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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 

Best of 2018!

Published December 29, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF29105-4-3-2-1 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Looking back a year ago, I was sad to see 2017 go, because it was a great one, mainly because no one close to me passed. However, 2018 was a year of visiting loved ones in the hospital; therefore not the best. But me being the eternal optimist, I’ve once again compiled a “Best Of” because so many super cool things happened. Mainly with my husband, Dennis, as we’re always seeking out music of old and new; great friends; and always something cool is going on in my career. Let’s take a peek back at the highlights, shall we?

January 2018

My popular library program, The Learn & Listen series, kicked off the year right as I had the opportunity to work with Charlie Fusari. We gave the presentation, “The Life and Music of Michael Jackson” at the Elmwood Park Library, Elmwood Park, NJ. I spoke about the career of Michael Jackson, followed by a stellar performance from Charlie, which even included moon walking!

February 2018

The Learn & Listen series continued on it’s full force when I gave the presentation, “The Life and Music of Freddie Mercury” featuring Rob Fusari at Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon, New Jersey. This was a dream come true, to not only share my feelings about my favorite band’s front person Freddie Mercury, but to work with three-time Grammy Award winning producer, Rob Fusari. A great time was had by all!

June 2018

June was unbelievable! I was thrilled to be a guest on the Health & Wellness Show! You can view the show here on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3w8p-4nIk&feature=youtu.be

And Sunday, June 9, 2018, I was incredibly honored to speak on anti-bullying at Montville High School, Montville, New Jersey. I was invited by teacher Anthony Sia who started the Coalition for the Human Condition (https://www.facebook.com/Coalition-For-The-Human-Condition-209170233169424/) with Alus (https://www.alusofficial.com/).

I was up first, then followed by a powerful performance from Alus, and later, the incredible Montville School of Rock (https://www.facebook.com/msorrocks/).

Supported by my husband Dennis and some friends, I was happy to speak for the first time in front of a high school. Prior to that engagement, I’ve done mostly libraries and senior citizen groups. I didn’t have much time to get into how I was bullied as a child and teen (though I am writing a book about it!) but I did get to speak about teen spirit. And that the one most important thing we need in this world today is love.

August 2018

My birthday month! Yes, birthday MONTH! Celebrations for my 55th happened all month long, being spoiled by good friends, family, and my amazing husband!

September 2018

September I was ecstatic that my fourth book was published by Higher Ground! It’s also available on Amazon and is climbing the charts! My book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is my memoir about being bullied as a child. You can get it here, from Higher Ground: https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

And, once again, I was invited to read my poetry at the West End Arts Festival, in Long Branch, New Jersey.

September was also the month, that my husband and I took in another cat. A beautiful feral we named Bennie. He’s just the sweetest thing! He loves, loves, loves to cuddle! The vet told us he has feline auto-immune disorder, but we promise to give him the greatest life for as long as he lives!

BennieBennie

October 2018

There was so much movement in October! It all began with a road trip to Columbus, Ohio, with my friend Jayne for “Summit of Greatness.” Exploring the town, and spending full days being inspired by great motivational speakers was a life-changing experience. In fact, I ended up joining Toastmasters as soon as I got back home, so I could also hone in on my speaking skills and become greatness myself!

I also launched my anti-bullying channel Be YOUnique on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

December 2018

The year ended in a bang, career-wise, as I got invited as a guest, once again, to the Health & Wellness Show. Here’s another great time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3OIu7as40

And in addition to all of this, so many beautiful times spent alone with each other and with our great friends. These things, my husband and I choose to keep private.

ALSO, a major book publishing company gave me an advance to write my fifth book! It will be published early 2019–STAY TUNED! AND, I continue to help people edit their books, blogs, and websites; as well as ghost writing, memoir writing, and book editing. Clients include: Brute Force!

AND WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY 2019! 

The Best Acts We Saw in 2018 

In no particular order: Jackknife Stillettos; Tommy James; Sheila E.; No Future; “Ladies of The 1980s” with Rob Fusari, and Taylor Dayne; and Cher in Oxen Hill, Maryland. (As of writing this we also have tickets for Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish’s Rascals, with Carmine Appice on drums!)

Also, John Cusack  Live -“Q&A: Say Anything” was amazing!

Ric Ocasek, in person at his art show, Short Hills Mall, New Jersey.

Favorite Movies of 2018

“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mr. Rogers: Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Rest in Peace

In 2018 we’ve lost so many in the media, but the one that most hit home was author and spiritual guru, Shatki Gawain. The date of her death was November 11, 2018 –11/11/11 (2+0+1+8=11).  Eleven is the most intuitive of all numbers, a master number associated with faith and psychics. I always kept her books at my bedside, my favorite of all “Creative Visualization” which I first read in the 1980s. I had the book so many times, and gave away so many copies. Yet another copy always finds its way back to me. 

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 

“Summit of Greatness 2018”

Published October 8, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF2962

Summit of Greatness, Columbus Ohio, 2018

I was beyond ecstatic to attend the Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness in Columbus, Ohio. It truly was a life changing experience. (Next year’s is in September and I highly recommend going!) It was two days filled with motivational speakers, inspirational stories, and entertainment. But it was more than that. It’s one of those things that you truly had to be there. I slept so minimal because of all the excitement and the realization of life’s potential. (www.summitofgreatness.com) ‘

Here are some of the quotes that truly resonated with me over the course of the event.

“Self doubt is the killer of dreams.” — Lewis Howes

“You can’t be everything you want but you can be everything you are.” — Jay Shetty

“You’re not good enough yet. Failures do not define you.” — Lindsey Stirling

“These mountains you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” — Najwa Zebian

Shaun T. on what fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” — Eric Thomas, the Hip Hop Preacher.

But  the story that truly stole my heart was that of Amy Purdy (http://amypurdy.com/). A woman who lost her legs at the age of 19 because of a form of bacterial meningitis. However, she went on to be a great success — a true Cinderella story!

I was also ecstatic to meet Mark Hymen, author of “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?” I’m a health advocate myself, and his book inspired me to really get back on the right track. A year ago after getting a physical and blood work, finding out I was in great health at 55, I started slacking off and eating grains and sugary items again. My goal is to get back to paleo — or as Hymen says, “pagen” which is paleo and vegan because you should be eating a lot of vegetables!

In addition to the event, I was happy to explore the town of Columbus, Ohio. There was plenty to experience, like the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. There were many great restaurants, but I have to give a big shout out to The Angry Baker which was vegetarian and played 1980s favorites like The Cocteau Twins and New Order.  I had these super carrot pancakes with cashew drizzle. They also had kombucha, which I can’t live without!

There’s a possibility I may return to the Summit of Greatness in 2019. Or then again, by then I may become so great I’ll be too busy to make it! You never know what life may bring. When I checked my emails this magical Monday morning, I was bombarded with good news. My favorite was from a publishing company asking me to write another book! Coincidental or greatness manifesting?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author. Her latest book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” (about anti-bullying and empowerment) is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Maryanne is also available for motivational speaking events. For pricing and availability, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

 

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

Published September 2, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF2687.JPGSo this is 55?! (Photo taken on my 55th birthday) 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and a motivational speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

I grew up in a time where being “old” began as young as 22. In the 1980s when most of us started working, we were out of the house! No question about it. And if you weren’t married or engaged by 25 you were considered an old maid.

But now things have changed. People are living at home well into their 30s. Marrying later and having children even later. Or having children, then marrying. Even more inspiring are the women in their 70s, 80s, and 90s who are still modeling, dancing, and doing yoga! Don’t believe me? You’ll find them all on You Tube!

Therefore what was once considered “old” has changed.

I like to believe it was my generation that started the change. Everyone was getting married in their 20s, but I decided to wait. Nowadays women in their 50s and 60s who waited have the best relationships with their husbands or long term partners, saying things like, “I married my best friend” or “I met my soul mate.” Parties we throw are integrated with men and women mixing all over the house! But I’m sure we can remember our parents’ parties, segregated with men in the living room and women in the kitchen. Bah to that!

Even those of us who don’t get Botox (I don’t!) look younger than they are thanks to cool clothes and flattering hairstyles. Generation gaps are less “gappy” because we can be friends with women of all ages. I have female friends in their 20s, 30s, and 40s (all younger) as well as older women in their 60s and 70s!

We’re also more in tune with health and spirituality than previous generations, which also helps us to age better. Being in your 50s is a great time to be alive; I LOVE it!

Much younger people have told me I’m “stylish” and  I have “young energy.” I thought long and hard, why that is. Once I figured it out, I decided to make a list of Top Five Things Women Over 50 Should (or Shouldn’t) Do to Seem Younger.

Here’s what I came up with …

  1. Don’t Obsess Over Your Hair. I’ve noticed that the women in my own age bracket who look youngest don’t always have perfect hair. They don’t have hair that is all one color. They are more free-spirited with highlights, even with some gray peering through. They also tie their hair up in a bun, wear hats, ponytails, or braids. And they never use hairspray. I go by this too and I think this is just half the battle of having young energy.
  2. Don’t Obsess Over Your Weight. Over the past decade or so I’ve noticed a very sweet trend among younger women. They love each other just as they are! They tell each how beautiful they are and are oblivious to weight gain. Older women can learn a thing or two from these youngsters! I’m not saying run out and eat White Castles every day. What I am saying is don’t worry about your gut, your boobs, or your thighs. Once you reach 50, there’s no doubt that it is harder to stay at your perfect weight. So why not just embrace your weight gain? Most guys love those extra pounds anyway. Nothing says “What an old stick in the mud!” more than a woman who constantly bitches about her weight and fat-shames other women. Young women have evolved. They don’t shame each other or gossip about each other. Let’s evolve too and be friends; not beat each other up by being catty.
  3. Do Seek Out New Music. When people say there’s no good music around nowadays, I have to laugh. There’s a whole big wide world full of music and if you can’t find something good, maybe you just don’t like music! Instead of scrolling past things on your iPhone, why not stop at something your friend recommends? Sometimes I’ll post new music on Facebook and only one person actually listens to it. This is why you THINK there’s no good music, because you’re too damn lazy to seek it out! I’d challenge anyone on this, but haters can be so stubborn they will find something wrong with something new without giving it a chance. But trust me, if you liked Queen or The New York Dolls back in 1974, there are more than one indie band that sounds just like them. Young people groove on the retro and emulate the ground we grew up on. Don’t discount their ability to deliver!
  4. Do Give Compliments to Other Women. Back in the 1980s when I first started out in the workforce unfortunately people were still homophobic. I’ll never forget being nice and telling another girl her new hairstyle looked “cute.” Then she got all bent out of shape falsely assuming I was hitting on her. (Wow, how self-absorbed was that?!) Thank GODDESS times have changed! Young women of today are extremely supportive of each other and that is acceptable. They are generous with hugs and even hand-holding. Inspired by young women, I do all this with my middle-aged female friends. Why? It’s sweet, it’s fun, and it means we are warm people. We tell each other how beautiful we are and we say “I love you” to each other. Gone are the days, at least in my world, where women are at each other’s throats and giving each other the jealous green-eye. Young girls are kind and sweet. If you smile at a young girl, you’re much more likely to get a smile back than if you smile at a middle-aged woman. Ladies in my age bracket (and a little younger and a little older — you know who you are!) let’s change all that! If there’s one thing the younger generation can teach us is how to be more loving towards each other. Love, love, LOVE!
  5. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood. Since I first became really old, at the age of 30, my motto was “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood.” I continued to challenge myself, talk to younger people, do fun things, not worry what others thought about me, dress the way I liked, speak my mind, and so on.  I sing. I act silly. I pose for photographs with toys and on children’s rides at amusement parks. My goal for each day is to do something fun that I could tell my grandchildren (if I had any!) This is the biggest rule of all when you want to stay young at heart!

Ageism, it’s REAL!

Published August 23, 2018 by Maryanne

Ageism

I’ve tried to say this on Facebook and received zero support and response. So I figured, perhaps if Madonna said it, people will listen.

Earlier today I read a disturbing comment that all old people are racists and homophobic (and should die!) As someone who will be entering my senior years in less than a decade, I find these sort of comments extremely disturbing. And of course untrue.

For decades the beauty end of ageism was shoved down a person’s throat. Botox, fillers, staying under a certain weight, do this, do that to stay young.

But now, we have to also worry about people falsely assuming we are racist and homophobic just because we’re of a certain age?! And even worse, that we should die?!

Well, let me tell you something … some of the oldest people I know are the LEAST racist and homophobic. A perfect example is when I worked at a newspaper and helped an elderly entertainment editor with her section each week. She embraced all types of people no matter what their color or sexual preference.

And this is not the exception. It’s the rule.

Old people are extremely accepting, kind, and loving. If someone is old and an asshole, that’s all it is — an old person who is an asshole. That same old asshole was most likely a young asshole at one point in his/her life.

It’s ignorant to lump all people into categories.  As I blogged last week, it’s never ever black and white. It’s always gray.

And I wish, with all my heart, that some people who are limited in their thinking will meet that one inspirational person who shows them differently. Because if you hang out with that one person, more and more will arrive in your life like magic.

Be blessed.
Be happy.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books. Her fourth book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” will be traditionally published later this year by Higher Ground. She is available for ghost writing, book editing, and motivational speaking. Contact her directly at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

 

Kill the Hate

Published August 13, 2018 by Maryanne

Kill the Hate

I’m currently editing a book written by a black man growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. He spoke about transferring from an all black high school to a school that was 90 percent Caucasian. He was shocked by how much prejudice there was from white people against other white people.

I have experienced this growing up in the 1960s and 1970s being called a “wop” and “guinea” by white children of other nationalities and will be addressing this in my upcoming book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You.”

There’s so much hatred in this world, especially among children, which they learn from their parents. And then they grow up, but don’t really grow up because they use every excuse possible to spew hate.

No one is exempt from hate, whether it’s race, religion (it never ceases to amaze me how all forms of spirituality are okay, but God forbid you say “God”) age-ism, class shaming, fat AND thin shaming, jealousy, homophobia, tattoo haters, political beliefs, shaming the childless, even how people eat with vegans against meat eaters, people hating each other only because of what they “HEARD” and so on and so on and so on, people have to fight — and by fight I mean relentlessly harass — with anyone who is not like they are! And it SUCKS, I have been on the receiving end myself over and over again. And talking to all types of people, most people have experienced EXTREME hatred and hurt to some degree — more than once too. For one person to tell another person, “You don’t know how it is” is so wrong.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, I’m just so fucking drained of people hating on each other. We all have more in common than not in common. Doesn’t EVERYONE want prosperity, a great career, recognition for a job well done, love, sex, good health and wonderful friends?

You don’t have to love everyone, but by turning to the gray area of at least liking or respecting, the world would be a better place to live, I truly believe that.
PEACE, OUT.

My Guest Slot on “Health & Wellness”

Published June 26, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF2377

Above, left to right, Dennis Lords, Ryche Chlanda, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and Maryann Castello.

Last week I was honored to be a guest on Maryann Castello’s “Health & Wellness” show. Maryann was an awesome host. We spoke about my career, my three books (and upcoming book), music, health, and so much more! You might even hear your name mentioned!

The show was 1.5 hours long, but it went fast. Enjoy the You Tube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3w8p-4nIk&feature=youtu.be

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author, and public speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com