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.
"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:
your lips on mine
"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.
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.
"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.”
"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.
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.
“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
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.”