Take a Breath

Observe what happens as you inhale, pause, exhale, pause, and begin again.

This is an example of the Life Pulse. 

Jodi Walsh Portland Counselor

Expansion, stasis, contraction, stasis: this is the creative pulse that governs everything in existence. The tide, the seasons, our heartbeat, the whole universe is in a process of expanding out, reaching, opening to new information and experience. Then there is a pause, the static principle which is rest and gathering momentum for the next phase. The pulse then goes through a contraction. This is when life is drawn back into itself to digest and integrate what you collected in the expansion. It is this in-gathering that is essential for another expansion.

Expansion . . . 



Stasis . . . 



Contraction . . .



Every pulse beat consists of three universal movements bringing life into manifestation: The expanding, the contracting, and the static principle. In terms of a single life manifestation, for instance, during the expanding movement of a single pulse, life penetrates the body of matter. During the contracting movement, life withdraws back into its own inner eternal realm that is the source of all life. During the static movement, it refuels, regenerates itself with the inner life principle and the potent energies of the nucleus, until it is ready again to thrust itself forward anew, billowing further into the void, fulfilling its innate plan until Divinity has filled all there is
— Pathwork Guide Lecture #238

Fall is the season of contraction. The trees lose their leaves, the light is in shorter duration, it's getting colder. We are bundling up and staying inside more. Life itself is moving inward. It may look like death and feel like loss but every spring we are assured life didn’t actually die, it just went deep inside so that it could continue the creative process and expand again.

Our own birth process is like this. Our growth is also governed by this creative life pulse.
Often times, we prefer one stage over another. Many of us dislike and avoid the necessary contraction phase. The busyness we have created as a culture in this fall/winter season is an example of our fear of going in, of self-search, of letting go into the depths of our innermost being. 

Where would be like if we skipped the necessary contraction phase?
What is it like if we only expanded?
Let's test this right now.


Take another breath. As you inhale and feel the expansion of your lungs, chest, your whole body fills. Now keep trying to expand, fill your lungs more and more….and eventually, you will need to exhale in order to take another breath, or your body would die.

The same thing happens with all of life. It is necessary to go through all of the stages of the life pulse and allow your natural wave to flow. When this natural process is hindered , it creates disharmony. 

Here are some indications of disharmony in the life pulse:

  • anxiety  

  • a forced feeling about life

  • resistance

  • exhaustion

  • disconnect and conflict in relationships

  • dis-ease

Check in with yourself right now. Take a few conscious breaths. Notice if there is difficulty or shallowness in any phase of the inhale, pause, or the exhale. Usually, a simple breath can give us tremendous insight into how well we are in the flow of life. 

Do you find yourself resisting your natural flow to move inward or outward, or to be quiet, silent or resting?
Is there some fear of connecting deeply within your self?


Spend some time this holiday season coming back to your center. You might have to actually schedule you in. Even if it is only 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, it could make a world of difference in creating harmony, peace, and health for you and the ones you love this holiday season. Consider setting a timer for 10 minutes to close your eyes and rest. Take a short walk, feeling into the life pulse all around you and within you. Take a bath. meditate. In this season of giving, make some time to give yourself the gift of your own conscious awareness. 

Remember the best meditation is one conscious breath.

Wishing you a relaxed and wonder- filled contraction this holiday season.