2021 Catalyst, Issue 11 – Shamanic Wisdom Summit
Shift Network Update
By HeatherAsh Amara, Shawna Bluestar Newcomb, and Michael Stone,
co-hosts of the Shamanic Wisdom Summit
Do you find yourself disconnected from your compassionate heart and wisdom, especially when you’re afraid or confused or scattered? So often we get caught in what we call linear living — checking off boxes, trying to do things “right,” postponing our own healing, joy, and peace until we get through our To Do list (or lose 10 pounds or find the right partner)...
It’s time for us to come back to the transformative power of cyclical living: mindfully honoring the unending circle of birth and death, day and night, ebb and flow, action and rest, body and soul. And to do this, we need guidance from the elders, wisdom keepers, and mystics of our time.
Modern living tends to disconnect us from our roots. But when we reconnect with the ancient gifts of ceremony, cycles, and creativity, we step back into conscious choice in our relationship to life. We heal past trauma, separation, and dis-ease, and return to our natural, whole, aligned, vibrant self.
All earth-based wisdom traditions around the world are dedicated to guiding humans to align with their natural state of connection and joy, as you’ll find out for yourself during the free Shamanic Wisdom Summit that we are honored to host from July 19 to 23.
You’ll discover that when you slow down and listen to elders and mystics from a variety of diverse traditions, you will return to the deep, innate wisdom you may have forgotten. In a time that can feel hopeless, overwhelming, or downright scary, the resiliency, playfulness, and big-picture perspective of modern elders and earth-based healers will inspire you to reconnect with nature and your own wild wisdom.
We hope you’ll join us for the seventh annual 5-day Shamanic Wisdom Summit. Each conversation with our 40 wisdom keepers and mystics from around the world contain many revelations and support for inner renewal.
This year’s circle includes Grandmother Flordemayo, don Jose Ruiz, Sandra Ingerman, Queen Mother and Qi Dada, Dr. Alberto Villoldo and Marcela Lobos, Puma Fredy Quispe Singona, Great-Grandmother Mary Lyons, Thomas Hübl, Resmaa Menakem, and many more. We are so excited to share them with you!
You can register for this free 5-day summit here. Be prepared to have your heart and eyes opened to new possibilities — and gain transformational tools to ground you in the present moment, with love and grace.
The uplifting stories in this issue’s “The Nicest Thing” section come from summit hosts Michael Stone, HeatherAsh Amara, and Shawna Bluestar Newcomb, as well as from summit speaker Elder Dr. Dave Courchene.
Michael Stone: Welcome, everyone. I’m so glad you could join us. I’m Michael Stone. I’m here with Shawna Bluestar and HeatherAsh Amara, and we are thrilled. We’re bringing you, for the first time, five full days of speakers. After seven years, we’ve expanded, we’ve brought in all kinds of new people, new fields. I’m going to be talking to, of course, the people who have been around many times, Sandra Ingerman, Alberto Villoldo...
To watch this 3-minute video and read the rest of your invitation from our three esteemed co-hosts, click here.
We are seeking unique and talented individuals for important positions at The Shift Network. If you're inspired and passionate about joining our team, please click here for more information about these positions. The Shift Network is committed to creating a diverse environment and is an equal-opportunity employer.
The Nicest Thing
In this special video series, prominent authors, thought leaders, and others answer the question, “What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?”
Caroline Myss’ Story
Bestselling spiritual author
EXCERPT: And she, of course, was a scholar on Eastern religions, and she was just this brilliant scholar, she studied in the East. And I was not passing her course. And here’s the thing. It didn’t occur to me to study. I thought, Why am I not passing the course? And it never occurred to me to study. And she stopped me and she said, “You’re not doing well in my course. You have a very good mind and it’s unfortunate no one’s taught you how to use it.”
To watch the video and read the transcript of Caroline’s 3-minute tribute to the mentor who changed the trajectory of her life, click here.
EXCERPT: And so it was Christmas Eve Day, and I was hitchhiking in Spain. And I’m standing there on the road, with my thumb out, and here comes a cop. And I’m going, Oh my God, I’m going to spend Christmas Eve in jail. And he comes over to me, and he says, “Come with me.” And so I had my pack and my guitar, and I go off, and he takes me to a bar. And he tells the bartender to give me whatever I want, and of course, everyone’s celebrating; it’s Christmas Eve. And I thought, Wow, well, okay.
To watch the video and read the transcript of Michael’s 4-minute story of the best Christmas ever, click here.
EXCERPT: And he made the announcement that he was disbanding our group, and that he was setting us all free. And I was in complete shock for days after that. And I remember sitting and just being like, This can’t be happening, this is my family. And I fought it for a while, and really tried to hold people together and to figure out how could we continue.
To watch the video and read the transcript of HeatherAsh’s 5-minute story about coming to terms with a blessing in disguise, click here.
EXCERPT: I do feel a lot of gratitude for specifically Grandmother Flordemayo. I feel like that really was a turning point when I had the opportunity to meet her years ago. And I feel like just at the time I had grown up as a really sensitive child opening to my spiritual gifts, but not really ever fully having a lot of guidance around it.
To watch the video and read the transcript of Shawna’s 2-minute tribute to her mentor and guide, click here.
EXCERPT: I remember this beggar on a street and everyone was avoiding him and going around him. I remembered this teaching that this grandmother had given me as I was being taught about our way of life as a people. And then she says, “Don’t you ever, ever avoid the homeless people, the people that are disadvantaged. Don’t ever avoid them.”
To watch the video and read the transcript of Dave’s 12-minute reflection on how he learned two foundational life lessons, click here.
The word “naga” means different things. It is a Sanskrit term, and it is used to express one of the aspects of the serpent; and so the serpent is used as a metaphor, or as an animal spirit form of the naga that we can see. Naga, as I said, means many things. In my language, breathing is called naga, and naga also means naked, like the serpent is naked, they have nothing, not even an eye lid to cover their eyes, everything is open; there is nothing to hide. So nagas are very important spirits. In our Nepalese traditions we often make offerings to them. To read more, click here.
You Are Magnetic
By Shift faculty Robert Moss
Whatever you think and feel, the universe says Yes. The more strongly you think and feel, the stronger and faster the response it likely to be. It may come in ways you do not expect, since quite often you are unaware of the thoughts and desires you are carrying below your surface mind. The response may knock you back because you live in a world of contending energies and the force lines of your hopes and fears and ambitions may excite opposition. Click here to read more.
Birthing Children as the World is Coming Apart
By Nadirah Adeye, Shift Network Senior Course Manager
The world is burning. These fools have set the damn ocean on fire. A pandemic is still raging around us. Not even a year ago, we spent weeks living under an orange/red sky. And in the midst of all of that, I am pregnant. Purposefully, consciously, deliberately, and sacredly pregnant. Our family will welcome this new little being any day now.
Why? In a society where Black people have been roaring, “Stop killing us. We matter.” and there are people who still balk at the statement, why would anyone choose to deliberately bring another child into the world? A Black male child at that? To read more, click here.
Why We Are Headed for a Brutal Fall With Delta Covid-19
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
I wish I didn’t have to write this. I’ve been optimistic that we had effectively beaten the coronavirus pandemic (at least in the United States) and that we could safely move on. But I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week analyzing available information on the Delta variant and the scenario in front of us, coming to shocking conclusions. I’m going to lay out the fact pattern and the math that points towards a brutal fall season for the United States (and much of the rest of the world). To read more, click here.
Racial Healing & Justice
Join Our Healing Journey From Intention to Action
A note from Rev. Dr. Aliah MaJon, Chief Inclusion Officer for The Shift Network:
It's obvious that this section of Catalyst is focused on Racial Healing and Justice because the title tells you that, but today I am delighted to be able to share with you — and celebrate — that a conscious shift is underway for our company (pun intended)!
Up to now, the offerings I’ve curated here have mostly been educational, historical, informative, or newsworthy. However, starting with this issue, I will be adding a generous sprinkling of items that shine a light on the actual “how to” of what can be done to move from intention to action regarding racial healing and other related and relevant issues for the times that we are living through. The Shift Network has embarked on a journey of transformation and you are invited to join us. Expanded learning is definitely in order for this journey, and as a team we are committing to paying careful attention to things such as:
- Working to Transform Racism
- The Power of Truth-Telling
- Healing Cultural Appropriation
- Utilizing Restorative Practices
- Bettering Our Inclusion Policies
- Inspiring More Future-Building
- Celebrating Intergenerational Exchange
- Giving Back to Truly Make a Difference
What you can expect from this point forward will include suggestions for what you can actually do, where you might go to get started — beginning with us — and how to connect with others who are like-minded, welcoming of collaboration, and happy to have all of our participation.
When I began as the Chief Inclusion Officer a year ago, one of the first things that was presented to me was the company's desire to make changes in the area of cultural appropriation. I consider it an honor to get to lead such an effort. What started as a series of meetings to gain more information turned into a full-fledged internal initiative last October, and is still very much underway. In fact, the work being carried out by myself and my partners, who are both internal as well as respected Wisdom Keepers, greatly influenced the annual Shamanic Wisdom Summit we’re featuring in this edition. Listen here to a special talk from the three hosts of the Summit and myself, which was created to invite the Shift Community and Friends of Shift to listen to one of the important conversations that took place as a proactive approach to healing.
And, speaking of healing cultural appropriation, I also convened a Wisdom Keepers Council where several of us engaged in a Roundtable Discussion to arrive at a greater understanding of the topic — and make suggestions for changes, solutions, and bridge-building. One of the people who joined us for the Roundtable is my personal friend and the teacher who introduced me to Lakota ways, Beverly Little Thunder. This connection is important to me and is, literally, personal because my motivation to facilitate healing comes out of my direct experiences with Beverly and other Indigenous leaders. I was taught about respect, spirit, nature, and even myself over several years while deeply taking part in Lakota tradition. Here is a short clip from Beverly Little Thunder from the Wisdom Keepers Roundtable.
Your “how to” items are below. I am starting small to allow you the space to take them in and act upon those that feel right for you. And, lastly, may I remind you again about the "Transform Racism" initiative that was launched in May? Please sign up to hear about what we are doing as we build momentum and assemble into a community over the summer. We’re gearing up for many new offerings designed for learning and healing that we hope you will find of interest.
Until next time, be well. And feel free to let us know what was most useful from this section!
What Is Cultural Appreciation (And How It’s Different From Cultural Appropriation)?
Halloween costumes. Sports mascots. We’re surrounded by examples of cultural appropriation. But where’s the line between appreciating another culture and appropriating it? What even is cultural appropriation, and why is it a problem? Click here to read this helpful article on the Preemptive Love website.
Click here to read “Cultural Appropriation vs Appreciation While Traveling” on the Greenheart Travel website.
Every Time I Hear a Land Acknowledgment...
By Wizipan Little Elk
About a year and half ago, a Lakota friend texted me saying he was attending a gathering at a prestigious university, and it began with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. "What’s that about?” he asked. I told him it was a practice that was popping up in the “woke” crowd. We both agreed it was a good practice, but that words without action are meaningless. Click here to read this thought-provoking article. Click here to read an interview with Wizipan Little Elk.
The Little Book of Racial Healing
This book introduces Coming to the Table’s approach to a continuously evolving set of purposeful theories, ideas, experiments, guidelines, and intentions, all dedicated to facilitating racial healing and transformation. People of color, relative to white people, fall on the negative side of virtually all measurable social indicators. The “living wound” is seen in the significant disparities in average household wealth, unemployment and poverty rates, infant mortality rates, access to healthcare and life expectancy, education, housing, and treatment within, and by, the criminal justice system. Click here for more information.
Click here to download a 6-page handout from The Racial Healing Handbook; Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing, by Anneliese A. Singh.
Click here to watch a 3-minute video about this book.
PBS KIDS Talk About | Race, Racism & Identity
How do you have serious conversations with your kids? In "PBS KIDS Talk About: Race, Racism, and Identity," real families sat down to have honest conversations about these important topics in an age-appropriate way and offer viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home. Click here to watch this kid-friendly 11-minute video.
Systemic Racism Explained
Systemic racism affects every area of life in the U.S. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here’s a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it. Click here to watch this viral 4-minute video.
Liberating Race Podcast
Now is the time. We have an opportunity to unlearn deeply ingrained ideas about race. By naming what creates and maintains racial divides, we can challenge and heal harmful narratives and structures designed to keep people from self-actualization. We can use restorative practices to repair the collective traumas of racism.
Rev. Dr. Aliah MaJon, The Shift Network’s Chief Inclusion Officer, is co-host of the Liberating Race podcast alongside Joy Donnell and Gillian Shelley. In this one-minute clip from our What Is Race? episode, you will hear Aliah share her perspective on how the idea of race functions as a way to erase the depth and nuance of a human being.
This podcast is an invitation to all those who are willing to take this journey and be architects of the process of racial healing. Evolution is a stretch, but our convictions matter.
— Aliah MaJon
I Almost Didn’t Live to See This Day
By bestselling spiritual author Caroline Myss
Your life can end at any minute. At any second it can be over... Your life is here until it’s not. Every day is this very precious experience of being here. When we’re given these incredible blessings, we should find a way to bless someone else with them. We should pass it on. We should open the way to turn blessings into something we pass along like a string of pearls. Click here to watch this profoundly moving 17-minute video.
Sacred America, Sacred World
Infused with visionary power, this book by Stephen Dinan, Shift Network’s co-founder and CEO, is 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.
Sacred America, Sacred World is so crucial to the times we’re in that we are serializing it in every issue of Catalyst. You can read the third installment (as well as the previous one) here.
For Those Who Don’t Know Chocolate
By Amirah Al Wassif
Amirah Al Wassif is an eye opener. Her poetry pulls no punches — a vision of a world turned on its head, through no fault of those who must reside there. These are the words of one who has experienced more than her age would indicate. Her engagement with her themes, her subjects, rolls an extremely personal take in a universal wrapper. This book speaks for the poor and the minority around the globe, and the human rights and feminist issues as well, Readers will come away with greater appreciation for the beauty in our world and greater indignation at the outrages committed against it. Click here to order your copy.
Plant medicines are a woman’s ally to achieve optimal health; they bring balance and nourishment to daily life and can reduce or eliminate symptoms of physical and emotional distress. They can also provide alternatives to many pharmaceuticals. This go-to herbal sourcebook gives women the tools to thrive throughout their lives, with remedies using common herbs and plants to support a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Leslie Korn brings over forty years of experience in numerous herbal traditions and healing modalities, offering timeless wisdom in this herbal companion that can be shared with friends and passed down in the family for generations. Click here for more information.
For several years, The Shift Network has hosted Indigenous leaders from around the world and invited them to share their sacred knowledge, rituals, and practices to guide us in a way of living that is sustainable, healthy, and just. We’re thus delighted that the Global Indigenous Wisdom Library makes this “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere for free.
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 want to give a heartfelt thanks to Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (“Brother Phil”) for his partnership in helping create this Indigenous Wisdom collection. And we thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge. To discover more, click here.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
Activate a New Level of Reality With Energy Medicine for Accelerated Healing & Manifestation — A free video event with internationally renowned author, speaker, and intuitive healer Cyndi Dale. Undergo a powerful guided visualization to identify a degenerative or generative force within you — and experience the healing of unconditional love from balancing this force while transforming a physical or emotional challenge. Wednesday, July 21, at 5:30pm Pacific
Discover Your Vagus Nerve as an Energetic Healing Pathway to Optimal Wellbeing — A free video event with Eden Energy Medicine advanced practitioner and Doctor of Oriental Medicine Dr. Melanie Smith. Explore how to use energy medicine practices paired with Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques to tap into the vagus nerve — to boost your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Saturday, July 24, at 10:00am Pacific
Merging the Wild & Wise Woman Within for Renewed Passion, Power & Purpose — A free video event with Shift Network co-founder Devaa Haley Mitchell, spiritual mentor and guide, sound healer, and musician. Celebrate the full spectrum of your Sacred Self with a guided journey into the realms of the Mature Primal Goddess... rekindling and catalyzing the magic, courageousness, and raw authenticity of your Divine Feminine flame. Wednesday, July 28, at 5:30pm Pacific
Using Your Medical Intuition to Create Enduring Healing — A free video event with award-winning author and internationally recognized teacher of medical intuition Tina Zion. Discover why lifelong healing must first happen on an energetic, non-physical level — and begin releasing and healing a current physical or emotional pain by discerning when it originated through a powerful body scan. Saturday, July 31, at 10:00am Pacific
The Science and Practice of Heart Coherence — With Rollin McCraty, PhD, HeartMath Institute’s Director of Research. Adopt scientifically proven techniques to help you find calm in any circumstance... increase your immunity... gain a renewed sense of vitality, focus, and unconditional love... and activate the power of your inner guidance. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Monday, July 19
Rhythms and Myths of the Sacred Frame Drum — With multifaceted teacher, frame drummer, and independent researcher Krista Holland. Learn to play the frame drum by immersing yourself in its techniques and ancient cross-cultural history... to remember your connection to your original somatic rhythm — the universal experience of the original heartbeat — and experience it as part of the symphony of life and the rhythm we’re all part of. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, July 27
Connect With the Language of Your Body to Heal on a Quantum Level — With energy medicine practitioner, shamanic teacher, and author Mona Delfino. Delve into your past and the constructed patterns that live deep in your cellular memory — so you can cultivate vibrant health as you open up to your true essence within. Read your body’s energy and use intuitive medicine to heal dis-ease. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Thursday, July 29
Activate Your Inner Healing Elixirs With the 10 Phases of Qi Cultivation & Mastery — With Roger Jahnke, Doctor of Chinese Medicine and the director of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi. Cultivate Qigong and breath practices to activate your three dantians — to heal and empower yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, August 4
Catalyst Back Issues
Click here to see all previous issues of Catalyst.