Games Make Us Better, Even Super!


Original air date: Monday, October 05, 2015

A listener suggested this topic, which makes it even more fun and interactive! Video games are often blamed for negative changes in youth and society, but what if they could be used for good? What if they could help us become better? Dr. Jane McGonigal is a video game developer and champion who has created a free online game tool to help us become our best selves. We’ll take a look at the positive contributions video games make to society and humanity, and it’s backed by science! Join us and learn how to be your most super self!

Links for more info:

From Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:

BOOKS about Games and Life:

  • Mastering Life’s Energies: Simple Steps to a Luminous Life at Work and Play by Maria Nemeth — “A game worth playing and a goal worth playing for”
  • The Game of Life and How to Play It – Florence Scovel Shinn
  • Games People Play – The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne

History of Board Games and more from

Within the past few years board games have gone through an explosion of growth. In 2012 The Guardian went as far as dubbing it “A Golden Age for Board Games”, stating board games have seen a growth rate as high as 40% year over year. That’s higher than Google, which sees about 20% growth year over year.

The budding interest has also inspired Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day to start a popular Youtube series, called Table Top. This series pits internet celebrities against each other and garners several hundred thousand views per video.

Spiritual Educators and Fairy Godmothers


From our companion piece on Click to view and read how each symbolizes what we discussed!

Spiritual Educators and Fairy Godmothers – click to listen NOW!

Original air date: Monday, September 28, 2015
Episode Description:

As Stacy returns from the Spiritual Educator’s Retreat for the Unity Southwest Region, Malayna has been celebrating ways of being a godmother. Join them as they explore similar roles and archetypes in fiction, and in life, that can offer kids a wider support system. Whether you’re a “Sparent” or part of the “Auntie Brigade,” an uncle, grandparent, Big Brother, or Sister, you can positively influence a child’s life without even trying. As volunteers or involved family members, we can all make an even bigger difference in their lives and ours. Tune in for inspiration!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes (and lots of ’em!):


Spiritual Educators

  1. Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education – “Building character, transforming culture”
    1. For over 100 years, we’ve helped educators assist students in developing congruence between their inner and outer lives. We know that the quest for meaning and purpose in life, and grappling with important questions, lead not just to greater satisfaction in life, but also to greater health.
    2. CSEE is not affiliated with any religious organization and does not promote a specific religious belief through our programs.
    3. Character Development [Moral Education, Ethical Education]; Community Service / Service Learning; Grief, Death, Crisis in Schools; Interfaith Understanding; Honor Systems [Codes / Councils]; Spiritual Development; Leadership Development; Teaching the World’s Religions
    4. We keep a comprehensive calendar of events for all major religions in several formats
  1. Spiritual Education – Living Wisdom School –
    1. based in teachings of Yogananda, The original Living Wisdom School in Nevada City, California offers children a rigorous academic education in a safe, beautiful rural environment. Sister schools are in Oregon and Washington.
    2. The purpose of spiritual education is to fulfill the divine potential of children, and to prepare them for life by giving them the tools they need to keep on learning throughout the many experiences that will come to them.
    3. By teaching children kindness, concentration, will power, strength of character, truthfulness, and other higher qualities, life is made richer.
    4. Education, rightly understood, is expansion of awareness.
  2. Category:Spiritual teachers – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –
    1. Spiritual teachers fall into several subcategories: Shaykhs or Sufi teachers, Gurus (including Hindu Gurus, Sant Mat Gurus, and Sikh Gurus), Buddhist teachers, including Tibetan Lamas (which is really simply the Tibetan word for Guru), and Mahasiddhas, who may be claimed by both Buddhist and Hindu There are also many Western spiritual teachers, some claim a spiritual lineage from the East and some do not.

Read the rest of this entry

Disney Animator Shares Creative Alchemy


Disney Animator Creative AlchemyOriginal air date: Monday, September 21, 2015

Episode Description:

Where does one go from Disney? Malayna welcomes former Disney animator Dave Zaboski to learn about creative living! A classically trained painter and illustrator, he has co-created several national children’s books including one with Deepak Chopra. He has created concept art for film and game projects, and travels and teaches creativity and innovation as a public speaker. Spirituality and creativity infuse everything he does, so join us to learn tips on seeing your own life as an evolving work of art!

To learn more about Dave, visit these links:

Loving Thy Northerly Neighbor: CANADA!


FB Banner Canada LoveClick here and listen now to our episode about Loving Thy Northerly Neighbor: CANADA!

Original air date: Monday, September 14, 2015

In celebration of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, second only to Cannes, and known for launching Oscar hopefuls, we’re discovering there’s plenty to love about Canada. Canadians are much like us, many of them with similar accents, so we don’t notice when they show up in our favorite TV shows or movies. Cable programming is full of Canadian-produced television shows, and musicians and comedians become some of our favorites, without our even realizing it. So let’s point out how much they bring to our lives in the good ol’ US of A, and the world at-large, and share some love for our neighbors to the north! Plus, team member Michele Coles will join us to share her observations from her up-close-and-personal trip to the Great White North!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:
Toronto Film Festival is the main event in terms of Hollywood launching its Oscar hopefuls. It’s also the place to catch North American premieres of the big film fish from Cannes in May.
  • Murdoch Mysteries (on Ovation Channel as The Artful Detective) is one of my favorite shows ever! – In the late 1890s Toronto, police Inspector William Murdoch takes a new, more scientific approach to solving crimes. Assisted by coroner Dr. Julia Ogden and Constable George Crabtree, Murdoch introduces such concepts as finger marks and lie detecting machines. He has the support of his somewhat doubtful superior, Inspector Brackenreid, though at times, even he finds Murdoch’s methods – and claims – somewhat astounding. Started in 2008 – they’re in Season 9.
  • The Listener on Ion Television – started in 2009 in its 5th Season, (perhaps its last) stars Lauren Lee Smith who played Riley on CSI (Vegas) for a while. A young paramedic discovers he has telepathic powers, and uses them to help solve criminal investigations.
  • Dark Matter on Syfy – A guy from the Listener, Anthony Lemke, who played Becker, and Jodelle Ferland, who played Bree Tanner in the Twilight Saga movies. The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they got on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination: a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone. With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. Will these amnesiacs turn their backs on history, or will their pasts catch up with them? Read the rest of this entry

School of Life – Always in Session!



This is the first slide of our companion piece on to go with our episode called The School of Life.

Listen while you click through the rest of the slides in this slideshow!

The School of Life is Always in Session !

Awesome August on Pop Conscious



Original air date: Monday, August 03, 2015
Episode Description:

Malayna welcomes Sezín Koehler to discuss cultural identity and the pop culture transcending it. Sezín is of mixed descent and is a Huffington Post blogger, novelist, and Third Culture Kid who has lived in 13 countries and 18 different cities. Her pop culture fandom ranges from mermaids to Maleficent, Gilmore Girls to Guardians of the Galaxy, Labyrinth to Love, Actually, and Hannibal to Harry Potter. Her spiritual beliefs are just as diverse and expressive. Join us as we explore pop culture’s global influence and how it inspires our lives, whatever our cultural influences may be!

Original air date: Monday, August 17, 2015
Episode Description:

These terms are familiar to anyone who has traveled, as both Malayna and Stacy have recently, but they are also ideas that can be used in connection with summer’s end. Whether it means beginning a new school term or reflecting upon your career and life goals, we’ll examine pop culture depictions of these concepts. Join us in looking at the destinations we choose, how we make departures from our routines to get there, and how to know if we’ve arrived. Travel outward and inward with Pop Conscious!

Original air date: Monday, August 24, 2015
Episode Description:

We are all in the school of life, so as summer ends, we’re beginning to gear up for getting down to business! Whether in school, work, or just life, our business may include classes, writing assignments, deadlines, and tests to determine if we’ve “made the grade.” In so many ways, school never ends. So join us as we look at pop culture expressions of schooling, and find fun ways to keep learning about ourselves!

Original air date: Monday, August 31, 2015
Episode Description:

If you had to learn everything you knew about the world and its people from movies and TV, what would you know about prayer, ritual, and sacred celebrations in other cultures and lands? What could you learn from their depictions? And would they be accurate? These are the questions we’ll try to answer and discuss in our Pop Conscious preparations for Unity World Day of Prayer. Tune in for our recommendations of alternative spiritual observances with pop culture flair!

Pop Conscious in July

Pop Conscious Topics from July 2015

Pop Conscious topics from July 2015

Spirited Advertising and Pop Culture – with guest co-host Michele Coles

Inspired by Michele’s visit to the creatively playful Duck Tape Festival, we talked about how Summer’s animated features, Minions and Inside Out seem ominpresent in advertising and merchandising. Then we looked at advertising aimed at kids, and the rise of action figures.

Then we made it spiritual too!

Looking at advertising with a critical eye can tell us about our culture today and help us experience nostalgia of days past. But looking at ads with your third eye, or through a lens of spiritual awareness, can help you see what’s important to you and what isn’t, and maybe even understand what’s important to someone else. In this episode, Malayna Dawn and Michele Coles will discuss how to use Unity principles to make the most of what we can’t avoid! We’ll talk about how to be in the world, but not of the world, play with what’s fun, and ignore what isn’t useful.

Unity Youth and Rewriting History

Throughout the past few weeks, Stacy has been busy in her role as the Southwest Unity Region’s Teen Consultant, overseeing Uniteens Camp and then accompanying our older teens to the International Youth of Unity event at Unity Village. Malayna has been reminiscing about her own youth in Unity, and thinking of movies and TV shows where characters get to do it all again. If you could go back, would you do things differently? What might we learn from such forays into our imagination? Can it make life better today? We’ll explore these questions this week on Pop Conscious!

Busting the Lone Hero Myth – with guest co-host Michele Coles and companion piece on (coming soon…)

There is a certain individualistic ideal which seems to tell us that it is possible, maybe even preferable, to do it on your own—whatever it may be. But if we look closely at our favorite heroes, most of them have backup—sidekicks, family, love interests, butlers, and the like. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto! He wasn’t alone after all! Join Malayna and team member Michele Coles as they scan pop culture for supposed heroic loners and their sidekicks or support teams. Then we’ll bust the myth and refine the ideal of individual empowerment to include supportive connections, because we know that “oneness” doesn’t mean being alone, but joined in Unity!

Sci-Fi Spirituality of Firefly and Serenity – with returning guest Dr. Tanya Cochran!

When you’re a fan, you have a passionate reverence for the subject of your fandom that is not unlike a spiritual experience. We welcome back our favorite scholar-fan, Dr. Tanya Cochran, to share insights found in the TV series Firefly and it’s follow-up film, Serenity. We’ll look at the resonance we find in the archetypes of the crew members and how belief plays a huge role in this space cowboy adventure by Joss Whedon. And we can’t forget the fans. There’s not a power in the ‘verse that can stop us!

Hear Dr. Tanya’s previous visit from June 2015 when we discussed Channeling the Devotion of Fandom !

Pop Conscious on Beliefnet!


Beliefnet DreambuildingThe latest from Pop Conscious to be featured in the Entertainment section of is ready for viewing and reading!

Dream-Building Lessons from the Movies

Inspired by our Pop Culture episodes on Unity Online Radio in June 2015, and our Dreambuilder Coach, Tracy Williams!

And in case you missed them, here are the previously published “Gallery” pieces featured there:

Inverse Independence: Freedom of Choice and From Choice


Boundaries and the Freedom to Say “No”

by Malayna Dawn

I usually think of freedom as unbounded. Arms wide open, heart wide open, nothing in my way. It’s a nice vision.

Conversely, however, I’m beginning to understand how the boundaries that I choose and agree to, ones that I can shift as I grow, keep me feeling safe and free to focus on what really matters to me.

Today, on this day of Independence, I don’t need freedom from bondage. I need boundaries to set me free. The more freedom I have to choose, the more work and energy it requires. Freedom of choice requires at least some freedom FROM choice (as sung about in the above video accompanying the song by Devo) – things that have already been decided and don’t need to be re-evaluated from all angles each time.

The symbols of freedom we use aren’t without their caveats either. The bald eagle is not a happy-go-lucky type, but rather stern and focused. The California state flag is not a teddy bear, it’s a grizzly bear. Fireworks must be carefully controlled to avoid burns and fires.

Fireworks Bowl Oaks folks

Unity of the Oaks at Hollywood Bowl for Fireworks, July 3, 2015

I work for an organization called “Unity” — a concept that means there is no opposition. So how can I say “no” to anything? This is my current struggle.

Unity is not just my work, it is also my spiritual path, and the bulk of my social life. As the third generation of my family in Unity, it’s part of my family identity. It’s my course of study and my career path. It’s my emotional support. It’s infuses my entertainment and inspiration, my past, present and future.

And yet, in this place where Unity is everything and with my heart open wide, I say no to a lot in the process, because I’m exhausted. I say no to socializing with old friends, to creative hobbies, to a regular exercise routine and to meditation time. By saying “yes” to everyone else, I say “no” to myself.

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. ― Stephen R. Covey

For example, I spent a whole day trying to coordinate events for work, and found that all the nice people I work with were happy to do whatever would work for anyone else. Finally I had to make the final decisions so I could get something done. Then I was angry that it was left up to me. But isn’t that what we ask of freedom? The freedom to determine our own path? Freedom to have it our way? But it can get out of control.

Creating boundaries for myself is actually rather painful. I want everyone to be happy and I don’t want to be a source of disappointment. In the 12 years I lived in Sri Lanka, I saw the havoc created by this same cultural proclivity. Westerners felt that they had been lied to when the product or service they’d ordered for a specific date and time wasn’t ready. But the shopkeeper wanted to tell their customers what they wanted to hear, so they’d leave happy. It’s not sustainable though, since the happiness turned to anger when reality set in.

I can’t sustain my preferred joyful, bubbly, way of being when I become the one who has to repeated say “no”, or when I’m exhausted from trying to meet everyone’s expectations, by saying “yes” to everything.

Today, I cannot celebrate any freedom but the freedom to shut the door and shut everyone out. To think, to sleep, to rest. I’ve enjoyed too much freedom and now I’m miserable.

So instead, today I will set new boundaries for myself to conserve my energy to enjoy something – friends, family, events, church, community, work, goals, career, studies, travel — anything.

Our Founding Fathers laid out some good guidelines. The one I’ll focus on for myself is the separation of church and state. If “church” is about faith, then “state” is about the logic of material reality and getting things done. Separation of faith and logic. When my work hat is on, even though I work at a church, I declare my freedom to say “NO”, graciously and without anger or apology. I choose to be present without being permeable.

It all comes down to me, really, I can’t blame anyone else. I do have and claim the freedom to make my life what I want. But I alone must have the strength, courage and clarity of mind, heart and spirit to direct my energy into what I want to create, and to say NO to what I have no affinity, attachment or investment in. So that what I love will grow and sustain me, and leave me energy to share with others that I love.

Exploring REEL Transformation


FB Banner Reel TransfmnExploring Reel Transformation

It’s the book we wish WE had written!  Reel Transformation was actually written by Unity minister Cindy B. Wright, who does a great job of tying together some of our favorite things: The Hero’s Journey, movies, transformation, spirituality and Unity.  Returning team member, Michele Coles, will join Malayna in sharing our favorite parts of the book, and thinking of other pop culture we can work into the pattern of Reel Transformation. Join us!