Hello Spring!

It’s my favorite time of year—a time for new beginnings, for starting over, and for busting out new potentials. The flowers know it, the trees show it, the air is fresh with the scent of movement and change.

I have lots of spring rituals that rev me up and move me forward and charge me into setting some new goals and intentions. They include the usual: a spring detox cleanse, a closet purge, and of course there’s the garden that needs planning and digging and planting. I always try a new exercise routine as well—just to keep my body guessing. And I set a goal to learn something new—this year it’s Mah Jong. An antique set was on my Christmas list and I can’t wait to set it up and try it out.

And of course, there is a bit of soul-searching that goes along with new beginnings—I try to stretch my soul-growing practices as well. I’ve signed up for a breathing practice class. My ayurvedic medicine practitioner told me I hold my breath and it congests and contracts my energy source. Not good for working on expanding consciousness.

What’s on your list of dreams that needs a new beginning? Is there a way you are longing to show up in your relationships or at work but you just don’t quite know how? Is there a path you’ve been longing to take or a change you’ve been wanting to make but you’re too scared to take the first steps? Are you stuck in the same old patterns of self-doubt or self-criticism and you want to break the cycle?

It’s time to get on board—the change you can feel train.

Join me in one of my new programs for Spring and let’s get you moving ahead towards the life you were meant to live.

My favorite spa for the soul program is coming up soon:

Rising Strong™ Island Retreat on Whidbey Island- May 17th-19th

We’ll gather with an amazing group of soul-sisters to learn from each other and from Dr. Brené Brown about how to Rise Strong and Live Brave.

Together we’ll explore:

  • How to live authentically from the heart and your deepest core values.
  • How to lean into vulnerability & the find the courage to speak your truth
  • Practices and tools to help you let go of the inner critic and self-sabotaging beliefs that hold you back
  • How to live with boundaries asking for what you need and want in a clear and positive way
  • Practices for Self-Compassion and Gratitude that are crucial to making changes
  • A step by step method for Rising Strong after failure, disappointment or loss

Click HERE for more information and to register.


And Guys, here’s a new one just for you:

Living Brave the Daring Way™ for Men June 1st & 2nd
The Saturn Building – Seattle

It’s a safe and respectful gathering of a small group of like-minded men, just like you, who want to learn to be better at identifying their needs and wants and communicating those needs to the people most important to them.

It’s a psycho-educational program that will expose you to the work of Dr. Brene Brown and other’s on the subject of the male psyche and the cultural myths and stereotypes that have caused you to feel less connected and alone.

Together we’ll explore:

  • How to better communicate your deepest desires and feelings to the people who are most important to you in your world.
  • How to let go of the struggle for perfection and let go of the feeling of “just not being able to get it right” and translate that into a desire for excellence and feelings of worthiness.
  • Healthy ways to manage strong emotions and feelings and use them for information and indicators of your needs, rather than getting hijacked by them.
  • Tools to help you let go of the inner critic that keeps you stuck in old patterns of behavior
  • And finally, we’ll learn to Rise Strong after struggle, disappointment and loss and use the knowledge you’ve gained to help you find a resilient new beginning.

My colleague Joseph Losi, MA,LMFT, Certified Emotion-Focused Therapist and Mankind Project Director, will join us to teach and support and share his story with all of you. Joseph has spent the last decade working with men and women toward more empowered views of themselves and their partners, and helping them create more loving and fulfilled relationships in his psychotherapy practice. In addition he has fifteen years of experience working with the Mankind Project, a global men’s movement dedicated to male emotional intelligence.

Click HERE for more information and to register.


Our Dreams are achievable. No matter what our age or condition. No matter what came before, no matter our current restrictions. There are still untapped possibilities that lie dormant in each and every one of us.

Join me as we uncover those unrealized potentials and let’s be the change we want to see in the world!

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

After a 20 year phobia of flying… I flew to Paris!

Do you know what it feels like to struggle with something really hard for what seems like an eternity?

Have you given up on something because the battle seemed like… “If it is this hard, something must be wrong about it.”

I’ve been there.

I know what that feels like. I’ve had a 20 year long struggle with a flying phobia, and there were many times I wanted to give up on that struggle…..

But I’m so glad I didn’t because this year I conquered it.

I let it go.

I flew to Paris – that’s Paris, France. An 8 hour flight, and it was MAGIC. No anxiety. No panic attacks. No shaking in my boots.

And a two week adventure that was a dream come true.

Did it happen in an instant with a magical cure?

Did Someone wave a wand, pray for me, give me a mantra, a blood test, a new diet, a tapping technique, read my chart and my chakras and take my trauma history, hypnotize me and instantly it was gone?

Nope. (though each of those things helped a little)

Did it take a lot of work and digging deep and healing some trauma, and using a number of skills and getting clear about my story, and developing a tribe of loving people around me, and a faith in a higher power?


Would I give up all I learned on the way to that magical adventure?


Would I like to have given up all the negative self-talk and shame and blame and the ways I tried to numb that anxiety and all the comparison and angst and everything I missed along the way?


But 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 need to, and I am just where I need to be.

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.
  • About how to live authentically from what my core values and beliefs are.

And I wouldn’t trade those lessons for a trip anywhere in the world.

I’d love to share some of what I learned with you…….that’s my gift:

That I get to share my story and my life lessons with others.

All that pain is turned into gold when that happens for me.

I hope you’ll join me for this amazing weekend where we get to stand in our own story and learn from it.

Where we can dig deep and mine the golden nuggets there in the mud. Where we can learn some tools and techniques to help along the journey and where we can write some new exciting endings.

It’s happening soon – Sept 21st-23rd at Willow Pond Lodge on beautiful Whidbey Island.

Click here for the details »

I hope to see you there

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 »




Beyond Life’s Mid-Point to a Life of Significance


And you
When will you begin that long journey
Into yourself?
– Rumi


I’m feeling grateful for my age.

Not the creaky knees and grey hair part… but the wisdom part.

Where I’ve gained the necessary perspective that life is a journey full of both heart-breaking sadness and exquisite joy.

And the awareness that the parts that break your heart are the very essence of what brings you the most joy.

The holidays are upon us. And I’m aware that the wisdom I’ve gained over the years allows me to embrace both the joyful anticipation of special time with family and friends as well as the deep and tender sadness of missing those I loved and lost.

I can touch into both and allow them to sit side by side at my table.

I’m aware that while there will be no pitter patter of little feet or squeals of joy on Christmas morning. I’m also grateful that I have a son who is now a better cook than I am to help me plan and orchestrate the holiday meals.

I’m aware that while I’m missing my extended family who are spread across the country and it will be just “my dear family of 4” at the Thanksgiving table that we are a small but mighty tribe who love each other well and deeply.

My age has provided me the perspective that life is a mixed bag.

It’s Mid-Life for me now.

I reached a marker birthday this year.

I watched my youngest graduate from college. And launched him off into the world…

I celebrated 30 years with my sweetheart.

I can look back at a rich career that provided the blessing of walking alongside the most amazing people and sharing in their journey of becoming.

I have so much to be grateful for… and yet…

I’m feeling the loss of my role as “full-time” mom.

And the recognition that my time with my dear Mom is a finite reality.

I’m thankful for the “extra time” I have now to do my daily yoga and my nightly ritual of tea and a good book- but I’m also missing that nighttime ritual of tucking little ones into bed- and even the frenzy of the morning routine getting kids off to school.

I have more time to “think” now.

And I’m aware that I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life with the same perspective I’m looking forward to the holidays. There is some sadness and loss there. Some trepidation about what comes next.

As well as some excitement and anticipation for the surprises and open opportunities this new time of life affords.

It’s that messy middle place – where I can look back and say WOW- that was a lot of work and I learned so much and I’m so grateful for the journey


There are some big regrets – there were some missed opportunities and some unhealed parts still yet to work through


I still have some adventures and dreams I hope to realize.

Am I ready? What do I need to know to move forward? How do I move from one phase of significance to another?

One of my goals this year is to support women who are in this Mid-life process with me.

Women who are at a transition point in their lives.

Women who have a perspective from a life well-lived to apply to the life they still have yet to live.

Women who yearn to find their own significance and utilize all the gifts their journey afforded them.

It may be the end of an era, but it’s also the beginning of a new one.

Are you a woman who is at a cross-roads-and wondering what the next steps will be?

  • Maybe you find yourself at a mid-point in your career and you are looking for the PERFECT FIT for your next move and you’re not sure how to find it.
  • Maybe you’ve raised a family and given all you have to others and now you’re ready to realize your own dreams  like learning to paint or dance or travel – but your inner critic is holding you back.
  • Maybe you still have a dream of embarking on that brilliant business plan you’ve always wanted to try and your fears of failure or not being good enough are holding you back.
  • Maybe you are ready to move from success to significance and want to move forward with a purpose… but trying to find something meaningful and perfect for you seems so overwhelming, you don’t know where to start.
  • Maybe you are in a place of wanting to make some sense of your story so you can move forward free of old wounds and limitations… to rework some hurt relationships or past disappointments.

How YOU can step forward into the next phase of your life… creating a life of significance.

Join us and discover how you can move forward with more authenticity and resiliency and with a deeper sense of your worthiness.

  • We’ll uncover how we can transform our life of bittersweet experience into new stories of empowerment, and new pathways of meaning and significance.
  • We’ll address the unique circumstances we face crossing this life threshold at the mid-point, and what it means for identity, our wounds from the past, and the courage to move forward with meaningful purpose and authenticity.
  • We’ll find our vision for this wild and wonderful life still ahead of us. And the stepping stones to get us unstuck and moving forward through our fears and old, limiting stories that try to tell us we can’t.

Our life is still unfinished.

The place of the messy middle can be confusing, even depressing. It can make us question who we are and where we’re going.

But we women have so much more left to give. More than at any other point in our lives. All it takes is for us rise strong and dare to go forth greatly.

This small, intimate workshop is both educational and deeply experiential- designed to provide a safe and supportive space for you to identify what’s holding you back from stepping more fully into the life you truly desire. Where our values and most significant truths guide the next steps – and the second acts that we long for.


“I greatly appreciate the space that Cynthia created for each of us to share our stories whenever we were ready to do so with no pressure, just encouragement. She adapted the schedule as we needed and made sure we were all heard and supported”

“This weekend was profoundly meaningful! Cynthia creates a connecting, safe learning environment where we were all free to explore big aspects of our lives, inviting positive growth and change toward developing our best selves. We were so well cared for, from the food, to the location, to the programming- every detail was so well thought out and contributed to a regenerating and re-fueling retreat weekend!”

“This was a lovely weekend of Rising Strong with smart and emotionally intelligent women. I felt like it gave me a start to redefine my life and give voice to my feelings which I’m not always comfortable with. I came away with the courage to go deeper”

“For every session Cynthia had great bits of wisdom that made the material come alive and really resonated with me this weekend! Fabulous!”


It’s a gift to yourself to take some time away to ask some of those big questions.

And take the time to ponder and plan and dream and hope. To find clarity and meaning.

And to have a guide at your side that can help you find your way forward, or unravel those old wounds, or reveal that strength and courage within you…

To create a life of wonderful significance.

And start to free yourself from your past identities, wounds, and limitations.

Daring Greatly From the Mid-Point Forward will show you how to move forward from your core values and live a whole-hearted life where your most significant truths drive your steps forward.

All in the context of the very phase of life you find yourself now, with people who know exactly what you’re going through. So everything is tailored to what you face right now in your life.

January 20th & 21st
The Saturn Building –Fremont


Register Here

And then coming in April take it one step further….

Rising Strong From the Mid-Point Forward ISLAND RETREAT will show you how to make sense of your story and write some new endings. How to learn from the losses and how to rumble with the unhealed parts of your journey so you can move forward with more truth and authenticity.

April 13-15th
Whidbey Island, Washington


Register Here

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: