opinion

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The Happy Writer!

Published May 20, 2019 by Maryanne

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Putting down an author just because they are not YET a “best-selling” author is a poor man’s mindset. It’s those who do not give up who win. Even if they don’t become best-selling authors, sustainability accounts for something too. Royalty checks, book signing events, and interviews on radio shows all add up. Getting offers to write blogs from all over the world and helping people write books to make their dreams come true is a blessing. It’s super fun earning money while you sleep too!
I’m living the dream and have been earning a living as a writer since 1995! I’ve been in magazines all over the world. I’ve interviewed some of the most incredible people including Henry Winkler, Tommy James, and Peter Murphy. 
I’ve had free meals in restaurants all over New York City. I’ve been on the guest list at countless concerts. And best of all, it doesn’t feel like WORK because I LOVE what I do.
Unstoppable with no plans of retiring! Because if I stop living my dream, I will DIE inside! 
So, when you meet a writer, do not ask them if they are a Best-selling author. A better question is “Are you happy?” And be prepared for an answer that will give you the greatest contact high ever!

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 (which both mention how she was inspired by Freddie Mercury): 

“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

Best Evaluator at Toastmasters

Published May 11, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3648Maryanne Christiano Mistretta – Best Evaluator, Toastmasters International

It’s been a glorious week in my public speaking journey. Sunday I was honored to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83. And Thursday night I won for “Best Evaluator.”

I’ve only been a member of Toastmasters since October 2018, and in seven short months I’ve scored the workshop, won for “Best Speaker,” “Best Table Topics,” and “Best Evaluator.” All this for my journey to become a motivational speaker!

Being an evaluator scared me. Who am I to judge someone else’s speech, which they worked so hard to present? The thing is, unlike having a prepared speech, when you’re an evaluator, you have to come up with something to say on the spot! (Kind of like being a judge on American Idol!) I was so terrified to do this, I procrastinated for several weeks, even avoiding going to Toastmasters by going to other events on Thursdays instead, like concerts, book clubs, etc.

When I got up there, I was so nervous, but I channeled my nervous energy into positive energy. Luckily I had the pleasure to evaluate a positive speech, called “Follow Your Dreams.” The speaker was amazing and I was so high on what she said, that I was able to nail my evaluation of her. It was hard finding something to give feedback on because she was so good. But I thought about myself, when I read in front of an audience and realized I could give the same feedback I’ve been given. Not to use filler words.

In the past few months I’ve watched so many amazing motivational speakers on You Tube and Ted Talks and in person. Using filler words like “like,” “so,” and even “um,” seems to be the norm; something we can all be aware of.

Hell, I even caught myself saying “um” during my presentation, but I still won! And the person who evaluated my evaluation offered ZERO critique on my evaluation. He said my evaluation was “perfect.” I also received praise from others in my Toastmaster group that it’s rare that someone wins at a “first.” But I nailed it.

The point of all of this is, don’t worry about being perfect, just get out there and do it! Not everyone will notice your imperfections, or that you are nervous. And maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a win — whether it’s your first time doing something, or after many tries!

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

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

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

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

Anti-Bullying Book Club!

Published April 7, 2019 by Maryanne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why I Left Young Living

Published January 22, 2019 by Maryanne

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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