There is no news about our lives being disrupted, but in these challenging times we are using our digital expertise and the power of community to keep everybody connected. With that in mind, we reached out to our community of Brands to Trust and asked the amazing founders and leaders within our network to share their thoughts on how to stay positive during these challenging times. Read on for each of their meaningful quotes and mantras.
Mary Price, Founder and Creative Director of Ocean + Main
“It sounds cliche and it is a challenge these days, but I breathe, meditate and focus on gratitude for all the goodness in my life. At times like these, I often think about the California Sequoia trees, those magnificent, 3000-year-old giants at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We often fear for their safety during a tragic fire event, but it is only through the intense heat of a fire that their seed pods actually open allowing a new tree to grow. Like the Sequoia, I try to take the long view. Through longevity is peace. Through destruction is creation.”
Livia Manca di Villahermosa, Founder of Balance Holidays
“For me, positivity is achieved during adverse times through a military command to be healthy, both body and mind, and staying connected to the community. Besides the obvious things, this means an increased dose of vitamin C and vitamin D to help combat and boost the immune system. Increased intake of ginger, spices, garlic, citrus fruits, to name a few. Taking daily strolls in the park or in nature to soak in the sunshine and draw in some fresh air, even for just 10 minutes is great. If I can’t get away from my desk, I sit on the terrace and look at the sky. I continue my meditation practice but rather than doing it on my own, I do it in a group to feel part of something bigger. Lately, I have been joining my parents and the three of us meet online before dinner for a short session of QiGong and guided meditation with their teacher.
I make it a daily routine to call a few friends in the evening and go to sleep at the same time every evening. Plenty of rest is key. I rub lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang essential oils under the soles of my feet and chest to calm my body and mind, while to calm the spirit I repeat the same prayer every evening before falling asleep. Morning was and will continue to be a quick cold shower to wake up the body and mind before getting on with the day. Above all, my daily mantra is ‘this too will pass!'”
Trinny Woodall, Founder of Trinny London
“I really use my motto to the max of ‘you don’t know what’s behind the closed door.’ I think that when we are feeling full of fear or just a lot of things where we don’t know the answers, not so many people think of the most optimistic things that can happen. They think of the worst things that could happen. So if you just can stop yourself by saying you don’t know what can happen, it’s better than trying to play forward to the worst outcome possible. I try and halt myself and just say, ‘I don’t know what’s behind the closed door.'”
Sara Griffiths, Founder of The Universal Soul Company
“We must be vigilant with our thoughts. Even with all that is going on, I think it’s so important to ‘look for evidence’ of our benevolent Universe, so we see support is there. The birdsong continues and sounds beautiful, the blossom on the tree blooms, and looks incredible. We are doing nothing to make this happen. There is no virus there. Trust the World will unfold perfectly and heal – if we wake up and respect the fundamental rules of it, and all sentient beings within it. Now is challenging, but also our opportunity. All is, and will be, well.”
Caterina Giraldi, Founder of Veraroad
“Adversities are part of life. From daily problems to bigger problems. The way you face these challenges is part of first of all being a human that thinks, and then of course in business, it is the CEO’s responsibility to guide their teams and companies through these challenges. Being positive with all that is happening in the market is not simple but needs to be possible. We need to reinvent a new version of ourselves and recreate a business model which has to be better and more focused on the world’s needs, challenges and opportunities. Merely because we have now seen a shift in pollution towards a better environment. In Italy, we have blue skies with no planes, cities with no cars, and people are not spending as much. Things are different. People are realising how important humanity is, nature is regaining its space, you can breath properly outside, you can see how important breathing is.
How can you be exactly the same afterwards? What can we do to make our businesses more sustainable? How can we travel less and have a lesser impact on the planet? What can we all do to make sure we all have learned this lesson? We will definitely have to try and change business models; think in terms of remaining a niche brand, a sustainable brand and work more on up-cycled fabrics and work in a very mindful way. Support our local suppliers more and more, offer an amazing quality product with a transparent cost for the customer. I wish everyone the best and I am sure that all together we shall build a better fashion trade world.”
Irene Forte, Founder of Irene Forte Skincare and Wellness Director at Rocco Forte Hotels
“I think it is really important to be optimistic. This is something that is promoted by the Global Wellness Institute through their PositivelyWell initiative. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines optimism as, ‘the tendency to be hopeful and to emphasise the good part in a situation rather than the bad, or the feeling that in the future good things are more likely to happen than bad things.’ Indeed, in numerous medical studies, an optimistic outlook is strongly associated with better health outcomes. In order to be optimistic, you need to be and feel well. It’s all about wellness. By wellness, I mean the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. So, some of my tricks are: a healthy diet, exercise (even just with mat at home), mindfulness (through apps like that of Terrence the Teacher) or simple breathing exercises, and reading.”
Joanne Milner, CEO of Garrard
“In the words of the Dalai Lama, ‘no matter what is going on around you, never give up…. Be compassionate, not just to your friends, but to everyone.’ At difficult times like these, it is important to not lose sight of hope, nor what is truly important. This is a global issue that we will come through by supporting each other, as individuals as well as businesses. It is our responsibility as business leaders to ensure we keep positive about the longer term future and do what is necessary to protect our businesses and brands in a way that is compassionate to the individual needs of our employees, partners and clients. Through a shared commitment to persevere to overcome obstacles, whatever they may be, we end up learning from the experience and come out the other side stronger.”
Tessa Gerlach, Co-founder of Elephant Gin
“Every company, especially in the start-up phase, continuously faces obstacles. Some bigger, some smaller, some visible to the outside, but mostly those that need to be tackled internally. Facing adversity, therefore, isn’t something that we scare away from, but rather face head on and reach for the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, we truly believe that there will be something to be learned, and there will be some sort of positive conclusion drawn from every bump on the road.
The corona crisis, if it has taught us anything this far, is that our global fast-paced tight-knit (possibly unhealthy) system we have worked and lived in the past years actually isn’t as indestructible as we thought. It is affecting almost every part of personal and business life in every corner of our world. We at Elephant Gin are only a tiny part of the whole system, and while we are faced with an incredibly difficult situation that sees all bars and restaurants around Europe (and the world) close, we have the chance to be closer to our community than ever. In fact, this is not one of those obstacles we face alone. It is one that we are all in together. So let’s share our stories, let’s moan and sigh together, and then let’s find a way out of this crisis.”
Monica Magdas Miller, Founder and CEO of Santicler
“While this moment of crisis is scary on many levels, I believe humans are incredibly resourceful, resilient and strong and this, as many other moments in history, shall come to pass. I am glad to run a very tight operation, with controlled expenses so I have the ability to keep the team going for a while longer. Instead of panicking, we are continuing development and working on our projects as determined as ever, in an effort to continue supporting our suppliers, factory and artisans, even if it is on a small scale. The economy is already suffering a negative shock, therefore, I want to keep a positive outlook and inspire everyone else around me to adopt a similar attitude.”
Maria MacDonald, Head of Sales and Marketing at McQueens Flowers
“Be kind to everyone around you – it costs nothing and returns riches beyond belief. Keep an eye firmly on the future and keep the horizon in view. The journey across rocky ground is much easier to bear if you don’t lose sight of where you’re heading to. Stop worrying about the things you can’t control and focus on those levers you can pull to make a difference.”
Ivana Iesini, Founder of ALBIVA
“‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ As Albert Einstein said, I too believe these adverse times are an opportunity for us to re-connect with our loved ones, nature and with ourselves to reconsider who we really are and what we value. We have been shown how interconnected we all are and how our own individual actions and beliefs impact the world around us. Despite the physical distance, we are all coming together for the common good of humanity and connecting in a more mindful, meaningful way. We can all embrace this precious time to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, our friendships and love, the kindness and the community spirit.”
Alexandra Mor, Founder of Alexandra Mor
“It starts with you. Take time for yourself, mediate, slow down, listen to your body, be aware of your breath. Next, stay connected to a community, share and acknowledge our thoughts, fears, and feelings. People speak of thinking positively but in challenging times, before we jump into that I believe it is absolutely imperative to first overcome adversity. However, it is always easier said than done. Then, focus on the solution rather than the problem by looking at the situation objectively and with perspective. Let go of what doesn’t serve us. Look for the best way to move forward and allow for the change that needs to happen. Lastly, re-evaluate intentions and plans by being flexible. When the water is gushing and changing direction, there is no other way but to let go and accept where it leads us.”
Felicienne Bloemers, Founder of YiY
“Adversity… a word that can only be experienced if you perceive things that happen in life in an adverse way. If you learn to surrender to life, you will find ways, you will grow, you will accept, you will have faith. And if you can let go of yourself life becomes your friend, your teacher. When life’s way becomes your way, the noise stops, and there is great peace.”
Dr Mariano Spiezia, Co-founder and Scientific Director of Inlight Beauty
“By observing Nature you can learn a lot, even how to behave when a “storm” hits you: if you are flexible and elastic like a spike of wheat, the power of strong wind can only bend you, if you are rigid and oppose with resistance like an old pine tree, you’ll be more likely to break and fall down. Terror produces psychological paralysis and lack of oxygen in the system because of short breath, it depresses our immune response, creates isolation and reduces our intelligent and wholistic vision of the problem. Tuning ourselves to inner peace, love and comprehension expands our global vision, giving us more chances to know what to do. It also increases our oxygen level, stimulates the immune system and makes us more prone to the sense of community.
As a result, whether we will be hit by natural or ‘man-made’ events, our body will be more physically and emotionally ready to self-protect, to resist without opposing, to react without rigidity, to adapt harmoniously where and when necessary. Observing nature and tuning ourselves to its extraordinary laws will help us understand ourselves, because we are the same. It will help us to better comprehend life, its perfect mechanisms, and go with them, knowing that they will lead us towards the very centre of existence.”
Joy Isaacs, Founder and CEO of Argentum Apothecary
“I stay positive, being calm and strict on getting enough sleep and care for myself to be able to face what is ahead. I try to stay in the moment, and take each day as it comes, without expectation and when things get really tough I put my head down push forward and know that nothing stays the same and that things will pass as day follows night. I have faith that what is for me won’t go by me and that my higher self is guiding the way.”
Sarah Rotheram, CEO of Miller Harris
“Being active, and contributing to whatever small acts of kindness you can has an enormous impact on our wellbeing. My Facebook feed is littered with offers to help those isolated, look after the elderly population and reconnect with their neighbours. The virus is indiscriminate so we are all in this together and only by acting as one can we hope to put an end to the reach and contamination. That sense of pulling humankind together is positive. Over many phone calls, I have been amazed at the utter resilience and entrepreneurship many friends and colleagues are demonstrating; it makes me feel hopeful and proud that there is such an amazing positive response. After the initial shock, the spirit to do something kicks in. From pub owners switching to deliveries and employing London cabs whose drivers are sat without fares, to a friend who told me of a local garage that will collect your car for its MOT and fill it with shopping at the same time, the spirit to do rather than just accept our fate, is incredibly inspiring.
I think we will see more of this in the weeks to come. As the optimist, I have great faith that we will come out of this stronger. I am hopeful and believe we will realise the fragility of life and therefore wake up to the need to protect our planet. Out of this will emerge a reset on how to measure value. We will find a sense of community and be reminded of the power of kindness.”
Bav Tailor, Founder of Bav Tailor
“Focusing my energy on becoming mindful of the situation that encircles me allows me to overcome the fear and adapt to the present environment. Anxiety can weaken the immune system therefore it is fundamental to evoke a sense of calmness to yourself and those around you. This moment that the universe has brought upon us is a call for humanity to reconnect with one’s spirit, become fearless through unity, gather strength, and transform adversity into an opportunity to achieve greater good towards the sphere that surrounds and nurtures us. Through conscious unity, only LOVE can become contagious. Stay well and keep positive.”
Kimberly Berry Haisch, Founder and CEO of KBH Jewels
“This is a time to remember what’s truly important. It’s a time to lean further in to all that is good in the world and that can never be taken from us. KBH has always been about doing what’s right for the health of the world and our families as well as the future. When we talk about flattening the virus curve, and say that it will only work if we take the necessary measures early, I can’t help but think about sustainability and how we care for the planet. Similarly, we need acts of amazing social and environmental solidarity as a community, never forgetting the power we hold when we come together to do something for the common good of humanity. Earth Month is ahead of us and we are holding on to hope and staying positive. We are continuing to remind our community that we are never too small to make a difference and small changes, small actions, small measures matter, now more than ever.”
Naomé Schenk, Founder of By Naomé
“The people and brands that have been able to react and take advantage of the hidden opportunities of yesterday’s crises are the great powers of today. How you respond to each challenge will determine your future, and every apparent difficulty hides an enormous opportunity. We live in a more digital world than ever. That’s a huge opportunity to stand out.”
Dawn Foxall, Founder of Foxology
“Whilst Foxology Clothing, like everyone else, navigates these strange waters, we take stock in what we have achieved and look to the future for what we endeavour to create. We are busy hatching new ideas of ways in which we can teach the world to be more responsible in the ways in which we consume. Whilst we are a clothing brand, when ‘futurising’ as we call it, we are thinking more broadly as to how we can disrupt the landscape and better improve the way in which we live. Our tips for staying positive in this surreal time would be to remember what matters in life, see the beauty in the little things, look and plan for the future, and eat Fairtrade chocolate!”
Jayn Sterland, Managing Director of Weleda UK
“I’ve always had a ‘glass half full’ attitude to life, so staying positive during the hard times is a muscle which has been easy to develop. After all, there isn’t much that cannot be tackled with a positive attitude and a bucketful of resilience! The best advice I have ever been given is ‘to put one foot in front of the other’, marvelling at how far you have come rather than worrying about what’s in front of you. Human beings are incredibly inventive, there’s always a way. The only challenge is to find it.”
Dr Stuart Kaplan, Founder of Kaplan MD
“I like to focus on what makes me feel thankful and happy. Since we are all being encouraged to stay home, I am enjoying this bonus time, spending it with my family. I am loving playing with my children and dogs, who are completely oblivious to the world’s chaos, but are so crazy-happy to see their dad during the weekdays. And at night, the whole family snuggles together for a movie on the couch. When times get hard, it is easy to get wrapped up, and focus on the thing that bring you down. But there are always positive things we can do that outweigh the negatives.”
Elisa Pantazopoulos, Founder of Eli-O
“In times of adversity, I force myself to concentrate on what is essential. I try to take a step back from what is happening. I focus on what matters and little by little I acknowledge all the good things that I have in my life and appreciate the little stuff I tend to forget during my everyday life.”
Sandy Tabatznik, Creative Director of Lalela Scarf
“During this time of global adversity and uncertainty, we will be taking a lesson from our Lalela facilitators and learners to stay positive, centred and focused. Each Lalela workshop starts with a creative meditation session where our trained facilitators help artists find a moment of calm and quiet to remove themselves from the stresses in their lives. We encourage our learners to use the power of creative meditation to build focus and positivity, a tool we also use to navigate through trying times. We find that meditation is the best way to begin the creative process. By getting in touch with our minds, bodies and spirits, we are able even if just for a moment, to let go of some of the unnecessary stress and anxiety that is part of the human experience and remember the simple things that bring us joy, power and inspiration. Our meditation practice swings open the door to positive, creative ways to keep busy during times of adversity. It is the key to accessing our imagination, allowing us to create, dream, connect and inspire.”
If you want to connect with us and have stories to share, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay well and stay positive.
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Written by - Tara MacInnis