The Shift Catalyst – Grief

By Phil Bolsta, Catalyst editor

To be human is to know grief.

Grief, whether for the loss of a relationship, a loved one, or your health, is a necessary bridge between the life you once enjoyed and the life that even now extends a welcoming embrace. 

Yet, immersed in sorrow, you fear that you may never again drink deeply of the cup of life.

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
— Aeschylus

Those who have lost a loved one may tenderly wrap their arms around their grief and resist all efforts to pry them loose, believing on some level that by holding on to their grief they are holding on to their beloved.

Grief will not be ignored. Turn in any direction and grief is there, fencing you in. Only when you give grief your full attention will it give up its gifts.

While you did not consciously choose to suffer, you have no other choice but to follow the lead of your suffering once it has you in its grip.

Life dances and you must dance with it.
— Phillip Moffitt

Pretend that grief is not pounding on the door to your heart and you jeopardize your physical health as well as your emotional wellbeing.

Look through the eyes of the Divine and you realize that had you never been blessed with what you have lost, your life would have been much poorer. Grief and celebration are two sides of the same coin.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
— Kahlil Gibran

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The Master Key” by Robert Peng, a featured speaker in The Shift Network’s 2019 Qigong Global Summit, is one of the most profoundly important books I’ve ever read. I can say that it’s life-changing with complete confidence, because it changed my life before I even finished reading it. I was so impressed with this book that we are serializing the section called “One Hundred Days of Darkness and Light” in future issues of Catalyst. You can read the sixth installment (as well as the previous ones) here.
— Phil Bolsta

Grieving is not about forgetting.
Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.

— Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

The stories in this issue’s “The Nicest Thing” section come from grief guide, life purpose coach, and author Uma Girish, whose first course for Shift Network, Transform Grief & Pain Into Purpose & Joy: A Soul-Guided Journey to Navigate Life’s Little to Big Losses, begins Thursday, January 30.

You’ll also hear from popular Shift faculty Mirabai Starr, a prolific author who also speaks internationally on contemplative practice and interspiritual dialogue.

Finally, we’d love to hear your answer to the question, How did experiencing grief change the way you look at life and the way you interact with others? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

The Master Key
By Robert Peng, a featured speaker in The Shift Network’s 2019 Qigong Global Summit

It's 1972 in the industrial city of Xiangtan, China. A frail child with a heart condition sneaks into a hotel boiler room and befriends the elderly yet vibrant attendant, who eventually reveals his true identity as a revered Qigong master. He heals the boy and, for the next 13 years, secretly teaches him the keys to unlocking the spiritual and healing dimensions of the Life Force.

It sounds like a modern-day fable, but the story is true. And with The Master Key, that grateful student, Robert Peng, invites all of us to enter the next chapter of this empowering path. Here, Master Peng brings together the unique insights of his teacher with the moving account of his own journey.

Click here to read the sixth installment (as well as the first five installments) of this profoundly moving book.

In this special video series, prominent authors, speakers, thought leaders, and others answer the question, “What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?

Uma Girish’s Story
Grief guide, life purpose coach, and award-winning author

EXCERPT: Back when I was in college, I was dealing with my father's alcoholism at home. I would go into college feeling really broken, wanting to cry, but having to hold my tears. And because I couldn't tell anybody, I was carrying a lot of shame and hurt around my family circumstances, so I wasn't able to talk about it with anybody. 

To watch the video and read the transcript of Uma’s life-changing 5-minute story, click here.

Uma’s brand-new 7-week live video training, Transform Grief & Pain Into Purpose & Joy: A Soul-Guided Journey to Navigate Life’s Little to Big Losses, begins Thursday, January 30. For more details — and to enroll — click here.

Mirabai Starr’s Story
Author, teacher, and speaker

EXCERPT: And he said, "So what are you working on?" And I said, "Well, I'm working on this new book about the sacred feminine. It's called Wild Mercy, and I just happened to have written yesterday about Siddhi Ma and about being with her in India. In that same section, Ram Dass, I also wrote about you." And he said, "Well, this is perfect timing. Why don't you read it to me?" I said, "Ram Dass, right now?" And he said, "Right now."

To watch the video and read the transcript of Mirabai’s 9-minute tribute to Ram Dass, click here.

If you missed any “Nicest Thing” stories, you can catch up on all of them here.

“The Ancient Practice of Shamanic Journeying” Facebook Live Q&A with Sandra Ingerman

Would you like to discover the specific wisdom your compassionate ancestors hold for you to help you navigate these times — from personal challenges to planetary healing? Shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Tuesday, January 28, at 5:00pm Pacific to share how you can access guidance from helping spirits and learn shamanic ceremonies to help heal family, community, and societal wounds. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

“Transform the Shame in Your Spiritual DNA” Facebook Live Q&A with Wendy De Rosa

Are you intrigued by receiving an extended healing session EVERY week — along with tools and practices to help you finally release unconscious wounding… and ground deeply into your authentic power? Author, trainer, and intuitive healer Wendy De Rosa will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Wednesday, January 29, at Noon Pacific to share how you can clear negative, energy-restricting beliefs embedded in your soul’s blueprint from your childhood, past lifetimes, family lineage, and more. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

“Integrating Your Head, Heart & Hara” Facebook Live Q&A with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens

Would you like to access your Head, Heart, and Hara (your gut) wisdom with practices from Celtic Shamanism, Qigong, the Enneagram, and more — for a more authentic, easeful, and joyous life? Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, the founder of MetaIntegral, will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Thursday, January 30, at 9:00am Pacific to share how you can tune into your three wisdom centers to access your inner knowing at any moment throughout your day. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

“The Warrior Heart Practice” Facebook Live Q&A with HeatherAsh Amara

Would you like to release limiting and painful beliefs by working through the four chambers of your heart — rearranging the pieces of your personal puzzle into an integrated new whole? Bestselling author and spiritual teacher HeatherAsh Amara will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Tuesday, February 4, at Noon Pacific to share how you can allow the power of your individual Intent (or Life) to move through you, showing you the way toward the true harbor of your innate integrity and peace. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

“The Gut-Health Reboot Course” Facebook Live Q&A with Trupti Gokani

Would you like to discover your unique gut type, and specific foods to use as “medicine” to boost your health, prevent or manage disease, and maintain overall wellness? Award-winning, board-certified neurologist Trupti Gokani, MD, will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on Thursday, February 6, at 5:00pm Pacific to share how you can give your entire system a healthy reboot with simple practices from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and modern science — including tools to reset your digestion starting today. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.

Your Voice:

We want to know: How did experiencing grief change the way you look at life and the way you interact with others? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.

10 Inspirational Quotes About Learning From Loss
By Uma Girish

Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.

Grasping is a lot harder than opening your fist and letting something that’s ready to fly away leave. We hold on to people, relationships, ways of being and doing that don’t serve our best self. Ask why you’re holding on to something. It’s no different than stocking milk that’s well past its expiration date.

To read more, click here.

Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss & Transformation
The Epilogue
By Mirabai Starr

I leaned over the railing. The full moon was setting in the west, and the first rays of sunrise were tumbling over the walls of the canyon, dropping into the stream, and bouncing off the boulders. I took a tiny packet of human ashes from my satchel and opened it into the air. They drifted to the water below. These were not Jenny’s ashes I was releasing, but rather a small pinch of the burnt body of the son of a woman I did not know, who had asked me to carry this trace of him to the sacred land where our mutual guru had lived. Someone had done this service for me once, and it seemed right to pass the blessing on to another bereaved mother.

To read more, click here.

To listen to or read the transcript of Phil Bolsta's interview with Mirabai about Caravan of No Despair, click here.

Uma Girish Video Interview
Hosted by Mal Duane

In this 29-minute video interview, Uma dispenses wisdom on grief, grace, shame, and other issues that life brings to our door. Uma and Mal also discuss Uma’s third book, Lessons From Grace: What a Baby Taught Me About Living and Loving.

Click here to watch the interview.

The House on the Lake
A Free Literary Immersion

Do you like ghost stories? The House on the Lake by Erin Harris (who also writes for The Shift Network) is an otherworldly tale told in the classic style. It’s the story of a shy and bookish young bachelor who’s captivated by the beauty of an abandoned mansion… and aching to reclaim a lost love. As the veil thins on a thunderous autumn night, a mysterious apparition opens him to an urgent chance to change the course of his life. The first installments are available for free online… click here to immerse yourself in The House on the Lake!

Celebration in Memory of Ram Dass
February 15, Santa Cruz, California

On February 15 at 7:00pm, we will gather to celebrate the life and legacy of Ram Dass at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz. Dr. Larry Brilliant, co-founder with Ram Dass of the Seva Foundation, will emcee. Mirabai Starr, author and speaker, will offer a lyrical eulogy to her lifelong friend and teacher. The new kirtan sensation, Kripa, will lead us in call & response chanting, and other surprise luminaries are making arrangements to be there then! There will also be a screening of the new documentary about Ram Dass’ life, Becoming Nobody, which will raise funds for a project most dear to Ram Dass’ heart, the Hanuman Temple in Taos, New Mexico. Click here for more information.

Thrive Academy Client Attraction Summit
May 29-31 in San Jose, California

Attention Coaches, Holistic Practitioners, Healers, and Lightworkers… Not enough clients? Let’s start 2020 off right by using the heart-based client attraction method that’s created over $100 million in sales for those who have learned it. Learn from the power couple Stephen Dinan called, “The #1 source for turning Coaches and Holistic Practitioners into 6-figure transformational leaders.”

This is our holiday gift to you! Join Jesse Koren and Sharla Jacobs at the Thrive Academy Client Attraction Summit and you’ll get the skills, confidence, and inspiration you need to attract more clients, earn more money, and have a much greater impact in the world.

Claim Your Full Scholarship Now!

International Yoga Festival — Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, India — March 1-7, 2020

Join us March 1-7 for the world-famous annual International Yoga Festival on the banks of the holy Ganges river, in the lap of the sacred Himalayas, at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Receive the darshan and inspiring, uplifting wisdom of revered saints, the teaching and touch of renowned yoga teachers from a wide variety of lineages, plus ecstatic kirtan, divine Ganga Aarti, and much more! The International Yoga Festival is a truly unique event bringing together so many masters from so many traditions, cultures, and countries in one sacred, beautiful place — the birthplace of yoga! For more information, click here.

To watch the video trailer, click here.

Caravan of No Despair
By Mirabai Starr

EDITOR'S NOTE: This beautifully written memoir spoke directly to my heart. Mirabai's transparency and willingness to be emotionally naked and vulnerable are astonishing. Her openness to sharing her journey of grief and loss is undoubtedly a gift to those who are struggling with unimaginable losses. I was so very impressed with the quality of the writing as well. Dozens of times throughout the book, with just a few perfectly expressed and arranged words, Mirabai conveys an emotional power and depth that is nothing short of stunning. Her message is clear and powerful: even when the world is not large enough to contain your grief, and even though you will never again be who you once were, know that healing is possible, and that joy patiently waits on the other side of sorrow. Click here to order your copy.

Losing Amma, Finding Home
By Uma Girish

This poignant and inspiring memoir tells the story of how Uma’s mother's death completely shifted the course of her life. It’s a heartrending narrative of losing a parent, living through the pain, and transforming it to discover one’s true calling and purpose. Interweaving two cultures, this transformational memoir brings home the truth that pain can lead to peace, and even a life of great purpose.

Click here to order your copy.

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. For more information and to order your copy, click here. To request a free sample chapter from the author, email Phil at

Through God’s Eyes is a superb book, a truly enlightened piece of work that is an essential read for all people who are truly devoted to the care and refinement of their soul. Phil is a contemporary mystic, a man whose life is a living commitment to spiritual service. I am honored to know him.
— Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Defy Gravity

One of the most important books I’ve ever read. An incredible compilation of spiritual wisdom and insight. It’s the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.
— Robert Peterson, author of Answers Within

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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2020 Issue 2 • Jan 26

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
• The Nicest Thing
• Movement News
• Action of the Week
• Shift Spotlight
• Shift Impact
• Partner Spotlight
• Featured Artist
• Allies of the Shift
• Back Issues

Like Us. Collaborate!

To move through your grief, you must brace yourself and walk into it. Take heart; the further you travel into your grief, the closer you are to overcoming it. Ask yourself self-reflection questions like, What is the essence of what I lost and how much do I need that in my life?... What is it that I am missing most?What exactly am I afraid of and why?

Discover the 4 Chambers of Your Warrior Heart — A free video event with bestselling author and spiritual teacher HeatherAsh Amara. Discover the healing power of the four chambers of your heart — to transform challenges into opportunities, confusion into clarity, and pain into peace. Wednesday, January 29, at 5:30pm Pacific 

Find Your Inner Peace — A free video event with human rights expert, author, and mindfulness teacher Amandine Roche, and Peace Ambassador, author, public speaker, and trainer Philip Hellmich. Access tools to cultivate inner peace and break free of reactive patterns by staying connected to your heart. Saturday, February 1, at 10:00am Pacific

Unlock the Power of Anti-Aging Plant Medicine — A free video event with world-renowned herbalist and teacher K.P. Khalsa. Determine how to choose the right herbal remedy for YOU, and the dose you need to produce results. Wednesday, February 5, at 5:30pm Pacific

From Fight-or-Flight to Inner Resilience — A free video event with Lauren Walker, author and founder of Energy Medicine Yoga. Discover simple techniques you can use — anywhere, anytime — to prevent or reverse the fight-or-flight response and bring your mind-body-spirit back into alignment. Saturday, February 8, at 10:00am Pacific

Plant Medicine for Modern Epidemics with world-renowned plant medicine pioneer David Crow, LAc. Discover how to safely combine and customize healing herbs —  that effectively address your symptoms and consider your medical history.
New 6-Month Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, January 29

Transform Grief & Pain Into Purpose & Joy with grief guide, life purpose coach, and award-winning author Uma Girish. Learn healing practices to navigate grief and turn pain into purpose — for a soul-led life of joy and fulfilment.
New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Thursday, January 30

The Ancient Practice of Shamanic Journeying with shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman. Discover the specific wisdom your compassionate ancestors hold for you to help you navigate these times — from personal challenges to planetary healing.
New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, February 4

Deeper Dimensions of Medical Qigong with Qigong and Tai Chi master teacher and author Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD. Activate your own “inner elixir” to deepen into radical and unexpected inner healing — in the moment, anytime, and anywhere.
New 4-Month Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, February 5

Transform the Shame in Your Spiritual DNA with author, trainer, and intuitive healer Wendy De Rosa. Receive an extended healing session EVERY week — along with tools and practices to help you finally release unconscious wounding… and ground deeply into your authentic power.
New 7-Week Live Video Training Starts Wednesday, February 5

Upcoming Events (all subject to change):

Trupti Gokani 7-week course
• HeatherAsh Amara 7-week course
Sean Esbjörn-Hargens 7-week course
Peace Ambassador Training
• KP Khalsa 7-week course
• Lauren Walker 7-week course

• Christine Stevens 7-week course
• Raja Choudhury 9-week course
• Enneagram 18-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 7-week course
• Holly Tse 7-week course
• Oscar Miro-Quesada 7-week course
• Tirzah Firestone 7-week course

The Sentencing Project

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration. Our work includes the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns, and strategic advocacy for policy reform. 

Click here to visit their website and to watch a 3-minute video, “The Sentencing Project: For a Better Justice System.” Click here to donate.

The Global Village Foundation

The Global Village Foundation (GVF), a non-governmental, nonreligious, and nonpolitical 501(c)(3)organization based in California, was founded by author, peacemaker, and humanitarian Le Ly Hayslip,whose bestselling memoir was made into the 1993 movie, Heaven and Earth, by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone.

GVF serves the developing communities of rural SE Asia, focusing primarily on education, encouraging literacy, and supporting local and regional arts and culture. We provide life lessons to local recipients and local and international volunteers through hands-on engagement at the grassroots level.

Click here to visit the website.
Click here to make a donation.

Click here for information on Le Ly’s “Heaven & Earth Pilgrimage” to Vietnam from March 30 to April 13, not only to mark 45 years of peace in Vietnam, but also to mark the 25th anniversary of the U.S. and Vietnam establishing full diplomatic relations.

Le Ly writes: “You will have a front-row seat to see all the good that has been accomplished from so many donors over the years. Come be a part of the many successes of our humanitarian work for the last 30 years. Please invite others to come with you – and help contribute funds to those children in the three orphanages and oncology hospital we'll be visiting. Food, supplies, and cash are given directly to the people in need."

The Circle

The Circle is an organization of women working together to achieve equality for women and girls in a fairer world. Founded by Annie Lennox in 2008, The Circle is inspired by the notion that when women come together and organize, they can be a powerful force for change. We are a network of women from all walks of life and all backgrounds who have something in common: the awareness that we still do not live in a world where women and girls have equal rights and equal opportunities. Click here for more information.

Yvette Gellis
Visual artist

Yvette Gellis’ paintings exist as wavering thresholds, indeterminate intermediary space between the grounded reality of the viewer’s domain and the nebulous, intangible, shifting pictorial space that lures us in with high-contrast tile-ground plane shapes beckoning us to explore the deep space beyond our physical reach.

Yvette has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Pasadena Museum of California Art; the Landesgalerie Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria; St. Jacques Eglise in Dival, France; the Torrance Art Museum; Soulangh Cultural Park and Museum in Taiwan; Cao Shan Dong Men Art Museum in Yangmingshan, Taipei; and many galleries in California, Los Angeles, and at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, where she maintains her studio and active exhibition program.

Yvette is a Professor of Art at Pepperdine University and has taught art at many institutions for over 20 years. From her experience, she has found the greatest results come when her students dive deep within themselves in total freedom — painting from their souls. No competition, no comparing, just pure inner expression as to what comes up from each individual’s source. 

“It’s a beautiful experience to see the unique expression pour out from each soul,” says Yvette. “Whether a first-time artist or professional artist with an established career, the work magically morphs and manifests through many varied individual directions. Breakthroughs come spiritually, mentally, physically, and within the work itself.”

Click here to visit Yvette’s website.

Click here for information on Yvette’s meditative Art Workshop & Retreat in Bali, “Explorations in Painting,” which takes place August 8-16.

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.