No. 19 - On momentum

Looking back on the week, it has flown by as usual. But, although time seemed to be on fast-forward, it didn't feel like I had momentum. Until, of course, about 3 pm on Friday when the weekend was about to start and then WOW, there was momentum... for about three hours, and then I had to shift. This made me curious about my perception of momentum, how to gather it, and how to balance it. If you're wondering about the outcome of that curiosity, read on!


When you think of momentum, do you automatically conceive it as 'doing'? If yes, I invite you to also consider that momentum does not always equal activity; it can also reflect serenity. An eagle gliding on pillows of air has great momentum but seems to float effortlessly and serenely amongst the clouds. Momentum in serenity is like finding the perfect thermal, with nothing to do but simply be.


It is a law of physics that an object has momentum—magnitude and direction—and will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Just as this is true in our physical world, it is also true in our mental world. Our thoughts and mental tasks move in a direction at a given speed until something happens. We have all experienced this, taking us into and out of "the groove." In it, answers and ideas flow with ease until, out of nowhere, something distracts you. An interruption from a coworker, your phone that is supposed to be on 'focus mode' makes a notification noise, the doorbell rings, and out you come from that groove. Perhaps the external force is tiny, and you easily slip back in, but more often, we're too far out. What we sometimes forget is that we have a choice in these moments about how large we allow that external force to be. We can let in the distraction and allow it to rob us of all our momentum, like a dam halting the flow of a river. Or we can embody the river as it moves through and around vegetation in its way—slipping around and through, slowing slightly but regaining that momentum almost as soon as we come out the other side. We all hope to behave as the latter. You may find it depends on the circumstances of the momentum—the project, its relative importance, your level of interest. It is also worth paying attention to the time of day when you allow distractions to affect your momentum. We all have a circadian rhythm, our natural alignment with the rotation of the Earth, which can play an enormous role in our ability to maintain momentum. Daniel Pink, in his book "When," explains it so well, and I highly recommend grabbing a copy or borrowing it from the library. In short, we move through cycles in our day that align with and act on different kinds of motivation. It is worth experimenting within your own day, when you are fortunate enough to have control over it, taking on different types of tasks at different hours to find where the maximum motivation occurs to move you most gracefully toward your goals. Then, for a little extra boost, experiment with tea pairings for your day. Do you need ClariTEA, IngenuiTEA, or just some TranquiliTEA to keep your momentum?


So you've found your sweet spot for peak motivation, aligned your schedule and tea selection to take advantage of your circadian rhythm, and you're on a roll—beautiful! Now, what are you doing to balance it out? Where will you, or are you, deliberately changing your momentum, on your own terms, to shift out of 'doing' and into 'being' so that, in the long term, you can sustain your momentum? We all need to balance those periods of intense activity with restful intervals to enhance our well-being and avoid burnout. Ritual is a lovely way to help us in the transition—just as Mr. Rogers changed his shoes to sneakers and his coat to a cardigan every day, rituals lend some predictability and give us time to settle into the momentum shift. They don't have to be complex; they can be as simple as putting on the kettle and pulling out your favorite mug. Try infusing your day with small but intentional ritual pauses to ground and re-center. See how it changes and evolves your momentum.

One more thing...

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
- Albert Einstein

Until next time,
Steep Calm.

No. 19 - On momentum
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