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!

 

 

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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

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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!

 

In Case You Forgot…

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Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

The Humbling Road to Rebuilding Trust in Recovery (Life After Lust VLOG Episode)

Rebuilding Trust VLOG

“She deserves a husband who is trustworthy, both when she is looking and when she’s unaware” (Life After Lust p.40, from the chapter What My Wife is Worth).

Unfortunately, many of us recovering from sex addiction have made past choices that have broken down the trust of those we love most. In active recovery, we learn how to live out a trust-building lifestyle. In my new Life After Lust VLOG episode called The Humbling Road to Rebuilding Trust in Recovery, I share some ways that I am working to rebuild trust in my relationship with my wife. For further study, here’s another great video with 8 additional ideas for rebuilding trust.

What ways are you rebuilding trust in your closest relationships?

May we all be willing to embody humility, working hard to be the trustworthy people our partners deserve. They are worth our best efforts.
And so are we.

To get your copy of the visionary new book Life After Lust CLICK HERE

To subscribe to future Life After Lust Newsletters CLICK HERE

Please share the vision by sharing this post with others.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Covenant Eyes Publishes “Called to Rise” (A Chapter from Life After Lust)

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Today Covenant Eyes published one of my favorite chapters from Life After Lust – Called to Rise. This is my first publication with Covenant Eyes and it is SUCH an honor. I have appreciated Covenant Eyes for years, using and promoting their porn-protecting products.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect….or ironic.

PERFECT because I just finished my free book promotion which added many new 5 star reviews to the Amazon book listing.

IRONIC because I just started my hiatus from Facebook so I’ll be relying on others to share this within their networks (my blog does auto-post to Facebook).

When I read my chapter in the Covenant Eyes blog this morning, it brought me to tears. This is a powerful chapter, challenging and inviting readers to rise up and live out life after lust. I hope and pray that many will be impacted and the ripple effects will be eternal.

TO READ “CALLED TO RISE: OVERCOMING SEXUAL ADDICTION” CLICK HERE

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Free Father’s Day Promotion – Life After Lust (Kindle)

life after lust free father's day promotionJune 14-18

Help me get Life After Lust into the hands of all father’s (and mothers)…for details on this exciting promotion check out my recent VLOG.

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT LIFE AFTER LUST:

“Life After Lust is an honest and helpful read for those trapped in the fear and pain of pornography addiction. This book challenges men and women to take responsibility for their behavior, providing practical tools and next steps on their healing journey.” 
CRAIG GROSS, Founder of XXXchurch.com

“Life After Lust is an excellent resource for those wanting freedom from pornography addiction. This book also prepares men and women to fight for love in their personal relationships while working to change the world we live in.” 
CLAY OLSEN, CEO and Co-Founder of Fight the New Drug

“Forest Benedict is a skilled writer whose lyrical phrases delight and uplift this intense topic. Addiction-savvy and trauma-informed, Benedict never lets up on his fierce, loving message: Yes, you can do this! You will have to work hard to beat sex addiction, but I’ve done it, it’s worth it, and I’m right here with you! Life After Lust is a must-read for any man, woman or loving family member who needs unrelenting optimism and cutting-edge strategies that really work on the road to healthy sexuality.”

STACI SPROUT, LICSW, CSAT, author of Naked in Public: A Memoir of Recovery From Sex Addiction and Other Temporary Insanities

“Forest Benedict’s Life After Lust is a personalized and important contribution to the field of sexual health. He shares his personal story of recovery from porn addiction in a way that both educates and motivates the reader.” 
ROBERT WEISS, LCSW, CSAT-S, Intimacy Disorder Specialist, Author of Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating 
One man who heard me on a recent podcast shared that he has never had anything speak to him so clearly and so deeply as my book. It is an honor knowing that Life After Lust is impacting people and helping them heal.

Will you help me get the word out about this free promotion? May Life After Lust continue being a catalyst of change in the lives of many.

Gratefully,
Forest