June 28, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

Discussion Notes from Financial Roundtable with Molly Dunn on 6/27

After graduation, many students of Traditional Chinese Medicine, body therapy, massage, talk therapy and other health and healing modalities find themselves in the precarious position of entrepreneur and small business owner. With little preparation during school, this new identify often comes with unforseen stressors and challenges. In an attempt to create a community of support for students and new health care and healing practitioners, Sage Community Health Collective is hosting a series of Financial Roundtables. Below are the discussion notes from our very first one! We look forward to continuing this very important conversation!

If you have questions or want elaboration on any of the points, feel free to email Sage at sagecommunityhealth [at] gmail [dot] com.

The next Financial Roundtable with Molly Dunn is scheduled at Sage for September 27th at Noon. For details, check out our calendar of events!

Discussion notes:

  •  Small businesses and Institutions are mediums by which we should add value to each other’s lives
  • Institutions should serve the small business owner and not the other way around
  • Shape your business to fit your needs, if you know what those are
  • Small businesses have the authority to create a business around their values and goals
  • Use small business tools to your own ends
  • ID the conflicts within yourself that create guilt around achieving your goals, dreams, visions, etc.
  • Notice where you apologize for certain aspects of your business.
  • Notice your business habits and try not to judge them or apologize for them.
  • A small business habit that you have and that you may be ashamed of MAY actually be a best practice!
  • Investigate the aspects of your business that you are ashamed about…what is the strength there? What is the resilience there?
  • If you are competent and not communicating well about what you are doing, your clients will not return. This is called Informational Asymmetry where you hold the clarity and information about what you do, why you do it, etc, but that is not being transmitted to the patient/client.
  • Trust builds when there is greater Info Symmetry.
  • Ask: how do people understand what you do and your competence?
  • How do you evaluate yourself?
  • “Don’t hire a$$holes!” and try not be one ;)
  • Set a target audience. What segment of the population are you trying to serve?
  • Where do you want to go and how will you know when you have “gotten there?” with your practice?
  • Create solid goals out of the amorphous visions…create something you can measure yourself against.
  • Goal setting 1: Set a goal that you think you can become comfortable with and that allays your anxiety.
  • Goal setting 2: Set a series of small benchmarks on the way to that major goal.
  • The idea of setting goals when it comes to target pop can be applied to other areas of your business.
  • Set aspirational personal goals – how much do you want to be making in order for it to not feel like a sacrifice?
  • Ask: what is the cost to you in running the business as it is being run now?
  • Ask: How much do you want to do this? How many hours?
  • Ask: How much do you want to make?
  • Try to set those goals 2 years out.
  • Once you have your goals set, ID what tools you need in order to build that business? Financial planning, marketing, etc.
  • The only way to mess up the process of goal setting is to not be honest with yourself. You have the power to make those goals.
  • The thing that brings someone in the door may not be what keeps them there…
  • Exercise: What is the decision path when people start thinking about coming to you? What is the path from their thought of coming to you to the moment they come to see you.
  • Look at those distinct moments as a way of informing the way you talk about referrals and think about referrals and the way you think about word of mouth and the way you think about welcoming a patient/client.
  • Exercise: Segmenting the market: who is most likely to come for your service? If female bodied, female IDed, then focus on that segment and other segments that you want to reach out to.
  • How do you minimize this feeling in the client/patient: “I got what I paid for but I still feel cheated”?
  • Understanding your own business cycle – what is the shape of your business revenue and rate – lumpy, etc? What are ways that you can plan ahead for the lumpiness or irregularities?
  • Make your goals realistic and have realistic expectations!
  • When seeking new clients, how do they come to experience you, not just meet you or learn your name and what services you provide?
  • When you are working in a field that is new to the mainstream or unknown to many people, you have to communicate what you are doing well and education is a huge part of that.
  • ETDBW: Easy To Do Business With – be that!


It is helpful to create and flesh out the following Ven Diagram for your practice: What you do, what you think you do, and what your client/patient thinks you do


About Molly Dunn

Molly Dunn is a small business consultant born and raised in Chicago. She’s worn a paper hat, slinging quesadillas at the Taste of Chicago, taught HIV prevention in Tanzania, covered health policy for Senator Durbin in Washington DC, and helped overhaul the health and education benefits of the National Guard Bureau during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After earning an MBA from Oxford University focusing on Social Entrepreneurship,Molly spent two years working for the United States Agency for International Development, personally engaging in bilateral negotiations with the government of Tanzania, and focusing on topics as diverse as economic growth, human trafficking, maternal health, and atrocity prevention.

A lifelong student of Dr. Paul Farmer, Molly has a passion for leveling inequalities of wealth and power, especially through access to expert care. Her most treasured occupation was being the caretaker for her grandmother as she suffered pancreatic cancer.
Desperately glad to be back in Chicago, Molly strongly believes that entrepreneurs do better, both personally and professionally, when they treat their business as an expression of their values. And she loves helping them get there.
June 13, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

B is for Basil

Easy to grow at home or community garden, Basil is a sweet, slightly warm, aromatic herb that you can eat all summer! Aromatic herbs like Basil contains essential oils and phytochemicals in the leaves, stem, flowers, roots and seeds that have biological activity in the body.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Though basil is mostly used as a seasoning, it has a rich medicinal history. It is said to work well as a digestive aid and a sedative, as well as for the treatment of headaches and migraines. Chinese medicine employs basil to treat intestinal, kidney and circulatory problems. It has also been used as an antiseptic. Though it contains vitamins and minerals, its traditional medicinal role and its most common use as a flavoring mean that it will only provide modest amounts of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A on a per-serving basis.”

Click here to read more about Basil’s medicinal qualities!

Click here for an amazing Basil Pesto recipe!

Click here for an amazing Basil Lemonade recipe!

What do YOU do with Basil? Let Sage know! Send us your pictures, recipes, and thoughts on the beauty of Basil!





May 30, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

A is for Asparagus!

This summer, Sage is featuring fruits and vegetables that we love for their healing properties. Stay tuned for the virtual feast!

A is for Asparagus!

Raise your hand if you love asparagus!!! It’s a perfect vegetable for spring, the season of Wood in Chinese Medicine. It clears heat and invigorates the blood. Nutritionally, it is high in folate and a good source of Vitamin C and beta carotene. It also contains glutathione, a phytochemical that has antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. It also contains inulin, a carbohydrate that increases the bacterial flora in the gut!

Intrigued? Ina Garten’s got a recipe for you!



May 23, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

Assata Shakur Teach-Ins in Chicago June 2nd-9th

Attend one of these teach-ins the first week of June to learn all about the case of Assata Shakur and why Sage and ally organizations are saying “Hands off Assata!”

Compiled from http://assatateachin.com/

On Thursday May 2, 2013, the FBI announced that it was increasing its bounty for the capture of Assata Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah Byron) from 1 million to 2 million dollars. The agency also included Assata on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, the first time that a woman has ever appeared on the list. Forty years earlier, a shootout occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike, which left Assata wounded, a state trooper, Werner Foerster, and her companion, Zayd Shakur, dead. To learn more or to get a peek at the curriculum, please check out http://assatateachin.com/

Sunday, June 2nd

Gender Just will offer an Assata Teach-in. This will include queer radical history as well, including details on STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) and more!

Location: Chicago Freedom School, 719 S. State Street, Suite 3N

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Info: This is open to the public but you must RSVP to attend. Contact Yasmin Nair at nairyasmin@gmail.com to RSVP for this teach-in.

Wednesday, June 5th

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Teach-In

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Street.

Info: This teach-in is open to the public.To confirm attendance please RSVP HERE. Contact: isisferg@uic.edu for any questions.

Saturday, June 8th

Youth ages 14 to 20 are invited to join Project NIA and the Chicago Freedom School for a YOUTH-FOCUSED Assata Teach-in.

Location: Chicago Freedom School, 719 S. State Street, Suite 3N

Time: 1 to 4 p.m.

Info: This is open to youth ages 14 to 20 but RSVPs are REQUIRED to attend. Contact Mariame Kaba at projectnia@hotmail.com to RSVP.

Saturday, June 8th: ONLINE

Our Common Ground with Janice Graham Teach-In

Time: 10 p.m. ET

Information: You can connect to the teach-in online HERE. Contact: OGCinfo@ourcommonground.com for other details if needed.

Sunday, June 9th

Assata Teach-In

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Occupy Freedom School House, Washington Park

Info: This is open to the public; Contact: Marissa, marissa_johnson@live.com to RSVP and for other details.

May 6, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

Tools for Community Care Within Organizational Culture

Tools for Community Care Within Organizational Culture

by Stacy Erenberg

For the past year and a half I have been doing workshops around self and community care within various community organizations. Some of them are social services, some of them are grassroots organizing groups of various sizes and political affiliations, all are groups that are working to make social change, all with practitioners who are exhausted and working through levels of burnout and are asking themselves the questions, “After taking care of myself how do we take care of each other, what does community care look like? How do we lift up community care and self care and still have community accountability?”

For a long time I was struggling with the answer to that question myself. I never assume to know all the answers and am constantly humbled at how much I learn from the participants in our workshops. It was hard for me to accept my position as a person who has had enough experience doing healing justice work that I just might have some concrete examples/suggestions of how to do the work.

I would do these pop-ed style workshops and always get asked the same questions I mentioned above. I was waiting for some magic answer, some magic equation tool or pedagogy that would give me the answers to all those questions. It wasn’t until last year at a healing retreat that I facilitated in Michigan with three organizers from Chicago that I realized we do have a lot of tools right in front of our noses and that many brilliant organizations, organizers, groups and individuals are employing these revolutionary ideas, practices, space and love into their organizations all the time.

Therefore I created a list (see below) of some of these concepts and tools. It’s not a static list. The list is meant to be challenged and expanded. Some of the items on this list are tools that we use internally at Sage and some of them are tools that I have heard from folks from the workshops I have facilitated over the years that seem to be successful.

They are all related to this idea of  healing justice, which is a practice that aims to collectively respond to and intervene on the impact of violence and oppression and how it manifests itself in our minds, bodies and our spirits. We can bring these healing justice community care tools into our organizations and movement work. Here is what some of that change might look like.

  • Lovingly challenging each other in collective spaces

  • Creating safe space via anti-oppression work, consensus decision making, having a grievance policy

  • Doing political education with staff and members

  • Creating organizing principles at the beginning of projects

  • Getting trained in peace circles and ethical communication

  • Having mutual accountability agreements and ways to hold each other accountable in loving ways

  • Interrupting racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, classism, transphobia and all other forms of oppression

  • Using Peace notes and peace circles as a tool for healing

  • Offering comp time and sabbaticals to employees

  • Offering child care for staff and members of your orgs.

  • Offering or doing group yoga

  • Offering group packages for acupuncture and bodywork clinic

  • Offering health care or self care packages/monies which include access to mental health services

  • Periodic group healing sessions

  • Long check-ins where staff can put themselves on the agenda when need be

  • Intentional conversations about healing from internalized oppression — recognizing it exists and naming it as trauma that affects our work

  • Integrating healing justice into the curriculum for leadership development

  • Adding a self care line item to your budget, even if it’s really small in the beginning

Each group can create what collective healing looks like for them. A lot of these things people are inherently doing all the time. These are not these prescribed, movement, jargony terms. They are just ideas and practices from people who are currently entrenched in the system that doesn’t facilitate collective healing. These are ideas I have seen and actually experienced first hand that totally facilitated collective healing, and it’s been really beautiful. I look forward to learning and sharing more tools.

What tools have you and your organization developed to promote self care and community care? Share your thoughts and ideas with us! Email us at sagecommunityhealth@gmail.com!

Stacy Rene Erenberg is a community organizer, activist healer and socially conscious musician. For the past 12 years Stacy has worked with youth and other change makers fighting for equal education, ending gender violence, immigration reform and racial justice. Through her diverse experience working with all walks of life, she has gained skills as a facilitator, participatory action researcher, youth worker, popular education facilitator, advocate and cultural worker. Stacy was born and raised on the North east side of Chicago. She dedicates her life to justice through organizing, healing arts and music.Currently, she is the co-founder and practitioner at Sage Community Health Collective. Through her work at Sage, Stacy is committed to providing affordable, harm reductionist and preventative healthcare and access to healing practices for all.Stacy’s healing practice is a mixture of Tui Na, which is Chinese Massage that includes stretching, pulling, and acupressure, Shiatsu Meridian Therapy and Reiki. Stacy is a Reiki Level II practitioner and a certified Asian Body Therapist. Stacy believes that the way people move and the chronic pain they suffer from often is a result of a collection of traumas that the body has experienced over a lifetime. Therefore, her approach to healing the body and the entire being is to incorporate energy work into her practice to address the emotional and energetic healing of her patients. Each bodywork treatment Stacy gives is unique to that particular person and their own story and needs. Because of her deep conviction that the “personal is political “and that our individual healing process is deeply connected to the collective struggle; she specializes in providing healing services to community activists, organizers, social workers and teachers who are on the front lines of fighting for a more just world.At Sage aside from being a practitioner, she is the Outreach Coordinator and Internal Development Coordinator. She facilitates regional and national healing justice movement building for Sage and works with the other Sage members to address and heal their own internalized oppressions.In her free time Stacy likes to sing and write songs, practice the guitar, do crossword puzzles, and read historical novels and memoirs. She also enjoys hanging with friends and family, decompressing with her partner by watching bad T.V, laughing out loud and dancing it out on a regular basis.All of these things, she says, “nourish my spirit and help me feel whole.”

For information on her upcoming performances and work outside of Sage, visit www.stacyrene.com


April 15, 2013   Posted by: sagepage

A few ideas for self-soothing in the wake of violence

Our hearts are with all of those affected by the violence in Boston and elsewhere around the world today. To anyone feeling trigger responses or flashbacks, please be good to you. We are sending you our wishes for comfort and would like to share a few ideas for self soothing:

–Consider doing deep abdominal breaths that make your abdomen swell when you inhale and contract the breath. If it helps, try placing your hands on your belly right under your bellybutton and breathe, feeling your hands rise and fall.

–Consider doing some gentle stretching, allowing the emotions to move through you however they can.

–If you feel comfortable give your emotions the sounds of any of the vowels: a, e, i, o, or u. Relax your throat and hold the sound at any note or pitch that feels right. Let the sounds move through you as you feel. Let the sounds rise and fall according to what feels right to you.

–Consider using any of the following essential oils if you or a friend has them handy: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Valerian, Lavender, Spruce, Geranium, Helichrysum, and Rose. Dap them at your temples, inner wrists, at the center of your chest, or at the space between your eyebrows.

If you find yourself wanting support, please do not hesitate to reach out to friends, loved ones or us at Sage: sagecommunityhealth@gmail.com — we will do our best to refer you to supportive services either at Sage or elsewhere. ♥

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