The Shift Catalyst — Perspectives on Spirituality

By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network

There are as many aspects to spirituality as there are people to describe them. For this issue, we asked seven thought leaders different questions about spirituality…

Just click on each person’s name or photo to watch their brief video response and read the transcript of their interview.

Don Samuels, community leader and founder of organizations designed to enhance the lives of low-income people of potential

In your life, what is the relationship between spirituality and civic engagement?

Anneke Lucas, survivor and advocate for victims of sex trafficking

What role does trauma play in spirituality?

Sister Jenna, spiritual leader and celebrated speaker

What is your perspective on the differences and similarities between religion and spirituality?

Mirabai Starr, author and popular Shift Faculty

How does traditional spirituality differ from a spirituality that honors the Divine Feminine?

Rhys Thomas, author, speaker, and trainer

What role does life purpose play in spirituality?

Miranda Macpherson, spiritual teacher and author

What role does the ego play in spirituality?

Suresh Ramaswamy, author and transformational teacher

What is the relationship between spirituality and your infinite essence?

And now a special note from Marjorie Macintosh, our evergreen marketing manager here at Shift:

“One of my favorite things about working at The Shift Network is the incredible amount of talent we have on our staff — talent that extends far beyond the walls of our office and the confines of each of our job descriptions. That’s especially true now that Jason Young has joined our staff as our marketing coordinator.

“During work hours, Jason deftly spins many metaphorical plates to keep marketing operations running smoothly. But outside of the office, Jason is a talented artist who creates magnificent 3-dimensional, laser-cut wood, and stained-glass art pieces. These pieces, inspired by Jason’s extensive world travels, are intricately detailed, multi-layered works of art that pay homage to places on earth where Jason has set his feet — “honoring the terroir,” as he puts it.

“For a single creation, Jason may look to multiple cultures and eras for inspiration — everything from pre-classic Mayan to Medieval gothic to Longshan Chinese. We are delighted by Jason’s artistry, not only in the works of art he creates, but in the artistic way he fulfills his new responsibilities at Shift. You can check out Jason’s work here.”

And before you check out the illuminating articles, videos, and other content below, we’d love to hear your answer to the question, Do I define myself in terms of my spirit or of my mind and body, and how can I maintain a healthy balance? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

One's first step in wisdom is to question everything — and one's last is to come to terms with everything.
— Georg C. Lichtenberg

Notes On Surrender
By Krista Bremer
Originally published in The Sun

Troubled by Khalil’s answer on the assignment, I suggested we think of ways to describe his family on his father’s side: North African? Libyan? Muslim?

Khalil shook his head. “You don’t get it, Mom,” he said. He explained that none of these was a good choice, but if he had to choose one, North African would be far better than Libyan. Muslim would be worst of all: social suicide. “There is no way I am going to write ‘Muslim,’ ” he said, crossing his arms and daring me to challenge him.

“You should be proud of your heritage,” I said. “Where did you get these ideas?” I did not tell him how many times I have said my husband is “North African” instead of Libyan. Or how many times I’ve said he’s “Muslim — but different from other Muslims.” Or how often I avoid disclosing that I am Muslim, too, having converted six years ago.

To read more, click here.

Would you like to join The Shift Network team?

We are seeking unique and talented individuals for two important positions at The Shift Network: Product Manager and Director of Production.

If you are 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.

“Courting the Dream” Facebook Live Q&A

Would you like to discover how to listen to your body more deeply to receive the medicine of your dreams and experience greater freedom and personal power in your daily life? Author, teacher, and dreamworker

Toko-pa Turner will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Thursday, December 20, at 10:00am Pacific to share how you can explore your dreams through somatic expression to help bring their wisdom into your everyday life. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

Your Voice:

We want to know:

Do I define myself in terms of my spirit or of my mind and body, and how can I maintain a healthy balance?

To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

Elevating the Holiday Blues
Register Now for Three Free Group Coaching Sessions
By Rev. Aliah K. MaJon, PhD

I know this is true — the holiday season after losing my son Sean, my only child, to suicide was way more than difficult for me. Between the middle of November and the first week in January that year, I had to live through four family birthdays, three special holiday occasions, and numerous encounters with jovial people! But thanks to the things that I was forced to learn firsthand, I did come out on the other side of that time still standing…

To read more, click here.

Winning the Battle, Losing the War: A Spiritual Perspective
By Ram Dass

If you tune in to the BBC or read newspapers from around the world, you will realize that we in the U.S. are seen as an economically exploitive and not very compassionate nation, and yet we are made up of people who are compassionate. It’s an interesting paradox. It’s like seeing a big bully beat up a little kid. You feel anger. You feel hurt and upset. You want to stop it. How much worse do you feel if you realize that you are, in fact, just like that big kid? Not only are you hurt by the unfairness of exploiting weakness, but you are also hurt by the fact that you are in some sense a supporter of the whole fight. This is the situation of being a citizen of a nation that is a territorial bully. It’s a terrible double whammy.

To read more, click here.

Spiritual But Not Religious: Misunderstood and Here to Stay
By Philip Goldberg
Initially published in Huffington Post

A great deal has been written about that ever-expanding group of Americans who check “none” when asked about their religious affiliations. The segment of nones who call themselves “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) now constitute at least 20 percent of the population, and 30 percent of those under 30 years of age. I have interviewed hundreds of this important cohort for my books, and I find that the media commentary about them is riddled by misconceptions.

To read more, click here.

Religion and Spirituality
Book excerpt from Through God’s Eyes By Phil Bolsta

Spirituality encourages direct contact with God; yet, without a disciplined commitment to self-awareness, seekers on the road to truth may miss the turn for humility and veer off toward arrogance.

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.
Italian proverb

To read more, click here.

Top Three Herbs for Men: What Every Man Should Have in His Medicine Cabinet
By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, AD, DN-C, RH

Generally, compared to women, men tend to be the warmer gender. In other words, his physiology is likely to be humming along just a little faster. (Remember who has those cold feet under the covers. Not us guys.) Over a lifetime, the goal for a man is to keep his tissues warm and lubricated, and to have a well-functioning repair system and a strong immune system.

While good habits along the lines of diet, sleep, and stress management goes without saying, herbal remedies can tip the balance toward long-term health. Let’s take a look at an herb from each of the “big 3” natural healing systems: Chinese, Ayurveda, and Western.

To read more, click here.

Love is a Gift
Short film by Phil Beastall

This short film about a man counting down the days to Christmas is sure to tug on the heartstrings of anyone who has a heart. What a beautiful love story!

Click here to watch this poignant 2-minute film.

Spark Moments
A short film celebrating women in STEM

Filmmaker Maribeth Romslo combined two of her greatest passions: the STEM field (representing science, technology, engineering, and math), and equality and female representation in film. Spark Moments follows five successful, well-known women in STEM through the moments when they figured out, deep inside, who and what they wanted to be. Appropriately, this film was released on October 22, 2018, the International Day of the Girl.

Click here to watch this 5-minute film.

Click here to read a Mpls St Paul article about the making of the film.

Maggie Doyne: Forget the 80 Million, Start with One

How does a 23-year-old girl from New Jersey end up in a remote Himalayan village rising over 200 children who have been orphaned as a result of disease and civil war? Click here to watch this astonishing 5-minute video.

Click here to watch a Q&A video with Maggie Doyne.

Click here to read a long Q&A with Maggie Doyne.

Click here to make a donation to BlinkNow, the nonprofit foundation Maggie founded.

Click here to read an update and thank you letter from Maggie.

Phoenix Goodman Interview on Public Banking
California Vision 2020

Revolutionary public banking activist Phoenix Goodman invites us to imagine what it would look like to see a massive wealth transfer from private, corporate Wall Street banks back to Main Street. This is the future of the public banking system. In this 19-minute video, you’ll learn about the implementation of public banks in Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S. where the interest paid by our tax dollars is then reinvested to fund the needs of local communities. It's time to stop supporting the private, corrupt banking system in our country. In this interview, Phoenix gives us the download on public banks and how we can replicate the model in our local community.

Click here to watch this 19-minute video.

Weaving Threads of Courage
Web of Light Subtle Activism Series

Join Subtle Activists and life partners David T. Nicol and Kate Naga the first Saturday of each month for their Web of Light Subtle Activism Series, in which they tap into a different quality of our shared essential presence as a strand of light in the global Web. This month’s presentation, “Weaving Threads of Courage,” was designed to help absorb and transmute excess anger and aggression in the collective psychosphere. Click here to listen.

7 Days of Rest
January 1-7, 2019

7 Days of Rest and Reflection is the second global annual event dedicated to the healing and replenishment of the planet and all its inhabitants. Together, across the world, we will spend the first week of 2019, January 1-7, seeding the New Year with a collective field of restful reflection, cultivating sacred relationship of the feminine and masculine with each other, with the foundations of Life, and with all of Creation. For more information, click here.

The Connection Series
Restorative Justice on the Rise

The Connection Series is a powerful and unique opportunity for global individuals and organizations working in the restorative practices or related fields to deepen their impact. This year-long series, from January 15 to December 19, includes:

  • Direct, close mentorship from experts in the restorative justice field
  • In-depth discussions around a diversity of restorative practices, including Indigenous peacemaking, bias, racism, stigma, school-based restorative justice practices, and more
  • An opportunity to network with other restorative justice professionals.

The Connection Series, with global participation of leading RJ practitioners, peacebuilders, educators, and diverse transformational activists, gets my highest recommendation for conscious change work in the year ahead. If you really want to help raise the bar, this is one journey you should not miss in 2019.
James O'Dea, author of Cultivating Peace, co-director of the International Social Healing Project, and former Washington DC director of Amnesty International

International Yoga Festival
March 1-7, 2019

Join us for the world-famous annual International Yoga Festival on the banks of the holy Ganges river, nestled in the lap of the sacred Himalayas, the birthplace of yoga, at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Receive the darshan and inspiring, uplifting wisdom of revered saints, and the teaching and touch of renowned yoga teachers from across the world from a wide variety of lineages — plus, ecstatic kirtan, divine Ganga Aarti, and much, much more. The International Yoga Festival is a truly globally unique event, bringing together so many masters from so many traditions, cultures, and countries in one sacred, beautiful place! Click here to register online.

Wisdom 2.0
March 1-3, 2019
San Francisco, California

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 MINDFULNESS, WISDOM, and COMPASSION in the digital age?” Past speakers include founders of Twitter, Facebook, and eBay. Click here to view the full list of speakers for this year’s event. Click here to register.

Just Be
By Suresh Ramaswamy

What if it was this simple? Just Be. Profound, potent, powerful. Just Be’s essential message is simple. Just be who you are. Who you are is pure essence. Suresh Ramaswamy has created this indispensable resource charged with high vibrations of light, designed to take you to your highest potential. You will discover what life is truly about, learn practices to experience a deeper reality rooted in beingness, and understand how to live from that reality. Uplifting, inspirational, and overflowing with beautiful jewels of wisdom, Just Be will help you lead a life of infinity, pulsating with love, peace, and joy. Click here to order your copy.

Moodtopia: Tame Your Moods, De-Stress, and Find Balance Using Herbal Remedies, Aromatherapy, and More

In this practical, easy-to-use guide to herbs, adaptogens, aromatherapy, color therapy, feng shui, intuition, homeopathy, and more, master herbalist Sara-Chana Silverstein shares the best natural remedies to help combat stress, anxiety, and promote peace of mind and general health. To find out more, click 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.

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.

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.

If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.

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2018 Issue 25 • Dec 16

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.

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

Like Us. Collaborate!

Watch a video, read a book, or start a discussion about an aspect of spirituality you are either unfamiliar with or disagree with. Be open to allowing this new information to challenge your assumptions about the nature of the Divine and of how the universe works.

Upcoming Events: (all subject to change)

Deborah Eden Tull 7-week course
Toko-pa Turner 7-week course
Mark Matousek 7-week course
Winter of Wellness
• Sharla Jacobs & Jesse Koren 7-week course
Shift Mentorship Program
• Grandmother Flordemayo 7-week course
• Daisy Lee 10-week course

• Margaret Paul 7-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 7-week course
• Shiloh Sophia 7-week course
• Daniel Foor course
• Roger Jahnke course
• Raja Choudhury 9-week course
David Crow 7-week course

Blink Now

Our journey starts on a dry riverbed in the foothills of the Himalayas, where one young woman decided to help one young girl, hoping to make one small difference. In the blink of an eye – and with a lot of hard work from a lot of people – that hope turned into a home, a school, and so much more.

Kopila Valley was born and soon blossomed into BlinkNow, a nonprofit foundation serving an ever-growing, ever-inspiring community in Surkhet, Nepal. Our mission is to change the world by empowering Nepal's youth.

Click here to watch the poignant and moving story of Anjali, one of the many girls who found a home through BlinkNow.

For more information on BlinkNow, click here.

To make a donation to BlinkNow, click here.

To read an update and thank you letter from Maggie Doyne, the founder of BlinkNow, click here.

The Charis Project

You can combat the root causes of child trafficking and orphaning by supporting

families in crisis. We help families stay together. Here's how:

Rescue Families. Crisis intervention for the most at-risk families. We visit weekly with food support, encouragement, and counseling.

Strengthen Families. Knowledge is power; educated parents are much better equipped to provide for and protect their children.

Give Families Independence. We train communities in managing and administering their own micro savings and loan so they can build a strong financial future.

For more information, click here. To donate, click here.

Juana Alicia
Muralist, painter, sculptor, and printmaker

Renowned artist and educator Juana Alicia’s work is associated with the greatest artistic and political achievements of the Chicano movement. Her sculptural and painted public works can be seen in Nicaragua, Mexico, Pennsylvania, and in many parts of California, with a large body of public work in San Francisco, centered in the Mission District. Juana Alicia’s works include many types of media, including traditional acrylic murals, true fresco, mosaic tile, and ceramic relief sculpture murals. She is also an accomplished printmaker and studio painter.

Click here to visit Juana’s website to see more of her stunning creations.

Click here to watch a 3-minute video featuring Juana and some of her amazing murals.

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.