• Maggie Gold

Times of Standstill

We all have moments where certain goals, projects, or even life itself seems to come to a standstill. Our forward movement suddenly comes to a halt and we find ourselves lacking in the energy, motivation, or opportunities needed to continue.

For most of us, we view these moments with disdain, seeing them as unproductive, even lazy. But the truth is they’re a part of our natural cycles, and an important one at that!

Life is not about forward movement 100% of the time. We move in rhythms and seasons, and the phases that call us to slow down are just as important as the ones that push us forward. The truth is, they are a gift—inviting us to stillness, giving our systems the chance to integrate, and creating space for our next forward movement.

But in our focus on productivity, our reaction too often is to try to push through or snap out of it, which counter-intuitively keeps us stuck in our standstill. This is because doing so interrupts our system’s natural process and prevents us from experiencing the regeneration and reorientation that comes from this necessary time of pause.

Imagine what it would feel like if instead, we could surrender fully to this process—to trust what our bodies are telling us, rest as much as we need, eat what nourishes us, and overall loosen our grip on what we think we “should” be doing. When we let go of the idea that this is lazy and let the process move through us, we can trust that it will carry us to exactly where we need to be. What’s more, you may even find that when you surrender to the call of these moments, they pass even quicker and take you back into action faster than you imagined.

  • The next time you find yourself in a period of sluggishness or stagnation, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • How do I react when I lack the motivation or energy to move forward? Am I able to create space for that or do I label myself as “unproductive?”

  • What would it look like to make space for these moments? How would it feel to view them as a natural part of the cycle?

  • How can I give myself permission to surrender to this movement or relax into its stillness?

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