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TEDxEmeraldGlenPark 2019: Ali O’Grady on How to Get Over It and Start Asking The Hard Questions

February 27, 2019

DUBLIN, CA–Our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is ’What If’. What if it’s you that has to start difficult type of conversations with family or close loved ones? Perhaps discussing a serious illness, the possibility of death, addressing an unspoken addiction issue, depression, anxiety or grief is something that could save a life and it’s all within your power. Where do you begin? How do you ask the complex, tough questions? Is there a recipe to prepare us to better deal with the elephant on the room? Come and found out from Ali O’Grady’s experience and how she anchored her strength as thoughtful human, helping and inspiring many.

Ali OGrady

Meet Ali – mushroom marketer turned zero waste cardpreneur. Ali founded quirky card start-up Thoughtful Human in October 2017, which works to take the “greetings” out and put the human back into cards and how we communicate — specifically in dynamic relationships and challenging life circumstances (think cancer, grief, addiction…). Thoughtful Human emphasizes radical empathy and works to build community, educate, and de-stigmatize conversations about physical and mental health. O’Grady and Thoughtful Human have been recognized by Diablo magazine’s 40 Under 40, Bustle, Brit & Co, The Mighty, Women’s Health, and Sunset magazine.

In her talk, Ali takes us through various pretty uncomfortable topics and compared them through many others that are REALLY uncomfortable. For example, it may not be as hard to ask someone to leave a bigger tip, but when it comes to gaining the strength to talk to someone with cancer about the possibility of their death, we suddenly are completely out of words. In such scenarios, we are conditioned to not be asking the direct questions as it may feel invasive: “It’s not my place. They’re probably fine. If they wanted to, they’d bring it up.”

We can’t be further from the truth… In her talk, Ali will share 3 stories that will illustrate just how uncomfortable these conversations can be, and why we all need to get over it and start asking the hard questions anyway. It’s not necessarily the list of the particular questions in the many complex scenarios, but how genuine we are and how deep and caring and simple our approach is. You will be amazed how easy it becomes to ask the tough questions driven from a place of empathy. Ali further shares her idea of a platform – to bear one’s soul and create space — for self and for others; a safe space, where one can be vulnerable around the great challenges we face (cancer, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction) which would breed intimacy, connection, and healing for some of the tens of millions of people facing these issues. These thoughtful questions and radical empathy are the only way through.

Come and learn how Ali deals with all these continuous challenges and know it’s simply ok to ask the hard questions. Within your power there’s the chance to save a life. The stats are shocking: 1 in 7 faces a substance addiction. For every 1 in 5 faces mental illness. For every 2 of 5 get cancer at some point in life. What if it’s up to us as individuals to change the numbers?

Attending TEDxEmeraldGlenPark is a great way to get connected, get inspired, and get excited about our unique community and the importance of education in our future. Your presence would help create an enriching, intellectually stimulating experience for yourself and other attendees. A limited number of tickets are available online for you to purchase. There will be no tickets available at the door, so make sure you don’t miss out! I am so excited to meet and share ideas with this community. Let’s make this TEDx event one to remember.

Grab your dose of inspiration on March 9 at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark 2019 and make this an event to remember! Tickets are currently on sale.


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