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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November 3, 2018
Saturday, 12:00 pm
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AN EVENING IN CONVERSATION WITH JOANNA BARSH  Joanna Barsh director emerita at McKinsey & Company, where she has worked for more than 30 years, has written a remarkable book, Grow Wherever You Work - Straight Talks To Help With Your Toughest Challenges, in which she dispenses powerful, unvarnished advice for growing through the work challenges all aspiring leaders face. “The business world is full of catchphrases: follow your passion; think positive; be authentic; suck it up; take more risks; network. All well-intentioned, but let’s be honest. This inch-deep advice just isn’t very helpful. How do real people succeed in the real world of work? That’s the question bestselling author, Joanna Barsh sets out to answer – not by asking motivational gurus, leadership experts, or well-established CEOs but by diving into the trenches with today’s boldest, brightest, up-and-coming leaders.” Joanna heard stories of important work challenges from over 200 rising leaders in 120 companies and wrote this hands-on guide to help us: Handle rising pressure and recover from colossal mistakes Bounce back from poor performance reviews and use them to up your game Get people on board with you and your mission Deal with office villains like a superhero Take uncomfortable risks and dare to challenge Thrive when everything around you is falling apart Know when it’s time to find another job She shares raw experiences and on-the-job coping strategies from a rich diversity of voices from all industries – immigrants and first-generation Americans; Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians; Ivy League alums and high school grads; and parents some of whom are single. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how ordinary people turn challenges into extraordinary opportunities for action. A copy of the book is included in the ticket price.  
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Let's Dance Uncertain and chaotic times calls for furious and fearless dancing. It’s time to dance. We need to dance. Did you know that dancing provides moments of deep and simple joy? Did you know that dance moves also affect our bodily chemistry, creativity and emotions? Join us Friday, December 15, 2017 and let’s dance. The night will be a celebration of “the truism that the soul that moves so many of us, that we groove to, that animates our lives, that in some ways binds us as a global community — pop music — is the opposite of nativist.” We will celebrate ONENESS, cross-cultural understanding, harmony and peace in the world. We will dance to world music, eat world food and sip on world cocktails. The dance party is strongly recommended for people who think they can’t dance. You are never too young or too old to party. Let’s close the year with unbounded, absolute joy! WORLD MUSIC  WORLD FOOD WORLD DRINKS WORLD DANCE LESSONS FREE CLAIRVOYANT READINGS SURPRISE GUEST BRING  SPOUSE + PARTNER + FAMILY + FRIEND  QUOTES ON THE VALUE OF DANCE  Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos Jr. Dance is a way to embody the universe and remember ourselves as nature. Jim Tobin, Bay Area Dance Watch Dance allows me to stay creative in many ways and for me, that is more important now than ever before, as I grow older. Tonya Amos, Grown Womens Dance Collective I discovered that dance is our connection to the earth, to the air, to culture, to the universe. Lily Cai, Lily Cai Dance Company Dance awakens the human spirit. It is the one true way to express the human soul through motion and emotion. Dance is joy and happiness…and so much more. Shreelata Suresh, Vishwa Shanthi Dance Academy Dance is a means of collective meditation centering on beauty, sacred music, rhythm and harmony. Through dance we create an atmosphere of cross-cultural understanding, peace and harmony in the world. Eric Solano, Parangal Dance Company To set self at ease and freely. A relaxation of the mind. Celebration of spirit. A travel around the world. An Inspiration. Reinvention. Life. A portion of profits from ticket sales will be donated to I AM ACCEPTANCE COLLEGE TOUR, a mental well-being organization focused on initiating conversations with college students on the topic of mental health in order to educate and empower them to seek support.  
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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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