2015 Catalyst, Issue 23: Thanksgiving and Gratitude
[Catalyst 23 - 2015] Thanksgiving and Gratitude
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
The recent senseless killings in Paris were heartbreaking. From all of us at The Shift Network, we send our heartfelt sympathies to the people who lost loved ones and to all the people of France, as well as those in Beirut, Iraq and so many other places.
We also send our support to the Syrian refugees who are caught in a terrible situation and we hope they do not suffer any more as a result of the killings. We particularly support continuing and even increasing the admittance of refugees, who are carefully vetted and in need of real help. We also invite everyone to keep building “peace friendships” across the divides. Generosity of heart is key to preventing more terrorism down the road in addition to smart and strategic containment of danger.
To our larger global community, The Shift Network is all the more committed to helping create a more peaceful world. Last week, I was joined by Alison Weeks (Director of Education), Ben Hart (Director of Marketing) and Philip Hellmich (Director of Peace) for meetings in Washington, DC with partner organizations focused on peacebuilding.
In the next year, we will be announcing new peace initiatives and opportunities for Shift Network members to deepen our personal peace practices and to take meaningful action.
Prior to the events in Paris, we had planned to dedicate this edition of The Catalyst to “Thanksgiving and gratitude.” We decided to move forward with this theme with the intention of inviting each of us to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives. Life is too precious to be lived in fear. It is by amplifying the positive that we can transform the negative.
We have heartfelt articles from Susan Cannon and Sherri Lassila, Robert Moss, Dr. Joseph Michael Levry and Adam Hoffman. We want to bring special attention to the World Healing Superclass that Dr. Levry is offering on Nov. 29, 2015. Dr. Levry is expecting over 100,000 people to participate in this free event and we encourage you to join them live in Mexico City or online – click here to learn more. (See Featured Media and Featured Article).
Our member profile is from Colleen Mauro who just published a wonderful book on Spiritual Telepathy. Our Partner Spotlight is The Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley — an incredible center that promotes science-based practices for a meaningful life. The Greater Good Science Center has many resources on the science of gratitude – click here.
And, for Shift Philanthropy, we are staying focused on the campaign to support the 125th Memorial of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Thanksgiving is an especially meaningful time to remember our Indigenous brothers and sisters. We thank all of you who are supporting the campaign and invite others to join us in standing with our Indigenous family at this important time.
The Gratitude Experiment
— Studies say there are two simple words that are scientifically proven to make you happier and healthier: "Thank you." On today's WellCast, we're doing the gratitude experiment and putting this theory to the test. Does being grateful really help your wellbeing? Tune in to find out.
As we reflect on our leadership journeys, what really stands out are the teachers and transformational learning communities that have stretched us to higher levels of leadership, and led us to a place where we can give back. We’re grateful to now be stewarding this kind of supportive container and transformative, practical curriculum for evolutionary leaders of The Shift, with the upcoming Shift Leadership Academy — Taking Your Soul’s Mission to The Next Level . . . [read more]
One of the things I learned — after being required to learn the Mohawk language to understand my dreams — is that giving thanks is the Indigenous North American way of prayer.
From this perspective, everything around you is alive and conscious, and you should mind your manners and thank everything that supports your life. You do this knowing that you are talking to family. The more you do it, the more that orenda — the Iroquois term for the power that is in everything and beyond everything — gathers around you . . . [read more]
There is a great power hidden in the practice of gratefulness and thankfulness. It has the capacity to bestow an expanded state of consciousness and self-equilibrium that leads to blessings. Practiced actively, gratefulness and thankfulness will lead to an awakening and renewal of the soul’s powers, which can carry you through any adversity. Being grateful opens our minds and hearts to the touch of the Divine mind and consciousness. In so doing we are attuning to the Divine. When we give thanks, we create an alignment to the creator of our soul and the source of our being . . . [read more]
"Thank you" doesn't just bring light to people's faces. It also lights up different parts of the brain.
Evidence is mounting that gratitude makes a powerful impact on our bodies, including our immune and cardiovascular health. But how does gratitude work in the brain?
A team at the University of Southern California has shed light on the neural nuts and bolts of gratitude in a new study, offering insights into the complexity of this social emotion and how it relates to other cognitive processes . . . [read more]
In the late 80s, I launched Intuition: A Magazine for the Higher Potential of the Mind to introduce readers to the emerging field of intuition development. The magazine, published from 1988–2001, provided how-to information, research, and interviews with leaders in the field. Interest in this subject had started as a trickle and then became a flood. By the year 2000, dozens of books had been published on this topic . . . [read more]
Free Livestream — Naam Yoga Super Class — November 29, 2015 at 8:30 am (CST), the world will witness yet another historical event in the name of global healing. Led by Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, founder of Naam Yoga, this year our goal is to unite 100,000 people, both in person (Mexico City) and via Livestream from all over the world, to send healing vibrations of Love Peace Light to All people, everywhere. Our mission is to ease the suffering of the afflicted and to bring hope to humanity through the raising consciousness, uniting hearts and the infinite power of heartfelt prayer and meditation. To learn more and to sign up free, click here. To find us Facebook – click here.
Conscious Living TV — We're off to Maui for a sustainable farm to table thanksgiving feast; and, we have words of wisdom from Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of Agape featured in the Secret, who shares the power gratitude can have on every aspect of our lives. To watch free, click here.
Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World — December 2–6, 2015 — Tao Wellness Center, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico —
HeartMath and Global Coherence Initiative Special Event: Come join us for a transformative experience in Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World, our fourth annual Mexico event. We will practice tools for Collective Coherence and learn how this accelerates our personal unfoldment into higher potentials. Energetic connectivity will be explored and why it is effective for co-creating a new world. Be sure to use code "Mexico1" when you register to receive the Early Registration discount rate. To learn more, click here.
Costa Rica Retreat — Light On Kundalini is delighted to invite you to our 2015 Costa Rica Retreat December 12 to 19, 2015 led by Karuna, an Academy Member of the Kundalini Research Institute. Experience 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. Join us in Chanting, Dancing, Breath Walking, Meditation and Kundalini Yoga. Kurt Johnson, author of The Coming Interspiritual Age, will lead evening sessions. ALL LEVELS WELCOME. For more information and registration click here.
The Four Directions programs, inspired by the work of Angeles Arrien, are designed to support full engagement in your personal, work and community life. These tools that are cross-cultural and can be applied in any environment where leadership, wellbeing, creativity and wisdom are valued. We’re excited to offer a 2016 Vision Quest experience during the third gathering of the four session program. We hope that you can join us for this exciting and transformational journey. Receive a discount if you register before December 1, 2015. To learn more, click here.
Iran! Splendors of the Persian Empire — April 3–16, 2016 — Tehran, Kerman, Yazd, Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan and Kashan. Join Cross Cultural Journeys on an odyssey to the Republic of Iran, commonly called Persia by the West. A multicultural nation with many ethnic and linguistic groups (mostly Shi’ites), this ancient country straddles Eurasia, Western Asia, the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Iran has played a vital role in the Islamic Golden Age, producing hundreds of influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. To learn more, click here.
Just released:Positive Peace Report 2015 — Positive Peace is a transformational approach to achieving development, resilience and peace. It offers an alternative perspective to identify and measure long-term investments that create an optimum environment for human potential to flourish. The Positive Peace Report 2015 analyses the factors that build sustainable peace, and includes a statistical analysis of Positive Peace in 162 countries, covering 99 per cent of the world’s population. It is the first global, quantitative approach to defining and measuring Positive Peace and is based on the social factors that have the strongest statistically significant relationships with the absence of violence.To learn more, click here.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda — DVDs available with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch and Japanese. Plus there are new film showings in Australia and United States! You also can bring Awake to your yoga studio or community. To learn more, click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Yoga Day Summit, the recording is available for free.)
World Peace Library — Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
Keep a “gratitude journal” for the next 30 days and even longer. Each night, take 5-minutes and write down what you are grateful for in your life. When you are ready, express gratitude to someone in your life. (See The Gratitude Experiment video in Featured Media).
Project Heaven on Earth: Fulfilling Your Sacred Purpose —
With Project Heaven on Earth Founder
& Bestselling Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work Martin Rutte.
Heaven on earth can be your lived reality when you learn to see the magnificence in each moment, the blessing in each experience, and the gift in every step of the journey. New Live Training Starts
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
• Wounded Knee Indigenous Healing Summit
• Anodea Judith 7-week course
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Sandra Ingerman 7-week course
• Chief Phil Lane, Jr. 9-week course
• Robert Moss 12-week course
• Peace Ambassador Training 12-week course
• Sherri Lasilla & Susan Cannon 1-year program
• Winter of Wellness Summit
• Caroline Casey 7-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 8-week course
• David Crow 12-week course
• Jean Shinoda Bolen 14-week course
• Devaa Haley Mitchell 1-year program
• African American Wisdom Summit
• Body Intelligence Summit
• HeartMath 7-week course
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Terry Patten 7-week course
• Enneagram 12-week course
125th Memorial of the Wounded Knee Massacre — 2015 marks the 125th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre that took place on December 29, 1890. The Shift Network is committed to standing with our Indigenous brothers and sisters to create healing ceremonies on this historic occasion. We invite you to join us in unity and determination to end massacre. Let us use this unique opportunity to collectively begin a great and momentous turning. Come heal with us in spirit at Wounded Knee! Click here to learn more.
The Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Core themes include: Gratitude, Altruism, Compassion, Empathy, Forgiveness, Happiness and Mindfulness. To learn more, click here.
“Here are more than a dozen songs that help us reflect on the people and circumstances we feel grateful for. The songs are divided into two categories: Thanks to Specific People, and Appreciation for Life Itself. Each group of songs is followed by several questions for reflection and discussion; they're designed for either personal use or for teaching others.” To read more and listen to the songs, click here.