[Catalyst 1 - 2016] Winter of Wellness & Feminine Spirituality
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
I hope the New Year has started off well, with many blessings for you and your loved ones.
My beloved wife Devaa Haley Mitchell and I began the year with a weeklong cleanse at a retreat in Mexico. We feel that in order to fully manifest our gifts in the world it is essential that we take care of ourselves — body, mind and soul.
With this in mind, The Shift Network is once again starting the New Year with the Winter of Wellness, which is promising to be our most inspiring yet.
This free online summit will begin January 19th with over 40 of the world’s wellness experts, including don Miguel Ruiz, Caroline Myss, John Gray, Ph.D, JJ Virgin, and David Crow. You can learn how to address chronic pain, use herbs as medicine, reboot your energy, get in great shape and find relief from the stress that prevents you from living your full potential. To register free, click here.
We want to thank our Winter of Wellness host Dr. Robyn Benson, Founder of the Self-Care Revolution. Robyn has done a masterful job in designing the Winter of Wellness to truly serve all of us. (See Featured Article) We also are republishing Robyn’s profile where she shares how the death of her brother inspired her to become a compassionate world-renowned healer.
We love Robyn’s authentic, caring presence and deep wisdom and you’ll love her too. (See Member Profiles).
David Crow, a master acupuncturist and herbalist, also provided an insightful article in this issue on the use of medicinal plants for renewing yourself. (See Featured Articles)
In this edition of The Catalyst, we also are featuring the role of the divine feminine in helping humanity come into its full potential, as we believe the health of humanity depends on the rebalancing of masculine and feminine.
My beloved wife Devaa has provided a wonderful piece on 5 New Year's Practices for Womento Experience More Presence, Passion & Joy in 2016. We also have a beautiful video and guided meditation from Miranda Macpherson about landing in grace; a profound article by our own Susan Audrey in a conversation with Jean Shinoda Bolen about discovering your signature Goddess; a powerful article by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Paola Di Florio (director of the film Awake: The Life of Yogananda) about the Goddess being back; and, an insightful piece by Sharon G. Mijares about deepening the women’s movement.
We hope you enjoy the new format of many of the pieces as we are launching a new Shift blog to bring you even more free insights that you can immediately apply in your daily life.
For Shift Philanthropy, we are highlighting the Global Gratitude Alliance (previously known as the Gracias Foundation). Also, we want to celebrate the start of The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence on January 30 – April 4. We highly encourage you to join in this annual global celebration of nonviolence. (See Movement News)
As a reminder, you are invited to join Devaa, Philip Hellmich, myself and other wonderful team leaders on A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India — 14 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service February 29 to March 14, 2016. (To learn more, click here.)
Grace, the living presence of the Divine, comes alive through your surrender . . . Yet surrender is not a thing that you can DO. Rather, it is a melting of the mind. This happens naturally when you allow everything to be exactly as it is. To learn more, click here.
It is a New Year and a time for both reflection and renewal. The start of a new year is a wonderful opportunity to pause, soul search and create the year and life your heart desires. As the host of the Winter of Wellness 2016, the Shift's most popular yearly summit, I am confident you will find the answers you are seeking to live optimally and with excellent health from 39 of the world's leading wellness professionals.
This season, would you like to increase your immunity, elevate your mood and successfully set your intentions for the year ahead? If so, I want to share with you some sacred and effective uses of medicinal plants and herbs for renewal and rejuvenation during the winter months.
The holidays can often be an overwhelming time... especially for women.
However, if we look beyond the frenetic buzz, there’s often a desire to replenish ourselves and create a fresh chapter in the new year. We have the chance to start anew — with 12 months ahead to create and explore so many opportunities.
Think back to your childhood. What games or activities did you enjoy?
Playing mother to your favorite doll? Climbing a tree in the backyard? Or, maybe, you had your nose in a book, lost in a great adventure.
The activities we gravitated to as children can reveal a lot about us — our temperament, our passions, and especially what we’re really like on the inside.
I’ve been contemplating whether women are uniquely qualified to make an unprecedented impact on world peace, equitable prosperity and climate change. A panel of female spiritual, religious and scientific leaders took the stage last October to discuss these very issues at the 2015 first-ever “Women’s Assembly” at the Parliament of World Religions. Four thousand women and men from across the globe came together to discuss a new paradigm for living and to address a feeling shared by many: that the world has lost its way. As a filmmaker who is exploring the role of women in a new planetary leadership movement, I packed my camera and joined them.
Humanity stands at a threshold. The presence of women will facilitate its crossing for it is the feminine archetype that manifests the capacity to love one’s neighbor as oneself and embody our relationship with Nature.
Far too many women are burdened by poverty or enticed by glamour. Many women spend an entire day simply fetching water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, whereas other women spend hours on media pursuits that simply entertain and divert attention from more important needs. There are also women in many parts of this globe who support the gathering of women in order to create needed change.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.”
Have you ever stepped back to take a look at your life? I mean a real good look at your journey and everything about it — the ups, the downs, the times of sorrow and loss, and the times of euphoria and bliss? If you have, then maybe you’ve seen how all of those great moments including those filled with adversity have shaped you and prepared you for the day when you would step into your life’s great calling.
The Happiness Track - Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience —research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, mindfulness —Dr. Emma Seppälä, science director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, shows that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally. Filled with practical advice on how to apply these scientific findings to our daily lives, The Happiness Track is a life-changing guide to fast tracking our success and creating the anxiety-free life we want. For more information, click here.
Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art — Kurt Johnson is co-editor of a new book from Yale University Press on genius in the arts and science: Fine Lines. The book examines, with additional world-class essayists and copious illustrations, the "fine lines" between the muses of art and science — the worlds of subjective and objective "knowing". Famed Russian-American novelist, and scientist, Vladimir Nabokov looms primary, in a detailed probing of the multi-levels of the human drama in his famous books Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, and the like. This complexity is juxtaposed with previously unseen materials from his 3000 pages of scientific journaling (from archives at the New York Public Library and Harvard). To learn more, click here.
A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India — 14 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service — February 29 to March 14, 2016. Join His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati, Stephen Dinan, Devaa Haley Mitchell, Philip Hellmich, Sandra de Castro Buffington, Karuna Ashley, Kurt Johnson, AmyJo Mattheis, Julia Maryanska and other Shift Network community members. In this journey of a lifetime, we will be participating in the International Yoga Festival, Kumbh Mela, Holy Arti Ceremonies, service activities and more. To learn more, click here.
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) commences on January 30, in cities across the globe. The annual 64 day campaign, co-founded in 1998 by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To learn about the many ways you, your school and community can participate, click here.
Free: Nonviolence for Beginners, the free online 8-week course by Metta Center. To learn more, click here. We wish you much success in contributing peace to the world!
The Spiritual Life TV Channel features free wisdom teachings from many spiritual traditions and gives a practical focus that shows how a person can use these teachings to live a more spiritual life. New videos feature: James O’Dea, Edgar Mitchell, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marilyn Schlitz, Gleen Mullin, Stephen Dinan, Philip Hellmich, and more! To learn more, click here.
Iran! Splendors of the Persian Empire — April 3–16, 2016 — Tehran, Kerman, Yazd, Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan and Kashan. Join Cross Cultural Journeys on an odyssey to the Republic of Iran, commonly called Persia by the West. A multicultural nation with many ethnic and linguistic groups (mostly Shi’ites), this ancient country straddles Eurasia, Western Asia, the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Iran has played a vital role in the Islamic Golden Age, producing hundreds of influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. To learn more, click here.
Positive Peace Report 2015 — Positive Peace is a transformational approach to achieving development, resilience and peace. It offers an alternative perspective to identify and measure long-term investments that create an optimum environment for human potential to flourish. The Positive Peace Report 2015 analyses the factors that build sustainable peace, and includes a statistical analysis of Positive Peace in 162 countries, covering 99 per cent of the world’s population. It is the first global, quantitative approach to defining and measuring Positive Peace and is based on the social factors that have the strongest statistically significant relationships with the absence of violence.To learn more, click here.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda— 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 Awaketo 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.)
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.
Thrive Market has a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. Thrive is a membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver the world’s best healthy food and natural products to our members at wholesale prices and to sponsor free Thrive memberships for low-income American families that do not have access to healthy food. To learn more, click here.
Melita Silberstein is a singer-songwriter of ceremonial music, including music for children, which she performs as part of the group Octopretzel. Melita is passionate about eco-consciousness and her study of eco psychology greatly informs her music. Light Within is her brand new album of 13 beautiful, original and traditional songs that are prayers from the heart. Her sweet voice will take you on a deep journey to reconnect you with your authentic truth, joy and magic. To listen to Melita’s music, click here.