Stillness Guides Progress

For those of us driven by creativity, by innovation, and progress, the idea of being still can feel threatening, sometimes even life-threatening.

Some of us need to stay in motion in order to feel alive.

We need to be doing something, to be working on something, or to be making something in order to feel useful, purposeful, and productive.

Stillness is terrifying.

It feels like time wasted, like opportunity lost, and like progress stifled.

What we find, if we give ourselves the opportunity to be still, however, if we sit through the fear it imposes and the pain it threatens, is that stillness itself was never really the problem.

Stillness is necessary, not only for our mental, physical, and emotional health, but also for our work.

Stillness is a tool.

It is a mechanism of empowerment.

Without stillness, all we have is motion, but motion alone will not take us where we want to or need to go.

Stillness helps to give us clarity, focus, and perspective so that our motion has guidance, direction, and purpose.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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