What’s Needed in these Uncertain Times? Maybe More Empathy…

hands in shape of love heart

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 Rayos, who came to this country when she was a teenager and was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration officials during a routine check-in, shook me deeply. In addition to Maybe, I found myself needing another way to cope. I watched the live news coverage of Ms. Rayos sitting in a van with immigration officials waiting to be deported. Her two kids, husband, friends and immigrant-rights advocates tried to block the van from moving. As I sat on the couch with my two children by my side, watching the news, I could not stop crying. Immigrant-rights advocates have portrayed Ms. Rayos as a victim of President Trump’s sweeping new deportation orders. At the same time, her deportation has been viewed differently by others who have praised Trump’s immigration orders because Ms. Rayos had a felony conviction. That conviction stemmed from a 2008 work-site raid on employees at amusement parks, Ms. Rayos among them, who were working using false social security numbers.

The deportation of undocumented immigrants was not a policy originally created by the Trump administration. The Obama administration deported millions of undocumented immigrants over the last eight years. Donald Trump and his administration might be casting a wider net, deporting immigrants with no criminal records, but both administrations have supported the removal of people present in the United States illegally. In an effort to understand and process what’s been happening, I called a few friends who voted for Hilary Clinton and some who voted for Donald Trump about these immigration issues. The results have been interesting.

My friends who voted for Hilary Clinton were not totally aware that millions of people were deported during the Obama administration and all felt that Ms. Rayos should be allowed to stay in the country. My friends who voted for President Trump were under the impression that Obama did nothing to deport undocumented immigrants. Unanimously, my pro-Trump friends felt it was the Continue reading…

Are You Waiting For One Thing To Happen In Your Life So You Can Be Happy and Stress-Free?

So many clients tell me that if one particular thing would happen in their lives, they would be happy and stress-free. The attorney tells me he just needs to win this one big case, the advertising executive tells me she just needs this one account and the retailer tells me he just needs to increase his sales. They all believe that if this one thing happens it will be the key that will open the door on their peace and happiness. Yet when the attorney wins his case, his secretary quits and he is aggravated and again waiting for his day of peace in the future. The advertising executive lands the client, but loses another.  And the retailer increases his sales but his rent goes up significantly.

Just like my clients, I think many of us walk around with a concrete image of what must happen for us to be content. Yet this way of thinking only serves to keep us in the illusion of the future and disappointment in the present. On some level we believe that if we can just solve a few of our problems, then we will be happy and free of stress forever. But we forget that life keeps changing and offering us new opportunities and new challenges.  What if we are putting off the enjoyment of our lives for a day that never arrives?

So how can we find some peace today wherever we stand? It can change with a fundamental understanding that life is not about arriving somewhere but instead it is about being here right now (wherever here might be). When we give up this belief that one day it will all work out, we allow ourselves to appreciate what we have.  Does it mean we won’t still strive to make it better? Of course not. But we can give up the resistance to “things are not right” and the illusion of “if I could just get this one thing then I would be happy.” If we start to accept life as it is, then maybe we can start to make peace with our circumstances and can find joy with life in each moment.

And DON’T WORRY – with that newfound peace and joy, you will work even more effectively towards the future that you would like to create for yourself. Let’s not forget – MAYBE is always at play!

Helping Our Children Feel Less Stressed and Worried About Their Future

Palm with a tree growing from pile of coins

When the Boston Marathon tragedy occurred a few months ago, my friend’s daughter came home crying. She was frightened for her own safety and the safety of the people she loves. She worried that the world would never be at peace. Her mother told me that she knew her daughter needed to feel sadness for what happened, but was concerned that this was yet another event that would increase her daughter’s negative perspective on life. Another friend’s daughter was very upset about what happened in Boston, but she still felt safe and remained hopeful that people are good and we can all
 find a way to live more peacefully. Both children were clearly affected, but one child despaired and the other still felt hopeful. 
Of course there are many different reasons these two children reacted differently, including their past experiences, family life and even genetic makeup. However, regardless of all of those factors, the future of each child’s emotional and mental well-being will be dictated by their perspective toward life.

As parents, what can we do to help our children maintain an open and hopeful view about all they will face every day? Over the years, I developed the following exercise for my children after reading about an experiment in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche. I like to use it when they are stuck and not achieving a particular goal, but its implications are much more far reaching.

Ask your child to pick up a coin. Ask them to imagine that the coin represents whatever is bothering him or her. Sometimes they are upset about a bad grade, a tragic event or problems with friends. The last time I did it with my daughter she was upset about not doing well on a test. She is very concerned with her grades and sometimes fears when something goes wrong that she won’t get into a good college or achieve her life goals. I asked her to hold a coin tightly clutched in her fist and extend her arm, with the palm of her hand facing the ground. I told her the coin she was holding represented her life’s goals and all that is possible.  The way she was holding it, so tightly in this example, shows her belief that she could only achieve her life goals and get into a good college if she did well on this test.  I then had her let go and relax her grip and the coin fell to the ground.  I explained that it is simply too hard and painful to hold on to anything so tightly with the belief that there is only one way.

Then I said Maybe there is another possibility here: Maybe you can let go of the coin and still keep hold of it. With her arm still outstretched, I asked her to turn her hand over so that her palm faced the sky. I then asked her to relax her hand and see if the coin still rested in her open palm. She let go and the coin was still there resting in her hand. I reminded her that holding the coin this way, relaxed in her palm, represents all the possibilities in her future, including achieving her goals in life no matter how she does on this or any future test. It allowed her to keep her dream of being successful regardless of this particular test or any other event in her life; she needn’t grasp it so tightly.

This experiment shows children that life doesn’t have to unfold one way, but instead there is open space in which life may unfold in many different ways and result in joy and success.  

It seems simple but this Maybe exercise teaches our children to hold the very thing they want but also leave space and room for other possibilities.  If our children can learn the skill of looking at life other ways, opening up and
 letting go will be less scary and more inviting. It allows our children to maintain their dreams and goals while experiencing the twists and turns of the journey of life.

As for my friend’s daughter that was scared and worried about her future after the Boston Marathon tragedy, this exercise helped her see that there were many possibilities for the future including being safe and helping to achieve a more peaceful society.  It gave her back some hope and sometimes that is all it takes to change a perspective and MAYBE change the world.

Press Release: Life Coach and Author Allison Carmen Releases “The Book of Maybe”

New York, New York (PRWEB) April 08, 2013

WORLD RENOWN LIFE COACH AND AUTHOR ALLISON CARMEN RELEASES “THE BOOK OF MAYBE: FINDING HOPE AND POSSIBILITY IN YOUR LIFE”

World renown life coach and author Allison Carmen releases The Book of Maybe, a philosophical work that has cured thousands of people of their addiction to certainty and led them on a path to more joy and success in life.

The Book of Maybe is based largely on the experiences and advice of the author who has been a practicing life coach and business consultant for more than 10 years. “It’s a book for people who have lost hours, days, weeks, months or even years worrying about what will happen next in their lives,” says Ms. Carmen. “It’s a book for people who have felt paralyzed out of concern that something in their lives isn’t working out the way they had planned.  The book helps people find hope and accept the possibility that whatever happens in their lives MAYBE is for the best, MAYBE will get better or MAYBE will work out another way,” says Ms. Carmen, who believes that “with MAYBE we can realize we are not stuck in our present circumstances and open ourselves up to the infinite possibilities that are available to us every day.”

In commenting on the book, Aida Turturro, Emmy nominated actress, said that “Everybody can use some help alleviating stress and worry in their lives. In the book, Allison Carmen gives us wisdom through stories and exercises to help us understand how to see all of the possibilities in our lives and to stay hopeful under all circumstances. With Maybe by our side, we can find the strength and the will to achieve our goals despite the twists and turns that life may throw our way.”

Joshua Rosenthal, Founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest holistic health coaching school, commented that “Allison Carmen is a distinguished graduate of our school. She condensed her life experiences into this brilliant easy to read book empowering readers to see that life is not always black and white. By using the concept of ‘Maybe’ a world of possibility opens up helping to re-evaluate any situation and giving readers more options and choices; increasing flexibility and reducing stress.”

The Book of Maybe takes the reader on a simple yet profound journey to help them face many aspects of life, including:

• Reducing Daily Stress and Anxiety
• Viewing Uncertainty as a place of Hope
• Creating more Opportunities in Life
• Living With More Joy and Success
• And so much more

And it all comes down to one simple word: MAYBE!

About the Author

After many years of working as an attorney overwhelmed with anxiety about the future, Allison Carmen found hope and freedom when she discovered the Philosophy of Maybe. Today, Allison works as a life coach and business consultant with a vast array of people, from entrepreneurs and owners of multi-million dollar companies to artists, actors, writers, fashion designers, attorneys, medical workers, nannies, parents and the homeless. Over and over again, Allison has witnessed people find the courage, regardless of present circumstances, to step into the realm of Maybe and improve their lives.

The Book of Maybe
By Allison Carmen
Paperback, also available as an Ebook
ISBN: 10:1481044060
Price: $12.50
On Sale: April 2013

CONTACT: Allison Carmen
Allison@allisoncarmen.com

Click here if you would like to buy the book!!