Articles & Interviews Archives

Why Planting Trees is Far More Important Than You Realized

Why Planting Trees is Far More Important Than You Realized

As we celebrate Earth Day, you may feel a spiritual “calling” to reconnect with Mother Earth. As we honor the Earth as our home, many people are also experiencing a growing desire to help restore Her… and give back some of the deep nourishment that she’s offered to us and all of humanity through time.

So how can we truly honor the earth and step in as a conscious Earth steward?

Here at Shift Network, we invite you to join us in our initiative to plant 1 million trees. We believe it’s one of the MOST important things we can do right now to restore our planet.

Why focus on planting trees? Trees are not only the lungs of the Earth, but they also play a critical role in cooling our planet. Trees in the equatorial belt are responsible for creating the rain that is then pumped around our planet to keep the temperatures in a zone that’s temperate, pleasant and safe for humans, plants and animals alike.

Trees also play a critically important role in sequestering carbon, so it remains planted in the Earth… instead of in the atmosphere where it blankets our planet and adds to global warming. If temperatures rise more than 2 degrees, say researchers at Science magazine, tropical trees may become too stressed by heat and drought… and then die… releasing their carbon.

In a recent conversation with Claire Dubois, the Founder of TreeSisters, she said that one tropical tree can, on average, produce 1000 liters of water a day through evapotranspiration. She also informed me the heartbreaking news that we are losing somewhere between 14 and 40 million tropical trees per day. I knew deforestation was bad. But I didn’t realize it’s that bad.

The video embedded in this article offers a more detailed explanation from Claire on the critical role that trees play in reversing climate change. She is quite an inspiring force!

Given the marked rise of temperatures on our planet in recent years, planting more trees is clearly critical towards reversing this trend. And so the idea of “carbon offsets” with tree planting organizations has become very trendy. 

But not all tree planting organizations are created equal. It’s important that planting efforts are also married with social change initiatives that benefit the local communities, in addition to providing ecological benefits for them and the world at large.  

Helping local communities on a social level helps ensure that the trees remain in the ground and don’t get cut prematurely by the people who live nearby who often cut trees out of financial desperation ..

I saw this situation first-hand when I was working as an anthropologist living among tribes of the Brazilian Amazon. These folks largely lived from the bounty of the forests and didn’t need much money… unless there was a medical emergency and they needed funds to purchase malaria medication or for gasoline to power a speed boat to take a woman with birthing difficulties up the river where she could get medical attention. And when they did agree to let loggers enter and cut the trees, they may have lost many that were fruit-bearing… where they could have instead harvested a renewable resource year after year.

And so – Shift is very proud to be partnering with TreeSisters in a major campaign to plant 1 million trees! TreeSisters is an organization that has a very robust environmental approach including protection and expansion of intact forest landscapes, restoration and protection of watersheds, controlling soil erosion (as extreme weather and deforestation cause run off) and restoring topsoil and land fertility.

But they also have two primary socio-economic goals: improving community livelihoods and forest interdependence and fostering women's participation, empowerment and incomes. It’s the combination of these strategies that we find truly exciting and sustainable long-term.

Shift has already planted a few hundred thousand trees using funds we’ve contributed ourselves as well as many generous donations from those in our network. We’ve recently started a Tree + (Tree Positive) campaign where we are donating $10/employee/month to TreeSisters, and we are hoping to encourage other companies to follow suit. We are also encouraging our staff members to donate alongside us, in addition to supporting their own priority organizations.

That said, we still have a long way to go to reach our Million Tree goal!

And we’d love to invite YOU to stand with us as a true steward of the Earth, working together to plant 1 million trees in the Shift forest.

Thank you for doing your part on behalf of planet Earth… and being part of the solution.

Articles & Interviews Archives

The Pandemic's Heavy Toll on Women – and Healing Resources to Help

As the celebration of women’s history month comes to a close, it’s been beautiful to witness media coverage of the many incredible contributions of women to our greater collective.

And while there’s a lot to celebrate, we also need to acknowledge a sober truth: women have borne the greater burden of managing the stresses of pandemic life at home and at work, and women are burning out in record numbers, eroding our mental and physical health, as well as our careers. Two recent studies bear this out.

The seventh-annual 2021 Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org, drew from 423 organizations and 65,000 people, including in-depth interviews of LGBTQ women, women of color, and women with disabilities. It found that women are “even more burned out now than they were a year ago” when one in four women were ready to leave the workforce. Today, that number is one in three. 

And the annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California by Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles calls trends in women’s health during the pandemic “discouraging.” Over the last five years, there has been no improvement for women in the state in mortality, chronic disease, racial disparities, life expectancy, or emotional well-being. In 2019, 19% of California women reported a diagnosis of depression. In 2020, that number had more than doubled. Nearly one-third of all California women report experiencing mild to several symptoms of anxiety.

At Shift, women’s empowerment is one of our core impact areas, and we are committed to helping create a world that truly works for all women.

It is essential for women to help each other develop our inner capacities and resilience. This includes learning how to navigate through stress, anxiety, overwhelm and burnout. It also includes continuing to build women’s sense of self-worth and agency, so we can expand beyond our own “inner glass ceilings,” along with the many  imposed by the outer world. 

Those of us in the conscious community can collectively come together to help women further develop these inner capacities, and help all women get the support they need. 

For those that have offerings that can support the reduction of burnout and the healing of women’s mental and physical health — consider making them available at low cost (or at least consider a sliding scale for those who have been most impacted by COVID). 

If you have products or services that can be made available for free — now is the time to share them.

 If you are hiring new positions at your company, please prioritize hiring women, as so many have had to make hard transitions during the pandemic.

Here at Shift Network, we’ve put together a webpage with a number of healing resources from our archives that we are happy to offer at no cost, in service to women everywhere. Please feel free to share these resources far and wide, to anyone who might benefit.

Our Shift community is filled with creative visionaries — and we encourage you to join us in mounting a wave of healing support for women around the globe. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for… and our time is now. Let’s be the change — together.

Authority Magazine Article - Yitzi Weiner

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Devaa Haley Mitchell of The Shift Network Is Helping To Change Our World

Promote more women into leadership positions and public office. For too long, we’ve lived in a system that is overly patriarchal, that favors competition over collaboration and “power over” rather than “power with.” While this is changing, the best way to encourage swift and systemic change is to shift who is actually making the decisions.

-Generally speaking, women take into consideration not only those in power positions, but those whose voices are often not heard. This is essential to help heal our world. We also need more leaders who identify as non-binary and transgender to create a truly representative leadership structure.

Living Your Legacy Now

Devaa Interview with Les Jensen

The Path to Feminine Fulfillment

Devaa Interview with Les Jensen

Re-Awakening the Sacred Feminine Review by Michael Diamond

Devaa Haley Mitchell
Re-Awakening the Sacred Feminine
By Michael Diamond
Devaa Haley Mitchell is a spiritual guide, public speaker, and musician who I first had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing when I reviewed her excellent “Sacred Alchemy” CD for the September/October 2011 issue of Awareness Magazine. The thematic vision of the recording is the exploration and expression of wisdom and power of female spiritual archetypes.

The album musically reflects 13 faces of the Goddess, including Tara, Kali, Mary Magdalene, Isis, Aphrodite, Pele, and others. Devaa uses her music as a vehicle for the expansion of consciousness and the re-awakening of the sacred feminine — something that is greatly needed in our world today. This album certainly achieves its goal of “expressing the glory of God/Goddess and love for Spirit embodied in all that surrounds us.”

The theme of unity and communion is also reflected in her work as the founder of the Inspiring Women Summit (, which is a virtual gathering of more than 55,000 participants from more than 160 countries. According to Devaa: “This is perhaps the most exciting time in history to be a woman on this planet.

We are part of the vanguard of a new era, in which women and feminine qualities are restored into partnership with the masculine. While it’s true that our world faces many crises, never before as women have we had so many tools, resources and freedoms to wake up and consciously evolve ourselves, and the world around us.”

Another avenue she channels her energy and service into is her Soulful Women Certificate Program ( This is a 9-month initiation to prepare participants to step out and play a bigger role in ushering in a new era based on the principles of love, peace and co-creation — including with men.

The program combines the wisdom and depth of an ancient mystery school, deep inner work and practical business skills one needs to deeply impact the world and enjoy a fulfilling and prosperous life in all areas. She describes it in this way:

“To make the larger Shift in our world will require a powerful network of awake, embodied, clear women leaders who can, in turn, help other women stand fully in their power, love, and service. In turn, these women can stand with powerful, sacred noble men in partnership to create a template for the new humanity. We have seen that some processes of healing, initiation and empowerment are better done with other sisters; the love and power released can be astonishing.”

For over twenty years, Devaa has been on the forefront of the spiritual growth and human potential movement. In addition to having earned a Master’s degree at Stanford University, she is currently finishing her doctoral work and will receive her D-Min in 2012.

She is also a co-founder of The Shift Network and has held an administrative position at The Institute Of Noetic Sciences. There is no doubt that her transformational work will only keep expanding as time goes on.

While she “recognizes the path of the sacred feminine as her spiritual home,” it is important to remember that each of us, no matter our gender, has male and female qualities in varying degrees, and that the awakening of the sacred feminine is of great value to all humanity in our quest to become whole and balanced beings.

Karen Tate - Voices of the Sacred Feminine

Karen Tate – Voices of the Sacred Feminine

Organic Spa

Organic Spa Magazine

Evolving Magazine

Evolving Magazine Sacred Alchemy Album Review

Transformational Talk Radio

Transformational Talk Radio

Blog Talk Radio

Devaa Haley Mitchell interview on conscious marriage: Heart Beat Internet Radio with a Pulse

Common Ground

Longing, Cooperation, Caring For the Earth: The Hidden Powers of Women

Click Here To Dowload Article