Written by Alliison Carmen and Narrated by Marie T. Russell.
Editor's Note: While this article is written "for women", it can also be read and adapted to the male gender, as "beauty" is not restricted only to the female gender -- and self-empowerment applies to all.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” — Helen Keller
Definition of beauty: "that which gives the highest degree of pleasure to the senses or the mind..." -- Merriam-Webster dictionary
I felt so ugly when my husband left me. I felt so rejected that there was no blush, no cover-up, and no Botox that would give me a lift. I needed to redefine what beauty meant to me to see if beauty could become "that which gives pleasure to my senses or my mind." as Merriam-Webster suggested. How could I feel whole as I walk out my door, go to work, and interact with the world without finding a way to embrace my true beauty?
I had nowhere else to turn. So, one day in October, I decided to explore beauty as that which was pleasurable to me and nobody else, just to see what would happen. I sat for a while, thinking about what gave me pleasure and what gave me pain. I was fully aware of the fact that the socially constructed idea of beauty was creating a lot of pain for me and not much pleasure. I started to question what my true beauty was. If I experienced my true beauty, how would I feel inside? I truly believed that I would feel pleasure and peace. I would feel whole. I would feel more freedom.
As I was playing with this idea, I decided to take a walk outside. It was a beautiful day, and it felt more like summer than fall. During my walk, I saw a young woman coming toward me. She was the picture of what I believed the media and mainstream culture would tell me is beauty...
Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Published by Skyhorse Publishing.
A Year without Men: A Twelve-Point Guide to Inspire & Empower Women by Allison Carmen
Using the events of a very painful year in her own personal and professional life—her husband left her, her consulting business took an unexpected hit, and she faced a serious health scare—business consultant and life strategist Allison Carmen explores the forces in women’s personal and professional lives that hold us back.
In A Year without Men, she offers twelve simple, practical tools to help us look within, find our own values, morals, and passions, work on our skills, call on other women, and forge new ways to do business. Together, we can create a new way to earn money, a new way to look at beauty, and so many other new ways to be in the world.
Allison Carmen holds a B.A. in accounting, a J.D. of Law, and a Master's of Law in taxation. After working for a large law firm in Manhattan, she founded her own law firm and built a successful practice focusing on real estate, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and taxation. After 15 years of practicing law, Allison transitioned her practice into business consulting, business coaching, and life coaching. Allison is also the part-time CFO of The Motherhood Center, a mission-driven female-run day hospital for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Allison is the author of The Gift of Maybe: Offering Hope and Possibility in Uncertain Times, and A Year Without Men, A Twelve Point Guide to Inspire and Empower Women. Allison's podcast, 10 Minutes To Less Suffering, focuses on helping people alleviate daily stress and worry. She also writes for several large online publications, including Psychology Today, and is sought after guest on radio and other online media platforms. She is also a certified health coach and Reiki master.