Staying Present to Life

Updated: Apr 6, 2018


Kate Mackinnon & Robyn Scherr

I hope that your New Year is off to a good start. My New Year had a flying start by co-teaching my first class with Robyn Scherr at the Esalen Institute. On our drive down to the Esalen along the beautiful Highway 1 we were asking ourselves "Why we were doing this?" Teaching this class seemed like such a big step to take.


We had developed a class called "Non-invasive palpation: Amplify Your Bodywork skills." The class came about from the many years Robyn and I have worked together with clients and honed our palpation skills by asking each other challenging questions! We loved what we had created but we were wondering about the wisdom of giving this class its debut at Esalen!  


Perhaps we should have tried it first in a place that was a little less well known. But, as on one of my mentors wisely advised me many years ago, we decided to go for it and accelerate towards embarrassment! By Sunday we were able to breathe a sigh of relief as our class gave us wonderful feedback and let us know that they had thoroughly enjoyed the class.

When I got home late Sunday afternoon I was very sad to see that Mabel, our dog, had taken a turn for the worst. She had been doing so well through the Holidays we had nicknamed her Mabel the Miracle dog! She loved being around all the company we had over the Holidays and was enjoying her walks albeit on her 3 good legs. However, when I got home I knew that it was time to say goodbye. She could no longer use her back legs or go to the bathroom. We quickly made plans to take her to the Vet. With all of us gathered around her, we said goodbye to her and expressed our gratitude for all the love she had brought to us.


There was such a stark contrast from arriving home having successfully taught a class at Esalen to saying goodbye to Mabel.  


Both of those situations were a test on how well I could hold a grounded steady presence, in the first situation, I was teaching the class and noticing my nerves and in the second, supporting myself and my family as we experienced the intense emotions of losing our beloved dog. I have noticed similar kinds of contrasts when working with my clients. I never know what life situation or level of pain somebody may walk in with on any given day. And in a CranioSacral session, a client may feel into deep grief and later in the session be experiencing a sense of joy and laughter.


I know that all my training with the Healing From the Core curriculum has provided me with the skills to maintain my full body presence or core embodiment through these very different situations. Or more accurately how I can more easily and quickly come back to being present in my body in these moments. It is inevitable that we lose our presence and sense of being grounded many times but catching ourselves and knowing what to do is key!


I am delighted to be apart of 3 different classes from the Healing From the Core curriculum this year. I so enjoy being able to bring work that I love to my local community. The first is an Introductory class to Full Body Presence onFebruary 14th in Sacramento, the second is Full Body Presence: Grounding and Healthy Boundaries on April 19th - 22nd 2018 in Livermore and lastly Advanced Energy Dynamics and Applications I (HFAE1) October 17 - 21st, 2018 also in Livermore.

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