The Radical Act of Savoring Pleasant Moments
Syndicated from, Oct 08, 2023

3 minute read


In her talk, Ari Honarvar introduces the mindful practice of savoring intervention. Through her background in providing workshops for refugees, she explains how to incorporate savoring pleasant moments in order to improve our wellbeing, even in the toughest environments. Ari Honarvar is a writer, activist, and artist dedicated to building bridges between the arts, social justice, and well-being. She is a Musical Ambassador of Peace and conducts Resilience through Joy workshops on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and in Europe. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, Washington Post, New York Times, and elsewhere. She is the author of Rumi's Gift Oracle Cards and her critically acclaimed novel, A Girl Called Rumi, is based on Ari’s experience growing up in post-revolution Iran. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

More reflections from Ari (syndicated from her Substack):


Thank you all for your feedback on my recently published TED Talk. Here are a few things that stand out from your messages and comments:

1. We don’t linger enough. And why would we? Everything in this modern world keeps telling us that we must constantly produce and consume, ideally excelling at both in order to be desirable human beings. More, faster, bigger… Producing content is all the rage while the art of being content has withered away in the incessant noise. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. Even though stepping away from the norm can be quite challenging, there are ways to cultivate a savoring practice that allows us to renew our relationship with ourselves and the world. Luckily we’re starting to recognize how we’re shortchanging ourselves by not lingering to smell the roses. A previously dormant hunger for change has been stirred. It’s in the zeitgeist. Even the Hidden Brain Podcast just released a popular episode on savoring.

2. Savoring isn’t meant to be used as a policing strategy. As I mention in the talk and explain in the Yes! Magazine article, “pervasive toxic positivity, or the attitude and belief that one should always maintain a positive outlook, uses ‘good vibes’ as a policing strategy. Some groups or individuals enforce strict codes of behavior and the suppression of certain emotions or expressions of vulnerability. It’s as if there are bouncers standing at the door of the psyche who only allow in the most attractive and best-dressed emotions.” I’ve heard from many of you who’ve encountered toxic positivity during life's most challenging moments. And it’s usually from well-meaning friends or loved ones who don’t realize the impact of their words. Luckily, many of us are learning to maintain our boundaries. It’s always handy to have a response ready for such situations. Here's an example: “Thank you for trying to help me feel better. But [what you said] isn’t helping. What I need right now is [a hug or feeling my feelings without any pressure or for you to listen without offering advice.] What are some savvy ways you handle toxic positivity?

3. It pays to become aware of the inner morality police. Whether it's evading uncomfortable emotions, engaging in self-censorship, or feeling reluctant to dance in public, we find ourselves constrained by an internalized aspect of morality police. When we become aware of our inner landscape and the oppressive forces at work, we are presented with choices on how to proceed.


For more inspiration check out the Joy Reclaimed Summit (Oct 2-27), a virtual event that includes offerings from Ari and 25 other speakers.


Ari Honarvar is the founder of Rumi with a View, dedicated to building bridges between the arts, social justice, and well-being. She dances with refugees and conducts Resilience through Joy workshops on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Called Rumi highlights the power of storytelling as an act of resistance and she is the creator of Rumi’s Gift Oracle Deck.

3 Past Reflections