Guest Presenters and Artist Series

At Lake Austin Spa Resort we want our guests to take a step back and focus on their well-being, and we create activities and events that can truly enrich their everyday lives. Whether that is learning how to grow your own herb garden, attending a do-it-yourself workshop, or having a discussion about the stories we read with one of our guest authors, it will be a unique experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


The Healing Power of Meditation with Special Guest Shivangi Van Gogh

This introductory one-hour talk with a question/answer session is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about silent Meditation — a simple, effortless and highly effective twice a day 20-minute practice that absolutely anyone can learn.

From the age of 9, Shivangi has been an explorer of consciousness and graduated with an advanced degree in Consciousness and Science from Columbia University where she did extensive research on the brain and nervous system of daily meditators. She then spent four years in India studying with the foremost masters in meditation, yoga and Ayurveda, and she continues to make a pilgrimage to India every four months where she started a foundation for kids and Moms in crisis called mOM doll project.

January 21, 2017

Artist Series

Same Kind of Different as Me Book Chat and Movie Q & A with Special Guest Author

Ron Hall’s life was centered around a successful career as an international art dealer and a passion for his Rocky Top ranch on the Brazos River west of Fort Worth, Texas. All this changed in 1998 as a result of an encounter with a homeless man who was threatening to kill everyone in sight in the homeless shelter where Ron and his wife Deborah had begun to volunteer two weeks earlier. They had gone there as a result of her prophetic dream they would meet a homeless man who would confound them with his wisdom. This life-changing encounter, featured on many television and radio shows such as CNN, Fox News, and NPR, inspired Ron to write his first book Same Kind of Different As Me, a story of hope and redemption. The word of mouth hit became a New York Times platinum bestseller and stayed on the list for more than three and a half years.

Ron’s fascinating and compelling story is told in an upbeat motivational program at collegiate, non-profit, corporate and church events across the nation. Discover how this story has helped raise more than $70,000,000 for the less fortunate.

Currently, Ron’s time is spent speaking on behalf of the homeless and promoting his new film Same Kind of Different As Me starring Renee Zellweger and Greg Kinnear  —due out in theaters Fall 2017.

February 10, 2017

Artist Series

The Life of Joan Rivers with Leslie Bennetts

Both personally and professionally, Joan Rivers’ life was a roller-coaster ride that ricocheted between dramatic highs and disastrous lows. After building a stand-up career that earned her fame and fortune as the Queen of Comedy, Rivers lost everything in her mid-50’s: she was fired from her television show and blackballed from her profession, her husband killed himself, and she discovered she had lost all her money and was $37 million in debt. But in her 60s and 70s, Rivers managed to reinvent herself, soar to new heights, find the love of her life, and build a billion-dollar business from scratch. Her career spanned 60 years and included breakthrough achievements in comedy, television, film, theater, business, fashion, and publishing, as well as pioneering the irreverent fashion coverage that created the modern red carpet and revolutionized television coverage of galas and other awards ceremonies. Rivers’ late-life success was as rare as it was extraordinary, and her remarkable story makes her an inspiring role model for women of all ages.

February 11, 2017

Artist Series

Beauty and Aging with Special Guest Author Leslie Bennetts

As a little girl, Joan Rivers wasn’t as pretty as her older sister, and she spent the rest of her life feeling angry that she wasn’t beautiful and jealous of any woman who was. Rivers saw beauty as the key to happiness for every woman, and she was furious that fate had cheated her of such a crucial asset.

As a comedian, Rivers won fame for savage jokes portraying pretty women as stupid and promiscuous. Her career rocketed into the stratosphere when she started making fat-shaming jokes about Elizabeth Taylor, whom she had envied since they were children. Throughout her adult life, Rivers never stopped trying to beautify herself and stave off the effects of aging with plastic surgery and other procedures; she once told Anderson Cooper she had undergone more than 700 of them. The results impressed some people and horrified others, but Rivers never stopped thinking that more was better. And yet the pain she felt provided fuel for her insatiable ambition; men didn’t love her for being beautiful, so she spent her whole life trying to win people’s love by making them laugh. She ended up achieving far more than any of the pretty girls she envied so desperately — and she achieved her greatest success as a senior citizen, despite her terror of aging. Many women fear the loss of beauty and youth, but Rivers’ life story shows how misplaced those values are, and how unexpected the source of real happiness can turn out to be.