Today, host Timothy J. Hayes and guest Beatrice Birch, Inner Fire Founder and Executive Director prove that deep healing is possible even without meds. Beatrice shares how her facility started, what inspired them to set it up, and how they are currently breathing as an organization.
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Inner Fire: Providing Deep And Lasting Healing With Beatrice Birch
Welcome and thanks for being here.
I’m glad to be here, Timothy.
It’s a pleasure to meet you. I know we’ve talked in the past. By way of getting started, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into this field.
I am American but I spent 25 years in Europe where I was working in alternative clinics, bringing what’s referred to as Hauschka artistic therapy, which is a three-year full-time medically based training but training from a different angle. A training that recognizes the human being as having a body, a soul and a spirit. It’s looking at the human being, not as just genes and hereditary forces and DNA and all that, certainly not as a machine. Someone who has a body, who has an etheric life force within them, who has an Astro body which is the seat of our emotions, sympathies and antipathies and then a higher self, I refer to it as the charioteer. Someone who guides the wild horses of the Astro body, our sympathies, and antipathies or the witness, the spirit that makes us unique.
I worked for years and these clinics where we never ever use these psychotropic medications. We attracted the attention of the mental health service because we cost them less money and people were getting well. We used homeopathy. We used diet. We used a variety of artistic therapies. People were engaged in their will, working in the gardens and so on. When I came back to this country, I was horrified to see how quickly people were medicated. At one point, I was working at a rehab in Vermont, as the Hauschka artistic therapists there. I had a number of young people who appreciated me because I treated them as human beings. We’re not schizophrenics. We’re not alcoholics. We’re human beings struggling with alcohol or struggling with the challenges that life simply brings.
At one point, these young people came in one by one. To be honest, I thought it was a bit of setup but it wasn’t. They all came in and one by one stood in front of me and said, “I hate being medicated. Isn’t there a choice?” I had witnessed beautiful young people coming into the rehab, not on medication in some cases, and I would witness losing them, just as their parents witness losing them to the side effects of these medications. I told them, “Of course, there is a choice.” I mentioned different options. I mentioned Robert Whitaker’s work, Mad in America or other websites they could go to. Eventually, when they left the rehab, within a couple of years of their leaving, six of them had taken their life. The first one, of course, I was shocked and then there was another one and it was like, “This is unnecessary.” There’s no reason in the world they need to take their lives. Having worked in Europe where we never medicated anybody and we saw people working through their challenges and then thriving.
The sixth one, I remember saying to my husband, “I’m out of this. I can’t handle this.” I realized innocence is bliss and you’re not innocent anymore. What I realized I had to do was simply offer a choice. Take the best of my life experiences and find colleagues. I had met a few people, one who had been to Diabasis House, the work of John Weir Perry in California in the ‘70s. He never medicated schizophrenics but he helped them go through the eye of the needle, honoring their journey and honoring their spiritual experiences in that process. I was getting encouragement to start one.
Inner Fire, we’re several years older, so we’re fledgling but we’ve had 30 odd people come through the program. Some of them arrive shuffling their feet and bleary-eyed having been on medication half their life. Others are newly on medication. We’re not telling anyone to come off their medication but we’re offering a choice for people to come to us before you’re medicated. We will honor your journey and tapering. If you want to get all the way off with the support of a wonderful psychiatrist, we go slowly, carefully to the level that works for you. Maybe it’s not quite off, maybe it is off or the awful side effects of the benzodiazepines which are dished out like candy, it’s shocking.
We’ve had people who have gotten off of them and they’re still reeling from the side effects of them after a year of being. To come to a place where they feel safe and the whole program recognizes the human being as a whole organism. I would be one happy woman if one day we no longer even have the term mental health but we’re talking about soul health. Our head is not isolated from the rest of our organism, and what happens on a deeper soul level affects our thinking. What the sad thing is these people who took their lives and if you want to look and acknowledge that the suicide rate is going up as is the use of these psychotropic medications.
I’ve had remarkable people here at Inner Fire and who I’ve met at conferences who say it’s under the influence of these psychotropic medications where they are more suicidal. Why? Because they’re disconnected from their ability to think clearly. They’re disconnected from their ability to have heartfelt feelings or to do something creatively. Our soul is that part of us, which is a thinker, a feeler and a doer. When we’re disconnected from all of that, we are told, “You have to live the life of a zombie.” Where you can’t do anything and that’s why, in my experience, why people are taking their lives. I am not prepared to live like this. I had a dear cousin who lost both his parents. He was put on antidepressants, told you’d have to be on them the rest of your life. He loved life. He jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge.
He and many other people, I felt with the loss of these six beautiful young sensitive people, that their suicide was a wake-up call. It was a sacrifice, Timothy. Will we wake up? Some people I know refer to this time with the use of these psychotropic meds as a time of the genocide. At least we’re beginning to do something about the opioids but what about the benzodiazepines? We’re trapped in a system, Timothy. How do we change the system? A doctor approached me and her main clientele are suicidal psychiatrists. Look at the system, are we going to go along with this? Inner Fire is a drop in the ocean. Having used homeopathy all my life and my children have been brought up with it, I’d say we’re potent eyes drop because we’re being watched from all over the world. An email from South Africa said, “Even knowing Inner Fire exists gives us hope.”
Tell us a little bit more about your program there at Inner Fire. What you offer, how many people you can house?
In the ideal world, people would stay a year because deep healing takes time. Unfortunately, the insurance companies are not on the same plane as we are. It’s private pay. We do have a support, a secret fund, hoping for people to donate and give young people the opportunity to come here maybe that their child didn’t have. We’ve completed the east wing of the Inner Fire home. We’ve been using that for over a year. We can have nine people. We’re still raising money. We’re not-for-profit. We’re also a TCR, Therapeutic Community Residents. We’re licensed in the state of Vermont as well.
Eventually, when we’ve raised the money for the west wing, our limit will be twelve. It’s not a business, it’s a healing community and twelve can still be family-style. When people are interested in coming here, we want to make sure we’re all on the same page because it’s not a holiday camp, its hard work. One of the major things is rhythm. Everyone comes for a three-day visit and during that time, they immerse themselves in the program and they get a real taste. They see that you’ve got to get up at 6:00 in order to come down for breakfast by 6:45 when you would take any medication that you’re still on or supplements and so on.
We have breakfast at 7:00. We wash up at 7:30 and then we head out for a walk every morning, the same walk, except for when we build a fire in the woods and then we may go along other paths for our morning circle. After the walk, which goes along a beautiful brook with all the ice formations, it’s exquisite and every day different. We’re also doing it consciously because nature has a lot of healing to give to us if we can learn to not watch our feet but to look up and around. The light is changing and that’s heartening and exciting after our winter. We come back to the main house to Grace Brook.
We have what we call a morning circle. We go around this circle, the guides and the seekers together and share how we’re doing and what we’re grateful for. We always sing together. You’ll notice, if you want to look at it in this way, everything we do has a therapeutic element to it. We sing, which encourages deep breathing, listening, and working together and then the seekers go out to do something for the Inner Fire community. I see it as the out-breath, then I go away from my own personal needs. I am either chopping down a tree with an ax, two-person sawing it up, splitting the wood. When I split word, I don’t hear voices and that’s interesting for some people to realize I’m not a victim of my voices. If I channel my energy deeply focused and I’ve had this in the artistic therapeutic sessions as well. You’re either outdoors in the woods.
In a couple of months’ time, we’ll be sowing seeds and we grow our own vegetables. We built our greenhouse all by hand. We built our chicken coop all by hand. Also, you’ll notice getting people out of their heads into their limbs. Often in our society, we get stuck up in our heads and that leads to psychosis when we don’t know what to do with our limbs and there’s little artwork or craftwork or music in our schools. You’re working in the kitchen and you’re learning how to cook properly. We cook is all organic. The best quality you can possibly get. It’s lacto-fermented foods which help to do with healing the gut. Gut health is taken into account. We have no sugar.
There are house cleaning and cleaning using biodegradable cleansers. We’re preparing someone in the mornings to be able to go back out into the world when they leave Inner Fire empowered, knowing how to clean, knowing how to cook, knowing how to garden, knowing how to split wood. In the morning, that’s also when you become aware of, “Can I help you wheel this wheelbarrow? Can I help do this or that?” You’re supporting each other and seeing what needs to be done for the broader community. At 12:00, we have lunch. At 12:30, we’re washing up. There are seekers go up to their rooms where they then receive a liver compress. The liver is our organ that deals with the poisons in our body and it’s been taxed for most of us by living in the culture we live in. Certainly, with the psychotropic meds and the other substances, one may have used. That’s timeout. You go to your own space, you interact with nobody and maybe you sleep or maybe rest or read. After lunch is when one engages in the one-on-one therapy. That can be seen as the in-breath, you come into yourself.
Our head is not isolated from the rest of our organism, and what happens on a deeper soul level affects our thinking. Click To Tweet
Three days of the week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the artistic therapies are what engages them and they come in flocks. We have someone who comes from Holland to work with music therapy. We eurythmy therapy, which is a form of movement or spatial dynamics or yoga. We have somatic breathwork. We have a massage. We have speak charts at different times during the year. Two days of the week, we have more counseling work and these are people who come from a variety of different therapeutic counseling family systems. That’s what the afternoon would look like and then there’s also some free time in the afternoon. We have supper 6:00 and then in the evenings, we have different activities. That’s also where we come together as peers and it could be appreciation where you go around the circle and you share what you appreciate about everyone in the circle. Yourself, which is always the hardest for every one of us or where you share a question that’s been living in your heart for a long time. Finally, there’s a group where you can give the context of it and shape it into a question, which means you’re interested in listening.
Also, Tuesday nights, people are carving spoons or doing some other craftwork out of wood that you’ve harvested from the woods. Singing on a Thursday night and there’s drumming as well and music in different ways. Wednesday is an early evening where you do your laundry or your tidy your room. On weekends you practice the cooking you’ve learned. We have the Putney mountain range right in our front yard. There are hikes up there and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and you’re swimming in the rivers nearby. It’s a full day. Maybe I could give this picture of the soul breath and I’d say it’s a layman’s picture but almost everyone would understand this. When I say the in-breath, I’m thinking of an experience where for instance, let’s say some young person or anyone of us see something that’s terrible, awful to see. We have this experience of, “It’s awful.” I’m afraid and I get stuck in that soul gesture. I’m afraid of breathing out because I might fall apart. I don’t know what I would do.
The other extreme is, let’s say I was sexually abused, like anyone of us, I would be as far out of this body as I could get. If I lose my center by doing so, getting away from this body of pain, I am going to hear voices. Because I’ve lost my center, I’m way out there. We’re always working with this soul breath. The classroom is a beautiful example. We all know, particularly I was a teacher once as well. The teacher may be tempted to bring their child who all over the place to the front row where they’re under the illusion that the child will be able to focus better. This child probably doesn’t even have to turn around to know what’s happening four rows back. You have the child who’s sitting in the middle of the classroom and let’s say all hell is breaking loose around them but they are centered. They’re oblivious of what’s going on. You have one extreme or the other.
I’d like to invite us all to imagine, where am I on that spectrum? Every one of us is either more centered or more loose. We’re living in the periphery or more in the center, carrying those pictures with you to imagine. For instance, in the artistic therapeutic work, which everyone does but everyone is treated as an individual because everyone is somewhere in that spectrum. If I had someone who was way out there, hearing voices, the last thing I would do is watercolor with them. The watercolor is loosening. It’s a living element and you have to work with it. If I were to work with someone in that state of the soul, probably the water would be spilling all over the place. It would be far too loose but I would invite that person to work with clay, which is a way. You can’t do the clay unless you bring your consciousness into your fingertips. It’s a natural way of inviting someone to come in and even making a sphere for some people, to begin with, you’re not allowed to roll it. You have to use your thumbs, your fingers to work together.
It can take weeks. That’s the state of the soul they might be in or someone who’s stuck, too caught, then the watercolor comes into its own. You have the beautiful luminosity of the colors which feed the soul and then you have the dynamic of the water which keeps you a bit on your toes. You have to pay attention. You have to be a bit more alert. You have the whole spectrum in between the pastel, which is color but tactile or the charcoal, which has no color but you’re working with the elements of light and dark. You’d find the of the therapies that are offered here recognize the human being as being fourfold or as having body, soul, and spirit. We’re always working on balancing the soul of the individual. The counseling work has its own beauty to it as well.
It’s a rich and diverse experience as you’re describing it which is one of the things that many people are finding functional medicine as a new approach to helping people recognize. You have to look at all these various aspects of the human, the community, the purpose in life, a sense of love, a sense of connection to the community. It’s great to hear that you’re doing that at Inner fire. Do you say you have a capacity for nine people?
Yes, it’s nine and then eventually, we’ll have twelve. I have been asked to start Inner Fire in Texas, Northern California, Michigan, and the UK. We have more work to do here before that happens. We recognize people here at Inner Fire as creators and not victims. I’d love to give you this short little vignette. Timothy, for many years I worked in prisons in New York State, maximum security and medium. In the maximum-security, I brought alternatives to violence and I loved going in and meeting these remarkable human beings. I used to say, “I love coming in and all of you want to get out but I’m glad to come in and to work with you.”
At one prison, I was painting with men and the watercolor painting we do has all to do with our social life. There was one day when a young man came up to me, his name was Ian. He was about 28, a beautiful young man. He had been painting with me for a while and he said, “I was trying to write to a friend on the outside about this art class. It’s hard to describe what happens here. Eventually, I wrote to my friend there’s it’s an art class, but it’s a spiritual class.” He looked me straight in the eyes and he said, “This is what I was looking for on the outside. Isn’t it strange I had to come to prison to find it?”
I thought, “You’re all seekers. You’re all looking for something more than this fast-paced, superficial, materialistic life.” As Inner Fire was being formed, I remember saying to my husband, “What are we going to call the people who come here?” Not that I want to call anybody anything in particular but I thought, “I’m not going to call them clients, patients or residents.” I thought of Ian, and I thought, “We’ll call them seekers because it’s respectful.” Anyone who comes to Inner Fire is looking for something more than what’s being dished out.
It’s respectful and it’s descriptive.
It’s a noun but it has a verb connotation. I remember one young man in our first year coming in, sitting down and introducing himself, “I’m Schizoaffective and this in this.” I listened to him and I said, “I’m not interested in your label. I’m much more interested in who you are. In fact, we call people here at Inner Fire seekers.” There was this flash of light in his eye and it was almost like, “Really? Then I’m a seeker.” In the same sense, Timothy, we who work here don’t refer to ourselves as staff but as guides the way a midwife is a guide to someone giving birth. Our seekers, after their mothers giving them their physical birth, are now rebirthing themselves. That’s why to get off these meds, it is hard work and it is courageous. Another image came to me once of the way the banks of a river guide the current, we don’t block the current but we guide it. At times in the tapering process, the banks have to come closer together and hold the person so they can continue to go forward.
If we were to crumble and let the seeker do whatever they wanted to do and spin out, we’ve lost them. It is hard once someone is out there. We can do it but to pull them back in, to help them not lose this center in their journey of tapering. We also have anger is okay policy because I see anger blocked creative energy. It’s an energy that should be flowing but for one reason or another, it’s been blocked, it’s been added dams up and eventually, it bursts out. Anger is part of the tapering process. We have anger is okay policy but violence is unacceptable, but we also have experienced that violence is part of a tapering process. We have to be careful. We have to know when it’s enough. We can’t do any more here. We probably go more through the eye of the needle than a lot of places and it’s no good to compare but we see that. We can have someone, for instance not too long ago, was hysterically laughing for three hours. We sat with him. After the three hours, suddenly he was fine. He said, “I want to take a shower.”
The next day, another wave of the tapering process happened. We do not send the person to the hospital as soon as something that’s uncomfortable happens. In our application for him to work at Inner Fire, it has been softened a little bit but initially, what I wrote in the first applications was to work at Inner Fire is a path of self-knowledge and self-development. It’s not a job. If you’re looking for a job, go elsewhere. It’s not ethical to ask anything of a seeker that we’re not working ourselves. The seekers are going to show us our weaknesses. We have to be grateful for that. They are a wakeup call to us. We have to get our act together. We have to become more conscious in order to help the individuals who come here who seek rebirth and reclaim their lives.
What I hear and what you’re saying is that you bring a profound depth of experience and commitment to this work that is going to provide a firm loving structure for people to go through what they need to go through. Also, discover themselves and what they need to do to be more productive, more content in their life, and more joyful. My experience, having worked in a variety of correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and residential facilities is that it takes a tremendous depth and breadth of commitment and experience to do that. It sounds like in this short time you’re talking to me I can hear you’ve got the components for that. I can also understand why you wouldn’t want to rush off and do three or four more facilities.
It’s step by step.
To do it with that quality of follow through and making sure. I’m glad you’re talking about the people who are working there at least beginning with the knowledge that they’re going to have to be working on themselves. You can’t help someone through a deep crisis without having your unresolved issues shown to you.
I can give an example if you’d like. I remember one day one of our guides in our early days was frightened by something one of the seekers did and she said to me, “He’s got to go. He has to leave. I was frightened. He did something that scared me.” A week or so beforehand, I had taken with another colleague, another guide we’ve gone on a canoe trip for a week. A passion of mine is whitewater canoeing. I used to take inner-city youth whitewater canoeing up in Canada and I love it. On that trip, when we were pulling the canoe up onto shore, I happened to ask him, “Where would you be if you are not at Inner Fire?” He didn’t even hesitate, he said, “Dead.” When this guide, who’s a wonderful person but she had been frightened, mentioned this to me that he must go, I said to her, “For you, it’s a job. For him, it’s his life.”
For instance, if somebody shouts loudly at any of us and let’s say I had a father who shouted, who is verbally abusive, I never knew how to work with that. I would push it down and suppress it. Life has been okay until I work at Inner Fire. I worked at some other place where a secret comes up and tells me to go away right in my face, he’s shouting as part of his tapering process. That triggers my memory of my father. He’s showing me, “Honey, I’ve got work to do. I have to digest what I’ve been avoiding all these years.” That’s what we try to work with. I try to work with our guides. In many families, you’re not allowed to be angry. That’s one of the first emotions expressed in the tapering process. I see people holding themselves together and it’s like, “No. Claim your anger, acknowledge it, free it and redirect that creative energy.”
Every one of us is either more centered or looser, we're living in the periphery or more in the center. Click To Tweet
At Inner Fire, I remind people, men and women, we all have tear ducts. We have them for a reason. To be able to cry and sob and is a whole load of rubbish that if you cry for over a certain number of weeks, you’re depressed and you’re meant to be medicated. If anyone told me there’s a limit to how much crying I should do, I tell them to get off and it’s like, “I’m going to cry until I don’t need to cry anymore.” That’s fine. You’re allowed to cry. You’re allowed to laugh. There’s a lot of humor here. You can talk about anything at Inner Fire and many people say it’s the first place they’ve ever felt safe. It’s a journey. You’re not pitied when you come to Inner Fire. People stories, I’ve teared up in front of the seekers. The other rehab.
I remember one young man was telling me his story and I could feel the tears rising and I, of course, had this dilemma going on inside me, “I’m a professional, I shouldn’t be crying.” I thought, “His story is moving, how can I listen to it and not cry?” He paused and he said, “Are you crying?” The tears in my eyes, they weren’t yet falling down my cheeks and I said to him, “I am.” He said, “Why are you crying?” I said, “Listening to your story is moving.” I can’t dissolve in tears with every single person’s story. There must be some balance in this. For him, he saw someone. He saw his life from another perspective that it was tough. Still, the question is, what are you going to do about it? We’re not victims. Maybe the individual needs to speak up, claim his or her voice and see the challenges that we meet in life as opportunities for growth.
One of the things that I have gotten a lot of benefit from myself and people I work with is I suggest that when they hear themselves thinking or speaking with the word victim, “I was a victim of the economic downturn. I was a victim of sexual abuse. I was a victim of beatings as a child.” If they try this on, breathe, soften and substitute the phrase, “I experienced the economic downturn. I experienced physical abuse. I experienced this rape.” The change in language and positioning tends to be empowering to people.
It’s true. Timothy, what I feel is anyone who goes to you is not by chance they go to you. Anyone who comes to Inner Fire is not a coincidence. They come to Inner Fire. Anyone else who’s out there reading this, if you can see that challenges or opportunities for growth, we need to encourage the individuals to take on the challenge because they’re seeking. It’s like this young man Ian. They’re looking for something more. Is there anything in me that can heal and overcome these challenges? I remember as a child reading many stories about people in concentration camps and in these challenging situations. My question was, “Why do some people survive and others don’t?” It’s not a judgment call but I thought, “There must be something within the individual who made them even in such awful situations.” That’s happening all of the time, who as creators and can work with this as a challenge.
There’s Viktor Frankl’s work, Man’s Search for Meaning. There’s an answer to your question, why is it that some people seem to survive or thrive in some of those horrible settings? One of his understandings about it was that he had found the meaning. He held to his values and it carried him through. Thank you for doing this. I wanted to give you a chance to talk about how you get the money for your program? How can people support you if they’re interested? How can people find out more about Inner Fire if they want to be a seeker?
With only $300,000 we would be able to build the arts and drama barn and this is the next thing we want to build because, first of all, we need more space to meet as a community of people at Inner Fire. Secondly, there’s not a single parent or spouse who comes to Inner Fire who has not said to me, “I need Inner Fire.” They’re exhausted. They’re angry. They’re confused. I can see this arts and drama barn as being a place for a retreat for parents four times a year. Many of the seekers would like to have their parents come and split wood alongside them. I would love to offer the parents the therapies that we offer here to experience.
To feed them and to nourish them in this incredibly challenging journey that they’ve gone through with their offspring or their loved one. Also, with this conversation with the doctor from further west, whose main clientele are suicidal psychiatrists, we could have work, we could have retreats for psychiatrists where they could learn. They could see another healing modality in action at Inner Fire. They could look out and see that person splitting wood and not hearing voices. They’re getting out of their heads into their limbs. We have other psychiatrists who could certainly come, teach and support the psychiatrist to earn their living by helping people come off the psychotropic meds.
There’s this community aspect. For over $1 million, we could complete the west wing. In the west wing, I’m not quite sure how we’re going to do this. I’m not quite sure if it’s going to be legal, but I have to explore this. I would prefer to not ever send anybody to the hospital from Inner Fire. We’ve had three times when the violence has gotten too extreme. They go to the hospital. They’re hoisted up and down on medication. The food is full of sugar. They don’t get outside for any fresh air. They sit around in their heads. I don’t see any healing going on at these hospitals.
What I’d like to be able to do is create what Dr. John Weir Perry did at his Diabasis House in California. A mattress room where voluntarily an individual who’s going through a crisis and they can go through it and come out the other side can go to this mattress room where they will not hurt themselves and they cannot hurt anybody else. That’s another thing. We need the west wing of the Inner Fire home and then the main part of the building. Eventually, we’ll have therapeutic huts starting here and there over the 43 acres where the seekers would walk through the woods along trails they have created to have their music therapy or their speech arts or their movement of some kind or other. We desperately need support to finish the building of this. Any donations would be gratefully received.
We also have a support, a secret fund because for Inner Fire to be what it needs to be. It has to be available for people regardless of their financial situation, regardless of their race, religion, sexual identity. There are plenty of people out in the world who have money. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have enough in our support a seeker fund that we could have three or four people come through the program who otherwise would never be able to afford it? I am working with the Department of Mental Health here in Vermont, who is interested in Inner Fire and I’m hoping they’ll use us as a pilot project. If you talk financially, the seekers will be off their medication, off their disability, reclaiming their lives. Also, one day taxpaying citizens, and we’re less than a third of what is paid a day through the insurance companies and the department. It makes sense. We also expect people to get well, Timothy. It’s not easy. It’s hard work.
Do you have an active fundraising program? I want to make sure that you say your website and we’ll promote that. What ongoing programs you have for raising funds?
The website is www.InnerFire.us. We have grad writers and we’re fundraising all the time. I have raised over $1 million to have all the utilities and everything brought up to the east wing. We have an annual appeal and we have a newsletter. Anybody who is interested in being on our mailing list certainly contact me. The phone number is (802) 221-8051.
If somebody reads this or is referred to this talk and they have an urge to come to be a guide, it’s all the same contact information?
Yes, it is. It’s interesting because you have to have a certain relationship to fear. Every single secret who’s been here, they show us a lot of astrology. A lot of fire and craziness and all this thing that’s fine but there are moments when they show us that curtains are drawn and they show us who they are. We never let go of that. You can go through all this other stuff and you hold on to who they are. Timothy, an active ingredient at Inner Fire is love. I don’t say that sentimentally, love is a force and it’s something that guides our work and helps us go through the eye of the needle. Once we’ve seen who that person essentially is, we don’t let go of it. For a while, we’re the ones who will believe you can heal and then eventually, as you begin to believe you can heal, we step back more so you become more empowered. Healing you, could say, “Because people have asked me what’s healing? How do you know when someone’s ready to go?” I would say, “When the individual has connected with what I call the divine creative self within them.” It’s within every one of us.
When they’ve connected with that, then they know I can work with any challenge that comes my way. I may not like it, some might think, “This again but I can do it.” That means I can find people who can help me too. It’s important because we don’t fix people. People are broken. I can’t promise. You can have the best program in the world and if somebody suddenly says, “I’ve had enough.” Timothy, if you’ve been on medication for a long time, we encourage a year. If you’re ready and you’ve worked through much, within six months, we don’t hold you. We’re not a locked facility. We encourage you to stay engaged during this process. The program is comprehensive that you definitely could leave being identified with a whole another part of yourself.
One of the things and what you’re saying is that it’s a big part of my work with people is trying to give them tools and those tools are carry-ons. They take them with them wherever they go and there’s a whole set of tools that I’ve been working with for a number of years. It’s part of a support group I’ve taught for fifteen and a half years and a podcast we’ve done for nine years. I’m going to make sure and get you to access some of those tools because they’re made available absolutely free from Dr. Michael Rice and WhyAgain.org and they may be compatible with some of the work you’ve done. Certainly, the underlying assumption of the personality, the soul, the mind, the energy, the purpose in life is compatible.
There’s one term, Timothy, that some of us might have heard in the mental health world. It’s a disgusting term, which is to maintain. That seems to be the best medical model will do is to maintain people. I say you maintain tractors and trucks. We help to heal human beings. Nobody should take that term sitting down. That’s a dangerous term. Where artificial intelligence is coming more and more, robots are replacing human beings in nursing homes, it’s like, “What are we doing?” Also, to see childhood. Healthy children asked to sit behind a desk for six hours a day and in some schools, there’s no recess and some schools there’s no window in the classrooms. Childhood is all about action, movement, dynamic, and then the healthy child is blamed for being ADD. Children are our barometers. We have to look. We have a huge task ahead of us.
Some good tools for helping people do what some of us are calling moving towards optimal health and well-being, there is no limit on that. It’s lovely to find out more about what you do and I’m looking forward to our next contact. I would anticipate that in about a year, I’m going to ask you for another interview and we could get an update on Inner Fire and the progress of fundraising.
Maybe you’ll leave and come visit.
I’ve had that thought. I’m delighted to be with you. Thank you so much for your time Beatrice and the best of everything to you. Blessings for all of your seekers and all of your guides.
Thank you, Timothy, for your work and for all that Journeys Dream can help to tap into and unfold.
About Beatrice Birch
Beatrice Birch, Inner Fire founder and Board President, has worked as a Hauschka Artistic therapist for more than 30 years in integrative clinics and inspiring initiatives in England, Holland and the USA where the whole human being of body, soul and spirit was recognized and embraced in the healing process. She has lectured and taught as far afield as Taiwan.
Her passionate belief in both the creative spirit within everyone and the importance of choice, along with her love and interest in the human being has taken her also into prisons where she has volunteered for many years offering soul support through Alternatives to Violence work and watercolor painting.
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