We can make our lives beautiful

by choosing where we place our attention

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We can create lives of freedom and peace

when we open our minds and senses to all the good around us

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We can choose the best for ourselves

when we know what we value most highly

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Examining Our Shadows – The Symbolism of Monster Archetypes

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How about some Halloween Spirit-uality?

Before we begin examining the monster archetypes, it’s important to realize that they don’t just represent a dark, malevolent side of us, but rather the part of our being that is least familiar to our conscious mind.

They become hostile only when it is ignored or misunderstood–expressing themselves through behavior that often sabotages our wishes or image of ourselves. But they serve us by nudging us toward the light. The important thing is that if you feel some resonance these or any other symbolic roles, you should examine what they represent to YOU. 

Let’s think of our inner monsters as our as unexplored power, bringing light to what is in shadow.

Vampire Monster-Vampire

  • Vampires survive by feeding off the life-force of another. Carolyn Myss describes the vampire archetype this way: “we sometimes form attachments to others because we desire their energy, a desire that manifests through the need to have the ‘other’ take care of our survival.  What has been defined as a co-dependent relationship could easily fall under the vampire template.  You may find it hard to identify yourself as a vampire, yet it is essential to review this archetype personally.  Patterns of behavior such as chronic complaining, overdependence, holding on to a relationship either emotionally or psychically long after it has ended, and chronic power struggles are all indicators of Vampire patterns.”

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AlternaWeddings Go Global

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I have had the honor of marrying people to each other—close friends and friends of friends—in a handful of weddings that have taken place in various settings, states and countries*. But I think everyone deserves a chance to be the center of attention and the object of adoration for a day, even if they’re not getting married.

Reuters picked up a story from China about a woman who decided to throw herself a wedding. She didn’t have a groom, but she had the money to get herself a wedding dress, rent a venue, hire a wedding planner and photographer, and invite 30 friends. She even had enough for a honeymoon in Australia! Chen Wei-yih, I salute you!


Photo credit: Zimbio.com

Plus I love this quote: "I was just hoping that more people would love themselves."

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Breathing Inspiration – Messages from Music, TV and Movies

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Photo from Jendala.com & item is available for sale!

Breathe-chimI recently downloaded a bunch of music, and then I noticed a pattern.  There seem to be a lot of songs about breathing. I’ve got “Breathe”, “Breathe In”, Keep Breathing” , “Breathe In Breathe Out” and “Breathe Me”. 

I must admit, I wondered what the Universe might be trying to tell me, or where my inner guidance is trying to draw my attention. 

So I took a deep breath.  Ahhhhhh.  And I started thinking.

I remembered a few quotes from Tom Hanks films that talk about how to go on when life becomes painful.

From Castaway
“I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

From Sleepless in Seattle
“I'm gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out…"

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Wandering through Wonderland

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Just in time for its DVD release on June 1st, here are some of my thoughts, plus some gathered tidbits to serve as a little guide to help you as you wander through Wonderland.

Symbolism and Themes from the Story 

• From a child’s perspective the world is full of strange things…. We become jaded as we get older because we think we have it all figured out. But this story tries to take us back to that child-like state of awe, wonder, as well as the confusion and fear that come with it. (And really without all of that, life can be pretty boring. Better to be childlike, I think!)

• Nature themes – The flowers and animals talk, (one of the six impossible things listed by Alice), but perhaps that means we should listen. The Red Queen prefers dominion over animals, (which sounds quite Biblical), using them as furniture and croquet sets (much like Flintstones, but with a bitter edge). However her attempts at control failed her. The lovely white queen befriended the animals and that became Alice’s advantage as well. Nature is a powerful force, so it’s much better when it’s on your side!

• The magic of the growing and shrinking potions that are used to reach things that are up high or walk through small doors makes me think of Western society’s obsession with pharmaceuticals – the instant fix for the smallest of problems.  Though the story does show that instant fixes offer a different set of problems – like clothes that suddenly don’t fit, or otherwise not fitting into a situation.

• Our heroine Alice gets a lot of costume changes this time! Including a shiny set of armor that still manages to look pretty!  Perhaps this symbolizes her multi-faceted personality. She learns to takes charge and forge ahead both in the imaginary world and the real one.

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Chatting with Former White House Chef Walter Scheib

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I’m gonna start with the moral of the story:

Do what you love to do and share it,

and maybe someone will ask you to do it again.

(Feel free to quote me on that!) 

I’m referring to both how I got my most recent gig, and the guy I worked with on said gig. I was acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies for a “State Dinner” with the former White House Chef, Walter Scheib. He loves to cook, I love to communicate, so ….

 Malayna with Walter-md 

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Falling in Love with Angkor Thom


No, Angkor Thom is not the name of a guy who hangs around Angkor Wat. It's not the Cambodian equivalent of Indiana Jones. It means "Big City" and it's part of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

Being raised on Indiana Jones, I have a thing for temple ruins. If I weren't so lazy and squeamish about creepy-crawlies, I might have gone into archaeology or some such thing. But due to my love of comfort, this is the closest I'll probably come to Indiana Jones-esque adventure–being driven to temple ruins in an air conditioned car. Good enough for me! 

I'm glad we went to Angkor Wat first, because this way I got to enjoy Angkor Thom's Bayon and Ta Prohm in the beautiful late afternoon sun. The entrance was entrancing, with it's greenery and welcoming committee. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

P1010044 On each side of the road is a line of statues, very close together.  

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Exploring the Angkor Wat Temples


For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something BIG. Something from my Life List, something that came from my dreams.  Since I was in Sri Lanka for the big event, it made sense to take advantage of being on this side of the world. But having just traveled from L.A., I didn't want to fly too far. So I came up with Cambodia and Angkor Wat.  I'll admit that this was partly inspired by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which I dig because of my deep love of Indiana Jones. (I also like The Mummy movies, if you must know.)

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Thoughts on Themes of AVATAR

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I was fortunate enough to see the film AVATAR with an insightful chick from India, who explained to me at intermission (we have those in Sri Lankan movie theaters) that the word “avatar” still has spiritual meaning to people in India, and therefore when they’re referring to the movie, they might differentiate it by pronouncing it with an American accent!  


The definition for them is “The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.” She pointed out that Vishnu’s avatar is Krishna and both are blue.  And also that the Na’vi had tails, much like the monkey god, Hanuman. 


She also mentioned that the word “Na’vi” sounds like the Hindi word for “new” and she wondered how the Na’vi language was developed, so I found an explanation for her on Wikipedia.


The name PANDORA

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Shop, Sup, and Spa Stylishly in Colombo

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By Malayna Dawn, Compere and Communications Consultant to Colombo Fashion Week since 2008

If you’re coming to Sri Lanka to be part of Colombo Fashion Week, you’ll want to make sure your entire trip is one of style and beauty. Luckily, that won’t be too difficult to do in the vibrant, diverse city of Colombo!  Let me tell you about some of the best places to be and sights to see. 

The host hotel is The Hilton Colombo Hotel once again, overlooking the Indian Ocean and Beira Lake. While you may be tempted not to leave the hotel grounds, I say you must. Within walking distance you can use the hotel’s direct access to the World Trade Center and then wander out the front entrance of either building to be introduced to the FORT District where modern day business takes place amidst old world architecture.

Millersphoto credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Millers.jpg

Before tasting the modern shops of Colombo, you might want to take a morning three-wheeler ride ‘round the clock tower to visit the nearby PETTAH.

Here you'll go back in time to when narrow roads filled with hand-cart traffic were enough to keep the tiny shops busy with the hustle and bustle of enterprise.

Dutch names and buildings are juxtaposed with candy striped mosques and colorful Hindu kovils. It’s not just a shopping trip…it’s an adventure!

You’ll probably want air-conditioned comfort in the afternoon, so tell the tuk-tuk driver to take you to these…

Stylish Shopping Musts:

THE DUTCH HOSPITALFacing the World Trade Center just next to the Hilton, is the newly renovated former Dutch Hospital. The beautiful old buildings are alive again with shopping, food and nightlife! You'll find that many of our CFW sponsors and partners are represented here, too.

ODEL – Near Town Hall, it’s a lovely and lively place for fashion, fun gifts and food. Their departments include a bookshop (my novel is available there!), home décor, jewelry, and makeup and perfume, and now you can even get a massage at Footrub before heading to their outdoor food court. They also feature a section with locally-made items to take the feel of Sri Lanka with you wherever you go.

PARADISE ROAD has locations all around Colombo (and the island), each with it’s own distinct feel.

  • PARADISE ROAD PROMENADE, near Town Hall is in a large, lovely, converted colonial house and offers a great selection of stylish souvenirs and gifts, as well as home décor. You’ll want to linger and explore every corner.
  • PARADISE ROAD STUDIO on Alfred House Gardens, off of Duplication Road – is a place where I’ve often thought of hiding until all the employees to go home, so I could live there for the night. Beautiful music and luxury surround you as you search for just the right addition to your home.
  • PARADISE ROAD GALLERIES – Just around the corner from Studio, you’ll find the Gallery and Gallery Café. This complex was once the office of internationally renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, and is therefore a work of art in itself, with a variety of artists whose work adorns the space. Combined with beautifully delicious food, drinks and decadent desserts, you will want to keep coming back for more sensory delights.
  • BAREFOOTwhere colorful handloom cloth is the main attraction. The fact that their products promote the work of local craftspeople makes them even more fabulous as souvenirs and fashion statements. Spend some time perusing books, works of art, and then sit a while at their outdoor café.
  • CRESCAT BOULEVARD is a shopping mall located next to the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on the Galle Road where three levels of shops, services and restaurants are all in one upscale location. Books, videos, music, perfume, jewelry, accessories, shoes, clothing, massages, and food. What more could you want?

Stylish Supping:

Dutch HospitalHarpo's, The Ministry of Crab and the Brewery by O can be found here, as well as a restaurant from Sri Lankan Airlines catering! 

Paradise Road – To leave Colombo without eating at either of Paradise Road’s restaurant locations would be a crime. Their delectable fare features fusion food and a twist on Sri Lankan favorites. The atmosphere adds to the feast of the senses, topped of by the best desserts on the island, bar none. Both offer a bit of Sri Lankan history too, so be sure to ask, and indulge your mind as well as your senses.

  • The Gallery CaféWith its eclectic musical selections and artwork you might forget you’ve just entered a café, restaurant and bar. In fact, it was rated one of Asia’s Top 10 Lounge Bars in 2007. So it shouldn’t be surprising that you are joining the ranks of Sting, Kenzo, and Donna Karan, among many others, as you walk through the gates to be immersed in tantalizing beauty for all of your senses.
  • Tintagel is a unique private hotel, and like King Arthur’s castle in Cornwall for which it is named, it instantly offers a royal welcome. It even offers a connection to some of Sri Lanka’s most illustrious names– the Bandaranaike family—who made it their home, are best known for having produced three of the country's leaders. Now this home-turned-private-hotel can be yours for the span of a meal…or for several days. No matter how much time you spend there, you can be certain you’ll leave feeling thoroughly enchanted.

The Mango Tree – Where Flower Road and Dharmapala Mawatha meet is a hidden oasis of delectable Indian cuisine. Be adventurous and try everything. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll leave feeling full…and satisfied!

Raja Bojun – For authentic Sri Lankan food with an unobstructed view of the sea while in air-conditioned comfort, Raja Bojun on the Galle Road is the place. Decorated in local style with coconut monkeys peering at you from palm trees and thatched roofs covering the buffet, you can enjoy the best of the traditional and the modern. Don’t forget to pat the pachyderm on the way out!

Cricket Club Café – When you’re in the mood for something more Westernized, or a beer and some tasty pub food, Cricket Club Café is the place. Decorated with cricket memorabilia from around the world with matches playing perpetually on the TV screens, its menu also pays homage to the sport’s best known and loved players. But even if you know nothing about Cricket, (like me) the colonial atmosphere and food are worth the visit.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Yes, the international chain is here in Sri Lanka! This is one of the nicest I've seen–lion head fountains and coi ponds direct you to the entrance, where you order your beverage of choice. Snacks and meals are also available to be enjoyed out on the patio, in the main room, or in a big comfy leather chair or couch upstairs.

A Stylish Spa Treamtent …or quick massage:

Angsana Spa – Next to Cinnamon Grand Hotel and Crescat Shopping Center you’ll find a day spa to wash away the stresses of sightseeing, shopping and the demands of fashion.

Waters Edge Spa – to enjoy a sense of space, take a drive out to where the new Parliament Building sits in the middle of a lake and then to The Waters Edge resort. Their spa overlooks the golf-course-turned-garden and offers a lovely atmosphere and wonderful treatments.

Footrub – With locations all around Colombo, where some of the most tired of feet are to be found, (Crescat, Odel, the Airport) take a few minutes to re-fluff those flattened soles and perhaps also rejuvenate your soul. Despite the name, they also offer head, neck, shoulder and back massages, and Scholl products to make your next steps more comfortable.

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My Freelance Adventure Continued

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Yesterday I tallied up all the articles I wrote for others in 2009 and it came to 570. At an average of 400 words each, that comes to 228,000 words. A minimum of 60,000 words is needed for a novel, so I’ve written the equivalent of three good-sized novels this year—a trilogy! 

Of course if it were that easy to write a novel, I’d paste them all together and publish. But it would seriously lack plot and characters, and other rather important aspects of a novel. 

Just over 100 of these articles (112 to be exact) were written for Garments Without Guilt, a project that I was allowed to attach my name to and even won an award for my part in the campaign!  You can view those articles (and the ones I did in 2008), by following these links, which are also listed to the left of this article: The Garments Without Guilt blog for all  and The Garments Without Guilt business blog.

458 of my total articles were ghostwritten on a variety of subjects. Since I don’t own them and wrote them while incognito (are you picturing me in sunglasses, ducking slightly, while seated at my computer?) I can’t just give you the links. That’d blow my cover. 

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