Picking My Head Up and Looking at the Big Picture


Sometimes it's exhilarating to look up, to feel connected, and to realize we are not alone, we are all working together and helping each other.


I love POCA.


I love the community it's created around my clinic. Today, my car got stuck in the huge piles of snow that came down. I called someone that helps me out at clinic. And her husband immediately came out and shoveled me out. Over the weekend, someone came in and helped me organize file cabinets, because they wanted to. Last week, my CPA sent me a huge bill. And within 2 days, many many people came to me with their recommendations and their stories trying to help. And today I looked up in the bathroom and realized the lights all worked. But I haven't found the angel that changed them yet (it requires a tall person with a tall ladder). I feel really loved here and I know it's because of Community Acupuncture, because of POCA.


So I wanted to learn to give back somehow.


I joined the board of the local food coop. And honestly I know nothing about coops and told them I just wanted to learn. And it's been absolutely amazing. I went to a workshop and it reminded me of POCAfest. Friendships that you don't experience in many other places.


They explained.


Corporations weren't inherently evil, but the way they were structured to maximize shareholder wealth. The only way they could consistently contribute to the greater good was to be taxed. But coops are different. They are inherently about community. It's all about self responsibility. Helping each other to solve our problems together. Because they are democratically owned, we could hold them responsible for how well they were serving our values.


They asked us. “How many coops are you a part of?”


It amazed me. But there were people in the room that were a part of 10 coops. People who worked for a coop, brought groceries at a coop, got milk from a coop, got electricity from a coop, clothes shopped at a coop, drank coffee at a coop, etc. etc.


They asked us to take our financial statements and build lego towers of our balance sheets.


And it was so beautiful. To see how all these other coops around the region are doing. To see how they tackled the issues of stagnation or growth. To hear everyone's stories and connect. Let me say, you'd be hard pressed to see a bunch of private business share their financials and stories of struggle and growth so openly.


But I know one other place that I've experienced something like this….


people openly sharing their financial information, the stories of their struggles to cheer each other on.




It weaves a connected thread throughout all of us. I am no longer an isolated lonely acupuncturist/little business just struggling to make my ends meet. I am a part of a local community that is working hard to thrive. I am part of a national/international community of community acupuncturists working hard to make running a clinic easier on each individual clinic and to better the profession. I am a part of an international community of coops that is dedicated to saying hey capital/money should serve the needs of the people, not rule over us like some uncontrollable monster.


So I call to you to pick your head up and look at these invisible threads connecting all of us. Post on the POCA forums, participate at your local coops, help POCA, come tell our stories together at POCAfest with me and Ash, and connect because we're not alone!  

Jade Fang
Author: Jade Fang

Opened Jade Community Acupuncture in July of 2009. Loving the CA experience. Love being a part of the community. It's my first time being in business by myself, so writing about the roller coaster ride it is being a first time businesswoman. Have some marketing experience, love to help people with their marketing. Really appreciate the community of support with CAN! Everyone's helped me so much!

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  1. Jade, this is great. On Friday we put out our lego display, to raise $ for POCA Tech. Right at the beginning of my shift, a patient saw the legos and asked about them. When Kristine and I explained the concept of the school, she gave $10 and said “yes, I would like to contribute to something like that.” And everyday since we have a few more legos.

  2. As someone who is married to someone shorter than myself, I love that someone changed your lightbulbs! And good for you for reaching out to other local co-ops, to learn as well as contribute! I’ve been meaning to do more of that as well. Thanks, Jade!