Using the Body to Hack the Brain

Historically, decision-making was assumed to be a conscious process; the reality is far more complicated. Cognitive decision-making depends on both unconscious and conscious processes. It is only the winning decision that manifests as the “conscious” choice. Given that our intuitive, wise, unconscious self contributes tremendously, is it possible to consciously access that subliminal wisdom? “Play Is Serious” proves that we can, and offers fun, safe and engaging ways to do so.

The human body is designed for movement: walking, bending, climbing, stooping, dancing. As professionals in all fields increasingly are seated staring at screens all day, we are decoupling creative thinking from movement. The result: invaluable routes to creativity and self-awareness are disabled. Additionally, the human body is a communicative system of enormous complexity. It is designed to send and receive an infinity of signals from oneself to oneself, from oneself to others, and from those others back to oneself. This is a dynamic ecosystem in constant flux. Keen mastery of the body as a well-tuned instrument enables a refined awareness of those signals as well as the correct interpretation of those signals. This embodied intelligence is vital to any professional. Again, severe limitation of movement limits this skill.

Play allows us to invent, imagine, and risk. Play unlocks aspects of ourselves that we don’t customarily or consciously access. But how to jumpstart play with professionals in the workplace? Through the body. By linking movement and play, imagination and creativity are ignited, bypassing self-imposed limits and inhibitions. New channels to problem-solving are unlocked.

“Play is Serious” combines gentle movement with tried-and-true theater games, including improvisation, role play, free writing, and a number of other techniques. These exercises access that wise and wild unconscious self, enabling us to problem-solve, innovate and connect.

    • 1: We begin with very simple movements to enable awareness of mind/body signals.
    • 2: We employ exercises that engage all five senses and liberate us from habitual thinking.
    3: We increase focus and attention via individual, partnered, and small group interactions and improvisations.

The goal of these exercises is to discover and implement new approaches to solve problems and innovate. Oh, and to have fun!


About the Teacher

Learn How to Connect in The Present With Gina Barnett
Gina Barnett
enables artful communication, cross-cultural sensitivity, and promotes human connections through a multi-layered approach. Her extensive career includes leading workshops in negotiation, innovation, and communication to leaders throughout the globe. As a Senior Speaking Coach for the TED Main Stage, BET’s The Round, and the OBAMA Foundation, Gina has had the opportunity to work with many of today’s most influential thought leaders. Her program, Play is Serious, has been delivered for TED, TED Fellows, Eileen Fisher Life Learning Lab, SubRosa, and NeueHouse. Through this program, she helps participants re-enter into the present, so that they can learn effective physical and vocal communication skills. By learning how to be in the moment, participants will discover that they are able to maintain their objectives, let go of preconceived notions, and more easily establish valuable human connections within their personal and professional lives.



Friday, November 9th

3:00 pm – Check-in
6:00 pm – 7 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – 7:20 pm – AOLRC Orientation
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Program Session

Saturday, November 10th
7:00 am – 8:00 am – Morning Meditation/Yoga/Fitness
8:00 am – 9:30 am – Breakfast
9:30 am – 12:30 pm – Program Session
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Lunch
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Program Session
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Free Time*
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner
7:30 pm – 8:15pm – Meditative Chant — Kirtan (optional)

Sunday, November 11th

7:00 am – 8:00 am – Morning Meditation/Yoga/Fitness
8:00 am – 9:30 am – Breakfast
9:30 am – 11:30 am – Program Session
11:00 am – Check-out (luggage may be stored at reception)
12:00 pm – Lunch is included in your stay this day!


Date & Time

Starts: Nov 09, 2018 03:00 PM

Ends: Nov 11, 2018 12:00 PM


Gina Barnett


Starting at $657

Includes room, meals & tuition

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