Bella Figura, The Tradition of Living Beautifully

Bella Figura, The Tradition of Living Beautifully

By Dolores Alfieri Taranto
This show explores heritage as a source of power and inspiration. Through interviews with guests from various ethnic backgrounds, including healers, award-winning authors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and more, as well as through choice topics on solo episodes, discussions will focus on what I call The Holy, a culture's spiritual style; The Majesty, lineage and family stories; and The Elemental, a culture's principal values, all in a straight talk manner with minimal woo. Join me in spiritual conversations for the rest of us. Your heritage is your superpower. Learn how to wield it...
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The Double Edge: Christopher Castellani on the Dark and Light of Love and Family.

Bella Figura, The Tradition of Living Beautifully

The Double Edge: Christopher Castellani on the Dark and Light of Love and Family.

Bella Figura, The Tradition of Living Beautifully

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Channeling the Spirit: Chloe Garcia Ponce on Traditional Medicine and Healing
Chloe Garcia Ponce is a Mexican Curandera healer, herbalist, and channel working through the power of prayer and candle work.  Curanderismo is a holistic approach to wellness that has been used in the Americas, pre- and post-contact, for hundreds of years.  In Mexico, it is also known as Mexican Traditional Medicine. A Curandera may be referred to as a woman of knowledge, or, if trained in traditional Native ways and serving their native community, a medicine woman.  Chloe’s multicultural upbringing shaped her life and Nomadic Songlines, her healing practice.  Things discussed: Making the best out of times of fear and uncertainty Returning to practices that connect us to our true selves Youthful rebellion leading to a circling back and finding your roots Supporting one another through hardship Ways to release emotion Death as a catalyst for growth Accessing the voices of those who have passed The importance of human touch Women and christian sacred texts Resources: Chloe's website Chloe on Instagram Bella Figura website Dolores on Instagram
1:40:09
July 2, 2020
Structure and Spirit: Alicia Jo Rabins on Art, Heritage, and Ancestral Religion
My guest for Episode 6, Alicia Jo Rabins, is a writer, musician, performer, ritualist and Torah teacher.  She is the author of poetry books Divinity School (winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize) and Fruit Geode (finalist for the Jewish Book Award) and has released three albums with Girls in Trouble, her songwriting project about Biblical women.  She is currently at work on an independent film, "A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff."  The recipient of a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship, Rabins lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.  Things discussed:  Being drawn to ancestral religious practices. Reconnecting to cultural traditions even after several generations of assimilation.  Re-examining the biases against organized religion. How organized religion can root us. Art as a means to explore religious experience. Embracing the roots of our adopted country in addition to our ancestral one. Emotional challenges of motherhood. Struggles of the writing life. Teaching children about their heritage. Raising children with ancestral traditions.   Resources: Alicia's website A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff Girls in Trouble Alicia on Instagram "Ancestral Language for Strength," Dolores' blog post Bella Figura website Dolores on Instagram
1:18:15
June 17, 2020
The Force is Within: Jill Willard on Intuition as a Tool of Strength and Protection
In Episode 5, I speak to Jill Willard, author of “Intuitive Being" and celebrated intuitive and healer.  Jill is trained in multiple healing, wellness and listening modalities.  Her wisdom and expertise focuses mainly on the connection between the brain, our body and our choices.   Topics discussed What intuition is. What an intuitive is. How her heritage connected her to her intuition and fifth-sense. Her silent conversations with her grandparents. How intuition and instinct are not new ideas, but ancient practices that were commonplace to our ancestors. Catholic sacraments and their parallel to energy centers. How her psychic abilities forced her to see the abuse priests perpetrated on children, and other troubling facts, before they were revealed.  Why intuition has faded in modern society. What being out of touch with your intuition feels like. Learning to rest and to get back into our bodies. How motherhood opens up a new form of intuition. The art of mediumship. References Joseph Campbell Connect with Spirit, Find Your Center, and Choose an Intentional Life Guest  Jill's websites: www.jillwillard.com https://intuitivebeingexperience.podia.com/ibe https://www.thepresentprogram.com Jill on Instagram Bella Figura Bella Figura website  Dolores on Instagram
1:03:07
June 9, 2020
The Gift They Gave You: Mallorie Vaudoise on Honoring Your Ancestors
Things discussed:  What ancestor veneration is and what it isn’t.  How different cultures venerate their ancestors.  Mallorie’s book, “Honoring Your Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestral Veneration.”  How we repeat patterns from not only our own past, but the pasts' of our ancestors.  Ancestor veneration can shine a light on these patterns to help release them.  How to discern if a pattern is ancestral trauma.  The body and home are our spiritual foundations and need to be tended to first and foremost.  How to feel messages from our dead.  Resources:  “Honoring Your Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestral Veneration”  Mallorie’s blog, Italian Folk Magic  Mallorie on Instagram  “Bella Figura—The Tradition of Living Beautifully” Episode 2 [Marine Selenee]  Bella Figura website  Dolores on Instagram
1:03:10
May 26, 2020
The Double Edge: Christopher Castellani on the Dark and Light of Love and Family.
Things discussed: The parts of our heritage we need to leave behind. Internalizing our family stories. Research shows that family stories give us strength and build the foundation of our lives. Loosening the ties to our family stories in order to incorporate some of our own. How our respective cultures can be comforting and also suffocating. The beginning of our lives start with our ancestors’ stories. Writing our family stories as a way to redeem the loss of assimilation. Leaving behind the parts of our heritage that don't support us. The same Elemental of our culture can heal as well as wound. Tips on how to gather and write your family stories. Resources: Guest: Christopher's website Christopher's books Christopher on Instagram Grubstreet Mentions: Guggenheim Fellowship Italian American Podcast Gay Talese Episode 1 Italian American Podcast Gay Talese Episode 2 "Where are the Italian American novelists?" - Gay Talese essay Bella Figura: Bella Figura website Dolores on Instagram
1:10:44
May 19, 2020
We Are Responsible: Marine Selenee on Being a Good Ancestor and Taking Charge of Your Life
This episode with therapist Marine Selenee, who specializes in the practice of Family Constellations, dives deep into why we keep repeating destructive patterns, and how we can stop doing so by healing our family traumas—both our own and those of our ancestors.  Things discussed:  What is Family Constellations? How is it used to break damaging patterns? Your body remembers and guides you toward what needs healing. Trauma is passed down genetically through generations, and it appears as fears and phobias in descendants. The four principles to teach children in order for them to thrive. We all want to belong, and we’ll even take on bad habits—alcoholism, gambling— in order to feel we belong to our families. Our lives are entangled with our ancestors stories. All family members have a place, including those lost through miscarriage, and someone will repeat the story if those members are not recognized. Taking responsibility for our own lives, no matter how our parents may have failed us.  Resources Guest: Marine's website Marine on Instagram Mentions: Bert Hellinger Family Constellations Therapy Bella Figura Podcast: Bella Figura website Dolores on Instagram
1:07:15
May 12, 2020
Ancestor's Dream: MaryBeth Bonfiglio on reclaiming her culture, The Holy, and "really ancient sh*t"
In this first episode, I take the plunge with the incomparable MaryBeth Bonfiglio, whose dynamic and varied work is not simple to summarize. She is a writer, writing instructor and guide, an intuitive, a midwife, and a folk/root worker dedicated to exploring the ancient wisdom of her Sicilian heritage. Her Radici Siciliane gatherings, which attendees have described as “not a vacation, [but] a pilgrimage and a rite of passage and a week-long ritual,” take people to remote and traditional areas of Sicily to explore ancient folkway practices—such as tarot cards, ancient recipes, traditional dance and storytelling, cheesemaking, basket-weaving as well as creating a space for attendees to explore their own ancestral healing.   She's originally from Upstate New York, but lives in Portland, Oregon with her three daughters and longtime husband. Things discussed in this episode:  How assimilation changes traditions and family life. Wanting to deny your heritage to fit in. Reclaiming your heritage and its traditions. Ancient customs can be reminders on how to live well and according to what matters most. Our ancestors' poverty forced them to focus on living well, on living in community, and enjoying the good moments of life, which is something we should remember. How having children brings out our need to return to our ancestral traditions.  Rewriting stereotypes heaped upon cultures. Reading tarot cards as an ancestral connection. Doing work in our ancestral lands. Ancestral worship traditions as powerful tools. In modern pop culture, Buddha is cool, Jesus is not cool.; Yoga is cool, rosary is not cool, and how this can drive us away from our own culture's spiritual practices.  The study of Epigenetics. Ways to reconnect with your culture and its traditions, even if you're generations removed from the first immigrant's source. Resources: Guest: marybethbonfiglio.com radicisiciliane.com Instagram: @marybethbonfiglio and @radicisiciliane The Italian American Podcast Bella Figura Podcast: bellafigurapodcast.com Email: Dolores@bellafigurapodcast.com Instagram: dolores_alfieri_taranto
1:04:14
May 3, 2020
Welcome to "Bella Figura—The Tradition of Living Beautifully"
I'm your host, Dolores Alfieri Taranto, and in this brief Welcome Episode, I give listeners an overview of what to expect from this new podcast.  I break down the major themes that will be covered through interviews with guests from various ethnic backgrounds, including healers, award-winning authors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and more, as well as through choice topics on solo episodes.   This show explores heritage as a source of power and inspiration.  Discussions will focus on what I call The Holy, a culture's spiritual style; The Majesty, lineage and family stories; and The Elemental, a culture's principal values, all in a straight talk manner with minimal woo.  Join me in spiritual conversations for the rest of us.  Your heritage is your superpower.  Learn how to wield it... 
16:00
April 29, 2020