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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.”


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:

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

The History of Motown

Published February 11, 2018 by Maryanne

IMG_1117 (1)

From left: Audience member, Librarian Kassundra Miller, Stephen Fuller, and Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Saturday, February 10, 2018, Pear Tree Enterprises presented “The History of Motown” featuring music by Stephen Fuller.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta gave a 45 minute talk on Berry Gordy’s Motown artists, followed by live music from Stephen Fuller (

The audience sang along and danced to artists like The Temptations and Michael Jackson.

To see when the next program is visit Pear Tree Enterprises at

To book this program for your school, library, or senior group, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at:



5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — Happy New Year!

Published December 28, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1213 - fun

Unlike prior years, I’m almost afraid to say “good-bye” to 2017. It was certainly a memorable year; and a true blessing that for the first time in a long time no one very close to me passed away. (And I beg the universe to keep it that way for at the very least the next three days. If we can have an equal 2018, I’ll be forever grateful!)

In addition to many book signings, radio shows, library lectures, a great big elevation in my career, my private time with my beautiful husband, cherished moments with great friends (you know who you are!) and more concerts and lunch/dinner dates than I could keep track of, there were five outstanding moments that 2017 offered. Here they are, in date order:

  • February 2017, I got the word that my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” was to be traditionally published! By September, it was available on Amazon!
  • September 2017, during my “Learn & Listen: The Life and Music of David Bowie” series, a special guest showed up to perform the encore song. Three-time Grammy winner, Rob Fusari wowed the audience with his version of “Young Americans.” And I am now in the process of filming a documentary about the “Learn & Listen” series, with Rich Timberlake and Jayne DiGregorio working hard behind the scenes.
  • October 2017, I was chosen by the NJ Poet’s Society to read my poem “All About Eve” for the All About Eve Art Festival. It was an incredible honor and a night I’ll never forget!
  • October 2017. From June through November I worked as editorial assistant, then associate editor for a magazine. In October I was honored to go on a business trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a few days. Always mixing business with pleasure, I took it upon myself to check at Peter Noone (for the 5th or 6th time) at the City Winery. Atlanta was a beautiful place to visit, especially in late October while their daylight still goes strong until around 8 p.m.
  • November 2017 was the icing on the cake! Renna Media hired me as editor and writer for their 21 publications. Now over a month into this gig and I can honestly say I am ecstatic! With plenty of time to work and play, I can still handle my Pear Tree Enterprises ( business on a part-time basis. After working for a magazine for five months, it feels like I got my life back again. I get to work at home in my pajamas, but also go out and about to meetings, to cover hyper local news, and was extremely honored to write the tribute about Pat DiNizio when he passed, which made the cover of his hometown newspaper.

While no one close to us passed, I was very sad to see the following go (in no particular order): Pat DiNizio, David Cassidy, Adam West, Glen Campbell, Gregg Allman, Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, author William Peter Blatty, Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore, Erin Moran, Jim Neighbors, and Charles Bradley. (Yes, there were many more, but these are the ones that were most dear to my heart; may they rest in peace.)

On a happier note, I’ve always believed that how you start the year is the prediction of how the year will be. With an old fashioned tradition of “dinner and a movie” my husband and I ended 2016 by going to see “Why Him?” Setting the tone of the new year with LAUGHTER was the way to go, followed by fine dining, and that extra special kiss at midnight made 2017 unbelievable. We create our own magic — and this is what it’s all about!



Life and Music of David Bowie at Kinnelon Library

Published September 17, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF0279From left: Keith Beck, Kim Christian, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, Rob Fusari

Sunday, Sep 17, Pear Tree Enterprises ( presented “The Life and Music of David Bowie” at Kinnelon Library, Kinnelon, NJ.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, sole proprietor of Pear Tree, hosted the show, presenting a brief bio on David Bowie’s life, with a Q&A segment and the opportunity for audience members to share their memories of David Bowie. The audience was made up of over 50 people of all ages.

Keith Beck ( performed over a half hour of Bowie tunes including: Space Oddity, Andy Warhol, Ziggy Stardust, and Starman, which were extremely well received by the audience.

Then three-time Grammy winning producer, Rob Fusari ( who had worked with ABC, Adam Lambert, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga … to name a few … performed his killer version of “Young Americans.”

To have this program at your library, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 

We will travel! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist and three time author. Her latest book, “The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon:



Pear Tree’s “Learn & Listen Series” Now Has Johnny Cash Tribute!

Published June 7, 2016 by Maryanne

Johnny CashHello, I’m Johnny Cash

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta, of Pear Tree Enterprises ( is proud to add a brand new program to the “Learn and Listen” series, available to libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, Jewish Community Centers, etc.

Now on board with Pear Tree, Keith Beck brings his talent to the stage featuring the music of Johnny Cash. 

“Learn and Listen: The Life and Music of Johnny Cash” is a one-hour presentations, with Maryanne Mistretta sharing the biography of the the artists, followed by a half hour of acoustic music, featuring Keith Beck ( performing the songs the legendary Johnny Cash made famous.


Check out this amazing new addition to the Pear Tree “Learn & Listen” repertoire at The Boonton Library, 621 Main St., Boonton, New Jersey, on Friday, July 1, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Thanks so much to Stephanie Gableman for having us back for the third time this summer!

SAM_0259Keith Beck performing earlier this year at Boonton Library

Don’t miss out on the fun! Book us today!

The “Learn & Listen” series features the following acts: Johnny Cash, David Bowie, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra.

To find out more dates, please follow Pear Tree at:

Pear Tree Enterprises is updated monthly — so mark your calendars! All events are FREE!

For rates and availability, please contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 908-276-1514 during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email:

Honesty = Freedom

Published May 22, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0082Honesty = Freedom

Earlier this month my company Pear Tree Enterprises ( teamed up with Be the Difference! inspirational t-shirt company.

Joy, a resident of Jersey City, began the Be the Difference movement to encourage and inspire. Joy was seeking positive people to join the movement; and I excitedly said, “Count me in!” because I am living it!

I’m proud to wear my “Honesty = Freedom” t-shirt, because it truly says so much! Obviously, when you’re honest, you don’t have to exhaust yourself with lies for whatever reason. But, even more important, being honest with yourself is extremely liberating because you know you’re doing your best to live the life you truly want.

Now that it’s t-shirt weather in NJ, I love wearing my “Follow Your Dreams” t-shirt, to keep me inspired! ❤

Are you honest with yourself?

How does honesty free you?

If you’d like to purchase this t-shirt (or any others that might inspire you!) visit:

Use the discount code “peartree” to get 10% off your purchase!

Follow Be the Difference on Facebook:

And on Twitter:

Ten percent of all proceeds go to Hayden’s Heart:

Hayden’s Heart is a non-profit organization “Keeping Hayden’s memory alive by raising CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) awareness and helping other families in their time of need.”

“Life and Music of John Lennon” at Boonton Library, Boonton, New Jersey

Published May 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0016Keith Beck

Pear Tree Enterprises ( proudly presented “The Life and Music of John Lennon featuring Keith Beck (” last night at the Boonton Library

“The Life and Music of John Lennon” consists of a half hour biography presented by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, proprietor of Pear Tree. The bio is written so that audience members can join in and share their memories of John Lennon. The bio is followed by a half hour of live music by Keith Beck. Songs included: “Across the Universe,” “Imagine,” and “Oh Yoko” to name a few.

You Tube video from presentation:

Thanks so much to Stephanie Gabelmann for having Pear Tree come for the third time!

This presentation is available to libraries, assisted living facilities, senior groups, and more! For pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at:

SAM_0011Maryanne (left), Keith Beck (center) and Stephanie Gabelmann (library director)

CONTEST/GIVEAWAY! Happy Customer Appreciation Day!

Published March 3, 2016 by Maryanne

pear tree buttonsPear Tree Enterprises loves YOU!

Hey Gang!

It’s Customer Appreciation Day and in honor of such great support since 2008, I’m having some giveaways on all my Facebook business pages. Pear Tree Enterprises ( has been in business since 2008. I’m an author, ghost writer, book editor, and public speaker. I am also the founder of ROAR ( and a Young Living Oils distributor.

Giveaways/Prizes include:

Young Living Valor soap

Nature goat’s milk shea soap

My first book: “On the Guest List Adventures of a Music Journalist”

My second book “Love Cats” (over 18 only please!)

So, you got to be in it to win it!

Here are my four business pages on Facebook. All you have to do is “like” the page and on the page leave a comment why you want to win! You can enter one or all! CONTEST ENDS March 4, 2016 sometime in the morning, which is when the winners will be randomly chosen!

Pear Tree Enterprises:


On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (author page):

Thanks Boonton Library!

Published December 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9276Maryanne Mistretta and Stephanie Gabelmann

Thanks so much to Stephanie Gabelmann and The Boonton Holmes Library ( for hosting my presentation “Going Going Gone: What the Next Generation Won’t Remember.”

Synopsis for “Going Going Gone”

Since the year 2000, we’ve gained iPhones, GPSs, Twitter, Facebook and many other services and devices.

However, we’ve also lost some things that we’ve grown up with. In “Going Going Gone” Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will take a walk down memory lane and talk about products that are either on their way out the door, or absolutely obsolete.

Some may actually surprise you!

Items included are: VHS video tapes, phone booths (and making phone calls in general!), travel agents, bookstores, newspapers and classified ads, wristwatches, maps, dial-up internet, encyclopedias, CDs, landline phones, film cameras, yellow pages and address books, and hand written letters.

Which of these items do you miss?

Christiano-Mistretta will also jolt your memory remembering some cool products of yesteryear such as the typewriter, the record player and Polaroid cameras.

Come share your views in this interactive lecture! Audience participation is greatly encouraged.

This presentation is available to libraries, senior groups, non-profit organizations, Jewish Community Centers, and rotary clubs. Please contact Maryanne for pricing and availability at:

Book Party for Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi

Published November 23, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9248Congratulations to the new authors!

Yesterday was a big celebration at Hanover Manor in East Hanover, New Jersey.

My clients Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi had their book published “200 Letters, 62 Years and a War.”

From back book cover:

Domenic and Antoinette Lombardi began dating when they were teenagers. And soon afterward Domenic was called to fight in the Korean War.

During his time in combat, he wrote his love, Antoinette, over 200 letters. She saved every one of them. She also put together an all embracing photo albums that contained newspaper clippings of the war, photographs, holiday cards and other memorabilia; as well as more recent newspaper clippings of celebrations such as their anniversaries and birthdays.

Domenic also had his own collection of memories, several typed as well as handwritten notebook diaries, filled with the truth he experienced fighting for The United States.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta spent many days at the home of The Lombardis in Florham Park, New Jersey ferreting through the photo albums, love letters and notebook diaries in order to put together this wondrous memoir.

The happy couple recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.

SAM_9246Domenic Lombardi, Maryanne Mistretta and Antoinette Lombardi

To purchase “200 Letters, 62 Years and a War” contact Next Century Publishing at 786-999-8550 or contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available to help seniors write their books. Contact her directly at: