[Catalyst 14 - July 9, 2017] Inspiring Positive Social Change

By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network

On July 4, I traveled with my beloved wife, Devaa, and our newborn daughter, Sienna Rose, to Sacramento, California, to celebrate “InterDependence Day,” which we had activated as an upgrade to the way we celebrate July 4th. Here’s a great clip from local news about the main event.

Part of the impulse for this day came from my book Sacred America, Sacred World. I believe it’s time for America to go to the next level of caring for ALL our citizens. Independence is an important stage of development, but it focuses on what separates us rather that the higher ground that unites us. Interdependence recognizes that we are all interconnected and truly need each other.

It was such a delight to be with my budding family as well as with new amazing friends and allies in Sacramento gathered to celebrate diversity, inclusion, innovation and civic participation. We heard live music and inspiring talks by local civic leaders. We danced, played and participated in a range of uplifting activities all focused toward positive social engagement.

I just love that Devaa and I could introduce our precious Sienna Rose to a community of people all focused on being engaged in positive efforts to create a healthy, vibrant society that works for all.

Along this line, earlier in the year we reached out to hundreds of Shift Community members to ask your thoughts about what is taking place in the world and what you want us to offer during the Summer of Peace — our annual free offering to the world.

The first question we asked was, “When you think about the world today, what words best describe your emotional response?” Many people expressed “concern, anxiety and fear,” and others said “hope and inspiration.” One person replied, “Excitement — an opportunity to do something valuable to cause change if someone can show me how.”

It is for these reasons that we are offering Inspiring Positive Social Change: Cutting-edge Insights from Spirituality, Neuroscience and Peacebuilding, which kicks off July 11 and 12 and then occurs every Tuesday through September 5. (To register for free, click here.)

Designed as a 2-day kickoff event, followed by a weekly series, Inspiring Positive Social Change will teach you invaluable techniques in stress reduction, overcoming fear and self-doubt, developing self-esteem, cultivating compassion and forgiveness, communication skills, community peacebuilding, conscious activism and living from a place of inner resilience and Oneness.

Inspiring Positive Social Change will feature Andrew Harvey (author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism), James O’Dea (author of The Conscious Activist), Audri Scott Williams (Indigenous elder running for U.S. Congress), Shariff Abdullah (author of Creating a World That Works for All), Melanie Greenberg (President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding), Dr. Cassandra Vieten (President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences), Ajahn Sulak Sivaraksa (one of the founders of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists) and many more amazing peacebuilders, scientists and spiritual teachers!

In this edition of The Catalyst, we’re featuring lengthy excerpts from Philip Hellmich’s Q&As with author and sacred activist Andrew Harvey and with president and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences Dr. Cassandra Vieten.

You’ll also find a recap of the International Day of Yoga that was held at the United Nations in New York City on June 20-21; compelling articles by Reem Ghunaim and Al Jubitz of The Rotarian Action Group for Peace on the organization’s peacebuilding efforts; and Dr. Shariff Abdullah on developing the imagination to envision a world that works for all beings… and the courage to make it so.

In our Featured Media, you’ll find a video clip showcasing the first annual “Interdependence Day,” which was held in Sacramento on the Fourth of July; a collection of short videos related to the Rewiring the Brain for Peace project, which studies the intersection of neuroscience, spirituality and peacebuilding; and an online newspaper article and video on Frank Thacker, a Rhode Island peacebuilder.

Our Member Profiles feature the same Frank Thacker, the founder of The Summer of Peace in Westerly, Rhode Island; and Robert Atkinson, who encourages us all to take the Oneness Pledge: “In all my thoughts and actions, I pledge to look upon all things with the eye of oneness.”

Our Featured Artist is India.Arie, whose new album, “SongVersation: Medicine,” offers a soulful extension of her acclaimed 2013 “SongVersation” album.

We would love to hear your answer to the question, “How do you make a difference in your community?” To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

Our Shift Philanthropy section features Alliance for Peacebuilding, a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries.

Please be sure to check out Inspiring Positive Social Change, which launches July 11-12. We put extensive time and energy into creating a free online series that will provide practical insights and skills that can be applied to your daily life — in your family, friendships, business partnerships and service in the world.

Interdependence Day

As a California-inspired upgrade to Independence Day, people gathered in Sacramento on July 4, 2017 for the first annual “Interdependence Day” to celebrate diversity, inclusion, innovation and civic participation.

The Interdependence Day celebration is part of a larger California Campaign 2020 — a four-year education, engagement and training campaign of statewide partners, including The Shift Network, that culminates on September 21, 2020.

As Shift Network’s Stephen Dinan explains in the news segment video, “This is a celebration of our unity and diversity and an opportunity for us to really bring out the best of what America represents. Independence is a stage en route to Interdependence, where we recognize that we are essentially dependent on each other as well as being independent.”

To watch a brief news segment on the event, click here. To discover more about Interdependence Day, click here.

Rewiring the Brain for Peace

Why is it important to rewire our brains for peace? That’s the question put to two leaders of Alliance for Peacebuilding, a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries. This 4-minute video features president and CEO Melanie Greenberg and Béatrice Pouligny, PhD, co-directors of Rewiring the Brain for Peace, which studies the intersection of neuroscience, spirituality and peacebuilding.

Below this video, you’ll find seven additional videos (each of which is two or three minutes long) addressing these related questions:

  • How Can Spiritual Rituals Support Peace?
  • How Can this Project Better Inform our Understanding of Violence?
  • What Does Neuroscience Have to Offer the Field of Peacebuilding?
  • Why is Ritualized Behavior Important to our Understanding of Peacebuilding and Spirituality?
  • What is the Role of Dignity in Peacebuilding?
  • What are the Important Connections between Trauma and Spirituality?
  • How Can Spiritual Values Help the Peacebuilding Process?

To watch these compelling videos, click here. Melanie and Béatrice will be featured in the upcoming Inspiring Positive Social Change series.

Frank Thacker, founder of The Summer of Peace in Westerly, Rhode Island, was featured in an online newspaper article accompanied by a 1-minute video. Click here for access.

Global Shift Meditation —
Join Free! Free Event on the First of Every Month

Join The Shift Network,
The Gaiafield Project
and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations the first of each month — click here to register for free. On July 1, we featured Cynthia Jurs, founder of Alliance for the Earth, a nonprofit dedicated to planetary healing and collective awakening. (The free recording is available here.)

Your Voice

We want to know: How do you make a difference in your community? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

Excerpts From an Interview with Author and Sacred Activist Andrew Harvey
Conducted by Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace for The Shift Network
Andrew Harvey

When we designed the Inspiring Positive Social Change Summit, we reached out to Andrew right away to invite him to speak about sacred activism, and he graciously agreed.

Andrew: We know that when a force arises, composed of people who have profound spiritual awareness, but also radical commitment to urgent, wise, focused action, something in the universe blesses their endeavors and gives them the strength and the stamina to rise up in seemingly impossible situations and, over time, effect great change.

I think the rising of this force in the 20th century was no coincidence, because the 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history, the century that saw the dropping of the atomic bombs, that saw the exponential growth in cruelty in concentration camps, that saw a massive orgy of greed which has nearly destroyed the environment. Yet in the middle of all of that despair and chaos and madness and horror, a force arose which has had profound effects. It is this force, this force of fusing together deep spirituality and profound action, that is now rising to help us deal with our greatest evolutionary crisis.

To read more, click here.

Peace Action
By Reem Ghunaim and Al Jubitz of The Rotarian Action Group for Peace
Reem Ghunaim, RAGFP Executive Director, Rotary Peace Fellow, Member of Rotary Club of Portland (District 5100)

Rotary International has a very strong historical commitment to peace efforts around the world. Rotary believes in the power of the community and the effectiveness of grassroots initiatives. That is evident in their model for operating at the community level through the Rotary club. The Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) believes in the power of Rotary Clubs and views them as organized groups of community leaders who are serving their communities by giving them a platform to affect positive change. Rotary clubs conduct local and international peace and development projects and are highly effective due the power of Rotary’s global network. For more, watch our 5-minute “Peace is…” video.

To read more, click here.

The Death (and Re-Birth) of Utopia
By Dr. Shariff Abdullah

Want to know why our times feel so perilous? It’s called a failure of imagination.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing “The Chronicles of the Upheavals”, a work of speculative fiction, for the past couple of years. (Almost finished!) (Editor’s note: Shariff’s book has since been published. You can order it here.) As my first (and perhaps only) foray into the world of fiction-writing, I’ve been asked about where my writing fits into the world of science fiction/ speculative fiction.

For quite awhile, I’ve been saying that 80-90% of science fiction is “dystopian” – writings about dysfunctional, failed and/or toxic human societies. I pulled that number off the top of my head, assuming (quite wrongly, it turns out) that there must be some writers that are promoting positive, inclusive, healthy, desirable societies.

To read more, click here.

Excerpts From an Interview with Dr. Cassandra Vieten, President and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
Conducted by Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace for The Shift Network

Cassandra: The core of IONS’ work is to bring together modern science with ancient wisdom traditions. You mentioned our upcoming conference, “The Science of What Connects Us,” which is our 17th conference. In almost every session, we're pairing one of our scientists who's doing empirical research on these topics with somebody who's a wisdom-keeper or an on-the-ground practitioner.

For example, we’re pairing someone who studies biofields and the energy body using traditional science with an energy healer. We've got Dean Radin who's studying whether there’s real science behind things that over millennia we've called magic, and he's paired with somebody who is actually a magician and has studied that aspect of it. It's a cool pairing, but in general, that's the DNA of IONS — to bring together science and spiritual wisdom and know that they're not incompatible, that they are in fact complementary and can inform and influence each other.

To read more, click here.

International Day of Yoga
United Nations Headquarters in New York City

Seane Corn speaking at the International Day of Yoga

More than 1,000 people participated in the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations in New York City on June 20-21, celebrating the ancient tradition of Yoga brought to the West from India.

This historic gathering was led by one of India’s most revered and beloved Spiritual Leaders, His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), Co-Founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), along with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, and Secretary General of GIWA. Both luminaries, known for their altruism and global interfaith endeavors, have curated some of today’s leading yoga talent to join them in illuminating the myriad gifts yoga brings to the world.

To read more, click here.

The Summer of Peace in Westerly, Rhode Island
By Frank Thacker

I first encountered the Summer of Peace in 2012. What follows is a humble sharing of what we have been able to do here in the small town of Westerly along with some ideas and suggestions that others might find helpful as we all work to create a lasting culture of peace.

During the past five years my involvement with the Summer of Peace movement has varied in its intensity. It has been a process of learning as the years went by. Three key issues I have struggled with are identifying my audience, deciding what it is that I want to accomplish, and then how to best do this.

To read more, click here.

The Oneness Pledge: Join the Global Movement of Our Time
By Robert Atkinson

The summer of 1969 afforded me with opportunities for experiences that formed a foundation for my emerging worldview: the moonwalk, with the photos sent back, gave me a vivid sense of the Earth as one planet with no boundaries between us; sailing on the maiden voyage of the Clearwater with Pete Seeger gave me a strong sense of social and environmental justice; and attending Woodstock gave me a taste of humanity as one family.

Then, in early 1970, I met Joseph Campbell at one of his Cooper Union talks. A few weeks later, I found myself sitting with him in his Greenwich Village home, under the guidance and mentorship of a most uniquely worthy teacher.

To read more, click here.

Find Inner Peace and Share It
Featuring Philip Hellmich on The Yoga Hour Weekly Podcast
Thursday, July 13, at 8:00am Pacific

How do we bring the inner peace we find in meditation into the wider world? What actions can we take that make a difference? Join Philip M. Hellmich, Director of Peace at the Shift Network, and regular guest host Dr. Laurel Trujillo as they discuss the balance between cultivating our inner life and activating a path of service in the world. Tune in and be inspired to act for peace in your everyday life.

Philip M. Hellmich is Director of Peace at The Shift Network, director of The Summer of Peace and lead designer of the World Peace Library. Philip, who has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, authored God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis. He serves as adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women.

Listen Live, Thursday, July 13, at 8:00am Pacific by clicking here.
Listen via iTunes and subscribe to the podcast by clicking here.

IONS 17th International Conference: “The Science of What Connects Us”

Is science purely rational? How does it relate to spirituality? What role does intuition play in the scientific process? Questions like these will be addressed at the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference,“The Science of What Connects Us,” held on July 20-23 in Oakland. Speakers include IONS Chief Scientist Dean Radin, famed author and parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake, journalist and author Lynne McTaggart and NASA Astronaut Yvonne Cagle. Watch a two-minute video preview by clicking here.

New Book: The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness, an interspiritual narrative of humanity’s conscious evolution tracing love as the underlying force of evolution to its presence in our midst today. The book, framed by seven unifying principles, inspires hope and offers guidance in this dark night of the collective soul. Author Robert Atkinson is professor emeritus at the University of Southern Maine and director of Story Commons. To discover more, 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. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World 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.

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.

2017 Catalyst:
(#14, 7/9) (#13, 6/25) (#12, 6/11) (#11, 5/28) (#10, 5/14) (#9, 4/30) (#8, 4/16) (#7, 4/2) (#6, 3/19) (#5, 3/5) (#4, 2/19) (#3, 2/5) (#2, 1/22) (#1, 1/8)

2016 Catalyst:
(#21, 12/11)
(#20, 11/27) (#19, 11/13) (#18, 10/23) (#17, 10/2)
(#16, 9/11) (#15, 8/28) (#14, 8/14) (#13, 7/31) (#12, 7/17)
(#11, 7/3) (#10, 6/12) (#9, 5/29) (#8, 5/1) (#7, 4/17)
(#6, 4/3) (#5, 3/13) (#4, 2/28) (#3, 2/14) (#2, 1/31) (#1, 1/17)


2017 Issue 14 • Jul 9

The Shift Catalyst is a bi-weekly ezine for conscious change, powered by The Shift Network.

If you received this Catalyst from a friend, click here to subscribe (scroll all the way down to the bottom right corner of the site to sign up).

• Shift Network Update
• Featured Media
• Featured Articles
• Profiles
• Movement News
• Action of the Week
• Shift Spotlight
• Shift Philanthropy
• Partner Spotlight
• Featured Artist
• Allies of the Shift
• Back Issues

Like Us. Collaborate!

Reflect on what individual(s) and/or organization(s) in your community are doing work that inspires you. Call and thank them for what they are doing/being and, if appropriate, give a donation of time and/or money.

3 Keys to Deepen Your Reiki Practice: How to Get More From Reiki for Greater Health, Happiness & Spiritual Growth — A Free Virtual Event With Renowned Reiki Master Teacher Pamela Miles. Deepen your innate healing power — to increase your vitality, support your nervous system and advance your spiritual growth. Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 5:30pm Pacific

How Medicinal Plants Can Fuel Your Health & Spiritual Growth: Essential Insights for Detoxification, Rejuvenation & Purification — A Free Virtual Event With Plant Medicine Pioneer David Crow, LAc. Discover how you can access the innate wisdom and healing power of plants and herbs — to increase your vitality, foster optimal wellness and advance your spiritual growth.
Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific

3 Enneagram Keys to Your Spiritual Evolution: Beyond Personality Types into Freedom and Wholeness — A Free Virtual Event Featuring Renowned Enneagram Teachers Russ Hudson, Helen Palmer & Jessica Dibb. Discover how to develop your intuitive guidance, awaken to profound presence and express your soul gifts — with guidance from 3 master teachers of the Enneagram. Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 5:30pm Pacific

Discovering the Sufi Way of the Beloved: Ecstasy & Surrender Through the Mystical Teachings of Sufism — A Free Virtual Event With Mystic Scholar Andrew Harvey. Open to the sublime love at the core of the Sufi path and discover teachings and practices that can liberate your soul through a profoundly intimate relationship with the Divine.
Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific

The Dreamer’s School of Soul:
Learn From Ancient Shamans, Timeless Creators & New Science to Fulfill Your Purpose and Dream Humanity’s Path
— With Bestselling Author and Shamanic Dream Teacher Robert Moss. Discover how to navigate your life by listening to the soul messages that come through your dreams — opening you to exciting new possibilities for healing, growing and living fully and joyfully. New 7-month Training Starts Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Soul Evolution Intensive: Unveiling Your Past Lives to Heal, Clear Karma & Fulfill This Life’s Purpose — With Renowned Author, Psychologist and Regression Therapist Dr. Linda Backman. Explore your soul's journey in past lifetimes to shape your current life (and future lifetimes). New 6-month Live Training Starts Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Upcoming Events: (all subject to change)

Shamanism Global Summit
Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Pamela Miles 4-week course

• David Crow 12-week course
• Enneagram 9-week course
• Andrew Harvey 10-week course
• Lei-ohu 7-week course
Psychology of True Happiness Summit
• Chloe Goodchild 7-week course
• Sara Crow 7-week course
• Saul David Raye 7-week course
• Matthew Fox 7-week course

• Anodea Judith 7-week course
• don Oscar Miro-Quesada 7-week course
• Ken Page 7-week course

Alliance for Peacebuilding

The Shift Network is proud to be a member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the institutional home for the peacebuilding community — a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries. We strongly encourage anyone interested in peacebuilding to consider becoming a member and/or making a donation. To discover more, click here.

Summer of Peace Westerly is an offshoot of the International Summer of Peace. Its goal is to provide the people of the greater Westerly-Pawcatuck, Rhode Island area and neighboring towns with some ideas and tools that they can use in their daily lives to help create a culture of peace. To discover more, click here.

Interdependence Day was organized by these community organizations: Compassionate Capitol Region, Women for Equality, Sacramento Interfaith Council, Unity Church of Sacramento, Sacramento IONS and The United Nations Association Sacramento Chapter in partnership with The Shift Network. To discover more, click here.

India.Arie: SongVersation: Medicine

Multi-Grammy Award® winning artist India.Arie recently released her inspiring new album, “SongVersation: Medicine,” which offers a soulful extension of her acclaimed 2013 “SongVersation” album. According to India.Arie , “‘SongVersation: Medicine’ was originally written for a friend that was experiencing a dark night of the Soul. It’s now intended for all to use for their personal healing and transformation.”

India’s new album is what she defines as “meaningful music.” In her personal dedication she encourages listeners to utilize her new album in times of reflection, prayer, meditation and even yoga. She shares, “It’s my wish that these songs bring softness, clarity, calm, during these tumultuous times we are living in.”

On “SongVersation: Medicine,” India.Arie has re-recorded three of her beloved songs: I Am Light, Soulbird Rise and Breathe, the last of which is a powerful-life affirming song and video initiative dedicated to Eric Garner (an African-American man who died in an unjustified chokehold at the hands of the NYPD) and in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. “SongVersation: Medicine” also features five new songs (all written and performed by India).

For more information on India.Arie, click here.

Solar Action Alliance

Peace Through Commerce

Evolutionary Leaders

The Foundation for Conscious Evolution

The Shift Movie

Humanity's Team

Green America

The National Peace Academy

Sacred Centers

Center for Sacred Studies

International Cities of Peace

Agape International Spiritual Center

Gaiafield Project

Click here to apply for inclusion above.