Now more than ever, the need for Inner Fire is great. Over the past two and a half years, mental health challenges and substance abuse have exploded across our country and our world. People are suffering. The suicide rate, now the 11th leading cause of death, increases along with the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and cocktails of psychotropic medications prescribed to cope with life’s painful challenges. Every week we receive calls from desperate parents and people in crisis who are demoralized by the medication-based mental health care system. Ignoring the root cause of people’s distress, the current medical model encourages the short-term suppression of symptoms and a lifetime
of disconnect and drug dependence.
Inner Fire’s rhythmic and nurturing community program, focusing on Seekers’ strengths and inner discoveries, while acknowledging the whole human being – the body, soul and spirit – is desperately needed. Inner Fire provides hope and healing for struggling individuals. I know this because I was in those shoes. After being prescribed a cocktail of psychotropics by my general practitioner to manage sleep and mild depression, I ended up with full blown mania and psychosis – later discovering that these were “side effects” of these medications. Years went by. I lost hope, my job, my independent lifestyle, and gained more than 60 pounds. My blood work was that of a geriatric, not a 35-year-old. I was a zombie. I was suicidal, disconnected from my emotions and my essential self. At the depth of my despair, I couldn’t even access the most basic human emotion: the ability to cry. It took years for me to end up at Inner Fire. It was hard work to taper from the psychotropics and their awful side effects, to do the deep, daily inner work that is a requirement for lasting change, and to engage in the busy day-to-day of Inner Fire’s comprehensive program. My story is not unique. Inner Fire gave me – and 50 other Seekers over the past 8 years – the structure and space to work on life challenges and reclaim our lives.
This summer, I joined Inner Fire as our Marketing Director; my fellow, former Seeker, Ken Ijichi, joined as our Seeker Care Coordinator and registered nurse. We work now as productive members of the community, leaving behind years of unemployment and supposedly debilitating, lifelong diagnoses. We both were told we needed medication for the rest of our lives. Ken and I believe in the mission because we lived the mission. Now, with the weight of urgency propelling us forward, we join this movement to help as many people as possible. It’s a calling. We know the stakes. For Ken and me, it’s a matter of life and death. We can’t do this alone. We need your help to expand choice to all striving individuals, including desperate healthcare practitioners and family members.
Inner Fire has the opportunity to purchase our property, Grace Brook Farm, its buildings, and its 43 acres of land at its 2013 basis of $650,000. This beautiful property, now sewn with our lives’ memories, is currently valued at more than $1 million and includes the additions made to the property since purchase. These include solar panels, increasingly productive biodynamic land and gardens on which we grow much of our food, and the conversion of an old garage to needed office and living space. As a dedicated not-for-profit healing community, Inner Fire has a long future ahead. Our ability to sustain our model is directly tied to the living breath of this property and all it provides. Owning our infrastructure will lower costs and contribute to making Inner Fire more affordable for those we serve.
Do you share our vision? Can you donate? We’ve been very fortunate to have received your support in the past. We recognize that these are challenging times for many people. A contribution you make to us now will not only be greatly appreciated by those of us who have and do consider Inner Fire our home, but also by all those who will make it to our doorstep in the future. It is through your support we are able to expand choice for all individuals. You are helping to save lives – please, trust me, I know.