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Love

Published July 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Facetune (4)

Photo of Dennis and Maryanne by Jayne DiGregorio (https://www.jaynedigregorio.com/)

This year is my eighth year married to my husband, and 14 years together in total.

We are still so in love; still in the honeymoon stage. This is not something I just realized, nor is it something I take for granted. It is real, and we are blessed.

As an independent woman who wasn’t in a hurry to get married, I knew from our first date my husband was “the one.” What made him different than others were three things: 1. He was supportive of my career. 2. He’s not a jealous type. 3. His love for animals and music. These were the top three things on my list for love and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

But then, there is so much more, as we continue to live, learn, and love. I can honestly call my husband my best friend. Around him I feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Around him I feel growth because there’s never dull conversation I’m seeking to avoid. Around him I feel entertained because together we are fun, funny, and never boring! Around him I feel happy because from day one, every single night we’ve spent together, we wake up with a smile on our faces. Around him I feel deep because our shared thoughts are always that way.

We both have incredible energy and are always up for a fun time.

We both love our kitties with all our hearts and miss them when we are far from home.

We connect on the four major levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

And we miss each other when we are apart, even if it’s just for a few hours.

We’re amazing people and we deserve each other. Together we attract the greatest friends too. We collect other rock ‘n’ roll couples to share the good times. Even our single friends are unique people we adore! We’re in our own little world with the select few, and we love it!

This is why I say to all people — men and women alike — do not settle. Wait for the one who is worth waiting for. I met my husband later in life and never gave up on the fact that I’d meet my special someone; my forever person.

When I was young, in my 20s, I had this theory, that whoever was in unhappy relationships (settling)… if they would just leave, that would open up the door for the right person to show up.  And that, I did!

I was told I was “fickle” and “too picky.” And the most insensitive (and WRONG) was when someone once said, “You think you are too good for anyone, that’s why you are single.” No, I was just waiting for it to be RIGHT before I got married.

Love is not something that happens on command, in your ego’s time. It happens in God’s time; or the time of the universe or a higher spirit. When you wait, you reap the all the beautiful rewards a relationship has to offer. As time goes on, your love continues to grow. It doesn’t disappear or fade, as some may suggest if you are with the right person.

There we are, the middle-aged couple happily holding hands. Someday we will be the old couple happily holding hands. And that’s all I ever wanted, someone to grow old with.

My biggest dream came true! ❤ Thank you, Dennis, my forever love!

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 (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“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 paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Anti-Bullying Book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” Now Available on Audiobooks!

Published June 21, 2019 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

I am ecstatic that my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” published by Higher Ground Books & Media, is now available on AUDIO! (https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Dont-Want-to-Be-Like-You-Audiobook/B07TB2VKWY?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-155390&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_155390_rh_us)

Sarah Staton is the voice who made my story come to life!

My book takes place growing up in the 1970s when I was bullied in both grade school and high school. And I’m sad to say, that even in this day and age bullying continues. Children are committing suicide because of assholes who have not yet evolved. Adults are secretly emailing me, “Write something about bullying in the workplace.”

It makes me so angry that 50 years later, it’s not getting better but worse.

Bullies target those who are unique; those who speak up for themselves; those who are shy; those who are creative; those who are very smart and think out of the box; those who don’t follow the crowd; and those who are very good looking. If you recognize yourself in any of those words, you most likely were a target for a bully. Because victims are often so smart and creative, they also carry around insecurities. Smart and creative people never feel good enough. You know that old saying, a genius never sees himself as one. Bullies pick up on this and attack.

The good news is, there is no reason at all to feel shame. It’s not you, it’s them. Bullies are the ones who feel hurt, sad, unloved, ugly, dumb, so they target others to make themselves feel big. Bullies are also masters at gas lighting (making others think THEY are the ones who are crazy). It’s a manipulative way for a bully to “win.”

Truth be told, all bullies are losers. If you can’t come from a place of love, you’ll never evolve. And isn’t evolution the ultimate goal? 

I recently sent out a call for speaking engagements. I let everyone know I am READY to speak out against bullying — in libraries, schools, corporations — and I will travel.

One of the responses I received was that bullying isn’t going away.

I did not know how to answer that. From what I wrote above, you may think I agree that it’s not going away. But hear me out, I now believe differently.

I was speaking to someone in a health food store earlier today. This man asked me if I was a vegan.

I said, “No, but I eat vegan for several days at a time.” I further explained I was a vegetarian/vegan for 28 years, from ages 23 to 51. Then I started eating meat (grass-fed only, and some chicken — no pork or veal!) to get my health in order. (I went from having low blood sugar, thyroid issues, low white blood cell count, very low blood pressure/borderline anemic as a vegetarian to a person of perfect health with some meat back in my body!)

After hearing my story, my new vegan friend thanked me for being one of the leaders in the movement back in the day when it was HARD. Now it’s easy! There are more vegans than ever and you can get vegan food anywhere. But in 1986, I was considered a “weirdo” for not eating meat.

What does this have to do with bullying, you may ask? 

You see, over 30 years ago, people didn’t get vegetarians. But we’ve evolved. Now we get it. And people are health conscious and accepting. The smarter ones are getting along in harmony. THIS can happen with bullying too!

At age 55, I see myself having at least another good 30 years on this planet, in this body I rented. In the year 2049, I TRULY BELIEVE, bullying will be on its way to extinction. We will evolve and change the world. Bullies will be the new neanderthals … so over. People who love will no longer be the weirdos. They will be the WINNERS! The meek will surely inherit the earth.

I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, please purchase my book or audio book, it may save your child’s life when he or she hears about how I was bullied, but grew up to be successful and happy!

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:

“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

 

Dream Board Manifest! One Year Later!

Published June 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Dream Board June 2018My Dream Board, June 9, 2018

One year ago today, I created this Dream Board. And it’s astonishing how things manifested.

First, look close, you will see that animals are a priority in my life. Since this dream board, my husband Dennis and I were able to save a feral cat, Bennie, and take care of him for the rest of his months. He was already sick when we took him in with FIV. But we loved him with all our hearts and gave him the best care we could. Five months later, he had to be put down. I collapsed in my husband’s arms. We were both heart-broken. Our vet told us, “He came to you to live out the rest of his life.”

One month later, we took in Sammy. I adopted him from St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy was considered a senior cat, at age 9, but he’s tiny and very kitten-like. He’s a little doll and fits in beautifully with the family. He’s best buddies with our kitty Nicholas, who is now 6 (and came into our lives on this day three years ago!)

At the beginning of 2019, I created a giving journal, keeping track of all the places I give donations to each week. Many of them involve giving to animals, especially cat rescues. Do you see the word “FREE“? I’m always winning things–and I do mean ALWAYS! One of the things I won since creating the dream board was a certificate for a tattoo — I got a cat silhouette on my inner arm.

See “Power of Positive Speaking“? (Upper middle?) THAT is my next biggest goal, to become a motivational speaker. I joined Toastmasters right after my “Best Girlfriend Getaway” (see lower right corner) in October (to “Summit of Greatness” in Columbus, Ohio). Three days of nothing but motivational speakers, including Jay Shetty, Lewis Howes, Amy Purdy, Lindsey Stirling,  and so much more.

And greatness was indeed achieved! Just a few months after joining Toastmasters, I excelled winning “Best Speaker” for a speech on David Bowie. Then I auditioned to do a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero” which was based on my upcoming book, “Be Extra-Ordinary: 10 Ways To Become Your Own Hero.”

Unexpectedly, I’ve also made a few friends at Toastmasters, that I go to lunch with; and some who have come see me speak!

Which brings me to ….

Dreams, Friends, and Love are right at the top … I’m always counting my blessings for the amazing friends that come into my life; especially those that I grow closer to each year. That goes for my husband too. My BEST friend ever — the person I want to spend time with more than anyone else. I’m so blessed to have people in my life I can share my dreams with. People I can cheer on too and watch them grow. My tribe. My high-five tribe!

Which brings me to …

Do you see Bright Ideas? Oh, I have many! Many which didn’t work out — yet. But it’s so fun throwing them out there to friends who believe in you. Going for lunch meetings with minds of greatness. These are my PEERS! I can’t believe it. Sometimes I have to ask myself, “Am I dreaming?”

Do you see the rainbow? Just a few days ago, I saw the first FULL rainbow I ever saw in my life. People hate NJ because of all the rain. But I LOVE it! As a writer, I love spending time inside, writing during a storm. One night after a storm, around dusk, the time I love best. My husband and I were taking a walk — and there it was, a full rainbow! It took my breath away.

The other stuff you see in the dream board is more vague and personal. Some day I may speak about it, but most likely won’t. As honest and open as I am, there’s a side to me that’s insanely mysterious that people will never find out about.

That said, I’m thrilled that I’ve grown so much in my spiritual journey — and have a long way to go; which is why I am pro-aging and you’ll NEVER hear me longing for youth. I’m having such a beautiful love affair with my aging self!

LIFE IS AMAZING. I AM BLESSED! ❤

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:

“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

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

“Summit of Greatness 2018”

Published October 8, 2018 by Maryanne

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Summit of Greatness, Columbus Ohio, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I Don’t Want to Be Like You

Published September 10, 2018 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” 

I’m ecstatic to say my fourth book is now available! (See links below, and it will soon be in Barnes & Noble stores). “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is my memoir about growing up, dealing with bullying in the 1970s.

And with this, I want to add some wise words from my sister, who is a mom:

“Congratulations on the book. I, myself also experienced bullying. Unfortunately, today parents still turn a blind eye. So let me send out compliments to St. Anne and Fair Lawn high school (New Jersey schools). Both excellent in having a no tolerance motto for bullies. I raised my son to have compassion to ALL people. He would never hurt or bully anyone! As a parent, please remember those red flags. Believe me, you will notice if you pay attention. Burning children, shooting drugs, and fire crackers into an innocent pet, does not just happen overnight. I’m begging parent to wake up. Protect your children while you can they will only get worse. No tolerance for bullying! You must know your kids.” — Kim Cagiao

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an anti-bullying motivational speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com