In the “Through Their Windows” series, presented by TELUS, we are showcasing uplifting and inspiring stories about how the people of Vancouver are spreading kindness and staying connected while maintaining physical distancing in their homes during COVID-19.
Farah Saad is the founder of Be Kalm, a mindfulness consulting agency that specializes in stress and anxiety management and integrating wellness in the workplace. She shares how she is creating a virtual community centered on helping people from around the globe stay calm, grounded, and connected during the pandemic.
Farah was immediately aware of the toll that the pandemic took on her clients, as life changed overnight for working professionals who encountered layoffs, challenges with working from home, and a whole host of uncertainties about the future.
“I was concerned as many people were feeling overwhelmed, depressed, stressed, and anxious. It was especially hard for people living alone as they were craving connection,” she says.
In an effort to support people, Farah brought her in-person meditation workshops online via a new virtual mindfulness collective for all.
“I wanted to create a safe space for people and bring them together so people wouldn't feel alone, so I decided to run a Be Kalm Mindfulness Circle on Zoom. People can join through the social handle @bekalmmind or by signing up online. Offered daily, they come to mindfulness circles to share their thoughts and feelings, and to learn how to observe their thoughts and emotions."
What started as an open invite to her network in Canada soon evolved into a global community.
“I opened the invitation up to everyone, and eventually I started noticing people joining from Europe, Asia, and other parts of North America each week. It is beautiful to see the safe space that was created for people joining from around the world. To see someone come to a mindfulness circle from Switzerland and they are feeling the exact same way as someone in Pakistan or Canada. People find it astonishing that someone on the other side of the world is having the same thoughts and feelings as them. They find it nice to connect with people all around the globe and to come together to meditate and learn a few mindfulness tips. We are all going through isolation collectively in the globe, and it is truly humbling. This one common denominator that is uniting everyone. How often do we have that?”
Farah Saad. Photo: Good Side Photo
Farah finds that connecting with people virtually creates more opportunities for connection.
“I really wanted to create the same feeling that someone would feel if they came to one of my mindfulness classes in person, so I made the mindfulness circles very interactive and everyone is encouraged to come on video. Being able to see another human makes us feel less alone and more connected. I am grateful for technology because I wouldn't have been able to bring a global community like that if I did this workshop in person.”
Participants of the Be Kalm Mindfulness Circle had overwhelmingly positive feedback to share on how the mindfulness circles have impacted them during their time in quarantine, including Farah herself:
“We can learn so much from each other by sharing our thoughts and feelings. Someone might not realize they are feeling a certain way or how to solve an issue they are facing until they hear someone else talk about it. That is why these sessions are so powerful. As well, people are always blown away that just 15 minutes of meditation can shift the way they feel into a more calm state and ground them. They leave each week feeling more connected, at ease and with tools to stay calm during this pandemic.
“I would love for people to know that the Be Kalm Mindfulness Circle is a safe space that they can come to each week if they are feeling alone or overwhelmed by anxiety during this quarantine.”
This series has been kindly presented by TELUS. They're supplying new medical technology and increasing support for mental health initiatives during COVID-19. Learn more at telus.com/covid19 and #stayconnected.