Why Breathwork Creates Rapid Changes

Next Breathwork Retreat: One Saturday, July 13, 2019

Visit the Events Page for all the retreat updates.

While weekly therapy sessions help sustain steady growth, sometimes this may be too slow for you. If you are eager to make faster progress, I’d like to tell you about a technique that creates breakthroughs better than any method I know.

My clients are smart. They have strong mental processing skills. Some of my clients have been trying to change life-long patterns by using cognitive therapy. While they get smarter, after a while they get downright frustrated with the slowness of therapy and all the money and time they’ve invested. The same old bothersome habits cycle around and around within themselves and in their marriages.

Why the slow progress with cognitive therapy?

We can’t always understand why we are … the way we are on a logical level and make the changes we want.

Let’s see how neuroscience helps answer this question.

When we’ve experienced emotionally or physically painful events, our smart brains figured out how to help us survive. The instinctual part of our brain chose from this menu in a nanosecond: fight, flight, freeze, or faint. Our automatic reactions worked. We survived.

After a painful event ends, two systems of our brain hard-wire our coping patterns.

(1) the part that helps us avoid pain so we don’t touch a hot stove again, and

(2) the part that seeks pleasure.

Let’s take each one at a time.

(1) To avoid pain and feeling bad, we tried our best to elicit positive responses from our caregivers when we were children. Examples are pleasing people even when it hurts us, taking care of others so they don’t feel bad, working too much, and trying to be perfect. As adults, we may feel compelled to do these behaviors even though we know they are not healthy for us.

(2) We also developed unconscious habits to seek comfort. Examples are eating comfort food like ice cream, sugar and simple carbohydrates. Some of us turned to recreational drugs and alcohol. Others turned to over-exercising or high-risk behaviors such as extreme sports or gambling. Others became obsessed with sex, porn and romantic relationships. Some of us have shopped way too much. Again, we may know it’s not good for us, but we do it anyway.

These coping behaviors were hard-wired into the unconscious part of the brain and became habits that are difficult to change because they are part of the original survival strategy.

To understand how you can effectively make the changes you desire, read on.

Retreat venue. Lake Chatuge, Young Harris, GA

Painful memories are stored in two places: in the body and in the emotional part of the brain called the amygdala. The parts of the brain that process emotions and those that regulate body functions are closely connected. They talk with each other easily.

On the other hand, the part of the brain that processes logic (the pre-frontal cortex) doesn’t communicate well with the amygdala where the painful emotional memories are stored. It’s almost impossible to rationally understand the emotional roots of life-long limiting patterns without therapy.

With cognitive therapy, we can get a glimpse of how our adult behavior is rooted in our childhood, but we still can’t change it from a logical level. If we could, we would have done so a long time ago. That’s why talk therapy generates limited results.

So how can we effectively transform self-defeating patterns?  

We have to find a healing method that accesses the emotional and physical memory below the level of our conscious rational mind.

Breathwork creates rapid deep change because we bypass the logical part of the brain and access the original emotional memories where habits were laid down to help us survive. With breathwork, we make changes on the cellular level of the body and on the emotional level.

To read a description of breathwork, click here.

After the deep emotional healing in breathwork is completed, the pre-frontal cortex can come back online and make sense of the experience so the wisdom can integrate into conscious memory. Clients describe amazing results from breathwork.

Read the breathwork client testimonials here.

There is much more to life that is possible for you, and I want this for you. More creativity, more emotional intimacy, more inner peace, more centeredness, more brilliance, more intuition, more empathy, more free-flowing energy in your body that generates deep healing on all levels, more deep connection with the healing power of the Holy Spirit.

As Einstein said, we only use 10% of our brain. With breathwork, you can access enlightened spiritual states of consciousness far beyond the limits of your pre-frontal cortex. We invoke unconditional love and healing from the Holy Spirit, who guides the process.

Be sure to read all these articles.

Click here to read a description of Breathwork.

Click here to read testimonials.
Click here to read Breathwork Q&A.
Click here to read Breathwork client stories.


Tuition for Breathwork Retreat July 13, 2019: $289.

Early Bird Discount: Save $25.00. $260 when your register by June 13, 2019.


Location: Young Harris, Georgia overlooking Lake Chatuge and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Space is limited 6 people so register early.

To Regsiter: Please send me an email if you would like to attend, and I’ll send you PayPal instructions.

Pre-requisite: 3 or more private sessions. New clients should schedule a complimentary 10-minute phone call to see if this retreat is a good fit for you. Complete the contact page.

If you are allergic to cats, tell me know before you register so we can discuss if this retreat is appropriate for you. The retreat is held at my home. I have one cat and I can keep her in my garage if necessary.

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We also do Breathwork in our two-day weekend retreats.

  1. Highly Sensitive Person Retreat

2. Deep Emotional Healing Retreat Fall 2019

3. Visit the Event Page for all the retreat updates.

Read more


23 Tips for Turning Conflict into Peace

I hope your holidays are filled with love and laughter. I bless you with inner peace that glows from your heart.

Unfortunately, holidays are not merry and bright for everyone. I’ve written this article to help people who struggle at this time of the year. However, you can apply these skills 365 days a year.

• Have loved ones passed on? Has there been a divorce or a relationship break-up? Are you still grieving?

• Are there conflicts in your family? Do you try to put on a happy face, but inside you brace against the next insensitive comment?

• Do family members refuse to come together because there is too much pain?

• Is there sickness?

Many people experience one or more of these situations. I want to extend my compassion to those of you who suffer during the holidays. When everything is supposed to happy, we may experience even deeper pain because we are hurting.

Here are 23 suggestions to help you develop inner peace and manage conflict.

1. First, choose to develop inner peace. You don’t have to know how to do it or even be good at it. Just choose it. Ask God to help you. Make a commitment to develop personal mastery even if your mother criticizes you. As a metaphor, if you want to become a black belt karate master, you begin with a white belt. Over time and with lots of practice, you develop high level skills.

2. Notice when you first begin to get upset. Don’t wait for the pressure to build up. It will be more difficult to manage. Observe yourself. Does your voice get edgy? Do you want to fight back? Do you emotionally withdraw? Do you get heady instead of being heart-centered? Do you breathe shallowly? Do your muscles tighten up? That’s what happens when we feel threatened.

3. Take a time-out to center yourself. Soothe your nervous system. It needs help because it went into hyper-arousal when you felt threatened. Our natural reactions are fight, flight or freeze. You might want to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom for some privacy. Or, go for a walk. Take a few deep breaths. Inhale to the count of four. Hold your breath to the count of four, and exhale to the count of eight.

If you go for a walk, count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. with every step you take. Breathe into your heart center and imagine your favorite beautiful place in nature.

4. Focus your attention on the people who love you and support you. Breathe that love into your heart. Place an imaginary protective bubble around yourself that envelops you and all the people who support you.

5. Ask for spiritual guidance from God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or however you conceptualize your spiritual support. Don’t just complain. Open your mind and listen to what God wants to communicate to you. Write it down if you can. It will sink in better. God will have a hard time getting through to you if you don’t ask for help. God gives you free will and waits to be invited into your heart and mind.

6. Have compassion for the part of you who struggles. If you try to be tough and stuff your emotions, you’re in effect telling a hurt part of yourself that it is unloved. I often think of this as my inner child. None of us like feeling unloved and neither do our inner family members.

Find the inner family member who feels hurt or angry or scared. Invite them to share their innermost feelings with you. You have a nurturing parent inside of you and the Holy Spirit who is compassionate. Listen to the pain of the inner child. Be empathetic. Ask your inner wise self and God for comfort. This process develops emotional and spiritual intimacy within your internal family. This will help you feel centered again.

You can experience inner peace no matter how others respond to you.

7. Remember, anger often covers up hurt, fear or a sense of rejection. If you lead with your anger or emotional distance, you’ll pull for defensiveness from others. If you lead with your softer feelings, you’ll pull for empathy. I know that’s challenging, but that’s what personal mastery looks like.

8. Take responsibility for your own emotional reactions. Don’t blame others. What arises from within you is the material from your own psyche. It’s your stuff. Own it.

I know it’s tempting to blame others and get angry with them when they don’t behave the way you want them to. You feel more powerful when you’re angry or stoic. But this is not the way to genuine empowerment, nor is it the way to inner peace. It perpetuates the cycle of suffering within yourself and your family.

9. You don’t have control over changing other’s reactions. Accept that. All you can do is take responsibility for returning yourself to inner peace.

10. When there’s a conflict, don’t get quiet or blow up. After you center yourself, apologize for anything you can take responsibility for.

11. Reach out to repair the relationship breach. Begin with a soft sincere voice and look directly into the other person’s eyes.

12. Tell your family member something positive … how much they mean to you … or give them a sincere compliment. Affirm them. That helps build an emotional attachment.

13. Tell them what is hurtful to you. Speak about your own emotions. Share the interpretations you made and check them out for accuracy. Don’t assume you are right. Get feedback and keep an open mind. Don’t analyze the other person and make them wrong. People tend to get defensive when you do that.

14. Invite them to share their feelings. Listen to understand.

15. Unless they have lots of training in communication skills, they may not take personal responsibility or listen well. Have compassion. They are doing the best they can. Listen for the heart of their pain.

16. Empathize and validate their feelings whenever you can. You don’t have to agree with them. Don’t argue about the facts and stay in your head. Express that you genuinely care about their pain.

17. After several interchanges, hopefully, your hearts will be more connected. Ask: “What can I do to support you right now?” Listen to understand.

18. Make a promise to help lessen their pain. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Do what you can.

19. Ask this question if you feel it is appropriate: “Would you like to know what you can do to support me right now?” Develop warmth and caring first.

20. Offer concrete specific suggestions. Focus on creating solutions rather than continuing to complain.

21. You may not do any of this perfectly. Do what you can. Start with one small step. Which suggestion do you want to start with? Practice that one thing.

22. Remind yourself of your goals. Put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, your desk or your car dashboard. Set alarms on your smartphone. Choose a picture that symbolizes your goal and set it as wallpaper on your phone or computer. Make a sign and hang it on the door as you exit your house.

23. Be compassionate with yourself when you fail. Be compassionate with others. We all carry pain, and we don’t always know how to express it in the wisest way. Practice, practice, practice. That’s what it takes to move from a white belt to a black belt karate master.

Well, there you have it. I’ve given you two blueprints. One to manage your emotional reactivity and one to repair relationship breaches. I know it’s easier said than done. It takes practice just like anything else. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

Blessings to you for inner peace, wisdom and love.

Benita A Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor 

Would you like to improve your conflict management skills and experience more inner peace? Video and audio conferences are available worldwide. In-person visits and intensive retreats take place in Georgia, USA. Ask for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if we are a good fit. Complete the contact form on either of my websites:

Watch these videos:
Click here to watch the video about my bestselling book: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert, Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

Click here to learn about research by Dr. John Gottman on what makes masters and disasters of marriage.
“Four Horsemen: Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Marriage.”


Why We Think We Shouldn’t Be Needy

by Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor

“In insecure relationships, we disguise our vulnerabilities so our partner never really sees us.” ―Sue Johnson, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships


Do you judge yourself for being needy? Well, I did for the longest time. Read more


Death’s Gift. Healing Grief Article

With a breast cancer prognosis of one month to live, Mrs. Samuel and her family came for counseling upon the recommendation of her doctor. No one in her family talked about her dying, and that was fine with her. I wanted to help them create emotional intimacy before she died and thereby make her passage easier. Read more


Healing Grief: Helping Others. Laura’s Story

Do you remember the last time you were with someone who was in a great deal of emotional pain? Perhaps it was a teenager experiencing a first broken heart, or a child upset about having to change schools, or an adult grieving the death of a pet. How about the last time you were hurting? Did you allow yourself to really feel the pain? Did anyone support you? Read more


Healing the Grief of Her Ex-husband. A Story

A 50-something woman told me she had been grieving for two years since her ex-husband died. She just couldn’t get over it. Even though they were divorced, they had remained friends. He had been her childhood sweetheart. Read more


Metamorphosis Class 4/30/12

A Class on Loss, Change, and Growth.

Change, welcome or unbidden, requires us to adjust, and sometimes that’s challenging. While some seem to gracefully embrace the future, others of us require a different kind of support. It’s common to feel depressed, to withdraw, or to feel anxious. Read more