What is the Option Method?.
The Option Method is a personal growth and development tool that you can learn and use in your life to help yourself and others take the mystery out of unhappiness, appreciate the cause and effect of beliefs, feelings and behavior, and understand what it means to choose your emotions. As a result, you can achieve your vision of happiness, embrace your goals, dreams and desires, and live joyfully and fearlessly.
You can learn to use The Option Method whenever you feel sad, angry, or disappointed, anxious, out of sorts or depressed. The Option Method can help you turn your life around when life seems overwhelming; your dreams seem out of reach and when you feel you have lost your way. When you are ready to think differently about yourself and the world, to take the next step forward to expand your consciousness, The Option Method can be your guide.
How does it work?
The Option Method is designed to get the root of any problem every time by recognizing that you have a choice in your own emotional state. Underneath all the unhappiness, whether it is the simplest annoyance or the most paralyzing fear, there is a tiny voice saying, “I have to feel the way I feel. This is happening to me.” The Option Method helps you drill down through the mystery and confusion of unhappiness so you can hear what you are really saying to yourself. Then you can begin to question your unhappiness in a way that was never possible before.
The Option Method Dialogue is where the essential teachings of The Option Method take place. While lectures, workshops, discussions, readings and exercises can help lay the groundwork for effective application of The Option Method, the learning that is most relevant to each individual takes place in dialogue work.
The point of The Option Method is to achieve a frame of mind where you can give yourself an opportunity to question your unhappiness in a way that reveals exactly what you believe about the situation you are unhappy about.
The most important thing to know about The Option Method Dialogue is that it flows quite naturally from the Option Method attitude. The Option Method attitude encompasses Bruce Di Marsico’s teachings about the nature of unhappiness and happiness, described in part above and in great detail in The Option Method: The Myth of Unhappiness, The Collected Works of Bruce Di Marsico on The Option Method and Attitude. Fundamentally, the attitude recognizes that we all strive to be happy and that unhappiness essentially is our way of returning to that state of well-being, feeling good, or however you define it. When we are unhappy (defined as any feeling you'd like to change), it is based on a belief and not the event that "caused" the feeling in the first place.
Therefore, the Option Method Dialogue is essentially an open-ended, loving, non-judgmental inquiry into the cause of unhappiness for each individual with the recognition that each person has the choice to believe as they do and ultimately choose their own emotions. The essential elements of the dialogue are to identify and clarify exactly what the unhappiness is about, using such questions as:
What are you unhappy (personalize with your own word) about?
What is there about that, that makes you unhappy?
Then, asking questions designed to find out your specific reasons for being unhappy, such as
Why (for what reason) are you unhappy about that?
What are you afraid would happen if you were not unhappy about that?
What are you afraid it would mean if you were not unhappy about that?
And, ultimately, questioning the reason for the belief, such as
Why do you believe that?
Why do you believe being happy would be bad for you right now?
The end result of the Option Method Dialogue reveals:
- Exactly what you are unhappy about,
- Why you are unhappy,
- Why you believe you have to be unhappy,
- Why you believe it would be bad for you to be happy,
- The choices you have made that led to your unhappiness,
- The fears you have about your ability to be stop being unhappy,
- How your specific feelings are tied to specific beliefs,
- What you really want and were not realizing
In other words, the Option Method Dialogue takes you from the point of unconscious suffering to conscious liberation. It shows you the true cause and way out of all your unhappiness. If someone were to waive a magic wand or give you a special pill that would give you such knowledge, that would be a wonderful thing. Or would it? Is such a thing even possible or desired? If someone tells you why you are unhappy, what have they really taught you? That they know you better than you know yourself. That you need someone else to give you the answers. How empowering is that? But, if they ask you why you are unhappy in a way that you can answer, then you can experience yourself as the one who knows everything and you can revisit that place of knowing over and over again.
When we want to feel a certain way, let us look closely. We will find that we have actually begun to…
When we want to feel a certain way, let us look closely. We will find that we have actually begun to feel that way. To decide is really to discover that what we want to feel we are beginning to feel. To decide means “Don’t decide for the past—the future is beginning."[ Bruce Di Marsico ]