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All posts for the month February, 2015

March – National Nutrition Month

Published February 27, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5885Grassfed beef and avocado from Cave Paleo

March is National Nutrition Month and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to write a short piece for National Day Calendar (which I follow both here on WordPress and on FaceBook).

Here’s the link to my piece, which offers a little history on National Nutrition Month, which started in the 1970s! http://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-nutrition-month-march/

Okay is not “okay.”

Published February 27, 2015 by Maryanne

okayWhen did society stop being cool?

Even in the 1990s we still used peace signs and said things like “jazzed.” Then fast forward to the 21st century and we’re using awkward words like “gelly” for “jealous” and “besties” for “best friend.” All this modern day baby talk makes me cringe. But the most cringe-worthy of all is those ever-so-annoying email responses that simply read “okay.” No “love” no “xxoo” no “gotcha” … just “okay” with an angry period.

Or at least the period seems angry, as a simple “okay.” is so hard to translate via email. You wonder, “Is something wrong?” “Is this person mad?”

If the person sending the email at least took an extra two seconds to add a “cool” next to the “okay” — “okay, cool!” then you see the difference, right?

“Okay” is only cute in the real world, especially when comedian Andy Kaufman used to say, “Okay? OKAY!” It should never, ever, ever be written in an email because the translation is obnoxious and condescending. It’s the equivalent to the passive/aggressive: “yes, dear” or “fine.”

Then to use words said by even more annoying types, no I am not “over-reacting” or “too sensitive” nor do you have to “walk on eggshells” around me.

I’m just an old-fashioned romantic. Someone who prefers people in general to go the extra mile. And I don’t care if you’re only typing with your thumbs. Make the effort to put “love” or “best wishes” or “hugs” or even a smiley face at the end of an email. Show the person you’re writing to that they are worth it and that you like them, so they know you’re not mad. Isn’t it so much better to imagine the person on the receiving end of an email smiling, not worrying about why you wrote back a one-word answer?

So let’s make our lingo hip again, whether it’s spoken in real life or in your email.

Okay? OKAY!

 

 

 

 

Religious or Spiritual? Universal!

Published February 24, 2015 by Maryanne

HelloBuddhaDrawing by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, 2005

“Religion” means God-fearing. And in this day and age “spiritual” means people-fearing. People are so afraid others thinking they are Catholic or Christian, they wear the word “spiritual” like a badge of courage.

That upsets me.

Because while, no doubt, it’s not healthy to be God-fearing, dogmatic and/or pious, religion does have a huge place in ethereal growth. Yes, even Christianity.

Hear me out.

In the mid-1980s, I spent almost a year studying several different religions with a spiritual mentor. I was only in my mid-20s and back then it was unheard of for a young girl to want to study with a man old enough to be her father. For almost a year, I spent less time in nightclubs and more time in meditation. It was a wondrous experience I will never forget and have several diaries in case I do.

The conclusion I came to was that everyone is right. In fact, my favorite book that my mentor gave me was called “Everyone is Right” which is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Comparative-Religion-Relation-Science/dp/0875165656

Even though I came to this conclusion I was still drawn to the Christian church. What can I say, I just love the teachings of Jesus Christ. Mind you, I was never forced to go to church as a child. I came to love Jesus on my own. And a few years ago I found a Christian church I was able to call “home” though I don’t go as often as I probably should.

Some Christians don’t relate to me because I still take from other religions. And on the flip side, many non-Christians turn their noses up on me as well for going to church.

It’s okay though. I feel completely comfortable being around others who are not exactly thinking like me. This is the beauty of putting faith into a ritual (of sorts) and sticking to your guns about it. I feel that in order to grow spiritually, you need to be around others who are different from you. That kind of experience makes you more spiritual. Uh … wait … I can’t use that word, it’s become too hipster (and possibly a code word for non-Christian).

Let’s just say I’m universal! That’s a badge of courage I can live with! 🙂

Dreaming is Not Drugs

Published February 8, 2015 by Maryanne

fireworks by MaryanneFireworks by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Honestly, the only time a friend should stop another friend from doing something is if they are harming themselves. And the first thing that comes to mind is — drugs.

Other than that, anything anyone wants to do, it’s their life they should be encouraged by a good friend — or anyone for that matter — to follow their dreams! Unlike drugs, dreams are healthy and if you can make them come true, even better!

Years ago, I was working as a journalist in the newspaper industry. I was living on my own for about 15 years and to cut corners I used mass transit instead of having a car and insurance payments. It wasn’t a problem and I never wanted for nothing — I had both a bus stop and a train station within my block.

When I was dating my future husband for about a year, we decided to move in together. He lived in a house in an area that mass transit was lacking, so I needed a car. My husband drove a PT Cruiser and I fell in love with it. I wanted my own.

My biggest mistake was casually sharing my dream with a co-worker. This woman shot me down immediately saying, “Ew, those cars are so uncomfortable!” From that moment on, I avoided this woman like the plague.

How dare she rain on my parade! If I felt the car was uncomfortable when I took it for a test drive, I wouldn’t get the car, right? Common sense, no? I did not need her ugly opinion and to this day I will never forget how crappy she treated me when I was excited about something. Needless to say, I ended up getting a PT Cruiser and enjoying it for several years before I got a new car!

It’s so sad that people are more in a bad habit of cutting people’s dreams down instead of just going with it. We’re all individuals and have different dreams and desires. Many people have dreams that are different than mine, but I won’t insult their dreams, I’ll always be happy for someone when they get something they want in life.

It’s not being “dishonest” if you are encouraging to someone who shares their dreams with you and you don’t necessarily agree with them. It’s being a good person — being someone who can take their mind off of themselves for one frigging moment and tell another person that you are proud of them or ecstatic for them!

If you’re not in the habit of doing this, regularly, I highly suggest you start. Because being a “Debbie Downer” makes a person undesirable.

My husband recently shared with me that he thinks “everyone” love me. I laughed because sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. I’ve had many people shoot down my dreams and it makes me secretly wonder if that’s their way of telling me they don’t like me. Or maybe they just have diarrhea mouth and are vomiting their hate using me as a punching bag. And that doesn’t feel too good, so that’s when I start avoiding people (like I avoided the co-worker many years ago).

Think about it. If you want a positive person to like you and want to be in your company, be that same positive person! Don’t shoot down people’s dreams. Unlike drugs, dreams are a good thing. Dreams are what get us out of bed in the morning. Dreams are what lift people out of a depressive state. Dreams are what keep us young.

Friends let friends dream!

Make Art Out of Recyclables at Garwood Library

Published February 8, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6895

“Make Art Out of Recyclables”

(Photo of children used by permission from parent)

“Make Art Out of Recyclables” was held yesterday at the Garwood Library, Garwood, New Jersey.

This program is available for libraries, schools and private parties.

For pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

“Make Art Out of Recycables” is affiliated with Pear Tree Enterprises (www.peartreeenterprises.com)

Synopsis:

Recycling is not only good for the environment. When creative sparks fly, old junk and trash can become a child’s masterpiece!

Whether it’s making robots out of old cereal boxes, dolls out of Q-tips, puppets from old socks, or “designer” footwear from old buttons, children will have a blast at this informative, fun, inter-active class which is geared towards children ages 6 to 10.

Each class is different, according to seasons and materials available. Classes are limited to 20 children, so must have a sign-up sheet. And so that no child gets left out, we do offer discounted “back-to-back” programs.

Class is conducted by award-winning journalist, author and public speaker, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta with assistance from various artists and teachers who have worked with children.

It’s NOT Luck!

Published February 5, 2015 by Maryanne

fireworks by MaryanneFireworks by Maryanne Mistretta

The other day I took offense to a friend saying I was “lucky.”

“Luck” is not a word in my vocabulary.

I’m truly of the mindset that everything we have is because we’ve attracted it into our lives with wisdom and creative visualization. When people say I’m “lucky” to have an amazing husband, I’m not. I’m blessed because I was smart enough to not settle for the first guy who came along. I fell madly in love with someone I’m super attracted to and adores me equally.

I’m not “lucky” to work with friends — I am intelligent enough to refuse to work in a stressful environment with negative people, therefore I purposely choose the wonderful people I like to build my career around. I’ve spent years doing things on my own until the right girlfriends came into my life. Luck has nothing to do with anything.

When you take a moment each morning to spend in prayer and gratitude and have been doing so almost 20 years; when you have studied Gurdjieff since the 1980s; when you are not afraid of sitting in traffic or being in your own company because you don’t know what “boredom” means since you are in love with yourself and the mind is always going — THAT, MY FRIEND is not luck. It’s called WISDOM. (And mine came at a young age rather than an old age. Since 19, I’ve been told I was wise for my years).

Steptek: An Accurate, Simple, Secure Pedometer

Published February 5, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6498

Healthy Me!

Last autumn I was hired as an extra for a commercial, as they needed people in both their 20s and 50s (I’m in my 50s). It’s a new product called Steptek.

The commercial is only two minutes long if you want to check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/458342395/steptek-an-accurate-simple-and-data-secure-pedomet

I had such a great time working with all the actors and I believe in the product. Brian Epstein is the person who produced it.

I hope to someday work as an extra again! 🙂