Self Structured, Dynamic Program for Advanced Students
Wide Awake is a non-stop roller-coaster ride – challenging, thrilling and exhilarating. From the first second, you’ll plunge deeply into topics and issues that many would consider off-limits or uncomfortable, but nonetheless, topics that you’ll want to deeply understand and master.
A winding, racing river digging deeper into your awareness, Wide Awake provides you an incomparable opportunity to realize meaning, joy and freedom in your life.
Challenge your core beliefs, your everyday MO, your very foundation and come out clearer, stronger and wiser.
What makes Wide Awake like no other program offered at The Option Institute:
- All Bears, All the Time: Taught exclusively by our Co-Founder Barry (Bears) Neil Kaufman in a style all his own – dramatic, feisty, fastpaced and daring, with jump-off-the-cliff improvised group dynamics combined with deep acceptance, warmth and love
- Intense: Our most challenging group dynamics and teaching design, the format is fast-paced, intensely authentic, original and daring. It is thought provoking, challenging, thoroughly lively and fun
- Dynamic: A brand new program design every year. Program participants return year after year. No two years are alike as the group dynamic strikes a new path each year
- Ready to Rock and Roll: Designed for the most advanced students and by invitation only, this program is for exceptionally motivated, daring and passionate participants – no observers allowed
- Inspirational: Stretch the envelope, making your “vision to live by” deeper, stronger and more concrete
- Insightful: Deepen your understanding of how you operate in a way that will enhance your everyday experience of yourself and others
This is a graduate level program that requires other programs be completed and a level of self-studentship be displayed. I would tell anyone that the time, energy and money you will need to spend to get here will return to you tenfold. Do what you have to do to get yourself here. You will fly higher, dig deeper and love in a way you cannot imagine. Bears is such an amazing teacher, always taking your hand and pointing you to where you might not want to go, all in a loving effort to grow yourself bigger than you might have thought possible on your own.
-Mary C., Business Owner, Indiana
Wide Awake provided me with a safe, loving place to learn to make myself my own safe and loving place. I am so grateful! Wide Awake provided me with a mirror to honestly look at how I choose to think, to feel and to behave- and then a safe and loving place (both externally and internally) to choose to change those thoughts, feelings and behaviors to accurately correspond to how I think and feel on the inside (and for my behavior to manifest that also). It’s all my choice. How I feel, what I think and what I do, I choose for myself always. Wide Awake showed me that I choose for myself to take the best care of myself; and that I want to take care of myself by choosing to love myself 1st so that I can then love others; to trust myself 1st so that I can then trust other; to accept myself 1st so that I can then accept others and one and one. It all starts with the choices I make for myself. I am so grateful!
-Robin M., Artist, Maine
Every single day here at Wide Awake has given me the opportunity to open myself to deeper levels of love for myself and love for others. Today it was so incredibly clear to me that I increase my capacity to love as I drop my fear and practice loving, and loving bigger, and loving more. Snap – every moment I can decide,… and re-decide how I show up in the world and to myself. Delicious! Thank you so much, Bears, for the gifts and opportunities you’ve created for me. I Love You! Ronda
Ronda Platt Fitzsimmons, Movie Theater Owner, Pennsylvania
My 3rd day of the Wide Awake program at The Option Institute was a day of BIG love! What was exciting was exploring how different loving actions are, and that they all are delicious! Whether singing a sweet love song or facing “controversy” head on, show up with enthusiasm and no apology! Love you Bears and Samahria! Xoxoxoxo
Amy MacDonald, Sales/Marketing, Pennsylvania
Day 3 of Wide Awake: I didn’t think that anything could be better than Day 2, and I was so wrong. This morning was *incredible*, a gift from the universe, from Bears, from the other participants. It was a morning about loving, about daring, about openness. I had an opportunity to practice accepting criticism (easy!…!!!) and accepting love (wonderful, and harder). I was moved to tears much of the morning. What an honor and a privilege it is to be here, learning so much, connecting so profoundly.
Judith English, Computer Programmer, Canada
In our 3rd day of Wide Awake I found that what I thought was loving in fact was not. I have learned today the power of celebration of my partner. This morning was so incredible and loving and powerful. This afternoon I got chance to look at how I want to show up in the world no matter what others think. I love being he…re and I love love. Thank you thank you thank you for all your love Bears. xxoo Kathleen PS: Samahria our couples session rocked I love you too! Kathleen
Kathleen C. Byrne, Health Care, Connecticut
Dear Bears, I am having the time of my life here at Wide Awake. I feel so amazingly loved and accepted for all that I am both by you Bears and all the other people who are on the program. It is the most wonderful nurturing and nourishing environment to be in. Knowing that I am completely accepted no matter what, is the… safety net that I want to stretch myself to try new ways of being and doing life. I am so blessed to be here and I can hardly wait for tomorrow. Huge huge love Alison XOXOXOXOX
Alison Sharpe Taylor, Full-Time Son-Rise Mom / Homemaker, United Kingdom
This week I’ve grown my love and acceptance of myself, as I am bigger. Sometimes fearlessly, often courageously, I’ve dared to show up as myself with no mask, with people I’ve just met and with people I’ve known for years. I’ve learned I will not die if other people judge me. I will not fold or hide when I’m misunderstood. I am not fragile and weak, but actually incredibly strong, bright and loving. Acknowledging that has been delightful and delicious. I am filled with gratitude to have been a part of this amazingly loving and supportive group on my journey of claiming myself and growing myself large in my life. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
Ronda Platt Fitzsimmons, Movie Theater Owner, Pennsylvania
I always knew Wide Awake would be amazing, though I hadn’t expected it to be so profound for me, and that I would make so many changes for myself. I brought myself to the program with strong intentions of what I wanted to change and my week was complete by Tuesday evening! I still progressed so much further and learnt so much about myself through Bears’ dynamic teachings.
Holly Balls, Child Facilitator, United Kingdom
What happened here, during this week at the Wide Awake Program, I see as the most important thing that happened on the entire planet.
Keith Hindmarsh, Caterer, Canada
My purpose in coming here was to jump out into the world and be the biggest, bravest, most beautiful version of myself. During this week, I gained some amazing, sustainable insights into my beliefs and how I operate in the world. I quit playing it safe and took some authentic risks in a nurturing environment. It really paid off. I practiced how I want to show up in the world, accepted feedback about how I presented myself, while still feeling that I was being loved. I laughed at myself and saw it, too! I want to attract like-minded people into my life, therefore I now model what I want to attract.
Denise D, Lawyer, Ireland
Wide Awake is the most amazing program. Because there is no curriculum, the whole program feels like it is designed for me.”
Mary Church, Business Owner, Indiana
Wide Awake just topped the list of my favorite programs! I can’t imagine a more wonderful way to spend a week of my life. It was so incredible to fly with Bears and my classmates, no curriculum, whatsoever, constructing our own completely unique, completely perfect program, moment by moment, just as we construct ourselves, our love, our experience in every individual instant. It has been so peaceful for me; I have reached such a deeper connection within myself. Even my understanding of time, I now view as a sense of moments, each unique, each bursting with possibility, none dependent on the one before.
Alex Woolgar, Cognitive Neuroscientist, United Kingdom
What a fantastic week! I loved being with such a committed, self-reflective, open, authentic, insightful, and gutsy group of participants. And I loved how magnificently every aspect of every class was facilitated, enabling us all, including me, to deeply explore so many issues. I learned even more about loving and watched myself transform judgment into love and specific appreciation. I looked at, and made shifts, in judgments about myself that keep me from reaching out when I am interested in someone. I gained ever greater comfort with being “misunderstood” and or “misrepresented.” And I also noticed times where I still put myself in a skeptical place and released my attachment to doing that.
Raun K. Kaufman, Lecturer & Teacher, Massachusetts