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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

DSCF2962

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 

 

Father’s Day is for Fathers … Period

Published June 19, 2016 by Maryanne

Father's Day

There seems to be an annoying trend going around. I don’t know exactly when it started, but this year it’s more obvious than ever. The trend is women celebrating their mothers on Father’s Day because they feel their moms are like both a dad and a mom.

If a single mom does the work of two, more power to her. But taking a special day that’s reserved for dad and making it all about “YOU” is just another screwed up thing that is wrong in this world today.

You see, I don’t have a dad either. My mom was a single mom who worked incredibly hard to take care of me and my younger sister. She had a full time job and a part-time job on weekends for years. The thing is … I celebrated her a month ago … on Mother’s Day.

And today is Father’s Day, a day for all the good dads to have their glory. By saying “a mom who is a dad” on this day takes away from all those amazing men who are doing their job. And what about all the single dads who have custody of their kids and are also “like a mom too”? There are plenty out there!

As someone who doesn’t even have a dad, I still find it highly insulting to all the dads in the world that now have to share their special day with the self-absorbed people who have to make it all about themselves. To declare to the world on Father’s Day that their mom is “like a dad” because their dad is a deadbeat is just ridiculous. Love your mom, of course, but let those who are blessed to have incredible fathers have their time in the sun.

Today is Father’s Day … period. It’s a day to celebrate the male energy … to celebrate all our friends who are dads, uncles, nephews, cousins, and/or father-like figures. It’s about the positive that men bring to the table. The strong traits such as courage, confidence, protection, as well as the tender traits good men have such as sensitivity and compassion.

For one day, let’s get our minds off ourselves and make it about other people. If the day isn’t all about you, the world won’t come to an end if you’re happy for somebody else!

So eat some humble pie, and give the thumbs up to a father you know … he doesn’t have to be YOUR father!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! 

 

Summer’s Final Days

Published September 6, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8410Enjoying my sunglasses as autumn approaches

There are officially less than 20 summer days left.

How are you spending your final summer days to soak it up? Carnivals, the beach, a new hair-cut, fall-cleaning? For me, all of those!

This morning I did a spiritual cleaning … my beloved spiritual altar. I cleaned all my magical stones, my angel statues, my little Buddhas, my cross bracelet, my mirrored pyramid, etc.

I took all my positive affirmations off the altar and stored them safely away in a pretty container. I smiled to myself to see that all I wished for has happened. ❤ Now the altar is fresh for new positive affirmations! And I am spiritually set for autumn!

What about you? How do you approach a new season?

SAM_8425Photo taken by my husband, please don’t steal ❤

SAM_8432This could be the closest I get to a big cat!

High School Friends Reunited 35 Years Later!

Published July 31, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8136Maryanne (left) and Pam – Class of 1981!

Today’s most awesome reunion with my high school classmate Pam was phenomenal on multi-levels. As adults, we had a super duper time lunching at New Jersey’s famous Tick Tock Diner. But this meeting goes way beyond a reunion. I had an agenda … to thank Pam, personally, for a favor she did for me back in high school.

Pam was my high school hero. She defended me, standing up to a bunch high school bullies! That was a very brave thing for a young, petite girl to do. At the time I was a deer in headlights. I was grateful, but shocked. I was young and so awkward, I never gave Pam the proper thank-you. Nor did I even give her a smile. I just stared blankly and went about my business. Not that I didn’t appreciate what she did, but perhaps in my young mind I felt undeserving? Why would this cool girl, who was obviously mature beyond her years, defend me?

As the years went on, I often thought back to this genuine act of kindness and that if I ever ran into Pam, I’d give her a big hug and thank her. Back in the 1980s we didn’t have internet. So if you didn’t have someone’s phone number, you had to wait until you ran into them.

In the mid-1990s I ran into one of Pam’s high school boyfriends on a train while commuting to work and I told him, “If you ever see her, tell her I said ‘Hi.'”

Then the internet came, and I looked Pam up several times over the years and then finally found her on Face Book. I hoped she’d remember me as a nice person, not the awkward girl who was too shocked and shy to say “Thank you for defending me.”

Shortly afterwards, she friend-ed me back and we made a date to have lunch! I was ecstatic and counted down the days til I was able to meet my hero!

After 35 years I was finally able to give Pam a great big hug and some flowers! We spent three hours catching up and having a blast!

Mission accomplished! It’s never too late to thank someone for their kindness! ❤

I look forward to seeing my “forever friend” again in the near future!

I love you, Pam! ❤