By Devaa Haley Mitchell, co-founder of The Shift Network
What does it mean to truly walk our "spiritual talk" in today's world? And how do we harness the feminine side of our soul to meet the challenges of the day?
On my own spiritual journey, I've enjoyed taking time to more deeply cultivate my "yin" feminine energies, at times withdrawing from the outside world to turn inward.
I've celebrated letting the troubles of the world fade into the background while focusing on cultivating a sense of inner peace and wellbeing — despite what's happening around me. And I've focused on cultivating the divine feminine while unconsciously turning my back on the masculine.
But given the intensity (and insanity) that's unfolding on our planet now, it seems that it's time for a different approach. Of course we still DO need regular times for stillness and reflection.
But it's ALSO time to really roll up my sleeves and get a bit dirtier than I'm accustomed. To engage more deeply and speak out a bit more loudly. To have the courage to verbalize what I perceive — even if it's unpopular. To hold my heart open to the men and beings of all genders who are true allies of the feminine. And to celebrate and support others who are boldly blazing the path forward.
For me, it's a time to step into a more fiery and fierce version of my feminine soul (see my article in this issue for a further exploration).
And... I imagine that you (or someone close to you) may be having a similar experience.
As we navigate these intense times, it's so helpful to garner guidance from a community of wise women who have deep wisdom, amazing stories, and practical resources to share.
We’d love to start by hearing your answer to the question, Where are you being called to more authentically speak your truth in your life right now? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
I do hope you'll enjoy this issue of Catalyst, which is overflowing with wonderful articles, video interviews, and other content devoted to the theme of Feminine Spirituality.
A question for you: Are you who you think you are... or are you more than you’ve ever dreamed possible?
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that advanced human capacities are built into you at a cellular level. How would your life change if you knew you had the innate ability to prevent illness, increase longevity, and access deep intuition on demand?
Click here to watch the video recording of human potential pioneer Gregg Braden’s hour-long virtual event, The New Human Story: Awakening Your Evolutionary Potential for Self-healing, Longevity & Super-perception.
Click here for more information about Gregg’s brand new 6-week course, Human by Design, which begins Tuesday, January 23. With more than 900 registrations so far, Human by Design is promising to be the most popular course in the history of The Shift Network!
In this exclusive 52-minute video interview for Catalyst, popular Shift faculty Miranda Macpherson explores the nature of surrender from a feminine perspective, and the roles of devotion, trust, humility, love, and reverence.
So a big part of what I'm really teaching is how to actually open into these virtues that refine our consciousness, uplift us, help us receive the fulfilling presence of grace that makes us very grateful to be here, makes us have more reverence for life. And that helps us to deal with more challenging things, the stuff we're all dealing with in the collective field, the challenges of our environmental climate change, the challenges of living in a culture that so often feels very disgraceful, the challenges of situations in our community that might not have an easy answer.
So learning to be graceful with all of that is a big ask that calls us to grow more compassionate, more forgiving, calls us to open through and beyond our primary presumptions and identifications, helps us to take a deeper seat in being, so that we can be responsive rather than reactive, and to move therefore into a more graceful way of being that can lead us to take right action where it's needed, and to be able to discriminate right action from subtle delusion and fanciful thinking.
In this exclusive 40-minute video interview for Catalyst, popular Shift faculty Mirabai Starr explores the feminine in her full range from lovingkindness, mercy, and compassion, to ferocity, protectiveness, and radical truth telling.
“One of Teresa of Avila’s most famous sayings is ‘God lives among the pots and pans.’ And that really speaks to me as a woman, as a mother, and a grandmother, and someone who is very busy tending other human beings in my life…
“Teresa, not only in that phrase, but in many, many of her teachings, helps us to integrate every aspect of our lives so that the sacred and the ordinary are intertwined, are recognized as being the reality of interconnected and mutually connected. And what's so beautiful about that teaching from Teresa — and it's echoed in all of the other women mystics I can think of — is that it sacralizes everything; the most ordinary things become imbued with the holy when we look through the eyes of the heart in the ways in which the mystics are encouraging us to do so.”
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations on the first of each month. On January 1, founder David Nicol led a Global Peace Meditation as part of the “7 Days of Rest” global event. Click here to listen to the free recording and to register to receive future free recordings.
The fierce aspect of the feminine has been on the rise in recent months — an energy that is deeply needed as the challenges continue to accelerate on our planet. It seems that Her time has come. Finally!
American historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” And it seems we are collectively taking these words to heart, letting go of the need to be congenial as we boldly and fiercely stake our claim to our rightful place in a safe and respectful society.
This exclusive excerpt for The Shift Network is a chapter from Mirabai Starr's forthcoming book, Wild Mercy, which will be published by Sounds True in April 2019.
I guess I have a thing for ecstatic 16th-century mystics. My namesake, Mirabai, like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, lived during the same spiritually fertile time but in a very different place. Mirabai was a devotional poet from North India who relinquished wealth and status to track the invisible footprints of Krishna, the elusive Lord of Love. She wasn’t trying to be subversive. She didn’t stage a political action. She simply followed the music resounding in her heart.
This exclusive excerpt for The Shift Network is a chapter from Miranda Macpherson’s forthcoming book, The Way of Grace: The Transforming Power of Ego Relaxation, which will be published by Sounds True in October 2018.
As my life in the UK came to a close after fifteen years, inner guidance was nudging me towards the United States, and specifically to the San Francisco Bay area — a place I had never been and where I knew no one. Having allowed such a deep surrender of all the structures that had held my known identity in place, I had come too far to lead from fearful caution. Inwardly I asked of the deep silence, what wants to be received? What wants to be known? What wants to be done?... And I listened for the next step. I was devoted to embodying the truth that had come freshly alive within my heart, and wanted the grounding structures of this new life to genuinely support that. It called for a totality of trust while walking moment by moment into the unknown.
When my home, workshop space and office burned in a recent wildfire I received a beautiful 1-1 Deepening in Feminine Spirituality. It was not about stillness, solitude and peacefulness necessarily. It was more like rolling up my sleeves, facing what is and embracing life from the vantage point of fire destruction. ‘She – Feminine Spirituality’ became my teacher, guide, coach and trainer.
Dr. Robert O. Fisch, a retired University of Minnesota professor of pediatrics and an international expert on the metabolic disease PKU (phenylketonuria), survived the two most oppressive totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. A Holocaust survivor, he has been knighted in Hungary for his role in the 1956 revolution against communism.
What are you finding meaning and purpose in today?
What I try to do is pass along what I learned from the Holocaust, which is probably the most incredible mass murder in the history of the world. Most of the people who are telling their story about the Holocaust talk about those who were killed and all the suffering they went through. For me, that is not my purpose.
For me, the purpose is to convey that even in the worst of circumstances, the goodness of people still shone through. For example, there were Germans who sacrificed their lives in order to help us. The Germans are just as good people and just as bad people as the French, or the Hungarians, or the Norwegians. Everyone in every country needs to understand that they are not separate and isolated from everyone else; we are all a part of a big unit.
To read more of this powerful interview, click here.
I have come to understand my entire life as a pilgrimage to and with the Divine Mother. Some of my greatest lessons have come through Her paradoxical mysteries of loss and illness. For me, guidance on my life’s pilgrimage has shown up in the form of a female mystical presence since early childhood. She is a fierce and compassionate Goddess who I would “see” in dreams and also at times of experiencing intense fear, pain, and loss.
One of my initial encounters with the Divine Mother in a human form came during my first pilgrimage to Nepal. I arrived feeling bereft from the death of my beloved grandmother, and again very ill. After her death I was in a lot of physical and emotional pain and I did not know what to do but travel. Every country I went to I met with local shamans, who all told me the same thing: there was a divine power inside me that I was rejecting. I did not understand. I was stubborn, sick, angry, and was tired of my pain, sense of disempowerment, and limiting beliefs and perceptions.
In general, our society fails us in offering beneficial attitudes and role models for aging. Though aging was not something I thought a lot about in my younger years, I did not have any bias against the aging process either. “Olders” were easier to talk to, had less drama, and would take the time to listen and reflect on life with me. My life experiences and family relationships taught me that getting older would be fine and aging was a natural part of life. Perspective is everything.
As I arrive “over the hill,” now fully ensconced in my 60s, I notice that the perspective of enjoying aging is not a widely shared view
Join us for the world famous annual International Yoga Festival in 2018 — uniting yogis of every culture, color, and creed together in a one-world yogic family, expanding global consciousness and bringing healing to the planet, one person at a time!
In this 7-day immersion and celebration, you have the opportunity to embrace every major style of yoga and learn from enlightened Spiritual Leaders, Master Yoga Teachers, Evolutionary Thought Leaders, and Wellness Specialists from around the world.
Awaken to the best version of yourself and ignite your inner light through this not-to-be-missed event at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, the largest ashram in Rishikesh and one of the largest interfaith yoga institutions in India.
Click here to watch a 40-second video invitation. Click here to visit the International Yoga Festival website.
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 30 and April 4 memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The purpose of the campaign is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by legendary leaders Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar E. Chavez, and President Nelson Mandela, as well as living legends such as His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Please join us on Saturday, February 3, at 10:00am Pacific for a free online global meditation in support of the Unity Earth-sponsored U DAY Festival in Ethiopia, the Land of Origins. In honor of the growing global significance of UN Interfaith Harmony Week, the U DAY Festival brings together global spiritual and religious leaders with international changemakers and musical artists.
Participate in this historic global initiative from the comfort of your living room, via teleconference or audio webcast.
This virtual event is offered by Unity Earth in collaboration with the Gaiafield Project, and is co-sponsored by a broad international coalition of visionary organizations. Register for free here.
Wisdom 2.0 is the premiere gathering focused on exploring the intersection of wisdom and technology. Our flagship gathering is in San Francisco each year, where thousands of people from over 30 countries join in asking: How do we live with greater presence, purpose, and wisdom in the digital age?
Breakout sessions include “The Art of Teaching Mindfulness” with Jon Kabot-Zinn; “Empathetic Listening and Healing” with #MeToo founder, Tamara Burke; and “The Work with Byron Katie,” a two-hour session with Katie on doing The Work.
The second annual Peace Leadership Conference will be held February 22–25 in Rishkesh, India, prior to the March 1 start of the International Yoga Festival. Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace with The Shift Network, is a featured speaker.
The Peace Leadership Conference is designed to bring together global peace practitioners, academicians, educators, and others in the broad area of peace leadership; to experience fellowship, collaboration, and connection as we examine the nexus of peace and leadership. The agenda will start with a focus on Peace Leadership From The Inside and then flow into Peace Leadership From The Outside. Click here for more information.
Project “I Believe” was named after a song that was written to instill hope in an uncertain world. Our goal is to educate humanity about the history and determination of the Jewish people, an historic legacy passed from generation to generation. Let the chain continue, unbroken. Click here to make your resolution to perform a good deed.
Inspired by Mr. Leibel Zisman, who shared the story of his survival with the world, this song was composed in memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Mr, Zisman was determined to not only educate, but bring hope and inspiration to people everywhere. He traveled far and wide, sharing his story and fulfilling his life’s mission. Find his book, I Believe: The Story of One Jewish Life, here.
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.
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World by Phil Bolsta of The Shift Network. Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that shows you how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to bring joy and vitality to your daily life. One reviewer called it “the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.” To order your copy, click here. To request a sample chapter from the author, email Phil at GodsEyes@me.com.
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.
Reflect on a woman in your life who has made a big impact on you. Perhaps she's a role model for you, though she may not know it. Maybe she’s someone who showed up for you when you needed support. Maybe she's been your safe space where you can share your true feelings. Maybe she's inspired you to reach for your own greatness. Reach out to this woman and let her know the difference she's made in your life.
Liberating the Zodiac Within & Without: Journeying Into the Realm of Great Symbols — A Collaborative Intimate Council With Agent of Liberating Trickster Renowned Visionary Activist Astrologer Caroline Casey. Tap into the profound wisdom of one of the original systems for self-revelation and self-evolution — to help animate a truer, more empowering story for ALL! New 12-week Live Video Council Starts Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. It's time to do something about it. The voices of those affected in every industry have been silenced for too long. From everyday people in the service industry, to farmers and businesspeople, to the entertainment and media industry and beyond, stand with us and let your voice be heard.
Our programming — in partnership with schools and at our centers through 82 local organizations — focuses on the development of the whole girl. A combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment and research-based programming equips girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives, break the cycle of poverty, and become role models in their community.
Rose Cousins, an award-winning Canadian folk-pop singer-songwriter, deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration.
Writes Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times: “With great aplomb, both as a writer and a vocalist, she examines fundamental aspects of human experience: loneliness, freedom, yearning for connection, the expectations we hold for ourselves, and hopes we maintain for others.”
Here Rose reflects on how she came to write “Chosen,” the opening song on her current album, “Natural Conclusion”: “I was having a solo introspective morning, attempting to sort a particular feeling. Looking for inner confidence and reassurance to move forward with what I’d set out to do personally and professionally. I think it’s hard to be alive without accepting that there are always questions in the passenger seat. We wish but can’t ever know for sure how things will work out and that can feel uncomfortable and risky. The song reflects an honest and raw moment from inside this questioning and was the spark that made me think I could make another record.”
You’ll find Rose’s albums and singles, including her current album, “Natural Conclusion,” here.
Click here to watch and listen to Rose singing “Chosen.”