creative

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Love

Published July 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Facetune (4)

Photo of Dennis and Maryanne by Jayne DiGregorio (https://www.jaynedigregorio.com/)

This year is my eighth year married to my husband, and 14 years together in total.

We are still so in love; still in the honeymoon stage. This is not something I just realized, nor is it something I take for granted. It is real, and we are blessed.

As an independent woman who wasn’t in a hurry to get married, I knew from our first date my husband was “the one.” What made him different than others were three things: 1. He was supportive of my career. 2. He’s not a jealous type. 3. His love for animals and music. These were the top three things on my list for love and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

But then, there is so much more, as we continue to live, learn, and love. I can honestly call my husband my best friend. Around him I feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Around him I feel growth because there’s never dull conversation I’m seeking to avoid. Around him I feel entertained because together we are fun, funny, and never boring! Around him I feel happy because from day one, every single night we’ve spent together, we wake up with a smile on our faces. Around him I feel deep because our shared thoughts are always that way.

We both have incredible energy and are always up for a fun time.

We both love our kitties with all our hearts and miss them when we are far from home.

We connect on the four major levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

And we miss each other when we are apart, even if it’s just for a few hours.

We’re amazing people and we deserve each other. Together we attract the greatest friends too. We collect other rock ‘n’ roll couples to share the good times. Even our single friends are unique people we adore! We’re in our own little world with the select few, and we love it!

This is why I say to all people — men and women alike — do not settle. Wait for the one who is worth waiting for. I met my husband later in life and never gave up on the fact that I’d meet my special someone; my forever person.

When I was young, in my 20s, I had this theory, that whoever was in unhappy relationships (settling)… if they would just leave, that would open up the door for the right person to show up.  And that, I did!

I was told I was “fickle” and “too picky.” And the most insensitive (and WRONG) was when someone once said, “You think you are too good for anyone, that’s why you are single.” No, I was just waiting for it to be RIGHT before I got married.

Love is not something that happens on command, in your ego’s time. It happens in God’s time; or the time of the universe or a higher spirit. When you wait, you reap the all the beautiful rewards a relationship has to offer. As time goes on, your love continues to grow. It doesn’t disappear or fade, as some may suggest if you are with the right person.

There we are, the middle-aged couple happily holding hands. Someday we will be the old couple happily holding hands. And that’s all I ever wanted, someone to grow old with.

My biggest dream came true! ❤ Thank you, Dennis, my forever love!

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

 

Giving Goals

Published January 19, 2019 by Maryanne

baby and mommyPhoto by Mistretta

People have been busy writing down their goals for 2019, which is great. Then it dawned on me, it would be awesome to have giving goals as well.

There are three ways to give: money, time, and sharing (in other words, being vulnerable). Below are ways to up the ante for all of them!

  1. Money. Even if you’re on a strict budget, money is the easiest way to give. You can put a dollar in a veteran’s can and get a free poppy. For some, it’s the best we can do, but I think in our hearts we always want to do more. In my younger days I know I did. When the basket went around in church and I was only able to spare a few dollars, I secretly longed for the day I could throw in a $20 bill or more. Then that day happened! My next goal was for the Go Fund Me pages. I wanted to give more than $50. And that happened too. As we earn more, we can focus more on giving to others. It’s great to share!
  2. Time. Time is a very precious thing to give someone because life is short. You hear so many stories about children who have had successful parents that were never around. This is a lesson to balance your time so you can be more giving to people you love. While being spontaneous is wonderful, it’s also important to balance your day so you can be able to balance your time. Since I work for myself, at home, I have the luxury of making my own hours. That said, there’s a time I plan to shut down and devote to my husband and cats. Of course I also like to donate my time to good causes, and fun stuff. But always remember, to take time for yourself because if you’re not healthy and happy, you won’t be able to make others happy. Then when you feel optimal, you can give time in so many ways–volunteering, listening, offering your help, surprising someone by doing something nice unexpectedly. The list goes on and on! With little money to spare, you can always be creative with your time. Or even if you have a lot of money, perhaps someone would appreciate your time more? It’s something to think about.
  3. Sharing/Being Vulnerable. Sharing and being vulnerable is the biggest and best way to give, in my humble opinion. Time and money are the easy way out because ego isn’t involved. But when you take the time to pour your heart out to someone who desperately needs to know he or she is not alone, that is GOLD! Many people are afraid to share because of their ego. They want to put on a facade that they are perfect. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the most inspiring people are the ones who are so free and open about sharing. They have truly made the world a better place. By “sharing” I don’t mean venting. I mean digging deep inside, no longer feeling the shame, and going with your heart and gut that by sharing something bad that happened to you, you are going to make another person feel not so alone! How great is that?! It takes a strong person to say, “Screw it, I’m going to try to help someone else. I don’t care if I am judged!” Anyone who has gone that route should be super proud of themselves. Put aside any shame you are feeling, because it’s not your fault that something bad happened to you if some loser took advantage of you. Because it’s a horrible person who should feel the shame–not YOU! So if you want to be a better friend, or a better person in general, make a point to get vulnerable. It’s the greatest way to give! You never know who you may help!

What do you think? What are your giving goals for 2019?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

The 1990s, the Last Romantic Era

Published January 5, 2017 by Maryanne

modeling-outlaw-biker

The 1990s; the last romantic era. We were beautiful but didn’t need Instagram or Facebook to prove it to anyone. We created poetry; a high form of art that people actually got back then. We interpreted lyrics our own way without the use of the internet. We hand-wrote each other letters. We laughed in person and on the telephone. We made our own clothes. We made each other tapes of songs we loved. And they would listen to them. We stood apart from the crowd. We had messy hair and that was a good thing. God bless the last romantic era. When we were really real.

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!

On Creativity

Published August 25, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_1842Art is not my strong point, but I enjoy it!

I want to give a round of applause to all my inspiring local artist/musician/writer friends who make a living off their art. Most of us are not of Michael Jackson celebrity status with someone working for us (and having the privilege of someone censoring nasty/hateful emails and handling our Twitter and Face Book pages). We do all the leg work promoting and negotiating payments for our creativity and have to deal with those who don’t “get it” — those who assume we are “egotistic” for promoting when we’re just working very hard to keep food on the table, pay for our own health care, go on nice trips/vacations, give gifts to loved ones and take care of our pets.

A person doesn’t choose to be creative. Creativity chooses us. If you can’t live, breath, function without being creative, that’s when you know what your calling is. It’s not about getting noticed or showing off. It’s about baring your heart and soul and making a labor of love out of your muse. It’s beautiful.

Creative people are the usually the most sensitive, caring people and LEAST EGOTISTICAL people on the planet. And when we’re not working we RARELY speak of what we do for a living. I just had four back-to-back meals with loved ones where I never once mentioned public speaking, my business Pear Tree, or my books. Nor do any of my creative friends talk about their work unless it’s one-on-one between two creative people discussing projects.

I never believed one had to suffer for their art, but it’s a harsh reality that there will be jealous people who try to make you suffer. So, I say to all of you, chin up and keep moving forward. At least we are lucky we “get” each other! CHEERS! xo

Meet Darlene Foster: “On the Guest List” Cover Designer!

Published March 29, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3813Artist Darlene Foster

I was honored to have lunch with Darlene Foster today! Not only is she the cover designer for my book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” she’s also a very good friend!

Last fall when I was nearing the finishing stages of my book (which is now available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) I gave Darlene a photo of me taken in the mid-1990s by my friend Ed O’Brien at a club called Cake in NYC. I felt the photo truly represented what the book was about, being on the guest list in the punk rock circles. And Darlene truly nailed it — where I was coming from and where I wanted to go with the cover — which received tons of compliments!

Cover proof 4“On the Guest List” cover design by Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster also designed the back cover which includes endorsements for the book and a recent photo of me, taken by my husband last June.

back cover proof 2“On the Guest List” back cover

I’m now writing my second book, which is my first attempt at fiction. And of course I’m going with Darlene once again to do the job! You can check out more of her work here: http://www.darlenefoster.com/

And for all you foodies out there, you can check out the menu of Toast in Montclair: http://toastmontclair.com/

It was absolutely delicious! I had the homemade veggie burger, sweet potato fries and a red velvet cupcake for dessert!