I’ve often been curious about the way life seems to rush by and how measures of success are based on how much gets done each day, how many ticks on my list. Looking back on those kinds of busy days, however, I have noticed there are many periods of time, almost voids, where I couldn’t pinpoint having accomplished much, but they seemed to comprise a good chunk of my day. Feeling less productive during these voids (reading the paper, sitting quietly with my child or petting my dog, surfing social media, waiting to pick up the kids after school, watching a TV show, driving between appointments…. you get the picture), I felt somehow that these were wasted moments where I couldn’t find much value. This would leave me feeling as though the day was not a success, that I was not a very useful or productive person.
I recently came across a Sanskrit word that started me thinking about these places and times ‘in between’ a little differently: Madhya. It can be applied to those times between or in the void which I have described, but also smaller, subtler times such as between poses on the mat, between thoughts, or even those tiny pauses just after a breath in or out. There are so many moments in the day which could be deemed ‘unproductive’ or ‘useless,’ and yet is it possible to value them in a new way? Could these moments be cherished just like all others? Could we watch for these tiny breaks and transitions with relish, enjoying moments of reprieve where nothing needs to be done? Enjoying the momentary sense of ease that can be found in the pauses? Not having any judgement, only acceptance and reverence.
Another interpretation of Madhya is ‘in the middle’ or ‘centre.’ This definition made me ponder whether the moments in between the ‘productive’ times could be seen as the centre or ‘hub’ of my life, the important and valued moments, rather than the other way around. How would this change my perspective on each day lived, on a life lived?
Madhya, my new search for those blissful, in-between moments of peace and making them the centre of my life!