anti-bullying

All posts tagged anti-bullying

Looking Back on Teenage Years

Published September 24, 2020 by Maryanne
IMG_0373

Yesterday while I was having lunch with a dear friend, she shared with me letters I wrote to her as a teenager in high school.

The letters were mostly about me making fun of the bullies who harassed me. I handled it in a clever, witty way. I made up names for the bullies and created scenarios that could have been used in a John Hughes movie in the 1980s.

Sometimes it seems like we’re going through such a hard time, but we look back and it turns out we were happier and more intelligent than we gave ourselves credit. I look at this picture and see myself as a mom reading something her teenage daughter wrote. I laughed so hard at my younger self. Some of the words that came out of my mouth were, “I was so bad!” and “Wow, I was witty!”

I wish I could share, but the stories were mainly inside jokes that no one would get. I couldn’t even remember half the people I was making fun of.

The really cool thing that Joan pointed out was, “My children don’t have this. They text each other, but they don’t write letters. Look how you used up most of the page to write and draw.”

That is so true. In my words on paper, I’ve captured a portion of time that we’ll never get back. And because the letters were written somewhat in anger towards the bullies, I wrote to my friend, “Destroy this” (how dramatic!)

But she didn’t. She cherished the letters. And I’m glad she did!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Being Authentic… to Ourselves and Each Other

Published May 28, 2020 by Maryanne

Being Authentic: A Memoir by Morhaf Al Achkar, MD, PhD

Review by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

While many people are complaining about being cooped up during the pandemic, I’m secretly rejoicing because I’ve been doing what I didn’t have much time for before—READING! Since the mid-March lockdown, I’ve read six books, all special in their own right.

Prior to writing this review, I questioned myself… Is it weird to say I can relate to a man who was born in Syria, two years after I graduated high school? A man who became both an MD and a PhD–whereas I struggled just to get my diploma?

First, I took the safe route and wrote the blog as a regular book review. However, after a re-read, my review appeared dull and stale. This author deserves so much more. After he exposed his deep feelings for all to read, I promised myself I should do the same. I do not see that as narcissistic, but rather compassionate. In this review I want people to see me as a person who can find something in common with almost anyone—male/female, young/older, rich/middle class/poor, black/white/mixed. Because this is what the world needs right now, to focus on what we have in common, rather than what sets us apart. (And, honestly, I’ve been quiet about politics for too long, so read on!)

Leo

Author, Morhaf Al Alchar, MD, PhD, and faithful companion, Leo! 

Morhaf Al Achkar has not reached his 40th birthday, yet he ponders death.

I question: Why is he thinking about this now? Perhaps because of his struggle with both Crohn’s disease and a stage four lung cancer; perhaps because he dealt with the devastating loss of his own mother at a young age; or perhaps because we are in the midst a pandemic, all of us facing a virus that has no cure yet. And so many people are at each other’s throats, making it political.

In his memoir, Dr. Achkar strives to be authentic—his true self. And that he is. His story is direct as he gets right to the point with no apologies. And he is vulnerable. There is absolutely no pretense. You do not feel like you are reading a book written by a doctor, with both an MD and a PhD. Instead, you are chatting with a brand new friend.

Growing up in Syria, in a family of nine children, Morhaf often locked himself in a room reading books. He was labeled the “philosopher of his family” by his father. Early on, one of his major struggles was living in a culture “with hypertrophied masculinity.” Men boasting of foolish things like beatings or shootings was the norm. There were also bullies and schoolteachers who were abusive. Wise beyond his years, Morhaf made sense of it all and did not let any of this hinder his growth as a human being. As a person who was also bullied, I relate to this.

Once I began sharing my story to others, I no longer felt shame, but rather a big relief—even empowered! When I read about other people being bullied, it’s a soft spot for me. I can’t help but get a lump in my throat. Then I immediately switch my brain to the good parts of one’s life; their triumphs!

The saving grace in this picture is Morhaf’s mother, a warm, trusting woman, but one of authority and one who greatly valued education. Reading about how his mom pushed Morhaf to take the first steps on the dance floor reminded me of my grandmother.

Grandma practically raised me since my parents were divorced and neither were around much. I think about a family reunion we had when I was about 12. My sister, cousins and I danced to the hired band. When the reunion came to an end, my grandmother encouraged me to “talk to them.” I was shy, but wanted to make Grandma happy, so with my older cousin, we went up to the stage and asked the musicians for their autographs. A parent or grandparent encouraging the kids to dance or talk to someone at a party is a great move to get a kid out of their shy shell.

Another way I relate to Morhaf is not being satisfied with religion and rituals. As a Muslim he reflects on his faith after his mother passes. I was raised without religion, so I had nothing to go by except the standards Catholic holidays that Italian families practiced. When I was 24, I met an older Filipino gentleman who became my mentor. Together we studied religions and philosophies from all over the world.

Remaining open-minded until I met some Christian friends, I decided to give Christianity a chance. But then after my grandmother died, I lost faith, the same way Morhaf felt his faith was faltering after his mother died.

I stopped going to church and celebrating any holidays that had to do with Jesus. When I returned to faith, I took it all with a grain of salt, saving the positive and discarding what seemed overbearing. I now believe in Jesus, but also Buddha, God, and The Universe.

Perhaps this is something people of all faiths go through, but not many admit. So once again, as I’m reading the book, I am grateful to Morhaf for his honesty.

Amongst his great successes, he has had his shares of disappointments too. His passion in activism inspired was an option to leave his family, but after failing a commission-based job, he returned home.

Some of the best times seem to be spent in America. At first, Morhaf lived in Columbus, Ohio with his sister and continued to study. He traveled extensively throughout the USA. In addition to his studies, he had fun adventures that young people experience like dancing, hookah nights, playing cards, consuming cheap drinks, and adopting a canine companion named Leo.

Sadly, dating was an issue, especially in Indiana, where he lived and where many women were prejudiced to his color and didn’t think twice about making racist remarks. It felt terrible to read this. I am sorry that many USA women put a bad taste in one’s mouth, but I want people from other countries to know we are not all that way.

I live in NJ, a democratic state where we are open-minded to making friends of all races and colors—without judgement. I know behind my back my conservative friends and family refer to me as a “Libtard.” It’s wrong and very hurtful.

As a spiritual person, I refuse to retaliate with words and placing derogatory memes on Facebook. Instead I pray for them. And I pray for our president, who I do not care for.

During the month Donald Trump was elected president, Dr. Morhaf was diagnosed with cancer. As a Syrian immigrant he felt affected by the ban on Muslims, fearing he would not be able to say goodbye to his family. He wrote a letter to speak of his struggles. It was published in a Huffington Post blog, entitled “Dear Mr. Trump, You Are Cancer and I Only Live If You Shrink!” The letter explained what it was like to live with what he had then perceived as a terminal illness and as a Syrian immigrant affected by the ban on Muslims. After writing the letter, he felt empowered and liberated him to engage with the Syrian struggle.

I suppose many have friends who have immigrated to the United States and have been affected by Trump’s stance. It is absolutely heartbreaking seeing families being broken up. I know one personally, and will leave it at that to protect their privacy.

Aside from the prejudice Morhaf experienced from American women, he has decided to stay single because he doesn’t want to be a burden to someone should his health fail. I seriously hope he changes his mind because true love is mending.

I’ve shared the story many times and am happy to share it again. When I first began dating my husband I was going to many doctors because I never felt right. A few doctors feared I had cancer. After many ultra-sounds, CAT scans, and countless opinions nothing was found. Seven months after dating my husband, I had one final test that showed I was cancer-free and perfectly healthy! A week later I felt better than I did my entire life! Having a supportive loving person by my side healed me. I believe that!

So, you can see why I’ve enjoyed “Being Authentic” so much. There’s enough to relate to, but also much to learn. And, that, is what a good book should be!

Morhaf’s reflections on life in his later years, while he is now, fortunately, in stable health, we see that he is a true humanitarian and invites others to be as authentic as he is. This is what I wanted from my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You.” I want others to share their stories without feeling disgrace. The troubled times are what got you to where you are today. Always remember that.

When we look deep inside ourselves, and share our notions in writing, the reader gets a peek at our true soul. A reader may not “get it” entirely, but the more open an author is, the more we can learn about each other; and love each other. After all, deep down we are more alike than different. This is a book everyone can learn from. And Morhaf will be remembered for writing it.

To purchase “Being Authentic” (and have a sneak peek inside the book) please click on this link: Being Authentic

Follow Morhaf Al Alchar on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/morhafalachkar

95849294_2817039011678255_9072810759997620224_oBeing Authentic book cover

 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

2019 – Year in Review!

Published December 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Hustle2019 — The Hustle was real! 

Wow, when I look back at 2019, I have a huge smile on my face! I mean, I am glowing! It was filled with lots of love and stellar career moments. I am forever grateful that it happened. Below, I share just some of the highlights–after all, a girl’s gotta be private about some things!

January 2019 

My year started off on the most amazing note. I was only in Toastmasters a few months and I won “Best Speaker” for my deliverance of a David Bowie Tribute I wrote, which I gave on January 10, 2019 — three years after his sad death.

February 2019 

This was the only month of the year that sucked. We had to put down our beloved Bennie cat. He was a feral who was only 3-years-old. We took him in the summer of 2018. The vet checked him out and we were told he had FIV and wouldn’t live long. Sure enough, a few months later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts; my husband and I were devastated to lose such a sweet, loving cat.

Shortly afterwards, a few friends passed away too. It was a bad, bad month for so many.

SAM_3266 (1)Bennie Hemingway, Rest in Peace little angel

March 2019 

It’s always a blessing to have great friends around to cheer you up!

Jayne - NYC Cher ShowMaryanne and Jayne (aka Romy & Michele) in NYC! 

April 2019

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club! Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

May 2019

During the month of May, my husband and I welcomed our newest family member, Sammy! I adopted him from St. Hubert’s in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy is 9-years-old and he spent most of his life in a shelter. We are honored to have him in our family, he’s a perfect little angel and we love him to pieces!

DSCF3932Sammy, our dear little angel! 

May was also significant because I was extremely honored to present my workshop “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83 Spring Conference. It was an excellent turn out and extremely well received. (Note, The “Be Your Own Hero” workshop was based on my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” which was published later in the year by KiCam). 

DSCF3631Be Your Own Hero

June 2019 

June was super cool because my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” became available on audio! You can get all versions here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

July 2019 

My husband and I were thrilled to take some much needed private down-time, both by ourselves and with very dear friends. Hashtag GRATEFUL!

Facetune (4)Dennis and Maryanne (Photo by Jayne DiGregorio) 

August 2019

August is my birthday month. And I do mean “month” because it takes a whole month and then some to get together with everyone who is important to me. So, I say to all of you, Thank you for the LOVE!

DSCF4045I love you! 

September 2019 

Once again, getting away and spending time with our super awesome friends! Hashtag HAPPINESS!

DSCF4128 Dennis and Maryanne

October 2019 

This month was a double whammy of greatness! If it wasn’t cool enough that my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227) was released, my fictional book, “Love Cats” which was out of print, got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media! (https://www.pinkflamingo.com/). So look forward to a second printing of “Love Cats” in 2020!

Love Cats front and back cover

First printing of “Love Cats” now out of print. Second edition to be published in 2020 by Pink Flamingo Media!! 

During the month of October, I completed writing the play, “Ain’t Life a Beach” for actor, Jesse Walker! It will be presented during the summer of 2020. Jesse Walker was also the first person to interview me to promote “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero.” Check out the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_O5ZdsVNo

November 2019 

I was honored to perform my poetry at Neighborhood House Association. “All About Eve” was well received! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLorsfQig4

December 2019

While many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s actually a wind-down time for me. I stay at home, sipping keto cocoa drinks and working on my next projects. I have some great ideas in the works…as well as some super cool surprises for 2020 which involve writing, speaking, and poetry!

I wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous 2020! 

BEST OF 2019

My husband and I do so much and see so much, it’s hard to keep up. I used to write about all the shows we saw in this blog, but it’s time-consuming especially when I also keep private journals. However, the following are truly stand-outs for 2019.

BEST NEW ARTIST – SIERRA FERRELL

Well, I’ve been picking winners since I was a little girl. I’d watch the Miss America contest with my grandmother and right from the beginning I’d say who was going to win. When I accidentally came across the music of young artist, Sierra Ferrell, my mind was blown. She is truly the bomb! (Do people still say that? Well I do!)

When I first heard her song “Jeremiah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEYSUpPirJM) I knew she was something special. I spent two hours watching her videos on You Tube (the perks of being self-employed). And, by chance, she happened to be performing, just an hour away from us in upstate New York.

For a mere $10, it was a kick ass show. I got to meet Sierra too, and she’s a little sweetheart. The punchline is, two weeks later, she was signed to Rounder Records! Hell, yeah! Now we can look forward to some new music from her in 2020.

DSCF3957Sierra Ferrell and Maryanne 

BEST NEW ARTIST RUNNER UP – BILLIE EILISH 

Not that I’m going to run out and buy tickets to her show … but then again, never say never … I do have her CDs. Wow, I’m just so impressed with her cool, catchy, innovative, strong-spirited songs. I love Billie Eilish! Thank you for existing!

BEST LIVE SHOW – PETER MURPHY, (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last August Peter Murphy did a ton of shows, performing full solo albums and a few Bowie tributes. I had tickets to see the “Deep” show (and one of the David Bowie tributes, but it was canceled because Murphy had a heart attack — he’s okay now and performing again). Anyway “Deep” was one of my favorite Murphy albums and to see it performed live was nothing short of euphoric. My friend Jayne and I got close to the front and Mr. Murphy was so on the money; always a class act entertainer. As an encore, he did “His Circle and Hers Meet” from “Love Hysteria” — and wow, that just blew me over the top! This was truly the show of the year! I was so bummed that the Bowie tribute was canceled, but a taste of Murphy is better than none at all!

BEST PLAY – THE CHER SHOW BROADWAY

I’m so glad I caught this earlier this year because it ended this summer. It was very cool. There were three Chers (my favorite vocal — and look — was the young Cher, Babe), a Sonny, and even a Greg Allman. It was a fun-filled musical time-line of Cher’s life.

BEST MOVIE – “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT”

I like Bruce Springsteen, but having just one CD, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But this movie totally spoke to me because it was about a writer who was inspired by music. (I’ve often been judged by  intellectual types who shunned me for being a writer inspired by music not necessarily other writers, so watching this movie it was like, “Ha-ha, fuck you!”)

There were so many moments I related to, especially the frustrations and ripping up your own work and throwing it out the window.

In the movie, there’s a scene where the main character’s father rips up his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Parents in my generation, Generation X, rarely understood their kid’s dreams. Generation gaps were huge and parents didn’t make an effort to know their kids like young parents today do.

I still cringe when I look back at the day my mother got mad at me, jumped on my bed, and tore all my Queen posters off the walls. Queen was the band that inspired me to write and be more creative.

So, this movie isn’t just for Bruce fans, it’s for any Generation Xer who had communication problems with their parents.

Rest in Peace

February was just horrible with one death after another. Our dear Bennie cat, our dear friend Daniel Popp, and WFMU radio icon, X-Ray Burns. Whew, it was a terrible, terrible month. May all these young souls rest in peace.

And of course we lose so many celebrities throughout the year, but the one that hit the worst was Ric Ocasek, who died on September 15. I was a Cars fan when I was just 15 and had their first album. I never saw them perform live, but my husband and I went to one of his art gallery shows.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Wave to him.” We did, and he smiled and waved back. God bless his soul, he was an original.

DSCF3060RIP, Ric Ocasek (Photo courtesy of Maryanne and Dennis Mistretta)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

Anti-Bullying Talk and Book Signing

Published October 5, 2019 by Maryanne

Photo by Jayne.JPGMaryanne Christiano-Mistretta (photo by Jayne DiGregorio)

This afternoon I was honored to do a book talk and book signing at The Caldwell Library, Caldwell, New Jersey. The event was sponsored by The Caldwell Library and The Women’s Club of Caldwell. NJ Hills Media Group was also there.

My book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” shares my experiences growing up in the 1970s and being bullied relentlessly.

The moral of the story is that it’s bullies who should be shamed, not the victim! According to psychology, it’s never the victims fault, but the bully’s fault.

How did my experiences end? When I fought back! My sweetest revenge is having an amazing life and a beautiful marriage. But I do forgive the bullies. My wish for them is that they have changed for the better and if they have children they are raising them right; that they have learned from their mistakes.

By sharing our experiences and being vulnerable, we take the “shame” out of bullying. The more we speak out against it, the more we evolve and have something done about it! I’m in my mid-50s, and God willing I’ll have another good 40 years left on this planet. I’d like to see us evolve as a human race to the point where bullying no longer exists.

Let’s make bullying extinct!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

 

Freddie Mercury, Bullied as a Young Boy

Published July 3, 2019 by Maryanne

Freddie Mercury as a BoyFarrokh Bulsara (photo found via Google Search)

The other night, my husband and I once again went to see our favorite Queen tribute band, Almost Queen (http://www.almostqueen.com/). Note that they have been around long before the successful Bohemian Rhapsody film. That said, if you’re a true Queen fan who loves the deep tracks, as well as the hits, be sure to check them out, as you will definitely hear some rare gems.

Anyway, before the show, I thought about how I’ve heard the stories of Freddie Mercury being bullied as a young boy because of his overbite. He was called a donkey by school bullies.

But did that stop him from becoming Freddie Mercury? Absolutely not.

If you’re having a hard time and being bullied, perhaps you have that special something that you can bring to the table by being YOUnique!

Check out my new video, where I speak about Almost Queen, Freddie Mercury, and how being bullied didn’t stop him from becoming a household name! (And if you like it, give me a thumbs up).

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Anti-Bullying Book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” Now Available on Audiobooks!

Published June 21, 2019 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

I am ecstatic that my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” published by Higher Ground Books & Media, is now available on AUDIO! (https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Dont-Want-to-Be-Like-You-Audiobook/B07TB2VKWY?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-155390&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_155390_rh_us)

Sarah Staton is the voice who made my story come to life!

My book takes place growing up in the 1970s when I was bullied in both grade school and high school. And I’m sad to say, that even in this day and age bullying continues. Children are committing suicide because of assholes who have not yet evolved. Adults are secretly emailing me, “Write something about bullying in the workplace.”

It makes me so angry that 50 years later, it’s not getting better but worse.

Bullies target those who are unique; those who speak up for themselves; those who are shy; those who are creative; those who are very smart and think out of the box; those who don’t follow the crowd; and those who are very good looking. If you recognize yourself in any of those words, you most likely were a target for a bully. Because victims are often so smart and creative, they also carry around insecurities. Smart and creative people never feel good enough. You know that old saying, a genius never sees himself as one. Bullies pick up on this and attack.

The good news is, there is no reason at all to feel shame. It’s not you, it’s them. Bullies are the ones who feel hurt, sad, unloved, ugly, dumb, so they target others to make themselves feel big. Bullies are also masters at gas lighting (making others think THEY are the ones who are crazy). It’s a manipulative way for a bully to “win.”

Truth be told, all bullies are losers. If you can’t come from a place of love, you’ll never evolve. And isn’t evolution the ultimate goal? 

I recently sent out a call for speaking engagements. I let everyone know I am READY to speak out against bullying — in libraries, schools, corporations — and I will travel.

One of the responses I received was that bullying isn’t going away.

I did not know how to answer that. From what I wrote above, you may think I agree that it’s not going away. But hear me out, I now believe differently.

I was speaking to someone in a health food store earlier today. This man asked me if I was a vegan.

I said, “No, but I eat vegan for several days at a time.” I further explained I was a vegetarian/vegan for 28 years, from ages 23 to 51. Then I started eating meat (grass-fed only, and some chicken — no pork or veal!) to get my health in order. (I went from having low blood sugar, thyroid issues, low white blood cell count, very low blood pressure/borderline anemic as a vegetarian to a person of perfect health with some meat back in my body!)

After hearing my story, my new vegan friend thanked me for being one of the leaders in the movement back in the day when it was HARD. Now it’s easy! There are more vegans than ever and you can get vegan food anywhere. But in 1986, I was considered a “weirdo” for not eating meat.

What does this have to do with bullying, you may ask? 

You see, over 30 years ago, people didn’t get vegetarians. But we’ve evolved. Now we get it. And people are health conscious and accepting. The smarter ones are getting along in harmony. THIS can happen with bullying too!

At age 55, I see myself having at least another good 30 years on this planet, in this body I rented. In the year 2049, I TRULY BELIEVE, bullying will be on its way to extinction. We will evolve and change the world. Bullies will be the new neanderthals … so over. People who love will no longer be the weirdos. They will be the WINNERS! The meek will surely inherit the earth.

I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, please purchase my book or audio book, it may save your child’s life when he or she hears about how I was bullied, but grew up to be successful and happy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Anti-Bullying Book Club!

Published April 7, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club this weekend!

Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is about my experiences growing up in the 1970s and dealing with bullying throughout grade school and high school. The girls had a few weeks to read the book, but they all said they finished it in one or two sittings.

It was refreshing to be in the company of such inspirational young ladies who are all anti-bullying advocates and have dreams for a bright future.

What I’ve learned, unfortunately, is that when it comes to peer pressure and bullying, not much has changed in the last 40 years; especially now with the internet.

The good news is, the four girls I’ve spoken with were confident to be themselves and truly have it together when it comes to standing apart from the crowd, going after their dreams, and not worrying what others think of them.

One commented, “I can’t wait to go to college. I’m going to learn so much!”

I asked the girls what part of the book they liked best. Most agreed they liked the whole book, in general, and that it was a quick read. One young lady said her favorite part was when I started fighting back.

In a comfortable, private setting, everyone, including the adults Sara and myself, shared their experiences with bullying and how they handled it. It was an awesome event and a great learning experience.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

I’m an Author, Why Would I Want to Be a Sales Whore?

Published March 21, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_1854 (1)

Me, signing a free copy of my latest book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You”

…for a little girl who was bullied.  #givingback

I was definitely a late bloomer, but from as far back as my 30s, I was making a living doing something I love — WRITING!

First, as a journalist, then an author. Am I a best selling author? No, not yet. But am I working enough to make a great living, to have a newer car, to go to concerts, Broadway shows, buy cool clothes, obsess over shoes, and give back to the community? YES. YES. YES!

Friends, I am living the dream! I’m a writer!

I’ve been writing professionally since 1995. Now that I’m an author, I get advances and royalty checks. I also help others write their books. And get a sweet dollar for doing so.

Yet so many people are in denial about me. For example, those who are constantly hounding me to join them in their Isogenix endeavors, their Young Living endeavors…from make-up to insurance policies…All those “get rich quick” things that people are forever pushing in my face. 

Now, let me ask you something? Would you ask Freddie Mercury to sell Isogenix? 

No, you wouldn’t. Because he’s a creative person. I AM A CREATIVE PERSON TOO! And if you’ve read this far, I’m sure YOU ARE A CREATIVE PERSON! So, why on earth would I want to give up my God-given talent to push product? That would be like having a 9 to 5 job. TORTURE! I would not be creatively satisfied. I would not be emotionally satisfied. I just might take a gun to my head and blow my brains out if I had to sell Young Living oils. Even if I did make $15,000 per month like some do. That’s not me!

Making money is easy. Making money as a creative person is a little bit harder, but we do it. Not everyone can be a Mark Twain, but if you get up in the morning and are able to say something like, “I’m an author!” or “I’m a musician” or “I’m an artist” — you, my friend, are so blessed.

Let the sales people be sales people. Good for them. God bless them. But God chose YOU to be one of the out-of-the-boxers. Keep following your dreams. I assure you, the money will follow!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta 

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“On the Guest List” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“On the Guest List” is available directly from my publisher, Next Century! To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

“Love Cats” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“Love Cats” is now available on Amazon! For paperback, go here:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513 and for Kindle, go here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

 “The Gypsy Smiled” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“The Gypsy Smiled” is now available Amazon! For paperback go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1545447470

And for Kindle, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Keep Fighting!

Published February 27, 2019 by Maryanne

Don't Give Up

Sometimes it’s best for a smart person to “ignore.” But I have to beg to differ in some circumstances. Rosa Parks didn’t change the world by ignoring. Enough said.

If you feel strongly about something, speak up! Whether it’s in love, friendship, business, or a random situation.

Being diplomatic can sometimes serve a purpose, but it’s not the best way to go. Be a friend to everyone means you’re a friend to no one. Think about that.

I don’t do diplomatic. I don’t do shoving things under a rug. And while I can ignore some internet trolling, I won’t ignore all of it.

The best people in the world are fighters. That’s when you see who your real friends are. To fight is to straighten a bond. We can never honestly love each other unless we know what makes each other mad. We can learn how to be better people by talking things out. Now, I’m not talking about name calling or purposely hurting people. By “fight” I mean to put it all out there with all heart and soul!

I’m always the first to call someone on their bullshit. If I point out to someone that what they are doing/saying isn’t call and they get all defensive and say stupid phrases like, “I don’t want to be your friend because I don’t want to walk on eggshells.” That is DUMB!

People who don’t want to “walk on eggshells” are wimps because what they are saying is, “I don’t want to make an effort to know you better. I don’t want to learn to be a better person. You’re not worth it.” So they are definitely not someone you should be friends with! Kind people are sensitive, caring, and people who try to elevate themselves. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. If you say something stupid, don’t cover up by saying, “I was only joking.” If someone doesn’t get the joke, maybe you should re-evaluate your sense of humor.

All that said, I said it once, I’ll say it 1000 times, IT’S OKAY TO FIGHT!

My Grandmother was my favorite person in the world — and boy, did we fight! But we also forgave and made up. THAT is how you have a loving relationship. No holding back. No lies. And getting shit off your chest! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She now is putting adult bullies in their places and available for public speaking engagements! Contact her for availability and rates at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero

Published January 9, 2019 by Maryanne

kicam cover

I am ecstatic to reveal the cover, and the landing page of my upcoming book Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways To Become Your Own Hero, published by KiCam!

Release date is October 2019, and you can order yours today here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author and speaker. She is available for events. For availability and pricing, contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

She is also a professional blogger, book editor and ghost writer. Contact today for rates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com