Videos with Emilie Conrad and Don Johnson … and a Trip Down CIIS Memory Lane

In the mid-90s I was in San Francisco going to grad school at The California Institute of Integral Studies. I was in the more left-brain part of the school (if there is such a thing at CIIS) in the biz department studying for my masters in Organizational Development and Transformation.


One day, my boyfriend at the time, Joe, had to come find me at school (needed to show his car to a potential buyer and I had driven it to school). This was before most people had cell phones let alone the ability to text. Anyway … he had no idea which room I was in, so he went room-to-room opening doors trying to find me. By the time he did, he had had quite an education (I don’t know if it is still the case, but you never knew back then what you would find behind a door at CIIS).

Later on he described one of his eye opening encounters … from what I could gather he had stumbled upon some of the meditation, transpersonal psych and/or somatic studies students … breathing, chanting or doing their body contortions. Hehe, poor guy.   Even as a CIIS student I found that stuff out of my comfort range (I was just a year or so out of my sheltered Victoria, British Columbia existence).

I did think one of the instructors was handsome though, a man named Don Johnson (not the Miami Vice actor) who carried himself in an intriguing way. I worked part-time at the school in Cathy Coleman’s office … so I regularly saw him coming and going often with an assemble of the most fascinating students around him. They seemed like exotic butterflies to me these massage and bodywork students and dancers.

Well, flash forward two decades and I’m finally opening the doors to the somatic classrooms to take more than a peek (have been for a while). It took this uptight biz major that long … as well as some pesky kundalini symptoms to motivate me. Turns out there is a whole body there underneath the neck, who knew! Haha, and change agents of all sorts (consultants, therapists, coaches, etc) are finally catching on to what Don Johnson and his crew knew way back then. To quote Bessel van der Kolk’s new book … the body keeps the score. And if you want to shift the score, it helps to at least include the body! In fact, you can’t get there without it!

I wrote recently in my SHIFT-IT eZine how I attended a Continuum Movement workshop last weekend … and how my activated kundalini had quite the time! Whew, I’m still recovering and drinking electrolytes. While there I got a peak at the workshop leader’s well loved copy of her mentor Emilie Conrad’s book: Life on Land. On the back was a testimonial blurb from Don Johnson … which lead me on a trail of internet searches and YouTube viewing.

I quite enjoyed these three below … nice to see old friends and colleagues talk about their pioneering careers and the wild things they have seen (did you know the Jesuits did LSD?!). In the meantime, I wait for Conrad’s book to arrive from Amazon so I can take a deeper dive into her thoughts and experiences …



That last one’s a little trippy eh!

Yours in SHIFTing IT,

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The SHIFT-IT Coach
and Interactive-Visuals Mentor

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