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HeARTh: Whats in a name? Hearth, ART and Maslow's Theory.

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

When I first started to work for HeARTh, I was so curious about the name. Why Hearth? What does that even mean? Why ART capitalized? Why all the slogans underneath? I just didn't quite get it. I quickly learned, Our Executive Director, and my mentor, is a woman of many words. She loves the play on words, she even makes up phrases and words. I have now discovered that people like that are visionary people. Someone who writes their own script and makes up words like "thrive-a-bility" and "social-benefit". In fact,the Directors here have the strongest "can-do" attitude I've ever seen. That theme of "can-do" seems to be ever present at HeARTh. I didn't understand all what HeARTh encompassed then, but I've been here almost a year now, and I'm catching on. I'm catching the vision. There's so much to share about all the plans in the works here, but I need to start somewhere. So let me share what I've learned about the name.


Why HeARTh?

Hearth is defined as literally "the floor of the fireplace at the centre of the home, The hearth provides warmth and light, food and protection". Historically, the hearth Symbolizes love, fertility and life. It's a physical place where the family comes to be nourished. I can't see where the fertility part fits in at all although this organization is founded and run by women, who are mothers, so really it all fits so nicely.

It didn't take long for me understand that this organization I was hired onto, that provides support services for special needs and individuals struggling with addiction, was providing that sense of love and light. And Yes of course sometimes food, and warmth, and most importantly nourishment for the soul. Healing really. The staff here really do strive to provide a sense of belonging and creating a place to gather. We, as staff are working hard to provide intentional programming and support, to live up to the slogans and name. Even though the actual building has been under some sort of renovation since I've started here, the energy of gathering and warmth has remained constant. It's funny, there's this chair at the front door that when you walk in it's the first thing you see, and before the pandemic, there was almost always someone sitting there, ready to greet me or friends visiting and chatting. So far HeARTh has lived up to it's name. We aren't a perfect by any means. We have lots more work to do in creating and physically building, but we are on a forward momentum.


Why the ART in HeARTh?

It's actually not just because it looks cool, because it does. It's the next message and the deeper meaning within the word. The slogan underneath says the "the art of being " HeARTh has a holistic way of operating that gets people out of current and limiting boxes to discover new possibilities in the ART of “being.”


Holistic way? What does that mean?

Just like anything great, the systems and holistic approaches were created from borrowing from the best teachings, and adapting them to work as a system. HeARTh has developed a model of care based in: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Aboriginal teachings,and the Medicine Wheel, . This system also includes and a philosophy of outward accountability, self-reliance and sustainability. That's quite the collection. But for this post today, lets showcase Maslow's Hierarchy of need.

According to Maslow, when a lower need is met, the next need on the hierarchy becomes our focus of attention. HeARTh has set up systems for individuals who have had deficits or they feel they have been lacking in one of the above needs. We work out plan to support individuals in filling those needs. Maslow's theory is quite interesting, I found a really good article here to more fully explain each level.


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