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When it looks like there’s nothing happening.

There are times when it looks like nothing is going on. The fields lay fallow, and they just look like dirt for a long time.

The trees are barren all winter. Looking at them in February, you’d swear they’ll never bud again.

The ground is frozen solid, covered in snow. It seems seriously dead.

You sit on a creative project for months. Nothing gets put on paper. No visual progress is made.

You get clear on your desire, do your visualizing, magnetize it every day, and yet see no results. What you want appears to be nowhere in sight.

For 9 months you go about your daily life (the best you can) while your belly gets softer and rounder, then swells incrementally each day. There’s not a lot of conscious effort going on.

But somehow, an entire human being is formed.

Somehow, when the weather turns suddenly – pop! – the trees are back in action. Buds quickly explode into blooms and leaves. It feels like all the action took place overnight. But really there was a lot going on the entire time it looked like nothing was going on.

Somehow, one day you look down and where yesterday there was nothing but freezing mud, little green shoots poke their heads up, waving hello.

Somehow, 6 months after you think you actually should have started tangible work on the project, words flow. Pages are filled virtually overnight. The project is done before you know it.

Somehow, after you’ve gotten too busy living and loving your life to be impatient, your desire manifests in a miraculous, nonsensical way that you never could have imagined.

The trick is trust.

Worrying about whether or not our creation will eventually manifest doesn’t help it grow. And it certainly doesn’t speed the process.

In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Our impatience acts as a tourniquet on the progress we cannot see. (Tweet it!)

Just because we cannot see it does not mean it’s not happening.

I waited over 3 months to get visual proof that there was, indeed, a baby growing in my belly (other than looking like I’d eaten too many burritos).

We wait all winter to see some evidence that the world will be green once more.

We wait months, sometimes years, for our internal gears to turn in just such a way that we can actually say what we want to say in the way we want to say it.

We wait what seems like our entire lives to meet that one person who changes everything.

What does all the waiting have in common?

It’s worth it. Every time.

I signed my book contract in the fall. I started writing it in February. I wrote one chapter. Then I spent the rest of the winter and spring ruminating, organizing my sock drawer, cleaning out my inbox, and feeling like maybe I should be writing every day. But I wasn’t.

Then in May I was ready. I sat down every day from 8-9am with my coffee and smoothie. I did a headstand, lit a candle, said a prayer, and wrote. By June 1st I had a book.

The 9 months I spent not writing the book was part of writing it.

And cleaning out my sock drawer, looking as though I wasn’t making progress, was part of the creative process.

The key is trust.

We trust that spring comes after winter.

We trust that after 9 months the baby will be ready to come out.

May we also trust that what we desire is on our way to us, even if the physical evidence appears to the contrary.

May we also trust that, even when we feel like we should be further along than we are on project x, y or z, we’re right where we should be.

There’s a lot that has to happen for something to happen that we can’t see.

May we trust that it’s all happening, just as it should.


Where can you trust more in your life? What do you know in your heart is happening at the right time? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.

And if you found this post helpful please use the Share button below or forward it to a friend who you think could use this message today.

P.S. The Annual Hay House World Summit ends on May 28th.  Designed to empower, heal and transform, this summit bring together over 100 leading experts, authors and spiritual teachers. I’ll be sharing some new insights about money and worth that you won’t want to miss during the summit. For more information, click HERE.


  • Theresa

    I’m at a crossroad in my life and this has been quite the journey. I don’t believe in accidents and I came across this site by following Dr. Wayne Deyer. I have devoured all of the content and making small changes everyday. Learning to be patient and wait has always been a challenge but I have to say I am following the mantra around cast your care. The universe will unfold as it should. Your post just magnified this for me and I am so grateful. Kate you are a breath of fresh air!!

  • Karen

    As always, you ‘nailed’ it! Thank you for the reminder.

    Big hug,


  • Lynne

    So perfectly timed for me today…thank you!
    I can trust more in love, in my work and in my life path altogether. Thanks for the reminder boost.

  • Patricia

    Kate, this is a great reminder which I think lots of us need to hear! I’ve definitely been in sock drawer organizing mode (those drawers look awesome!) and this is the first time in my life that I’ve let myself trust this period of apparent inactivity. I know lots has been growing on the inside and now the little buds and shoots are starting to peep through.

  • Sarah Koh

    Perfect timing as usual :D XO love!

  • This was JUST the message I needed to hear today… finally back on the horse after six dormant weeks with my new business. Been ruminating so much on why I haven’t been DOING that it occupies the space of ACTUAL doing… and it is not exactly productive. So. Just. Doing. And trying to give up my (self-imposed and highly demanding) timeline and just breathe into it. Thank. You. For the assurance that I have been “working” all along… so grateful!

  • Kate
    Thank you so much for the beautiful post. It could not have come at a more appropriate time. As only the universe can provide.

    I spoke to you when we both started a journey in wellness in 2009. It has been nothing but a journey of trust for me. The business I started in 2009 is nothing like the business I’m developing today. I like to say these past six years have been the business of me.

    I’ve enjoyed following your progression to today. Your post today crosses over the expansive journey of years and translates to exactly what I was thinking when I read your post today.

    I’m trusting and beginning to see my creation come to life. You’ve been apart of it without even knowing it. Thank you.

    • Kate Northrup

      I love that you’re creating something different than what you originally imagined – that’s where all the best stuff comes from.

  • Rachel S.


    This piece really resonated with me. Lately I have been working in a job that is unrelated to the field that I want to work in, and am living and working in a city – when it is my goal to return to my island home. There are times when I feel that I cannot see the rewards of my long hours, but your piece reminded me that all things take time – and don’t necessarily happen when forced. I am going to continue to stay positive and move towards my long-term goals, trusting that the life I desire will arrive when the time is right. Your reminder that there is a lot happening when nothing seems to be happening arrived in my inbox when I needed it most. Thank you.

    – Rachel

  • Deborah

    Thank you for your email – it came at such a poignant moment – I have just moved back home to England after living in NZ for 11 years and have been job hunting for almost 4 weeks – and it looks like nothing is happening and I certainly don’t have a job yet. I am making connections with recruitment agencies and making job applications every day and so I am hoping that your analogy is right and is working in my situation and that although I can’t see it yet the perfect job is being lined up for me as I write to you now.

    thank you for your words of wisdom – they help to keep me on track – focused and with hope.
    With blessings

  • I just graduated with my master’s degree and I work at a job I get depressed just thinking about. We don’t have enough money to live on and I’m worried about how I’ll feed my family. I want to become a writer, abd I want to move out of North Carolina. But I don’t want to be foolish about the choices I make. But I want to do it now. Being at work feels like torture. And living in NC and not having money to live on is too much to bear. I know I need to be patient, and wait for the right time, it’s just very hard to be patient, when the world seems to be doing great all around you.

  • Therese

    Thank you so much, that was a lovely encouragement. I felt you wrote it for me! Love that feeling. Thank you :) And congrats on the baby <3

  • Leah McLean

    I’m in full agreement with you Kate. Your message came to me this morning, at just the right time…the kind Universe intersecting our two worlds. When this happens in my life, I refer to it as ‘crazy amazing.’

    Regarding your blog post about ‘when it looks like nothing is happening’- I’ve been waiting for signs from the Universe about my next step on my journey. I embrace a few practices to allow me to BE patient…and to TRUST. I always end my morning writing with my intentions and the phrase ‘let go, let God, let love and let light illuminate my journey…with full faith so be it.’ It is freeing and allows me to move on with my day, not tethered to WHEN will my intentions happen, or HOW will they happen…but with faith that they will happen in the timeline that is meant to be. Ah!

    Today, I welcomed your post because that little reminder is sometimes necessary….
    thank you for being that reminder today.

  • Thanks! TRUST is my word for 2015 and I keep trusting in the process. My book WILL be written this year; it helped to read your words about how your sock drawer is/was part of your process. Thanks for sharing. I keep reminding myself to Trust the way my Soul leads me and to soften when I feel like I’m trying to ‘make’ things happen. And to listen to Her guidance.(PS: sharing a little about the ‘seeds beneath the surface’ here:
    Thanks, Kate! congratulations on your bebe!

  • Thank you Kate for this beautiful post and your beautiful work.

    The poet Maria Rainer Rilke agrees with you. He says we have much to learn from nature. That an artist must work as a tree grows, never knowing if the spring will come, but it always does.

  • Alexandra

    Couldn’t have come at a more timely moment — I have been working on opening up to my true soul purpose and the last 6 months have been researching the programs available and what is the next step in the journey and which is the book or the program the speaker that will guide me through releasing and shedding the unwanted layers and becoming a full expression of source and soul. Various teachers have spoken to me but nothing has yet solidified. I am reading the books and still doing more research and waiting impatiently for “it” to manifest

  • Dear, dear Kate, wow, you have no idea how much I needed to receive this message of TRUST! So much has happened since returning from our womb-like Costa Rican paradise, and I’ve been really doubting that my private practice will ever get off the ground. Reading your blog this morning turned all that doubt upside-down, and mostly because of the very felt sense I had that you (and countless other women and creators) have also been through the same exact thing. As much as my ego likes to think I’m alone in this process, I certainly am not!! I see you on the other side, I see you successful and flowing and trusting yourself and the Universe, and in this moment it gives me so much hope. So much gratitude to you! xo-Sarah

  • Ashley

    I really needed this today. Thanks, Kate, for speaking the truth and inspiring all of us!

  • AHhhh. I needed those words today. I’ve always been a big fan of “honoring the journey”, but I’m not sure I always trusted the journey. I’m in that phase right now where I need to trust. Just on verge of budding in a way that I know will help and inspire others. Thanks for your words today Kate!

    • Rheall Nichols

      Aaaaahahahaha!!! I just LOVE the “Timing ” of the universe! As I sat here saying,”Come ON Universe give me a sign” your email appears!!!! Hahaha!
      I have been a student (patient) of Epigenetics for 22 years….10 years ago.i started doing it myself! First ON myself, then family and now a few others with remarkable results!
      Because of where I live, midwest, it’s frowned upon as voodoo or ungodly….witch craft.
      Buts, like me, when medical has failed they come to me and I’m able to help them release resistance and regain their health and wellbeing. I’ve been wanting to grow it into a practice. As a healer I want to see everybody Tune in, tap in, and turn onto to who they really are and enjoy the life that springs from that knowing, and Here I am trying to get the universe to help me get it off the ground even more and I get your email about being impatient and that was so totally me. I’m letting it go now I’m letting the universe bring it to fruition….. patiently. thank you so much perfect timing.

  • I totally needed to read this today. As an author, I often feel like nothing is happening most days. A couple more Twitter followers, a few people showing interest in my book and it is discouraging when the level of excitement about a new release starts to fade away. In truth, we never know what is going on behind the scenes. We have to trust that something amazing is always happening, even when it would be way easier to get discouraged;-)

  • Erica

    This has come right on time. I am in the process of reading and working through your book. It has brought all kinds of awareness and insight but it is also stirring up some difficult feelings. I have been struggling with the length of time it is taking to realize my career goals so today’s message is so very timely. Thank you.

  • So appropriate and perfectly timed for me today. Thank you. I can trust more that quitting my job 3 months ago, and following my passion was the right thing to do … even though I only see the tiniest of sprouts right now. I know in my heart this is not just my passion, but my purpose, and I am reminded today that I can trust. I trust it is safe for me to move in this new direction (as I slowly unwind the tourniquet of impatience). Infinite gratitude.

  • Sue

    Trust! This is key I guess. Yesterday I had problems, made problems up, planned the problems out, over conceptualized. Then today came with the same problems yet I am working with and through them.
    Last night I watched Gabby Bernstein, this morning I read your article, Kate. I trusted something or someone would come along and clear my minds vision. You both did this for me. Trusting brought exactly what I ‘needed’ when I needed it….in Universal time.
    Thank you for continually shining your bright star :)

  • I definitely needed this today as I have been pushing and pushing to come up with my next jewelry collection for the past couple of days. :)

    Thank you!

  • April

    This post is a great reminder for me! I recently formed my own senior care business. Instead of trusting the process, I’ve been lost in long list of worried thoughts and wishing for things to hurry up and fall into place. I know that it doesn’t help the process. I was searching for a word to help me redirect my thoughts. You nailed it perfectly! TRUST!!! Thank you!

  • Couldn’t have come at a more perfect tme
    in a more perfect way.

    Thanks for the inspiration, affirmation, and spirit boost!

  • Melissa Wittenburg

    Yes! Thank you…I am absorbing your words like a sponge. I participated in a healthcare provider training program last summer with Lissa Rankin & well, my life has fallen perfectly apart ever since:) I am an occupational therapist by training/education but last October totally pulled out of practicing … finally letting myself listen to my body that was nauseated & miserable every day to go to work in such a broken healthcare system, I said NO. Since that time I’ve been “in the waiting” … knowing in my heart/soul that I cannot return… & listening, surrendering sometimes ever so slowly. My cash is dwindling but in other aspects I am soaring. I have learned that I need so much less than I did before. I’ve been able to more fully embrace being a very present mom to my 10, 8 & 2 year old children. I give much more self care to myself (quiet time, rest, reading, studying, music, nature). My voice is so much stronger. Through all of this my creativity & bigger purpose is also blossoming under the surface. I am so excited & ready for it to pop into life! But yes, honoring & trusting this space between what was & what is to be … embrace the now, even when it feels ambiguous. Thank you.

  • Wow!!! What can I say that hasn’t already been said? So beautifully written. I am going to print this post out so that I can read it every time the doubts creep in :-)

  • mary

    I’ve been trying to TRUST, BE PATIENT, TRUST…it’s been 9 years… I know exactly what you write about, I see no evidence of anything… I pray for a romantic partner…

  • I have to agree with everyone – your message has come at the right time! I am struggling to find work that pays all the bills and is a job/career that I want. It seems so difficult right now but I have to believe and trust that the universe will lead me in the right direction and everything will work out. Thank you for your words!

  • Ughh…totally feel like sometimes nothing is happening yet in the back of my mind I always feel like something is about to happen. I’ve had this feeling for a long time about getting my business to finally be prosperous, feeling like it’s all just talking way too long and then suddenly one day recently I got approached by 2 distributors out of the blue and they want to export my natural bath & body products across the world! I really felt in that moment that the Universe really did have my back :)

  • Thank you so much for this Kate! I woke up this morning three hours earlier than usual, seized with the panic of all I have to get done before I pack up my life and live out of a converted short bus for the summer. Stressing about how I’m going to pay for myself, keep orders filled for my business while on the road, and figuring out where the heck I’m going to sleep.

    And then you reminded me – I’m going on an adventure! This is something I’ve wanted to do for months and it’s finally about to happen. I’ll eat, I’ll sleep and the rest will unfold on its own.

    Thanks for helping me take a deep breath!

  • Brittany Valmond

    Very inspiring and confirming for me. I’ve sensed the spirit of God telling me to trust Him recently. I am a Chiropractor and I started my practice in October 2014. I guess just like any other business, it takes time for it to grow. I am doing my best to seek advice on marketing my practice and continuing to learn the business side of things. And it “seems” as if nothing is happening. I’m seeking the Lord on if I should take on part time job again (I worked part-time from Aug 2014 to March 2015, but I quit to go ALL out in my passion for helping people with chiropractic, etc.) So I’m at a crossroads with that. Should I find another job or should I just keep working in my passion even though the income is low right now? Thank you for this ma’am. God bless you!

  • Debbie

    Like you Kate, I am also waiting for that 3 month visual proof, my partner jokes that I’m just a fatty, hehehe, we still some days wonder if it is true.

    Thank you for being so real and great.

    I’m asking the universe to help us find a beautiful dream cottage to have ready and welcome our baby into this world. You just helped remind me, the shifts are happening and it’s on the way.

    God bless you and your burrito bump ;-)

    Debbie from Ireland in New Zealand

  • Hi, Kate,

    such a lovely and important post. I call these times of not-much-doing “compost times”. A Compost heap has to sit to yield good, fertile earth. If you dig and turn it all the time, it gets mushy but does not mature, old things do not rott and degrade propperly… I did sit and compost and did research, wrote a little, changed the concept for my book nearly 3 years… And learned so much that can be of use for women. And now last weekend finally the manuskript for “hormone-free contraception” is send of to the publisher. And it became a mature full term baby that will serve a lot of women.

    “As the goddess created time, she did not talk about hurrying!”

    lots of love and all the best for your budding family


  • Kate I am loving this blog post! So true and it is all divine timing..great reminder thank you!! xx

  • Hi Kate! Thank u so much for this post! I struggle with allowing myself to just sit back and just be and trust that the Universe is working alongside and that everything is just where it should be. I feel guilty if i don’t get everything i had put on my to do list and have difficulty of just letting go and breathe. Thank u for this post, a very helpful reminder! <3

  • Your metaphors too, about nature, from the seaons to the flowers- everything around us is teaching us to trust and that it takes time to nurture and grow. Not only that, it’s teaching us that there is a definite rhythm to when and how it should grow, we just need to trust and let things blossom on its own. Congratulations too on your baby! <3

  • Mariam

    This came at the perfect time. Thank you!

  • Gail

    “Our impatience acts as the tourniquet on the progress we can not see”. I love this quote and it hits the nail on the head in my life right now. Although I never thought of my doubt as a tourniquet, I have been telling myself to persevere because my efforts will lead me to my goals. I have to trust in that and myself and reminders like this blog are perfect to keep me going. Thank you.

  • Lacey

    I love this! Sometimes when you think you’re not gaining any traction – wham! Perfect timing :) Thanks Kate!

  • Hi Kate…wow! Did my sock and underwear drawer last night…it was a pure substitute for getting some apps mailed, and putting off planning my USA trip back home. It seems like things are at a standstill right now. Today I went to the beach when I had to continue the challenges at hand. Your post nailed it and made me feel much better. I decided to let go and let God…advice I just read from your mother. Thanks so much…and cheers.

  • Mariette Snyman

    Thanks Kate – just what I needed to hear. And isn’t it terrific that that little one is awash in all this wisdom and sense of flow and love of life?

  • Ha! Between you and the post from your mother waiting in my inbox last night, the Universe seems to be banging on my door to get my attention! Thank you Universe! This added to the Please Change Me prayer Dr.Northtrup shared are so exactly what I need to remind me how to settle into this place of uncertainty. Fear I must be doing overruling trust it’s all really unfolding. This lovely message coaxed me back into my heart. Thanks Kate!

  • Perfect, Kate. Thank you.

  • This resonates so strongly at the moment, Kate — thank you for this. It’s about learning to trust that whenever things seem to be at a standstill, they are anything but. What a challenge! :)

  • Gudrun

    Thank you for this reminder, Kate. With my goal of financial freedom and moving to a warm and sunny climate nothing much seems to be happening. I needed this reminder that I am exactly where I should be. That giving thanks for the Norwegian spring, the golden sunset through the fresh green of the forest at 10 pm, is part of the process. That every day that I support my financial well-being by staying within my budget is a step on the way to financial freedom…

  • “May we also trust that what we desire is on our way to us, even if the physical evidence appears to the contrary.” — This sentence brought tears to my eyes! Thank you xox

  • Janel

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder to trust that growth happens with AND without our conscious doing.

  • Great post!
    As a writer I too have found I need to wait for the project to mature before birthing. I’ve come to understand I have a rhythm and the project has a rhythm and sometimes this is not clear to us as we move forward into the bringing forth of our creation. These days I ask my guides to help me work with that rhythm and it is getting easier to do, less fraught because I am trying to push when I need to let be. All is so much better when we learn to trust. :)

  • Catherine

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you xx

  • Marie

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for the timely post! It means much to me at a time when I’m rearing to move yet the universe is calling me to trust and wait… So I’m learning to trust myself and the universe…

  • Evalinebeaird

    Thank you Kate Ive been talking with my future husband for almost 2years now we’ve seen each other only twice somewhere along the phone conversations I fell in love with him now I’m waiting and trusting he feels the same even if he doesn’t I’ve enjoyed the ride learned so much about life and love during this whole process.

  • Kate, this was amazing to read! Thank you for putting it out in the world in your words. I decided to “trust the Universe” this week after I launched an invite for an exclusive Facebook group on Fire and Desire (which still to date nobody has signed up for). The Universe then gave me: a refund for an event I was going to be attending, 2 gift cards, a phonecall from a new customer. Sure the abundance wasn’t in the form I was wanting, but I KNEW the Universe answered me. xxx

  • Thank you Kate – I constantly need to be reminded of this. I take care of my mother full-time and my business was put on hold before I could even get it really going. Knowing that the baby steps I’m able to take now with the foundation I’m creating to build on later, combined with appreciating this special time I have with my mom will result in things working out for me at the right time later. Trusting even more now – thank you! And congratulations on your growing bundle of joy!

  • Hi Kate, I SOOOOOOOO need to hear this like everyday, multiple times a day! :) I have these dreams of being a writer, and while I sometimes get all gung ho about making it happen, I feel that I have procrastinated and continue to procrastinate on my dreams while busy doing other things that I feel must be done. Thank you thank you. I do have faith and trust in the universe, but I forget all too often. This is such a hopeful post and I appreciate it immensely!!!

  • Julia Landis

    Thank you so much for this post! This came at such a good time for me. The visualization, continuing to get clear, magnatizing etc. still need to happend but learning to trust the process while not seeing physical evidence of growth and/or progress can be the hardest part. This was a very helpful reminder! Thank you!

  • Yes, this came at exactly the right time. I’m starting my transformational coaching practice and doing a TON of money mindset work, doing the work for my group coaching program, and meeting regularly with my mastermind coaching buddies. I am slow right now to take steps on putting myself out there and getting my website revised and marketing myself, and I know that I need to take steps to get everything started, but–I have a full-time job, so I have all the time in the world. I am incredibly motivated to do this, and I know that it can happen and will happen. And right now I am building the foundations. I am learning, and doing, and creating a completely new life in my head, that I am getting ready to step into. It’s so exciting! The cocoon process is necessary before the butterfly emerges!

  • Where DOESN’T this apply?!? My budding (and so far seemingly dormant) ontology work, my relationships with my boyfriend, my close friends and support system. There are frustrations. There are setbacks. There is stagnation.
    But,you’re right.
    There must be trust.
    Trust that if I apply attention and care and effort with love and passion, that it will all go somewhere wonderful. And that I don’t even know what that is right now. I have to trust that it will be just the right wonderful more me – and in the right time.

  • We really needed to sell our house – and I was STRESSED about it. Then one night, I just heard this voice say “Everything will be ok” from that moment on – I stopped worrying – I did have moments, but then I reminded myself of the voice and felt immediate peace. I even used to see our house with a sold sticker on it – and then when I drove past it I sometimes felt confused why there wasn’t really a sticker on it. The house sold just in time at the exact price we wanted for it!!! In my heart I know I have an amazing practice, working with women I love to work with. it’s at the point where I feel it so much I get a little confused when I’m at home with kids and not with clients :) I know it’s coming – and this post was the perfect reminder to trust – sometimes i hear voices – sometimes I read Kate Northrup! Thanks for your awesomeness xx

  • Stephanie

    Hi Kate, I’m so glad I signed on to hear your blessed words of wisdom. I’m really stuck right now with moving forward in my life. The job is going nowhere, I would like to start fresh somewhere else….. I just bought your book, WOW there are so many light bulbs are going off, it doesn’t make any sense to me how I’ve struggled with money this long and everything that you’ve said so far makes perfect sense from a loving point of view unbelievable!!! I love this blog about TRUSTING that things are happening even I feel they are not, your words and wisdom help a lot. Thank you so much for being you and connecting to us all. Bless you and the family.


  • Nothing Is A Given

    What I’ve learned is that nothing is a given. All the hard work, positive thinking etc has led to nothing. No career, no loving friendships with loving people, no loving relationship.

    After years of being positive and patient, this year has been a year of severe depression. I had to remind myself yesterday hey, instead of being sad you have no friends be glad you no longer have frenemies in your life. People who are always out to take and heap their misery but never share love or good times or bounty. Instead of being sad you’re 40 and single, be glad you’re not in a relationship with any of the abusive men in your past. The career one is the hardest. To see all the hard work come to nought is heartbreaking.

    I never want to hear another self-help platitude in my life. Things don’t happen because they’re not “meant to” – greedy people whom abuse others are walking around living their dreams. All you can do is live the authentic life but still, it would be nice if a harvest turned up once in awhile. A decade of barren lands just starts to hurt your heart.

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