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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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Now displaying: October, 2022
Oct 20, 2022
Dur e Aziz Amna is the guest who’s keeping Melanie on her toes in this insightful, wide-ranging, and delightful conversation.
 
Aziz Amna grew up in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She graduated from Yale College and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, and Aljazeera, among others. Winner of the 2019 Financial Times Essay Prize, she was longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020.
 
Her brand-new debut novel is American Fever. And it’s a powerhouse of a novel. The protagonist, Hira, is an adolescent Pakistani girl who comes of age as an exchange student in rural Oregon.
 
Hira's voice is impressive, with observations ranging from who she is to who she is not. Here's one example, “I don’t yet know how to react to life—its sadness and disappointments—without blaming those around me, because I am only half formed and so it feels to me that I am nothing but the sum of other people’s actions.”
 
Another quote from Hira as the older narrator is, “At 16, I was tired of limits, aghast that life could be so small. Tired of the same girls I had known all my life, girls who called their periods their ‘visitors’… who didn’t know, didn’t desire to know, how powerful and clever and beautiful they were, who had already decided on the low, petty ceilings of their limits.”
 
Finally, from Hira, as narrator/observer, comes this, Stereotypes happen when you don’t understand the thing itself, and so you interpret it. This is not an account of how America was. It’s an account of who I was.”
 
The conversation between Dur e Aziz Amna and Melanie touches on themes such as:
  • emigration and immigration
  • assimilation
  • what “home” means
  • globalization
  • racism and Othering
  • the challenges presented when we stereotype something
  • the place of one’s culture and tradition
  • the hubris, ignorance, and fear of at least some of “America” and Americans
 
The two women also talk quite a bit about happiness and well-being in the 2nd half of this episode. Dur e has a lot to say about this and does so with style and grace.
 
This show is for snuggling down with a cuppa on a lazy early evening and spending the hour with friends enjoying each other's company.
 
Dur e Aziz Amna’s website here: https://www.dureazizamna.com/
 
Dr. Melanie Harth’s website here: https://thesantafetherapist.com/
 
Questions or comments? Send them to happiness@ksfr.org.
Oct 6, 2022
This is an intimate episode with Melanie sharing an essay from the scientist, activist, humanitarian and writer Barry Lopez. The essay is from his last book, “Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World,” published posthumously.
 
Lopez makes a poignant plea to not fall into despair and hopelessness at the state of the world.

Building on the foundation of Lopez’s essay, Melanie shares several suggestions for how to find joy in dark times. The focus is on simple ways to help reset your nervous system in challenging times.
 
For instance, did you know that trying to resist painful emotions increases psychological suffering? 
 
Or that helping other people or a cause that’s important to you has been proven over and over again to helps get you out of your little mind and ego and into something more important? It helps manage the non-stop ruminating monkey mind thing.
 
Also,  nature is a powerful healer! Hanging out in nature can help elicit joy and happiness.
 
She also shares several pieces of writing from the poets David Whyte and Mary Oliver, educational visionary Maria Montessori, and the Zen Buddhist teacher and writer Thich Nhat Hanh.
 
Dr. Melanie Harth’s website here: https://thesantafetherapist.com/
 
 
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