My Chinese translator, Paul, lived in Burbank for years and is very fluent in English and psychology. He gets it, which means he’ll help me translate not just words but ideas for deeper understanding. We arrive early in the morning and are surrounded by people who ask to have their pictures taken with us and for our autographs.
At breaks, people come up to talk to speakers. Because I haven’t spoken yet, there is no feedback but I believe, mostly because of Helena’s good p.r. that the sponsors expect that my part is relatively important. A journalist from the Beijing Daily Mail wants to chat. I tell her what I’m going to talk about and she says, well in that case she’ll stay til the end. Which of course means to me that lots of people might be planning to leave, maybe to beat the incredible Beijing rush hour.
Helena is sitting in the front. She’s mc for the afternoon, but she’s falling asleep. I know why. So do you.
Finally I speak and it is very well received. At the end, Paul and I do trance work and give everyone a five minute guided imagery voyage to wellbeing. I am rushed by people who want to take their photographs with me.
And then we’re taken to a noodle place for dinner where we meet some school principals who are earthquake survivors. We go to Psychcn.com, and meet around a conference table until 10 talking about how to help them. My brain is numb and even though I know I must have a thought about their stresses, I can barely hold my head erect.
It is now midnight, Helena’s finally asleep.
Tomorrow, at last, is respite day, before the real work begins. I’ll be able to collect my thoughts, and I’ll be taken sightseeing, to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.