A simple message from someone special makes Leah's day and inspires her and Ofosu to find more opportunities to spread joy this Valentine's Day and beyond.
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LEAH: So I want to start off today by telling a quick story.
LEAH: The other day I was sitting on the sofa, just thinking about this coursework that I'm doing. I'm continuously studying under my favorite teacher, Dr. Lauren Roche and his wife, Camille Maureen. And I've just been studying with them for many years now. And all of a sudden I got a text message from my teacher, Lauren, and it just said, hi, Leah.
I just lit up immediately. I was so surprised and happy because it had to have been 4:00 AM for him. So it was, it was delightful and it reminded me that I'm on the right path. And I just, I kind of took it as a sign that you know, dive back into this coursework and spend some time today with it. And it just made me happy to have someone out there that appreciates me enough to just say hello when they're thinking about me.
[Sound effect - singing bowl]
OFOSU: Hey, what's up? I'm Ofosu Jones Quartey.
LEAH: And I'm Leah Santa Cruz, where the meditation coaches on balance. And this is our show. Well Balanced.
OFOSU: All right. So if y'all already follow us on your favorite podcast app, then you know that we bring you new episodes every Monday, but if you don't follow us yet, please be sure to do that on whichever app you prefer so we can let you know when our next conversation goes live.
[Transition Sound Effect]
LEAH: So it was pretty cool to have that moment of the light, just with my teacher reaching out out of nowhere. And you know, it's Valentine's Day today, which many people love and many people despise because of the pressure. So I thought it'd be nice to just zoom out a little but.
And what if we called it friendship day, you know, I think people would enjoy that more.
OFOSU: That'd be so much easier!
LEAH: Like, talk about the big picture of love. Like, wow, you love people and talk about things like this that make us feel loved and how we could show other people that we care about them because small gestures can be really powerful.
OFOSU: Yeah, it reminds me of the idea of agape love, which is like the big love, but it's also the small love, like the love that we share between each other, just as human beings.
LEAH: Not necessarily a romantic love.
OFOSU: Yeah. We're talking about that universal unconditional love that's expressed in those types of small gestures.
I could hear when you were talking about your teacher. Just that lightness and brightness in your voice. And it's evident how big of an impact, you know, a small gesture like that can make.
LEAH: And it made me think about how often I think about other people. And I don't say hi. I mean, I do it sometimes, but, um, how nice it is to just think about someone and send them a message.
And even if it's just a hello, how are you out of the blue? It can feel so good to get just such a simple message. And it reminded me that I need to do that to other people more often.
OFOSU: The same thing happened to me, a friend I hadn't spoken to in a while reached out to say that they were just proud of everything that I was up to.
And I think it's an underrated gesture, the random hello, the random shout out, especially when someone crosses your mind.
LEAH: Or just a moment of encouragement. Like they give you encouragement and show you that, hey, I'm paying attention and you matter, you're valuable. And take that extra step to actually tell you.
It makes my day when I get a message from someone, even when they're a stranger and I've never met them before. And they message me and say, I've been listening to Balance, I've been doing meditation and it's really helped me. Thank you for what you do. Like why I do what I do, you know? Cause we get so busy in our lives. It can be very easy to forget sometimes that to just start and reminisce about someone or I think about them even fleetingly to just send them a quick message. I mean, that's what real currency is to me in this world.
It's our connection with others. It's our relationships and how do we keep nurturing them?
OFOSU: Yeah, you know studies have shown that as men get older, our circle of friends gets smaller and smaller and it's amplified when you have a spouse or partner and most men over 50, probably don't really have any friends aside from your spouse's friends or cousins or whatever.
So I'm finding over time for me, unless I'm actively working alongside somebody, you know, like we're working on an album or a project, or, you know, it's, um, it's difficult to find the space and time to cultivate and maintain a meaningful friendship relationship. And part of that is like, well, I've got four kids, all at different stages of development. I have my own career. I don't really have the time to dedicate to cultivating and maintaining regular interactions with people. However, quality over quantity. So just because we don't have space or I don't have space to, to see or talk to folks every day doesn't mean that we should avoid or forget the power of, hey, how are you today or thinking about you or sending you positive energy, or just want to say, I love you.
LEAH: What if we made a goal to say, okay, maybe, well, maybe I'm going to try to connect with three people a day over my morning coffee or something
OFOSU: like that. I mean, we know that. Maintaining meaningful relationships is also maintaining your overall wellbeing. I think it's also extending your life reducing risks of depression and cancer and heart attacks.
I mean, in the pace that our world operates, we can evolve what meaningful connection means. It doesn't always have to mean being face-to-face with somebody, but it can definitely mean sending a video message. It can definitely mean. Um,
LEAH: or a phone call, remember when people used to call each other.
OFOSU: So I'm one of those people that really cringe at phone calls.
I've evolved into that phone call cringe, where I'm just like, oh my God, what could possibly -
LEAH: Who told you, you could call me?
OFOSU: Yeah, why are you calling me? What could you possibly have to say that couldn't be sent in a text message?
LEAH: Oh no. See, I love phone calls. I'm that person that calls people.
OFOSU: I think I just need the heads up, but I will do a random call sometimes.
LEAH: You’ve randomly called me before.
OFOSU: I will. Yes. I see. I will do that. I will make a random call. I will, especially if someone's really just on my heart for a moment. Like, I'll just be like, you know what, it's time for a random phone call and they're always really special. So. I think the moral of the story here and I think we can continue to deep dive in into this. It's important to keep connections flowing and it doesn't really take a whole lot of effort to do that, but it can really easily slip away from us. Like you can turn into a text message only type person like myself, although that's not necessarily always true.
You can also just mistake scrolling and liking for connecting, which is not always true.
LEAH: It's easy to be like, oh, I know what's going on in your life. So I feel connected to you, but you really don't know when people are scrolling and looking at me.
OFOSU: Yeah, exactly. This conversation is making me think of who I could possibly message or reach out to, or even don't dah dah call and, uh, so I have this feeling of guilt arising, but it's cool.
I love that mindfulness and self-compassion, and self-kindness have been such an important feature of my life because when those types of feelings arise, I can always meet them with sort of a kind reflection. So I'm thinking about my best friend, Andy, who we've texted. We texted on New Year's. We texted on Christmas, we've texted, texted, texted, but I haven't had a good conversation with him in a while.
Like we've been sending those obligatory - these are the messages you send to your best friend texts on these particular days. But I haven't just asked, hey, how's life, you know, so today I'm going to hit, uh, hit my Andy up. Cause you know, I'm texting Andy right now. How are you broski?
LEAH: And I like that, you know, I think sometimes when someone pops into her head, it might be a little message from the powers that be, to say, hey, reach out to this person and say hello.
OFOSU: Yeah. Yeah.
LEAH: It's cleansing for the soul.
I feel like I like that. I feel like it's really a part of our healing journey. If there's any part of us that’s like going through a transformation. Like there becomes a point, you know, they even talk about this in 12 step programs where like you make amends to people and the past, and you were not talking about making amends necessarily, but it's very healing when we reach out to people and we express our heart to them.
Um, it’s not just good for the relationship with them, but it's also really good for our own mental and emotional and spiritual wellbeing. And life is short. You never know how long those people will be there, how long we'll be here. And at the end of the day, we're not leaving this world with material possessions.
We, you know, it's, it's what's in our hearts that carry us. And those relationships that we have that we'll look back on and say, this was the most meaningful, important thing of my life.
OFOSU: I have made the mistake in being a part of hustle culture and just moving through life and having life evolve where people who are really meaningful to me, I might not have let them know as often as I should have. But as long as I'm here, it's not too late for me to do that. I think once you get that ball rolling, you'll find that there are many folks that could use, uh, a reach out and we shouldn't hesitate to do it cause it doesn't take a lot of effort to let somebody know you're thinking about them.
LEAH: You know, I have a good idea. I think, why don't I just call my teacher right now?
OFOSU: Oh man. All right. The spontaneity is flowing. Let's do it.
LEAH: I’ll put them on speaker. Can you hear this?
Hi, Lorin. How are you?
LORIN: Hi! I’m good.
LEAH: Oh, I'm just, um, I'm actually recording a podcast show right now, and we're just having a conversation about how one time you said hello to me at like 4:00 AM and it just made my day. And so I wanted to return the favor, just say hello to you!
LORIN: I said hello at 4 am? (laughs)
LEAH: Yeah and it just was special to me and I was thinking about how I should just tell you that I appreciate you as my teacher.
I think you're a wonderful human being and an inspiration to me.
LORIN: Oh, thank you! That’s really welcome cause I got up at four this morning but I hadn't had quite enough sleep. So I ended up feeling just like you do when you're jet lagged, actually you’re the mom, you know, the feeling very well when you're short of sleep and it's like, that's very welcome.
I could use some soothing for my well being. I’m a little frazzled.
LEAH: I think it happens to the best of us, even when we're meditation teachers, right?
LORIN: I know it's not with the way meditation teachers are supposed to roll. We're supposed to give out the air of just complete vulnerability and just like we're, we're God's magic, joy juices flooding our nerves.
LEAH: We're just rebels then. Cause we're, we're messy sometimes.
LORIN: That's right.
LEAH: Well, I hope you're having a wonderful day and I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you.
LORIN: Thank you so much! Now are you in Mexico or Costa Rica?
LORIN: You’re in LA?
LEAH: If you're here, I would love to have you meet my son.
LORIN: I would love to.
LEAH: Yay. Awesome.
LORIN: Thank you for calling.
LEAH: Yeah. Nice to talk to you and tell Camille hello.
OFOSU: Aw, that was such a sweet moment.
LEAH: Yeah! I actually feel really happy inside now that just lifted my heart and my spirit so much.
OFOSU: It did the same thing for me just being a witness to it. So there's just so much potential for magic to happen in the simplest ways.
And that was an expression of that and an example of that.
LEAH: Yeah and now I’ll be able to go see him and his wife in person.
OFOSU: Right. It's one of those faith in humanity, restored moments, but it's not even a big deal. It's not, I mean, it is a big deal, but it wasn't like this massive event. It was just like, you know, a simple connection.
LEAH: It was also nice to just hear from him like, oh, you know what, he's having a rough morning and this feels really good.
That confirmation of what we're talking about, like the delights too.
OFOSU: This is so interesting. Can you hear my phone ringing? I can hear your phone ringing. This is my friend Thomas, who I haven't spoken to in a while calling me on the random. So I'm going to call back when, uh, uh, when we jump off.
Wow. Yeah, I was missing him too. He was somebody that I was thinking about. Yeah. So -
LEAH: See the power and magic in this!
OFOSU: Look at what’s happening here! Goodness gracious!
LEAH: Wow! Mister I don't like phone calls. It's like changing his art.
OFOSU: There we go! I was so happy. I'm very lit up to see that this call is coming through. Yeah. So, alright, well -
LEAH: And he didn’t even ask for permission (laughing)
OFOSU: No. All right. I'm throwing out the playbook. I'm accepting phone calls y'all um, within reason. Um, but this was such a sweet episode. I'm glad you were able to call your teacher. Yeah. So gentle reminder out there, folks, you know, you can make connections when it's possible and it's always possible.
So just take a moment and reach out to someone today and it is Valentine's day, which is, which is a boon or a bane or something in between. But it doesn't mean that we have to focus on romantic love. Let this be a reminder to, to expand your concept of love and feel connected to everything and everyone, and, you know, just let the people that you care about know that you care.
[Singing bowl effect]
OFOSU: All right, y’all well, thank you so much for joining us!
LEAH: And thank you to my teacher, Lauren, for picking up that call.
OFOSU: And to you our wonderful listener — we really want to hear your thoughts about the show. Please head over to the survey at BALANCE APP DOT COM SLASH SURVEY (there’s a link in the show description) and let us know what you think. Hearing your honest thoughts is one of the best tools we have for making this show as fun, useful, and uplifting as we want it to be. So thank you so much for taking the time and thanks for sharing!
LEAH: Other than that, we'll be back with another conversation next week. So until then
OFOSU: take care and remember to be kind to yourself. See y'all later. Peace.
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