[Catalyst 16 - August 6, 2017] The Psychology of True Happiness

By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network

Are you deeply, truly happy?

Real, lasting happiness is more than being in a consistently positive mood. It’s an enduring state of wellbeing, a feeling of being centered and connected to your depths.

Happiness is YOU thriving in a purpose-filled life — as YOU define it — enjoying fulfilling relationships, success on your terms, and meaningful acts of service.

That life is possible provided you have the faith to imagine it, the courage to go for it, and some wise guidance regarding how.

You can take a big step toward that goal by joining us for The Psychology of True Happiness, a free two-day online event beginning this Tuesday, August 8.

A long list of esteemed speakers, ranging from iconic consciousness pioneer Stan Grof to chakra expert Anodea Judith to dreamweaver Robert Moss, will share the insights, science and research-based practices you need to reconnect with your authentic Self, realize your highest potential, and tap into a profound sense of wellbeing.

See the complete list of dynamic speakers and sign up for free by clicking here.

Also, the Summer of Peace 2017 is continuing with our free series, Inspiring Positive Social Change: Cutting-edge Insights from Spirituality, Neuroscience and Peacebuilding. This week our talks will focus on bridging divides in relationships, communities and politics. Next week, we’ll feature interviews looking at Re-Wiring the Brain for Peace — a groundbreaking project of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

As a reminder, Inspiring Positive Social Change  is a free 8-week online series designed to help you discover practical ways to reduce stress, cultivate compassion and forgiveness, communicate more peacefully, and take inspired, meaningful action. All the recordings are available for free, so don’t worry if you missed any. Click here to register for free.

In this edition of The Catalyst, we’re featuring a lengthy excerpt from Philip Hellmich’s Q&A with Teiahsha Bankhead, co-executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth; and compelling articles by Mark Gerzon on how politicians manipulate the citizenry by stimulating strong negative or positive emotional responses; Frank Thacker on creating a culture of peace; popular Shift faculty Robert Moss on the imperative of “marrying your field,” the territory within which you can do The Work that your deeper life is calling you to do; and a blog post by Shift staffer Gina Vucci on the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Our Featured Media section includes recent Inspiring Positive Social Change interviews with Roxy Manning, Azim Khamisa, Emily Hine and James O’Dea; a video of May El Khalil talking about her inspiration to create the Beirut marathon as a way to promote peace; and psychologist Shawn Achor's hilarious take on why happiness inspires us to be more productive. You’ll also find an excerpt on happiness from Shift writer Phil Bolsta’s book, Through God’s Eyes. Plus one more treat: the profound and moving comments posted on our Facebook page about last issue’s question, “What did you feel like after forgiving someone whom you once thought you could never forgive?”

Our Member Profile features Brad and Heidi Stokes, who, along with their son, Christian, all have auto-immune diseases, which they transcend through love and humor to live “rich and beautiful lives.” Heidi explains why “when it comes to our health, we don’t just believe in miracles, we depend on them.”

For Shift Philanthropy in this edition, we are continuing to highlight the Black Hills Unity Concert, which will take place in Piedmont, South Dakota, on September 8–10, 2017. We strongly encourage you to support our Indigenous brothers and sisters in this powerful initiative. You’ll also find information about Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), which focuses on reducing racial disparities and public costs associated with high rates of incarceration, suspension and expulsion.

Our Featured Artist is painter Tatiana Kiselyova, whose art, springing from a deep kinship with all things alive, is part of her Earth-honoring and healing work, guided by human and animal teachers and traditional entheogenic master plants.

Finally, we would love to hear your answer to the question, “What is the secret to happiness in your life?” To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

Featured Summer of Peace — Inspiring Positive Social Change Recordings — FREE!

The Summer of Peace is our commitment to peace in the world. The free event provides tangible skills you can apply in your daily life. Here are four recent sessions from this year’s Summer of Peace Summit, Inspiring Positive Social Change.

Roxy Manning
Azim Khamisa
Emily Hine
James O'Dea

Making Peace is a Marathon

May El Khalil’s talk at the annual TED Global conference takes us back to the birth of the Beirut marathon and examines how it started, why it started, and the significance of such an event on Lebanon and humanity as a whole.

To watch this 10-minute video, click here.

The Happy Secret to Better Work

We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk — one of the 25 most popular Ted Talks of all time — psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive. To watch it, click here.

Choosing Happiness
Book excerpt from Through God’s Eyes By Phil Bolsta

Striving for happiness is counterproductive. The belief that happiness will be yours when certain obstacles are surmounted is itself a certain obstacle to happiness.

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unnhappiness.
Eric Hoffer

Expecting to find happiness in external conditions is like expecting to grasp a sparkling jewel by reaching into the mirror that reflects it.

We look everywhere for happiness, forgetting that it’s in our own little plot of land. We have our own acres of diamonds but we don’t know it.
Og Mandino

To read more, click here.

The Freedom of Forgiveness

In the last issue of The Catalyst, we asked the question, “What did you feel like after forgiving someone whom you once thought you could never forgive?” So many of you posted such beautiful comments on our Facebook page that we wanted to share them with you. Click here to read our readers’ comments, interspersed with inspirational quotes about the power of forgiveness.

Your Voice

We want to know: What is the secret to happiness in your life? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

Excerpts From an Interview With Teiahsha Bankhead, co-executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth
Conducted by Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace for The Shift Network

A restorative justice approach is counter to a punitive approach to resolving harm. It looks at harm not as something that we need to punish people for engaging in, but in harm as something that harms all people, those people who are seen as the actors and those who are seen as the recipients of harm. Where there's harm that's done, everyone is harmed. The solution has to be one that restores harmony and balance to the entire community. There's accountability certainly, but all voices are heard in that process, and there's equity in terms of the resolution of that harm. We're not trying to harm others.

To read more, click here.

Brain Politics
By Mark Gerzon

Make no mistake: We are a country under attack.
— Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. It’s easy. Just tell them they are under attack.
— Hermann Goering, Minister of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler

If the Department of Homeland Security is defending the homeland, who is defending us? Our country is not under attack; but our capacity to reason is.

To read more, click here.

United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
Blog post by Ginna Vucci of The Shift Network

Many people think that slavery ended years ago with abolition… however, there are more slaves today, than any other time in human history.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are more than 21 million slaves today being exploited for sex and labour — with some other global organisations estimating the number to be closer to 40 million.

So what exactly is human trafficking? Simply put, it’s the illegal trade of human persons.

To read more, click here.

Creating a Culture of Peace From the Bottom Up
By Frank Thacker, first published in TheWesterlySun.com

To many it might seem naïve or even overwhelming to think about creating a culture of peace, given all the turmoil, anger, and conflict that our news media presents to us on a daily basis. On the other hand, maybe the one thing we need to do if we are to not destroy our species and our planet is for each of us, individually and together, to do what we can to create a culture of peace.

And just what is this so called “culture of peace?” If you Google “what is a culture of peace?” you will find quite an array of descriptions. The United Nations definition of a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence contains eight elements needed to create such a culture including fostering a culture of peace through education; promoting respect for all human rights; and promoting sustainable economic and social development, to name a few.

To read more, click here.

Marry Your Field
By Robert Moss

"The poet marries the language, and out of this marriage the poem is born." This beautiful, passionate statement was made by W.H. Auden and it takes us right inside the crucible in which all creative action is born. It's sexy, it's spiritual, it makes your heart beat faster, it puts a champagne fizz of excitement into the air. It suffuses everything around with incredible light, so you feel you are seeing the curve of a flower stem or the bubbles in a glass for the very first time.

To read more, click here.

Brad and Heidi Stokes—Love, Lupus and Liver Transplants

Heidi and Brad Stokes are alive and well, and that in itself is a miracle given all they’ve been through. Here, in Heidi’s own words, interspersed with actual journal entries from their CaringBridge journal, is their epic journey from death’s door back to health and happiness.

When I was seventeen, I was diagnosed with lupus and told I wouldn’t make it past twenty-one. At twenty-six, my husband, Brad, was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a fatal and untreatable liver disease. Doctors said there was no hope for either of us.

Brad and I are now fifty-two years old, with a son, Christian, who has an auto-immune disease of his own, type 1 diabetes. People often can’t get past the illnesses to see how rich and beautiful our lives are. Not long ago, when we were all very sick and lying around in our PJs, Brad mentioned how comforting and wonderful it was just to be home with each other. Our bodies are completely dysfunctional but our family isn’t.

The three of us have defied death more times than I care to remember, but we’re still here, loving life and each other. There’s just something about staring into the maw of death that makes you appreciate the miracle of life. And when it comes to our health, we don’t just believe in miracles, we depend on them.

To read more, click here.

We’re happy to report that The Psychology of True Happiness, a free two-day online event, begins this Tuesday, August 8. Pioneers of psychology, mindfulness, Hakomi and more will share the insights, science and research-based practices you need to reconnect with your true Self, realize your highest potential, and tap into a profound sense of wellbeing. Click here to sign up for free so you can listen to visionary speakers such as Stanislav Grof, Robert Moss, Anodea Judith and Manuela Mischke-Reeds. Hosted by Lori Schwanbeck, co-founder of Mindfulness Therapy Associates, this powerful summit will feature the science and practice of spirituality, fulfillment and flow. See our list of dynamic speakers and find out everything you need to know by clicking here.

It’s Time for Light: Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children
Campaign by Rebuilding Alliance

Based on a peace campaign that began 26 years ago with a candle in the window, Rebuilding Alliance is launching the “It’s Time for Light” campaign #Itstimeforlight. We're inviting everyone to put a solar (or other) light in the window every Wednesday evening. We start with a specific focus on brightening the future of Gaza’s families, including sending solar lights to Gaza — and we hope to use #Itstimeforlight to ease tensions and help families in other parts of world in the future.

To read more and find out how you can help, click here.

The Unity Concert for the Black Hills

Join us from September 8–10 in Piedmont, South Dakota, to celebrate the fourth and final Black Hills Unity Concert. It’s free to the public, and native youth from the surrounding areas will be invited to attend a special program of traditional teachings just for them. Given today’s political environment and the challenges in the Black Hills, this coming together promises to be like no other.

There is no shortage of statistics and heartbreaking stories within native communities. However, the strength and determination of our youth became apparent for all the world to see during the months-long prayer at Standing Rock. They have decided to fight for the future of our communities and for Grandmother Earth. This year's celebration is a thank you to them, acknowledgement of the commitments made, and a prayer for the future.

Click here to watch Lyla June explain the Indigenous Rights issues behind the Black Hills Unity Concert. To support this free event with your donation, click here.

A Simple Solution for Our Disconnected World
Thursday, September 7, at 5:30pm Pacific

This global webinar educates adults in the Connection Practice®, an efficient, scientifically-based social-emotional skill for creating a world that works for everyone. Attend this free hour-long webinar, A Simple Solution for Our Disconnected World, and learn about this powerful antidote to violence that is enriching lives around the globe. For more information, click here.

The Sattva Summit
November 7–13 at the Sattva Retreat in Rishikesh, India

The Sattva Summit is a boutique conscious gathering, offering the opportunity for yogis from across the globe to gather as a community for a week of deep healing, expansion and reasonless joy at The Sattva Retreat, a luxurious sanctuary nestled in the foothills of the Himalayans. We will gather as a community to deepen in our silence through daily group meditation and rituals, harmonize with the body in our yoga practice with globally renowned teachers, connect to ancient yogic wisdom and the evolutionary teachings of consciousness, and nourish our bodies with healing foods from leading Ayurvedic chefs of India, while enjoying live music, chanting and dancing. We will also have the opportunity to discover the beauty that Rishikesh has to offer, including hikes to Himalayan villages, temple tours, ganga dips, cave meditations, rafting, ayurvedic spa treatments, cooking classes, and much more! Click here to watch a short video invitation to the Sattva Summit.

Costa Rica Retreat with Karuna from Light On Kundalini
December 2–9
Blue Spirit Yoga & Meditation Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica

Join us for a week of deep spiritual exploration in the serene and beautiful surrounds of the Blue Spirit Yoga and Meditation Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica (Blue Spirit has been named a Yoga Journal “Best Yoga Escape 2017”). We will be breaking down the walls of resistance by going deeper into peace and tranquility through meditation. The week will include in-depth exploration of the technology of Kundalini Yoga for re-rooting, rest and restoration of the Complete Self from the stresses of daily life. You’ll develop a fulfilling everyday discipline, creating devotional practice with Sadhana at the ambrosial hour, meditation and chanting, and breath walks on the oceanfront, experiencing deep immersion into the Soul! For more information, 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:
(#16, 8/6) (#15, 7/23) (#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 16 • Aug 6

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!

Make a list of the top ten things in life that make you happiest. Share your list with friends, family and your social media circles, and ask them to share their own list.

Awakening Your Yogic Heart: Ancient Wisdom & Dynamic Practices for Expanded Levels of Energy, Consciousness and Love — A Free Virtual Event With Acclaimed Yoga Teacher, Healer and Spiritual Activist Saul David Raye. Discover holistic insights and ancient practices for opening your heart to greater compassion and bliss — through the 5 energy layers of your being. Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 5:30pm Pacific

Liberating the Spiritual Warrior in You: How to Awaken Your Soul’s Power for Personal Empowerment & Social Change — A Free Virtual Event for All Genders Featuring Bestselling Spiritual Pioneer Matthew Fox. Discover real and lasting change (in your life and on the planet!) through marrying the Sacred Masculine and Divine Feminine within you. Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific

Your Luminous Self: Peruvian Shamanic Healing Wisdom for Opening Your Heart & Expanding Your Mind — A Free Virtual Event With Peruvian Curandero, Psychologist and Author don Oscar Miro-Quesada. Discover ancient shamanic practices to activate your light body for healing, vitality and spiritual awakening. Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:30pm Pacific

Making the Gods Work for You: Tapping the Power of Astrology to Liberate Your Uniqueness — A Free Virtual Event With Visionary Activist Astrologer & Chief Trickster at Coyote Network News Caroline Casey. Discover the Profound Wisdom and Playful Unpredictability Hidden in the Language of the Planets... Liberate Your Gifts to Fulfill Your Destiny & Help Evolve Our World. Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific

The Sufi Way of the Beloved: Opening to Ecstasy, Fearlessness & Compassion Through the Wisdom of 7 Great Mystics — With Pioneering Contemporary Spiritual Teacher and Internationally Renowned Mystic-Scholar Andrew Harvey. Open to the sacred love at the core of the Sufi path through teachings and practices that can liberate your soul and ignite a profoundly intimate relationship with the Divine. New 10-week Training Starts Thursday, August 10, 2017

Aloha Spirit: Living in Gratitude, Love & Sacred Relationship With All Life — With Hawaiian Spiritual Leader and Healer Lei‘ohu Ryder. Experience joy, freedom and the interconnectedness of all life through the Hawaiian wisdom of “Aloha” and cleanse your mind, body and spirit through the ancient practice of Ho‘oponopono and authentically live and express the essence of Mahalo (gratitude). New 7-week Live Video Journey Starts Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Liberate the Voice of Your Soul: Expressing Your Whole Self With Authenticity, Grace & Power — With International Singer, Educator & Author Chloë Goodchild. Discover powerful techniques to embody and express your truest voice and most authentic Self while clear old patterns and stuck emotions using simple exercises that liberate your soul voice and open you to more freedom, confidence and connection with others.
New 7-week Live Video Training Starts Monday, August 14, 2017

More Upcoming Events: (all subject to change)

• Saul David Raye 7-week course

Anodea Judith 7-week course
• don Oscar Miro-Quesada
7-week course
• Matthew Fox 7-week course
• Caroline Casey 7-week course
• Ken Page 7-week course
• Dawson Church 7-week course

• Stan Grof & Rick Tarnas
8-week course
• Sara Crow 7-week course
• Suzanne Scurlock-Durana
7-week course
• Robert Moss 13-week course
• Anodea Judith 7-week course

• Holly Tse 7-week course
• don Oscar Miro-Quesada 13-week course

The overarching goal of the Black Hills Unity Concert, which will take place in Piedmont, South Dakota, on September 8–10, is to return the guardianship of the Black Hills to its original caretakers, the Indigenous Peoples of the Plains.

The Black Hills Unity Concert is also a powerful networking hub and social engine that also addresses the most pressing issues of our time in addition to the Black Hills issue: language extinction, uranium contamination, water protection, youth suicide, sustainable economic development, self-sufficiency and self-determination, racial division, the protection of Indigenous women and others.

To help make this free concert available to all and support this work, please visit their crowdfunding site by clicking here.

Punitive school discipline and juvenile justice policies activate tragic cycles of violence, incarceration and wasted lives for youth of color. Founded in 2005, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) works to interrupt these cycles by promoting institutional shifts toward restorative approaches that actively engage families, communities and systems to repair harm and prevent re-offending. RJOY focuses on reducing racial disparities and public costs associated with high rates of incarceration, suspension and expulsion. We provide education, training and technical assistance, and collaboratively launch demonstration programs with our school, community, juvenile justice, and research partners. Click here to visit the RJOY website. Click here to make a donation.

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. To discover more, click here.

Institute of Noetic Sciences

Founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell to explore the frontiers of consciousness, the Institute of Noetic Sciences is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individual and collective transformation through consciousness research, transformative learning, and engaging a global community in the realization of our human potential. Visit the IONS website by clicking here.

Tatiana Kiselyova, Painter

Shift member Shannon Bayless sent us an email that read, “I went to a showing of Tatiana Kiselyova’s work last night and was deeply moved by the ancestor energy and Earth connection in her work and the peace and healing from her dreams translated into her paintings. She is part of the change for nonviolence and compassionate training in the horse world besides having a PhD in entomology. Talking with her, I was really taken by her lack of ego (so uncommon among artists, ha). Her newer works can be found here, and her previous works here.

“Here is her profile: ‘Tatiana Kiselyova hails from Moscow, Russia, and has a scholarly background in zoology and a doctoral degree in Systematic Entomology from the University of Georgia. She followed her passion for the Great Mystery of life into teaching horses through positive reinforcement, practicing energy healing, engaging in the traditional mystical and healing practices of Peru, and visionary painting. She believes that now is the time to awaken to our kinship with all beings and take our stance in love, gratitude, and service. Springing from the deep kinship with all things alive, her art is part of her Earth-honoring and healing work, guided by human and animal teachers and traditional entheogenic master plants.’"

Visit Tatiana’s Facebook page by clicking 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.