By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
It's hard to believe we're approaching the one year anniversary of the epic Birth 2012 event last year we co-created with our beloved planetary elder Barbara Marx Hubbard!
To mark the moment on December 22nd, we're creating a virtual Planetary Birthday of 4 hours with 32 of today's leading pioneers (Jean Houston, Neale Donald Walsch, Ed Begley Jr, Lynne McTaggart, etc) to celebrate our world's progress towards a new global culture.
We'll share hopeful signs, the vision for the road ahead, and hear from inspiring pioneers from Latin America to Australia to France.
It'll be intimate and joyful—just like the birthday of a one-year-old. Register here and feel free to create a local circle to listen in.
In this Catalyst, we're featuring a retrospective article from me on 2013, videos from Barbara and Tiffany Schlain that invite us into a positive view of our world's evolution, a piece from Louise Diamond—a long-time peacebuilder who is now offering her wisdom on transitioning/dying gracefully, plus a piece from our rock star grassroots leaders Bob Warner & Noel Marshall, who traveled to 48 states for the Birth and have continued this work.
A special thanks to Angel in Tucson, Ron & Victoria Friedman (see their beautiful dialogue feature below too), and the dozens of major hub leaders that made the Birth a special moment of unity for our world.
And for me, the most powerful piece in this issue comes to us from Pune, India, where Sister Lucy has been creating a center for battered women that is truly life-changing. She's been hailed by some as a next Mother Teresa and we encourage you to read the profile and donate to her center, where every dollar can truly save lives.
In our new Artist section we feature an Australian musician Murray Kyle with a wonderful interview with him talking about the shifts taking place and the role of music.
Happy Birthday Earth
On the event page for the Planetary Birthday, watch the special message from Barbara Marx Hubbard about the planetary birthday. And then leave your own message or blessing below via Facebook!
A Case for Optimism
'Future Starts Here' Ep. 8—'A Case for Optimism': Tiffany Shlain, award-winning filmmaker, speaker, and founder of The Webby Awards, looks through history to the present to amplify the notion that the world is actually getting better, and why "opticism"—optimism with a healthy dose of skepticism—can help push our future where we want it to go. We also recommend her Declaration of Interdependence open source video, which you can watch here.
While it is true that much of the world seemed to go about business as usual in 2013, we also saw remarkable signs of a tectonic shift now underway in our world, with a growing movement towards a unified global culture. I trust that the literally hundreds of prophecies related to 2012 as a turning point in the birth of a new era of global peace are pointing towards something profound—a shift in the very foundation of human consciousness on planet earth . . . [read more]
I have reached that moment when, for health and age reasons, it's time to bring my professional life to a gentle close. I am celebrating that passage by making my life's work available to all on a new/renewed website: www.louisediamond.com . . . [read more]
Looking in the rearview mirror after completing Birth2012 presentations in all 48 states and parts of Canada, we learned a lot about ourselves and others. After all, we did call it the "Conscious (Self) Evolution Tour." For a "fun" look at our tour, here is a 2-minute animation of our travels: Bob & Noel Birth2012 Tour . . . [read more]
I'm sitting in front of my iMac with a beautiful photo of Terra on my screen, a shy blue vulnerable sphere suspended in the incalculable, unimaginable, mysterious and magical vastness of Space. Its roundness is startling and makes me wonder about circles and spheres, spirals and tori and their insistent presence in creation. What of circles in our history, their unfailing appearance in our social and political structures for millennia? Are we imprinted with some archetypal template of evolution, some cosmic geometry, that we must reproduce an eternal "ring around the rosy"? It was a deep inner vision about the potential of a more conscious and creative human gathering in the round that launched the Vistar Foundation in 1994 . . . [read more]
Sister Lucy Kurien is the founder and director of Maher, a remarkable community and interfaith refuge for abused and destitute women and children, headquartered in Pune, India. Born and raised in Kerala, south India, Sr. Lucy is a Catholic nun who founded Maher as an interfaith community that honors all religions. In rural India—a society devastated by severe oppression of women, rigid caste distinction, religious segregation, and heartbreaking poverty—Maher offers a profound beacon of practical hope and inspiring solutions grounded in compassion and service. Maher has received little or no support, financial or otherwise, from the Church or other religious institutions. All quotations below are from Sr. Lucy Kurien, who has been hailed by some as the next Mother Teresa . . . [read more]
"American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard" – a new movie aimed at PBS will chronicle the great transformation happening on Earth today, through the life story of one of the world's most influential visionaries, Barbara Marx Hubbard. When you contribute to "American Visionary" you get special access to behind-the-scenes previews and more. To see the trailer and support the film – click here.
Twelve Nights of Peace – In the coldest, darkest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, it is an excellent time to turn inward and tend the inner soils, planting seeds for the harvest you wish to reap in the upcoming year. Some call the time between December 25th and January 5th the Holy Nights, a sacred time when the veils are thin and prayers are heard. Each night is thought to correspond to a month in the upcoming year. This year, PeaceRipples' second annual Twelve Nights of Peace will be honored with a synchronized moment of peace each day at 12 pm Pacific. Everyone is invited to both set intentions for their own personal journeys throughout the year as well as hold a collective vision of a thriving, just, sustainable planet for all. You are invited to participate! www.globalpeaceprayer.com
Tapping into Balinese Wisdom – For 21 years Cross Cultural Journeys has been taking people to cultures such as Bali, Cuba, Brazil, Turkey, Ethiopia and Bhutan that have much to teach us if we are open to exploring new ways of being. Tri Hitta Karana, the Balinese way of living in harmony with the natural world, with each other in community and with spirit, is a powerful example. To learn more about the learning journeys or to give a journey to a loved one this holiday season – click here.
Native American Music Award—benefit CD for the Wolf. Winners and nominees of the Native American Music Awards have come together to give their gift of song to honor and protect their brother and teacher, the Wolf. Featured artists such as; Jimmy Lee Young & co-writer Davide Buzzi of Switzerland, Austrian-based group Big City Indians, The Gray Wolf Blues Band, Jack Gladstone, Jan Michael Looking Wolf, Painted Raven, Joanne Shenandoah, Joseph FireCrow, Silverwolf, The Plentywolf Singers, Rushingwind and Mucklow, and Cal Silverfox have contributed beautiful and poignant songs for a CD compilation to benefit Gray Wolves and Wolf conservation centers. To learn more about and purchase the Wolf Benefit CD – click here.
The Mexico Peace Index has just been launched at press conference in Mexico City. The Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, analyses peace in all 32 Mexican states over the last decade. Explore the data on the interactive Mexico Peace Index map – click here.
SPIRITUAL LIFE TV CHANNEL – 10 NEW VIDEOS! … "Overview—Earth from Space" with Edgar Mitchell; "Spirituality That's Beyond Religion" with Olivia Hansen; "Embracing Israel and Palestine" with Rabbi Michael Lerner; "Spirituality in Action" with Philip Hellmich; "Inner River: A Pilgrimage" with Kyriacos Markides; "Intro to Easy Enlightenment" with Glenn Mullin ... and More! See SpiritualLifeTVChannel.com
Murray Kyle's music honors our collective connection as humans, and carries a message of love and gratitude for the earth, the sky, and the mountains. His latest album, Mountain Song, showcases his mystical shamanic sound and inspires joy and positive awareness with each note. Every song is a powerful prayer for peace and freedom for our ancestors and future generations. Take a sacred journey into the heart of existence and ignite your devotion to the earth – listen here.