•••••••••••START WITH YOURSELF•••••••••••
Heartfire Project aims to be a creative, stylish, accessible resource for personal growth and transformation. In a sea of words and promises, we give real life tools and inspiration for healing. We
offer guidance for HOW to makes changes that can allow one to move forward.
FULL DISCLOSURE: We will not promise you anything but an opportunity to have a long, meaningful, surprising, healing conversation with yourself.
"We guarantee nothing" is the unusual, possibly uncomfortable marketing tool central to the philosophy of our work. We believe wholeheartedly that we must make every effort to give you back to yourself. The reason you would bother doing any of this is an effort to reclaim the true you inside of the
image or identity.
It is you committing to you!
That's the beauty of it...
.....and the point!
What are we doing here? What is Heartfire Project? Good question! Sonya and I have been in a seven year conversation trying to answer that question, or maybe building the answer, sculpting it, refining it—actually scrambling to catch up to Heartfire. Doing Heartfire, in order to become it.
This started as humbly as an exhilarating conversation in the kitchen. Not the first meaningful idea developed over wine, while cooking a fine meal. The inner movement we felt during that conversation, and the subsequent inspiration to keep going on our own, fueled a deluge of ideas about how we might reach out and facilitate others on a similar path. That is, the path to self—unfiltered, honest, whatever it needs to be, to get to the real self—path.
We started by creating an outline for a one-day workshop. We threw ideas out, they all hung on a framework of wanting people to feel it. Feel the work and ideas. Could they have an experience of the concepts we wanted share? We batted things around, chewed on the ideas, tested them on ourselves and each other, and took a peek at the huge potential of this work really resonating with others, then went on our merry way, heads spinning. This included 3000 miles between us, challenging marriages, and five boys, under the age of nine between us.
Next, Sonya came up with five major points (later to become the five chapters of the book), that our ideas could align with. It came magically and seemed to fit perfectly with the flow of the process. We committed to weekly phone meetings to begin fleshing out the concepts. Quickly, it felt like too much was here to reduce to a one-day workshop and we began to wonder if the workshop idea was the right fit. I was an avid reader and journal writer and for over a decade and a half had combed my local library and processed what I was learning about psychology, spirituality, and personal growth on the pages, which turned into volumes of journals. That time in my life was very slow, and often deeply unsatisfying. I was on a war path of questions, voraciously fighting and digging ever deeper to understand the source of my discontent, wondering how to build a bridge between my inner state of disrepair and the strong, enlivened self I knew I was desperate to experience. Through my writing—the questioning of myself, my past, my present and the need for change, I could see that I was counseling myself. I was listening to myself and taking time to sift through the contents of my mind, my life, my body, my dreams and intuitions. I could read innumerable books, by the best of the best, across time and space. Books and words that seemed to contain THE answers, but what I found was that once I assimilated what I needed from them, I was still me. For better, or worse, certainly affected to varying degrees by what I had learned, I was still me wondering how to build the bridge. I still am actually, but let that not be discouraging. Let it simply level the playing field. Suffice to say, I understand this pursuit well.
For me, the act of involving my own experiences and difficulties into the intellectual learning created a synergy in me and was facilitating real change. It got me wondering how I could encourage others to work this way. I always felt I had a book in me, but hadn’t found the right format for what I wanted to share, and then of course, it made sense to develop all these ideas into a book that offered teaching and then journaling to the reader through extensive self inquiry. As we continued to flow our ideas about personal growth and spiritual integration, blending knowledge together with our actual experiences, I could see that we could create a book that would act as a full on program for navigating the way toward one’s authenticity and well-being. Through solid, non-didactic self inquiry, one could investigate, and even confront themselves on the pages of a journal, privately, honoring the timing that suited their lives and the process they would inevitably engage in, by working the journal. We could be as supportive and interactive as possible. Friendly and real about what it takes to create change that lasts. this could be become the real world object we could build and offer the world.
Our organization and concept building was taking real shape and was infused with some magic and seemingly endless inspiration, and the potential to give us much of what we were yearning for. It was time for a leap, essentially a deeper commitment to our own dreams and desires, in the form of believing in ourselves enough to take this idea further. There
was a sense that we needed to come together in person and really concentrate and connect in order to make something happen. With the distraction of all those boys and the distance between us, drastic measures had to be taken.
We made travel plans to meet in a neutral location, away from our domestic identities, and stepped out to Portland, incognito as sophisticated, entrepreneurs—being fabulous, as a matter of course. We booked a room at the Ace Hotel, in all of it’s Portlandia haughtiness. Sonya arrived by train (how elegant!) and we loaded up on sustenance from Whole Foods, an indulgence only these alter egos could be as cool and rich enough to enjoy.
I’m sure that first night we just buzzed and gushed about the fact we had actually taken this step. I had the distinct sensation that something important was happening to me, by the mere claiming of this experience. I had crossed a threshold toward beginning to consider that I had something to offer and by extension could create a life for myself that I loved. I was only role playing at this point. Back to my 6 or 7 year old self, who always pretended she was 18 living with her best friend, being fabulous—lots of makeup and a fine wardrobe indeed! I pretended I was a mom, and a theater director too, but this time with Sonya reminded me of that long forgotten childhood fantasy.
After the initial rush of self congratulations and awe, we set to work. Sheets of blank paper, pens and pencils, and nuclear levels of inspiration, we started with page one and walked page by page through the whole book. I look back and marvel at the process. It was extraordinary. We scrawled away, testing the content was we went along. Did what we were asking or saying create a feeling? If not, what needed to be tweaked so that there was a reaction below just intellectual understanding, so an engagement with the body and one’s feelings could be felt. And that was it. We wrote an amazing book in two and a half days! After that, I understood the position many creative people take in not feeling they can truly take credit for their work. You hear them talk of “it” just coming through—the idea that inspiration almost chooses you and you simply usher it in. You feel almost dishonest if you take credit for it—for there is a sense of being smiled upon. Sonya and I then parted, exhausted, and not really sure of what had just happened. From this point, it is safe to say that neither of us were clear about what we had just signed up for. We accepted our mission and it was a true, an undeniable fork in the road for both of us had presented itself.
I returned home to my children and my studio, and set to fine tuning and designing the lump of raw material into something you could hold in your hand. The ability to flow continued and unlike many of the other projects in my life and work at that time, it was nearly effortless. I bought a laser printer and printed out 100 copies of the book—ever the DIY’er. Sonya flew down from Montana and we threw a party debuting our baby. It was amazing. We did well representing our vision, people really loved it, we loved it... and then things got interesting.
In this land of the veneer of perfection and experthood, I have a shocking admission! We were not ready for this. There it is! The shocking truth of our humanness. We really didn’t know what to do next—and the efforts we did make to push the baby out into the world further were met with little to no response. Simultaneously, and seemingly unrelated, my life started to really fall apart. That is to say, I couldn’t really tolerate my old burdens anymore, the ways in which I wasn’t really walking my talk, because there it was in black and white. A road map and testament to what I knew to be true and I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know anymore. I had been committed to two things at that time in my life, parenting well and trying to understand myself and my unhappiness. On the ground, I was really depressed, but it did fuel my education of the nature of the self, being a self, and myself specifically. That was a profound gift in the mire of disappointments, obligations and frustrations.
As Sonya and I continued on with our respective lives and relentless challenges, we realized we were actually living the chapters. We found ourselves asking, did we have to experience EVERYTHING we wrote about? Come on! It seemed so.
Had I known that at the time, I might have reconsidered the level of honesty I wanted to hold myself to. It has been fairly excruciating, to be frank. To have a vision of purpose, only to be held back to run the gauntlet of human emotion and personal evolution. It’s really been no less of a task than that.
As I come to the surface, (we’ve agreed-we are pretty sure, we are in the home stretch: Chapter 5-Own Your Life), I begrudgingly must acknowledge it could be no other way. As much as I could’ve play the part—I was standing on shaky ground. I couldn’t fully trust myself to be the representative of this work that I really wanted to be. There is a dance between the will and the natural, unfolding process of life. It’s classic tension; free-will and destiny. My life shows me that I am equally influenced by each. Destiny said no for a long time. I had to learn my multiplication tables completely before I could begin accounting. Like sitting in the turn of the century schoolhouse, the wicked marm kept wrapping my knuckles each time I wandered and began to daydream. But the rhinoceros of will rumbling in my solar plexus kept me steadfast to the vision, even in my inertia at times. It’s been very intense. I have had to systematically cut out all the dead wood. I’ve had to release much of my past in order to claim a new future. I’m still doing it—releasing the incongruencies. The shining gem of this project as the manifestation of my love for myself and humanity and the potential for all of us to learn how to consciously evolve, keeps me going. It is also a passport to a larger world of like-minded people, and a job too. A place to put my energy and attention, and earn some clams so I support myself while following my heart. Even when I have tried to tow the line and do what seems easy or certainly socially acceptable, the fires have burned, never letting me rest. I am not the poster child for follow through, but the vision has endured, which is a very important touchstone for me in times of doubt. When I have reviewed the book over the last five years, it always felt pertinent and fresh. I just love it and can’t believe I created it. It’s a funny feeling, actually.
That’s the long story of the gestation of HFP. We don’t know where this oceanliner will take us, but we are throwing our hats in the ring of spiritual development and self-help because we HAVE TO. We love you. We love the place in people that smolders with potential for self-satisfaction and then spills over into the world. We will do our best to be real, and humble and inspired, and then what any luck, also inspiring. Despite ideas to the contrary, we are all in this together, and giving encouragement, support and tools to ourselves, and then others is a gift that goes both ways.
© 2017 HEARTFIRE PROJECT
ALL CONTENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HEARTFIRE PROJECT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE HEARTFIRE PROJECT.
• WEB DESIGN, ARTWORK AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOLLY HART . SEE MORE OF HER DESIGN WORK HERE: MOLLYHARTDESIGN.COM •