Finding Peace: A Life-Changing New Retreat

Finding Peace_A Life-Changing New Retreat

For those wanting to deepen their healing from trauma, addiction, or pain, I want to share a life-changing new event with you. So you’ll more fully understand its value, let me first introduce you to Troy Love and his book.

Troy Love is one of my once-in-a-life-time friends. He is an experienced and gifted therapist in Yuma, Arizona. Troy is constantly creating quality content, with a passionate drive to improve the lives of others. Last year he came out with his first book called Finding Peace: A Workbook on Healing from Loss, Rejection, Neglect, Abandonment, Betrayal, and Abuse. If you haven’t read it yet. I urge you to. I had the privilege of endorsing the book, sharing that “Finding Peace is an essential workbook for anyone ready to heal from life’s hurts.  Using creative storytelling, skilled therapist, Troy L. Love, shares a powerful attachment-based process of deep wound work.  Finding Peace is a gift to all who are suffering and I am certain that it will be a catalyst of change for many.” 

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Now that you know who Troy is, let me tell you about his latest creation. He has designed a powerful new resource called The Finding Peace Retreat. Trust me, this is an unprecedented event you won’t want to miss. Here’s a short description:

The Finding Peace Retreat is a 3-day, intensive, experiential training based on the Amazon Best-Selling Book, Finding Peace.  The weekend creates a place of healing for individuals with past wounds of loss, rejection, neglect, abandonment, betrayal, and abuse who are looking for greater joy, happier relationships, and deeper fulfillment in their lives.

 Whether you’re just becoming aware of how these wounds have impacted your life or are exhausted with the constant cycle of trying to do your best and still feeling like a failure, the Finding Peace Retreat will give you the skills to heal from the past, change the internal negative messages that drive feelings of shame, and develop mindful, compassionate habits leading to greater contentment and peace. Discover your truth! Connect with your inner light that ignites your power, connection, and purpose.”

The retreat will take place on October 18 – 21 of this year. It will be held in Payson, Arizona (90 minutes from the Phoenix International Airport).

A 3-day retreat like this could run thousands of dollars. Troy is offering this event at a fraction of what he could charge (especially since the cost includes meals, lodging, and training materials). If you’re wanting to take your growth to the next level, I hope you’ll consider investing in yourself in this way.

Click here for more information and to register for this life-changing event. There are 21 spaces left!

I am grateful for Troy and his relentless efforts to uplift the world with his gifts. He is a true light to all of us. When you attend the retreat, you’ll know for yourself.

Whether you can make the retreat or not this year, I urge you to check out Troy’s other resources (his website, book, Reader’s Group, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube channel, and blog) and share this post with others who would benefit.

Spending 3 days with this skilled and compassionate master teacher is a great investment in personal healing and growth. You are SO worth it. Who knows? I may just see you there.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

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A Day of Change: Leading Men Into Life After Lust

 

LAL Workshop Testimony

The 17 men I met up with this weekend were in for the surprise of their lives. To be honest, I don’t know what they expected but what I was prepared to share was not how to avoid porn or how to stop lying to those they loved. This first Life After Lust Workshop was aimed at giving them what I thought they needed, not necessarily what I assumed they wanted. My aim was to heighten awareness on how to change, connecting them with their strongest resource for recovery: their very selves.

The content prepared was potent and powerful, aimed at challenging their beliefs, teaching them tools, and calling them up to create a new life. The day that ensued was life-changing. That’s what one man shared with me when it came to a close.

In 5.75 hours we adventured through the Mindset, Mastery, and Mission sections of my book, doing 12 exercises (from visualizations, to writing, to experiences), listening to 9 tracks from the new Life After Lust audiobook, and watching 8 videos (including VLOG and inspirational/educational videos).

This was one of the most meaningful days of my life. Living in a season of my deepest inner work to date, I felt at ease, leading the men deeper into themselves and into their awareness that real change was possible. I’m so proud of those men for the bold steps they took that day. I savored the moment, now I savor the memory, wondering when I’ll get to share this valuable content again.

I will never fully know what ripple effects resulted from that day. What I know for sure is that big, beautiful seeds were planted. One participant contacted me a couple days after the event sharing how he started running after months of passivity and was infused with the new mindset that he is responsible for the reality he creates.

He shared, “Your seminar is already causing me to think about my future, who I want to be, and being able to take care of myself. The biggest thing for me was owning my choices, owning my mistakes, and realizing that I have the ability and the power to choose something different for myself. And that if I wanted something good, it’s going to take some work. That is a big mental shift that I needed. I’m actually trying to live a little bit differently. I already feel different. I feel stronger and more capable, at least on the inside. Also, the workshop helped me summon the courage to work through my bitterness from a past relationship and move on. So, thank you! Your stuff is helping me out already so I just want to let you know that.”

Hearing how he was impacted infuses me with satisfaction and joy. It is a very real validation that the healing path I am on is packed with ever-explanding affects on others. The higher I grow, the further I can go with anyone willing to follow.

I wonder where this workshop will want to go next. It will soon be in Sacramento again. And I have a feeling in the near future I’ll have a female workshop. I’m already dreaming up ideas for that.

The course I’ve created here can impact the world. For now, I’ll get back to writing, waiting for the next invitation. Who knows? Maybe my next workshop will be with you.

Future create LAL Quote

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

The Potential to Change: Join Us In Just 3 Days

The potential to change

Fourteen years ago, I drove to Sacramento for a recovery event that changed the course of my life. This Saturday, I am leading a recovery event in Sacramento that could change the course of many other men’s lives. In just three days I will share stories and strategies from my book Life After Lust that have strengthened myself and many others in recovery. This event will bring hope to those caught in addiction, those long in recovery, and those just wanting to connect with themselves and grow.

I am SO excited!

I love how life gives us opportunities like this to turn our pain into purpose. As I creatively and strategically prepare for this event, I am both grateful for this opportunity and excited to plant powerful seeds that I trust will sprout into amazing fruit that will impact the world. Who knows, maybe some of these men will catch a glimpse of the hope of recovery, master what they learn, and someday lead others into healing and a changed life. It may sound unbelievable but I’ve seen such miracles. I’ve lived such miracles. If you want to see what potential is packaged in a handful of hours, join us this Saturday in Sacramento. I look forward to meeting you there, in just 3 days.

Click here to sign up (If you can’t make it this time, sign up here for announcements of future events)

**** PS: The Life After Lust Audiobook will make it debut at this event and be available in some venues this Saturday as well!

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

My New Job in Sacramento (No, I’m Not Leaving Fresno)

my New job in sacramento

I am in a season of several changes. One of the most significant changes I am actively pursuing is the transition into being a more full-time writer. I heard this amazing Rumi quote today that describes my journey through this process: “What you seek is seeking you.” This resonates deeply with me because as I’ve sought out my vision while standing for my value, the universe has conspired to open up unprecedented opportunities in alignment my inner commitments.

So, this week I was hired as the Program Development Director of LifeSTAR Sacramento, where I will be creating new workshops and getting the word out about recovery resources in our state capitol. I will continue leading my LifeSTAR groups and seeing a handful of clients in Fresno. And both of these jobs allow me to pursue what I see as my greatest contribution to the world – my writing.

In my new role I’ve had the opportunity to co-create some great resources I would love for you to check out and share with others:

This new opportunity is a win/win/win/win. I get to continue helping people recover, while using my gifts in both Sacramento & Fresno, and also freeing up more time to create. Some creative projects on the table right now are:

  • The Life After Lust Audiobook (ALMOST FINISHED!)
  • Writing a chapter for a major publishing company (more on this later)
  • Taking part in a team project that will share Life After Lust and other recovery programs globally (more on this later)
  • Writing my memoir

In this season, I am diving deeper into myself while learning how to be true to myself. I am filling my mind with inspiring ideas (like this, this, this, and this). I am following my vision and settling for nothing less. Here’s to making waves in Sacramento and beyond.

Think about it: What vision is seeking you?

May none of us abandon our biggest dreams.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Recovery = Mastery (Exclusive Life After Lust Audiobook Clip & Event Announcements)

Life After Lust Announcements & Audiobook Clip

In this VLOG episode I shared an exclusive clip from the Mastery section in my upcoming Life After Lust audiobook. I hope you find this clip encouraging and empowering. Also, I shared two new events that I am co-leading in Sacramento, for couples and individuals seeking deeper recovery (see flyers below).

Click here for event details:

A Day of Healing and Recovery – June 9, 2018 (Life After Lust Workshop)

Phase 1 Intensive – April 27 & 28, 2018

Please share these events with anyone who would benefit. I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for future VLOG episodes.

Wishing all of you depth and hope in your recovery journey.

Forest

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

My Bittersweet Goodbyes

My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post_ Forest Benedict's Bittersweet Goodbye

Today is a day of bittersweet tears. I am letting go of old dreams and grabbing hold of new ones. I invite you to read my new blog post called My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post: Forest Benedict’s Bittersweet Goodbye to learn more about some significant changes in my writing and career journey. May we all follow the paths that lead to the most meaning.

THANK YOU all for your continued support!
Forest
Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!
 

A New Vision (A Call to Visionaries)

 

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I’m in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

Let’s call it an awakening.

A vision is haunting me.

A dream thumps loudly at my door.

For years I’ve pursued a career as a therapist, finding fulfillment in helping others find their way. A year ago I took the risk of writing my first book. I never imagined what reach my written words would have.

Mere months ago this new vision caught me….that I am a writer with many books to be birthed. All paths are converging on this important truth. Writing has brought me where I am today and is brining me where I want to go. My focus has changed from squeezing writing into my life to building my life around my writing. Practically, this looks like downsizing my client load and upscaling opportunities to write. This is my path to the most meaning. Honoring my vision is an unflinching act of alignment. Sure, there are risks on this road. But nothing is more risky than abandoning my most purposeful path. My time here is limited. I am acutely aware of my mortality.

May we all know the worth of our most precious visions.

Life’s too short not to live out the life of our dreams.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

Recovery is a Lifestyle Change (Video)

Recovery is a lifestyle change. Share if you agree.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

Life After Lust Audiobook Announcement & Request for Reward Ideas

LAL Audio

Friends,

I have EXCITING NEWS!

The Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter project will begin in about a week! Check out my VLOG Announcement to learn more about the details of this fun project.

Also, I HAVE A REQUEST…I have put together some great rewards for those wishing to contribute to this cause but I really would love to know what rewards you would be interested in. Again, check out the video for further explanation and to learn about some of the awesome rewards that are already planned.

I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. I also look forward to hearing stories of lives touched and changed as a result of listening to the hopeful message of Life After Lust.

Gratefully,
Forest

PS: To follow this story, I invite you to follow this blog and sign up on the Life After Lust Newsletter

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

The Recovering Addict’s Guide to Ethical Sex: Hefner and Hustler Had it Half Right

A Guide to Great Sex_ Heffner & Hustler Didn't Know the Half of It-5

Since boyhood, I’ve had a strong sense of moral justice. Whether putting myself in timeout for breaking the rules, saving stray animals from the streets, or buying food for the hungry, a virtuous character was the internal compass of my younger years.

Then came the season of sex addiction. This was a time of inner turmoil, as I pursued pleasures at the expense of myself and others. Believing in what was right, I too often ran to what was wrong. I lived an incongruent life and the shame of it was like leprosy in my soul.

In my early twenties, my path took an abrupt turn when I chose to pursue a new passion: my recovery. As I experienced the healing and wholeness I desired and deserved, I became more of the person I always was. I reconnected with myself and my values. I learned to live in alignment.

Now, as a sex addiction therapist, I help many others do the same. As people recover, they become who they really want to be and who they really are. They might become that woman who can finally be trusted, that father who learns to connect with his kids, that leader who walks with integrity in his step, or that person sharing a smile with the lovable human grinning back at them from the mirror. Where their agenda to numb-out was once self-seeking, the recovering sex addict learns to adopt new attitudes of humility, caring, and courage.

The process of recovery is the process of aligning with oneself. In recovery, our most valued principles are no longer led away to the slaughter. Instead, we learn to live them out, one day at a time.

In my book Life After Lust I explained how learning to live in alignment with our values is a major “Mission to Accomplish” in recovery. I wrote:

“As we grow in our recovery, we learn who we are and we gain the courage to live that out. No longer are we bound by secrecy, constantly trying to cover up choices that cause us shame. In recovery, we learn to live with integrity. We are the same person in the dark that we are in the light…The more we live in alignment, the greater our inner peace.”

In recovery, we seek alignment in all areas of our lives. A life well-lived is actualized at the convergence of both our sexual and moral values. Thus, making choices based on our sexual values is an act of misalignment if it violates our moral values. While this scenario describes much of the sex addict’s acting out, in active recovery we learn a new lifestyle. In recovery, we learn that sex aligned with our moral values is not only possible, but is far more satisfying than the disconnected, shame-filled, and secretive sex life of the past. Searching for the benefits of the best sex, we no longer look to lust for solutions that only compromise our character.

The Principles of the Porn-Industry

If I’m honest, the porn-industry has some sexual values right. Evaluating the ethics of porn-industry pioneers Larry Flynt and the late Hugh Hefner, I hypothesize that they highly esteemed sexual enjoyment, excitement, spontaneity, freedom, and fun. These values align with my views of an optimal sex life. I concur with them that our sexuality is to be celebrated, not shamed.

But that’s where our agreement ends. While a satisfying sex life is strengthened by some of these values, Hefner and Hustler only had it half right. The vision of sex they offered the world was paired with moral values that sucked the life out of society.  If you’re wondering what I mean by this, I’ve written about it this way:

“As a sexual addiction therapist, I continuously see the devastation caused by porn addiction. I sit with stunned spouses. I empathize with addicts caught in self-destructive cycles. I help resuscitate relationships ruined by pornographic obsessions and aid in the burial of relationships wounded beyond repair.

As a presenter on the harmful effects of porn, I see a younger generation that’s predominantly unprotected from it. I see our youth unknowingly auctioning off present and future intimacy as they immerse themselves in the internet. Porn changes their malleable brains, affecting everything from their studying to later-life sexual performance. Many are drowning in addiction. I do my best to protect my children from this destructive drug.

As a sexual addict in recovery, I’ve felt deep disconnection. I don’t blame the porn industry for my past addiction. I chose to soothe my pain in that way and I eventually chose help. But, sadly, I have seen demeaning acts charading as sex.

As a citizen who cares about the disenfranchised and defenseless, I believe the pleasures of porn are not worth those wounded by it. The porn industry might deny its ties to sex- trafficking, a trade that citizens heroically fight locally. Drug abuse, physical and psychological harm, and disease are commonplace; sexuality and humanity are commodities.

These characteristics grate against my most essential beliefs in love, freedom, and human worth. I adamantly oppose those who profit from such atrocities. I once contributed to this industry through my addiction – an uncomfortable reality I must wrestle with.

Yes, I have a problem with the porn industry” (Benedict, 2017).

Once enticed by the porn-industry’s promise of pleasure, I now see it as a morally-bankrupt mirage. As I continue to seek out my sexual values of passion, pleasure, and play, my recovery requires me to do so within the confines of my character.

So, when a porn-giant like Hustler makes a home in my city, offering gadgets and gizmos to spice up my sex life, I cannot consent with my cash. My funds will never fuel the fires of sexual exploitation. Thank you for offering, but I’ll pass on this Hustler. You may have a legal right to be here but not a moral right. If I buy anything to bolster my sex life, it will be from businesses not tied to objectification and degradation.

Mission to Accomplish # 3

Alignment in Action

In Life After Lust I call the recovering reader to master the practice of healthy sexuality, to live in alignment with their values, and to stand against businesses that profit from the porn-industry. The great news is that these tasks are not in conflict. In fact, I believe that the benefits of great sex are amplified when we act from a place of inner alignment.

Sexuality experts Drs Bill & Ginger Bercaw present this promising vision of a sexual life that is both exciting and ethical:

“You can know for perhaps the first time in your entire life what it feels like to embrace a passionate and fully satisfying sex life while retaining your integrity and while being more fully present.”

We can savor a healthy sex life without stepping on our values. We can have the best of both worlds. Within the boundaries of our values, we can seek out the best sex of our lives.

Where You’ll Find Me

This Saturday, a porn-producing pioneer is visiting our fine city of Fresno for Hustler’s “grand opening” event. Meeting Larry Flynt in person with my “Porn Kills Love” T-shirt and picket sign would absolutely align with my values. But this time I am choosing a different approach. My protest will come through my promotion of love on that day. My plan Saturday is to man a LifeSTAR booth at Fresno’s Recovery Summit, sharing the hopeful message of freedom from sex addiction and inviting others to join me in aligned living, as we pursue together the purposeful path of Life After Lust.

What I am facing in my community is one of many opportunities to stand up to an industry in conflict with our collective best interests. What a wonderful way for me to return to my roots, reclaiming an internal sense of justice. And I am grateful to report that I am far from alone in this mission. There is a groundswell of gifted individuals coming together in this pro-love, anti-porn Movement. Living in alignment with our values, we are changing the world, one victory at a time.

Join us.

 

*To learn more about the ideas presented in this article and more, check out the inspirational new book Life After Lust.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!