Category: Inner Landscape

My First Featured Article on Beliefnet!

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I'm so Excited!  My article is featured!

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This is truly a first for me, and I was so excited, I had to share with everyone! 

I've been writing for a website called Beliefnet.com for the past few months — a milestone in itself because I've been wanting to write for them for years! 

Why? They feature ALL beliefs from the all major religions, and then some. 

But today is the first time I've been featured on their front page!  The very first of their 4 rotating banners, and with my name just there beneath it!  (Until Monday, July 21st anyway…) 

As someone who's been a ghostwriter for many years, I feel like I've finally stepped out into the sun.  Aaaaaah!  I am fairly certain it has something to do with my lovely friend, Trish Kusal Wilson, who allowed me to use her photographs.  The glory is all the sweeter when it's shared!

It's also a subject that I've never felt quite brave enough to write about, since it's such a touchy one for so many people: prayer — but I've attempted to translate it into something that intellectuals, naturalists and realists might be able to relate to.  See if you can, and let me know.  If nothing else, click to see Trish's glorious photos

I partly began writing for Beliefnet because I thought it would be a good way to connect with an audience that could understand and appreciate the podcast I co-host on Unity Online Radio, called "Pop Conscious: Where Pop Culture & Spirituality Unite!"  It is exactly my ministry style, actually, as I study to one day become a fully ordained Unity minister — rejecting no one and nothing in the world, just using it all to be more understanding, more positive and creative and help make the world a happier place.

Here are links to check it all out, if you wanna!  And if you know anyone who'd make a good radio guest or interview subject while talking about entertainment and enlightenment, please get in touch!

LINKS:

Learn more or contact me at MalaynaDawn.com!

 

Using My Voice to Share my Worldview – Written, Spoken & Sung

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I came up with a great new mission statement, and I already feel it shaping my experience: 

"I use my voice — written, spoken and sung — to share my worldview in order to inform and inspire joy, abundance and a life well-lived."

I've been feeling a bit shattered and scattered, and needed something to tie all my pieces together again.  These felt like the magic words. 

I've been focusing on my writing for a while now — about a decade. Then, for the past five years, I've been the voice of Colombo Fashion Week. I like working on CFW because I get to utilize so many of my abilities at once, and it makes me feel like a useful part of a team.  I write the scripts, edit the printed programs and manage the online content for the web and social networking.  I get to use my performance experience on the nights of the show, too. 

Another thing I've been doing to some extent lately is performing wedding ceremonies. Previously, I only did that for my friends and their friends, but as a means of feeling useful, I've begun sharing that experience with new friends that I hadn't met yet. It feels like being a kamikaze fairy — I dive in, deliver the magic words, wave my wand and disappear, leaving the completed mission behind me. I didn't really publicize that I was doing this work, because it didn't really seem to fit.

But lately, I've been feeling the pull toward music again — my first love. And I've actually begun taking steps to put myself out there in a whole new way.

So this mission statement lets me incorporate my musical experience and my wedding ceremony services as well as my fashion week announcing, because they all fit! AND "world view" is a perfect way to describe the new travel site/network, Spiral Whirled Travels, as well as my take on pop culture and mythology and symbolism and spirituality.  It's like Prego, it's all in there!

Let's see where it takes me!

Image modified from an item available for sale on Etsy from The Goddess Glass Company.

Being a Shaman – for self and others

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Image from Lankapura.com

The word “shaman” may bring to your mind images of medicine men in colorful outfits, dancing around a fire to the beat of tribal drums, much like the image of Sri Lankan devil mask dancers, above.  And you’d be right, though you’d be getting only part of the picture.

The REASON they do all of that is to get past our attachment to the “real” world and connect to our inner workings–to help us travel the landscape of our hearts and souls and make us whole in mind, body and spirit

Now for you and me, their performance probably would not work. This is because they’re not speaking our cultural or symbolic language.  To do that, they’d have to tap into our religious and spiritual beliefs, our cultural upbringing and the images we see in our dreams. 

Wikipedia describes shaman as “intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds… Shamans are said to treat illness by mending the soul…[which] restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness.” They also said “Cultural anthropology approaches shamanism as an integral part of the study of culture, belief, and practice.”

So who are the shaman of our modern Western culture?  Who guides us through the realm of dreams, symbols, metaphor and stories to help us make choices in our lives?  Joseph Campbell said it’s the artists—painters, poets, singers, dancers, actors, directors, comedians, etc.  They take inspiration, which is a message from the spirit world, and communicate it in a language we understand.  And when they really get it right, it not only entertains, but touches our hearts and inspires us.  (Of course, that’s not always their goal.)

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Joseph Campbell and Caroline Myss both have said that in today’s world, it is up to us to find our own way through our spiritual landscape.  We have to be responsible for the well-being of our own souls. In other words, we need to become our own shaman.

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Carried in my Heart – Not Heavy at All

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Feb 20, 2011
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Recently, I tried to comfort one of my god-daughters after the loss of a family pet by posting this to her Facebook page:

“When they're in your heart, they're always with you. I know because I carry a whole menagerie around with me in my heart…and some humans too. They're not heavy at all.”

I come from a pet-friendly family, well known for rescuing all kinds of animals, and as much as it hurts to lose them, it never stops us from investing our love into another animal friend.  As one little ditty goes, “Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.” Loving and being loved, even from a pet, is so good for us. It expands our light; and our hearts will expand to accommodate it all.

See the image? That's the landscape of my heart — plenty of room!

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