June 17, 2015

Grief Counseling and Support

I attended my first weekend program at the Option Institute and what a difference those few days made in my life! I learned that I could choose to be happy and loving no matter what was happening around me.

Most importantly, the skills I learned at the Option Institute helped to prepare me for what was just around the corner. Less than a year after going to the Option Institute, my 22-year-old son, Kevin, died in an avalanche while skiing in the Colorado wilderness.

From the moment I heard the news, I was able to choose to see his death, not as some horrible tragedy, but as the exquisite completion of his beautiful life. A surprise and a huge challenge, yes, but I chose to focus on being grateful for the amazing gift of this child in my life, to say a peaceful ‘yes’ to his death as I had said an exuberant ‘yes’ to his life.

In the challenging months that followed, I relied on what I had learned at the Institute to continually explore the beliefs I held about life and death, grief and loss, love and sadness, to help myself continue to say YES and THANK YOU!

I attended the 8 week Living the Dream summer sequence. It continues to be one of the most profound experiences of my life, allowing me to be more self-accepting and grateful for who I am and how I interact with the world. I am sometimes amazed at my capacity to choose happiness! And I find myself incredibly more effective and powerful in my relationships and my work.

I also attended the Optimal Self-Trust program and Wide Awake. My goal was to deepen my capacity to trust myself, to get clear about what’s next for me. I began to create a vision for myself, something I hadn’t been willing to do since my son died, and to be excited about my future. I came away feeling so grounded and powerful, ready to be A Force of Nature™ again! Miracles are indeed possible.

Kathleen Joyce, Educator, Minnesota

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