At 21, Marlaina believed her fate would be in film scoring, but life and health took unexpected turns and prompted her to pursue writing, art, and in her 30s, professional certifications in therapeutic bodywork modalities and clinical essential oil therapy. When health allowed, she also enjoyed cooking and catering professionally for wellness and environmental  centers, private families, and special events with a gourmet focus on organic and alternative diets. During this time, she was honored to have the opportunity to cook for activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill and author Gary Null.
After some time in the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia suburbs, Marlaina returned to her rural roots. Today, from her corner of the world in the beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack region of Pennsylvania, she opts out of owning an iPhone and creates a nourishing home with her husband of eleven years, Jos. C. Donato, an author of historical fiction and avid lover  of the outdoors and all-season hiking. On any given day, she can be found painting in her art studio or whipping up healthy gourmet feasts in her kitchen filled with sun-drenched plants, a multitude of Mason jars, and an extensive medicinal herb pantry.  She loves to swap her passion for clinical aromatherapy with natural cosmetics including artful, slow-aged perfumes from an extensive palette of essential oils and double-boiler herbal infusions.
Marlaina's greatest influence was her mother Winifred, a multi-talented Renaissance woman who managed health food stores in Manhattan in the 1950s and independently studied nutrition and holistic endocrinology. Marlaina witnessed medical "miracles" during her childhood when her parents were employed at a groundbreaking holistic medical center, Clymer Health Clinic, in Bucks County Pennsylvania. This early foundation sparked her own passionate interest in alternative and integrative medicine and helped her navigate her own health challenges.   
Fun facts
Marlaina's maternal grandfather John Troyano was a Vitagraph Studios silent film actor, art photographer and piano prodigy who played New York City's Carnegie Hall at age eleven.
                                                           
As WillowWynd, she is a composer and recording artist, her diverse work used in film, meditation videos, and small business promos. Her music has been featured in award-winning short films by director Tara Gadomski, and she is also a background supporting actor in Gadomski's 2019 inspiring film Signs of Aging. She has released 18 albums in the genres of semi-classical solo piano, world/new Age, and pagan/Celtic. She plays all instruments on her recordings including piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar, bowed guitar, hammered dulcimer, and percussion and also layers her own vocals. Marlaina enjoys the creative freedom of producing her own music videos and was delighted to have The Quickening officially selected for the Black Bear Film Festival in 2019.
  Inspiration and Sustenance
As of May 2020, despite many followers, Marlaina made the decision to withdraw from the fray of social media platforms to sustain an inner healing space and to invest in the 'real' world. After decades of sometimes severely compromised health due to the largely misunderstood myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFIDS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and fibromyalgia, she is grateful for the mind-body tools that ignited a deep cellular transformation and complete remission in 2016.

 Marlaina Donato, CA, CMT is a freelance, evidence-based health and wellness writer with an integrative and holistic focus. She is a regular national-content writer for Natural Awakenings magazine and has written for Organic Lifestyle Magazine, Taste for Life, and other publications. She has interviewed some of the most significant sources in the industry from Mayo Clinic to yoga legend Rodney Yee, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito to neuroscientist and global  Transcendental Meditation leader Tony Nader.  She is also an author of fifteen books in various genres.
Some of her titles include Naked Soul (Llewellyn Worldwide, 1998),
 Multidimensional Aromatherapy, Goddess Consciousness,
  Spiritual Famine in the Age of Plentyand the novel, Broken Jar.
As a freelance writer, Marlaina's areas of focus are holistic neurochemistry, pain syndromes, whole-body fitness, full spectrum bodywork, clinical applications of essential oils, clinical and old-way herbal medicine, mind-body connections, women's health, art/music therapy, and energy medicine. 
read Marlaina's personal interviews with
extraordinary talent from around the world at:
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