June 2012 home page

Born to Connect
Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio


left to right: Danielle Emhof, Mark Kalina, Gene Humphrey,
Matt Szymczak, Cheryl Alden. Photo Virginia Lawrence


When asked what single word would best complete the three-word title Born To ... for a hypothetical autobiography, Dr. Kalina replied instantly, “Connect. Born to Connect. It’s all about community!”

Mark Kalina, MD, ABHM: Trained as a medical doctor, for a number of years Mark Kalina worked at Scripps Clinic. When he became disenchanted with having to limit the time he spent with each patient to the allotted 15 minutes, he left Scripps and set up shop on 9th Street. In his private practice he focuses on helping people break out of stuck places. A typical office visit can last two or more hours.
Since September 2008 Dr. Kalina, a member of the American Board of Holistic Medicine (ABHM), has hosted bi-monthly workshops for Del Mar Community Connections (DMCC) - Dr. Kalina’s Senior Health Forum.

A typical workshop begins with half an hour of Xi Gong and Tai Chi under the guidance of Matt Szymczak. In performing these eastern exercises the attendees learn how to move, how to focus their breathing, how to relax, and how to improve their balance. Next on the agenda will be 15 minutes of meditation followed by 15 minutes of group check-in where people are invited to share what is going on in their lives. During the second hour Dr. Kalina makes a presentation characterized by constant input from those present.    At the session on May 8th the subject was what it means to be well, and what it takes to get there.

To start things off Dr. Kalina asked the group what “well” meant for each of them. A few replied the “absence of disease.” However, many more claimed that being “well” was far more than being free of illness. During the course of the hour the group expanded this definition to include: feeling free and full of energy; looking forward to each day; feeling calm and without fear; feeling self-reliant but able to recognize when to ask for help; being engaged in learning; having a project; being able to let go of negative feelings and to forgive; being brave enough to be your true self without worrying about being judged.

Steve Jobs’s idea of happiness was evoked by one of the attendees; Jobs believed that “happiness” meant “following your dream.” Dr. Kalina shared that what “winds his watch” is being able to work with a group and promote a feeling of connection. The group agreed that the main benefit of being together was - being together – getting outside your head, making connections to other people, to the world, to a higher being. In Dr. Kalina’s words, “ It’s all about community!”

Dr. Kalina is a member of the Board of Del Mar Community Connections and is involved with Hospice By The Sea in Solana Beach. His workshop, Dr. Kalina’s Senior Health Forum, is scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at the Del Mar TV Studio from 9:30 to 11:30. The sessions are free, and are attended by 20-25 people, not all from Del Mar.

To view recent handouts go to: www.dmcc.cc/KalinaHandouts.html   For info please call: (858) 792-7565



Joy Gerber, Mark Kalina, Larry Hampshire


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