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Your Authentic Life Personal Growth Retreat

One day, Saturday, September 16, 2017

Register by August 26, 2017.

 

What if you don’t take the risk to be your Authentic Self?

The thought of showing up as your Authentic Self can be exciting and scary. It requires you to take risks, and sometimes you don’t know the outcome before you jump off the proverbial cliff.

Will your marriage weather the transition? Will you still be employed? Will you be embraced by your family and friends … if you dare to be your Authentic Self and tell the truth about who you are?

But …

If you don’t show up as your Authentic Self, love is never fulfilling because your true self hides behind a mask. People can’t reach you and you can’t reach them. You change your behavior to manage people’s impressions, hoping they’ll love you. Or you withdraw to protect yourself, or you fight with your loved ones.
If you don’t show up as your Authentic Self, work is never fulfilling. Even if you get promoted because you’re conscientious, you’re unhappy. You’re not as creative as you could be. You’re not tapped into your sweet spot, shining from your God-given gifts. Without the passion of being fully alive, you feel drained, depressed or anxious.

So why take the risks to show up as Your Authentic Self?

Even when you’re afraid to fully show up, there’s a part of you who still yearns to unfold the truth of your being.

You want to be loved and respected for who you truly are. You want genuine emotional connection. You want to express your unique voice. You feel compelled to share your gifts with the world and leave your legacy.

The truth is: When you take a stand to show up as your Authentic Self, then you will find the people who truly support you. Others may fall away. You have to risk letting go. You must get good at grieving … saying good-bye … so you can say hello to your Authentic Self and the new people who will come into your life.

You must challenge the idea that being true to your self is selfish. Many of us grew up with the idea that it is bad to be self-centered … as if we couldn’t think about ourselves and be kind to others.

Some people will understand you and like you; some people won’t. When you define your true North, and summon the courage to be real, you glisten like a diamond, just as God intended you to shine in the world.

When you pay more attention to your divine blueprint than the opinions of others, only then will you experience true fulfillment.

In this Retreat …

  • You’ll clarify your core values and develop skills to craft the most meaningful life possible for you.
  • You’ll explore the limiting beliefs that hold you back.
  • You’ll learn why thinking positively doesn’t transform entrenched coping patterns.
  • You’ll examine childhood core decisions that have unconsciously thwarted your success.
  • You’ll learn skills to heal difficult emotional experiences that have shaped your life.
  • You’ll increase courage to show up as your Authentic Self, and share your most precious gifts.
  • As a result, you’ll enjoy greater health, happiness and work-life balance.

Who Should Attend?

Singles and Couples: Adults who want to express their Authentic Self, do deep emotional healing so they can successfully reach their life goals. Appropriate for Highly Sensitive People and others.

Retreat View, Young Harris, GA

Retreat View, Young Harris, GA

Why Attend a Retreat?

One-hour therapy sessions are great, but you can make much faster progress with an entire day spent with like-hearted people joined together to help you heal and tap into your full potential.

I will help you connect with your Authentic Self, your Spirit, and the Holy Spirit where healing, wisdom and creativity naturally flow.

This retreat will be tailored to the specific needs of those present.

This retreat unfolds organically to meet each participant’s needs. You will each define your goals, and I will draw on my 40 years of experience to choose specific skills to help you attain your goals. My task is to be present with you, and help you be present each moment, even in your vulnerable emotions. You’ll tell the deepest truth, and connect with your highest wisdom. We’ll mine the gold in the darkness.

When you develop the ability to feel your emotions while staying grounded in your body, you’ll experience an incredible freedom and peace, even in the midst of chaos. You will learn how to remain calm in the peaceful eye of the hurricane while the winds whip all around you. Instead of shrinking back from your fears, you will find your way through the storm, and flourish in the freedom of pure love. You’ll connect with your Authentic Self, just the way God made you.

Like to swim? Bring your suit.

Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Increase self-confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Create healthy relationships.
  • Improve communication and assertiveness skills.
  • Deepen emotional healing.
  • Eliminate emotional reactivity.
  • Enjoy sweeter spiritual intimacy.
  • Heal family of origin wounds.
  • Achieve work-life balance.
  • Improve self-care and overall health.

Date: One day. Saturday, September 16,  9:30a.m.-5:30 p.m. Please arrive 9:00-9:15a.m.

We’ll have a lunch break for 2 hours so you can go swimming, walk by the lake, meditate or visit with group members. Bring a picnic lunch or go out to eat.

money-visa-blue-morguefile-freeTuition: $240.00. Lunch on your own.

Register early to reserve your seat. Space is limited to 7 participants. Please register by August 26, 2017.

If you have had three or more private therapy sessions with me, you may go ahead and pay with PayPal. Ask me for instructions. Or mail a check to The Esposito Institute, PO Box 1074, Young Harris, GA 30582.

If you are a new client: To apply for participation in this event, complete the Contact form. Give me 3 good times to call you. You’ll receive a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see how this retreat will benefit you. Prerequisite: 2 private therapy sessions, in-person or videoconference.

HiawasseeLocation: Young Harris, Georgia. Enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Two hours from Atlanta, Asheville or Chattanooga.

The Old Paradigm

When we judge and suppress or repress our emotional experiences, we get stuck. We learn to wear a mask, protecting our soft under-belly from being hurt. We hide from ourselves and our loved ones. We can’t truly flourish. We may try hard, and we may be very successful in ways defined by the world. But our relationship with our Authentic Self, with our body, with God, and with others becomes compromised. This separation creates dis-ease and unrest on many levels.

The New Paradigm

Contrary to popular opinion, fear, anger, or anguish are not the problem. Emotions are not our enemies and we do not have to get rid of them or release them. This thinking  keeps us stuck in a vicious cycle: feeling good for a while and then feeling bad and ashamed, and then suffering once again.

We need to accept difficult emotions as part of our human experience and stay fully present in our bodies, receiving unconditional love. Then we heal. Health and vitality flow. Relationships flourish. Self-esteem rises.

Retreat Testimonials

Suggested reading: The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz.

Pre-requisite: A minimum of two private sessions with Benita A. Esposito.

 BE July2016Credentials:  Benita A. Esposito, M.A. earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1976. She is a licensed professional counselor, life coach and ordained minister with “The Association for the Integration of the Whole Person.” Benita provides individual and couples private sessions, groups, workshops and weekend retreats.  This retreat is a spiritual healing format, not a psychotherapy format.

—> If you would like a two-day retreat to do more intensive work, join us for the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat October 28-29, 2017.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”  Jesus, quoted in John 14:12

Copyright 2016.  All rights reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.

Psychotherapy: www.Flourishing-Lives.com

Life Coaching: www.SensitiveIntrovert.com anywhere in the world via videoconference

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“Your Authentic Self Retreat” FAQs

The following dialogue will give you a glimpse of typical concerns people experience as they decide to attend a Retreat.  I refer to myself as ‘BE’ in the dialogue. These photographs are pictures from our Labor Day retreat at the Florida panhandle.

Click here to view the complete Retreat schedule.

Client: What will happen at the retreat?

BE: Every retreat is different because they evolve organically based on the needs of the participants. You begin by completing a questionnaire to help you define your goals. Instead of expecting me to lead you through a specific set of exercises, you are an active co-creator along with the other participants.  We stay focused on excavating Your Authentic Self, and transforming patterns  that have prevented you from living a truly fulfilling life. You’ll learn tools to successfully attain your goals. You will define your core values, your uniqueness, and draw a picture of the life that would be most fulfilling for you. As you proceed toward creating the life of your dreams, it’s natural for fears and doubts to arise. You’ll learn how to eliminate resistance so you continually move to a higher level of excellence … who God made you to be … Your Authentic Self.

This is a retreat where deep emotional processing is done. There’s nothing superficial about it. Think of the word “deep,” deeper than you’ve ever gone. That’s where we’re going. We also have lots of fun and there’s plenty of lightness. We have time to meditate and take naps and rejuvenate. We have time to play. Think of the words “inner peace.”  Think of the words “balance and healthy living.”  I support you to do that at the retreat so you can implement it in your daily schedule when you return home.

Client: I’m nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before.

BE: That’s normal.  I’ve done tons of retreats, and sometimes I still get nervous.  When we move out of our known reality, our ego gets scared. It doesn’t want to let go of its comfort zone. That’s understandable. But our spirit, our Authentic Self, calls us forward. One time I attended a 5-day retreat and I was so nervous I had diarrhea the day before and the whole first day of the retreat. I told one of the support staff and she said, “Oh, we’ve all had that. You learn how to deal with it and continue to participate.” I found the bathrooms quickly. In our retreat, it’s important to bring with you whatever feelings you have. There’s no judgement. That’s one of  rules of the retreat. It’s OK to feel how you feel and still show up and be real.

Client: I’ve been this way for so long. I always try to make people happy. If they are not happy, I’m not happy. I’m afraid to be my Authentic Self.

BE:  I accept you where you are. I will support you to understand the pattern fully so you can change it. I’ll support you to develop your self-esteem. I’ll be a catalyst for you to develop the courage and take the risks to fully show up as your Authentic Self, not the mask you’ve grown to believe is the real you.

Client: I wonder, “Who am I really behind all this programming?”

BE: You are growing and you have come a long way. One of the major issues I dealt with when I was doing heavy-duty transformational work was comparing myself to others, or comparing myself to an ideal standard that I should be functioning at. I came to realize that the act of comparing myself  created painful suffering over and over again. I didn’t love myself very much, although I thought I did. I wasn’t good at self-forgiveness. This is an example of an issue that might come up at the retreat.

Client: I’m concerned my spouse won’t want me to attend the retreat. He will say that what I need isn’t important.

BE: Ask yourself these questions. Do you deserve a safe place to heal? Do you deserve to be with like-minded people? How important is it to uncover and express your Authentic Self? Are you worth it? This is a self-esteem issue.

Client:  This retreat is something I need to do for myself. I will say to him, “I know you may not agree with it. I’ve already got time off work. I hope you can understand.’”  Then he’ll ask about the money for the retreat, and I’ll say “I’ve got it covered.”

BE: Great answer.

Client: I don’t know if I’ll like my Authentic Self.

BE: Your programmed self, or your ego we could call it, may feel awkward and scared, like a fish flopping around on the shore. Ask this: “Who is the ‘I’ who won’t like my Authentic Self?  Who have I identified with? What is my programming for survival?” That is not the real you.  I suggest you do this exercise with every challenge you come upon.  Ask yourself “What would a woman say or do who has high self-esteem? Begin each morning with this contemplation. How does God see me? What does God want to do?

Client: Do you have any ground rules?

Photo by Benita A. Esposito

BE: Yes, I do.  These guidelines promote maximum growth ad healing for everyone.

  • Speak for yourself. Keep it personal and specific. This creates maximum connection with yourself and emotional intimacy with the group.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, and your desires and communicate them.
  • Check out your interpretations about others. You might be right or wrong. Listen to what they say.
  • No withholds. Withholds dampen your ability to be fully present with yourself and the group. Be transparent. Express your needs.
  • Handle conflicts as they arise. I will support you to practice healthy communication and conflict management skills.
  • Explore what is needed for you to develop trust in yourself and with others.
  • Don’t project onto others, or when you do, look at it and learn from it. I’ll help you with this. When you get emotionally triggered by someone else, it often means that you have unresolved issues. This is a great opportunity to dive deeper and heal.
  • Give me the reader’s digest version. Get to the heart of what you want to say. Remember, we want to go deep, not stay on the surface.
  • Be on time for the beginning of group sessions. I’m pretty strict about this. Allow flexibility on the ending time to accommodate the needs of the group.
  • You are in charge of taking care of yourself and asking for what you need. For example, if you need to go lie down and rest, do so. If you can lie down while the group activities are taking place, you can still be present and participate in a milder way. There will be a long break in the afternoon.
  • If you don’t want to participate in an exercise, don’t. Tell me where you will be. We will agree when you will return to the group. I want to make sure you are safe emotionally and physically.
  • Observe your behavior patterns in the retreat. The retreat is a microcosm of your macrocosm. It’s your life wherever you go. We are all adults and we all agree to be responsible for our own feelings. We can usually resolve conflicts with win-win solutions. Try it. I know you’ll like it.

    Photo by Erica Wieland

  • Speak from your heart, not just your head. Your head is important; we want it fully engaged. We also want you fully present in your body and spirit. We’ll be doing a lot of body-based work. Your body is sacred.
  • Listen. Be open to my coaching. Be open to other’s feedback. Receive. I will dive as deep as you are willing to go. I will match your commitment level. You get to choose. The more you ask, the more you will receive.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice. Talk about your own experience that arises in the face of another’s discomfort. Stop care-taking others in unhealthy ways. The retreat is a really good place to practice.
  • If you don’t want to be coached at any given moment, say so. I’ll back off.  Be direct and clear. I will respect your wishes.
  • Eat healthy. Drink lots of pure water. Rest. Go to bed when you need to.
  • Be kind to yourself and kind to others while being honest and transparent. Intend to develop enough trust in the group so everyone feels safe to reveal themselves, warts and all.  I’ll help you learn how to do this.
  • Stay focused these questions: “Who am I really in my Authentic Self? What’s my divine blueprint? Am I living it? What would be my most truly fulfilling life? How much am I willing to commit to creating it? How do I stop myself? What do I need to learn about myself?” Asking the questions will catapult you in the direction of wisdom, vitality and creativity. The more you use a precise laser beam focus, the more you will accomplish. Having said that, don’t be attached to how you will get there. Some of your ways may be limiting. Trust me to guide you please. I will be listening to your Authentic Self and to God. I will design exercises for you to access your Authentic Self and develop a deeper relationship with God, your source of well-being.
  • Remember, I love you and so does God. We practice grace.

Panama City Beach. Photo by Benita A. Esposito

These are only some of the issues that participants face as they decide to enter a retreat. Questions are normal and I am happy to address them.

I am like an orchestra leader, helping each person play their instrument well and weaving it together with the entire group so the concerto can be played beautifully.  The concerto, in this case, is your life and how you interact with the group at the retreat.

As more and more of us do this kind of healing transformational work, we uplift our families, our communities and our world.

The Retreat Invitation

If you would like to speak with me about the possibility of attending our next retreat, please click the Contact Page. Tell me 3 good times for you to talk. Please leave your name, phone number and email address. This is a complementary phone interview to determine if this retreat is a good match for you. If it isn’t, I’ll do my best to recommend other supportive formats for you.

Pre-requisites: You must have a minimum of three private sessions before attending this retreat so it is important to contact me ASAP.

To see the Retreat schedule, click here.

Contact Information

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA

Licensed Professional Counselor

The Esposito Institute, Inc.

 

Click here to contact Benita to inquire about private sessions or retreats.

Psychotherapy Website: www.Flourishing-Lives.com

Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling: www.SensitiveIntrovert.com

Specialties: Couples counseling, personal development, divorce, emotional roots of disease, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, grief, and success skills. Combining intuition and evidence-based practices, Benita gets to the bottom line quickly to help clients create flourishing personal and professional lives. Psychotherapy is available in-person in Blairsville, Georiga. Life coaching and spiritual counseling for high achievers is available worldwide via telephone and videoconference. In this retreat, Benita functions as an ordained minister with AIWP, applying hands-on-healing as appropriate and invited.

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