I could write volumes about our first, incredibly heartwarming and challenging year at Inner Fire.
It has been a very dynamic year where the resilience of the human spirit has shown forth. Battles for the soul have been fought while either tapering steadily off the mind-altering medications and working consciously with the debilitating withdrawal symptoms, or without the added burden of the medications, simply working to bring balance on a deeper soul level in order to engage more fully in life as a balanced and constructively engaging human being.
I am in awe of the courage of the striving seekers who have passed through our doors, some who have been medicated half their lives – who were challenged to change harmful habits and negative self-images, who worked with the joys and challenges of individuality within a community, who wrestled to stay engaged despite feelings of suicide, and who learned that staying engaged is an answer to overwhelming negative feelings. They committed to a year of proactive healing by engaging in a unique combination of therapies and practical work and experienced remarkable change and growth.
I am also blessed to be surrounded by extraordinary and professional guides at Inner Fire whose insights, love and commitment held the seekers in the light as creators and believed in their journey of recovery toward healing.
Inner Fire is simply a vessel – combining a process and a place with remarkable guides and seekers. Despite many challenges, the seekers stayed engaged. Upon their graduation, they could look to themselves as their own healers. They had said, ‘yes’. Everyone had safely come off their medications and freed themselves from their addictions. Below are words from some of the seekers and their family members after their year at Inner Fire.
“I remember after many months of [therapies,] the moment came when I said I felt ‘peaceful’… As an often deeply overwhelmed individual, feeling ‘peaceful’ was nothing short of a miracle. Which is what Inner Fire is: a miracle. And the greatest challenge is not the work itself, the rigor of the schedule, but actually waking up to this miracle. When so many people are used to being let down and greeted with empty eyes and handshakes, it can take months to wake up to meaning. I sometimes say Inner Fire is the first place I have ever been. This is partly because I feel most places are not real places: they are only environments where people gather without purpose, lost together. Inner Fire is truly rare in this regard, as individuals indeed gather, but united by a common and loving purpose which each seeker that arrives will come to understand.” – a Seeker
“My daughter found the control that she had somehow lost in her life. It was as though she had it in her all along; this is what I believe. Her inner strength emerged and she discovered that she was not so helpless, that she could influence her moods, thoughts and actions. She didn’t need to freak out, go to the hospital or run away screaming each time a difficult situation arose.” – a Father
“I behave no differently at Inner Fire than I did at the other rehabs I have been to…they kicked me out, Inner Fire did not…Inner Fire is a place where people feel safe, can speak about anything and do not fear being sent off to the hospital for odd behavior.” – a Seeker
“Inner Fire saved our daughter’s life. The phenomenal and consistent care, love, patience and support from all the core staff members and the support team at Inner Fire, the daily regular rhythm of scheduled activities and responsibilities, the regular schedule of sessions in a variety of therapeutic modalities, the physical outdoors activities, the peaceful beauty of the environment, the camaraderie and support among the seekers, the delicious, wholesome and therapeutic diet plus too many other factors to mention, all created a space for our daughter to slowly begin to trust and to find and discover herself. Her journey at Inner Fire was not easy, but an ongoing challenge and at times intensive struggle, throughout which the Inner Fire team consistently held a safe space for her. When our daughter left Inner Fire she felt ready to re-enter public life and wanted to prepare herself to go back to college. We are eternally grateful to all the wonderful people who work at, create and make Inner Fire possible and we hope that many more seekers in the near and long term future will be able to benefit from this unique place and program.” – a Father
I passionately share the hope expressed that “many more seekers” will be able to benefit from Inner Fire. In order for this to happen, I would like to ask for your support for two things: Our Capital Campaign to build the Inner Fire home, with on-site residence for 12 seekers, and our Support-a-Seeker Fund that allows us to offer scholarships to those in need who cannot afford Inner Fire.
Last year, two full time seekers were funded with Support-a-Seeker donations and this year, one is currently being funded.
The Building Campaign is off to a tremendous start, with more than $500,000 raised to date, with design, preliminary permitting and site work beginning. We still need an additional $700,000 to complete the building. With your support, seekers will be living on the campus, in the new Inner Fire home, this time next year!
Inner Fire is a program which understands and works with the striving individual as a physical but also a soul/spiritual being. We therefore support human beings with dignity and respect, while offering a choice to the debilitating, ‘best practice’ medical model, which in the long run too often creates disability through the injurious side effects of the mind-altering medications.
Friends, through your financial support of Inner Fire, you will be helping us to be a model which others will emulate; professionals, clients, their families and loved ones alike are desperate for an alternative. They are losing their once sensitive, artistic and intelligent loved ones in a medication induced, mind altering fog of disability which leads to isolation and constant trauma.
Inner Fire is such a model. Visitors enthusiastically declare that Inner Fire is unique and stands alone in this country. Hope stirs after having been silenced for too long. We need our own home and to be visible. The physical home will then support the very fine, conscious work happening at this time with less than ideal facilities. We are doing what individuals long for; we are offering a choice!
Please help us as best you can with a generous, tax deductible gift…you are saving lives, while broadening the view of what it means to be a human being and to work with the challenges that arise from living a fulfilling life!
With such gratitude, on behalf of the Inner Fire Community, we look forward to receiving your tax-deductible donation.
Beatrice Birch, Co-Founder & Director