Living Brave the Daring Way for Men — April 4-5th in Seattle

I love men—they are my people. I have a husband/partner and loving companion who has stuck by me through good times and bad for over 30 years. Two adult sons who are the light of my life, a brother who I adore, and male clients by the dozen who inspire me and teach me and touch my heart on a daily basis.

I KNOW we live in a culture that is dominated by toxic masculinity – a president who emulates it- an economic system that supports it- a culture that teaches it.

What I have learned from the men I care about and for is that the “Man Box” requires a strict set of rules they are forced to adhere to In order for them to “fit-in” or belong:

  • Suffer pain in silence
  • Have no needs
  • Never lose
  • Show no emotions other than bravado or rage
  • Don’t depend on anyone
  • Don’t do anything that could be construed as weakness

And this narrow set of rules is killing our men’s ability to connect authentically to the people they love. It inhibits their ability to find joy and satisfaction in life, and it threatens the very fiber of our culture which depends on compassion and empathy.

The men I know are longing to be seen and heard and appreciated by their partners. They long to feel connected to their children. They long for a safe place to bring their feelings and fears and questions and concerns. They are tired of feeling alone in their struggle to “get it right”. And they want to be able to risk enough to make a mistake or go after that big dream without the fear of failure that inhibits it.


How do we teach healthy masculinity? The kind where men don’t have to fit in a box labeled “masculine” that limits their choices and emotional expression?

That is what my new program LIVING BRAVE THE DARING WAY™ FOR MEN is all about. 

Based on the ground-breaking work of Dr. Brené Brown on authenticity, resilience and whole-hearted living this program will teach you how to:

  • Communicate your deepest desires, feelings & needs to the people most important to you without shame or guilt or fear
  • Find ways to manage strong emotions and feelings so you can use them as information about your needs, rather than getting hijacked by them or stuffing them down
  • Bring your authentic self into your relationships, so you can lobby for your needs and desires in direct and clear ways
  • Let go of the “struggle for perfection” and feeling “just not good enough” so you can translate those stories into stories of striving for excellence and feelings of worthiness
  • Gather with other men just like you who long for authentic connection and offer a supportive group to begin the process of change
  • Rise strong after struggle, disappointment or loss and use the knowledge you gained to help you find a resilient new beginning.

That’s my dream—to build a world where we ALL have the skills to share our hopes and dreams and desires with each other where we operate from mutual respect with boundaries, integrity and honesty. And where we can begin to live, love, and lead from a place of worthiness.


Find out how here »

May Day! May Day!


I have 2 spots left for my upcoming Whidbey Island Rising Strong Retreat—and one of them has your name on it!

Just because it’s spring and my favorite season, and just because I have 2 spots left for my retreat…

I’m gong to extend the early bird special through the end of the week!

Discover More

Grateful for the Transformative Journey and Invite You to Join Me

As we close out this holiday focused on gratitude I am keenly aware that one of the things I am most grateful for in my life is the incredible gift I have through my work to witness amazing transformation in the lives of real people day after day.

It is possible to live freely and whole-heartedly ~  with joy, a sense of deep connection, and meaningful purpose. I know that from my own lived experience. And those who decide to walk this path with me are forever changed.

Here’s what some of those who have walked the path of transformation with me have to say:

What a thrill to finally arrive at that place of knowing that deep down inside I am enough- I can ask for what I need and people will be there for me. I can soothe myself when I get triggered and find my way home

Every step along the way taught me something about myself and my capabilities- about how to stand in my vulnerabilities and learn from them. About how to trust my inner mentor and speak my truth and live authentically from what my core values and beliefs are. I wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything in the world.

As women we work so hard to tend to others and rarely take the time to consider our needs, or desires or our dreams. This workshop gave me the time to explore my core issues, the beliefs that are holding me back, and to connect with my inner wise mentor the one who knows how to help me move forward on a more positive path.

I came away with a plan for self -care that will encompass my physical, emotional and spiritual health.

I invite you to take this Journey to Wholeness with me……… I have two opportunities for you to explore the best of what I have learned about finding your truest path into an abundant, rich and meaningful life. 


LIVING BRAVE Weekend Retreat
Whidbey Island February 1st-3rd

I’m so excited about this new workshop I have created which combines the” best of the best” of what I have learned from my incredible mentors and teachers.

From Dr. Brene Brown, we will learn how to access our core values to counter the negative shame based paradigms and fears that hold us back

From Tara Mohr– author of  Playing Big – we will learn to quiet the inner critic and access our wise inner mentor to guide us in finding our true path

From Tara Brach we will experience the peace and contentment that comes from developing a deep meditative practice and a mindful approach to life

From Kristen Neff we will learn self- care practices that will nourish and heal

And last but not least from Sherrod and Phyllis Miller– we will learn a tool called the Awareness Wheel that will transform those difficult conversations into meaningful connections.

Join me and an intimate group of like minded soul mates on beautiful Whidbey Island to begin your journey. Your ticket includes dorm style lodging, healthy organic meals, and our own private yoga instructor! Don’t miss this brand new island retreat!

Learn More About Living Brave

Register Now


RISING STRONG Weekend Retreat
Whidbey Island – March 29th-31st

It not always an easy path- this journey within. To get to your deepest truth sometimes means walking through your pain. But what you find on the other side is your power – your inspiration – your truest potential.

Rising Strong is based on the work of Dr. Brené Brown in how to develop resiliency after a loss or disappointment, a failure or a trauma, or just the old paradigms you are ready to let go of. Sometimes we need to make sense of our past before we can move forward into our future.

This research based process shows us step by step how to rumble with our past and transform it into nuggets of golden opportunity and growth. How to write a new ending to our stories of loss or grief or disappointment.

How to let go of our fears and to LIVE BIG – with Boundaries, Integrity and Generosity – so we can live a Whole-Hearted life full of joy and adventure, realizing our true potential.

Each time I experience the transformative work in Rising Strong- I learn something new about myself and how to move forward in my life, and I’m excited to share this life changing process with you. In the beauty of the island, participants find restoration, healing and a new path forward. Your ticket includes dorm style lodging, healthy organic meals, and our own private yoga instruction!

Learn More About Rising Strong

Register Now

Walking Into Our Stories Is the Bravest Thing We’ll Ever Do

According to social scientist Dr. Brené Brown:

“Walking into our stories is the bravest thing we will ever do”

But also the most productive vehicle for learning who we are and what we believe in.

“Rumbling with our stories….leads us to a deeper understanding of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and gives birth to key learnings about our values and our capabilities. It’s where whole-heartedness is cultivated and change begins.”

Taking an honest appraisal begins with cultivating an attitude of curiosity- about the “facts in the story- the assumptions we are making, and checking out and challenging the stories we are telling ourselves. Stories about:

  • Who we are
  • What others think of us
  • What our capabilities and worthiness entitles us to do and be.

(Hint- It’s so much more than we are allowing ourselves to experience.)

It continues with an ability to give the “others” in our world the benefit of the doubt while drawing clear and specific boundaries with them.

It involves a process of letting go of unrealistic expectations of others and being willing to communicate our needs and wants without blame or judgment.

And finally it requires the self-compassion to realize our common humanity- we all make mistakes, we’re all afraid underneath and yet we all have so much more to offer the world.

If the idea of spending a weekend with a group of soul-sisters exploring where you might be stuck, where you want to go and what your true heart desires appeals to you – I hope you’ll join me for my upcoming Rising Strong Island Retreat, September 21-23rd on Whidbey Island.

In this Weekend Workshop we’ll explore the tools to help you

  • Identify the barriers that are holding you back from realizing your dreams
  • Let go of self-doubt and criticism
  • Tap into your most authentic self and practice speaking your truth to yourself and in all your relationships
  • Quit offloading hurt and start moving forward setting clear boundaries with others
  • Learn to “ask for what you want” in a loving and non-confrontational manner

It has been nothing short of awe inspiring to watch as I’ve shared this method with my clients in individual sessions and in the Living Brave Workshops.

To see how each person has applied these methods to their own struggles and to watch as they have become transformed

  • Healing relationships
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Making tough decisions
  • Drawing healthy boundaries
  • Defining clear values which guide their road ahead

I would love to share this work with you. Please join me for my upcoming Rising Strong Island Retreat.

Click here for more details »

Here’s what others are saying…

“This experience was like a spa for the soul- I gained so much clarity-wisdom and inspiration it cleansed my spirit and opened my path”

“Cynthia’s warm and compassionate presence helped all of us feel safe enough to explore our vulnerabilities and cultivate our possibilities with each other which is where the magic happened for me”

“The combination of hearing Brené’s tapes and then having a chance to complete the exercises and share with others was a perfect way to access and then process the wealth of information contained in the workshop”

“Just taking a weekend away from kids and work and responsibilities to focus on my self and my process was a huge gift!”

“Cynthia has such an incredible presence and ability to respond to each persons story with so much wisdom and tenderness- picking out the golden nuggets in each person for them to take home”

And early bird special pricing until August 15th to save another $100!

Click here for more information and to sign up »




Meet Cynthia Benge

A therapist for over 20 years, I guide people from their own “stuck” places to a life full of adventure, meaning and satisfying relationships.

Connect with me: