Life in all forms is so dependent on water that when scientists search for life on other planets, the first indicator they look for is water.
Yet the “civilized” world tends to take water for granted. Our collective consumption habits are leading to massive pollution of water around the world.
Unless and until we shift this attitude of entitlement, the consequences of our carelessness could be catastrophic.
We must adopt the approach of Indigenous peoples and certain spiritual traditions that honor and celebrate the sacredness of water.
If life on this planet is to remain hospitable, we too must forge a sacred relationship with water.
This is why we’re supporting our friends at UPLIFT and Unify, along with many other partners, in celebrating the United Nations World Water Day with a special synchronized event called Bless the Water. Click here to register and to participate at 5:00pm Pacific on Wednesday, March 22, with a synchronized meditation and prayer for water. UPLIFT and Unify will also be showcasing the video, “Water is Life: You Are What You Drink.”
We encourage you to join in this global celebration by creating or joining events in your community and by participating in the Bless the Water event.
In this edition of The Catalyst, we are also celebrating the launch of the Plant Medicine Summit (March 20 to 24), hosted by our good friend David Crow. This summit features a global gathering of leading ecological experts, health practitioners and inspiring educators who will be exploring the intersection of medicine, ecology and spirituality in the plant kingdom. More than 60,800 people have already signed up to receive this free content! To register, click here.
Our modern society is only now waking up to what our ancestors knew about the plant kingdom. For millennia, people the world over have used whatever was immediately accessible to heal themselves — botanical treatments, healing tinctures and medicinal remedies from herbs, flowers and other flora.
Our Member Profile features recording artist Danya Rivers, whose journey as a woman, artist and healer took her through youthful naivete, chronic illness, self-discovery, and, ultimately, spiritual awakening, using music as a transformational agent.
Our Featured Artist is Lillie McCloud, who so moved Shift staff writer Phil Bolsta in her audition for The X Factor that he reached out to her agent and interviewed her about her music, career and spiritual approach to life.
Our Shift Philanthropy section features two new organizations: SevaChild, which is saving tens of thousands of impoverished children in India from blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency, and Economic Democracy Advocates, a grassroots action and education foundation dedicated to legislative action to preserve common resources necessary to ensure human survival.
I do hope you join us for the Plant Medicine Summit this week. Understanding the medical and spiritual therapeutic powers offered by the plant kingdom expands our cosmological understanding and fosters a more dynamic relationship with the life force pulsating within and around us. Medicinal plants in particular can help us cultivate more prana or chi. As a result, we harmonize our bodily systems and heal old traumas.
And remember, in these perilous times in which we live, no matter how lost, scared, vulnerable, or powerless you feel, you can treat this very moment as a portal to peace, wisdom and healing. Your very existence will then inspire others to find the strength they need to overcome their own challenges and live their best lives.
The award-winning documentary, The Peace Experience, chronicles a transformational expedition by a heart-centered group traveling through Europe and the United States. By using creative tools and meditation, they learned how to overcome their struggles and experience peace. On their journey, they released negative vibrations in places that witnessed human suffering, thereby manifesting peace around them. To watch the trailer and/or stream the documentary for $2.50, click here. To order the DVD, click here.
This documentary film highlights almost two years of participatory research in the Trio indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu, Suriname, conducted by ACT-trained Amazon Conservation Rangers (ACR) together with students from the University of Utrecht, and local partners, such as the Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS), Suriname’s National Herbarium (BBS), as well as Suriname’s National Forest Management Agency (SBB) and its Nature Conservation Division (NB).
This humorous one-minute video, featuring Plant Medicine Summit speaker Mark Plotkin, is excerpted from his speech at the 2016 National Bioneers Conference. To watch the clip, click here. Watch the full talk, titled "Maps, Magic and Medicine in the Rainforest," which includes a remarkable story of healing in the Amazon jungle, by clicking here.
Eve of Eden’s new music video, “Rise,” was inspired by the Women's March and the International Day of Women. To watch the music video and download it for free, click here. "'Rise' is a song about personal and community empowerment,” says Aliza. “It's about lifting each other up out of the darkness and rising into our best versions of ourselves so we can create a better world that honors all people as one human family." To read an article about Aliza, her time as a peace troubadour, and the formation of her band, Eve of Eden, click here.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations the first of each month — click here to register for free. We featured Fumi Johns Stewart, Executive Director of World Peace Prayer Society, on March 1, 2017. (The free recording is available here.)
To share with our Facebook Page community, click here.
By Dr. Jillian Stansbury, a primary care physician specializing in herbal and natural medicine.
Are Plants Conscious?
Plants are certainly successful as a life form. There is evidence that they have “skills,” and the more we examine these skills, the more evidence of “intelligence” we see. The research has matured to the degree that even the staunchest academics cannot deny that plants fulfill all the definitions of “intelligence” — the ability of an organism to respond to environmental stimuli and challenges, interpret sensation, learn and remember, make informed decisions, and solve problems creatively.
Herbal remedies work far better than you might think. They can be dramatic, rapid, dynamic and certainly effective. But — and it’s a big but — you must choose the right herb, in the right preparation, and in the right dose, and, perhaps most importantly, use a good quality product.
Herbs are dietary supplements, and, as such, despite what you may have heard, are strictly regulated by the FDA, which determines good manufacturing practices, safety, labeling and package instructions. More like food, though, the government does not dictate the actual quality of the ingredients, which, like food, can vary. Do you really know how much vitamin A is in that carrot from Safeway? Is it the same dose per carrot as last week’s batch? With drugs, this is not an issue, because each pill contains only one chemical — the drug — and the dose is identical from batch to batch.
Water sustains all life. Her songs begin in the tiniest of raindrops, transform to flowing rivers, travel to majestic oceans and thundering clouds and back to earth again. When water is threatened, all living things are threatened. —Indigenous Declaration on Water, 2001
The Hopi have kept their ancient instructions from Creator, they hold a great wisdom and connection with nature. They are innovators who grow many things in the Arizona desert and experts in ritual to call forth rain to water their crops. Their connection to water is very sacred and intimate. So it is no surprise that in early 2006 Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto visited the Hopi Mesas in Northern Arizona to make a presentation about his work.
Emoto has done groundbreaking research with water which imply that water is conscious and receptive to human energy/intention, that it has intelligence and wisdom. Since we humans are made primarily of water, our relationship with it is central to our relationship with our own selves. The Hopi believe that being in harmony with nature is vital to life itself and this is reflected by the symbols used in their dances, rituals, art and jewellry. Water may be symbolized as turtles, frogs, clouds, lightning, rain and waves.
I’m an adventure seeker. I’ve gone bungee jumping in New Zealand, skydiving in Switzerland, parasailing in Mexico, and sailing in Croatia and Thailand. There’s not a lot I’d say no to. Oh, and when I first met my husband, I was dressed as a hamster.
On the outside, I look like your average Midwestern female: five foot four, blonde bob, athletic build. But on the inside, I have a life-threatening disease called cystic fibrosis.
I was diagnosed with CF at two months old. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes my body to produce thick and sticky mucus that blocks my airways and pancreas. There is no cure. When I was born, the life expectancy for someone with CF was eighteen. Today, a CF patient’s average life expectancy is thirty-seven. I’m thirty-six.
To read more, click here.
To donate to Team Missy’s fundraising for cystic fibrosis research, click here.
Fresh on the heels of International Women’s Day, Iceland announces plans to ensure that women are paid equally to men for equal work.
On Oct. 24, 2016, thousands of Iceland's women stopped working at 2:38 p.m. At the time, the country's men were earning an average of 18% more for doing the same jobs. So women decided they were going to work 18% fewer hours (hence walking off the job at 2:38 p.m.) for a day to prove a powerful point.
Let me begin by thanking you all for traveling to be here this week. I know many of you have made great sacrifices to travel to both Standing Rock and now to Washington, D.C., and let me tell you that without each and every one of these individual sacrifices, we would not have made it as far as we have today.
We have faced one obstacle after another and these obstacles are punctuated by a variety of slights and defeats, but it is not over. We are not defeated. We are not victims. An obstacle is also an opportunity. Together, we confront these obstacles; embrace these opportunities. Together, we rise.
What do you say we start with a little experiential exercise?
I invite you to recall a song that was a good friend to you during a challenging time:
How do you feel thinking of that song?
How did the song help you through that experience?
Now, think of a song that has uplifted or touched you:
What is the experience in your body and emotions thinking of that song?
How has that song shaped your experience of life?
I believe music speaks for us and expresses what we feel, which we may have no words for. Music mirrors and validates our inner struggles, inspires and invites us to grow. Music can help inform our individual identities and also connect us to something much larger than our individual selves.
The anticipation for the Plant Medicine Summit, a free online event from March 20 to 24, is palpable! More than 60,800 people have already registered to listen to such visionary speakers as Sara Crow, Dr. Vasant Lad, Rosemary Gladstar, David Winston and K.P. Khalsa, who will bring to light the curative and evolutionary powers of specific medicinal plants — many of which you can grow in your own garden or neighborhood! This powerful summit is designed to help you discover the intersection of medicine, ecology and spirituality in the plant kingdom — and transform your relationship with the natural world. You can join this one-of-a-kind online event — at no charge — to discover new practices and insights for making medicinal herbs, flowers, mushrooms, aromatic ceremonial plants and essential oils your allies in healing and transformation. See our list of dynamic speakers and find out everything you need to know by clicking here.
Join us on World Water Day at 5:00pm Pacific on Wednesday, March 22, to Bless the Water around the World in a Global Synchronized Meditation. Register at blessthewater.com to listen to the live audio broadcast and to watch the online world premiere of the UPLIFT film “Water is Life: You Are What You Drink.” It’s all completely free. Let’s Bless The Water where we live, or at places that are sacred to us. Let’s pray, meditate or hold ceremony in whatever form of practice is native to our community. Let us affirm that Water is Life, for every single being, whether they know it or not. And to pray for water to be respected, preserved, protected, cleaned and appreciated. Join us on this mission to honor the waters of our Earth. Go to blessthewater.com to register or find an event in your local region.
Nominate a Hero: Help the One Billion Acts of Peace team find contenders for our 2017 Hero Awards! Do you have a favorite business that is helping promote peace? Do you work with or know a local Non-profit doing incredible work in your community? Is there a stand out young person tackling an important issue or giving back to others in your area? We are searching for nominees throughout the world — so if you would like to submit a nominee please send me the following information: Contact Name, Organization, Contact Details, Location, Hero Award Category (Business, NGO, University, Youth, Up and Coming Peacemaker), A Short Blurb on why you think that they should be considered for a 2017 Hero Award.
We have until March 31 to find the best Acts of Peace around the world, and we would love your help. To learn more about this year's Hero Awards, click here. To contact Morgan Norris-Wamsley, click here.
Are you alarmed about the kind of world our children will grow up in? They are too! If you or your friends have environmentally concerned children who are 12 years old or younger, here is an opportunity for them to express their fears, concerns and hopes for the future. Click here to see 20 inspiring kids speaking in their own words, and learn how the children in your life can create and upload their own videos to add their voice for a Livable Future. Let's spark a global children's movement that gets attention and helps to create major change! Click here to learn more.
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.
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.
How Whole Brain Thinking Can Save the Future by James Olson is a practical inquiry into the operating systems of the left- and right-brain hemispheres and their surprising influence over lifestyle, politics, business, and religion. This startling new synthesis of the split-brain phenomenon, proposed by independent philosopher James Olson, explores the serious crisis we now face because of the left-brain bias in our civilization. Olson’s previous book on philosophy and neuroscience won numerous national awards, including ForeWord Reviews’ Philosophy Book of the Year in 2011. To order your copy, click here.
The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World by Robert R. Hieronimus, PhD and Laura E. Cortner. This new book examines the Sacred Feminine at the root of America’s founding, using the Statue of Liberty as a focal point to show how the American Liberty Goddess represents the best of what everyone believes this nation can be. The rich historical legacy of depicting “liberty” in the form of a woman reveals a new understanding of American history and provides hope for fulfilling our destiny of enlightened liberty through compassion. To learn more or order a copy, click here.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda — Now available on Netflix, Amazon and other livestream programs. The DVD is available with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch and Japanese. Plus there are new film showings in Australia and the 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.) Click here to watch the trailer and listen to more interviews with the filmmakers; you can also order a one-time digital rental for $4.99.
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.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
To the best of your ability, challenge yourself to appreciate the sanctity of water as Indigenous peoples do. Think of water as life itself and as one body, cycling through all animals, plants, rivers and streams before returning to the ocean and evaporating into rain. Ask yourself how shifting your perspective on water might affect your usage of it.
• Energy Medicine & Healing Summit
• Grandmother Flordemayo 7-week course
• Caroline Casey 7-month program
• David Crow 7-week course
• Tom Pinkson 7-week course
• Linda Backman 7-week course
• Robert Moss 7-week course
• Russ Hudson 6-month program
• Donna Eden 7-week course
• Sara Crow 7-week course
• Mark Matousek 9-month program
• Enneagram Global Summit
• Andrew Harvey & Eve Ensler 7-week course
• Mingtong Gu 7-week course
• Sandra Ingerman 12-week course
• Yoga Day Summit
• Summer of Peace
• David Crow 6-month program
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.
Economic Democracy Advocates is a privately funded, nonprofit, 501(c)(4), tax-exempt grassroots action and education foundation dedicated to legislative action to preserve common resources necessary to ensure human survival. Using public discourse and grassroots engagement with elected officials and others, they seek the protection of the natural, social and economic systems that make up our Commons, to meet the basic human needs of this and future generations. To find out more, read their recent article on the big business of water, and make a donation, click here.
United Plant Savers’ mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. To discover more, click here.
WASH Alliance International is a multi-national consortium of over 100 partners worldwide, working together with local NGOs, governments and businesses to make sure everybody on this planet has sustainable access to water and sanitation. In Africa they run programs in Ghana, Mali, Benin, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. In Asia, they work in Nepal and Bangladesh. In those countries, they set up local alliances that enable them to optimally make use of local knowledge and networks and tap into existing WASH structures. To discover more, click here.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We want to acknow- ledge the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for their leadership and commitment to a nonviolent approach to DAPL. To learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, click here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.
When Lillie McCloud walked onstage to audition for The X Factor, she looked like anything but the 54-year-old grandmother of seven that she was. As soon as she started singing the gospel song, “Alabaster Box,” it was evident that she possessed the gift that all performers wish for — the ability to authentically connect with an audience and touch them deep within their souls. I was absolutely transfixed. Hearing and watching Lillie sing with such joyous abandon and love for God was an emotional experience that brought tears to my eyes. I’ve watched her audition video many times since and it never fails to give me chills. You can visit Lillie’s website by clicking here. You can order her album, Red Apples, by clicking here.
I was so moved by Lillie’s performance that I reached out to her and asked if I could interview her. You can listen to and read our interview — and watch all of her performances on The X Factor — by clicking here.