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Living From Happiness

The Happiness Doc, Dr. Melanie Harth, and guests share thought-provoking convos every week on Living From Happiness. From mindfulness and neuroscience to positive psychology and creativity, the show's all about living well in transformational times.
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Feb 23, 2021

We know that grief, fear, and hardship are hitting millions of people, both at home and around the world. We know it’s not going to magically get better all of a sudden. No one has a cosmic magic wand with which to sprinkle glistening fairy dust over our crown chakras and clear the dark, heavy energy of all that’s accumulated as a species since humans have been walking upright.

So then … how do we deal? How do we get through the day?

Melanie takes a look at the evidence-based solutions for surviving a crisis through the lens of disaster and trauma psychology.

From a recent Scientific American article, "Megan Hosey, a rehabilitation psychologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says that 'most of us … "will be able to adapt and recover." To do so, however, we will need to be flexible, open and honest with ourselves and learn how to take things one day at a time.'"*

It turns out that there are five top psychological needs common to everyone in a crisis. William Garmoe, a neuropsychologist, has researched important psychological needs people have in the midst of a disaster. Those “top five are to feel safe, calm, self-efficacious, socially connected and hopeful. When people engage in activities that benefit others, they may be able to check off three of those needs — feeling more useful, [being more] connected and hopeful about the future.”*

Listen in as Melanie shares research findings and how-to-cope ideas when dealing with a disaster such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

*Scientific American article, Coping With Pandemic Stress, by Melinda Wenner Moyer, March 2021 here

Melanie Harth's website here

 

 

Feb 16, 2021

"Please don’t imagine that my decade of writing practice and Zen meditation have silenced or fully pacified the angry self-critics in my head. That’s not how things work. I’m just much better at managing those voices.” Natalie Goldbert, Three Simple Lines

Beloved New Mexico author, teacher, and Zen Buddhist practitioner Natalie Goldberg is back for the second of two episodes.

Natalie wrote the internationally renowned Writing Down the Bones, published in 1986, and has since published memoirs, essays, poetry, more writing books, a novel, and a notebook.

Her brand-new book, Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku, is the focus.

Natalie and Melanie riff on such things as beauty, staying calm in chaotic times, mindfulness, meditation, writing practice, life and death, spiritual connection ... and yes, so much more.

If you missed the first show with Natalie Goldberg, please download it from Melanie's site here.

This haiku was composed by Natalie:

   full moon

   behind clouds

   your lips on mine

Natalie Goldberg's website here

Upaya Zen Center workshop schedule here

Dr. Melanie Harth's new book here

Feb 9, 2021

"Haiku is a refuge when the world seems chaotic, when you are lost, frightened, tangled, and nothing is clear." Natalie Goldberg, Three Simple Lines

Natalie Goldberg is an author, teacher, and Zen Buddhist practitioner. She wrote the internationally renowned Writing Down the Bones, published in 1986, and has since published memoirs, essays, poetry, more writing books, a novel, and a notebook.

This is the first of two parts, talking with Natalie about her brand-new book, called Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku.

Natalie is such a wonderful teacher that Melanie signed up for the Haiku writing virtual workshop through Upaya Zen Center as a result of this interview.

Natalie Goldberg's website here

Upaya Zen Center workshop schedule here

Dr. Melanie Harth's new book here

Feb 1, 2021

Melanie shares reflections from a variety of experts, including Winnie the Pooh. “Well,” said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”

Fantasy travel trips, the psychology of hope, neuroscience, Blue Zones -- all of this, plus Winnie the Pooh! Come listen.

Dr. Melanie Harth's new book is here

Jan 26, 2021

"Millions of people have been traumatized by the political climate of the last few years.

"Millions of people have been traumatized by brutal bureaucracies created to perpetuate systemic poverty, racism, misogyny, ableism, and so much more.

"Millions have been traumatized as children in the families, schools, and/or cultures in which we've lived.

"Millions have been traumatized by the out-of-control Covid-19 pandemic." - Dr. Melanie Harth

Let's acknowledge the truth of the trauma. And then, let's learn to harness our minds to help regulate our emotions, which helps us feel safe. 

Which helps us think more clearly, and move into solutions and possibilities.

As National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited/performed during the Presidential Inauguration, “ … there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Watch Amanda Gorman's recitation of "The Hill We Climb" here

Dr. Peter Levine interview on trauma and somatic experiencing here

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

 

Jan 19, 2021

"I’m asking you, my friends, if there’s a part of you that’s ready to stop participating in the insanity that’s become what we in this country believe is important. What is true for you at this point in your life? What matters to you? Who are you helping? Who’s helping you?" - Dr. Melanie Harth

Melanie presents a potpourri of ideas from Jungian depth psychologists to political scientists, and from Geneen Roth to Melanie's thoughts on what a mess we're in, and how we can begin cleaning it up.

Yep, it's a big show. Yep, it works. 

Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy info here

Jerome Bernstein, Diplomate in Analytical Psychology, C.G. Jung Institute of New York, more info here

Dr. Donald Kalsched's website here

Geneen Roth's website here

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

 

Jan 11, 2021

Jamie Lerner has a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University, has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for many years, and is a passionate amateur equestrian rider on the AA horse show circuit.

Also a world traveler, Jamie has explored a wide variety of spiritual healing modalities.

And she's the co-author of the book “The Ever-Loving Essence of You”.

Melanie and Jamie take a deep dive down into wellbeing, happiness, inner guidance, and re-creating the greatest relationship of all -- the one we have with ourselves.

Jamie's thoughtful, measured wisdom helps shed light on the inner resources each of us has to live a rich, full life.

Jamie Lerner's website is here

Dr. Melanie Harth's website is here

“The most important thing to understand is that you have choice: your choice to soar, or your choice to spend the remainder of your life arguing for your limitations.” from The Ever-Loving Essence of You

Jan 4, 2021

The artist, Stanford prof, and thought leader Jenny Odell's provocative book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy is the focus of this episode.

Odell's book is a provocative take on taking ourselves back.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, was named one of the best books of the year by Time, The New Yorker, NPR, Vulture, Fortune, Boing Boing, and was one of President Obama’s Favorite Books of 2019.

Melanie shares writings from the book, along with her own observations and thoughts and personal stories.

When we can wield our attention in a more intentional way, we have agency over our choices, our fears, our subconscious biases, and outmoded beliefs about how the world works. If this pandemic has done nothing else, it’s demonstrating just how out of control we are about how the world is supposed to work.

Which gives us the space, the incentive even, to begin forging better pathways forward.

As Odell writes: “Simple awareness is the seed of responsibility.”

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

transcript of Jenny Odell's talk, which became the book

Dec 29, 2020

Melanie focuses on thoughts and writings from such luminaries as Paula Allen Gunn, Simon Ortiz, Joy Harjo, and Barry Lopez in this episode.

Some of the "bad" words touched on are considered unimportant and light-weight and New-Agey, and even worse, often used to minimize, criticize, and shame those who dare to align themselves with such ridiculous concepts as living a slow, contemplative life, or consciously choosing love as a touchstone for decision-making.

This episode is really about reclaiming the power of language to catalyze transformation.

Ready?

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

the U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's website here

Dec 21, 2020

Katy Butler is an award-winning journalist, public speaker, and bestselling author. She’s a thought leader about end-of-life care in the national movement for medical reform.

Her first book was Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death and was named one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2013 by the New York Times.

It may seem a bit macabre to be talking about death, and yet … paradoxically, the more we learn about the softer technologies of the human heart, a phrase from Ms. Butler’s piece, the more we enhance our happiness and wellbeing.

The second half of this episode features the writings of Robin Wall Kimmerer, scientist, professor, enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and author of the rightly celebrated book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer says:

“Joanna Macy writes that until we can grieve for our planet we cannot love it—grieving is a sign of spiritual health. But it is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair.”

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

Katy Butler's website here

Robin Wall Kimmerer's website here

Dec 14, 2020

It seems ridiculous to celebrate anything these days. And yet, we know from all the neuroscience research that celebrating is quite important for our brains. Which means it’s important for our lives.

Melanie's inspiration for this episode was a big-little thing that recently happened to her.

Lots of good neuroscience, beautiful blessings from beloved Mirabai Starr, deep writings from The New York Times bestseller Learning to Walk in the Dark, by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Plus! Poems from David Whyte and John O'Donohue and Maya Angelou and Dr. Martin Luther King, and some of Melanie's book proposal writing on collective trauma.

It's a packed show, folks. Listen in, won't you?

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

Mirabai Starr's website here

Barbara Brown Taylor's website here

David Whyte's website here

 

Dec 8, 2020

Melanie shares ideas, thoughts, and how-tos for easing up on ourselves. 

The conflict between way too much to do and the desperate desire for rest that so many of us are struggling with makes for a toxic soup of stress and anxiety.

She dives into a chapter from the book Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age written by the psychotherapist, anthropologist, and author Mary Pipher. The chapter is "Building A Good Day". (The advice, of course, applies no matter our gender or age.)

"To be happy we need to learn how to structure a day that is rich in meaning and joy-producing activities. How we spend our time defines who we are. There is no magical future. Today is our future. Our lives are events that unfurl in real time, minute by minute. Right up there with the need for oxygen, food, and sleep is the need to have a reason to get out of bed every morning."

Dr. Melanie Harth's website here

Mary Pipher's website here

Nov 30, 2020

The Happiness in Dark Times series this week focuses on some of the ideas from Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

Curiosity, creativity, joy, lightness, ease, and strength (as in internal fortitude) are all covered in this episode.

Melanie includes thoughts from the Jungian psychoanalyst, author, storyteller and curandera Clarissa Pinkola Estes, as well.

Elizabeth Gilbert's Facebook page here

More about Melanie Harth's transformation psychology services here

Nov 24, 2020

Continuing her solo Happiness During Dark Times series, Melanie presents a deep, thoughtful show based on writing by the visionary thought leader Charles Eisenstein.

Here's a little bit of part of this episode:

"A ceremony, then, is a special kind of ritual. It is a ritual done in the knowledge that one is in the presence of the sacred, that holy beings are watching you, or that God is your witness.

Those whose worldview has no place for the sacred, or holy beings, or God will see ceremony as superstitious nonsense or, at best, a psychological trick, useful maybe to calm the mind and focus the attention.

Now hold on ...

... as for the rest, you'll have to download the episode.

Charles Eisenstein website with the complete article here

Charles Eisenstein TED Talk here

Melanie Harth's newsletter signup here

Nov 17, 2020

Did you know that mindfulness, mindful awareness, and/or contemplative practices don't have to be formal, stick-in-the-mud things?

In fact, the more we can bring mindfulness into our everyday lives, the happier, more content, satisfied, and peaceful we are.

Listen in as Melanie shares a chapter of her book, called Happiness and Mindfulness: a Light-Hearted Guide.

The chapter? "Mindfulness, Dorothy, and That Yellow-Brick Road."

Here's a hint:

"I first learned how to cultivate a sitting meditation practice during a time in my personal and professional lives when I was in serious doubt that I’d be able to make it through another day of grinding misery.

Mindlessly having made decisions based on what others wanted me to do, I was left holding the bag. And it was a big bag of nasty stuff, can I just tell you?"

This is the 2nd episode of Melanie's Happiness in Dark Times solo series.

Melanie Harth's website is here

Nov 11, 2020

This is a quiet and intimate show, the first in a series of quiet, contemplative shows with Melanie. She shares some of her own writing, along with insights from thought leaders such as neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson; Vaclav Havel, the great Czechoslovakian playwright turned dissident activist who became president of his country; and poetry selections.

All the readings were chosen to help soothe your soul.

There are lots of resources and creative ideas about finding happiness, no matter what's going on out there.

Here's a morsel for you to enjoy:

I will not die an unloved life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid, more accessible;

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,

a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance,

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom,

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

~ Dawna Markova

free University of Pennsylvania's Happiness questionnaires here

the Gallup Polls' StrengthsFinder assessment here

Melanie Harth's website here

 

Nov 3, 2020

Wowzer. This is a fasten-your-seatbelt show. Vince Kadlubek, the visionary co-founder of the internationally renowned interactive, experiential performance art space Meow Wolf, joins Melanie.

He's stepped away from Meow Wolf's day-to-day operations into the role of Executive Advisor. 

Vince dives deep, talking about the role of imagination in starting from a sort-of starving artist local collective to running a multi-million dollar business with the backing of George R. R. Martin, no less.

How to curate an experience and contribute to the collective are part of this fascinating conversation.

Vince Kadlubek is also the founder of the consulting agency Spatial Activations. Here's the Facebook description:

Where space meets imagination to create mind-blowing experiences.
Physical: Monumental sculpture, murals, pop-ups, interactive installations, events, parties, art.
Digital: AR/VR, spatial computing, audio/visual, mobile platform, projection mapping.
 
 
 

 

 

Oct 27, 2020

Linda Durham -- provocateur, a major force in the Santa Fe art gallery scene, world traveler, seeker, and author -- continues her in-depth conversation with Melanie in this episode.

Creative thinking, a positive mindset, trust and faith, and the other side of fear are touched on as Linda continues to share just a few of her astonishing life experiences.

"There is something comforting about the passage of time, about aging, about entering a phase of life known by various names that I’m learning to embrace." ~Still Moving, by Linda Durham

Linda Durham's Facebook page here

Melanie Harth's website here

Oct 20, 2020

Linda Durham has been one of the most influential people in the Santa Fe art scene over the last three decades. And she's just published her first book, a memoir called Still Moving.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Linda and Melanie talk about courage in the face of challenges, leading an artful life, creativity writ large, and living large no matter one's age.

This episode is the first of two parts.

"If my beloved business hadn’t failed, and if I hadn’t thrown all caution to the proverbial wind and used creatively raised funds to embark on a trip around the world, this book would not exist." ~ Still Moving, by Linda Durham

Linda Durham's Facebook page here 

Melanie Harth's website here

 

Oct 13, 2020

Today's guests really are women who care! Jody Feagan and Katie Rountree are both smart, fun, and quiet community activists.

Jody is the founder and former director of the San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she lived for ten years and raised her three children. In 2015, she moved full-time to Santa Fe and is currently the marketing director for Malouf on the Plaza.

Katie is a former radio and TV personality. Currently, she does voice-over recordings for companies all over the country, and is the Director of Audience Services and Corporate Relations for Performance Santa Fe.

This energetic conversation focuses on the powerful impact that small, community-oriented, grassroots organizations can have in times of crisis.

100 Women Who Care Santa Fe has made it possible to donate almost $450,000 to non-profits in northern New Mexico since 2012.

Listen in, hear how these two old friends are having a massive positive community impact.

100 Women Who Care Santa Fe website here

Melanie Harth website here

Oct 6, 2020

JoAnne Tucker, Ph.D., and Regina Ress join Melanie, one from Santa Fe and the other all the way from Costa Rica!

JoAnne was a dance major at Juilliard School, earned her Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin. She was the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Avodah Dance Ensemble, a New York City-based modern dance company. Currently, she's the president of Healing Voices, and co-director of the new film Out of the Shadows: Shining Light on Domestic Violence.

Regina is a storyteller, founding board member of Ahvodah, an actor, educator, and assistant director of the same film.

JoAnne, Regina, and Melanie talk about domestic violence, creativity, healing from trauma, and dance as a powerful medium of expression.

It's shocking that in the United States right now, one woman is killed every 16 hours by an intimate partner. Between 2001-2012, 6,500 US troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. During that same time period, 11,700 women were murdered by intimate partners in the US.

It's a tough topic, but the conversation is enlightening and uplighting. Promise.

Healing Voices website here

Melanie Harth website here

 

Sep 22, 2020

Listeners haven't heard from Katelyn Hilburn in a while. In this episode, we find out what's been going on with this popular guest.

When we first met Katelyn back in 2016, she was the director of community initiatives for Creative SantaFe. One of her projects was as a team member working to secure a $300,000 NEA grant for artists' and creatives' affordable housing. Remarkably, that collaborative project was a big success, and ground was broken a few weeks ago.

Katelyn moved on, completing an intensive business training program for entrepreneurs, founded her own company, called Madre Foods, and unexpectedly had a baby.

All big successes.

By the fall of 2019, things had changed once again, and Katelyn needed to meet the demands of both a growing single-owner business and her personal life.

This episode gives a glimpse into how she's navigated some rough waters, offering all of us hope and inspiration for the journey of being human.

Dr. Melanie Harth is a psychologist-trained transformational counselor and coach. She’s a licensed psychotherapist, with advanced training in trauma, post-traumatic growth, mindfulness, and innovative adaptation.

She loves sharing provocative ideas with thought leaders and community visionaries about the art and science of happiness as a profound path to living a good life.

Melanie Harth's website here

 

Sep 15, 2020

We hear the word "gratitude" everywhere. Tossed around by all sorts of folks, in all sorts of casual ways.

Today's guest, Heather Monroe, helps us understand how and why gratitude is actually a powerful force for healing and transformation.

In this deep conversation, Heather and Melanie touch on resiliency, purpose in tragedy, relational trauma, and toxic positivity, among many other intriguing ideas.

Heather Monroe is a licensed clinical social worker and an integrative psychotherapist who specializes in relational trauma. She's the Senior Clinician at Newport Academy and Newport Institute and founder of Monroe Wellness. Her mission is to help people free themselves from the bonds of their past in order to become the creators of their future.

Heather is a sought-after keynote speaker, including at the recent US Journal virtual conference in Santa Fe.

Heather Monroe's website here

Dr. Melanie Harth is a psychologist-trained transformational coach and mentor. She’s a licensed psychotherapist, with advanced training in trauma, mindfulness, and innovative adaptation.

She loves sharing provocative ideas with thought leaders and community visionaries about the art and science of happiness as a profound path to living a good life.

Melanie Harth's website here

 

Aug 25, 2020

This show was recorded on the 75th anniversary of the U.S. dropping the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. GK Hunter shares a touching story detailing why he wanted to make a documentary about the meeting between Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb and American survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack (Sakura and Pearls: Healing from World War 2).

This episode expands on last week's show. It includes George describing his own healing in the making of the documentary. 

As George has written, there's a strong connection between cross-cultural healing and happiness. "In order to heal the past, we need to build meaningful bridges where people from all backgrounds can find relief, healing, and reconciliation. This leads to a collective happiness in society, rather than just the rare few being happy."

After 15 years of working as an intuitive healer with Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Native Americans, the homeless, veterans, physicians, and community leaders, GK Hunter developed a step-by-step process to unburdening the heavy history that we inherit from our ancestors.

Based on those years of research and experiences, he created a model of healing which he wrote about in his book, Healing Our Bloodlines: The 8 Realizations of Generational Liberation.

Hunter was the director of Sakura & Pearls: Healing from World War 2, a documentary about Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb meeting the American survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.

He's made presentations at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Cornell University, and been a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered.

GK Hunter's website here

GK Hunter on Instagram here

Dr. Melanie Harth is a counselor and coach who specializes in trauma-sensitive psychological safety, emotional mastery, and taking smart action steps even when you're terrified.

Melanie Harth website and free guided meditation here

Melanie Harth on Facebook here

Aug 18, 2020

George Kamana Hunter (GK Hunter) has a rich ancestral lineage, including Irish, northern European, and Mohawk. In this episode, George and Melanie talk a lot about ancestral or inherited trauma and how to begin healing.

In the Forward to George's book, Healing Our Bloodlines: The 8 Realizations of Generational Liberation, Dr. Eduardo Duran writes “I have found that most, if not all of the symptoms that we treat in many of our healthcare settings have their genesis in trauma, also know as “Injury where blood doesn’t flow” by indigenous ways of knowing. The injury where blood doesn’t flow becomes part of the bloodlines that carry the injury into subsequent generations.”

This episode covers a lot of intriguing ground.

After 15 years of working as an intuitive healer with Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Native Americans, the homeless, veterans, physicians, and community leaders, GK Hunter developed a step-by-step process to unburdening the heavy history that we inherit from our ancestors.

Based on those years of research and experiences, he created a model of healing which he wrote about in his book, Healing Our Bloodlines: The 8 Realizations of Generational Liberation.

Hunter was the director of Sakura & Pearls: Healing from World War 2, a documentary about Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb meeting the American survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.

He's made presentations at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Cornell University, and been a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered.

GK Hunter's website here

GK Hunter on Instagram here

Dr. Melanie Harth is a counselor and coach who specializes in trauma-sensitive psychological safety, emotional mastery, and taking smart action steps even when you're terrified.

Melanie Harth website and free guided meditation here

Melanie Harth on Facebook here

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