It is with immense gratitude that we honor Carol Kinney, who recently resigned from her position on the Healing Touch California (HT CA) Board of Directors. Carol had served on the Board for well over seven years, joining shortly after its inception.
Carol was initially invited to join the Board by HT CA founder Sharon Robbins. At that point the Board was still relatively new and involved a small group of individuals. They had already completed one Symposium and were gearing up for another, and hoped Carol would be willing to help with the planning.
"It worked out well for me to get on the Board," said Carol. "We were a long way from where we are now. It's amazing the improvement and all of the additions that have been added in these several short years." Becoming a Board member gave Carol the opportunity to deepen her connection with HT and to be more involved in event planning and steering the organization. Besides, "Sharon was very hard to refuse," she said. “The connection with the Board members has been very rich for me, as was how each member contributed and helped. They were wonderful leaders for us. I learned a lot. HT CA was the place we could come together and reconnect. There is no question in my mind that it was a commitment well worth doing.”
During her tenure on the board, Carol had a variety of roles. "Initially we didn't divide up the roles so specifically," she said. "I feel like I contributed by showing up -- being a part of it. I participated in all kinds of ways that I’ve forgotten,” she stated. “There were just things that needed to be done and I did them. Or I pitched in whatever way I was needed.”
One of Carol's more time consuming responsibilities was helping plan and grow the annual symposium. It has grown from an event featuring a couple of keynote speakers to two-day one that includes a wide range of exceptional workshops and networking opportunities. Carol was actively involved in selecting the speakers for the symposiums, and introduced the concept of seeking out volunteer support for this annual event.
We can’t leave the topic of Carol’s Board responsibilities without mentioning her contribution of the Symposium’s Pinning Ceremony. In the nursing field, which is Carol’s background, receiving a pin was a big deal. She thought that type of ceremony would be a beautiful chance to recognize individual accomplishments while members of the various HT communities were gathered together. The pins distributed are basically for certification achievements in these various organizations. Each year she expanded on the ceremony. “I wanted to draw in the whole community that was there at the pinning ceremony and have them involved,” she stated. She hopes the personalization of the ceremony and drawing in the attendees is a tradition that continues going forward. The years in HT are added to the certification pin in increments of five years. Carol has already received her 15-year pin. She said the next time she goes to the HT CA Symposium, she will receive her 20-year pin.
Because of her long involvement with HT, Carol has seen a lot of changes in the growth of the modality. “I was really in the very beginning of the program,” Carol mentioned. “As those of us who took those early classes progressed, Janet Mentgen kept adding other levels. There were no two or three (levels) classes waiting for us, they were happening as our student numbers and our experiences grew requiring Janet to create them as we went along,” she continued.
"Learning the techniques was not as big a challenge as getting people interested in using energy healing,” Carol mused. “Now I think we are coming into our own. HT is now recognized on many levels by top accrediting organizations.” The biggest change Carol witnessed during her long association with HT was the separation between Healing Touch Program (HTP) and Healing Touch International (HTI), which split apart long time associations, as some members went with one entity, while some stayed with the other. “It was devastating. Many of us had been in HT for years and that disconnect was very hard for us,” said Carol. “These are people we had known and loved for years.”
Creating HT CA -- a place where practitioners from all HT organizations could come back together -- was intended to heal the rift caused by the split. “The idea of building an organization in California that would invite everybody back, who wanted to get together, to reconnect, was very healing,” stated Carol. “I could not resist being a part of that.”
Carol mentioned that the growth of HT CA was fairly slow in the early years, but there were some open, heart centered people that were excited about creating a loving space for the HT community to reconnect. Holding the light and the vision of the organization is what Carol feels has been her most significant accomplishment as a member of HT CA board. "That is why I stayed on the board for so long." she said. "Holding that vision is the most important piece for me, and continues to be," she added.
Though her time as a Board member was rich and rewarding, Carol now looks forward to her time off the Board. She has plans for taking some online courses, increasing her own personal care, tending to her HT classes and practice, adding more play time, returning to her drawing, oil paintings and photography interests, traveling, and making sure to keep connected with our HT communities.
Though no longer serving on the Board, Carol will continue to actively work on the organizations behalf. “Janet asked me to ‘hold the light’ for HT and I intend to always share HT with others,” she said. “The gifts I receive through HT bring me incredible joy and fulfillment. HT holds the highest position on my passion list.”
HONORING CAROL KINNEY