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Highly Sensitive Person Retreat

North Georgia Mountains, USA

Contact Benita Esposito for the current retreat schedule.

 

Enjoy this blessing from my dear friend, Father John Rice:

I bless you and your family with Abba’s peace and joy and love during this time of uncertainty. I bless you and your family with a shield of God’s light and love that protects you from all harm. And I bless you and all members of your family with the mighty words of Ps 91:10, “that no plague shall come near your dwelling place.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Have you ever been told you are too sensitive, just get over it?
  • Do you have intense emotions that fire rapidly and last longer than other people’s?
  • Do you become overwhelmed by conflict and aggressive people?
  • Do you feel distressed when you have too much to do in too little time?
  • Do noisy crowds and social chit-chat at networking events irritate you?

Do you have a highly sensitive personality?  Take the quiz.

70% of all highly sensitive people are introverts. All Highly Sensitive People are welcome in this retreat … if you are an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert. Join us!
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Who Should Attend

This retreat is a safe place for Highly Sensitive People who want to do deep emotional healing and excavate their Authentic Self so they can experience inner peace and self-confidence. This is an intermediate-level retreat. It’s not suited for beginners. Due to the intensity of the retreat, a minimum of six private sessions is recommended before attending. We need to make sure that you are prepared to do this deep healing work.
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Retreat Goals

  1. I’ll help you understand the highly sensitive person trait so you can increase your self-awareness and self-worth.
  2. You’ll grow in your ability to know your true identity and express your Authentic Self.
  3. You’ll receive expert guidance to do deep emotional healing to eliminate self-defeating patterns.
  4. You’ll enjoy more fulfilling healthy relationships, starting with the ones in the retreat.
  5. You’ll be able to create a more fulfilling career so that your work is an expression of your soul.
  6. You’ll receive encouragement to take good care of yourself instead of just taking care of everyone else. You are worth it. They are worth it. You are all worth it. Learn to create win-win solutions so no one is left out.

I invite you to get to know me before applying for this retreat.

I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), a licensed professional counselor, a life coach, an author and a spiritual counselor with four decades of professional experience. I’m dedicated to accelerating your progress on your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self. It’s my life purpose to be a servant leader.

The-Gifted-Highly-Sensitive-Introvert-Book

Click here to read my short personal story about being a Highly Sensitive Person

Read my book — it’s a memoir and teaching stories about my trials and triumphs as an HSP. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.  It’s available as an ebook, a paperback, and an audiobook on Amazon. You can also visit Audible.com or your iTunes app for the audiobook.

Click here to watch my book video.

As a Highly Sensitive Person, you also might like my guided meditation CD, A Journey into Wholeness: Access Divine Guidance for Success, Prosperity and Health.  Click here.
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The Research on Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

A new personality type emerged from Dr. Elaine Aron’s groundbreaking psychological research reported in her book, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), 1997.

Only 20% of the population is highly sensitive. That means 80% of the population is wired differently than we are. No wonder we feel misunderstood.

I particularly love counseling and coaching highly sensitive people because I am one.

Gifts of the Highly Sensitive Person
We’re conscientious and responsible. We are deeply moved by the beauty of Nature and the arts. We are touched by the feelings of those around us. Many of us are empaths. That means that we actually feel the emotions of others. That helps us be adept healers, friends, lovers and team members. We’re troubled by conflict, and we want to decrease the violence in a world. Our intuition tells us what needs to be done to help people feel comfortable, and we truly want what is best for everyone. Sometimes we can predict the future. We easily see outcomes that others can’t see. We love deeply and passionately. When emotional intimacy is combined with sexual intimacy in a loving healthy committed relationship, there’s nothing better. We are happy when our creative juices are set free. A world filled with harmony, mutual respect and creativity sounds just right to us.

Happy mature womanHighly Sensitive Person Problems and Relationships

Anxiety and depression are familiar, especially if our personal or professional relationships are not healthy, or if we grew up in a dysfunctional family.

It’s easy to feel what other people feel, and we can understand people at depth. But, we may feel like we are losing ourselves in a relationship, especially if people don’t nurture us in return. We tend to give more than we receive.

It’s challenging to assert ourselves and express our needs because we defer to people-pleasing. That leaves us feeling depleted after a while. We want harmony. We want to keep the peace. Ironically, we can also become harsh and aggressive if we have not yet mastered the art of setting boundaries tactfully.

Some of us highly sensitive people actually take on the pain of others, which helps the other person heal, but leaves us exhausted. If you have this type of sensitivity, you are an “empath” like I am. Before we understand this trait, we may not know that we are taking on emotions that actually belong to others. Our bodies may experience chronic fatigue and pain and we may not know why.

We can feel like a ball tossed around on turbulent ocean waves, unable to find a stable base inside ourselves.

We might try to get family members to change so we can feel calm inside. But it rarely works, even though we may use that approach for years before we become exhausted.

We need to commit to cultivating inner peace no matter what is happening on the outside.

Too much stimulation from the environment stresses us. We’re like cats whose sensitive whiskers and ears sense tiny movements all around us.

We tend to be light sleepers and insomnia is common especially when traveling and sleeping in strange environments.

Because we are so sensitive, we need daily relaxation just to stay centered. We need to meditate to restore our inner peace and regain energy.

In a world that values high productivity and undervalues naps, HSPs can get burned out if we don’t take a stand for good self-care. That includes healthy food, 7.5-8 hours of good quality sleep, exercise, supportive relationships and fulfilling work.

Highly Sensitive People don’t like:

  • People yelling at us
  • Conflicts that aren’t resolved
  • People making too many demands
  • Loud noises, crowds and violent movies
  • Rush hour at high speeds, bumper to bumper traffic
  • Temperatures that are too cold or too hot
  • Odors, chemicals and other things that don’t bother 80% of the population.

Needs of the Highly Sensitive Person

Highly sensitive people need authentic, genuine emotional connections more than most people. We feel empty inside when we don’t get it.

There’s a deep ache. We need quiet time to go inside. Our spirituality is important to us. We need to learn how to regulate our emotions when we’re stressed. We need beauty. We need to meditate. We need to slow down. We need to be creative.

We need help to learn how to manage our highly sensitive qualities.

We have incredible gifts to help people and to make the world a better place. We are counselors, healers, artists, writers, philosophers, teachers, IT geniuses and pastors. We facilitate healing for people, we’re creative team members, and we understand people at depth. We’re intuitive and spiritual.

We must take good care of ourselves, or we have a high price to pay, higher than most. When not balanced, we get irritable, sick, exhausted, anxious, depressed or feel physical pain.

Like Goldie Locks in the story of the three bears, we like our porridge not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Retreat Activities

This is a psycho-spiritual healing format nested in a grace-filled inclusive Christian theology. There’s no judgemental piousness here. The activities unfold organically to meet the needs of the participants. The first step is to help the group bond, feel safe and supported. We’ll do guided meditations with soothing music. One-to-one coaching while the group observes helps everyone learn vicariously. We might create activities so everyone is involved in a healing activity. We might hike through a forest along the lake or go swimming. We may role-play to build competency with communication and conflict management skills.  If you want hands-on-healing, I will do that with you.

Breathwork is one of the primary transformational healing processes used in this retreat.  It’s intense and deep so you’re likely to experience impressive results. We work directly with the body-mind-spirit to access unconscious emotional memory, sometimes as far back as in-utero and infancy. We want to heal the very beginning of life-long patterns to get you freed up to be who you really are: your Authentic Self.

As I said before, this retreat is not for beginners. Participants must be willing to feel deep emotions so they can heal the root of unconscious material.

Most participants have prior counseling, life coaching or group work. You may be currently working with another therapist and use this retreat as an adjunct to your therapy.

Pre-requisites: Please read all these articles before applying for this retreat.

  1. Breathwork Description
  2. Breathwork Client Anecdotes
  3. Breathwork Q&A
  4. Breathwork Testimonials
  5. You must attend a minimum of four private sessions so I recommend that you schedule these as soon as possible. You will receive expert counseling in these preliminary sessions. You will be able to make a more informed decision as to whether this retreat is the best place for you. We will meet via Zoom videoconference.

Photo: Benita A. Esposito. Hiawassee, GA

Retreat Location

Young Harris, Georgia. Overlooking Lake Chatuge and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville.

During the pandemic, retreats are held on Zoom.

Two-day Schedule

Saturday and Sunday
Arrive at 9:00-9:15am
Group 9:30am – 12:30pm
Lunch Break  12:30 – 2:30pm
Group  2:30 – 5:30pm
Saturday evening: group dinner

Please be flexible on the ending time to accommodate the needs of the group. We will take one long break during the afternoon to walk at the lake, meditate, nap or deepen friendships. It’s your choice.

Tuition: please inquire.

This is a small group so you will get plenty of personal attention.

Space allows for 6 people so register early to save your seat.

Contact me for payment instructions.

Click here for a list of lodging and restaurants.

Contact me, Benita A. Esposito, MA for a complimentary 10-minute Discovery Call. I’m happy to help.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito Credentials

Refund Policy

All refund requests must be made via email. Complete the contact form.

• 30 or more days before the retreat, there will be a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.

• No refunds 0 – 29 days before the retreat, but you may apply your fee to private sessions or another retreat within one year, minus a $50 fee.

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How I Healed Chronic Pain Without Drugs

Most physicians are not trained to deal with suffering as a doorway or as a catalyst for transformation. ~ Dean Ornish, MD

 

Written by a client who wishes to remain anonymous.

This story is for people who have symptoms of chronic pain and who are miserable. They’ve tried everything traditional medicine has to offer and it isn’t helping.

If you are ready to give up because you have chronic pain, I believe there is hope for you because I was once in your situation.

I had moderate to excruciating facial pain for five years. I took all the drugs my doctors recommended and nothing helped. Medicine can be an extremely useful tool, but sometimes it doesn’t stop the pain, plus there can be undesirable side effects.

I found a way to eliminate the horrible facial pain without drugs. How? There is a powerful connection between our body, mind, spirit and emotions. You will see this in the following story.

Description of My Pain

For five years my facial pain was never lower than a four on a scale where ten is high. I had a constant dull grinding ache on good days. The pain would reach level ten at least once a week, sometimes more.

At level ten, the pain was like biting down on a live electric wire.
Hot, electric, sharp zaps. It felt like my teeth would melt out of my head. I constantly feared the next pain episode.

When compared to childbirth, it would be hard to say which one was more intense. Childbirth may be slightly more painful, but I knew it was not going to last forever. That helped me tolerate the pain. With the facial pain, I had no idea when it was going to stop. I wondered if one day I would start hurting and it would never stop. It was terrifying.

The Pain History

I felt the facial pain for the first time in 2013 when we were traveling to Florida to visit my husband’s family. About halfway through a 12-hour drive, I started getting what I thought was a toothache. I spent that whole week nursing this toothache with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications with no relief.

When we came back home, I went to a local walk-in clinic where I was treated for a sinus infection. There wasn’t any evidence of a sinus infection, but they said that is what it must be given the symptoms. I took a round of antibiotics but still was getting random face pains.

I went back to the walk-in clinic where they once again treated me for a sinus infection. I finished another round of antibiotics. When they didn’t help for the second time, I gave up and tried to live my life around the pain. The pain was periodic at this point.

I became pregnant with my second child in 2014. During this time I didn’t have much facial pain. When I did, it didn’t last very long. They were ten to 15-minute episodes. By the time my second daughter was born in October 2014, the pain was gone. I had almost forgotten about it.

In early 2015 it was brought to my attention by some family members that I seemed withdrawn, and they felt I had some sort of social anxiety. Not being social didn’t feel abnormal to me because I’m fairly introverted, but I took the observation to heart and saw a local general practitioner (GP).

The GP agreed that not wanting to be around people could be social anxiety and prescribed Lexapro. I promised my mother, husband, and in-laws that I would give it a try.

After a few weeks, I was a different person on the outside at least. But for the first few months, I struggled on the inside. I became even more of a people-pleaser than I had been. I couldn’t say “no” even when I was screaming “no” on the inside. I disliked social gatherings, traveling, and socializing with people I didn’t know. I said “yes” because I knew that’s what everyone wanted me to do.

I have always struggled with standing up for what I wanted because I care about how other people feel. This wasn’t new. What was new was that Lexapro made it so easy for me to do what others wanted me to do.

It took a few months, but once the screaming inside subsided, I could make everyone happy with ease. Everybody liked this version of me. It was around this time that the face pain returned. I wasn’t that worried at first. I had experienced it before and while it was excruciating, I knew it wouldn’t last forever.

Over several months, I tried carbamazepine, topiramate, oxcarbazepine, gabapentin, and phenytoin. Each was prescribed individually at various doses and then combined with two or more at a time at different doses. There were medication-free months in between the changes in medications. None of them reduced my pain. They caused brain fog, forgetfulness, and some of them made me extremely tired all day long.

I went back to the GP that prescribed the Lexapro. I described my pain to her and asked her if Lexapro could cause this type of pain. She told me “no” and prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection. She said, “If this doesn’t help, I want you to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.”

I took a 15-day prescription and then returned to the GP. I told her it wasn’t helping, and at this point, the pain was almost constant. She prescribed some pain medication, more antibiotics, and scheduled me to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

I had to wait for several weeks for my appointment. During this time, I realized that the pain meds didn’t work at all. Not even a little. The only thing that would relieve my pain was a hot shower. The relief was temporary, but at least I knew what to do when the pain was too much to handle.

I finally got to see the ear, nose, and throat doctor. He told me that he didn’t think it was sinus-related and ordered a CT scan. When the scan results came back, he said there was zero chance this pain was caused by a sinus infection. He asked me if I had ever heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and referred me to a neurologist.

After another CT scan, I was officially diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. It is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. Even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain. The doctor could not explain what caused it.

For almost a year I worked with the neurologist and the GP trying to find something that would help the pain. Nothing worked. I focused on raising my two little girls and figuring out how to live my life around the pain.

I stopped getting invited to every little social gathering my family had. Less was expected of me since I was living with chronic pain. The pain decreased in frequency, and when it did come, it was for short episodes. The pain was manageable.

I started getting invited to social gatherings again, which I turned down most of the time. I still had bad pain days. Once again, I accepted that my life revolved around the pain. I knew how bad it could be, and I was thankful it wasn’t constant intense pain.

In 2018 it was once again brought to my attention that I seemed withdrawn. They said, “Your medicine must not be working anymore.” I went to the GP and she more than doubled my dosage of Lexapro. After a few weeks, my “yes woman” returned.

Not long after that, the pain became constant again. 

I reached my breaking point in December 2018.

There were no more medications to try. There was no clear nerve compression indicated on the CT scan. The doctor said that surgery was an option, but it was purely exploratory and very expensive and risky.

I felt I was at a dead end. I didn’t know how much longer I could live with the excruciating pain. I felt like I was letting my kids down because I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be. I had tried so hard not to give up, but it was grueling. I had nothing left to give. The pain was always there or right around the corner. I was exhausted.

The Turning Point

I knew I had to talk to someone. I called my mom and she came over to my house. She called my GP and told her that I was at a breaking point. The chronic pain and depression was more than I could bear.

My mother asked the GP if there was anything she could do. The doctor said, “I can’t help you. Go to the emergency room.”

We went to the closest emergency clinic. The doctor talked to me about living with chronic pain and how it can be difficult. She wanted me to stay on the Lexapro and she added another antidepressant.

I left there feeling more defeated than when I went in. My mom suggested spiritual counseling until I could find something to reduce the pain.

My first thought was, “That’s for crazy people.” My second thought was my own mom would rather pay someone to talk to me than actually talk to me herself.

Thankfully, my third thought was to find someone and give it a try. What did I have to lose? My only other option was exploratory brain surgery that had little to no chance of successfully helping my pain.

In January 2019, I started sessions with Benita Esposito.

After my first session, two things happened.

1. I realized I was dealing with a lot more than just physical pain. I had a lot of emotional pain, too.

2. The frequency and the duration of my facial pain reduced by nearly half.

Benita had intuitively sensed that I tensed up my jaw muscles when I was emotionally upset. That stimulated the pain pathway. I was dumbfounded to learn how emotional pain and stress could have an effect on my physical body.

After one month with Benita Esposito, the pain was almost gone. When the pain did return, I knew how to get rid of it quickly by using the relaxation and meditation skills that Benita had taught me.

After one year of working with Benita, I have learned the following:

1. Meditation and relaxation skills can combat pain, stress, and anxiety.
2. When I feel intense emotions, my body tenses up, especially my jaw muscles.
3. I am a Highly Sensitive Person. I feel emotions much more deeply than most people.
4. Twenty percent of the population is highly sensitive. I’m not the only one. I am not alone.
5. I no longer feel ashamed for being so sensitive.
6. I understand how to process difficult emotions.
7. I can stand up for myself with more confidence instead of being a “yes woman.”
8. I know my thoughts affect my physical health.
9. Self-compassion has begun to replace self-criticism.

Pain no longer runs my life.

I hope that more medical practitioners will refer their patients for spiritual counseling and therapy to reduce physical and emotional pain.

What else did Benita help me with?

I have always had difficulty articulating what I am thinking or feeling, especially when I am speaking. Instead of judging me, Benita Esposito patiently deciphers what I mean to say. Somehow, she knows how to find just the right words. I feel safe to share my feelings because Benita expresses a beautiful balance of strength, understanding, professionalism, and calmness. She helps me understand negative patterns that are causing problems, where they come from, and how to break free from them. We work through my struggles and we celebrate my wins.

Conclusion

I am still on my personal growth journey. Meditation, learning to love myself and listening to my body and to my Authentic Self have become every-day treasures. I can actually live a fulfilling life now. I don’t have to fear the pain anymore. I know what causes it. I know when it is coming and what to do to calm it.

Working with Benita has given me my life back.

If you suffer from chronic pain, don’t give up. I hope my story encourages you to let go of the stigma of asking for help. Keep looking until you find a practitioner who is a good fit for you. I’m so grateful that I did, and I pray that you will find one, too.

 

Contact Information
Benita A. Esposito, MA provides life coaching and spiritual counseling worldwide via videoconferences. If you would like a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted chat to see if you are a good match for her services, please complete the Contact Page.

If you would like to get to know Benita A. Esposito, read her bestselling book, a memoir and teaching stories available on Amazon.com. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.

If you are interested in an intensive retreat, click here for the retreat schedule.

 

Curing is when the physical disease gets measurably better. Healing is a process of becoming whole. Returning healing to medicine is like returning justice to law. ~ Dean Ornish, MD

My Journey Toward Wholeness

Remaining a Square in a Triangle World

How I Recovered My Authentic Self

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This story was written by a participant in the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat and the Highly Sensitive Person Retreat.

Even though I am a very capable person and I dearly love God, I have battled feelings of worthlessness and shame my entire life. No one would ever guess this by looking at me. I can remember as far back as preschool that I didn’t like myself.

It’s been a little over a year since my last retreat with Benita A. Esposito. I’ve attended two breathwork retreats with her about a year apart along with a handful of individual sessions.

Read more

One-year Book Birthday Celebration

***Scroll to the bottom for your free gift.***

I hope this story inspires you to move ahead with a project that compels you to birth it. Maybe it’s writing a book. Maybe it’s getting an advanced college degree. Maybe it’s landing a truly fulfilling job. Maybe it’s developing your company. Maybe it’s developing a special project at work.

Whatever it is … do you dream of doing something much bigger than ever before? Is it outside of your comfort zone? Read more

Webinar: Conflict Management Skills for Highly Sensitive People Who Crave Harmony

Highly Sensitive People love peace and harmony. We want everybody to get along and we do a pretty good job of mediating most of the time.

But when we find ourselves in the middle of a situation where people are uncaring or contemptuous, we may flounder. We feel anxious or irritated. Even devastated at times. If we’re not highly trained in Emotional Intelligence skills, we may say things that we wish we hadn’t. Or we get quiet. People get offended. People lash out. People withdraw. All of this hurts.

It may take us longer than we wish to get over a poorly-handled conflict. By the time we do, our relationships may suffer or our career may be damaged.

My first mentor told me: Conflict is a necessary part of intimacy. I didn’t want to hear that, but now I realize it’s true. Knowing how to manage conflict well is one of our most important life skills. It’s the stuff that high-quality relationships are made of.

Everyone: Please email your answer to this question:
What is your most challenging conflict situation?

You can learn how to create meaningful relationships even in the midst of conflict.

I know how important this is because I’ve struggled to learn good conflict management skills for years. I want to pass on what I’ve learned to you so your life is easier than mine has been.

Instead of …

• Complaining repeatedly when your partner doesn’t cooperate with you
• Analyzing what’s wrong with your partner and trying to convince him to change
• Getting quiet and waiting for the storm to pass
• Criticizing your partner or getting defensive

You’ll learn an easy-to-understand template to quickly figure out how to express your thoughts and feelings in a responsible tactful manner. This technique is called “I Messages.”

People will be more likely to open up to you instead of distancing.

You’ll feel more confident and competent to show up as your Authentic Self and speak from your heart while respecting others.

Webinar Format

I’ll give a short lecture that includes a story about how I handled a conflict. Then I’ll coach participants so everyone can learn vicariously. You can make comments and ask questions.

Do you want to get the most out of this webinar?

Volunteer to be coached during this webinar. Two people will be selected for live coaching on this webinar. Email me with a description of your most challenging conflict situation and what makes it so difficult for you.

RECORDING: You may purchase a recording of the webinar for $39.00. Complete the Contact Page and ask me to email the recording link for this webinar. Specify the webinar title.

Make your $39 payment on PayPal.com to Payments@EspositoInstitute.com.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Life Coach, and Spiritual Counselor. Click here to read Benita’s credentials.

P.S. Benita Esposito’s bestselling memoir and teaching stories, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self, is available on Amazon.com. View the book video on the home page at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.

Webinar: Empaths and Highly Sensitive People

How to Set Boundaries to Prevent Overwhelm

We hold a monthly webinar for Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) on the second Wednesday of the month.

This group is a safe gathering place for HSP’s to receive support from other HSP’s and to experience expert guidance from a Highly Sensitive Therapist, Life Coach and Spiritual Counselor. You’ll gain tools so you can be happier and healthier. And you’ll be inspired by other high-achieving HSP’s personal and professional successes.

This webinar discusses the following items:

• What is an empath?

• How do you set energetic boundaries so you’re not so affected by other’s emotions?

• How can you use your gifts to help people in productive ways and maintain a solid sense of well-being?

• How do you know if you are feeling your own emotions or taking on someone else’s?

• How can you stop assuming too much responsibility for others’ lives?

• What are grounding tools to return to optimal functioning when you get overwhelmed?

• Why is a daily self-care routine essential for highly sensitive people?

RECORDING: You may purchase a recording of the webinar for $39.00. Complete the Contact Page and ask me to email the recording link for this webinar. Specify the webinar title.

Make your $39 payment on PayPal.com to Payments@EspositoInstitute.com.

To learn more about the services I provide for Highly Sensitive People:


1. Preview my bestselling book. Watch my book video at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.

2. Purchase the eBook or paperback. The audiobook will be released soon on Amazon:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self

3. Visit my website: SensitiveIntrovert.com and take the quiz to see if you are a highly sensitive introvert.

Contact me for a complimentary 10-minute phone chat to see if we are a good fit to work together.

About the Facilitator

Benita Esposito, MA, LPC. 
I’m a life coach, ordained minister and a Christian spiritual counselor. I see Highly Sensitive People (HSP) adults (individuals and couples) via Zoom videoconference worldwide. I also lead weekend retreats for highly sensitive people in the North Georgia mountains and at the beach.

 

Healing Trauma with Breathwork: Abortion and Open Heart Surgery

This story was written by one of my clients who chose to remain anonymous. I’ll call her Sally.

Sally was a smart business leader whom people respected. She felt confident at work, but she had trouble forming fulfilling friendships. She felt empty inside.

When Sally began the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat, she had no idea that her difficulty was rooted in unresolved trauma. This story illustrates how quickly transformation can occur when we do body-based emotional-spiritual healing.

Breathwork accesses unconscious memories that rarely surface in talk therapy. That’s why breathwork is such a powerful therapeutic tool.

Here’s Sally’s story.

For a long time, I had been living in my head and keeping my distance from people. I wanted to get in touch with my spiritual heart. My objectives for the Deep Emotional Healing retreat were to make a deeper connection with myself and others.

During the first breathwork session, I experienced pain and a tight knot in my pelvic area. It was so painful that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Benita placed her hand on the spot, applied pressure and coached me to breathe through the pain.

I realized that I was angry and agitated. The experience reminded me of the time when I was 20 when my ex-husband forced me to have an abortion against my will.

I experienced great pain, guilt and grief from this experience. I am very angry with myself for allowing someone to have such control over me.

Benita and I decided to have another healing session the second day of the retreat. This is what I experienced during the next breathwork healing session.

We said prayers, played music and everyone sat close to me for support. I started breathing deeply and I felt the painful knot in my stomach. My body started contorting and I had to sit up. People laid their hands on me for support.

I spontaneously shouted, “No, No, No! Leave Me Alone!” And then after a few minutes I screamed, “Help Me, Help Me!” I repeated these words over and over, feeling them deeply. This went on for a long time. Finally, I laid back down and I felt very calm and peaceful.

Benita asked me questions about what happened. I said that I had wanted my daughter here with me in the physical plane. I always knew that this child was a girl. I felt like I was talking to my daughter on a spiritual plane. She explained that she knew that this pregnancy would not reach term, and that we were not going to be together on the physical plane. She said that she is always very close to me and does not blame me in any way. I felt very calm and peaceful after this experience.

I had more insights about this experience during the following week. The feelings, sensations and words that I spoke during the healing session reminded me of another traumatic time in my life.

When I was eight years old, I had open-heart surgery and was in the hospital for several months. It was a terrifying experience. To make matters worse, I was in a training hospital so each morning 10-12 doctors would come into my room. They asked me questions and took blood. I was under an oxygen tent and I would crawl up into the tent and tuck the corners under me. I screamed at them to go away and leave me alone.

It was a very scary feeling of helplessness. It took many years to be able to go to the doctor and get a shot or have them take blood without getting scared and crying.

During the breathwork session, I was curled up like I was in the oxygen tent. I screamed at them to leave me alone. I begged for help like I tried to do when I was eight.

During both of these experiences, I felt great helplessness like I had no control over what was happening to me. But with Benita’s support and the help of the group, I was able to fully process the painful experiences and sensations. I was able to breathe through them and then my body finally released them.

Immediately after the breathwork sessions and now a week later, the physical and emotional pain of these two traumatic experiences no longer haunts me.

I feel a kind of inner peace that I’ve never known before.

* * *

If you’d like to experience deep emotional healing, contact Benita A. Esposito for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if her life coaching and spiritual counseling is a good fit for you.

You can experience more rapid healing in the following retreats: highly sensitive person retreats, breathwork retreats and deep emotional healing retreats.

View the Retreat Schedule: click here.

Benita A. Esposito, MA. credentials.

Offices in Atlanta (Sandy Springs) and Blairsville, Georgia, USA

Distance counseling and spiritual healing is available via phone and Zoom videoconference from the comfort of your own home.

Highly Sensitive Introverts’ Strengths and Struggles

This is chapter 3 from the book by Benita A. Esposito, MA:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert:

Wisdom for Emotional Healing and

Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self Read more

Healing Hurtful Relationship Patterns with Breathwork

Josephine is a 30-something highly sensitive person. Kind, creative and smart, she had an unconscious habit of choosing men who hurt her. This is her story told in her own words. It shows how we worked together in spiritual counseling to end a pattern of abuse so she could become her radiant Authentic Self. Read more

3 Steps to Creating Your Authentic Life

Here’s one of my life stories which illustrates 3 steps you can take to create your Authentic Life and make your dreams come true as a highly sensitive person.

Step #1: Heal Your Emotional Wounds so You Can Excavate Your Authentic Self.

It was the late 1990’s and I had just ended an emotionally abusive relationship. I was exhausted from all the conflicts. My two Siamese cats were dying. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but they were my steadfast cherished friends for 14 and 16 years. They welcomed me home every day and slept with me every night. They were there for me when no one else was. Peri-menopausal mood swings, tears, hot flashes and insomnia were my daily companions.

I didn’t know it at the time, but these crises were just what this highly sensitive person needed to help birth her Authentic Self.

I had already done 20 years of deep personal growth work, but I still had not touched the core of my emotional pain that desperately called for healing.

The Dark Night of the Soul lasted three years. I couldn’t get out of it no matter how hard I tried. The good news was that my spirit was leading, even though my personality didn’t know it.

St. John of the Cross coined the term, “The Dark Night of the Soul,” to describe a time of feeling lost and full of despair. It’s a time when our old coping strategies don’t work any more. It feels like hell because our known identity is disintegrating. It’s scary because we can’t hang onto what we think we need for security.

After much anguish in the Dark Night of the Soul, we’ll connect intimately with our spirit and with the Holy Spirit.

Psychologists call the Dark Night of the Soul depression. But for me, it was an intentional time of deep searching to find my Authentic Self and an intimate relationship with my Sacred Inner Beloved, the romantic name I gave to the Holy Spirit.

I examined my insecurities instead of striving for success or romance.

I took a sabbatical from dating because I realized that romantic relationships were the main way I avoided the deep level of emotional insecurity way down deep inside myself. If I was in a romantic relationship, I could cover up the deep-seated emotional insecurity with hope. Hope that the relationship would fulfill all my dreams.

Hope and romance had become my drugs of choice.

My muscles ached every day and I was exhausted. I awakened many nights with my body stiff from fear. I couldn’t relax even though I meditated two hours a day.  My inner voice told me to walk every morning no matter what, so I’d take myself to Lake Lanier and walk in the park. The connection with Nature soothed me at least for a little while.

My greatest desire was to stay conscious through my pain and to face my emotional insecurity so that I could develop self-love. I needed to feel intimacy with all of myself, especially with the part of me who felt so insecure. I intended to heal the old wounds and coping patterns so my Authentic Self could emerge.

Every couple of weeks, I’d get a massage. Miera created a safe place for me to unwind and process the memories that bubbled to the surface. I remembered how I wanted to be loved by my father as a little girl. I felt that pain and processed it.

I processed the ache of friendships and romantic relationships gone sour. I dealt with my need for perfection that covered up lack of self-love. I felt safe under Miera’s nurturing hands. She held sacred space for me to process the emotional anguish. The pain oozed to the surface as she touched my muscles. Tears soaked the face cradle session after session.

Step 2: “Form a Vision Anchored in Your Heart.”  

As the tears subsided in the massage sessions, the same vision arose in my mind time after time.  I saw a cabin in the woods surrounded by tall trees. It was private. It was safe. I felt at peace.

After the massages would end, I would return to my normal daily activity. I accepted the fact that I lived in the city. But I wanted to live two hours north, tucked in the woods of the North Georgia Mountains overlooking Lake Chatuge. I didn’t see any way I could afford to live there.

For a long time I didn’t choose to act on the vision. I wasn’t willing to give up the financial security I knew. I settled for a good life, but it didn’t fully feed my spirit.

As the weeks passed, the vision of the cabin in the woods appeared again and again. I realized that God was showing me a particular environment that would allow me to heal and thrive. I knew the vision was from God because it always occurred after my mind-chatter had quieted down, and I felt at peace. I am a highly sensitive person, and highly sensitive people thrive in quiet beautiful Nature sanctuaries.

I incubated for three years in the Dark Night of the Soul, accessing all the deep layers of pain built up like sedimentary rock.

Deep emotional intimacy grew between my personality self, my spirit and the Holy Spirit. I call this my relationship with My Sacred Inner Beloved.

I regained my energy, and the emotional and physical pain subsided.

I designed the blue print for my house in the woods overlooking the lake. After working on it daily for over 6 months, a crisis occurred. My father suddenly died. Reeling from the grief, my heart opened in a way it never had. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I wouldn’t live forever either, and I assessed the quality of my life. Everything was great except I didn’t live in the mountains overlooking the lake, surrounded by the tall trees.

Step 3: Take the Risk to Act on Your Vision.

After praying with my friends, I decided to take the risk to build my dream home. I realized that my fears about not having enough money would never go away. I had to proceed in the direction of my dream, taking one step at a time. I asked God to reveal the next step, day after day.

It’s been ten years now, and I am so grateful every time I look out my living room windows at the lake and mountains and the tall trees. No matter what is going on in my life, stressful or blissful, I am happy living in my beautiful Nature sanctuary.

Now It’s Your Turn.

  1. Find someone you trust to help you emotionally heal. Examine your most deeply held values and dreams. Intend to open to your Authentic Self and to God. I’m here to help you heal at the deepest level so you can let go of coping patterns that once helped you survive, but now limit your success. I’ll help you access to the most enduring love of all, the love of God.
  1. Meditate daily, long enough to experience deep inner peace. Invest the time. Don’t skip this step. Listen to the still small voice inside yourself. Join the on-going conversation already in progress, in your innermost being.  I produced the CD, “A Journey into Wholeness” to help you do this.
  1. Find healers who understand the mind-body-spirit connection. Heal your emotions and your body. I highly recommend counseling and life coaching along with bodywork. Tight muscles hold unresolved emotional memories that set up old coping patterns.
  2. Attend weekend retreats so you have plenty of time to dive deep into your emotional pain and develop the strength to be your Authentic Self.

By doing practices such as these, you will be shown the visions anchored in your heart. You, too, will be able to move in the direction of your fondest dreams.

* * * *

If you are a highly sensitive person … and you want help to excavate your Authentic Self and create your fondest dreams … check out these resources below.

CONTACT INFO

  1. Attend a Highly Sensitive Person Retreat. Click here for the schedule.
  2. Contact me Benita Esposito. Blairsville, GA and Atlanta, GA
  3. If you live outside Georgia, contact me for Spiritual Counseling via videoconference anywhere in the world.

Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling: www.SensitiveIntrovert.com

Copyright 2017. The Esposito Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.