When I Stop My Momentum

“In the center of our speed, in the core of our forward movement, we are often confused and lonely. That is why we have turned so full-heartedly to the memoir form. We have an intuition it will save us. Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss of isolation to share and reflect. It’s not a diet to become skinny, but a relaxation into the fat of our lives. Often, without realizing it, we are on a quest, a search for meaning. What does our time on this earth add up to?”

–Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend From Far Away

When I stop my momentum…

17 thoughts on “When I Stop My Momentum”

  1. If my momentum stopped or
    halted in any way,
    the spiral ride would
    fray and then decombust,
    slowly disintegrating
    the fabric whose threads
    weave and give structure
    to my arrow’s aim.
    …My feet would blur and
    in a blink of
    astigma, melt away into the empty pebbled,
    stone pathway.
    …My arms would wither into
    an inability to embrace all
    that I love.
    …The core and center would
    turn into quicksand…
    a drowning would occur.

    1. Hi Paula, I guess I think of momentum not as life force, but of unnecessary spinning movement–so I have a different take on it than you do, but I enjoyed your poem very much!

      1. Thank you, Laura….I’m thinking of momentum as the feed to the life force at the quiet, silent core of the spiral. Of course, if the core is confused, it’s difficult to digest the “food”, but if one can reach the core through reflective writing…that’s the greatest!!! It’s the food.

  2. In the center of my speed I am sometimes confused and lonely, and yes, especially at the core of my forward movement. My intuition has saved me many, many times from being swallowed up by confusion and loneliness. I have learned to find clarity and peace amidst any confusion and loneliness. I guess in my momentum I will always be a seeker.

    I realize that I am on a constant quest for meaning. When I am moving solidly forward I am content not to search, only to move. I find meaning in my actions. I gratefully serve others constantly.

    When I stop my momentum, it appears that thoughts and things pile up around me. As I move through life I am constantly managing thoughts and things and, if I stop, those thoughts and things will take over. It goes like this …

    “Today, I will do nothing, I will just be” I say to myself as I lie in bed after the family has left the house for the day. I rise and make my way to the kitchen where there is likely dirty dishes in the sink. “I can’t get to the sink, I should wash the dishes” I think to myself. And the thoughts about things begin. If I choose not to wash the dishes then other thoughts begin … “I am so lazy” and “what a dirty house!”

    But this is only appearance, it is not a big deal if things pile up. I do not let negative thoughts stop me from ducking out on chores most days, I can walk away from tasks like this no problem. I can change the tapes that play in my mind and I can move on to better thoughts. And I manage to move things around.

    I have learned to go to the shore and surrender to the momentum of the ocean, to listen and watch the relentless tide. I love to stand on the edge of the continent and feel. To feel the noise of the sea as the roar hits my ear drums, to feel the wind whipping by my tiny head. To feel the fog or the sun. Here I bask in my insignificance, I rest.

    My forward momentum is almost purely positive. Almost. At times, a nugget of negativity will get into my mix and it will roll along growing in size until I can hear nothing but negative, life-canceling thoughts. It is then I crave to run. I like to increase my momentum suddenly and dart away from negativity.

    In the past, I have liked to increase my forward momentum as much as possible. Most thrilling to me is to be physically hurtling through life at great speeds. Alas, I don’t have a motorcycle right now so I am limited in this. So I fantasize about the past sometimes and I know I will have another scooter someday. I sometimes let my thoughts gain momentum disproportionate with my physical momentum. I think that is why I enjoy the total physical and mental engagement of motorcycle riding; it keeps the momentum of my body and of my thoughts synchronized. (Hiking can do this for me, too.)

    Hunter S. Thompson wrote “being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube” and I completely agree. I like the feeling of trying to catch my momentum on a motorcycle. I used to call it “flapping like a windsock” … I would roll back the throttle and hold on tight. I could picture my body and legs flapping behind me like a windsock in a storm.

    What I mean to say is that my time on this earth adds up to a lot of movement and I am grateful. I am not stagnant even when I am still. My life is rich even as my pockets have little money.

    I have heard that momentum slows as we age. Bah! I say momentum is all in my head. I turned 50 years old last week and I feel my momentum picking up speed as if my brain is saying to my body,

    “WE DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME. LET’S GET MOVING!”

    ~Ride On!

    1. Tina, a really thoughtful piece. I was right with you by the ocean and also barreling forward through life. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  3. I woke this morning spinning, uncertain, alone…the dogs still tucked, sleeping, behind my legs. Things weren’t slowing until I broke down. Rapid cycles of the same dream. I reached out at the early hour to an always open landing. My momentum needing to slow long enough to breathe again. After settled, I reflected on the painful self-neglect and remedies often forgotten:

    The electric heater sounded like a moaning baby;
    I was quick out of my sleep.
    Three am and human alone and worried,
    It was my stomach on fire not the old rusted furnace.
    What do I do,
    Get the acid out of the sternum.
    Feels like my sternum anyway.
    Some sort of chakra, three maybe.
    It was my core pucking in the toilet.
    Got to call Amy.
    She’ll know what to do.
    Her medicine is a car ride back
    To her house and the fireplace roaring
    Just for my aching.
    No one up in her family but us.
    My family forever, now on.
    Now since we met and adopted each other
    Any hour doesn’t change our sleep.
    We sit and smoke sweet cigars
    In front of the flames
    Guarded only by the screen
    Of the burnings.
    Early morning pain that only the best
    Of friends can understand…

  4. When I stop my momentum, I realized that my energy is directed towards many directions. and that people around me are taking parts of that energy. Love energy. it is ok. Loved ones need that love energy so they can go on with their day. Doing regular stuff.

    At work, they want your brain energy, life energy so they can make money. That is how it works. I give my energy to serve customers, a futur boss, and I get paid to pay the rent, bills, buy clothes, travel if my account allows, to rest, regenerate and come back to the world The wheel of economy is turning.

    When I stop my momentum, I connect with this wounded part of myself and the light of love within to nourrish me. Like everyone else does when they stop their momentum. The path towards self compassion, self love is not that easy. Cause sometimes, it is dry, lonely and I get bored. I miss action. If I stay to long in my inner environment, isolation, depression, sadness, is at the corner : my shadow. probably everyone’s shadow. Then I wait for a new energy to emerge after I stopped my momentum. I know it will.

    Then I can go back out. I also need the energy of others to support, nourrish this subtle light of love I found when I stopped my momentum. If people surrounding me can stop their momentum too, then creation happens, one day at a time, one step at a time.

    1. Claire, thanks for this exploration of the layers of experience you have when you stop your momentum. I wonder what layers might still be there underneath the shadow and your fear of the shadow.

  5. When I stop – or lose — my momentum, I seem to also lose my sense of balance.

    It is much like catching my breath after a few minutes of brisk walk or short run, then finding myself struggling to get up and go.

    My mind is engulfed by a huge vacuum from which I cannot escape – leaving me powerless to take off from where I left.

    A specific example, one which often challenges me – is writing.

    After losing my momentum at a certain point, whatever ideas, fragments of thoughts and feelings, seem to have gathered up in a haze.

    Thus that awful empty, white space stares back at me from my computer screen or my journal page, crying out to be filled. But I remain stuck, my creative juices drained.

    So an inner battle ensues, for that certain mood to get myself back into the flow of things seems hard to catch again.

    More difficult is when I need to finish a work article or two. I strongly believe that the accomplishment of work tasks should take precedence over any mood or emotions. I should be able to finish something, whether I am in a writing mood or not.

    Somehow, I need that pressure to keep my momentum. And once I am there – it can be irritating to have to stop whatever I am focused on at the moment. Somehow, the pressure itself causes negativity.

    “Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss of isolation to share and reflect” – this is so true for me – especially when I am overwhelmed with negative thoughts about myself – as in chastising myself for not doing enough or not being good enough.

    Not only about writing – but also in living my daily life. I find that without any structure, things can easily go awry and I can so easily lose momentum.

    So — in a way – writing is the crutch I hold onto – for support and solace. Writing allows me to sort out the negatives, and help me bring back a measure of structure to my day.

    More deeply though – writing is the space I need to pour out my innermost feelings and thoughts that are just meant for me alone – and my God. Yes, often I write down my prayers instead of mentally conversing — I feel more expressive talking to God through my written prayers, my sacred space where ultimately I discover myself more and more, as I connect more deeply to my Source, my Creator.

    1. Marichu, welcome to the Roadmap blog. Thanks for sharing some of the complexities of your relationship with your writing. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. Title: After the 2:30 am-3:00 Speed Ride

    I see a ceiling.
    I see the blue-green checkered curtains.

    I hear nothing.
    I hear perhaps the constant noise of the city.

    I smell facial lotion.
    I smell blanket dust.

    I taste nothing.
    I taste nothing.

    I feel softness of skin beneath PJs.
    I feel okay.

  7. Pingback: When I Stop My Momentum… – Ms Mach Garden of Thoughts & Inspiration

  8. When I stop my momentum I am confronted with loneliness, longing for deeper connection. Sometimes I can feel this connection with myself, relaxing into the present, noticing what is around me, the sensual details, feeling that all is well. But more often I feel as if I have an itch I can’t quite reach.
    When I stop my momentum I notice my body, wonder what is the purpose of life, wonder if there is something I should be doing that I am missing, wish I had grandchildren, hope I will fall in love again, and wonder how will I die.
    I admit I prefer the momentum. It gives me a sense of purpose, even if illusionary. However, I enjoy the relaxation and connectedness I feel in my body sometimes when I stop the momentum.

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