Photo: Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune

Workshops, Sessions, & Talks

Speaking Engagements

Ari Honarvar is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, and dancivist whose 2023 TEDx Talk has received significant recognition and is quoted in numerous outlets including Daily Good and Grateful Living. Ari presents at conventions like Comic-Con and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, educational institutions, and nonprofits. She has been a guest on NPR, NBC, the Shift Network, CNN en Español, and elsewhere. Her “Resilience through Joy” workshop facilitation approach, inspired by her immigrant childhood as an unaccompanied minor and dancing with thousands of refugees, has garnered international attention including that of researchers at UCSD and Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development in Germany. Her writings have been featured in The Guardian, Newsweek, Teen Vogue, and more.

♝To find out more or book an event, please contact:


Resilience through Joy

All organizations need resilience, but in our experience, many are unsure about how to go about cultivating it. This trauma-informed program helps organizations implement practices that build stakeholder resilience. Drawing from Ari’s vast experience in supporting resilience-building with vulnerable populations, particularly through the program Dancing with Refugees, we utilize evidence-based practices such as 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 who have participated in this program also report a greater sense of camaraderie and ease in collaboration.

To book a workshop or retreat, please contact:


Helping the Helpers

This program, specifically designed for individuals who face demanding work circumstances and are exposed to the effects of vicarious trauma, draws inspiration from the extensive experience gained through 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. Through this meditative exploration, which alternates between active and receptive rest, participants gain skills to become more resourced in their daily lives. Attendees also learn to gauge and replenish their body budget, establish a routine of mental and emotional hygiene, set clear boundaries, and practice nervous system stabilization techniques that can be helpful in moments of crisis. Individuals often walk away with a greater sense of well-being, a more robust connection with their bodies, ideas on strengthening important relationships, and an increased capacity to handle challenges. Teams who have participated in this program also report a greater sense of camaraderie and ease in collaboration.

♝To book an event, please contact:


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 how one can orient towards what’s pleasurable in the moment through the portals of the imagination, the five senses, memory, and movement. 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. Each participant walks away with a customized action plan to move their writing, and their joy of writing, forward.

To book a writing workshop or retreat, please contact:


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.

To find out more or book a Reconnection Ceremony, please contact:


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.

To find out more or book a session, please contact:


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.

To find out more or book a Friendship Ceremony, please contact:



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 and 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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