Allison Carmen

the gift of maybe

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by Allison Carmen

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by Allison Carmen

 

When This Moment is Enough

If you would prefer an audio version of this post, you can listen to Episode 5 of my podcast, When This Moment is Enough.   “The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. Even while you have pain in
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Episode 4 – Are Current Events Making You Feel Stressed or Worried?

  “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”  Corrie Ten Boom Since my first podcast launched a few weeks ago, I have received many emails from people discussing their anxieties and worries about current events. Their concerns included fear of more mass shootings, losing their healthcare, or possible
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Episode 3 – Letting Go of Regret

I can’t count the number of times a client has come into my office over the past 20 years reciting missed opportunities or wrong choices they made as the reason they are unhappy or not successful today. Sometimes their stories are about a business they didn’t start, a boyfriend or girlfriend they didn’t marry, or
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Episode 2 – Living A Life of Gratitude

When we think about being GRATEFUL for everything in our lives, most of us immediately think “of course I am grateful.” I am grateful for my family and friends, my good health, and numerous other things.  But the truth is that our mindset of being grateful has a tendency to come and go.  One minute
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Introducing My New Podcast: 10 Minutes To Less Suffering

Last week I launched my new podcast, 10 Minutes To Less Suffering. In the first episode, I discuss why most of us are addicted to certainty. Many of us believe that if we knew what would happen next in our lives we would feel safe and secure. But the truth is we can’t know the
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Is Your Child More Anxious and Worried Since the Election?

During the election season, many of our children experienced a tremendous amount of stress and worry about who would win the Presidency.  It became especially apparent to me the night of the election. My daughters had invited a bunch of friends over to watch the election results.  As it became more clear from the news
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What’s Needed in these Uncertain Times? Maybe More Empathy…

In the fourth week of the Trump Administration, with the news changing so quickly every day, we are once again reminded that we need to stay grounded. I have been staying active in my community and riding most of the tumultuous waves by practicing the mindset of Maybe. But the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de
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A Survival Guide For Uncertain Times Week #3: Give up Positive Thinking

It is the end of week three of Donald Trump’s presidential term, and this week my Survival Guide will address the pitfalls of positive thinking. I have spoken to many people who didn’t vote for Donald Trump and are now struggling with his daily tweets, executive orders and Cabinet appointments. I find that many of
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A Survival Guide for Uncertain Times Week 2: Communicate

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” –Mother Teresa A few weeks ago, I attended the New York City Women’s March. When I got home, I received a call from a
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A Survivor Guide To The Trump Era: Embrace Uncertainty

A week before the inauguration of Donald Trump, I was on an airplane going to Florida. There was a tremendous amount of turbulence on the trip so I gripped both of my armrests tightly. As I braced myself, my body got very tense and I started feeling stressed and worried. It occurred to me after several minutes
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In Unpredictable Times, Our Greatest Enemy Is Our Need for Certainty

It’s understandable why many of us reached an extreme level of fear and anxiety about Donald Trump becoming President of the United States. Donald Trump made comments during the campaign that scared us, including comments we thought were racist, misogynist, xenophobic and anti-environmental. His rhetoric was so frightening that many people came to believe that
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The Day After the Election, Will We Still Be Friends?  

Now that the Presidential debates are over, we can start to think about what life will be like after the election on November 8th.  This election season has not only been tough for our country, but also has wreaked havoc on many of our personal relationships. Friends and acquaintances have argued for months on Facebook regarding
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Letting Go Of The Past: Always Look At What You Have Left

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost. Robert H. Schuller When I was young I had big hair.  My hair was curly, black and frizzy and it caused me to stand out in a crowd.  People were always saying to me, “Allison you have to do something about
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Are You Too Focused On The Things That Bother You?

Last summer, one of my friends invited me to her house for the weekend. As soon as we pulled up to her house, she started to yell about the weeds that were growing by her porch. She spent the first thirty minutes of our arrival in a bad mood, complaining about the gardener not doing
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Why Are We Always Looking For Certainty In Our Lives?

When sharing his secret to happiness, the great philosopher Jiddhu Krishnamurkti said, “Do you want to know what my secret is? I don’t mind what happens.”  I think many of us reading this quote can understand why this state of mind leads to freedom and happiness.  If we don’t mind what will happen next in our
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Finding A New Way To React To Problems

The other day my husband was pulling out of a parking spot and we got into a car accident. It was just a fender bender but enough to cause a significant amount of damage to our car. As my husband got out of the car and approached the other driver, I heard him angrily say,
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Finding Freedom From The Past

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. Heraclitus  I often have clients come to my office who are fearful about things in their lives.  One person might fear that a new venture might fail, another might fear getting sick and others might
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Living Life To The Fullest

So much has happened in the world since the brutal killing by ISIS of American journalist, Steven Sotloff, almost eighteen months ago. I came across part of a letter that he wrote to his family before he was killed and it seems appropriate to share a blog post I wrote on September 15, 2014 about
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A Paradigm Shift in New Year’s Resolutions

Last summer, I spent a few days at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City to see Mata Amritanandamayi, known throughout the world as Amma [“Mother”], the Hugging Saint. Amma has inspired and transformed more than 34 million people through her hugs, her spiritual wisdom and her network of global charities, known as
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Why Is It So Difficult To Be A Positive Thinker?

I have spent most of my life trying to to be a positive thinker. Each morning, I’d wake up and try to put a positive spin on everything in front of me.  However, often times before I even got out the door, something unexpected happened and I would be thrown off course. It could have been as simple
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Soothing the Pain of Rejection When “Mother Teresa” Unfriends You on Facebook

….that love is not what you want, it is what you are. It is very important to not get these two confused. If you think that love is what you want, you will go searching all over the place. If you think love is what you are, you will go sharing it all over the
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When Seeking Pleasure Turns Into Emotional Pain

Yesterday I was walking down the block with my daughter, a cup of tea in hand. As I sipped my tea, feeling the crisp fresh air on my face and listening to my daughter’s lovely voice, I felt joy. I experienced everything as wonderful and peaceful – here was a truly perfect moment. But as
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What Happens When We Can’t Put A Positive Spin On Our Troubles?

Change is inevitable.  Change is constant.  Benjamin Disraeli   My client, Michael, was very sad about several things happening in his life. He had just broken up with his girlfriend who he liked, but found certain aspects of her personality too hard to manage. At about the same time, an employee upon whom he relied
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Six Tips to Help Reduce Our Children’s Stress During the School Year

As our children are heading back to school, they may already appear a little more stressed.   Children that are in middle school and high school know that in the near future they will have hours of homework, papers and tests. If your children are in high school, they may already be dealing with college applications
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The Blessings of A Messy Room

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.  Angela Schwindt When school is out, many of us find our children hanging around the house more often. Without a strict schedule and a lot of homework, there is more time for them to relax, and
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My Interview With Laurie Lawson Host Of The Cable Television Show The Coaching Game

Yesterday I was interviewed for cable television by Laurie Lawson host of The Coaching Game.  The show will air on November 10, 2015 at 8:30 on Time Warner Cable Channel 56 in Manhattan.  For those of you that will not be able to watch the show or need a little more Maybe today in your
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Do You Want More Respect and Recognition For Your Work?

Years ago I was in a large baby store in Manhattan and I found myself standing near a very famous movie star. He was on the phone and very upset, saying that he was not getting the roles that he wanted in certain movies. I remember hearing him say, “Why can’t I get the respect.
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How Can We Change Our Perspective In A Difficult Situation?

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. About a month ago, I was speaking to my client Sam on the phone about his worry that the rent check he sent to his landlord would be late.  Sam lives in a rent stabilized apartment in New York City and believes that if his
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The Joy Of Giving

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  Mother Teresa A few years ago, I found $300 dollars on the street. I knew someone must have dropped it but I had no way of finding him or her. I gave one hundred dollars to my friend
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Some Of Us Think Holding On Makes Us Strong: But Sometimes It is Letting Go

A few weeks ago, I took my children to school in the morning and I thought this will be a quiet day and I can write and really get a lot done. At about 8:50 the nurse from school called . I was in a meeting so I missed the call. I called her back
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Is There Ever Just One Side To A Story?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.  Marcus Aurelius One day my daughter came home upset that she was excluded by her two best friends. I had witnessed her being excluded on a prior occasion and my heart was breaking for her. She cried
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Finding Joy By Accepting Things That Bother Us

Happiness can exist only in acceptance. George Orwell The other night my friend and I went to see a show. It was very crowded in the theater so when the show was over it took a long time to exit. My friend started to get very uptight about people not walking more quickly and was
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If You Judge People, You Have No Time To Love Them. Mother Teresa

A friend of mine just moved away. We weren’t very close and one of the reasons was that I found it very difficult to be with her. She was often complaining about her ex-husband being the cause of all her problems, she was always starting new businesses that she never followed through on and I
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GIVE YOURSELF A HAND: REACTING LESS TO THE STRESS IN YOUR LIFE

A few days ago I hurt my dominant hand.   It’s not a serious injury, but I have been trying not to use my hand so it can heal. Without the use of my hand, I need to take it very slowly and think about each step in my day, for example, making a morning cup
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Ugh, Another Snowy Day

“A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. Michel de Montaigne I stayed up late one night last week watching the weather to try to better understand how much snow we would get in NYC by morning. All of the forecasters spoke in that serious and ominous tone. I found myself
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What Can We Do When Our Plans Don’t Work Out?

Gratitude is the process of appreciating what is and letting go of what is not. Allison Carmen My children will be on spring break in a few weeks, which started me thinking about the trip we took last spring to Disneyworld. The first two days were a lot of fun. We also took a detour
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So What Is Resilience And Why Is It So Important To Have In Our Daily Lives?

For most of my life when someone told me I needed to be resilient, it made me think about a football player limping back onto the field after a big hit or a marathon runner jogging that last mile in clear physical pain.  If I was to think about resilience in a business setting, I
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Will Regret Hold You Back From Your Next Opportunity?

 A person is not old until their regrets take the place of their dreams. —Proverb I can’t even count the number of times a client has come into my office reciting all of their missed opportunities as the reason their businesses are not larger, more profitable, or just more enjoyable. Interestingly many of these people have
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Do We Cause Our Own Emotional Suffering?

A few years ago, I submitted an article to a large online magazine. I was friends with one of the editors and thought it would be a great piece for them to publish. Before I submitted it, I spoke to my friend and she seemed a little resistant to the idea of a self-help piece
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Seeing the Bigger Picture: Life Maybe Better Than You Think

My daughter came home the other day complaining that a classmate had refused to lend her a charger for her computer. My daughter’s computer was running out of battery but the girl kept insisting that my daughter did not need to borrow her charger. This incident really hurt my daughter and I listened and acknowledged
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Positive Thinking For The New Year? Maybe There Is A Better Mindset

The other day I had lunch with a friend who had just listened to an interview I did about my book, The Gift of Maybe. His response was, “How is the mindset of Maybe different from leaving it up to chance?” I immediately smiled and said, “I bet you are not addicted to certainty.” He
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Special Needs Parenting: Finding Hope and Possibility With The Mindset of Maybe

Yesterday, Carolyn Greene Dalgliesh, author of the groundbreaking book, The Sensory Child Gets Organized, reviewed my book, The Gift of Maybe. Carolyn beautifully captures one of the most powerful aspects of incorporating Maybe into all of our lives. I just had to share it with all of you! The journey of special needs parenting can
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What Are You Missing In Your Life?

“Life is available only in the present moment.”  Thich Nhat Hanh A few years ago I went in a store, bought a drink, and left. A few minutes later I could not remember where I put the change from buying the drink. In fact, I couldn’t even remember the face of the cashier or any
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Finding the Sweetness in Life Even When Times Are Tough

A man walking across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, and the tiger chased after him. Coming to a cliff, he caught hold of a wild vine hanging from a tree and swung himself over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from the edge of the cliff. Terrified, dangling, the man looked down.
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Penguin Random House Publishes The Gift Of Maybe and is Now Available For Purchase!

As many of you know, The Gift of Maybe has been published by Penguin Random House and is available for sale today!  Here is a review of my book from The Library Journal. One addiction that’s gotten little play is that of an obsession with certainty. Life coach and business consultant Carmen has experienced firsthand
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How Can We Keep Our Hearts Open When People Hurt or Disappoint Us?

…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with
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Does How We Look Make Us More or Less Lovable?

I was at a party a few weeks ago and a forty-year-old woman was talking to me about how she was trying to get back to her twenty-year-old body with a new exercise plan.  As if it were the most obvious thing in the world, she stated, “I am just not happy with my body
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How To Show Up For Life Like Derek Jeter: It’s All About The Breath!

I know many of us have been watching or hearing about Derek Jeter’s last few games in Major League Baseball. During his last home game, when he hit the single that drove a winning run home, one of the announcers said, “When everything speeds up, Derek Jeter slows down.” Hearing this, I paused and thought
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A Simple Technique to Help Relieve your Child’s Stress and Worry

My daughter came to me the other night worried about all of the obligations she had at school.  She wondered if she would get more homework than she could handle. She was also nervous about doing poorly on her history test the next day.  She asked if everything would work out and if she would
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An Important Message from Journalist Steven Sotloff’s letters: How Do We Live Our Second Life?

“Everyone has two lives. A second one begins when you realize you only have one…. Hug each other every day. Please know I am OK. Live your lives to the fullest and pray to be happy.” –Steven Sotloff My friend called me last week to discuss the brutal killing of journalist Steven Sotloff. She told
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