through

  1. a phase of activation and exponential growth (Spring)
  2. a phase of expansion and peak energy (Summer)
  3. a phase of assimilation, digestion, or harvest (Fall) and
  4. a phase of letting go, or death (Winter).

Translated into the process of growth and transformation, an approximate visualization of our life cycle might look like this:

Do you know what else it looks similar to?
BREATH curve:


You may somatically relate the “maximum” depth curves to the intensity of your life – stretching yourself to the edges that – translated to breath – make you feel dizzy.

You may relate to the “normal” range of in- and expiration as a healthy way of surfing life, relaxing into the narrow place which challenges you and surrendering to the power of the wave.

Resistance to Life

The opposite of a “healthy” range is what I call “resistance”. When we resist, we contract our physical body, tensing up our hips and diaphragm, lifting our shoulders, holding our breath, inevitably creating subconscious disruption in the cycle of Life.

We resist Life itself by forgetting to breathe out, or let go. We resist the natural wisdom by over-expanding and trying “too hard” to stay alert. We resist because we feel unable to access the eternal source of energy in us, activating through extra effort only a superficial layer of energy that disrupts us even more.

Translated back into the process of personal growth, this is when we resist the fall down the curve and the stabilization phase – an uneventful plateau that is so “empty” it might feel like death.

Interpreting the “fall” and “death” as a failure, we judge not our actions but ourselves as a mistake. Instead of feeling the pain of the mistake that happened and simply changing our behavior, we start blaming ourselves for being “not enough”, “bad”, “inadequate” or “incapable”, making ourselves stuck in powerlessness.


You confuse your behavior with your being and cultivate shame that freezes your self-trust and so your Integral Power.


Shame perpetuated over and over again – through your embodiment and language you choose to relate to yourself by – makes you stuck. You are

1. being afraid of falling again so playing small and consistently self-sabotaging your expression and so growth


2. perpetually doing, unable to rest, trying to prove your being is valuable, burning yourself down, making yourself sick, becoming rigid, exhausted and ultimately disconnected from the deeper fulfillment of your actions.


Create no resistance

So what opportunity opens up to us knowing the natural cycle of Life is not a linear growth curve?

Imagine instead of resisting an unexpected challenge that life threw at you as a surprise, you took it as a call for a Journey of Growth.

There is something this cycle of Life is asking you to see and here is a way it got your attention: pain. It hurts like hell but you recognize yourself in the descending part of the curve, allowing the fall with no resistance – like a leaf falling from a tree.

What does it mean practically?

  • Surrendering with no resistance means we don’t try to pretend nothing is happening and keep doing “business as usual.”
    Slow down and take time out.
  • Recognize every Hero has support on their journey and call for the best helpers. Allow yourself to be held through the darkest moments of the winter season in your cycle of life. Learn to trust that Spring will come if you don’t resist the cold discomfort of where you are right now.
  • Don’t judge yourself for not achieving much or anything at all right now.
    Do not fear the uncertainty: you can’t yet see the brightness of the spring days and your high summer time but you know seasons will change.
  • Slow down to listen to your wisdom, which can only be heard in a liminal state. Your “little death” shows you where you acted too fast, over-committed, or were non-integral. Accept you walked too far from your truth and integrity, getting lost in the trap of a habit.
  • Re-align. You are not your habits, but you do become your habits. Notice where you have become your protective strategy and missed a conscious choice. Admit rushing over sensitive listening to your heart’s longing.
    Illuminate the habit to speed think instead of trusting the whisper of your intuition.
  • Commit to your truth over anything else.
    Choose the power of your intention to make integral choices and activate your will to act according to your authentic compass.

Your Cyclical Journey

As you navigate the ebbs and flows of your personal Journey, remember that each phase – even the challenging ones – catalyzes opportunities for transformation. This cyclical approach to development is the heart of Integrative Bodymind work, where we embrace every stage of the process as essential to a change at the root. Going through a 10 session process, you learn to:

  • Honor each phase of your journey, including the “falls” and “plateaus”
  • Expand capacity of your nervous system to develop resilience and self-compassion
  • Harness the wisdom of your body by learning to hear your intuition
  • Find freedom from limiting beliefs and shame-based patterns
  • Learn to TRUST yourself, Life and to LOVE uncertainty
  • Access your Will and align your actions manifesting your Integral Power

Courageous enough to jump off the cliff of your deep change?

Discover how my Integrative work powerfully does that in your Bodymind, first experience gifted for free in my service to your