motivation

All posts tagged motivation

The Germs of Stress

Published October 3, 2020 by Maryanne

Please Kill Me! (Photo of me, mid-1990s)

Please kill me!

Just kidding…but be forewarned, this post is not one of my more positive ones. However, inspired by motivational speaker, Lewis Howes, I share my vulnerability in trust this story may help others. Those who follow Lewis Howes understand how sharing is to emotional health, growth, and healing.

Summer of 2008 I began my business Pear Tree Enterprises after a long career in journalism. For those who have been following my career, in the grassroots stage I was doing more marketing and personal assistance as opposed to what I do today — motivational speaking (on ZOOM since the pandemic began) and ghost writing/editing (remotely since the pandemic began).

Since the beginning of 2020, I’ve been incredibly busy, even when Covid hit. I counted my blessings because any self-employed business owner knows busy can change at the drop of a hat (and for millions it did drop during the pandemic, so I felt strangely fortunate during these times). But, also, any smart self-employed business owner knows that during the slower times we can embrace time off or taking time to learn a new skill.

I had such an opportunity a few days ago. Actually, brushing up on an old opportunity that I haven’t mastered — photography. As a journalist, when I went out to cover a story, I was often accompanied by a professional photographer. Not always did I have this luxury and many times I’d have to take my own photos to accompany my own stories. I enjoyed it, but could never feel comfortable saying I was a “photographer.”

When I was hired to photograph a recent session, it was under the umbrella of “assistant.” The pay was low, but it was an opportunity to brush up on an old skill. I was under the impression I would be photographing “product” for a self-proclaimed “health coach.”

Then I was asked the magic question, “Will you feel comfortable wearing a mask?”

Of course!

However, my assignment was not explained correctly. Yes, I was to photograph “product” but the “health coach” was modeling with the product. And of course, for the photos she would NOT be wearing a mask. Only I would. Had I known this ahead of time, I would not have accepted the opportunity.

It was inappropriate that I wasn’t given the right details; kind of sneaky, in my opinion. But I looked on the bright side, for years I’ve been under the care of a kick-ass nutritionist. I’d say the best in the country. He is so good he doesn’t have to advertise; he goes strictly by word of mouth. And so far, so great — no Covid.

However, I do not want to think cocky and believe I am above it. Anything is possible. And like I said before, Grandma always told me, “When your time is up, your time is up.” So, I humbly go with that.

After three hours of photographing, “Health Coach” had another assistant come in. This assistant was told she didn’t have to wear a mask. “No, you’re good,” said “Health Coach.”

HUH?!

Why? Why did Assistant #2 not have to wear a mask? This assistant had just come from Whole Foods, where social distancing is not practiced. Anyone who shops at Whole Foods knows this. Yes, maybe the cashiers wear masks and gloves, but throughout the store, people still shop on top of one another. I believe only 100 people are allowed in the store at this time, but it only takes one person to pass Covid on to another.

Me, I only came from my home. (And I work from home. I do not know what the other assistant did for a living). My husband works at a company that takes his temperature every day. He does not have Covid. I recently got my temperature taken at the eye doctor. I do not have Covid.

I was too shocked, like a deer in headlights, to explain this. Plus, I was hired and in the home of a client. I was not there to defend myself or argue. But looking back, I should have walked out right then and there, for the sake of MY health. Perhaps it was a power play. I do not know. I’m so used to being around positive people all the time, when something this negative happens, I am confused.

The next portion of being an assistant was helping to film the “health coach” doing a You Tube cooking show. During this time, “Health Coach” seemed rushed and stressed. The show had to be finished during daylight hours and time was running out as the sun went down. The stress level was super high and even the “health coach” admitted after the fact, while viewing the footage, that the show was “low-energy.”

DUH! Of course it was low energy! Here is a person stressing herself out as she tried to squeeze a 12-hour day into a mere six hours. And worrying about me giving her Covid. With the exception of me having a snack and a sip of water here and there, during the very long day I was not without mask. If I forgot to put my mask back on, she reminded me, “The mask! The mask!”

The whole afternoon I had to listen to this “health coach” rant about food, what’s in food, if people knew how food was made they wouldn’t eat anything, what a salmon fish eats….blah, blah, blah. But a major point was missing in her rant. The true fact–SCIENCE–that what comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it! What came out of her mouth lacked a major ingredient, kindness.

This is why I’ve used quotations around the words “health coach” throughout this blog. Fear is not healthy. Stress is not healthy. Pulling power trips on people you hire to work with you is not healthy. And being unkind by making someone feel like a leper because you falsely assume they have Covid is not only unhealthy but NOT COOL! Acting superior is not a sign of health. It’s a false sign of feeling worthy. Acting like you are better than others is a bright neon warning light to those who know better. You are telling me, “I’m very insecure.” And that’s scary because insecure people give off stress. She may be the “health coach” but it is me who briefly worried about what her stress and bad energy was doing to MY health!

When I left this woman’s home, I felt drained. I’m not playing victim, it’s my own fault for letting her harsh energy get to me. I should know better. On my drive there, I felt two angels on my shoulder. One angel said, “Turn around and go back, this isn’t for you.” The other angel said, “You’re not a quitter. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

I listened to the second angel, and respected the first angel. Both were correct. No, this wasn’t for me. And no I am not a quitter. What I learned from this experience is that I’ve been in such a great place in my career, with amazing clients, that when a not so desirable one pops up, I am blind-sided. I need to be more on top of my game. I should not only try to sell myself to a client, but have them sell themselves to me as well. You want me to wear a mask? Sure. But will you be wearing one too? Will others in my presence be wearing masks? Do you treat people you employee with upmost respect or are you a bully who pulls a power trip on your assistant? These questions are important for every self-employed person, because the client is not always right. Sometimes, like in this case, they are downright WRONG.

I reminded myself of an article I wrote several years ago, The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter … Can you guess which type of client the “health coach” was?

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

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

20 Things I Learned in 2020

Published September 21, 2020 by Maryanne

Twenty Things I Learned in 2020

  1. Life can change in an instant; embrace NOW!
  2. Grandma was right, “When your time is up, it’s up.” But if it’s not, 2020 taught us one thing — live for today; it’s a gift.
  3. I’m not as afraid of modern technology as I thought. Giving classes via ZOOM is FUN!
  4. Outdoor dining is fun too. The wind blows your long hair in your mouth as you eat, but that’s okay. Fresh air is good.
  5. If you can change and roll with the punches, you’ve nailed this!
  6. You can eat all the kale you want, but meditation is the ultimate in feeling good.
  7. During a major crisis, you can still thrive and be in control. April 2020, I made more money than I ever did in my life.
  8. Taking in a feral kitten is love. We can’t control the world, but we can embrace what we have in our own homes. Having a little soul to feed, train, and adore is the purest your heart can be!
  9. I can sing well when I put my mind to it.
  10. I did not write that sixth book during COVID19. And that is okay. Being lazy is okay.
  11. Discovering new parks in New Jersey is fun.
  12. Social distancing at restaurants is romantic, sitting far away from everyone else is like having the place to yourself.
  13. A crisis can bring others together, but don’t be blinded by this fact. People can still be jerks fighting over politics, smoking in public places, and cutting you off in traffic. We’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go.
  14. Being locked down was NOT boring. It was fun. I loved spending so much alone time with my husband and lots of reading.
  15. Belonging to online shopping clubs like Stitch Fix and Daily Look, and having a personal stylist, is so much better than shopping in stores! I may never shop in a boutique again!
  16. Even if you’re not a fan of phones and apps, just belonging to Amazon Prime alone is worth it. Products coming to your home within two days without shipping charges is a wow for me!
  17. Staying home more often is healthier! It was a breeze staying in shape this spring and summer because I ate out less. Even with take-out or dining out on the weekends, I managed to stay in shape.
  18. You don’t miss indoor concerts when you can see live music outdoors.
  19. I was never a gym person. Now I’m the go-to person for recommending the best online home training videos. (One example: Lucy Squad!!)
  20. Now that indoor dining is an option again, choose restaurants that are more “old school” (where the owner comes to your table, where older people go). Sports bars and trendy vegan restaurants are are nightmare during this time–short staffed, long waits even with reservations, and people smoking in the dining areas because staff is afraid to say something to them. Try places like farm-to-tables, take-out places with a few spots for dining, and even diners. During these times, in my experiences, these are the types of eateries that truly have their act together.

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

A Toast to Say Good-bye to 56!

Published August 18, 2020 by Maryanne
DSCF5147
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
A toast to say good-bye to a great age, 56! ❤
Today is my last day of age 56; tomorrow I will be 57. I’ve always been a person who looked forward to aging, not against it.
I’m always a person who lives by love and trust, not hope and fear.
My 56th year was a beautiful one. The summer of 2019 was a great one. And I had some kick-ass memories, like promoting at trade shows during autumn, performing my poetry live (something I haven’t done since the 1990s — and thanks to Toastmasters, I memorized all my words). The Covid pandemic hit USA in March of 2020, but that didn’t break my spirit. Loved ones stayed safe, and my business Pear Tree was thriving — and continues to thrive. Dennis and I loved the lock-down, and for the very first time we’ve created together and made a music video, my singing debut, which we’ve shared with many friends. AND during this time, the second edition of my fiction book “Love Cats” came out! I also gave some incredible ZOOM classes which were very well-received.
The saddest thing that happened this year, or any year for that matter, was losing one of my best friends, Vinnie Bordogna. It was one of my biggest losses ever. And I’ve yet to move on, and doubt I ever will.
For my 57th birthday, I asked the Universe for two special wishes–one of them came true already! (Stay tuned, you will know in September). Good-bye to age 56, it was one of my favorite years! (So thanks to everyone who said, last year, “Best Birthday Ever.” — you blessed me for an entire year!

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

Zoomin’ in On Healthy Pasta

Published August 6, 2020 by Maryanne

by Joan - CuteThat’s me in the upper left hand corner! 

When Covid hit the USA earlier this year, the lives of many changed. I am an author, writer, ghost writer, and public speaker. Of course during these times my speaking engagements are not so public. I had many of them lined up for 2020, and one by one my face grew long as they canceled.

But have no fear, ZOOM is here!

At first I was hesitant. I’m a technophobe and also like to stand during my lectures, and presentations. However, I got used to giving ZOOM classes. I nail them like a pro.

All summer long I’ve given classes on anti-bullying, meeting your soul mate, and being extra-ordinary. But the best one was the one featured above, “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” Notice everyone is smiling? How can you not when you’re talking about food! We discussed the different pastas available for all dietary needs like keto, vegan, and low carb. We also talked about our favorite pasta dishes. Unfortunately students couldn’t taste the dish I made; technology is not quite there yet! Nevertheless, we had a blast. There was a giveaway too — a gift certificate to Whole Foods.

I’ve been giving this class for years and I’m grateful to the Cedar Grove Library, Cedar Grove, NJ, for sponsoring my program.

How has Covid changed your career? Share some fun stories!

If anyone reading would like to sponsor “Healthy Pasta Alternatives,” drop me a line at maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

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

Another Day, Another Social Distancing Concert

Published July 25, 2020 by Maryanne

DSCF5115In my social distancing circle

Throughout these Covid times, I’ve been speaking of the positive things in life–the things that matter. We do our best to stay safe; and keep others safe. But we must have a balance in order to keep our mental health too. Going out, experiencing live music, smiling at strangers, and bonding over music is key to good health. Singing along, moving with the music, makes you feel alive! And feeling good is the greatest anti-oxidant. I look forward to seeing more outdoor concerts this summer. (Just like last summer; which makes life seem closer to normal!)

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

 

My Response to “Appalled Graphic Designer”

Published June 24, 2020 by Maryanne

Girls Life

Recently, an “appalled graphic designer” changed the cover of Girls’ Life to her liking. Apparently, the original cover wasn’t empowering to young women. You can read the article here: https://womenyoushouldknow.net/appalled-graphic-designer-shows-girls-life-magazine-what-their-cover-should-look-like/

My response is something not many women want to hear, but it’s a reality that isn’t talked about much.

I came from a broken home. My mother worked two jobs to support two girls. I went to a prep high school and did excellent freshman year, but because we lacked the funds, I had to transfer to a public school, which I hated.

Bottom line, I graduated by the skin of my teeth and went straight to work, without college. Nevertheless I got opportunities and became what I wanted to be — a writer!

The first magazine I worked at, I KNOW I was hired because of my looks (back then, I am now in my 50s and just mediocre). And I am fine with that because back then I had nothing else to go on. Prior to that I was a waitress, drinking on the way to work, because I lost my dear grandmother who helped raise me and I felt devastated. I felt hopeless day in and day out. Not every woman is born an Einstein; and not every woman has opportunities. Some of us work very hard at it and if being cute and stylish gives some of us an edge, why not? At the time it might be all we know.

Don’t hate beautiful women, you don’t know their story!

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

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

 

The Universe Speaks

Published May 5, 2020 by Maryanne

beyond-the-blue-horizon-my-photoTwilight photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

If you don’t believe in miracles, stop reading. If you do, carry on…

You always hear tales about rock stars or celebrities predicting their fame. But common people don’t share enough of their every day miracles–that they manifested by the positives that came directly from their own mouth.

One of the most beautiful examples, in my life, was back in late 2005. A relationship ended with yet another loser (though to be fair, I did have some cool boyfriends when I was single, some I am still friends with). After that break-up, my mother said to me, “You should be like me, just be alone.”

Easy for her to say, she was 62, but I was only 42 and did not want to spend the rest of my life alone. I simply blurted, “No, there is someone out there for me!”

Two months later I met the man who ended up being my husband, the love of my life, my rock, and loving cat daddy!

That was one of the bigger miracles and I feel another big one is about to manifest.

Everyone who is artistic and in the public eye, knows how hard it is to elevate your career from point A to point B. The process isn’t an overnight success, but moves so slowly it can feel like you’re going backward instead of going forward. But if you pay attention to the signs, you can see you ARE going forward, especially when you see things being left behind.

For example, when I first started as a public speaker, back in 2014, it was in assisted living facilities. I lectured seniors on health and history; and eventually had a “Learn & Listen” series where I’d speak about the life of a famous entertainer, followed by live music! Speaking at the assisted livings elevated to libraries. This went on for another six years.

Over the years I’ve learned that when you book something in the winter, you have to have a rain/snow date. But COVID19 reschedules don’t cut it because no one knows what the future brings. But let’s back up a bit …

As much as I loved doing gigs at the libraries, and all the beautiful memories I’ve had, once my library gigs canceled, one by one, due to COVID19, I took it as a blessing in disguise.

You see, I’ve become such a good speaker, it’s only natural that I wanted to elevate to the next step. I’ve outgrown libraries and began dreaming of the day when I’d no longer be doing the library gigs. In fact, while booking one of my gigs (which is hard work, but I never found someone I could connect with to do it for me), I blurted out to a librarian, “I won’t be doing this much longer. I’m going to be moving on to schools and universities.”

Sure enough, a week ago I had a phone meeting with a university. I’m going to be conducting lectures/classes/workshops online! This may start as soon as June! It’s a magical manifestation that I made happen.

In this day and age, with so many believing in The Secret, Law of Attraction, positive thinking, elevating yourself, and going after the gold, this story is not as “out there” as someone many have believed in the 1980s. (Though I must say, some are still stuck there!)

If something comes out of your mouth that seems a bit strange, or unlike you, it just may be from the universe, giving you the nudge you need!

Has this ever happened to you? Share your stories!

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

Staying Healthy During COVID19 Lockdown

Published April 15, 2020 by Maryanne

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One of my salad dishes with homemade dressing of raw buckwheat honey, coconut aminos, and apple cider vinegar.

When I go to my Facebook feed, I see many friends are turning to comfort foods during the COVID19 lock down; especially since many are raving that now they have more time to cook. I see types of dishes I love like pastas, pierogies, and even homemade pizzas.

But where are the greens? This is the time we should up our intake of green food to keep our immune system strong.

I get it. Sometimes there are slim pickings at the supermarkets. It seems like the produce section is usually the first to clear out. We need to get to our favorite stores as soon as  shipments come to get not only what we want, but what is fresh.

And during these unpredictable times, our moods can fluctuate from, “I got this!” to “When is it going to end?” or something in-between. One day we’re ready as warriors, able to face the world and tackle the grocery shopping. Other days staying in confinement is just fine because the outside is scary. People walking around with masks, six feet away from each other. It’s not natural. And it can be depressing.

The thing is, our diets don’t have to be depressing. Sure, indulge in a treat, but make it once a day, if that. The rest of your meals should be something that’s giving you energy and contributing to your positive attitude.

For me, I feel it’s easy to get the health stuff out of the way first thing in the morning. That’s when I like to work out, take my supplements, and make a fresh smoothie. I’ll always have frozen organic fruit in the refrigerator, for those days when I can’t get to the supermarket. Since COVID19, I’ve been trying to limit it to once a week, during a time where I see as little people as possible.

In my smoothies, I’ll add greens. It could be anything like a handful of kale, parsley, or an avocado. A great add-in is moringa. I’ve been using the powder for years! It has so many health benefits, including fighting against bacterial diseases–which is especially important during this time!

I’ve been intermittent fasting during COVID-19, so a smoothie holds me over until I have food at lunch time, which is usually a raw salad with nuts. At night I might have a pasta dish, or another salad, depending on how active I was during the day.

There are many fun recipes on line, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, now is the perfect time to learn something new. Perhaps you might find yourself creating some delicious dishes that are good for you? Let me know, below, if you’ve found yourself hooked on something healthy!

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