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The Fine Line between Life and Death l Xiaojie’s poem

September 19, 2019

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Purpose | Life’s Momentum

June 21, 2017

 Nha Trang, Vietnam

 

27th May 2017

Nha Trang, Vietnam

 

It is a special day today. I have lived 3 more years.

I’ve had 3 more years to witness the miracle that life is.

 

Winter in Beijing strips everything down.

I saw the leaves leaving the tree.

The trunks stand alone in the frozen cold winter.

It looks dead,

But you know life will return when spring comes.

 

I didn't know I would come back.

3 years ago, during my epic depressive episode,

My very much alive body was looking at my dead soul,

Day after day.

Nothing is more of a torture than

When life has buried you and leave you with only breath.

 

 Turpan, Xinjiang, China 2017

 

It wasn’t until this day,

3 years ago,

That I realized a tiny part of me didn’t want to vanish.

That I asked myself this question,

The most important question that I’ve ever asked myself:

 

“What if you just try to live with winter?

This winter might be a long one.

Another 2 or 3 years if you are lucky.

Then perhaps, you’ll come out of it,

And live a normal life,

Where eating, walking, and breathing no longer take unbearable effort.”

 

I looked up into the sky

I said,

 

“Let’s see how that goes.”

 

That officially marked the day that I was no longer suicidal.

I still didn't want to live,

But I was walking back.

 Unexpectedly, I came out of the depression 3 months later.

Suffering = pain + resistance. I read about it in an article.

My suffering was alleviated because I accepted my pain

And allowed it to be part of my life.

 

Now, it’s been 3 years

And I haven’t had a major depressive episode.

 Art from Beijing Art Exhibition 2017

 

For 5 years, I have been practicing mindfulness.

It’s still sometimes a struggle to get myself onto the mat

But I know to my deepest core

That I will need a tank of trust

When winter hits.

When the wind blows and air freezes

I will need to draw from my tank of trust and believe

That there will be spring,

That the green will come back.

 

So there it is,

Days and days of meditation and yoga.

No matter how busy I get,

I always have this on my calendar,

Blocking my time,

This is the time for me to calm down.

 Meditation Retreat with World Peace Initiative, Thailand 2016

 

In Thailand, during my meditation retreat,

My shifu (Luang Phi John) says,

“Your mind is like a bottle of water,

Everything you think and do

Is the ink that you drop in your water.

Meditation is the down-time

For you to let the water sit

Only when you let the ink settle

Can you see your thoughts and actions.”

 Art from Beijing Art Exhibition 2017

 

We are all busy in this modern day,

Some are busy making money,

Some are busy with family responsibilities,

Some are busy with anything that distracts them with facing just them.

For some people, a life has passed without realizing what they’ve done or why they’ve done it.

 

We are busy with everything but filling our tank of trust,

That trust in ourselves,

Trust in the gifts we are given.

 At Beijing Art Exhibition 2017

 

I’ve come to the belief that

My life is just a continuation of our ancestors’ lives.

We are born without needing to learn how to

Get our hearts to pump,

Our lungs to breathe.

There’s millions of years of life imprinted in our genes.

The day we are born

We already know how to do it.

All of this knowledge comes from our ancestors’ hardships and endurance.

 Lijiang, Yunnan, China2016

We also inherit their way to happiness.

They relied on each other for survival

Each person knew the importance of the other

Each person counted on another for food and shelter

Each person did something for others in the community.

Maybe it was a simpler time back then,

They made a contribution to keep everyone in the community alive.

In return,

As part of the community, you stay alive,

Happiness is all about survival.

 Moreover, our ancestors have worked hard towards their vision of a perfect life.

Their children have shelters safe from the wild animals, and heat.

In fact, we invented air conditioners that make our rooms so cold that you need an extra layer.

Their children have food, not just for lunch, but also for breakfast and dinner.

In fact, we have made food so delicate and diverse that you are now so picky.

Their children have something to magically cure diseases that can take away life by the age of 30.

In fact, we now even go out of our way to make a 40 year-old face look 25!

And there are now cars, cellphones, and airplanes.

It’s beyond their wildest imagination.

 3.3 Building Sanlitun 2017

 

When humans first existed

Can you imagine them asking

“What’s my purpose in life?”

They were born into a world where their contribution was essential:

Do something bigger than yourself

Was not a mystery to happiness

But a way right under your feet.

 

However, now,

Many of us are born into a world

Where food and shelter is provided.

We are never exposed to the environment for our way to be shown.

So many of us have to find it,

So we ask:

“What’s my purpose in life?”

 Instead of only looking within myself

I look back at the history line of millions of years.

My sense of self and purpose is imprinted in my genes.

Only through bringing more to the community

Can we be in touch with the soul.

 

I think “soul” is a carrier.

When we align our efforts with the millions of years of collective wisdom

Our soul is found.

Soul carries the momentum of a history of millions of years.

Like in dancing,

Instead of creating a step,

The beautiful dancers simply follow the momentum.

It should be effortless and natural,

It should be you!

 Bangkok, Thailand 2017

All of us are working towards a vision for our children.

When we create that world -

What do you want to tell your children?

“Be present! Appreciate and embrace what we’ve created for you!”

Out of the respect for the struggle they’ve gone through to get us here!

And as a child of my ancestors, I obey.

 

 Turpan, Xinjiang, China 2017

 

 

Bonus from Oprah (Chopra21 Day Meditation on “Activating the Hope Inside You” )

“let life carry you, don’t try to carry it”

“life is the dancer, and you are the dance”

 

 

 

EVENTS

In order to heal, and build resilience, we strongly encourage to attend other CandleX events

CandleX Rooftop yoga

Travel to Grow- National Holiday to Thailand

 

CANDLEX"S RESOURCES

CandleX Classroom

 

Depression stories from our community members

CandleX Column | My Story with Depression

 

A CandleX’s production on Depression

The Tiny Little Box | A Documentary on Depression

 

 

 

 

 

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