By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
I hope you and your family have had a wonderful start to the new year!
The new year is an ideal time to reflect on the previous year and to set goals for the year ahead. With the world news filled with chaotic stories, it is all the more important that we take care of ourselves so that we can better play a positive role in creating a world that works for all — including supporting our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock, helping bridge political divides, and protecting the environment.... (We will continue to monitor the situation at Standing Rock and encourage you to follow the Standing Rock news website – click here.)
Self care starts with supercharging your whole being... body, mind and soul. This is why we are offering our annual Winter of Wellness, a free program that starts January 11 and running through February 8, 2017. (To register free, click here.)
The Winter of Wellness has over 40 top wellness experts ready to share their practical wisdom with you, including David Wolfe, Donna Eden, David Crow, Joan Borysenko and Gregg Braden. We want to thank Dr. Robyn Benson for creating such a powerful summit!
In this edition of The Catalyst, we have an article about how the Standing Rock divest campaigns can stop future pipelines. We have two articles by Susan Audrey, one with David Crow and the other with Robert Moss. We have a beautiful article by Christopher Graefe with Linda DeHart about their innovative work: Art that Transcends in Our Digital World: The Story of Colors in Motion. You will love how they are using art to transform hospitals and public spaces into peaceful environments for promoting health and well being.
We have two Member Profiles, one from The Shift Network’s very own Kaeza Fearn. Kaeza serves on our summit’s team and she is an accomplished musician who collaborates with Christopher Graefe and Linda DeHart with Colors in Motion. Kaeza is also our Featured Artist celebrating her new releases, Inner Equinox and Autumn. Our second Member Profile is from Bob Berg who shares about his experience at Standing Rock where he joined a group of US veterans who supported the water protectors.
For Shift Philanthropy, we invite you to continue supporting our sisters and brothers at Standing Rock especially during this cold winter time.
Also, we are continuing with a special discount for our next Shift trip to India:A Sacred Pilgrimage to into the Soul of India — 17 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service — February 21 to March 9, 2017. This sacred pilgrimage will visit sacred sites in and around Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of yoga. It will include time at Anand Mehrotra’s Sattva Retreat and then the International Yoga Festival. I strongly encourage you to consider this trip of a lifetime! (To learn more, click here and see Featured Media and Movement News.)
As we head into this new year, let’s take care of ourselves and families and prepare to stay engaged in meaningful action as we move forward together.
Here is a 10-minute audio clip from a recent virtual course taught by David Crow full of expert tips on how to use essential oils for your respiratory health — including why they are such an effective remedy for protecting and helping to heal this part of the body. (See Featured Article for more information – click here.)
As banks begin to respond, environmental movements are learning the importance of speaking clearly about the financial risks of fossil fuel investment.
Sasja Beslik, head of sustainable finance at Nordea, one of the largest banks in Europe, recently traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on a fact-finding mission. Originally from Bosnia, Beslik has seen his share of war and says that the Oceti Sakowin Camp reminded him of a war zone.
Beslik says Nordea’s customers pressured the bank to investigate the situation. “My bank has received hundreds of emails and Facebook messages. It’s like a storm that is pushing the bank in a direction that the bank then needs to act on,” says Beslik. He says activism aimed at banks is common in Europe.
We can all agree that our surroundings are often overstimulating. Video news programs and animated advertising are ever more in our face due to an increasing number of large televisions and digital billboards in public spaces, on top of what we’re already taking in through our smartphones and computers.
Is it possible to shift this imbalance? How can we choose differently?
As the wheels of my bike led my body courageously down Mass Ave and across the Charles River into downtown Boston, I felt my spirit turn inward, reflecting on recent tragic events in the news. I was ready for transformation through the power of music. Seeking hope in our chaotic world, I pedaled hard, knowing that somehow these are the times we are made for!
Special $500 Discount: Shift Trip — A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India — Join the trip of a lifetime: 17 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service — February 21 to March 9, 2017. Imagine for a moment the fulfillment of a life-long dream in which you experience a soul-filled adventure that takes you not only into the depths of India — one of the most magical countries in the world — but also into deep and lasting communion with the Divine. A true pilgrimage of the heart. That dream can be yours with A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India, a journey undertaken with supportive allies, wise yogis and sacred friends. Discover a new template for grace. For holiness. For service. For Spirit. For finally experiencing a real “Heaven on Earth.” To learn more, click here.
The Convergence Series, co-sponsored by The Interspiritual Network, 1god.com, and Presence.tv, is a 13-week special radio series centering on the convergence of transformative arenas and disciplines worldwide as we enter this globalizing age. The Series host is Dr. Kurt Johnson of the Interspiritual Network, joined regularly by Ben Bowler of 1god.com and Doug King of Presence.tv. An episode guide is at the the 1god.com website. Shift's founder Stephen Dinan has been appeared on several episodes and will co-host the concluding episode on February 3. Philip M. Hellmich, Director of Peace at The Shift Network, hosted a conversation with James O’Dea and Emily Hine on January 5th. Deepak Chopra appears on January 12th. To learn more and to listen to all the recordings, click here.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing,as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World is Infused with visionary power, it’s a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
More than 18 million people have traveled to the tiny Bosnian village of Medjugorje to witness daily apparitions of the Virgin Mary and experience her healing powers. Author Judith Lambert, a skeptic, was among them. Events that occurred during her four pilgrimages there between 1986 and 1991, however, convinced her that Mary is not only present but “everyone’s goddess,” a culmination of the sacred feminine throughout history who loves and nurtures all of humanity. To learn more, click here.
Gandhi Searches for Truth: A Practical Biography for Children chronicles the path that led Gandhi from childhood to Mahatma-hood in 12 beautifully illustrated stories. Each chapter sheds light on a lesson about the power of nonviolence. For children and adults alike. Author Stephanie N. Van Hook is the Executive Director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and is trained in Montessori Early Childhood Education. To learn more, click here.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda— Now available on Netflix, Amazon and other livestream programs.Plus, DVDs available with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch and Japanese. Plus there are new film showings in Australia and United States! You also can bring Awake to your yoga studio or community. To learn more click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Yoga Day Summit, the recording is available for free.)
The Global Peace Index 2016 was released. The Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 countries on their peacefulness, has helped shift the world’s conversation about peace to a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. Highlights from the report:
Global inequality in peace has widened in 2016 as least peaceful countries spiral into increased violence
The world became less peaceful in 2016, reinforcing an underlying decade-long deterioration in world peacefulness driven primarily by increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy totalled $13.6 trillion or 13.3% of gross world product, equivalent to 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.
The economic impact of violence was $137 trillion over the last decade — greater than global GDP in 2015.
Refugees and displaced persons have risen dramatically over the last decade, doubling to approximately 60 million people between 2007 and 2016, nearly 1% of the world’s population.
Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country, followed by Denmark and Austria.
Syria is least peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
World Peace Library — Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
Write your health goals for 2017 on a piece of paper and then place it somewhere so you can read your goals every morning. If inspired, share your health goals with The Shift Network Facebook community – click here.
• Caroline Casey 7-week course
• Jean Shinoda Bolen 7-week course
• Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Tom Condon & Russ Hudson 10-week course
• Andrew Harvey 12-week course
• Hank Wesselman 4-month program
• Rabbi David Ingber 4-month program
• Anodea Judith 6-month program
• Transforming Aging Summit
• Plant Medicine Summit
• Mark Matousek 7-week course
• Richard Miller 7-week course • Robert Moss 7-week course
• HeatherAsh Amara 7-week course
• Jessica Dibb 6-month program
Stand with Standing Rock — It is winter and it is extremely cold at Standing Rock. We strongly encourage you to continue supporting our sisters and brothers at Standing Rock by making a donation to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: click here.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — We want to acknowledge the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for their leadership and commitment to a nonviolent approach to DAPL. To learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, click here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.
I have had the delight of working with Kaeza Fearn for the past five years. Kaeza is part of The Shift Network’s summits team and I have come to greatly appreciate how she combines skillful brilliance with soul qualities of patience, love and compassion. Kaeza’s professionalism and depth of heart comes in part from her years of musical training and performance. In her profile article, Musical Portals, Kaeza shares about her efforts to balance artistic inspiration and technical discipline, all in an effort to create beautiful music that makes a positive impact on the people around her and the larger world. Kaeza recently released Inner Equinox, and a vocal pieceAutumn, a setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem celebrating the beauty of fall. Kaeza also loves to facilitate Sacred circle dance, also called global circle dance, which uses simple steps in sequences to invite people into a deep realm of interconnection, inner balance and flow. Kaeza is a real gem in The Shift Network community. To learn more about Kaeza and listen to her music, click here.