In recent months, we’ve seen a growing effort, from various communities, to address depression in Beijing. One of them is French Lab, an NGO that hosted a panel discussion about mental health. Candlex was honored to be invited to join the panel along with other inspiring community leaders.
On 16th Aug 2016, The French Lab hosted an excellent panel discussion as part of their Be Inspired series. The panel was entitled: How to Stay Positive in Challenging Times. This discussion focused on Well-Being in business, and as a business, and allowed three important female entrepreneurs to share their ideas and advice with a captive audience. This event was graciously hosted at the recently opened Day Day Up, which is a beautiful shared office space in the heart of Sanlitun SoHo
The panelists for the evening included: CandleX’s founder, Xiaojie Qin; Beijing’s premier Tribal Belly Dance instructor, Inko di O, and Dalida Turkovic, founder of the Beijing Mindfulness Center. Helena, from The French Lab, was the moderator. Instead of talking about successes in entrepreneurship, the centering topic was on challenges that each of these speakers encountered in life, and how they handled them. French Lab published an article illustrating the common mental disorders entrepreneurs face, which are anxiety and depression. Surprisingly the ratio among entrepreneurs is higher than the general public. That leads to the interesting topic: how can you take the role of leading when mental health is a prominent issue?
Xiaojie spoke first, and explained CandleX’s important mission of providing support to those in the international community affected by anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and depression. She also told the group some her own story, including how she came to found CandleX to raise awareness about depression and increase psychosocial support. Since its founding, a little over a year ago, CandleX has been able to provide many people in the international community with information about mental illness, thus helping to remove stigma. CandleX offers regular workshops, support groups, and seminars on coping with and surviving mental illness.
Inko took the floor next to discuss how her passion for authentic movement brought her from a seemingly perfect life in Paris, to a slightly less stable, but more meaningful life, as an entrepreneur in Beijing. She shared a documentary clip with the group that showcased her beautiful and soulful dancing, and also her very clear ability to create a community surrounding her art. She discussed some of the challenges of entrepreneurships, but also the reasons she feels the benefits are so worth the struggles that she couldn’t image another way of life.
The last panelist to speak was Dalida. She spoke of her entrepreneurial journey, and the bravery it took to start her own business. She realized that, as Xiaojie and Inko had both made clear, there was a real need for more Mindful thought and connection in the often-stressed expat community. Dalida shared some mindfulness techniques with the group, and went on to practice a mindful breathing exercise with everyone.
When all three women had shared their journeys, the floor was opened for questions and discussions. The French Lab’s moderator asked some very through provoking questions, allowing the attendees to really see inside the entrepreneurial process, as well as offering insights on how to keep well being as a priority throughout. As the questions wrapped up, the guests were then invited to mingle with the panelists while enjoying the catering from the sponsors. Over all, it was a very informative evening, and good exposure to the idea of mindfulness in business.