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!

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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!

 

Paying Attention to Our Pain

Pay attention to your pain quote LAL

“Something is under the surface, can you feel it? You’ve sensed it many times, yet still don’t know what it is. You keep moving forward, keep staying busy, keep ignoring it, keep pretending everything’s fine. But it’s not. Something is unsettled inside but you’re too busy to feel it. It’s moments like this when addiction whispers messages like “escape there” and “run here.” And all of this is for what purpose? To keep running, keep escaping, keep distracting? This is the cycle of disconnection from self. For some, this pattern was learned at a very young age. For many, this pattern is instinctual.

Stopping and turning toward yourself, connecting with what is inside, and being kind toward whatever is hiding in the shadows of your soul requires great courage. This is scary, uncharted territory. Yet, for those who never take this risk, distraction becomes their drug of choice. Self-neglect and self- abandonment continue as the self-defeating norms.

Yet some of the most profound moments in life will be those times when you stop, see your pain, feel the surfacing emotions, and respond with care, compassion, and nurturance. This is tending to your wounds. This is attuning to the cries of your heart.”
-Life After Lust, pages 118-119

May we all pay attention to our pain.

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!

 

 

 

 

You Matter, No Matter Who Notices

you matter, no matter who notices

Have you ever wondered if what you do in the world matters? I have struggled with this for a long time, especially when it comes to creating and sharing content with others (which I do A LOT). What complicates this further is that my worst traumas came when I offered my strengths and love to others and my efforts were met with rejection, abuse, and abandonment. I am currently taking a Facebook sabbatical to figure all of this out as I dive into therapy and writing my Memoir.

If you’re like me and wonder if anything you do online or offline matters in the grand scheme of things, I invite you to listen to the podcast episode called A Brief Guide to the Undernet. Listening to this episode brought me a measure of healing as I realized that how many people notice me is not the measure of my worth. With the strong emphasis on views, followers, and likes in the online environment, it is a breath of fresh air to realize how none of this is a true reflection of value.

May we all know that who we are and what we do matters, no matter how much outside applause we receive.

May we all learn to applaud our own efforts.

 

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 Sex Addiction Controversy: Staci Sprout Interviews Gary Wilson Tonight at 5pm

Alignment quote LAL

Today’s live episode of Sex Addiction in the News features two bold leaders who are actively living in alignment and speaking up for the cause of sex addiction recovery: Staci Sprout and Gary Wilson. I invite you to watch here with me at 5pm PST as these leaders focus on the following topics:

  • The differences between problematic porn users and addictive porn users
  • The sex/porn addiction controversy (and harassment of educators about sex/porn addiction)
  • Who Gary recommends viewers check out to learn more in addition to Your Brain On Porn
  • What it’s like to have a Ted talk with almost 10 million views

This will be an incredible and informative episode you won’t want to miss. I am grateful for Staci & Gary and their active and consistent stance for truth. Please join me in sharing the news of this upcoming episode with others.

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!

 

 

Making Friends & Memoirs

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 7.55.52 PM
One of the unexpected joys of writing Life After Lust was the wonderful people I met as a result. That was the case with DJ Burr and Staci Sprout, who have since become friends. I met Staci when she reached out to me to offer guidance when I was finishing Life After Lust and not only did she endorse my book but she also helped me make the book more accessible to female sex addicts, which was a priority for me. She helped me when I felt overwhelmed along the way, sharing some of her own writing process (she is the author of Naked in Public, an excellent memoir about her addiction and recovery). Staci later introduced me to DJ Burr, who had me as a guest on his Making An Addict podcast (click here to hear that episode). Since then, the three of us have offered each other support and our friendship is such a gift. We are all therapists, authors, and recovering addicts. Soon, we will have another thing in common (more on this later).

So, you can imagine the fun I had watching Staci interview DJ in the new Sex Addiction in the News video uploaded today. Not only was it entertaining to watch but helpful as well. I recommend it those in recovery as well as their partners. Check it out here:

Staci & DJ have done something that I have recently become inspired to do myself: write a memoir. Diving into Staci’s memoir, I have decided to write my own story in much more detail than I did in Life After Lust. I have a book name and many ideas flooding my mind. While going into the pain of my past will be difficult, I believe it will be an adventure into deeper healing, becoming a resource that will encourage and inspire others. I’ll keep you all posted on the progress of this important new project.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend.

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!

 

 

Lacy Alajna Bentley Interview: Female Sex, Porn, & Love Addiction Recovery

Benedict Bentley Interview Pic

Today I had the privilege of interviewing Lacy Alajna Bentley on female sex, porn, and love addiction recovery. We covered a lot of ground in this interview on relevant and timely topics including the roots of addiction, fantasy, shame, connection, abuse, empowerment, and Lacy’s story and upcoming book. This casual interview is a must-see for females battling sex, love, and pornography addiction (and those who love them). Also in this interview, some exciting news was made public about our collaboration on an upcoming project. I’m so grateful for Lacy’s time and willingness to share her heart so openly in this Life After Lust VLOG episode.

 

To check out Lacy’s website and resources, click here. I also recommend you take advantage of Lacy’s generous offer presented in the video.

Additional recovery resources for women include:

Staci Sprout – Women’s Sex-Love Addiction Resources (and her book)

Marnie Ferree – Suggested Reading (and her book)

Covenant Eyes – Resources for Women Who Struggle with Porn

Jessica Harris – Women & Pornography (and her book)

Forest Benedict – Life After Lust (and LifeSTAR groups)

 

Marnie Ferree

It is my hope that this interview encourages and equips all women struggling with sexual addiction. As stated in the above interview:

“You are not the only one, you are not crazy or beyond hope. Women need to keep reaching out for help. Keep looking, keep trying, because more people are becoming aware of the issue and more resources are becoming available. You’re worth the effort.”  – The Anonymous Female Recovering Addict Who Sponsored This VLOG Interview

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!