The Academi of Life regularly invites inspirational thought-leaders to share their wisdoms in enlightening Evenings in Conversation. These conversations touch on a range of life lessons, from neuroscience and spirituality, money and morality, commitment, happiness, and much more. Here, everyone has something to teach as well as learn- it’s all a part of conversation.

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December 15, 2017
Friday, 7:00 pm
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Are you living the life you though you always wanted but feel that something is still missing? Considering all that you have, do you think you should be happier than you are? Have you achieved your professional or personal goals but still feel racked with insecurities, anxiety, or depression … and can’t figure out why? Are you tired of multitasking and always being on the go? Harvard & Yale trained psychiatrists and authors, Dr. Srini Pillay and Dr. Anna Yusmin know just how you feel. And they have written two amazing books: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try and Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Helps You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life to help us understand these feelings. They will share their years of research and studies on how we can live our best lives: fulfilled and unfocused. Description of Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Helps You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life by Anna Yusmin, M.D., Standing at the intersection of empirical science and spirituality, Fulfilled puts forward a ground-breaking new approach to self-actualization, one firmly rooted in science and offering a unique balance of spiritual and concrete practices, including meditative exercises. Over the past 15 years, psychiatrist Anna Yusim has made a startling discovery that flies in the face of most modern medical teaching, including her own. Her patients’ primary complaints, ranging from anxiety to depression to sexual dysfunction, often coincide with spiritual neglect—an all too common problem in Western cultures that champion intellectual development over spiritual care. Medical research is now substantiating what Anna has known to be true for many years: spirituality is a powerful path to healing. Anna has developed a program that marries empirical science and spirituality for true healing. Filled with fascinating research, practical wisdom, and interactive exercises, Fulfilled will appeal to skeptics and seekers alike, and to readers who are looking for more meaning, joy, and contentment in their lives. "More and more psychiatric professionals are recognizing the role of spirituality in treating anxiety and depression, part of a vital pushback against overmedication of Americans. I admire those like Dr. Anna Yusim who are leading the charge.” -Marianne Williamson –New York Times best selling author of A Return To Love Description of Tinker Dabble Doodle Try by Srini Pillay, M.D., A fascinating tour through brain wavelengths and rhythm, mindsets, and mental relaxation, this ground-breaking book, demonstrates how specific kinds of planned unfocus stimulate cognitive calmness, jumpstart productivity, enhance innovation, inspire creativity improve ling-term memory, and of course, help you stay on target. “Cognitive rest is the new exercise.” With techniques for training the brain to unfocus, concepts for scheduling busy lives, and ideas for controlling this new cognitive-toggling capability, this book will change how you think about daydreaming, relaxing, leaving work unfinished, and even multitasking. By unlocking the power of the unfocused mind, what you’ll discover is a greater freedom, a deeper intelligence, and a more profound joy in your life. “Dr. Srini Pillay offers a brilliant, deeply researched, and even more deeply imagined blueprint for using one’s full mental armamentarium, conscious, unconscious, and all the undiscovered rest! A fantastic book!” -Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.,    
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HOW TO LOVE WELL We’ve heard it said before, by poets and sages and songwriters: “All you need is love,” “love conquers all,” “love your enemies.” We know that love is the answer; we agree with the golden rule. So, why then, is it so difficult for us human beings to be the love we long to see in the world? Why do we struggle and fumble in our attempts to give and receive love with our mates, our kids, our friends and colleagues? These are always relevant questions, and they are even more pressing now, when we as citizens we are being called to love beyond the boundaries of difference. It takes courage to love well—to love oneself, to love our family, to love people with whom we may disagree at work and in the world. Elizabeth Lesser, author and co-founder of the Omega Institute, has spent her life seeking understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and at the same time, authentically connected to others. She’s a modern day ‘Anam Cara’, soul-friend in the Irish language. Her new book, Marrow: A Love Story, a mesmerizing and courageous memoir, is the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Join us for this magical evening as we explore together the complex question about what it really means to love, and the healing process of putting aside pride and defensiveness to make way for soul-baring and truth-telling. She will also share the deeper transformational lessons that can be learned from difficult moments. Lesser will be joined in conversation by TED PRIZE storyteller and Executive Director of Women, Action, & the Media, Jamia Wilson. We Will Explore  Insights into how to authentically communicate with people you love How to have the difficult conversations with the people you love How to develop stronger relationships with people you love When, if and how to say the ‘unsayable’ between 2 people How to steady ourselves in the presence of evil How to stand up for your moral integrity with love You don't have to wait for a life-or-death situation to clean up the relationships that matter Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field I will meet you there. - Rumi
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What is the value of achievement if we are unable to attain or maintain joy after having reached unimaginable success? How much of our education or scholarly research is applicable to passing the ‘tests’ we will be given throughout life, regarding parenting, love, resilience, aging, death, mental well-being, and self-awareness? Most of us would agree it would be inappropriate to address such topics in english class or before a  math exam, so where do these subjects get addressed? The great thinker and Rhodes Scholar, E. F. Schumacher, believed that all through school and university we are given guidance about life and knowledge, and generally this guidance had little relevance to the things that people cared about or the way they conducted their lives - the way life is really lived. The ACADEMi of Life was founded to fulfill Schumacher’s observation, and to address these important topics … we created ‘a place’ where people can gather to discuss the things they care about --- the things that matter most in life, that they didn't learned in school. So, on November 10th, 2016 at our ‘6x10’ event, we will gather, to hear six speakers talk about the six things that matter most in life. Each speaker will present for ten minutes on one of the six topics. The event is designed to provoke, awaken and deepen our thinking about the essential life-skills we need to live a meaningful, peaceful, fulfilling and valuable life – you will be inspired, transformed, entertained and educated. THE 6 THINGS THAT MATTER Mental Well-Being: So many recent events have revealed that mental health is a critical well-being skill that must be addressed and valued. It is our belief that mental health is more important than getting good grades – it’s more important than IQ. There is no health without mental health. Resilience: How do we hold it together in the face of extraordinary challenges and uncertainties? How rapidly do we bounce back and recover from hardship and adversity? Resilience, a critical skill we need in a life where the only constant is change. Parenting: “There are few situations in life which are more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter during the attempt to liberate themselves.” We will share how to transform your relationship with your child into joy, empowerment and kinship and raise them to be their best, truest selves. Self-Mastery: No one is perfect. Understanding and acceptance of our imperfect ‘dual-nature’ with the goal of continuous personal improvement is the secret to self-mastery. Leonardo da Vinci once said, 'the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment.' Aging & Dying: A revolutionary examination of why we age, what it means for our health, and how we just might be able to fight it. An easy-to-follow plan to prevent and reverse the signs of aging will be shared. Love: There is no other factor in medicine, “not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery”, that affects our health, quality and length of life more than feeling loved and cared for. Love matters.
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We are beyond excited and thrilled to have creative business leader and iconoclast, Kevin Roberts, Chairman of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi (a company that works with more than half of the biggest 50 advertisers in the world) back at The Academi of Life. If you are a leader under enormous pressure, totally committed, intensely driven, highly intelligent and at times utterly miserable, don't miss this conversation... come CONNECT and be INSPIRED by Kevin Roberts. He has written a new book 64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World a collection of value-accelerators for business and life. It is gathered as a 64 shot method from the astute observations and remarkable life of Kevin Roberts and from his new role as “Head Coach” for a team of about 45,000 employees. A provocative figure traversing the peaks of global commerce, media and sport, Kevin Roberts - creator of the groundbreaking idea and book Lovemarks - is recognized as one of today's most uncompromisingly-positive and inspirational leaders. In 64 Shots, Roberts draws on the biggest ideas, toughest experiences and greatest influences of his life to present 16X4 stripped down, straight-forward and instantly-absorbable insights on how to bring order to the chaos of business and life. The punchy insights about winning - hitting readers lightly jab after jab - are an array of one-liners, sound bites, tweets, charts, quotes and historical reference points. They are loaded with Roberts' experience, story, brio, provocation and direction. The language is extreme, brimming with the irrepressible attitude and provocation that fueled Roberts' meteoric career. While there is a sequence, the 64 shots are stand-alone signposts towards living an enterprising and winning life. Anyone can dip into the book anywhere and find value. 64 Shots - will you take them? As the musical Hamilton reminds us – “don’t throw away your shot.” So if you want a real ‘shot’ at leadership and life –don’t miss this provocative and inspiring conversation. Each attendee will get a signed First Edition copy of the book. Early bird special of $89.00 until 5/30/16. After 5/30/16 price is $119.
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WHEN YOU’RE FALLING, RISE: The Art and Science of Resilience Why do some people blossom through adversity while others fall apart? What mysterious power gets us back on our feet after we’ve been knocked down? What do we mean by “the art and science of resilience,” and the transformational possibility of growing to become our best selves in life’s most challenging moments? Maria Sirois and Mark Matousek have spent decades exploring these urgent questions, in clinical practice, personal memoir, and interviews with some of the world’s great survivor artists. Combining their experiences here for the first time, Sirois and Matousek offer a road map to personal evolution in times of transition, using stories, practices, and principles of resilience. Integrating the burgeoning field of positive psychology with the science of resilience, as well as spiritual wisdom, they provide a template for growth that incorporates the reality of what is most difficult in our lives with a scaffolding for thriving anyway. “When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.” Using brief writing exercises, Matousek will guide participants through the process of self-reinvention through radical truth telling and the shifting of what Emerson called “the angle of vision,” a critical skill for resilience. Sirois will discuss “the genius of the AND,” and the vital importance of introspection, inspiration, and beauty on the path of healing. She reminds us that while none of us is spared suffering, neither does the world withhold beneficence. Rising requires attention to both and the capacity to face the truth of one’s living with self-compassion and a fierce desire to grow. Please join us for this extraordinary evening …..
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