Capable Capable
Capable Capable

Comments from workshop participants
Arnold Siegel —December 11, 2012

The Retreat marked a turning point where I began to experience myself, my family commitments and my career from a previously unknown vantage point. What’s different about the Retreat is the experience of allowing yourself to examine your life from the perspective of what really matters. For me, I needed the four days [now a three-day intensive] to separate myself from the challenges and distractions of everyday life.

Director of Sales, CA

As successfully driven as we may be in our daily responsibilities, we rarely make time to think, to plan substantively or to consider who we might become for the balance of our short lives, not to mention the emotional cost of our shortsightedness. But this is all profoundly addressed in the Retreat. Inspiration comes from unexpected sources. This Retreat sets the perfect context from which to reevaluate our lives and our possibilities. The class’s cognitive distance offers a powerful view of the very real daily demands and opportunities of family, culture, and economy. This better understanding of who we are delivers an unexpectedly robust emotional stability that carries forward into the rest of our lives.

In the rush of daily demands we often forget who we want to be, and after a few years find ourselves in places we don’t like. There is enormous relief in returning to a self-governed path that doesn’t compromise the poetic promise which our lives once seemed to offer.

Executive Vice President, NJ

I used to use language as a weapon. I sliced through people, careful to be funny, careless about the pain I caused. I remember in the Retreat wondering who I’d be if I managed to drop this out, worrying there’d be no one left. Changes came in ways I hadn’t imagined. People become safe in my company. My intent reversed itself, righted itself. I still looked for things to say, wanting to be poignant. But I looked for helpful things, relevant things. I discovered my own kindness.  I became, in a sense, a gentleman.

Freelance Writer, NH

I am the creative force behind my life. The Retreat is an opportunity to create space, to re-calibrate and reorient yourself to what’s most important—to identify and create a plan for steering toward true north.

Vice President, Strategic Communications, MA

The Retreat is always such a wonderful and effective way to free yourself from what was hitherto running you. I feel great almost all day, everyday—despite my company’s reorganization leaving me with twice as much work! Understanding our place in the human history of transcendence has freed me from the culturally enforced emotional highs and lows and has infused my life with profound meaning, inspiration, and contribution. I recommend the Retreat because it is the first step in acquiring the experience I’ve described above.

Psychologist, PhD., CA

My participation in the Retreat has given me a tremendous advantage in the workplace. I have become more pragmatic, more persuasive, more competitive and in every way more valuable to my employer. Being at the Retreat gives you the opportunity to be in a beautiful environment, away from your demanding life. You will spend four days [now a three-day intensive] doing something meaningful and significant for yourself, the result of which not only benefits you but also everyone else you know. Amazing really!!

Manager, Employee Relations, CA

I would tell my family and friends if you want a real vacation—a vacation from the inner reflexive voice and the outer tumultuous world, do the Retreat.

Retired Teacher, RI

The reason I would recommend the Retreat to someone: It is the very practical and the very profound opportunity to live life creatively, with the courage and the boldness to match our unique dreams with our real-world circumstances.

President, Court Reporting, Video and Litigation Services, CA

The Retreat revealed a vocabulary, a perspective and a discipline that were missing from my formal, religious, and familial education. These “missing pieces” have become the resources with which I discovered what it means to think for myself. And in the process I’ve come to (author) know the (experience) meaning of freedom, substance, and self-possession.

Vice President, Creative Director, Children’s Publishing Division, NY

Insights and strategies gained by participating in the Retreat have been life-altering both professionally and personally. My improved self-understanding has resulted in greater focus and effectiveness at work. I work fewer hours, with less stress and find myself more productive.

Financial Advisor, Branch Manager, NY

Participation in the Retreat created an opening for thinking about my existence from the perspective of discipline and self-control.

Mental Health Clinician, CA

In The Retreat, Arnold Siegel taught me what it means to be a free person. Now I make much more purposeful choices. My feelings are richer; my thinking is sharper and more creative, and my action ever more focused and decisive. I give myself to my social and family roles with greater competence and affinity. And my planning, which had always been problematic, is a challenge I approach with discipline, patience and joy.

Technical Writer, NJ

The Retreat was the single most profound experience of my life. After years of looking at many different ways to address discontent and always coming away with having not learned enough to really experience life, on any ongoing basis, as meaningful or substantial – I found the Retreat not only deeply moving but pointedly relevant and comprehensive. Nothing is left out; the complexities of being human are thoroughly addressed.

Landscape Designer, NJ

The Retreat was a gift; I was able to see beyond my daily hectic schedule and given a chance to deepen my connection to life. No longer chained down by impulsive emotions, the Retreat has given me the freedom to create the person I want to be. Working with Arnold has given me the discipline and insight to work harder, accomplish more and love deeper.

Assistant Sales Trader, NJ

The Retreat provides a profound appreciation for life moment by moment, discounting the complacency and sheer boredom that might otherwise result from a patterned and habituated behavioral adaptation. Participation involves a unique blend of innovation, creativity and substance, as we lead humanity in a new direction.

Litigation Attorney, CA

My participation in this class has enabled me to create a profitable business that continues to be personally rewarding, clients that appreciate my services enough to refer me to others (I don’t advertise) and vital in a time of significant economic uncertainty.

President, Technology Services, MA

When I think back to my experience of living before I started working with Arnold Siegel, I barely recognize the person I was then. My life is fulfilling and I rarely suffer. I feel empathy for others rather than just having good social skills. No longer looking for solace in overeating or responding with rivalrous antagonism, my close relationships are far more loving and less punitive or judgmental. My business has prospered and my planning is more directed towards the contribution I have to make rather than “making a killing.”

In spite of things not always going my way, I have the strength of Autonomy to handle what comes my way, reaching for my inner resourcefulness rather than being paralyzed with fear or becoming aggressively rivalrous. The anxieties that show up are short-lived because I have learned through the discipline of Autonomy how to transcend them in a very short period of time. Although it is a continuing process, the intelligence I gained from my first retreat was the beginning of understanding what it means to be human and experiencing a life of joy and fulfillment regardless of the circumstances. As a result, I love and celebrate my life no matter what is going on and I look forward to and feel grateful for every single day.

Founder, Wealth Consulting Company, NJ

The Retreat provided a long sought after relief from life as a never fully satisfying competitive struggle, and began an exciting, profoundly interesting exploration, an experimental and artful approach to life. Feelings, the whole catalogue of them, stopped being experiences that got in the way of realizing my goals, and rather just some of the useful content of my existence.

Teacher, RI

Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and the leader of its
Workshops and Advanced Classes.