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Why I Left Young Living

Published January 22, 2019 by Maryanne

young-living

Perhaps “left” is a strong word. I didn’t exactly “leave” Young Living. I just decided to forfeit my status as a Young Living Star and save $100+ per month.

When I was first exposed to Young Living oils,  it wasn’t a bad thing. I loved the oils. And I still do. For four years I was excited to try various oils each month as well their soaps and body lotions, which are incredible.

Sales is not my forte, but I did manage to get a few people on my down line simply by speaking, organically about the oils and products in passing. I had a decent run of receiving small checks each month as well as free product for accumulating reward points.

There were times when I had a full bathroom cupboard stocked with about four YL toothpastes, five soaps, and three body lotions. In my kitchen cupboard were over 20 oils from their Vitality line that I’d never use in food because they are way too potent. Honestly, I’d rather use fresh herbs as spices than Young Living oils. And while some oils are great to use to help you get over certain ailments, hey, I’m a very healthy person. So, to be honest, I rarely use Young Living oils for my health! And, finally, there was all the stuff I’d never try–stuff I just wasn’t interested in. Currently, I have some favorite oils that I use as perfumes, but they are definitely going to last for at least the next 10 months.

When I gave up my Star status, and forfeited my Essential Rewards and the ability to get a check each month, which had now dwindled because the people on my down line who purchased the most had also left, I stayed on board because as I said, I do like their stuff. But four months later, there must be close to 100 bottles of oils in my house that I rarely use! When I thought about their fabulous body lotions, I signed in to get some for the winter. Then realized, there are body lotions by other companies that are just as clean and smell just as lovely, but cheaper.  I didn’t order anything. But who knows if I will in the future? As of now, I’m just not feeling it.

But, then, the biggest reason of all–Young Living is not my passion or my dream job.

When it comes to work, there are two things–and two things only–that I am passionate about. That’s writing and public speaking. I’ve been incredibly blessed that I’ve been able to make a living as a writer since 1995. Not that many people are as fortunate. For me to give up writing and public speaking, to invest in Young Living full time would be like Cher doing  infomercials; a total waste of talent!

Why on earth would I want to sell oils when I could be (and am!) writing books?! It just doesn’t make sense, right?

For years, in the business world, people have been saying, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” Well, that’s me, especially since I ditched Young Living.

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

 

 

 

 

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

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 

The Flowers of Romance

Published February 9, 2016 by Maryanne

valentines

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and like every year, here come the haters ruining it for the rest of us with their anti-Valentine’s Day rants.

So, once again, I say, get over yourselves, Dear Joy Killers.

Yeah, we don’t need a special holiday to dictate how we feel, but don’t forget St. Valentine was a cool saint, number one, and number two, whenever a whole slew of people are on the same vibe/wavelength, it promotes incredible energy from the universe. So if couples are getting engaged, married or just celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together, it’s a euphoric thrill to bask on that cool/crazy energy. Valentine’s Day isn’t until Sunday, but I’m feeling the groove already.

But haters prevail. Just as we flipped the calendar to read “February” — and so began the “me-me-me” tirades.

As if women aren’t ungrateful enough for the kind things their boyfriends/husbands will do for them, now the latest in Valentine’s hating is the newest generation of feminists dissing on flowers.

And so they moan:

“They’re too expensive.”

“They die.”

“I’d rather have a dinosaur bouquet.” (An ugly dust collector made of polyester — toxic for the environment. And at $39.99, you can definitely get a cheaper flower bouquet).

Then, the most ridiculous reason of all — “Giving flowers means he’s apologizing for doing something bad.”

Give me a break! Just because giving flowers could be a beautiful peace treaty, don’t insult the intelligence and kindness of a good man who gives flowers “just because.”

Just a mere 13 years ago I was still single (and still working in an office) and my boyfriend at the time unexpectedly sent a bouquet to my office — for no reason at all. I was thrilled.

A co-worker saw them and commented, “Was he bad?”

I didn’t know what she meant by that. I thought she was making an S&M reference, so I said, “yeah” and winked at her. Not realizing, at the time, she was making a catty remark; that a guy wouldn’t do such a nice thing. Then it dawned on me later. I could never look that woman in the eye again. That kind of negativity towards men is not for me.

I feel so sorry for those types of women — the man haters, the feminists, and the distrusting who always think a nice gesture has an an ulterior motive. These women will never be happy in the romance department. And the sad thing is, I’m sure many of them are hooked up with poor slobs who will never be appreciated; the kind of guys who can’t do enough for them.

But, I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl who loves flowers! My husband and I often give each other flowers “just because.” They’re pretty. They make the house smell nice. And, yes, they die, but that’s symbolic of the circle of life.

Last fall I treated myself and put a bouquet of flowers in my home office. When they dried out, I left them because they still looked pretty. Then my husband surprised me with new “winter style” bouquet. And then after that a brighter one, as we were enjoying a very mild New Jersey winter so the bright flowers looked absolutely gorgeous as the sun beat through the window.

After four years of marriage, and 10 years together, I am still madly in love with my husband; and incredibly happy for everyone around me who is madly in love with their significant others. (And appreciates old fashioned romantic gestures). ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” (where the lead character, Beck, is a GREAT GUY!) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Stinky Smokers

Published January 24, 2016 by Maryanne

Stinky smokingSmoking = a stinky, nasty habit

Last weekend my husband and I went away for a few days. Once again we were upgraded to a suite in the hotel because we weren’t even there one second when I noticed that the patrons before us were smoking. Mind you, it was a supposed to be a non-smoking hotel. But what really got me is that it was also a no-pet hotel. We could have easily been sneaky and brought our cat in and no one would have been the wiser. Yeah, some pet owners don’t clean up after their animals and they could be destructive, but for the most part, pet owners are clean people and control their pets. You can’t say the same about smokers. The nicotine fit kicks in and the cigarettes are whipped out faster than a greased rat’s ass. Smokers have zero control over this nasty habit and leave their disgusting butts all over the place.

What makes someone smoke is beyond me. Cigarettes smell and leave a stench that lasts for eternity. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would have several cigarettes lit at one time. I’d go around, ashtray to ashtray and put them all out. She’d get mad at me, but that never stopped me from doing it again. And again and again. Later on in life, cigarette smoking attributed to her diabetes complications and Grandma had her leg amputated. There are television commercials that illustrate this, yet people continue to smoke like chimneys. Some women use smoking as a weight loss tool, with no regard for what could happen to them down the line. Just another sad illustration of how we live in a world where people are ruled by selfish instant gratification.

As a young girl, I once asked a male friend what is the biggest turn off. Without hesitation, he said, “A woman who smokes. That is not sexy.”

I have to agree with him. All the years of seeing so many of my favorite actors or rock stars with a cigarette dangling from their mouth, I felt incredibly disappointed. A pretty boy can turn real ugly with one of those dreadful things coming out of his lips. Ew.

But aside from the stench, aside from the fact that it’s totally disgusting, and aside from the fact that smoking is a health crisis, what bothers me most about smokers is, as I said above, how inconsiderate they are. When I was still single and living in an apartment complex, the couple below me smoked like chimneys. They had a bucket near their door filled with sand and cigarette butts. Just looking at that turned my stomach. Once they moved in, I could no longer sit outside on the back porch. The smell made me gag. When I complained to the supervisor, those tools retaliated and said that I made too much noise. Note, I was in that apartment from 1991 to 2005 and none of the other couples below me complained. But try to come between a smoker and his/her cigarettes and it’s like trying to pry food out of a Pitbull’s mouth … it just ain’t happening.

And I don’t know what’s worse: the blatant in-your-face smokers who shamelessly light up with no regard to who they are annoying. Or the sneaky ones who lie about it. The episodes of “Sex and the City” where Aidan wanted Carrie to quit smoking was so on the money. I worked with women who were engaged and lied to their fiances about smoking.

One day years before I became self-employed, I was working for a publishing company in Hoboken. Hoboken, New Jersey was a great place to work in the late 1990s. There were health food stores, indie bookstores, and indie record shops before corporate Hipsterville took over and homogenized it. But, yeah, back in the day, I’d freely roam the streets and even though Hoboken is like a little Manhattan, you could easily jaywalk from side to side. That’s exactly what I did if a smoker was approaching me. I’d simply cross to the other side of the street so I didn’t have to smell his/her stench.

Anyway, I worked with one of those lying smokers. I’ll never forget, it was either spring or fall — one of those seasons where you either need a jacket, or you don’t. I made the mistake of asking a smoker, “When you went out for your cigarette, how was the weather?”

She didn’t hear the “how was the weather?” part — only the part about “cigarette.” The woman went into a ballistic rage about how she DOESN’T SMOKE! She was yelling at me, embarrassing herself, for at least seven minutes straight. Then she didn’t talk to me anymore after that.

Did I deserve that? Not at all. Yet other smokers defended her and said I should have asked her about the weather without saying, “when you went out for your cigarette.” That is the smoking mentality … people who smoke make no sense. It’s okay that their smoking offends everyone, but not okay if someone speaks up about it.

Isn’t it my right to live in a world with clean, fresh air? Why do I have to suffer for your nasty, stinky habit that you obviously have no control over? Why is it okay for smokers to brazenly light up in a hotel room (and get away with it) when a pet owner would never dare bring a pet into a hotel that says “no pets”?

After three days, when my husband and I came home and opened the door to our house, it smelled SO GOOD. Was it because even after a hotel upgrade, I still had smoke on the brain? Maybe. Once that smell gets up your nose (and into your lungs) it’s a helluva gross thing to forget.

I took a great big whiff of our non-smoking house and then picked up my cat and gave him a big hug, taking in a big whiff of his natural, beautiful kitty smell! If I have to be addicted to something, I’m so glad it’s my cat! ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

To My Single Male Friends, I’m REALLY Not Interested in Your Conquests

Published December 28, 2015 by Maryanne

neanderthal

As a happily married woman, I hate to shun single people, but when it comes to guy friends, I have to be honest, I prefer the company of happily married ones (or happily committed ones).

For one, happily married/committed men are more interesting. They are inspiring because they always talk lovingly about their wives. You can joke around with them about anything and know they’ll never hit on you. You’ll talk about a variety of topics such as music, films, animals, food, politics, etc. and never get bored. Plus, they’ll love to hear about your husband too! I kid you not, happily married/committed men are rarely threatened by other males. They’ll always be like, “Tell your husband I said ‘Hi!'”

While my single female friends are a lot of fun to be around, my single male friends … well, I’m really starting to dread my lunch dates with them. You sit down and it’s only a matter of seconds before they start whipping out the phone and showing photos of their latest “hope to conquests” they found on Facebook or Match Dot Com.

Yawn.

Hey guys, why does me saying, “Oh, she’s pretty!” (because I have nothing else to go on) validate you? How about waiting until you are in a REAL relationship (a healthy one that lasts more than a month) and THEN tell me that her beautiful looks match her beautiful soul? Then we can all double date and have good conversations; not cringe-worthy ones that stroke your ego and take up 90 percent of the lunch date (without me getting in one sentence edgewise about how much I absolutely adore my incredible husband!)

It is only fair that I can talk about my great husband too, right? But my happiness doesn’t seem of interest to you. You just want a sounding board for your potential conquests, which makes me feel bad because that tells me our friendship isn’t important as it once was, otherwise you’d be a bit more enthusiastic to hear about my life and what I’ve been up too. Plus, deep down I know that once you do fall in love with someone, if she’s a jealous type and/or doesn’t approve of me, we just might not be friends anymore.

But what’s worse of all is that those cool, intelligent, interesting, funny male friends I’ve known since my teens, 20s and 30s, have turned into in-a-hurry-to-have-a-relationship tail chasers once they hit their 40s and 50s. What a shame, because this isn’t the type of single guy I’d introduce to a single girl friend. So, on second thought, let’s cancel our lunch date.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Attack of the Psycho Vegans (Written by a Former Vegan)

Published September 26, 2015 by Maryanne

vegans my food shits on your food

Note: This is about the vegan extreme, elitists. I do have two friends left who are vegan and non-judgmental. This isn’t about them or any sane vegan I’ve yet to meet, but I seriously need to vent for the sake of my health and sanity.

I never thought I’d see the day I’d be writing a blog like this.

First of all, I love animals and I was a vegetarian most of my adult life — 28 years. During those 28 years I tried being vegan several times. However, it didn’t work for me. I’d get to that 10-month mark and all of a sudden I’d get dizzy spells and back aches. Doctors couldn’t explain it. Then I’d be told to “eat some meat.”

Stubborn, I didn’t listen.

But that was back in my 20s, 30s, and even 40s. I got by not eating meat until two springs ago. I was having dizzy spells every single morning. It was suggested by not one, not two, but three holistic health care practitioners that I’d be better off eating some meat. I argued that I hated the taste. “But did you ever have real, grass-fed beef?” one asked.

“No, I hate it.”

Finally after much reading and investigating, particularly in the book “Paleo Manifesto” by John Durant, reading the bad news about soy, I said a prayer to the animals and got some grass-fed beef.

Moving forward, I pray over my food when I eat. In the beginning, I needed a lot of beef to make blood. Within two months I felt better. No more dizzy spells! And for a year straight my blood pressure was finally normal. As a vegetarian, it was always too low, borderline anemic. Now at 52, I feel and look better than I did my entire life!

With the exception of eating grass-fed beef only once a month now, I am still for my animals. I do not buy any products that test on them. My favorite items are Gabrielle Lux mascara and Mineral Fusion.

Friends who waved the vegan flag — well, now I’m down to just two because the rest were so freaking judgmental about me eating meat they are no longer friends but we’ll get to that in a second — were still wearing mascara that tested on animals “because it’s cheap”; still drinking wine that is processed through a bone char filter (they had no explanation for that one, they just turned it back on me, calling me a murderer); and eating cheese (that uses animal rennet) while pointing their fingers (can someone please tell me why it’s okay to eat the lining of a sheep’s stomach but not a piece of grass-fed beef?)

Hypocritical? You bet!

And it goes on and on and on and never stops. Vegans turn a blind eye not only to their own sins, but their own insanity. They defend animals, but aren’t other human beings animals too? Hello, I was once your friend! We broke gluten-free bread together. But now that I’m old and need a different kind of fuel in my gas tank — because soy and grass ain’t cutting it for me anymore — I should be scorned and harassed? Should I not be healthy to take care of my cats? Should I not be healthy to stay alive and keep buying products that don’t test on animals? Should I not be healthy so I can continue operating my animal rights group that is anti-trophy hunting?

No, I guess not. Because for two months I’ve been verbally abused on-line for having an animal rights group and not being vegan. I retaliated by making fun of psycho vegans because this is how I deal with stress — I give assholes a taste of their own bad medicine.

Well, a vegan “friend” didn’t like this and took offense. Instead of seeing that I was hurting and reaching out instead she chose to lash out  — true vegan style: not making sense, just seeing it her way, being self-absorbed and making it all about her (oh, by the way, this is the one who uses cheap non-cruelty free mascara).

I explained my situation … “Don’t take my venting personally. It’s not about you. I am just so drained of vegans telling me I can’t have an animal group because I eat meat once a month. I am so drained of vegans insulting me, putting me down and bullying me.”

If you slap a dog in the face enough times, the dog is going to bite you back. It’s a no-brainer. But vegans are so cult-minded, they don’t see other human beings as people … people who bleed, hurt, and cry out. In other words — heartless. YES, vegans are heartless. Anyone who can treat another human being like a piece of shit and then go on with their lives is not a nice person.

Now, the “friend” I mentioned previously …  A year ago she had financial problems. She was a single mom. I felt bad and created a children’s program so she could use her talents and make some money. I got us booked in many libraries, especially during Earth Day. Thanks to me, she made a lot of money. And in her last email to me, the bitch had the gall to write, “Since you make fun of vegans, I don’t want to be your friend anymore, but we can still work together.”

That blew my mind. A male friend said, “She has balls!” He was just as shocked as I was. Wow. Just WOW!

Then it dawned on me … this is why it’s nearly impossible to be friends with most vegans. They’re not capable of being a friend. They use animals as a clutch. I don’t even think they really love animals because I’ve seen a few vegans around animals and it’s weird … they don’t swoon the way non-vegans do.

Extreme veganism is a religion. But don’t call them “religious.” That’s another vegan “no-no.” Last year around Christmas time, the vegan “friend” went on an anti-Jesus rampage. As someone who believes in Jesus, I was offended, but I live and let live. I never questioned her motives, I let her have her rant (like a good friend would). Shame she never gave me the same consideration.

Extreme vegans are insecure people who are using a title to give themselves a sense of belonging. They are searching, but somehow hit a wall because they can’t go beyond what is black and white. This is where the cult-mindset and irrationality comes in. This is why even an animal lover like myself can adore someone like hunter Ted Nugent who takes it to the other extreme, but at the moment can be the voice of reason because you’re so sickened by these holier than thous who drive you to the point of insanity, making you want to grasp on to anything that is the complete opposite of what they are. Kinda of defeats their purpose, right? How ironic for them.

The reality is not everyone can be vegan or vegetarian. My mother is a vegetarian, but when she had open heart surgery, she had to have a cow valve. A cow saved my mother’s life. And here is a woman who called Johnson and Johnson and told them they were “disgusting” for testing on animals. Here is a woman who raised a beautiful Chihuahua that lived 15 years (much longer than the average Chihuahua life span because of all the love she gave her!) Just like my cats. My Billy Cat lived to 19. And now my Derick is 19 and still going strong. If I wasn’t a good person who treated animals with utmost respect, these cats would have been long gone.

But extreme vegans don’t see this. They just want to be haters. And judge. And bully.

And now, let me go one better on you … During my 28 years as a vegetarian, from age 23 to 50, I never judged anyone for eating meat. In my late 20s I had a long-term relationship with a hunter, who froze the deer meat and fed his family. He was a beautiful animal lover. We actually rescued many animals together who we saw wounded in the streets. It was simply meant to be because those animals were right in our pathway, waiting to be saved.

It’s the same thing now with me and my husband. I can’t count how many times we’ve rescued animals together. The cutest was a recent incident when a family of baby raccoons were trying to cross the street. I stopped traffic and my husband guided them into a safe wooded area! It was the most adorable thing!

I know many meat eaters who are also animal communicators. They have an incredible, admirable bond with animals. It’s super inspiring to see that. These are helpless, little babies who need us. And we need them just as much because they provide a safe haven. They are not just animals, they are little souls.

And so are humans …

So don’t forget this, Dear Vegan Extremist, the next time you want to hate and lash out. Take your ego somewhere else. Have a little taste of some humble pie (lard-free of course!) and stop with the judgements. Do a little research. Know that you are not always right and your way isn’t the only way. Just because I’m not a vegan, you have ZERO right to tell me I don’t love animals. Try telling that one to my cat! He’ll turn his nose up at you — for sure!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the founder of R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights), a refreshing animal rights group that isn’t vegan! She’s also the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback or kindle editions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513