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Culture for Care


Show 16: Jenny Schlee Chia, a colleague on the path of healing.  Todays show will feature a discussion with Jenny on her dissertation; how Economics causes Trauma states and is a hidden epidemic.  Shining light on the this topic give’s the eyes the ability to SEE...

An excerpt from Jenny’s dissertation: What is the Role of our, Current Economic System in Creating, and Perpetuation Stress and Trauma States...and How can we Address This, Individually, in relationship, and in Community...?

“This dissertation is a gift from the freeze response...

It seems that I have been stalking the theme of this paper through-out my life. I was adopted at birth, the most basic of traumas, from Portland, Oregon, by a family living in the British Colony of Hong Kong. My parents were both born in Shanghai, China, to colonial families each trading for generations from the Far East. My father's kin were British tea traders, while my maternal grand father was a powerful American business man. Captain of the Crack Squad at Shattuck Military prep school, and interned in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II, Grand-dad served as the spokesman for the American prisoners. He remade his wealth several times through his life. One of his last positions was running the Coca Cola franchise in Hong Kong.

I spent my first five years in Shek O, an isolated fishing village, on a rocky peninsula, on the south eastern part of Hong Kong island. We moved to England for the advantages of a proper British Education, where I attended boarding schools, initially one for girls, through O'Levels, and then a 'Boys School.' The idea was to generously allow a few girls to join, and benefit from the superior educational possibilities, in spite of the stress that this action induced in both parties. This was a crash course in gender norms.

Upon completing A'levels, and unsure of a singular course of study, I chose to return to my US roots and enjoy the open exploration of a liberal arts degree at Stanford University. This provided me with embodied experience of the differences, and similarities, between the US and UK, while immersing me in the exciting atmosphere of California's Silicon Valley.

This eventually led to a BS in Mechanical Engineering ~ Product Design: a combined Art and Engineering Degree which emphasized creativity and problem

solving. This was inspired by my success in 'The Spaghetti Cantilever' competition, in my first design class, illustrating what I have asserted ever since: that I am an intuitive sort of engineer, not much one for equations and calculations.

After that I spent 12 years working in Silicon Valley developing consumer electronics products for various corporations, including Apple Computer Inc. This included extensive trips to oversee various production ramps in Asia, especially Taiwan and mainland China, exposing me directly to the effects of globalisation.

Towards the end of that career, I became involved with the Human Potential Movement, studying a variety of bodywork, breath~work and non-ordinary state modalities, from a range of traditions. I started to question my participation in the industrial paradigm, so eloquently described in This resulted in a transition into work as a volunteer in a healing community in Hawaii.

Thus began a pilgrimage that has taken me around the world, seeking integration and embodiment. I have connected with a wide range of communities and individuals, while learning a host of healing modalities. These have included new and evolutionary shamanic traditions, various movement modalities and permaculture. Eventually I followed my first Wild Food teacher to Schumacher, seeking to understand why we humans find ourselves in the predicament we appear to be in today, destroying the very planet that supports our lives. It was my intention to stalk the quiet whispers of my heart, in an attempt to discover new possibilities, hope and a way forward that I might share with others.

Upon completing my formal classes at Schumacher, I returned to the US, to establish a base from which I could complete this pending Thesis Inquiry. I had dreamed of engaging in a seedling permaculture community, that was in the process of buying land in Washington State, close to my parents. I admired their holistic vision, seeking to 'co-create and demonstrate ways for modern humans to live in harmony and balance with the natural world, utilising wisdom from the past, inspiration from the present and deep listening to all things.

However, fate intervened. Within two weeks of setting foot on US soil, I met, engaged and then married my husband, on December 22nd 2012. Our connection was deeper and more intense than anything I have ever experienced, and evoked and exposed things in me that I believed were resolved, or did not know existed. He was preparing to enrol in the upcoming Hakomi training, which we both started at the beginning of this year, studying to become body centred practitioners.

In his book, detailing the Hakomi Method, one of it's founders, Ron Kurtz speaks about the current evolution of consciousness: “The Hakomi Method of Body/Mind Therapy is grounded in a set of principles that reflects this revolution, or what is called the shifting paradigm. This work is just one inspired expression of these principles...They are about holism, unity and a participatory universe; about relationship; about the nature of living beings and their differences from the mechanical, material realm. They are about the reality of consciousness and its place in therapy. They are about the effectiveness of nonviolence. They are the 'dharma' of Hakomi, its source of wisdom, clarity and power. These principles are the heart of the work and a refuge for therapists lost.” (Ron Kurtz 1997)

Thus this calling question coalesced from a long and complex web of intersections, essentially combining my more recent personal explorations into the nature of trauma, with my ongoing study of our economic system. In the face of the abundant crises manifesting on this planet, it appears that we are in a collective trauma state, living in a cocktail of denial, disassociation, helplessness, or false bravado, and that our economic system might have created, and be perpetuating, this.

It seems timely to shine light on this pattern, combining emerging insights from the fields of psychology and neuroscience, with the understandings of quantum science. Diagnosis of PTSD is quite new in our cultural understanding, as the term was coined in the mid-1970's and added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980. The conception of the brain as a social organ has been developing on a homologous time frame, with new understandings emerging continually. I believe that there are solutions to be uncovered through this inquiry.

As we know from both ancient and evolutionary wisdom, everything is interrelated, and infused with countless connections and interconnections. For the purposes of this paper, it has not been important to establish which came first: the proverbial chicken or the egg, but rather to highlight the existence of chickens and eggs, scrutinising them individually, while exploring their relationships to and impacts upon, each other.


Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition, by Charles Eisenstien

Read Charles Eisenstiens book for Free at fallowing link:


Complimentary Capital Google address

Thank you Jenny Schlee Chia for your heart of gold and your mindful inquisitor, you are priceless.


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