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9 Tips to Reduce Family Conflicts During the Holidays

I’m reaching out to all of you who have troubled family relationships during the holidays.

Maybe family members act more like frozen icicles than warm comforting blankets. Perhaps cutting words feel like daggers that pierce your soul. Maybe your mother still treats you like a 12-year-old. That hurts all the time, but especially during the holidays. Read more

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Why Breathwork Creates Rapid Changes

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.

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Managing Holiday Stress

When I asked the participants on one of my teleseminars to tell me christmas-decorationstheir most important questions regarding managing holiday stress, here are some of things they asked, along with my answers.

Q: “I am overwhelmed. I play the organ at church, which has 101 services (a slight exaggeration) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus we have both our families to see, not to mention working two jobs. I haven’t purchased or wrapped presents, or decorated the house.”

A: My heart goes out to you. You sound exasperated. You cannot be all things to all people.  I wonder if that is part of your life pattern, not just during the Holidays?

Start by examining your beliefs. Would God want you to be frazzled, letting yourself be pulled in 100 directions? Does God want you to feel guilty about not buying presents and not putting up decorations?  Pray to know your true worth, your true identity, the way God sees you.

Take a look at your priorities. What matters most in your life? Make peace with the fact that you cannot do everything. You have my permission to stop feeling guilty. Your worth is not dependent on what you do, or being good, or being good enough. Your worth is guaranteed by God just because you exist. You don’t have to do anything to deserve this love.

Take time to journal and meditate in God’s love in the morning and before you go to sleep. Soak up God’s love. Breathe it into your skin. People who truly love you want you to cultivate inner peace. If you are concerned about saying “no” to others, consider this: When you say “no” to take good care of yourself, you are modeling healthy behavior for others, even if they do not like it. Take a stand to be healthy. Let God’s love warm your heart, and say “no” at the same time.

Remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  That means to love yourself as much as others, not to love others more than yourself. When you fill up your own cup, you have more love and energy to give to others.

Q: “How do I stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas, i.e., the birth of Jesus and the significance of His coming? It’s a challenge with all the seasonal activities (shopping for or making gifts, wrapping them, addressing Christmas cards, etc., etc., etc.) layered on top of an already crowded schedule.”

A:  Everyone will have a slightly different answer, but here are a few ideas. Which of the following works for you? The more feeling that you evoke, the more likely you will repeat the daily ritual. What stirs your soul?

Start each day with a ritual and make it beautiful.

  1. Gaze upon a beautiful picture that helps you feel your Love for Jesus.
  2. Play a song, or sing a song … maybe your favorite Christmas carol.
  3. Remember the most special Christmas you ever had. Journal about what made it so special.
  4. Write a love letter to Jesus. Tell Him how much you appreciate him and what he has done in your life.
  5. Write love letters to people. When you express your love, you are letting the love of Christ flow through you.
  6. Sit down with a pen and paper. Get real quiet and take a few deep breaths. Pray. Tune into God. Ask what God wants to tell you about how to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Write what you hear. Act on it.

Q: “How do I stay in a peaceful place in the midst of others’ stress? Both my parents are sick.”

A:  Sometimes it’s easy to focus on other’s needs and lose sight of who you are.

1. Start with developing the clear intention to cultivate inner peace, no matter what is going on around you. When you create a clear intention, it drives all your choices, feelings and decisions. Intend to stay connected to your true essence, your Authentic Self, nestled in God. This is your center, your true north.

2. Body-centered Meditation

Focus on your body. Name the parts of your body that feel most tight or tense. Or maybe there’s a different sensation. Name the parts of your body that feel most relaxed. Next feel your emotions and label them, e.g., anxious, helpless, sad, scared or angry. Be present. Stay self-aware, connected to God and stop abandoning yourself. It is OK to feel what you feel. Breathe deeply.  Feel your feet on the floor. Ground. Imagine you are a large tree with very deep roots reaching into the earth. Remember who you are in your true identity. Focus on your heart center, and visualize a warm, cozy image that generates a feeling of love. Breathe into that image several times a day. This grounding technique will center you. It’s also helpful to reduces high blood pressure, eliminate headaches and sleep better. Do this 1 – 2 times a day.

To sustain inner peace day after day, you will need a reminder system. Place post-it notes in your home, at work and in your car. Draw a symbol that represents peace and comfort to you. Listen to soothing music at 60 beats per minute, nice and slow. It’ll help calm you down.

Here’s a tool to help you unwind and relax.  Click here to listen to a sample of “A Journey into Wholeness” CD.

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Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor. If you would like psychotherapy, spiritual counseling or life coaching to manage stress and conflict during the holidays, or any other time of the year, please complete the Contact Page.

Bio.  Benita Esposito is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Georiga.

Two offices: Atlanta and Blairsville, Georgia

www.Flourishing-Lives.com

www.SensitiveIntrovert.com for highly sensitive people

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Your Authentic Life Deep Emotional Healing Retreat 2015.

Starts Saturday, May 30, 2015.  

Lake Chatuge, Hayesville, NC

Lake Chatuge, Hayesville, NC

Explore, Excavate, Express your Authentic Self. 

Unresolved emotional wounds decrease your self-esteem, self-confidence, and ability to create healthy personal and professional relationships. Even though you are successful on the outside, you may feel empty on the inside … a lack of wholeness … too little inner peace.

You may have experienced trauma, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. You may have experienced the anguish that comes from having an emotionally distant parent.

You may yearn for intimacy, but you are afraid of it at the same time. You may attract emotionally unavailable people. You may not know how to communicate to resolve conflicts so your personal and professional relationships flourish.

Your intimate relationship may suffer because you cannot be as emotionally close or as sexually open as you would like.

The part of your brain that tries to protect you might have become stuck in survival mode: fight, flight or freeze. This can generate a number of symptoms including emotional reactivity, anxiety, depression, chronic worry, self-sabotage, pessimism, procrastination, OCD, substance abuse, and emotional eating.

What Makes My Retreats so Powerful?

You can experience major transformation in a compressed time. Private counseling sessions of 55 minutes just do not allow for this kind of deep healing. In this retreat, we have many hours to explore emotional material, peel away layer after layer, allowing you to shine more and more brightly. While you will benefit from my 3 decades of professional counseling expertise, the most powerful healing force is the Holy Spirit. You can achieve 6-12 months worth of progress in one weekend.

The Promise of the Retreat

Receive insights so compelling that you naturally flow into effective action instead of getting bogged down in self-defeating patterns. Allow God’s love to flood you, heal you and release wave after wave of creativity. Bask in the sweetness of spiritual intimacy, drawing ever closer to God, our source of rich and deep healing. Experience rigorous yet gentle leadership tailored to your unique learning style. Enjoy the healing power of Nature in the beauty of our mountain lake: Lake Chatuge.

Can you answer “yes” to any of these questions?

Retreat Venue View, Young Harris, GA

Retreat Venue View, Young Harris, GA. Photo by Benita Esposito

SELF-AWARENESS: Do you find yourself repeating unhelpful patterns even though you don’t want to? Do limiting thoughts and “monkey-mind chatter” create worry? Do you suspect that unresolved emotional wounds may be sabotaging your relationships? Do you procrastinate or avoid conflicts?  Before you can co-create flourishing relationships, you must know your Authentic Self and love your self.  I will help you dig deep to examine your patterns, become more conscious, and heal emotional wounds so you can be set free.

RELATIONSHIPS: Married: Are you frustrated with conflicts that repeat over and over? Singles: Do you wish you could experience a truly fulfilling relationship? Or, do you have a  strained relationship with a child or parent?  Learn how to remain true to your Authentic Self and set healthy boundaries for self-care. Communicate in ways that help everyone feel safe: safe to open, safe to explore, safe to grow.

CAREER: Do you want to create a meaningful career that reflects your Authentic Self? Are you frustrated because you do not receive appropriate compensation?  Do you sense the creative reservoir within, but you don’t fully express your gifts in the world? I’ll help you excavate the wisdom that already lies within you so you can shine as your Authentic Self in your career.

HEALTH: Do you experience physical illness or pain? Hibiscus, yellow BEspositoDo you sense there might be an emotional or spiritual component that needs to be resolved? When you heal the psycho-spiritual root, more often than not, the pain lessens or disappears. Your body heals faster. I am an emissary of God, and I’ll help you uncover the core cause of the dis-ease and experience God’s healing grace.

SPIRITUALITY: Do you feel called to your next step of spiritual growth? Is divine discontentment knocking at your door? Experience the sweetness of spiritual intimacy nestled in unconditional love.  Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love God, and to love each other as ourselves, as Christ loved us. That means that you must fully love your self. I will help you uncover your true identity in Christ.

I respect your beliefs, including all spiritual paths that advocate love. Enjoy being part of a group that co-creates enough safety so you can do DEEP healing and explore, excavate and express your Authentic Self.

Pre-requisites: A minimum of 3 private sessions is required to prepare you for this retreat. Call now to schedule your appointment: 770.998.6642.

Click here to ask Benita to contact you for your free complementary interview.

Location: My home overlooking the LkChatuge BenitaEspositoBlue Ridge Mountains and Lake Chatuge, bordered by the Chattahoochee National Forest in Young Harris, GA.   Two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville.

Retreat Activities

You will complete a questionnaire before the retreat telling me exactly what you want to create in your life. I will design processes to meet your specific needs. The agenda remains fluid throughout the retreat so that we optimize results for everyone.

There will be several types of experiential learning formats to facilitate your deep transformation, depending on what is needed. 

(1) I will coach you while the group learns vicariously. You will receive my undivided attention to make deep change. Group members learn more than they ever thought possible by observing someone else being coached. We have plenty of  Q&A sessions to answer all your questions.

(2) Several people who have similar issues will participate in a process at the same time, with Q&A at the end for maximum interactive learning.

(3) We will have one long Breathwork session which will create deep spiritual-psychological-emotional-physical transformation. (Click here to read two client stories about breathwork.)  (4) Short lectures, written exercises, hand-outs, movement to music, mindfulness, relaxation, body-awareness activities, and didactic conversations.

FAQs – Breathwork.  Read this before applying to attend this retreat.

FAQs – What is it like to attend a Retreat?

SaturdayTallulahGorgeFalls BEsposito

Group    9am – 12:00pm

Break  12 – 2:00pm

Group  2:00 – 6:00pm

Dinner 6:00 – 7:30pm

Group 7:30 – 9:00pm

We will take one long break during the afternoon to exercise at the Lake, meditate, nap or deepen friendships. It’s your choice.

Prerequisite:  New clients must have at least 3 private sessions. This can be in person, on the phone or video-conference. Retreats are intense, so I need to make sure new people are prepared.

Reserve your seat. Space is limited.  Success Starts Here FlashBuddy Morguefile FreeThis small intimate retreat consists of 3-6 people. If we have 3 people, we will meet Saturday only. If there are 4-6 people, we will meet on Sunday as well. Please reserve both days on your calendar, allowing for flexibility. Questions?  Email: Benita@EspositoInstitute.com

Tuition: $450.00 (Meals and lodging are on your own.)

You may choose to stay overnight. It is optional.

List of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and hermitages with majestic lake views. *

** Want to save money on lodging? There are two private bedrooms available in the apartment in my home @ $39.00 per night. Please contact me for reservations. After the bedrooms are filled, you may sleep on a deluxe air mattress in the living room (overlooking the lake and mountains) for $25/night.

Registration: Pay with your credit or debit card on wisdom-of-crowds-controlPayPal.com.  Or mail a check to: The Esposito Institute, P.O. Box 1074, Young Harris, GA 30582. Cash is fine, too.

NOTE: If you are allergic to cats, please let me know. I have one cat who will not be in our meeting space if it is a problem for you.

Enrollment is by invitation only.  For an interview, schedule a phone appointment with Benita Esposito. Complete the “Contact” form and tell me you want an interview for the April retreat. Or call 770.998.6642. Click here and complete the Contact Form.

Note: Every retreat is different and is designed to meet the needs of the specific participants. Some people like to attend retreats year after year, deepening their growth, and renewing friendships with other participants.

(This retreat will be offered again in October, 2015.)

BenitaEsposito 2013

Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, Christian Healer and Licensed Professional Counselor

Refund Policy

If you paid by PayPal, there is an additional 3% service fee which will not be refunded.
• 26 or more days before the retreat, there will be a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.
• 15-25 days before the retreat, there will be a 50% refund, minus a $50 processing fee (your deposit).
• No refunds 0 – 14 days before the retreat.

Testimonials

Last night while soaking in the hot tub, I had a mental slideshow of past retreats and how transformative they’ve been for me.  For many years there’s been a deep ache inside of me because my father didn’t affirm me. This unresolved pain caused great difficulty with my romantic relationships. During the breathwork session at the last retreat, while I was in a dreamy state, I appeared as a radiant bride and my Dad finally gave me the adoration I have wanted all my life. Now six months later, I still feel the love that was planted in me during that retreat. What a priceless journey, worth more than gold!  – T.H, Entrepreneur

“By working with Benita Esposito over the last eight years in one-on-one and in group settings, I have deeply explored the outer reaches of consciousness, and the inner depths of my body-mind-soul-emotions. Via strong empathetic connection with me, Benita has intuitively guided me and coached me through issues so I can create healthy personal and business relationships. I benefit most from group retreats where there is a mixture of people’s energies. The extended time to work on things is crucial to digging deep and making major changes, while the beautiful Nature settings give me the soothing arena I need to process the experiences. Jump at the chance to be involved in a retreat as often as possible – that is my recommendation. If a retreat doesn’t suit you, choose another format. It is an honor and a privilege to have Benita as the co-creator of my true destiny and journey towards my Authentic Self.”  ~ L.S., Software Engineer

“As we closed the retreat on Monday, I felt, probably for the first time in my life, a deep grief that I would be leaving a group of people, and a deep desire to continue to be a part of your lives, and have each of you be a part of mine. This is one of the gifts you have all given me this past weekend. My path in life has been a solitary one, and I mostly liked it that way, but at the same time I felt lonely, isolated, and different. I never before realized how much I wanted to share myself with others, and to share their path and their experience.” E.W., Software Development Consultant

“My cheek muscles have been sore since I Tulips BenitaEspositoreturned from the retreat. Could this be from smiling so much that it hurts? I have to say, when I left the retreat I had some good gut wrenching cries of loss and now…. wow, I do believe that joy is here. I am walking around singing, laughing, and just having fun with myself.  I want to spread this around.”- M.F., Technical Trainer

“I just wanted to thank you again for hosting such a wonderful and inspirational weekend retreat. I continued to ride the wave all the way home! As I reflected on one of the weekend’s more intense moments I found myself crying tears of despair, but they were instantaneously transformed into tears of joy as I instinctively felt comfort from the Divine. Thanks to your guidance, I now know how to access the healing, the answers, the wisdom and the love.” ~B.M., Computer Programmer

“I had never really even entertained the idea of doing a retreat. Scared me to death. This time I had some help coaxing me to go, but I knew I would do it anyway. Once my spirit decided it was the place to be, then it was so powerful that I had to surrender. So far it’s been one life changing experience after another. Right now I am flying. Can you tell? I mean high! I feel like running up this path barefooted if I have to. What an amazing life I have!” – V.S., Psychotherapist

Click here to read stories from past retreats CupidFalls,YgHarris 072912and FAQs.

“When you polish your facet of the diamond, the whole diamond glows more brilliantly.” ~ Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor

For your complementary interview:

Email: Benita@EspositoInstitute.com.  Phone: 770.998.6642

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Breathwork Q&A

Can you relate to any of these situations?

1. You find yourself getting emotionally triggered, and you wish that didn’t happen.

2. Your relationships are damaged. You and your partner don’t know how to resolve conflicts so you don’t feel deeply loved and respected.

3. When you get emotionally triggered, you don’t deal with it constructively. Read more

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