October 24, 2014

Grief

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Grief has impacted many of us at various times in life – death of a loved one, illness, the end of a relationship, financial loss and the perception of failure in a career. We have been programmed to respond to such dramatic events with sadness. We have accepted the natural process of grief and submitted ourselves to the sadness and difficulties that follow our losses. But, we don’t have to continue with this same pattern! At The Option Institute we believe that grief is an optional response to an event and that we can choose another path. Read below for more information.

 

How Grief Affects Our Lives

Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one or the ending of a relationship. We are taught that the “natural” response to such a life event is grief-a deep sadness about the loss. While grief is certainly a typical response in the grieving process, to say that it is natural is to speak as if we are somehow biologically programmed to experience it. And, indeed, that is what most of us are taught. We are told that there are natural stages of grief that we must pass through when experiencing a loss. In fact, in 1974 The Handbook of Psychiatry defined grief as “. . . the normal response to the loss of a loved one by death.” We, however, believe that grief is optional, not inevitable.

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How The Option Institute Can Help

We would never advocate the suppression of the grieving process for those who feel that they need to grieve. At the same time, if you are looking for a way to move beyond your grief, we can offer you concrete assistance. We can help you examine the learned beliefs and perspectives you hold which continue to support your grief and sadness. Then, you will have the opportunity to make key decisions about whether to retain or jettison these beliefs. The teachers of our programs will help you in the most nonjudgmental way, not pushing you, but rather opening doors for your understanding and change. Many of us, particularly those of us who have lost a loved one, fear letting go of our grief. We are afraid that in letting go of our grief, we will be somehow letting go of our love and caring of the one we have lost. We can show you how to treasure the one you have lost and deepen your caring for this person -with your gratitude, rather than your sadness. We can help you to move on with your life-not as a dismissal of the one you loved, but as a celebration of them.

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Option Institute Programs for Grief

The Happiness Option

How often have you struggled with sadness or felt overwhelmed by your grief and wished you weren’t in the position that you’re in. When people been asking you how you’re feeling, or have been trying to console you – have you longed for the day when you will be able to respond to them with an enthusiastic “I’m doing great!”? With The Happiness Option, it is possible to make today that day!

In The Happiness Option you’ll learn to transform your sadness grief into happiness. You will learn that happiness isn’t something that just happens to you, but rather, something you can choose at any time, in any situation. You will acquire practical tools and strategies that will let you choose to be happy even in the face of sorrow and doubt.

Calm Amid Chaos

Life is full of the unexpected. We live in a world of constant change. Often, people find themselves responding to changes by feeling challenged, sad and incapable of handling things. Imagine being able to maintain an inner quiet and strength in the face of challenging and seemingly incomprehensible events. In Calm Amid Chaos, The Option Institute presents a program uniquely constructed to help you design an internal compass that will allow you to stand easy and organize a digestible frame of reference to make sense out of the apparently incomprehensible. This includes everything from the sudden loss of someone you love, the diagnosis of a serious illness, economic challenges to national/international events of terrorism or war.

Revitalize Your Spirit

Are you feeling handicapped by your grief? Are you having to try hard just to accomplish seemingly easy tasks, worrying about what the future holds, sleeping less and falling further and further behind with responsibilities and commitments that keep piling up? Does it feel like more you can handle? Revitalize Your Spirit is the perfect opportunity to retreat from the stresses of life, to renew yourself and to gain clarity. Through this programs you will acquire tools and a new perspective, within each you will be able to find relief, renewal and revitalization.

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Personal Stories — Letting Go of Grief

I have changed my vision of the life I want to and am able to live, by virtue of my stay here. I am just so excited about the person I’m becoming. I never thought I’d be able to feel anything but pain over my dad’s death, but now I see his death as the gift that brought me here. I know somewhere he is looking and smiling and being very present in my life!

Emily R., Marketing Manager, New Jersey

Without a doubt, this past year was the most difficult year I’ve experienced in my life. The woman I wanted to marry left me; I was in the middle of a career change; my uncle died; and my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I came to The Option Institute confused and searching for new ways to deal with everything that was happening.

In the fall, I signed up for two programs at the Institute: Fast-Track Changes (formerly Happiness Is A Choice). It was two weeks of meditation and mindfulness unlike any therapy I’d experienced. When I was at the Institute, there were absolutely no labels attached to me because of my problems, nor definitions nor diagnoses that concluded I had a problem.

The most beneficial aspect of the Institute’s programs is the message that there are no right answers. The only right answers are the answers that you have for yourself. The atmosphere in the classroom was a kind of jovial otherworldliness-the camaraderie was amazing!

The Option Institute provided me with simple tools that helped me look at my life in a very new light. The most profound lesson I took from the programs is the realization that there is always a choice. Once you understand the simple but valuable lesson-we can view events as a blessing or a curse-we can then make the internal choice of happiness, leaving the external choice not so difficult to make.

My experience at The Option Institute has been one of the best gifts I’ve given to myself. In a sense, it started me on a spiritual journey, a journey to become more human. My mother is still battling cancer, and I have chosen to see it as a blessing, to make each moment count and be present in each moment, both with her and the rest of my family.

I am doing incredibly well in a new career and am enjoying my single status. I’ve learned to let go of the past and concentrate on the good things in my life-there are only the infinite possibilities of the present for me. The ‘what ifs’ no longer exist.

Tim Suh, Information Technology Consultant, Illinois

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