“Having been working in mental health for 7 years, I have at times felt energy depletion, empathy, and compassion. I have travelled far for many retreats over the years to charge myself. Sometime I wish we could just do it right here in Beijing, especially now with COVID travel restrictions. I know many other healers in Beijing who do great work for our communities need a place to be taken care of for a change. Then I thought why not just create one for our own Beijing healers?”
On January 1-2, we hosted the very first CandleX Beijing Community Healers Retreat. It was aimed at people in the Beijing community who have volunteered their time and expertise over the past years and helped to build up our community resilience for mental health. The retreat was carried out in a small, intimate, and cozy home environment in Shunyi, where we were able to get away from downtown for a bit. A two-day meditation, creative writing, self-reflecting card games, movies, mindful walk, and good food were on the two-day agenda.
At this retreat, we continued to practice mindfulness – in our use of phones, words, and energy. “I constantly check in with everything I do, and the work CandleX does is constantly reminded by something Maya Angelou once said: ‘Maybe the hardest part is, if you teach, you have to live your teaching,’” says Xiaojie.
(You can learn more about CandleX’s spirit on this blog post in 2017: Xiaojie's letter | # 20 CandleX's two years now. But where am I?)
We are pleased to have offered the very needed space for healers in Beijing and we aim to do another one this coming up spring. We’d like to ask the community for two things:
Please let us know if you know someone who’s been volunteering their time and expertise that support community mental health. We’d like to get to know them and potentially invite them to our next retreat.
We believe community healers need to be taken care of by the community as well. If you have ever attended a wellbeing event hosted by healers that made the healing events accessible to you, we encourage you to donate to our Beijing Community Healer Retreat Funds. This way, you’d be helping more community healers get access to the support that they deserve. Please add Summer to make a donation, and let her know that it goes to “Beijing Community Healer Retreat.”