Photo: Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune

Workshops, Sessions, & Talks

Resilience through Joy

This trauma-informed program, designed for organizations and companies, draws inspiration from years of Dancing with Refugees. We utilize the evidence-based practice of savoring intervention to explore the realm of simple pleasures through the open portals of the five senses, imagination, memory, and movement. This type of meditative exploration helps us become more resourced so we can access deeper wells of creativity and problem-solving. Participants have the opportunity to devise a customized action plan to integrate the learnings and incorporate simple daily strategies to cultivate resilience, bolster the immune system, and improve quality of life. Upon completing the workshop, individuals often report experiences of well-being, feeling at home in their bodies, and having an increased capacity to attend to challenges. Teams report a greater sense of camaraderie and ease in collaboration.


Developing a Sustainable Writing Practice Through Joy

What is pleasurable is sustainable. Often, when writers get stuck, it’s because the joy has evaporated. Unwelcomed anxiety about the future of the project, guilty feelings when not writing, or resentment about competing responsibilities, subsume the writer’s joy. In this workshop, we’ll explore orienting toward what is pleasing in the moment through the portals of the imagination, the five senses, memory, and movement with music. This type of meditative exploration helps us become more resourced so we can access deeper wells of creativity and problem-solving. Besides orienting and writing exercises, we’ll tune in to our own temperaments and natural rhythms—what type of writing schedule suits us, how to cultivate sufficient conditions for creative writing, and discovering our own balance between productivity and pleasure. This program is offered to organizations and corporations.


Reconnection Ceremony

According to research, practices that involve rituals provide our nervous system with a sense of stability and predictability. Rituals have been part of human existence for thousands of years and humans have evolved with them. This ceremony offered to couples, family members, and groups, provides a nurturing space within which communication flows, misunderstandings are cleared, and connection is re-established.


Individual Counseling

These sessions are offered to those who want to deepen their connection with themselves, their loved ones, humanity, and the earth. In each session, we learn how to savor the joy of being human, cultivate healthy relationships, and devise a tailored action plan to support and integrate the learnings.


Friendship Ceremony

These sessions are offered to friends who want to deepen their intimacy, celebrate their friendship, and exchange vows. The Friends Commitment Ceremony idea is based on Ari’s popular Arranged Friendship experiment featured in The Atlantic, Washington Post, Insider, and Yes! Magazine, eliciting an overwhelming response from all over the world.


Speaking Engagements

A TEDx speaker, Ari presents at conventions like Comic-Con and AWP, universities such as UCSD and SDSU, corporations, nonprofits, churches, and other venues. She has been a guest on NPR, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and elsewhere. In live performances, she collaborates with musicians of different cultures and presents a dynamic program including poems, stories, and music. 



I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the Resilience through Joy workshop at work. I thought we would do some mindfulness exercises but it was much more than that. I learned how to regulate my nervous system and what to do now to increase my capacity for future challenges. Our team bonded too and learned valuable tools on how to collaborate and communicate effectively to do well even in stressful situations. —Carlos (workshop attendee)

I was deeply moved by Ari’s words. The hardships she endured were unimaginable, leaving me in awe of her resilience and the power of her delivery. What I appreciated most about the presentation was its insightful and personable nature, avoiding the dry lecture-style approach in favor of an authentic and relatable experience. This speaker is undeniably talented, both as a captivating storyteller and a skilled writer. —Meghan (audience member)

Incredible talk! Two standout moments for me were the eye-opening realization that 1) some view seeking asylum for children as irresponsible parenting, and Ari’s personal story debunked that myth—it even challenged my own perception of the sacrifices made by refugees and their motivations and highlighted the importance of understanding their plight. 2) Ari’s examples of the positive impact of grassroots solutions were so inspiring, broadening my perspective and reminding me of the power we hold to make a difference. —Kalle (audience member)

​​I met Ari when I interviewed her for my podcast and we began working together. Ari guided me through meditation, movement, and sound to help move the trauma through and out of my body. It was such meaningful work and in a time of profound personal grief and collective upheaval that work became a touchstone for me. The work itself is beautiful and when paired with Ari and her immense heart it is just what is needed in our world. Omkari Williams (author of Micro Activism & host of Stepping Into Truth podcast)





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