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Highly Sensitive Person Retreat

Two days: May 2-3, 2020. North Georgia Mountains, USA

Early Bird Date: March 27, 2020

  • 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 to do deep emotional healing and excavate their Authentic Self so you can experience inner peace and self-confidence. This retreat is for people who are at an intermediate or advanced level in their personal/spiritual growth journey.
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Retreat Goals
I’ll help you understand the highly sensitive person trait so you can increase your  self-awareness and self-worth. You’ll grow in your ability to know your true identity and express your Authentic Self. You’ll enjoy more fulfilling relationships and create a fulfilling career so that work is an expression of your soul.
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Do you want to get to know me before applying for this retreat?
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I’m a Highly Sensitive Person Therapist. I am a highly sensitive person (HSP), a licensed professional counselor, a life coach and a spiritual counselor with four decades of professional experience to help you make faster progress on your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.

The-Gifted-Highly-Sensitive-Introvert-Book

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

You may read my book — 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, paperback and an audiobook.  Click here to purchase it on Amazon. You can also go to Audible.com or your iTunes app for the audiobook.

Click here to watch my book video.

Highly Sensitive Persons also might like my guided meditation CD, A Journey into Wholeness. Click here.

The Research on Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

A new personality type emerged from Dr. Elaine Aron’s groundbreaking psychological research: the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

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.  Without it, we feel empty. 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 woman outdoors in the parkHighly Sensitive Person Problems and

Highly Sensitive Person 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 satisfying 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

The activities unfold organically to meet the needs of the participants. I offer several healing modalities: Processes to help the group bond, feel safe and supported. Guided meditations with soothing music. One-to-one coaching in front of the group so everyone learns vicariously. This is a spiritual healing format. If you want hands-on-healing, I will do that. If you don’t, I won’t. I honor your choice.

Breathwork is one of the primary transformational healing process 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 so we can be free to be who we really are: our Authentic Self.

Remember, this retreat is not for beginners. Participants must want to feel deep emotions where they can heal the root of unconscious material. Most people have prior counseling or life coaching or group work. You may be currently working with another therapist and use this retreat as an adjunct to your therapy.

Requirement: Please read all these articles before applying for this retreat.

  1. Breathwork Description
  2. Breathwork Client Anecdotes
  3. Breathwork Q&A
  4. Breathwork Testimonials

Prerequisites for the Retreat

  1. Attend a minimum of three private sessions. There is an additional fee for these sessions. We can meet at my Blairsville, Georgia office, or meet via phone or videoconference.
  2. Read all the Breathwork articles above.

Photo: Benita A. Esposito. Hiawassee, GA

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

Two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville.

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.

Retreat Tuition for two full days: $595.00

Early bird $25 discount by March 27

Register Now: 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.

Pre-requisite: Minimum of 3 private sessions.

Click here for a list of Lodging and Restaurants.

Contact me, Benita A. Esposito, MA,  Licensed Professional Counselor, for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito Credentials. Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and four decades experience.

Read more about the challenges and gifts of the Highly Sensitive Person in my book,

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self  by Benita A. Esposito

P.S. If you’re interested in receiving individual counseling, life coaching or spiritual counseling, you can start by contacting me for a complimentary 10-minute interview. I’m happy to help.

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 1 year, minus a $50 fee.

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Highly Sensitive Introverts’ Strengths and Struggles

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

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.

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If you want help to excavate your Authentic Self and create your fondest dreams, I’m here to help.

CONTACT INFO

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

Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling: www.SensitiveIntrovert.com

Psychotherapy: www.Flourishing-Lives.com

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