About two weeks before the coronavirus pandemic made breaking news, I had a dream. It was scary and startling and woke me up. What I remember from the dream was that there was an enormous explosion that shook the entire world. That morning I started to tell my husband… “I had this crazy dream… “ and like most mornings for most of my life, the response was… “oh Reem, not another one of your dreams…”
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly shaken our world. Individually and collectively. Over half a million people have died around the world since January and over 130,000 Americans. We have either lost someone to this virus or are afraid a vulnerable family member or friend will contract it. My heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones to this pandemic.
We are not on automatic anymore. Forced to be sensitive to virtual strangers. Where the haves take care of the have nots. The haves – those having immunity. The have nots – those not having immunity. Not to mention, those that have jobs and sustenance to those who don’t. That’s why Numi quickly shifted its Foundation efforts to feed families in Oakland who relied on school lunches to feed their children. Beyond food insecurity, this pandemic has woken us up to the fact that institutional racism and lack of access to affordable healthcare and nutritious food has led to greater deaths among our Black & Brown brothers and sisters. So, Numi is expanding this fresh produce program to a sustainable model (learn more here).
But that is not all we have woken up to… As I mentioned in my last blog post, I made it a conscious intention to get through my fears. That of course is a lifelong process. But early on, as I know happened to most of us, we noticed so many changes as we had to re-think our way of life. Working from home, spending more time with our family, being reminded not to hoard but share the toilet paper, and simplifying our lives. As things have opened up and we’re social bubbling, going to parks, eating out more, we have to remind ourselves that 1) the virus is still spreading and we have to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe and 2) there are lessons available here that can be absorbed for the long haul.
During the peak of our Shelter-In-Place order, I watched myself… be content, frustrated, and fearful. I now so appreciate all this time I’ve spent with my family, growing more patient, accepting, and giggling away the little stuff that may have pushed my buttons before. While squabbles still come up, my tone has gone down. I am able to self-check much quicker. My mind has become more flexible. Such a strange thing to say… Perhaps it’s the living with uncertainty that we can let go of knowing it all. The ego is forced to surrender, let go of attachments and learn to be comfortable with the unknown. Being present with what is has you going with the flow, being less rigid in your thinking and letting go of constant judgement. It’s a beautiful thing to hold onto!
We’ve also learned that we need human attachment. I believe that the more we are attached to one another, feel empathy, the less we are attached to our thoughts. Having this time to physically connect with others reminds us that no amount of social media and screen time can ever take the place of physical human interaction. Many of us have been listening to the birds become louder and more lyrical than usual. Smells, sounds, colors brighter and more intense. Some think it’s because there’s less pollution in the air because we’re driving less. I believe they were always there, we are just more awake to notice them. So, as the repercussions of the coronavirus explosion continues, please remember to dream awake your learnings. What AHA moments are you having?
Co-founder & Chief Brand Officer, Numi