Challenging Times – Calm Amid The Chaos

A message from Bears & Samahria Kaufman (Co-Founders/Co-Directors, The Option Institute) bearssamIn a time of uncertainty, when we are challenged by events that appear beyond our control – when the global economy is unsteady, when daily international crises continue to be dominated by conflict, when even our own individual financial stability is in question – then add this to relationship difficulties, personal traumas, children at risk, illness, loss – what do we do? First, we don’t give up. Second, we can search for programs, counselors and even dear friends and people of faith to support us. We can learn a way to glide through adversity instead of being overwhelmed or anxious about the upcoming weeks and months and years ahead. Please take a moment to read through our featured programs as well as the letter below.

Calm Amid Chaos

From losing your job, to a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer, to the collapse of the economy, to devastating wild fires in California, to earthquakes in Asia, to terrorists threats and attacks – the world can seem chaotic … overwhelming … unfair. Do you wonder what it all means? What is going to happen?

Do you wonder what it all means? What is going to happen?

In Calm Amid Chaos you’ll learn to maintain inner quiet and strength in the face of challenging and seemingly incomprehensible events. Not by hiding from them or ignoring them, but by facing them unflinchingly and with ease. You will develop a foundational system of interlocking beliefs (the “Intelligrid”) that enable you to stand strong in the face of whatever the world throws at you.

Inner Strength

No matter how many books we’ve read, no matter how many motivational speeches we’ve heard, no mater how much well-meaning advice we’ve received and no matter how many push ups we do, often we don’t feel prepared for the heavy lifting that comes with the everyday tribulations of money, relationships, health and the general uncertainties of life.

challenge1_2Our quest to change how we feel inside often begins with attempts to change the outside. We diet. We exercise. We change our wardrobes, hairstyles, houses, jobs and even our partners. We even try plastic surgery.

Inner Strength is an intensive two-week fitness program for your mind and soul that will help you to develop a solid foundation on which to stand when facing whatever challenges come your way.


Is fear (in one of its many forms) affecting you or someone you love? Do you find yourself hesitating over major decisions, concerned about your financial situation or insecure about acts of violence taking place across the globe? Do you catch yourself considering worst-case scenarios, rather than positive potential? Do you wake up in the middle of the night concerned about money… the kids… your job? Big or small, fear can impact every facet of your life from your career, to your health, to your relationships

In Fearless, you’ll acquire tools and techniques that will give you the ability to not only withstand the nature of your fears but eliminate them.

challenge_3Optimal Self-Trust

You turn on the television or go to your computer and see news that is often so problematic and scary that it’s hard to hear yourself think anymore. You go to the bank to deposit or withdraw money and you keep wondering about whether the bank will be there tomorrow. You think about your family and friends and realize you’re concerned about their welfare and safety. The challenges and threats around you seem to drown out what to think or even how to think about what is happening.

In Optimal Self-Trust you’ll have the opportunity to do something you’ve probably never been trained to do –listen to your own inner voice and your own inner wisdom and not have it drowned out by anxiety, self doubt and fear. By liberating your inner voice and listening to its guidance, you can make better choices and live the life you want to live.

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Abigail Adams wrote to her son, John Quincy Adams (when he was about to become president in a time of great turmoil and challenge)“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of pacific situations, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and statesman.”
A story of Love and Peace in a time of war
“I’m going to Afghanistan”
Hi BearsIt is Ethan. I just spent 2 months volunteering at The Option Institute and I’m back in Denmark and I’m going on a mission to Afghanistan with the Danish Army. When I came back I waited about two weeks thinking of what to do if I didn’t want to work in the army. Then this mission comes along with a special want for a Sergeant 1st Class to a CIMIC-unit. The work of CIMIC (CIvil and MIlitary Cooperation) is about talking to the civil people of Afghanistan, finding out where to build new schools, wells, bridges and so on. That means for me that I will help out without   attacking anybody and I feel that I am the perfect person for the job, because I don’t need to be attached to the outcome of what happens and I have a wonderful tool of options to help my friends if they want it. It also is a job of spreading love and acceptance – a wonderful opportunity to love a lot of people who might never have seen that kind of love before.When I come back I will have money to come back to The Option Institute and then I will see you again :-).I have meant to write a long letter to you about everything, but for now I just want to tell you this:”If the universe should one day stop to exist there would still be my gratitude for everything I have learned from you, Bears”Love and acceptance- Ethan


Dear Awesome Ethan,I was so deeply touched by your email. Of all the folks that I could imagine going to this hotbed of discontent and violence and precipitating outcomes of understanding and love not yet imagined, it would be you. On the ground. In the streets. Person-to-person. I had the honor of having you attend many Monday morning opening sessions – to watch you jump in, to watch you consider and play with new ideas, to watch you transform and grow, to experience your deep level of integrity and authenticity. As I read your words, I realized how much you will bring to the people of Afghanistan…with your attitude of open-heartedness and with your mission to understand, to love and be of service. I am very touched and optimistic by who you are and how you have chosen to be in the world. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers…and I will, indeed, be most excited and pleased to welcome you back when you return.With much love and gratitude, Bears

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