By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
On a day in which gifts are flying to loved ones, we wanted to gift you with a special edition of Catalyst featuring our “Best of 2018!” More on that below after some reflections.
My beloved wife, Devaa Haley Mitchell, and I love this time of year, especially with our magical little daughter Sienna lighting up the days with her joyful silliness.
We are enjoying some family time at our gorgeous new property in Nevada City, which we’re calling the Sierra Jewel. With the rain coming down and the forest very quiet, it’s a beautiful place to restore and renew and celebrate the holidays.
We always find that December offers a particularly good time to reflect on the past year — what inspired us, what progress did we make on our vision, how did we grow?
And then to open to even more possibilities in the year ahead. For me, I’m sensing that this year is a lot about empowering other visionary leaders — a wider network of 100+ leaders who are doing game-changing work (for info on our Shift Mentorship program, which is open for application this week, click here).
As the founders of The Shift Network, we also are delighted by the ever-expanding positive role that our company and extended community are playing in the world. It makes us proud to offer so many life-changing programs that illuminate positive new pathways as an alternative to all the negativity we witness in the news.
You are an important part of our Shift Network family and we appreciate you taking part in leading the world towards a new dawn. Please know how much we value you — and take to heart that we are walking this path together, each of us evolving our inner lives so we can take action in grounded, practical, and effective ways to create a better world that works for all, starting with the people closest to us.
Click here to watch a 5-minute video that’s a tangible expression of our deep commitment to supporting a collective shift in consciousness.
In this “Best of 2018” issue of The Shift Catalyst, we selected a number of Featured Media, Featured Articles, and Member Profiles to share with you once more, ones that our team finds inspiring and thought- and feeling-provoking. We hope you enjoy this edition as we look back on 2018.
Also, before the calendar turns to 2019, we’re excited to announce our first-ever Gifts of Wisdom for the New Year sale. As a thank you for being a valued member of the Shift community, we’re offering four popular courses that were originally offered for $297 to $597 — for just $98 each! Click here for details. This limited-time offer ends at Midnight Pacific on January 1.
Finally, we would love to hear your answer to the question, What changes did you make in 2018 that most improved your life and the lives of others? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.
— C. W. Leadbeater
So here I was, a woman who had been in nonstop “go mode” most of her life, now lying immobile. I realized then that my life of constant doing had depleted me emotionally, harmed me physically, and robbed me of precious limited energy. Though I was considered extremely successful by societal standards, it was clear that my health, wellbeing, and relationships were suffering.
I asked myself some important questions in that quiet post-surgery stillness. And in the absence of the usual barrage of external demands, distractions, and to-do lists, I listened for the answers. In my haste to achieve and accomplish, I’d completely neglected to nurture my physical and emotional sensitivity. If I was going to improve my life, my health, and my relationships, I’d need to start paying attention to what was happening inside my body and within my heart. As it turned out, being forced to take time off to heal my injury also provided a period of uninterrupted time for healing my soul.
I was ready to step away from a life of habitually doing — and instead create a life of intentionally being.
Many years ago, I walked across the long bridge over the Watauga River in Sugar Grove, North Carolina. The rural valley was dotted with farmhouses and barns, and wildflowers blanketed the riverbank.
I turned right at the abandoned yet structurally sound Farthing farmhouse and entered what appeared to be a last remnant of old-growth hemlocks, towering and quiet. Rhododendron grew beneath them like little plump balls of green, and here and there a sheep or a cow lay at the foot of a massive hemlock trunk.
We are seeking unique and talented individuals for three important positions at The Shift Network: Executive Assistant to C-Suite, Product Manager, and Customer Support & Registration Specialist.
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.
Would you like to bring your unique story to fruition... and share your core message of empowerment with others? Bestselling author and teacher Mark Matousek will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Thursday, January 3, at Noon Pacific to share how you can tap into your authentic voice and overcome barriers hiding within — enabling deep creativity and transformative truth-telling. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.
As an African American woman, I know that the great wealth of my life is the inheritance of Okan. Okan is a Yoruba word that can be translated as “the heart” and may be likened unto the qualities associated with the Heart chakra in the traditions of the East. But the word Okan also means first.
One could say that this word advises us to move in the world “heart first.” It is our preference for Okan that impels us to be optimistic, to make a way out of no way.
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.
What did you learn, through your writing, about yourself, your own personal experience, and the general experience of Black Americans?
I think there was a certain point in the book when I realized I grew up in a war zone — that the experience of being in a neighborhood that was consistently patrolled by law enforcement and consistently hyper criminalized…wasn’t normal. It wasn’t healthy, and so many of us experienced the impact of state violence in our communities. I had to really come to terms… with the idea that my family deserved dignity and deserved care and they deserved for their humanity to be really seen and that it wasn’t. In fact, our poverty was weaponized against us.
In 1983, my second year in the NBA with the New York Knicks, there was a month-long stretch where I wasn’t playing. Players always want to play so I was looking for an opportunity to get in the game somehow, someway. Remember, we’re talking about a kid who was 23 years old who thought basketball meant everything.
I’m not the most religious guy in the world but I have a strong faith and I believe in God. You know how you hear people talk sometimes about a spirit that came and uplifted them and moved them in the right direction? Well, one night, a spirit walked into Madison Square Garden and gave me an opportunity to play basketball again.
The tsunami is building now. Have you noticed? I am not referring to the geo-political and planetary turmoil happening all around us. I am talking about the grassroots shift in consciousness that is being accelerated by the turmoil (which is its only purpose, by the way).
When I first started meditating in the 70s, I was the weird one in my family and amongst my peers. Now there are meditation rooms in corporate offices and mindfulness classes taught at elementary schools. Really big changes in just 40 years!
This exclusive 45-minute video interview for Catalyst features the wisdom of clinical psychologist Dr. Edith Eva Eger, author of The Choice, a powerful and beautiful memoir about her experiences during the Holocaust, and how her own traumatic experiences enabled her to help her clients heal from trauma of their own.
I was interviewed by Larry King, and he mentioned that most people were very unkind, and I told him that in April 1945, we were slave laborers. They took us from one place to another, and we were in a German village in a kind of a community hall, and we were told if we dared to leave the premises, we're going to be shot right away, but my sister Magda told me, if I don't get some food, she'll die.
So I didn't pay any attention to the, you know, what I am going to perhaps pay for this. I went outside, and I saw some carrots in the next garden, and I still, being a gymnast, I jumped like a cat, and I put the carrots wherever I could. I climbed up that wall, and there was a guard with a gun, and I never heard a gun in my life, but I heard the clicking, and I began to pray for him, so he won't shoot me. I heard the clicking about three times; he picked it up, put it down, and then he turned the gun around and pushed me inside. I had the carrots.
So the following morning, he comes in: "Who dared to break the rules?" And I got so scared, I crawled to him. This is April 1945, when the German people are starving too, and he gave me a little loaf of bread, and said, "You must have been hungry to do what you did."
In this exclusive 33-minute video interview for Catalyst, Lori Schneider talks about the unforgettable day that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Terrified, she quit her job and ended her marriage, expecting to end up in a wheelchair. Yet one year later, she was standing on top of the highest peak in South America.
It was a real defining moment in my life. I was getting ready to get up in the morning, get out of bed, and get on a treadmill to start my exercising, because secretly I was training to climb another mountain… and swung my legs out of bed and I was numb on one entire side of my body, as if someone had drawn a line. One side was numb and the other wasn't. I called the doctor and I explained what happened and they said, "Well, if it's still like that tomorrow, come into the emergency room and we'll check you out."
So I tried not to worry. Next morning, the whole day and following morning I was still numb. And my vision was really blurry. I was having trouble with motor activities. I just felt out of sorts. I went in and eventually they told me that I had multiple sclerosis. And when they told me that, fear set in terribly, and I ran away from my whole life. I had been a teacher for 20 years, I'd been married for 22 years... I sold my house, I left everything behind in fear that I wouldn't be able to walk soon.
Irma Caisamo was interviewed live at the Indigenous Summit of the Americas (Cumbre de Abya Yala) in Panama City, Panama, in 2015 for the Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit.
An accomplished Emberá healer and mother of 10 from the jungle of Panama, Irma learned about healing from her mother and grandparents. They taught her to talk to the Creator and talk to the plants — and listen to them! In this wonderful 37-minute talk, she shares many details about what it means to be Emberá and about her healing work. She also shares an important message for the world: that we’re all children of the Creator without distinction of race, and that we need to love ourselves and all of nature. Indigenous people, she says, are the ones who will save the rest of the world by teaching people how to live in harmony with nature.
To listen to Irma Caisamo’s interview, click here.
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 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
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 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.
Have you ever had a deep spiritual experience? If so, it was probably one of the most meaningful moments of your life. But if you’re like most of us, chances are your spiritual experiences have also been fairly short-lived, leaving you longing to reconnect with the sacredness you felt in those moments, but not sure how to make that a sustained reality.
That’s why I’m excited to be writing today to let you know about a powerful new discovery that can help you bridge that gap once and for all. Join spiritual teacher Craig Hamilton on Saturday, January 12, for Meditation 2.0: The Miracle of Direct Awakening. In this groundbreaking online event, Craig will share the surprising truth he’s learned in his decades of meditation teaching and research — and how we can each apply it immediately to unleash the energy of awakening into our lives.
And click here for a free download of Craig’s new ebook, Unlocking the Power of Meditation: The 5 Meditation Mistakes Most Seekers are Making — and How You Can Move Beyond Them to Access Authentic Spiritual Awakening.
Winner of the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—Instructional
Forbidden to attend school in her rural Zimbabwe village due to her gender, Tererai was married off at 11 and bore three children by the age of 18 to a husband who beat her. She dreamed of going to America and earning a B.S., a Master's, and a PhD. She wrote those dreams on a piece of paper, which she placed in a scrap of tin and buried under a rock in a pasture.
In 1998, seven years after committing her dreams to paper, Tererai, her husband (who was later deported for abuse), and their five children moved to Oklahoma. After earning her B.S., Tererai returned to Zimbabwe, dug up the tin and checked off that dream. She did the same after attaining her Master's in 2003, and again in 2009 when she was awarded her PhD. She has also built schools for girls in Zimbabwe, with funding from Oprah.
Through one incredible woman’s journey from a child bride to one of the world’s most recognizable voices in women’s empowerment and education, this manifesto inspires women to pursue their sacred dreams through nine essential lessons brought forth from ancient African wisdom.
This #1 New York Times bestseller is a timely and important book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection. Click here to order your copy.
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.
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.
• 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
We are named after Ella Baker, a brilliant black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. In a world where resources are invested in growth and support instead of punishment and prisons, we will all be able to reach our full potential. Communities with more opportunity for everyone are safer, healthier, and more just for all.
SevaChild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is saving tens of thousands of impoverished children in India from Vitamin A deficiency, the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness. SevaChild’s network of over 2,000 volunteers travel to remote areas throughout 18 of India’s 29 states identifying and registering at-risk children. They educate parents on the benefits of Vitamin A and administer the vital nutrient, twice a year, to thousands of children. All of this relief is delivered at an annual cost of less than one dollar per child.To find out more and make a donation, click here.
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a lifelong ambition.
100 percent of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
We envision a world where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
IEN is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination and exploitation while maintaining and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws. Click here for more information. Click here to make a donation.
It is the rare artist that is larger than the canvas they occupy. Their mission is bigger than the stage they stand upon. Their commitment and contribution extend beyond themselves to encompass all who come into contact with them. Jami Lula is such an artist.
Born and raised in Detroit’s arts and musical hotbed, Jami made his way to Southern California — into the melting pot, the creative stew where creativity, music, and transformation meet. Music is larger than just making sound. It is the heart of the Spirit walk, the key to creative change in the world.
Lending his voice and leadership in concert to youth groups and spiritual centers throughout the nation, Jami has been honored by LA Music Awards (“Best Male Vocalist”), winner of the Centers for Spiritual Living “Youth Champion Award,” and many other musical and mission-based honors. His work with youth is legend.
Click here to listen to — and purchase — Jami’s music.