What do papier-maché glue, a Schnitzel and a pavlova cake have in common? They seem pretty different, and yet, they all share a basic ingredient: flour. Let’s move it to biology. What do the breath and seasons have in common? They seem quite different and yet they have a common matrix: the cyclical blueprint.
The cyclical blueprint
Anna Buzzoni started Medulla to do a comparative study of cyclical phenomena across science and humanities with the purpose of transferring knowledge to vulnerable areas, such as menstrual health.
This an original methodology developed at Studio Medulla, based on the common template that we observe in the universe and on Earth. This is what Anna sometimes calls “the thriving blueprint of life”.
The blueprint of life is cyclical and it is made up of four moments: a nadir, an extrovert and centripetal dynamic phase, a zenith, and an introvert and centrifugal dynamic phase.
Since the breath starts with a pause, and seasons with winter (and if you don’t know why you should give us a call!), and it looks like this:
Correspondences in the breath and seasons
There are correspondences at biochemical and physical level. Let’s see them.
Phase 1 – winter/empty lungs
It is a suspension, a pause, an apparent triumph of death: lungs are empty, as when we die, and plants enter a state of dormancy, yet they are alive.
Phase 2 – spring/inhalation
It is a dynamic phase, where everything, from plants to chest and lungs, expand and grow outward (this is the meaning of “extro-vert”). Oxygen is breathed in through a centripetal movement that makes your chest and lung expand, and nourishes cells. Plants return to life and their roots suck up nutrients that bacteria have been preparing during winter, so that plants grow and seeds sprout. Spring makes us feel bold and lively, and what do we do when we need courage and a little extra energy? That’s right, we inhale!
Phase 3 – summer/full lungs
It is another suspension, a pause, an apparent triumph of life, or death and life coincide: lungs are full; plants mature and produce fruit.
Phase 4 – autumn/exhalation
It is a dynamic phase, where chest, lungs and plants relax, release and “de-grow” by pulling in energies (that is one of the meanings of “intro-vert”). In animals, cells have been nourished in phase 2 and now they produce waste (yes, just like our digestive system, which is also based on the same cyclical blueprint) which is eliminated by a centrifugal movement: exhalation. Plants start shedding what has lived and now needs to die: leaves are dropped so they will nourish bacteria in soil during winter, while fruit is dropped so it will release seeds. What do we do when we need to relax and keep calm? We exhale, ça va sans dire!
Why is this important?
This cyclical blueprint gives shape to many other biological cycles, including the menstrual cycle, the cycle of sap in plants, the circadian clock, to name but a few.
This cyclical blueprint is the key to all regenerative processes, spanning from health to the economy, from the environment to equality.
Just like breathing can be life-changing when practiced mindfully, the same is true for the cyclical blueprint.
A mindful practice and sound understanding of the cyclical blueprint:
- Promotes well-being and preventive self-care, and provides yellow arrows on the way towards resilience, including key indicators for doctors.
- Supports informed choice, inspiration and awe, similar to that of a child who has learnt to read.
- Connects improbable dots: creativity diversifies and blossoms.
- Develops openness to allow nature the space it needs and fosters a long-term commitment to a lifestyle that supports natural regenerative processes.
- Frames diversity under novel perspectives, conducive to connection, collaboration and interdependence.
- Nourishes balance, resilience, cognitive skills, ecological and emotional intelligence: productivity improves, so does rest.