Ofosu and Leah discuss discuss how to stay present, so you can appreciate the extraordinary moments in each ordinary day. Then, they hear from you, the "Well Balanced" listeners, about the ordinary moments you will never forget.
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[Effect — Singing bowl]
OFOSU: Hey, what's up. I'm Ofosu Jones-Quartey.
LEAH: And I'm Leah Santa Cruz. We’re the meditation coaches on Balance.
OFOSU: And we like to kickstart each week by joining you here outside of meditation to share moments from our lives, talk through things that we all experience and provide some inspiration advice and hopefully a little laughter too.
LEAH:. And this week, in the US, there’s a holiday going on — Thanksgiving. For a lot of us who celebrate this — it’s a day where we gather with family. Eat a lot. My family does a new tradition where we each take a moment to share something they’re grateful for, someone they’re grateful for and something about themselves they’re grateful for.
OFOSU: We do something kind of similar.
LEAH: Sweet! And regardless of whether you officially celebrate this or not, this week is a good reminder to take some time to give thanks for the things in our lives. Especially now, because for the past year and half — I know most people could agree that things have been pretty tough. It’s been hard for me even to find things to be thankful for. Moments. I think a lot of us have found ourselves at one time or another, just longing to be back in those “good old days”.
But I had a moment recently that just totally shook me out of that rut — I recorded it and I want to share it with you in a second. But, yeah, — it’s how to pay attention to the good right now — that’s what I wanna chat about.
OFOSU: it reminds me of this quote from The Office. Uh, if anybody knows me, you know, that I am a huge fan of the TV show The Office and, um, I watch it every single day. And actually we, we escalated it this, this year and my family and I recently took a trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania to visit some of the landmarks from the office. We stayed overnight in Scranton. It was very kitschy and campy and amazing. Um, but anyway, there's an episode where Ed Helms character, Andy Bernard says, “I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you actually left them.”
Anyway, but what you're talking about feels related to that.
LEAH: Yeah, I absolutely, I, I could agree with that statement, uh, and looking you can always look back at your own life and oh yeah. This particular bubble of time was just. Can I just go back there and feel that again.
Uh, and I think that that's nice that we've forgotten maybe some of the difficulties that we had at that time. We just see the rosy, we put on those rose sunglasses and we look back and we say, oh yeah, everything was great then. Um, but you know, like I mentioned — I was actually recently was capturing this really sweet moment with my son - who’s turning 1 year old in a week!
OFOSU: What? [sings] Happy Birthday, Luca!
LEAH: — and it made me rethink that mindset — so I want to play for you what I recorded in that moment
OFOSU: That’s wonderful. I'm anxious to hear it.
LEAH: Um, just sitting here in the living room, in this beautiful little play area that I created for my son, Luca, and, uh, it's 10:00 AM and we're just playing, playing, playing.
He's just ripped the sunglasses off my head, we’re playing with kitchen Tupperware, our utensils and spoons. And he's just laughing at everything I do. It's just so cute.
Do you have my sunglasses? You're looking pretty cool there, Mr.
What's that? I just put the sunglasses on you.
It's just little moments like this is super, super adorable that I want to just treasure forever.
OFOSU: That’s super sweet!
LEAH: It takes me right into the moment. I could just see those, his smile.
OFOSU: Yeah, ya know that really has me in my memories with all my little ones, but especially thinking of my oldest one who recently left for college. Like she once sounded like that. So yeah, that has, um, uh, yeah, that, that brings back those memories and just what does, what a sweet sweet moment.
So before I start getting weepy here, let me pull myself together and ask you what made you share this moment?
LEAH: I really wanted to record this moment because,I just think it's the simple things that I'm going to want to remember the most. I had this realization even when the world around me is feeling pretty crazy, or even upside down -- I'm going to look back at these days and these moments in the future and, and consider them to be ya know, oh don't remember those good old days?
OFOSU: that's very wise, because I think the way that we are wired, you know, we don't hold on to these. These moments don't stick the way that we think that they will. I was, I've been ruminating about, you know, my daughter going off to college and I'm trying to see it, like, are all my boxes checked? Have I done everything right as a dad? Ya know, all that stuff. And as I was driving, what was, I was with my wife coming home from the grocery store.
I had all these thoughts in my mind and I noticed that I was ruminating. And I was just like, you know, in this exact moment, my hand is on the steering wheel. One hand is on my lap. There, my wife is sitting next to me. The hum of the car is happening. I'm looking at this street sign. Like that's that is. That’s all that’s happening right now.
LEAH: Yeah and at the end of the day it's the presence that matters. Like she won't remember you reflecting on, was I good dad or bad dad? She's just not going to remember how excited you were for her and the support and the presence that you gave her in this time. And that's all my baby remembers. And it’s like just being present for these beautiful little moments and appreciating them in the moment and not worrying about am I good enough as you know, what's going to happen? What happened before, but just being there to appreciate what we have in the moment, I think is, um, like what I take from that little clip that I did.
OFOSU: It's the most important thing to be present, period. Yeah. It does remind me of. The extraordinary in the ordinary and, uh, and how precious our moments are.
LEAH: Totally. And, as I've been thinking about this a bit more, I have become curious to know when do other people feel this way? What are these everyday moments that other people treasure? ‘Cause I know I'm probably missing some of them in my own life and I want to be more aware of them. So - in honor of using this week to give thanks for the great moments in our lives — I actually asked some of our listeners to tell us about those extraordinary moments and the ones that they'll treasure forever. We got a ton of responses on this, and I want to share some with you right now because I haven't even heard them yet.
OFOSU: This is ncredible. I cannot wait to listen to these. So yes, let's do it.
MALE VOICE: One ordinary memory that I will definitely carry with me for life is being five, six years old, living in Virginia Beach with my mom, and on warm summer days, walking to the beach with her. And just that anticipation of seeing what kind of waves were going to be there for me to ride and looking forward to the sandwich and the chips that she packed for lunch. It was just, just a beautiful time.
FEMALE VOICE: The ordinary moment that our treasure forever is after almost a lifetime of feeling unlovable. My one year old granddaughter came running across a crowded room to give me the biggest hug ever. At that moment,I felt love.
FEMALE VOICE: When my dog Marlo scratches my door to be let in every morning. That's the moment I will treasure forever.
MALE VOICE: The laughter and the smiles of my children every day.
FEMALE VOICE: When we had some work done in our backyard to renovate our patio area, my son, who was just four years old, insisted on going out and talking to the construction crews, project manager and asking him to be really careful when they did the excavation, because so many roly polies and worms and other little critters called that dirt home. It was just this moment of purity and innocence. That was amazing to witness.
FEMALE VOICE: The most memorable moment for me was when I was five years old and I took my first train trip with my dad to go down south. I remember looking out the window And seeing the ice crystals on the trees. Something I've never seen before. I was totally mesmerized. I always remember that.
FEMALE VOICE: I remember picking strawberries in my mother's garden. ordinary, but cherished in my memory forever,
MALE VOICE: walking along the beach, just enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. It's good for the soul.
FEMALE VOICE: I'm single and I live alone. And my ordinary moment was the first amazing hug after lockdown. It was the most special thing.
LEAH: Uh, wow. Those are beautiful to listen to. I, uh, I noticed that out of nine responses that we just played, seven of them included either children or being a child.
And I think that's such an interesting thing because when we're kids or when we're around our kids, we're often seeing things through the eyes of a child or imagining what it must be like for them. And it's, you know, as kids, I think we were all very present and we would see something so new and be in awe and really not take things for granted because there's so much newness in the world when you're a child and you're in this stage of discovery.
So, and then being around children, it's like, this just brings you right back to that. Of not taking things for granted and seeing how really cool something simple is that we've seen a million times as an adult can be when it's new to you.
OFOSU: [giggles] Yeah. You know, having a five-year-old will definitely remind you of that.
You know, yesterday, yesterday, my five-year-old was just wanted to experiment with moving from one area of the house to another by spinning in a circle and, you know, he had to get ready to go to karate. So I was just like, bro, this experiment in spinning is really not conducive to the schedule that we're on right now.
And he just would not stop spinning. And you know, I did not appreciate it at the time, but reflecting back, like those are like the sweet moments of, of childhood just spinning, you know, just like, yeah, this is, this is my body in space in this moment, you know?
LEAH: Yeah. And I think when we had that, like, especially when the world gets a little nuts or, you know, just overwhelming. You can just go back to something so simple, like, oh man, the whole world spinning, oh my gosh, I'm just going to spin. And then I'm gonna let myself drop. And I'm just gonna enjoy being here fully in my body and appreciating, you know, gravity appreciating, uh, ice icicles or whatever it is that's in your presence.
OFOSU: The waves going back and forth, you know, it's just, it is those moments that, you know, Really make life, um, quite profound. It probably can't be overstated that it is these small moments that if we really allow ourselves to be deliberately present for them, you know, is what allows life to unfold in a beautiful way.
LEAH: Yeah. And I'm going to actually going to take the time this week to set the goal to tell myself that today is a good old day — and take some time to give thanks for that.
OFOSU: It is though, you know, we are in them. We are, we are perpetually in the good old days, like Andy Bernard in The Office was saying, you know, I wish there was a way to know that you're in the good old days before you've actually left them, but perhaps we never leave them. And yeah. Today, today is a good old day.
LEAH: So stay present. Otherwise you might miss it.
OFOSU: That’s right. Yeah. Right.
[Effect — Singing bowl]
OFOSU: Well, thank you all for joining us today.
LEAH: And we're going to be back here again next week for another awesome conversation. So take care and be present and if you’re celebrating, have a good old Thanksgiving.
OFOSU: yes. Enjoy your good old day. And please follow our show on your favorite podcast app if you want to be notified when new episodes drop. You know you wanna be notified. Alright. Much love hollaback peace.