The Return: A Weekend Seminar


Can you love like you’ve never been hurt?

No, fortunately, you can’t.

The only way you will ever love is as if you’ve been hurt in the past. You have. We all have. You can’t remove your past hurt anymore than you can one of your arms or legs – it’s a part of who you are. It’s played a vital role in shaping the person you have become.

Here’s the real question you have to answer: How has the pain you have experienced in the past affected your capacity to love in the present?

What does this expression mean to you?:

Live an original life, not the one you’ve inherited.

Are you living an original life – a life of your own making? Or are you reacting to the hurt that’s been inflicted on you by others and living this reaction over and over again, day after day?

When you were born, all you desired was love. This is still all you desire. When others did not give you the love you desired in the form you desired it in, you launched a process you still practice to this day. You designed this process to protect you from further pain, because the pain you experienced hurt too much. You grew up believing that you should flee from suffering, or even the possibility of suffering. This process has brought you to where you are today, a place where, if you are like most of the people you share this planet with, your perception of love prevents you from loving.

The Return is a weekend seminar with one simple goal: to enable you to return to your original nature, rediscover your core values and deepest life Vision, and experience truly love and freedom – characterized by an expansive lightness of being, a renewed capacity to feel, and a revitalized heart connection with yourself and others – once again.

What Will The Return Do For Me?

By participating in The Return, you will learn how to:

•    Stop projecting onto others based on your past hurt and start accepting them as they truly are

•    No longer exist in a state of fear that drives you to try to control others and instead live in a state of love in which you are constantly overwhelmed by the true beauty residing within you and others

•    See others through an unbiased, judgment-free lens that appreciates their uniqueness

•    Stop living in an unfulfilling, transactional state controlled by your mind and accentuated by your cell phone, text messages, email account and all the thoughts and preoccupations they generate that circumscribe your life; and instead enter a transformational state where you reconnect with your heart and how you genuinely feel about your life

•    Step off the pendulum that swings between submissive and aggressive and learn how to express your authentic feelings, rooted in your intuitive heart-sensing of truth and love

•    Remove your hands from over your eyes and stop weeping about how dark the world appears

•    Forgive those who have committed the actions you are most resentful about in your life, and in so doing, free yourself from the emotional entanglement with them that continues to obstruct you from experiencing true love

•    Understand and integrate into your life the unexpected connection (explained in The Return) between a love for truth and true love

•    Develop an unprecedented gratitude for every event in your life – independent of whether it brings joy or pain – that you experience in your time on this planet

•    Rebrand your relationship with your past suffering. You will no longer allow it to convert itself into a venomous anger that paralyzes you and prevents you from being truly alive. Instead, you will learn one of the greatest lessons of this weekend seminar: how to use the suffering you have experienced in your life to crystallize your deepest values

•    Reengineer your relationship with your fear, and also see it as necessary for your personal growth rather than something to run and hide from

•    Break the emotional chains that prevent you from truly living, and in so doing, learn how to experience true love and an infinite freedom that you will live every day

•    Dissipate the paralyzing tentacles of resentment and become ‘unstuck’ so you can love again and live the life you have always desired

•    Stop judging others for not being like you and start accepting them as they are

•    Eliminate the emotional barriers you have created in your life that prevent you from experiencing true love

•    Experience the present moment in all its unobserved splendor –  full of love, limitless potential and interconnectedness with others

•    Stop feeling powerless and take charge of your life by discovering the tremendous power that surfaces once you recognize the immense love laying dormant within you

•    Understand the meaning of ‘heart consciousness’, and how to enter and then remain in this exalted state

Discover The Simplicity Beyond Complexity

There are three stages in life: simplicity; complexity; and the simplicity beyond complexity. You were born in a state of simplicity: a natural, loving vulnerability and openness to the world. Then you entered the state of complexity: trying new things, new relationships, new experiences. You were hurt – first by the people closest to you, and then by others. You have been reacting to this hurt ever since. You are most likely still living in this state of complexity. That’s why so much about your life and this world does not make sense to you, and why you have been unable to return to the original state you were born in – simplicity – in which you were able to love purely, with a completely open heart.

You long to be vulnerable again, but you can’t. You yearn to once again feel closeness, intimacy, and uninhibited companionship with another human being. But you can’t. Why? Because the way back to simplicity is not by avoiding or running away from complexity. Your attempts to do so – to forget your past hurt and love again with reckless abandon are always – ALWAYS – derailed when the other person inevitably disappoints you and reinforces the drama you have come to know too well, in which you extend yourself to another human being, get hurt, and then dejectedly retreat into yourself again, reeling and licking your wounds from another failed connection.

While you can’t run from complexity, there is now a way to move through it – to the simplicity beyond complexity. This revolutionary, life-transforming technique – which you will learn over an entire weekend – is called The Return because it will enable you to return to your original nature that embraced love, freedom and a true, heartfelt connection with others.
 Yet the simplicity you will return to will be different. The love you will experience after The Return will not be the innocent love you once knew. It will not be the idyllic love you have been unsuccessfully trying to integrate into your life alongside your career and the other competing demands on your time. It will be a radically different construction of love – entirely unique to you and rooted in the personal values you have strengthened over a lifetime. Your past suffering will shift emotionally within you from something you struggle to avoid to something you hold in your heart with sublime gratitude, with the awareness that it has enabled you to become the person you are today.

What Will My Life Be Like After The Return?

Over this weekend, you will have the opportunity to return to the natural state you were born into: a state of acceptance, non-judgment, wonder, curiosity, interconnectedness with the people around you, and love. A state of heart consciousness.

After completing The Return, you will be better equipped to:

•    Choose the right life partner

•    Get out of dead-end relationships that aren’t aligned with your values or your heart’s true desire

•    Revitalize and inject much-needed love into dysfunctional or barely functional family relationships

•    Build true friendships, through a knowing that friends are like priorities – if you have too many you end up with none

•    Rediscover your passion in life: the passion that emanates from your heart and informs you of your life’s purpose

•    Discover the one thing you can provide to the world through your career that can never be outsourced

•    Make a landmark shift from interacting with everyone in your career and getting nowhere to interacting with fewer people and creating something powerful and impactful

•    Pay more attention to your heart from day to day and stop allowing your mind – and the thoughts it generates – from controlling your life

•    Reengineer your relationship with email, the internet, your cell phone, your text messages and Facebook so you add less unnecessary thoughts to your mind and make space for the voice emanating from your heart

About the Facilitator

 

Anthony Silard has provided life and leadership coaching to thousands of individuals for almost two decades. His next book, The Connection: Unlock the Power Within to Create the Life You Desire, will be published by Simon & Schuster in January. While coaching the CEOs and senior leaders of Fortune 100 companies such as Disney, IBM and GE; small businesses; and the world’s largest nonprofits, such as CARE, Save the Children and the American Red Cross, Anthony has discovered that the most difficult challenges a person experiences in the way they interact with others – whether in the office or at home – can always be traced back to a person in their life they need to forgive. In Anthony’s words:


We make judgments about the people who have hurt us the most in our lives because these judgments provide a false security that by doing so we will not experience the pain any longer, and that we will walk a new path that does not attract similar hurt from others. The opposite always happens. Each judgment creates an emotional entanglement with another person. Our hopes for something better become dashed as these emotional chains harden and then replicate in every new relationship. Many of us become bound for a lifetime. The Return will enable you to break the emotional chains that bind you and return to your original state of curiosity, wonder, true freedom, and love.

What Are Participants Saying?

Tony’s facilitation for me was authentic, skilled, vulnerable, accessible.  I believe he modeled compassionate, empathic listening.  Specifically, I observed his sensitivity to participants’ needs and struggles and he was able to diffuse what I perceived to be potentially dangerous and painful exchanges. He did this with skill and grace.

— Andrea Gerson

I found Anthony to be very open and caring about our group of individuals.  He was a very good listener and at the same time was able to keep us on target.  I liked his openness and positive feedback.

— Norm Zelenko


I experienced Tony as a very sensitive, authentic, and experienced group facilitator.  He was patient, non-critical or judgmental, inclusive, positive, picked up on participants’ positive actions and rewarded them, allowed less confident members to join in or not, and never missed a teaching point.

— Judy Holden

Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered… PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

— Sharon Gallagher,  
American Red Cross


The Return: Session Descriptions

Your Five True Identities

Vision without Action is a daydream.

Action without Vision is a nightmare.

— Ancient Japanese proverb

In the first session of The Return, you will learn your Five True Identities, and how they will guide you from this day forward to create the life you desire. You will also learn how our tendency to stray from our Five True Identities always results in our making decisions that alienate us from ourselves and others, and derail our best laid plans.

Consider whether each of the following statements is True or False as it applies to where you currently are in your life:

  • I’m not sure what I want to do with my life.
  • I always seem to get into the wrong relationships.
  • My job pays the bills, but doesn’t fulfill me.
  • I’m too hard on myself.
  • I feel stressed out often.
  • I spend too much time and energy trying to please others.
  • I’ve got lots of good ideas, the problem is executing on them.
  • I know if I had more self-confidence I would go for what I really want in life.
  • I am a giver, and have trouble receiving from others.
  • I don’t spend enough time doing what’s truly important to me.
  • A negative comment from someone else can ruin my whole day.
  • This isn’t where I thought I would be in my life.
  • I wish I controlled my email, but usually it’s the other way around.
  • I come home completely exhausted and want my partner (or family members) to understand it’s the nature of my job; they generally don’t.
  • It’s easy to schedule meetings with others. It’s hard to schedule time for myself. When I do (e.g. yoga, sports, vacations) I often sabotage the time I’ve carved out for myself by leaving the office late.
  • When I finally take a vacation, I vow to do things differently when I get back. It never lasts.
  • I know how to take care of others, but not of myself.
  • I keep thinking, “One day, it won’t be such a struggle.” That day never seems to come.
  • Sometimes when I’m in a relationship I forget about everything else, including my friends.
  • I take my work home with me. I’m hardly ever completely disconnected from my work.

If you answered True to at least 5-10 of the above questions, then the first two sessions of The Return have been especially designed for you.

The first two sessions of The Return – based on Anthony Silard’s book Full Alignment: Transform Your Life Vision into Action (which will be provided to all participants) – blend psychology, philosophy, personal development and life/leadership coaching into transformative strategies to:

1)    Identify your personal Vision, core beliefs and values

2)    Identify your spheres to create work/life balance

3)    Take care of and nurture yourself

4)    Unhinge your self-esteem from your performance and the good opinions of others

5)    Increase your tolerance for taking risks

6)    Learn how to trust your heart more and get the best from your mind without letting it control you

7)    Win “The War on Email”

8)    Make the shift back from Facebook to Face-to-Face interaction

9)    Put off until tomorrow what you shouldn’t be doing at all


The Language That Is You

It is because of the silences in between the notes that
you hear music. 
Otherwise you would just hear noise.

When you listen to an excellent jazz pianist, or a rock ‘n roll guitarist, it causes a sensation within you. It removes you from the laborious world of your thoughts and enables you to experience an emotion, a feeling, a sublime experience of being entirely present in the here and now: Alive. Some associate this sensation with love, truth, bliss. Yet the rock ‘n roll guitarist or jazz pianist that creates this amazing sensation within you that goes beyond logic had to learn a very deliberate, detailed set of chords and notes – a language – and adhere to its strict rules in order to create such beautiful, evocative music.

Every language that we use today – whether it’s the language of guitar, or piano, or English or Spanish – was created by the Vision of a group of people, a Vision that evolved over time into what we have grown accustomed to speaking every day.

“How does this relate to me?” you may be thinking. You will be remembered for the language you uniquely develop over a lifetime. Your connection to your values and deeper intuition about how you want to act toward others and determine your everyday choices will enable you to create the guidelines and parameters of your language.

What will be your language? What rules will govern it? How will you create and then speak it for a lifetime? This language defines who you are and what you will become.

Your language is comprised of your deepest values and designed by your Five True Identities (which you will learn in the first session), and is constantly evolving. In this session, you will learn how to proactively create and then speak your own language.

Learning how to design and speak your own language will enable you to:

•    Strengthen your heart connection with yourself and others

•    Integrate your deepest priorities into the life you are living now

•    Discover what love and truth mean in your life, and how to express them in your daily actions

•    Let your most important life priorities determine your daily tasks, not the other way around

•    Make a meaningful connection with your deeper values and the people you most love and care about

•    Allow this connection to guide you toward a life filled with success, meaning and happiness

•    Manage your time more effectively by learning how to say ‘No’ – with the understanding that when you say ‘No’ to something, you are almost always saying a ‘Deeper Yes’ to something else

•    Express who you are and the person you want to become with a disarming honesty that makes others want to help you achieve your goals

•    Clarify your most important life goals, and begin taking compelling actions to achieve them

The Rope and The Snake: What We Fear We Draw Near

Fear comes from doubting that you will learn
what you need to know to live the life you desire.

Fear is like a group of little barking dogs. Run from them, and they will chase you for the rest of your life. Face them, and they will flee. Whatever you think about you attract to your life – including anything you fear. By fearing something, then, you empower it. Instead of moving toward your life Vision, you move toward the object of your fear. How? First by running from it (repulsion), and then by being attracted back toward it through a MARF (see below).

What is your greatest fear? Unless you confront it, you will attract it into your life. This sounds daunting, but here’s the good news: your true fear may not be what you think it is. It may be a fear of something that’s much less harmful, yet that lurks much deeper within you. Once you confront your fears, you will become much more capable of and open to accessing the much greater love that lays dormant within you.

In this transformational workshop, you will come to understand the true purpose of fear, why God placed this potent emotion inside you, and how to leverage it for your own personal growth. Come to this workshop ready to confront your greatest fear, and you will leave with your fear no longer controlling you, but instead walking alongside you as a friend. Not your best friend, but a partner on your journey that you understand and know how to handle. This new understanding of fear will not only help you to rid your life of the negative aspects of fear, but will also help you to reap its positive benefits.

In this session, you will learn:

•    Our misunderstanding about fear, and how this misunderstanding pushes us to try to control others, derailing opportunities for true friendship and intimacy

•    Why we waste so many years of our lives existing in a state of fear instead of living in a state of love

•    Why the best and only way out of your fear is to work through it

•    Why fear is our most misunderstood and incorrectly-utilized emotion

•    How to not get rid of your fear, but learn to live with it

•    How to recognize when fear can actually help you

•    How to stop confusing the necessary fear you need to survive with misplaced fear that cuts off valuable opportunities for love, connection and happiness in your life

The Happiness Myth
You don’t always get what you want, 

but you always – ALWAYS – get what you need.

The word ‘happiness’ shows up in thousands of book titles that promise readers more of this wonder drug. This is nothing new: America was founded with ‘the pursuit of happiness’ as one of its primary objectives. Yet what if there is a higher, more important and more rewarding life goal that distinctly requires some measure of suffering and discomfort to achieve? There is – and you will discover it in this controversial session.

Anthony Silard once wrote: Don’t let someone else’s suffering spoil your own. Here are a few questions he will ask you in this session that may cause you to reflect differently on the most challenging events in your life. In this session, Anthony will first ask you to bring to mind someone who has hurt you, or an event (e.g losing your job or a difficult break-up) that has caused you a lot of suffering. He will then ask you a number of questions to reengineer your relationship with your suffering, such as:

1.    What is the benefit that this person or event has brought to my life? What dysfunctional habit or pattern was I living out that they helped cure me of?

2.    How did I attract this person or event into my life, or keep them/it in my life, to teach me this lesson?

3.    What would be the disadvantage to me if this person or event had not come into my life? What would my life be like now had I not learned the transformational lesson they came into my life to teach me?

4.    What do I most value in this area of my life? How has this person helped me to crystallize this value? How have they helped me to clarify my true path toward my life Vision?

In this session, Anthony will challenge conventional wisdom and explain how this revolutionary process will enable you to rethink how you perceive your most challenging life moments.

In this session, you will learn:

•    The illusory way most of us perceive our pain, and how this misperception ruins our lives

•    The true, surprising source of your passion

•    How to rebrand your most challenging life moments as indispensable fuel for positive change and personal growth

•    How a genuine understanding of the source of your passion will enable you to discover the passion deep within you to change something in the world that will endure for a lifetime

•    One of the most impactful and life-transforming exercises of The Return: how to identify your one Unanswerable Question

•    How to balance accepting and feeling your suffering with moving on from it in order to use it to enhance your overall happiness and sense of life direction

•    How to let go of the “victim mentality” and take responsibility for your life

•    How to prevent the life-extinguishing tentacles of guilt and worry from remaining wrapped around you and instead truly embrace and live in the only moment that exists – the present

•    How to claim true power over your emotions, and to recognize that no person or life event can makeyou feel anything, and that your feelings are truly your own

Magnetic Attractor Repulsor Fields (MARFS): What They Are, How You Get Stuck in Them, and How to Break the Emotional Chains that Obstruct Your Freedom

 Whatever you do not learn to love in your life, you will repeat.


This session comes from a revelation Anthony had while hiking alone in Argentine Patagonia a few years ago. The central premise: For anyone whom you have ever met in your lifetime – esp. a parent, family member or partner – whom you have not learned to love, you will repeat the same relationship dynamic until you learn to forgive, appreciate and, yes, love them as they are. This synchronizes with the Beyond Forgiveness and The Rope and The Snake: What We Fear We Draw Near sessions, and is the core framework of The Return.

A MARF is a Magnetic Attractor Repulsor Field. There is a very intricate process that causes a MARF to take hold of your life. When you pass judgment on someone for how they have acted toward you instead of loving them exactly as they are, you set in motion an unending pendulum swing between attraction and repulsion that begins with your dissociation from their behaviors and ends with your acquiring the exact same character quality you’ve judged!

In this breakthrough session, Anthony explains how this revolutionary process takes place, and then guides you – through an elaborate series of exercises – in how to eliminate your MARFs. Once you clean up your MARFs, you will feel as if you have been given a fresh start to life – as if you are free, and traveling without heavy baggage for the first time. You are. You will enable the key to your self-imposed prison cell to materialize. You will experience firsthand the immense power of love to set you free.

Once free from your MARFs, you will:

•    Build and sustain relationships (new and old) without resentments and misunderstanding

•    Free yourself from the limiting focus on the specific character qualities you associate with your past hurt that have eclipsed the ideal Vision you have of yourself and what your life can become

•    Recognize that we all embody every human characteristic both negative and positive, but to different degrees at different times

•    Feel more in control and confident

•    Feel the joy and peacefulness that comes when love replaces judgment in your life


Beyond Forgiveness

Whatever you judge, you will become.

In his coaching work with CEOs, senior leaders and individuals, Anthony Silard has discovered that the problems someone is experiencing in the office or at home can always – ALWAYS – be traced back to someone from their past whom they need to forgive. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company could not resolve his anger management issues until he forgave his father, whose high expectations of others – and uncontrollable frustration when those expectations were not met – he had inherited. A man who left every relationship when it became too intimate had to forgive his mother for leaving his father.

Who do you need to forgive in your life? Bring their photo or mental image to this session. Many people come to this workshop absolutely certain (really! 100 percent sure!) that they are not yet ready to forgive someone who has ‘wronged’ them. Within ninety minutes, they come to realize that the person ‘righted’ them. It is this realization that enables them to forgive the person in question and move on with their lives! As you will learn in this fundamental workshop that challenges our entrenched patterns and conventional wisdom around handling the pain we experience in relationships, forgiveness is merely the first step on a much greater path. You will discover what is even higher than forgiveness, and how it will bring love and acceptance – of yourself and others – back into your life.

Once you are beyond forgiveness, where are you? 
You are in a place governed by:

•    Wisdom

•    Love

•    Trust

•    Acceptance (and sometimes even admiration)

•    Understanding

•    Gratitude

 

 

Once you are beyond forgiveness, you will be better able to:

•    Control your own impact on the people and situations around you•    Grow current relationships and go back to “repair” past ones•    Recognize your own assets and strengths•    Peacefully resolve conflicts at work and home

•    See the good in any given situation and/or person and use it to help bring love into your own life and the lives of those around you (instead of guilt, stress, frustration, etc.)

•    Sleep more restfully and be more fully awake

•    Live your original life and not the one you “inherited”

Cultivating Heart Consciousness

When we look for love,
we seek it in exactly the form we desire it in,
and ignore it in all the various forms
in which it already appears in our lives.

Anthony Silard once wrote, “I looked for love and it was nowhere. I loved and it was everywhere.” What does the term “unconditional love” mean to you? What are your preconceptions about love? In this profound workshop that deals with the deepest part of each of us, you will discover how the image of love that is firmly entrenched in your mind is precisely what prevents you from experiencing true love and inner freedom.What does it mean to have ‘heart consciousness’? Is it possible to learn how to make your life decisions from the heart rather than the mind? If it’s possible, is it advisable?

Galileo once wrote, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, has intended us to forgo their use.” Was the Italian astronomer and philosopher correct? When does the mind help us, and when does it get us into trouble? How can we tap into the deeper consciousness that resides within our hearts – the consciousness that intuitively understands our life’s greatest purpose, that knows when it is in the presence of truth and when it’s ‘being taken’ – and has its reasons that go beyond reason?

Do we understand what love truly is? Our minds frequently misinterpret love and assign it qualities that are not love at all, such as possessiveness, insistence, competition and craving. We often ignore the love that is given to us from ourselves, our families, our friends, and become fixated on the one specific form we crave it in, e.g. “My father’s saying something supportive about my new career choice” or “My partner writing me a card, or bringing me flowers, or saying ‘I love you’ more often” or “Someone thinking I’m attractive and asking me out.” The more you recognize the love that already exists within and around you, the more you will attract it in the new form you desire it in.

In this session, you will learn the 10 Universal Principles of Love, such as:

1)    Love can come from anywhere. Once love is created, it can move in any direction.

2)    A relationship is like a mirror. The other person holds up a mirror to your soul and says, “Stop and take a look at what’s inside. See the love that resides within you.” This is why many people avoid relationships. They are not ready to confront themselves or the love within them, as to do so would invite risk, which could result in rejection and pain.

3)    While we have absolutely no power over when and how and how much love we receive, we have 100 percent power over how we give it to others.

The 10 Universal Principles of Love will help you to:

•    Make decisions that are uniquely right for you, including emotionally and spiritually

•    Understand your unlimited capacity to both give and receive, and leverage it to give and receive more in your life and grow your relationships

•    Experience a secure feeling of warmth even when what’s around you appears hard and cold

•    Help others feel this warmth and security

•    Genuinely feel love without expectations or illusions

•    Be fully ALIVE – at work, with friends, with your partner, and in all of your relationships, including your relationship with yourself

 

What Others Experienced…

 

Tony has a unique personal character/style that creates an atmosphere that is warm, relaxed and casual. The way he speaks and interacts with others makes people willing to open up and be honest during the workshop.

— Tan Mongkolpla, 
George Washington University

 

I was not planning on attending the workshop because there was too much going on in my life. Work was really hectic and I had a deadline coming up. But once I got to the class I realized it was more relaxing to be there, spending some time focusing on myself, rather than being at home worrying about all that I had to do.

 

— Francyni Salido, World Bank

 

I thought the facilitation was great. Tony did an excellent job of keeping everyone on task and holding interest throughout. His facilitation style was relaxed and engaging. He made an effort to connect with the group by sharing pieces of himself and his own history, and by consistently soliciting feedback on activities and agenda items. I appreciated Tony’s sincerity, his flexibility, and his obvious expertise in the topics discussed.

 

— Michaela Kelaghan, The Latin American Youth Center

 

Tony really facilitated rather than trying to impose his ideas or beliefs. He led us through a very sequential process of coming up with the goals and objectives that we had in our minds already. Yet when we asked for suggestions and his opinion he was willing to give it and was very knowledgeable and experienced.

 

— Heidi Kilgore, ROCK

 

Contact GLI if you are interested in setting up The Return as a retreat for your company or with a group of friends or colleagues.

 

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