Pop Conscious Ways of Being



The first online class series will begin November 7, 2018!  Register as a Spiritual Explorer and join Malayna for 5 weeks of interactive, insightful fun that’s good for your soul.  Go to unity.org/spiritualexplorers

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EXPERIENCES – including coaching, tours, and events… coming soon!

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THE PODCAST that started it all…

Listen on iTunes or in the archives at Unity Online Radio


Witches and how to charm them


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Calling someone a witch may not be endearing, since it is generally used to indicate that someone isn’t very nice.  I suspect that may come from the idea that someone doing witchcraft is being manipulative — using alternative means to bring about a certain result.  Of course, being “crafty” has negative connotations, too, but to use skill and knowledge to make the most of a situation seems admirable.  Isn’t it interesting in how the words we use shape how we think about people and circumstances?

What about magic? The word has sparkle to it, and poetically points to unexpected, mysterious happenstance.  But yesterday’s magic is today’s science!  The truth is that our words and thoughts have power and magic to them. The power to shift our perspective and change our experience of life.  So next time you encounter someone witchy, or find yourself suspicious of how something came about, try finding other words to frame them.  You may find that that the crafty become creative, the pushy become pro-active, and you make the ambitious your allies.

Explore more possibilities with Pop Conscious – sign up for the online exploration that begins November 7th!

PopConscious Explorer

Vampires and how to tame them


wee vampire

Why has the legend of the vampire fascinated people around the world for generations?  Because it resonates so powerfully with so many of our universally felt, if rarely acknowledged, inner fears and dark wishes.  Who doesn’t want to live forever as eternally youthful and preternaturally strong?  But of course, we know there’s always a trade-off, a price to pay.

Aside from the mythical lure of the creature, there are relevant metaphors in our modern world.  Those who use our life-force energy for their own personal gain, or those who feed off our caring nature and leave us feeling drained have come to be known as “energy vampires”.

So how can we defend ourselves? What might be the modern equivalent of crosses (to keep us from resorting to wooden stakes!)?  We defend ourselves by paying attention to how we’re feeling, by setting personal boundaries, standing up for ourselves. We cut off their source!

Explore more possibilities with Pop Conscious!

PopConscious Explorer

Explore more fun stuff like this! Go to unity.org/spiritualexplorers and join us for the live course!



How to Be Pop Conscious

Original air date: Monday, March 28, 2016

In this episode, we celebrate the completion of 100 episodes!  HOORAY! So we’ll look at what it means to be Pop Conscious and how one might go about attempting to live a Pop Conscious existence every day. We’ll take a look back throughout two years of shows to find the recurring themes, the standouts, and the takeaways. Join us as we share collective pop culture memories, surprises, and inspiration from unexpected sources and offer tips to find more!

Malayna’s Notes:

We’ve had guests!  Total # of Guests:  33

Guests that have been on twice:  Sherry Hursey, Rev. Kelly Isola, Dr. Tanya Cochran, Rev. Ogun Holder
Authors: (with links to their episode or one of them, in some cases…)

  1. Sunil Yapa
  2. Dr. Scott Bowman
  3. Ogun Holder
  4. Kelly Isola
  5. Dave Zaboski – illustrator
  6. Sezin Koehler
  7. Tanya Cochran
  8. Cindy Wright
  9. Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo
  10. Kelsey Timmerman
  11. David Mezzapelle
  12. Charles Holt
  13. Adam Chester
  14. Erika Eleniak!

Actors: (with links to their episode, perhaps a different one if they’re listed above, those multi-talented kids….)

  1. Erika Eleniak
  2. Sherry Hursey
  3. Maggie Wheeler
  4. Charles Holt
  5. Lucky Yates (Voice Actor)
  6. Erin Fitzgerald (Voice Actor)


Tara Hernandez


  1. Adam Chester
  2. Bennett Quintard
  3. Kevin Fisher
  4. Daniel Nahmod
  5. Harold Payne


  1. Molly Rockey
  2. Shad Groverland
  3. Ogun Holder
  4. Kristin Powell
  5. Evelyn Foreman
  6. Kelly Isola


  1. Tanya Cochran
  2. Scott Bowman


  1. Dreambuilder Tracy Williams
  2. Michele Coles

Surprisingly personal episodes

The Body Image Shift

Electronic Communications, Real Feelings – Four Agreements

Inner Mean Girls

Exploring Depression

Spock Tribute

Outlanders, Outliers and Outcasts

These links take you to the show info, but for images and notes, search this here blog!

For more from us:

Read Malayna’s Companion Pieces – Galleries on Beliefnet

Check out our THINK UP article on LinkedIn or Going Beyond Behind the Scenes on LinkedIn

Read our article,  on Unity.org: Three Steps to Being a Conscious Consumer of Pop Culture

And please, keep up with us on Facebook  or Twitter !

Your Heart Is a Muscle

Original air date: Monday, March 14, 2016

In this episode, Malayna and Stacy talk with Sunil Yapa, author of the novel Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist. Set in the midst of the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, his book squeezes global issues into a handful of passionate characters that took their stand at this historic event. And he’s Sri Lankan-American, like Malayna! We’ll explore how we can use our hearts, not as fists, but as points of connection as we work together to transform our world.

Malayna’s Show Prep Notes:

The book

On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor—a nomadic, scrappy teenager who’s run away from home—sets out to join the throng of WTO demonstrators determined to shut down the city.

Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the fates of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police Chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn’t seen in three years, two protesters struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country’s fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the President of the United States.

When Chief Bishop reluctantly unleashes tear gas on the unsuspecting crowd, it seems his hopes for reconciliation with his son, as well as the future of his city, are in serious peril.

In this raw and breathtaking novel, Yapa marries a deep rage with a deep humanity. In doing so he casts an unflinching eye on the nature and limits of compassion, and the heartbreaking difference between what is right and what is possible. (From the publisher.)


Yapa’s father, originally from Sri Lanka (YAY!), is a retired professor of Geography at Penn State University. His mother is an American from Montana. Most of Yapa’s youth was spent in State College, the home of Penn State. He graduated from the university in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economic Geography (where he won the 2002 E.W. Miller Award for excellence in writing in the discipline). For the next several years, he attempted to follow his father’s path in becoming an academic geographer, but eventually he heeded his own desire, which had always been to write fiction.

Read about the WTO 1999, book discussion questions, and why Malayna  thinks the terms “Caucasian” and “Mixed Race” are stupid!

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In the Space Between

Original air date: Monday, March 07, 2016

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What happens in the space between two people in an interaction? Between several people? In the space between thoughts, breaths, heartbeats, or in the gap between here and there, Spirit is moving, and all things are possible. In between our plans and what actually happens, there is space for magic to transform each moment. Join Malayna and team member, Michele Coles, as they explore pop culture mythology for examples of what can happen when we make the most of the space between.

Malayna’s Show Prep Notes:

Recent thoughts:

Mind the GAP – God Always Present – [Sliding Doors (1998) Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah]

Field of All Possibilities – Deepak Chopra in the space between thoughts – Divine Mind

Story from Pacifica Graduate University-  Joe Cambray – Dr.Cambray is a Jungian analyst in Boston and Providence, RI. Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Pacifica. – Story about the intersection of journeys in a therapy session

Collective Unconscious – from which we are all individual expressions – try to clear our personality and history from the moment and be present to spirit, let it speak through you

Lotus – from Mud to water to blossom – fill the space with Spirit

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – quote – connection

Daily Word, Lent booklets

Still recovering and learning from an interaction that was the perfect storm of heart, wounds, and different perspectives


The Space Between – Dave Matthews Band (It was released on their 2001 album, Everyday) – video features Jaime Pressly from My Name is Earl and whirling sufi dervishes! In the space between lyrics, I filled in my own feeeeeeeelings.

The Space Between
The tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more
The Space Between
What’s wrong and right
Is where you’ll find me hiding, waiting for you
The Space Between
Your heart and mine
Is the space we’ll fill with time

Interstellar (2014) – Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

In the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

Frequency (2000) – Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle

A rare atmospheric phenomenon allows a New York City firefighter to communicate with his son 30 years in the future via HAM radio. The son uses this opportunity to warn the father of his impending death in a warehouse fire, and manages to save his life. However, what he does not realize is that changing history has triggered a new set of tragic events, including the murder of his mother. The two men must now work together, 30 years apart, to find the murderer before he strikes so that they can change history–again.


Management-Issues.com by Peter Vajda

Between two people, or you and a group, there’s space. Here, we’ll focus on the space between two people. That space between the two is not empty space. Actually, it’s filled with energy which, on a continuum, ranges from warm to cold, soft to hard, relaxed to tense, strong to weak, love to fear, etc. Get it?

The energy reflects you who you are, what you are, and how you are in the moment. This energetic phenomenon is called intersubjectivity and it’s what occurs when two souls meet.

Intersubjectivity is one way to see yourself as a barometer that points to how you “show up” in relationship, to assess the degree of your authenticity, to look at the quality of your interactions – feelings, emotions, physiological sensations – and give you a sense of that “space” between you and the other.

Psychology Today – Abigail Brenner M.D.

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke’s quote creates a beautiful visual and sums up what a healthy relationship requires—the space to be yourself, first and foremost, the need to maintain your personal integrity, and the deep appreciation that it is the separateness, the distance between you and your partner that really creates the intimacy.

Kripalu by Helen LaKelly Hunt

When two people make the Space Between truly sacred space, that’s when the healing can happen.We were all wounded in relationship. We can heal only in relationship. And it all hinges on what you choose to put into the Space Between.

What the Bleep’s blog -Embrace the unexplained  –  Jeff Kripal

The early-Victorian researchers had it right: They called dreams like the two with which I began “veridical hallucinations,” or hallucinations corresponding to real events.

We are not very good at such paradoxical ways of thinking today. We tend to think of the imagined as imaginary, that is, made up, fanciful. But something else is shining through, at least in these extreme cases. Somehow Twain’s dreaming imagination knew that his brother would be dead in a few weeks—it even knew what kind of bouquet would sit on his brother’s breathless chest. Similarly, the wife’s dream-vision knew that her husband had just been killed and where his body lay. In those events, words like “imagined” and “real,” “inside” and “outside,” “subject” and “object,” “mental” and “material” cease to have much meaning. And yet such words name the most basic structures of our knowing.

Or not knowing.

Both stories are about a kind of traumatic transcendence, a visionary warping of space and time effected by the gravity of intense human suffering. Even these most basic “categories of the understanding,” as Immanuel Kant called them, surrender their reign before the needs of the human heart. Much as Kant argued, these appear to be our own cognitive filters, not some perfect reflection of what is really there, or, dare I add, of what we are really capable.

…we are still afraid of the likelihood that we are every bit as bizarre as the quantum world, and that we possess fantastic capacities that we have allowed ourselves to imagine only in science fiction, fantasy literature, and comic books.

  • Among Jeffrey J. Kripal’s books: Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal (Chicago, 2011); Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred (Chicago, 2010);

To Leap or Not to Leap?

Original air date: Monday, February 29, 2016
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Today is Leap Year Day, so Malayna and Michele will be looking at lessons they’ve learned from leaping too soon as well as from taking leaps of faith. There are times, like the calendar day, when we have no choice but to leap, but others when the attempt to subvert divine order can backfire. Of course, we’ll look at movies, TV shows, and other leaping references in pop culture to glean leaping lessons for life!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes so you can follow along at home:

Leap Year (the movie) 2010

Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it. Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott

Amy Adams = Enchanted, Trouble with the Curve, Julie and Julia

Matthew Goode = Henry Talbot on Downton Abbey, Wickham in Death Comes to Pemberley (2014)  (perfidious Wickham!)

Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married, are preparing for their annual ball when festivities are brought to an abrupt halt. An adaptation of PD James’s homage to Pride and Prejudice.

Adam Scott – Parks & Rec,

Similar to the movie French Kiss (Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, 1995) – without the calendar assist.

Leaping  CONCEPTUALLY – Real Life examples

10 year plan into 2 years – on the outside it worked, but was unsustainable because the consciousness of the community hadn’t been grown or allowed to participate.

Drop an 18 year old into instant freedom and independence when she wasn’t given the lessons of independent thought. Because she hadn’t really been taught how to be part of a community.

In Heart- Centered Metaphysics by Paul Hasselbeck

“Order in the Mind of God is an idea of harmonious progress, evolution. Order in humankind is humankind’s ability to perceive and cooperate with the law of growth.”

Seed to sprout to stalk to tree to fruit and flower.

Harmony, Balance, Right adjustment, right sequence. “We each must learn to participate consciously in that process which enables growth without struggle.”

Unfolding, expanding.

Scripture: “But all things should be done decently and in order: 1 Corinthians 14:40)


Like winning the lotto – 5 of winners who are broke soon after…

and Quantum Leap, and The Pirate Move, so click to read on!

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Questioning How We Place Value

Original air date: Monday, February 22, 2016
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How do we know what we truly value in our lives? One way is to look at where and how we spend our money. When we put our money on something, we are investing in it. Another way is to look at how we spend our time. Are we watching TV that enriches us and makes us feel like better people? Are we contributing to the box office of a film that enriches our world? How do we invest our energy? Do we choose the things that really matter? Are we leaking energy on things that don’t really matter to us, but take up all our time? How much do we value ourselves in the equation of life? Join Stacy and Malayna as they come up with examples from pop culture and life!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:


Top 300 Highest Paying Jobs in America

The top 20 are all medical, with #1 Anesthesiologist. ($232,830)

  1. Psychiatrists $177,520
  2. Chief Executives $176,840
  3. Chief Sustainability Officers

Then medical until 29 and 31 Petroleum Engineers and Lawyers

32 = Airline Pilots & then Air Traffic Controllers

34 = Law Teachers

  1. General and Operations Managers $114,850
  2. Physicists
  3. Nuclear Engineers $107,140
  4. Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers $106,780
  5. Actuaries
229 Philosophy & Religion Teachers – Post-Secondary

262. Copy Writers $68,420

263. Writers and Authors $68,420

264. Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers $68,420

Popular TV shows teach children fame is most important value, UCLA psychologists report

Being kind to others fell dramatically in importance over 10 years

(Stacy’s Alma Mater!)

Click to find out what TV Shows and Movies you can show to kids to realign their values in a fun way:

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Prosperity Perspectives Illustrated

Original air date: Monday, February 15, 2016
Recently Featured in Unity Worldwide Ministries Newsletter, The Path!

We get a lot of our ideas about how prosperity is supposed to look from TV and movies, but we can also find great metaphors that illustrate the prosperity principles that make our lives richer now. Join Malayna and Michele as they talk about their studies in prosperity from a spiritual perspective, and the books, music, TV, and movies that illustrate an approach to prosperity that is in alignment with our values, hearts, and dreams.

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:

TV   –  Elementary –  A Burden of Blood – aired 14 January 2016

Det. Marcus Bell is studying for the sergeant’s exam not because he wants to be a sergeant, but because he wants to make more money to help care for his mother.  While Joan Watson and Sherlock help him study, they keep including things he insists won’t even be on the exam.  They finally give him a test case to solve, which he does.

EW recaps: When Marcus figures out the case, Sherlock reveals that it was a real case and that Marcus was responsible for bringing the wanted man in. Sherlock and Joan wanted to show him how indispensable he is as a detective. On top of that: The wanted man had a $40,000 bounty on his head, so Sherlock gives Marcus a check, signed to his mother, for $36,000 — he had to take a 10 percent finder’s fee, after all.

SO – he mistakenly looked to his job as his source of income.  He did what he was good at – being a detective.  AND his creative and clever friends found a way by thinking out of the box. 

Characters that lose all their millions and make it back again – All My Children, Adam Chandler and Palmer Cortland

In Real Life – Straight Outta Compton – Ice Cube and Dr. Dre — got fame and money for their talent and skills, lost the money, but used their talent and skills to make the money back, and more.  And changed the world!


We are walking in the Kingdom, it’s all already ours, but our own limiting beliefs are in our way.  The feast is set before us, but our eyes are closed.

Enoughness – Garden of Eden as the Amazon Rainforest

Money is energy, we worship with it what we love.  Would we treat it differently if we thought of it as love notes?

Scare City

4T – Tithe of your talent time and treasure (based in 12 step program)


Jerry Maguire (1996) – Show me the money!

Brewster’s Millions (1985) Richard Pryor and John Candy

For more movies, books and music, continue…

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Pub Theology Is A Thing

Original air date: Monday, February 08, 2016
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Pub Theology is a thing, really! Beyond just a concept, it’s something people all over the place are really doing. Books have even been written about it, which only goes to show it’s totally real. Our Pop Conscious pal Rev. Ogun Holder has tried it, so we’ll talk about how it is done and why it’s catching on across the country. We’ll also look at other intersections where raising a glass meets with pop culture, religion, and deeper connections. Join us with the drink of your choice!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:

PUB = from the mid 19th century for Public House. It’s a tavern or bar.  (Australian – a hotel.)

THEO = God, OLOGY = a subject of study; a branch of knowledge.

BOOKSPub Theology  by Bryan Berghoef

What if God is to be found in places we haven’t been looking at all: in a coworker who doesn’t believe in God, in a Buddhist neighbor, in a friend who prefers a yoga studio to a sanctuary?

(No spot where God is not!)

Pub Theology 101

Pub Theology session (or Theology Pub, Theology on Tap, or even Scripture and Scotch

–>Gregory Stahr’s idea: Metaphysics and Martinis (or Margaritas!)

 Bartender as confessor – confession is good for the soul and is very churchy

Alcohol as celebration – most common

Bar and food with your movies!

Bret Macris – Syndicated – movie, restaurant and bar = awesome

Local Simi Valley version of that is Studio Movie Grill

Pub Quiz = smart people with general knowledge

TV Drinking AspirationsCheers (1982 – 1993) – You wanna go where everybody knows your name

Beer Commercials – Lowenbrau (a brewery in Munich owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Its name means “lion’s brew” in German.)

Here’s to good friends, tonight is kinda special. The beer you’ll pour must be something more somehow, so tonight, tonight, let it be Lowenbrau.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCu-D4ehac4 – beach vacation ad!

Dos Equis – Most Interesting Man in the World –

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