…It shows us that everyone- whether we are rich or poor, regardless of who we are, are not spared from this virus. This virus does not discriminate, and no one is spared. This is how humanity was initially meant to be; regardless of race, religion, gender or social status. It is a reminder to always treat everyone with respect and diginity, to look out for one another as part of one race — the Human Race.
Asa part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nerissa Low.
Nerissa Low, Founder of Liht Organics is a multi-award winning financial practitioner, a self-made entrepreneur, and a speaker in the areas of finance and personal empowerment. Nerissa’s success in the corporate financial world prepared her to launch her own business in the Wellness and Beauty space, specializing in organic skincare and makeup. Having recognized the missing element in the organic beauty industry worldwide, she wanted to fill this gap in the market with her own line of premium organic cosmetics- “Liht Organics”, to fulfil consumers’ demand for a comprehensive range of quality makeup that is safe yet high performing.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Mybackground is in finance but my foray into the world of clean beauty all started in the early days of my career. I was in my twenties when I had a massive acne outbreak and my skin was at its worst state, forcing me to take regular doses of Oratane and go for steroid injections straight into my pimples every month. The effects of the medication was so severe that I had to go for blood tests every 3 months to ensure my organs were functioning fine.
This prompted my search for an alternative cure that was safer and more sustainable. I conducted intensive research for a remedy, and while I didn’t find a magic potion, what I learned was more eye-opening! I found that a lot of the ingredients that were found in the products I was using were actually the cause of all my skin problems. For example, mercury in skincare products was causing skin sensitivity and talc in regular foundation was causing pore enlargements and clogged skin.
That was when I decided to ditch the chemicals and go organic, and my skin cleared up extensively! However, my challenge then was that while organic skincare was accessible, authentic organic makeup brands were few and far between. The ones I tried did not work for me performance-wise and I ended up regressing in my skin condition since I had to use chemical makeup instead. A rebel at heart, I decided to create my own line of cosmetics that is safe enough to eat yet high performing, truly authentic with high contents of organic ingredients, and completely free of harmful chemicals and nanoparticles that could get into the bloodstream.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I have so many favorites but one of the books that has made a huge impact on me is “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. It is a strong reminder about treasuring life and the relationships in every phase of one’s life. At the end of the day, what really matters in our lives will be our focus when we are nearing the end. I am a big believer in beginning with an end in mind, so this book reminds me to be conscious of every action I take and every mission I choose to embark on in the present, and how these affect my final thoughts and the mark I will leave on this earth when I leave.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons to Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
I came across this excerpt recently which I thought was really powerful:
We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.
Suddenly Disney is out of magic, Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore,
The Great Wall is no longer a fortress, and the Vatican is empty.
Hugs and Kisses suddenly become Weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of Love.
Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you are fighting for.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts human in cages. It is sending us a message:
“You are not necessary. The air, earth, water, and sky without you are fine.
When you come back, remember that you are my guests, not my Masters.”
- Author Unknown
This, to me, sums up the current situation perfectly and we should look at this as our second chance to do better; for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world. My 5 reasons to be hopeful during this crisis are:
- It forces us to take a step back and revisit what is truly, truly important in our lives. In our usual daily grind, it is easy to misprioritize and forget what really matters, and this is the time for us to reflect on what true humanity really means.
- Ironically while the world is in a state of misalignment, Mother Nature is actually realigning the planet. With air pollution drastically decreasing and the ozone layer healing itself, this temporary halt gives our future generations a fighting chance. I sincerely hope that we will all learn this lesson and make conscious decisions in the future that will not cause further damage to this earth, without having to go through another pandemic to remind us.
- It shows us that everyone- whether we are rich or poor, regardless of who we are, are not spared from this virus. This virus does not discriminate, and no one is spared. This is how humanity was initially meant to be; regardless of race, religion, gender or social status. It is a reminder to always treat everyone with respect and diginity, to look out for one another as part of one race — the Human Race.
- This time we are now made to spend at home is the perfect chance to reconnect with our loved ones in new innovative ways from a distance. It is a chance for us to rebuild bonds with those we may have forgotten or neglected. This time should be greatly treasured and seen as a blessing, because time is a luxury that not everyone has (especially for those fighting for their lives and the lives of others), and we have now been given a free pass.
- This is the time for all of us to reflect on ourselves, and to ensure that we grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To spend this time getting to know ourselves better and treat ourselves better through eating healthier and exercising regularly to boost our own immunity.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- We find what we are looking for. If we focus on the panic and frustration, that is all we will see. But if we make a conscious effort to look for the hope and the positives in this time, we will then be able to take a step back from the panic and to see things from a different perspective and perhaps reach out to comfort those around us who are feeling anxious.
- I personally engage in activities that will help calm my mind. I enjoy cooking, baking and painting, and I find that these activities keep my hands off my phone (a constant buzz of scary news) and to indulge in creating something beautiful! You can do these activities with your family to foster a stronger bond as well!
- Given that we are unable to hang out and socialise during this time, I find that reading the books we have always wanted to read will keep our minds productively active and stimulated, and we would come out of this learning a thing or two! Books offer an escape into a different reality, and we could all benefit from one right now!
- It is always said that when you feel helpless, help someone who can’t help themselves. It is a reminder that we are all in this together. This is the time to reach out to those who might need help, and to offer support without judgement and prejudice. This is the time for us to let our inner light illuminate for those around us.
- Seeing as we have been given a little more time each day now that most of us don’t have to travel for work and our usual hustle and bustle is slowing down, we can now be more aware of those around us who may have difficulty dealing with this. We can now be fully present — in conversations with loved ones, in interactions with service staff, and embrace the effects that human interaction can have on our psyche.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
Music! It is a universal language that can speak to the soul. I always find that listening to certain songs have a powerful effect on lifting me up, changing my moods and adding motivation to my life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Sometimes in life, you have to earn more than just money”
This was a line told to me by a personal friend, and that has since become a guiding principle in my life and the way I do business. During our journey we have been offered huge business opportunities, with the caveat that we needed to do something that was against our ethos. That is why we turned down a huge offline opportunity in China (in order to sell in physical stores, we had to do animal testing, that is why we kept our distribution there strictly on e-commerce), and other opportunities that required us to include synthetic chemicals in our products.
It is also most apt at this time seeing as what matters most right now is not money, but health and safety, and you can’t earn those through a big business opportunity.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Definitely one that centers around women empowerment! It breaks my heart to see how some women go through tough adversities and find it difficult to pick themselves up again. They spiral downhill into a state of self-deprecating depression that changes their entire outlook on life. Women are so powerful by nature, and yet we have allowed society, and the people and experiences around us to make us believe that we are not worthy.
My movement would be to reignite this power- recalibrating our minds, bodies and spirit to take us to new heights, not only to positively influence our communities, but our future generations as well through leading our daughters and sons by example, and empowering them to pay it forward.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
They can follow us our Facebook (@LivingInHerTimeMENA) and Instagram (@LihtOrganicsMENA). They can also read more about our brand at www.lihtorganics.com!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
Thank you! And thank you also for spreading hope in these troubling times!