Kellie and Heidi reunited for the first time after 20 years in 2009

Kellie and Heidi reunited for the first time after 20 years in 2009

The Heart Perception Project was founded by Kellie Newton and Heidi Petak, a tall girl and a short girl, who met in middle school in 1984 and became fast friends. They went their separate ways in college but soon after were reconnected, only to discover one of them lived in Seattle and identified herself as a non-theist, yoga and meditation-practicing liberal and the other lived in Tennessee and identified herself as a evangelical Christian conservative. When the November 2016 election rocked the U.S., it also threatened to rock their 30-year friendship. Instead, however, it launched them into a newfound desire to connect in a way that transcends their differences and then to teach others how to do the same.


Heidi Petak headshot chair.jpg

In hopes of making the world a kinder place, Heidi is a communication trainer who writes, speaks, and encourages others towards life-giving expression for deeper connection. She teaches communication courses at Williamson College and serves as Senior Creative for the innovative consulting company, Hippo Solutions. You can learn more about Heidi at her website,


Kellie Newton, BA, LMP

In her 20 year career as a massage therapist, Kellie has spent decades interacting with people in their most vulnerable and undefended states. Kellie has studied and benefitted from NonViolent Communication and Restorative Justice models of conflict resolution. She keeps herself psychologically and emotionally flexible through the Core Energetics personal growth model, and is currently training to become a practitioner of the discipline at the Seattle School of Body-Psychotherapy. You can learn more about Kellie at her website, SunSpace.