By Devaa Haley Mitchell, Chief Transformation Officer
The world so clearly and urgently needs the strong, loving presence and guidance of the Sacred Feminine.
These past few weeks have been especially heartbreaking, as shootings, terrorism, and sexual predation has dominated headlines, and fires and hurricanes have wreaked massive devastation.
In times like these we need the unconditional love of the Great Mother to wrap us in Her loving arms and hold us through these dark nights of our collective soul. The Mother reminds us with Her still small voice that a brighter future is indeed possible — even now. She asks us to “be the change” and to live our values.
Yet we also need a different brand of feminine energy right now, one that we are calling the “Fierce Feminine.” This flavor of the feminine has a more warrior-like aspect, though she’s not at all mean-spirited. She’s embodied by Kali and Durga of the Hindu pantheon, as well as by Vajrayogini of the Tibetan Buddhist lineage.
The Fierce Feminine carries a sword and declares “NO MORE!!” She roars when her Gaia body is scourged. She is willing to stand tall, set boundaries, and shine her bright light into the darkness. She is willing to speak truth to power, whatever the cost.
I recently hosted a call with Andrew Harvey, Caroline Myss, and Mirabai Starr on this topic. And I’m so grateful that Andrew is hosting a whole new course on the Fierce Feminine, along with six amazing women who are co-teaching with him. Click here for the details.
There’s a lot more to be shared about the Sacred Feminine in all Her many facets. And she’s speaking quite loudly these days through so many of us.
May we each choose to walk with Her feet, feel with Her heart, work with Her hands… and bring the full spectrum of the feminine to bear on all that faces us today. Her energy is desperately needed. And WE are each needed as her sacred emissaries across the globe! May it be so!
In this edition of The Catalyst, we’re excited to present long-form video interviews with two world-class authors and speakers on spirituality and transformation — Shift faculty Mirabai Starr and bestselling author Caroline Myss. These video interviews were recorded exclusively for The Catalyst. We hope you enjoy them!
Our Shift Philanthropy section features the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization as well as eight ways for you to help survivors of the Northern California fires. And you’ll find three women-empowering organizations in our Partner Spotlight section.
Our Featured Artist is Emmy award-winning singer and songwriter Faith Rivera, who inspires audiences with music designed to empower and invoke feelings of love and joy.
We would love to hear your answer to the question, How are you feeling about being a woman in the world today? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
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.”
Mirabai will be co-teaching a session with Andrew Harvey in the 7-week course, The Fierce Feminine: Reclaiming the Gifts of Your Radical Divinity, which begins Monday, November 20. For more details — and to enroll — click here.
In this exclusive 64-minute video interview for Catalyst, celebrated author, speaker, and workshop presenter Caroline Myss tackles challenging questions about why we pray, the effects of prayer, and who hears our prayers.
“What prayer is is, ‘God, give me the strength to endure a truth.’ And it is an endurance, to endure an experience nobody else has had. That's why you pray. ‘Give me the grace, the grace to endure a truth that nobody else has seen.’ That's why you pray. You don't pray to get stuff. You don't pray to, ‘Make this easy on me, will you, God, because I'm not having a good time here.’ It's, ‘Give me the strength here to get through this, because…’ Wow. You don't pray to have your path taken away from you, because that's never going to happen. You pray to figure out the wise way through it. That's always going to happen.
Caroline will be co-teaching a session with Andrew Harvey in the 7-week course, The Fierce Feminine: Reclaiming the Gifts of Your Radical Divinity, which begins Monday, November 20. For more details — and to enroll — click here.
For most of us, a good education, financial prosperity and a happy marriage are the keys to a successful life, but Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati had all of that and left to become a nun in the Himalayas. In this astonishing, inspiring, and funny talk, Sadhvi shares the story of growing up in Hollywood, graduating from Stanford, then having a spiritual awakening on the Ganges River while on a backpacking trip to India. She provides the powerful insights and simple lessons that have transformed her life from pieces to peace.
May We Be the Ones, May We be the Ones who bring forward the good, the true, and the beautiful. May We Be the Ones…
May We Be the Ones, May We be the Ones who break the harmful family patterns and bring forward the best of our ancestral heritage…
May We Be the Ones…
This Ancestral prayer speaks to the heart and spirit of the Legacy of Woman that is the essence of this new paradigm. The Legacy of Woman is wisdom passed down from Native teachings for such a time as this and includes Honoring All Life as Sacred, where respect and reverence for the lives and stories of our Human Tribe can be honored, learned from, and used to make the world dream better for the unborn generation.
My experience of the Self comes to me through my brain. In order to peel the layers back, in order to go deeper and deeper, to extricate myself from the chains of my false identities, I need, ironically, my brain. It is my brain that processes the mantra, my brain that permits me to shut down some parts of it while activating others so I may have the experience of oneness with the world.
Just as our eyes are not the rainbow but are the medium through which we experience the rainbow, just as our ears are not the mantras but are the medium through which we hear the mantras, similarly, our brains are not “I” but are the medium through which we can experience “I.”
Recognizing what’s really holding you and learning to trust it helps you relax out of the past and into love’s presence. Not only does this unleash greater ease and flow, it provides a springboard to dive beyond your concepts of what you are and what the world is. Humility opens the gate, beckoning you to come and drink from the inner fountain of the Mystery.
You only have to look at a photograph of the Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela, or Ramana Maharshi to behold the beauty of a human being devoid of the puffiness of pride. Every wisdom tradition acknowledges humility as both the fragrance of a mature soul as well as a virtue that supports surrender. Further still, humility can usher you into the celestial state of grace, where you are spontaneously available to subtle nectars beyond the sense of “me” and “my.”
You have been wondering: If we are made in the image of God, why doesn’t the bearded white Father-God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, breathing life into the first man, Adam, look anything like you? This stern elderly gentleman, draped in expensive robes, lives in the sky.
Maybe you are brown-skinned and full-breasted, which you accentuate with plunging tank tops embroidered with the Harley Davidson logo. Your fingernails are dirty from May through October from planting and harvesting corn, beans, and squash. You are rooted to this earth. Maybe you are a woman who loves women and a man who loves men.
My mother died when I was in my early forties. The day of her death, the family came together to keep a deathbed vigil. She was bleeding internally so they took her away for a test; the whole day passed but she didn’t return. I went to look for her and found that she had been lying on a gurney outside of the department of nuclear medicine all day. We had an exchange with a doctor there which turned out to be pretty funny. I said, “This won’t do. She’s dying, she needs the comfort of her family.” And the doctor said, “We need a diagnosis.” My mother, who was so weak, rallied herself, got up on her elbow, looked him in the eye and said, “You need a diagnosis? I’m dying, that’s your diagnosis.” So I stole her. I started wheeling her away and said, “You’re not having any tests. I’m taking you back to your room.”
A personal message from Shift Network founder Stephen Dinan:
I want to invite you to the online Global Social Change Summit 2017: Transforming Nations (November 13–17) hosted by the Global Institute for Extraordinary Women (GIFEW).
I believe deeply in GIFEW’s mission of accelerating human transformation through the aligned power of extraordinary women. It’s why I will be speaking at the Summit on Sacred Politics, Sacred World.
I’m honored to be speaking alongside other world-class societal transformation leaders and colleagues, including Lynne Twist, co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance and founder and president of the Soul of Money Institute; Lynne McTaggart, the world’s No. 1 authority on intention, spirituality, and the new science; and one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time, scholar, philosopher, and researcher in human capacities, Jean Houston. There will be over 20 more of these incredible speakers joining me. You can find out more by clicking here.
If you are deeply concerned about the direction our country has been moving, and you've noticed that resistance efforts and that shaming and blaming others are having little impact in changing things, then you probably recognize we need to have better strategies to transform our society and the world.
If so, and you are interested in integrating your ethical awareness and your concern for the well-being of the planet by becoming active to help heal and repair our world, we recommend joining the next Spiritual Activism training with Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis to get the skills you need to actually make a difference by helping to build a loving and just world.
The Purpose of Israel, a transformative project that gathers individuals to collectively identify the higher purpose of Israel, launched its unique crowdfunding campaign on Monday, October 3. You can learn more, back their project, and purchase amazing perks from the purpose community here. The Purpose of Israel Project uses the True Purpose® methodology developed by Shift faculty Tim Kelley. The project has already been successful and participants agree that Israel has a critical role as a model of a new and better world for all.
In an effort to understand our collective power as peacemakers in the United States, Communities in Transition (CIT) and PeaceTech Lab are mapping the location of conflict transformation practitioners, mediators, dialogue facilitators, circle holders, religious peacemakers, non-violent communication, interest-based negotiators, restorative justice practitioners and other practitioners and peacemaking organizations residing in the U.S. If you or your organization work in the United States to bring together parties who disagree by using dialogue as a tool, we would encourage you to click here to add your information to the map.
You’re invited to join us on a pilgrimage into the heart of India to explore the ancient roots and modern application of yoga!
This will be an intimate trip of just 10 to 12 people. Our time there will include exclusive sessions with enlightened teachers, visits to sacred sites, and yoga classes with world-renowned teachers.
We’ll also be participating in the International Yoga Festival! Here’s a short video we made during last year’s festivities…
Apply before November 21 and receive a $400 discount!
For more information — and to watch videos from our previous trips to India — 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.
Join us for a week of deep spiritual exploration in the serene and beautiful surrounds of the Blue Spirit Yoga and Meditation Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica (Blue Spirit has been named a Yoga Journal “Best Yoga Escape 2017”). We will be breaking down the walls of resistance by going deeper into peace and tranquility through meditation. The week will include in-depth exploration of the technology of Kundalini Yoga for re-rooting, rest and restoration of the Complete Self from the stresses of daily life. You’ll develop a fulfilling everyday discipline, creating devotional practice with Sadhana at the ambrosial hour, meditation and chanting, and breath walks on the oceanfront, experiencing deep immersion into the Soul! For more information, click here.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
The Fierce Feminine: Reclaiming the Gifts of Your Radical Divinity — A Profound Exploration & Integration of the Divine Feminine With Andrew Harvey, Caroline Myss, Mirabai Starr, Carolyn Baker, Banafsheh Sayyad, Jill Angelo & Monica Sharma. Deepen in the courageous gifts of the Fierce Feminine to cut through denial and illusion, speak and act from wisdom, and help birth a new future for all and discover your liberated power to stand for truth, justice, and love and guide humanity out of an unprecedented “Dark Night.” New 7-week Live Training Starts Monday, November 20, 2017
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Click here to visit RAINN’s website and to make a donation.
Northern California Fire Relief Agencies
Funds donated to the following agencies go directly to the people and animals impacted by the fires. They all contribute much needed guidance during this crisis:
1) The Redwood Credit Union: North Bay Fire Recovery Fund (locally organized fund; 100% goes to those affected by the fire.) Click here to donate.
2) Sonoma County Resilience Fund (for mid- to long-term recovery needs). Click here to donate.
3) NorCal Fire Relief Fund (supporting families, farmworker communities, and coordinating regional resources for immediate and long-term needs). Click here to donate.
We are a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. We use our powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. By shining a spotlight on critical issues, we rally communities of advocates who take action and invest money to empower women. We advocate for freedom from violence, economic and political equality, and sexual rights and health. Click here to visit our website. Click here to make a donation to change the future for women and girls.
We are Yoginis, feminine spiritual practitioners. Rooted in an ancient lineage, we practice embodied spirituality in the midst of our lives as modern women. We meet in online Sadhana intensives, in live retreats, and trainings. In our daily lives we support and challenge each other into the real in our vibrantly alive online community forum, and many women meet in Women’s Temple Groups in their hometowns. All the work of the Awakening Women Institute arises out of a passionate intention to bring true peace and happiness to all sentient beings, and our programs are our contribution to that. Click here to visit our website.
Shared Hope International began in 1998 when U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith traveled into the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai, India. The brutal sexual slavery and exploitation of women and children she witnessed there inspired her to establish Shared Hope International to help bring healing to devastated lives. Their dynamic story of prevention, restoration and justice initiatives has continued unbroken, as you will see as you scroll through the timeline that follows this brief video — click here.
If Tony Robbins were a girl, could sing like Mariah, groove like Madonna, and inspire like Oprah, you’d get Faith Rivera — Emmy award-winning singer & songwriter! Her empowering songs have been used for TV shows like Hawaii 5-0 and ER to supporting bestselling authors to heart-centered entrepreneurs and progressive organizations like the Association for Global New Thought and Unity Worldwide.
This first-generation Filipina lives in Long Beach, California with her high school sweetheart and adorable son. As a family, they most enjoy visiting her hometown of Hawaii and traveling the world bringing sparkly aloha wherever they go. For Faith, love is the answer and music is her powerful weapon of choice to spread that love one song at a time, one heart at a time.
In suggesting that we spotlight Faith, Shift staffer Lisa Bonnice wrote, “ I used her song "The World is Waiting for You" as the theme music for my radio show.”
Click here to watch Faith’s music video for her song, “Beautiful.”