spiritual

All posts tagged spiritual

Rest in Paradise Shakti Gawain

Published November 13, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF3126The books at my bedside 

I was devastated to find out that spiritual guru Shakti Gawain died two days ago. The date was November 11, 2018 –11/11/11 (2+0+1+8=11).  Eleven is the most intuitive of all numbers, a master number associated with faith and psychics. 

I first read her book “Creative Visualization” a few years after it was published. I was only 24 and on the beginning of my spiritual journey, with my mentor, Bayani Mendoza de Leon.

Back then, books like this were considered “esoteric.” I had to put a brown paper cover over them so people wouldn’t think I was “weird.”

Fast forward to today. Everyone is into yoga, meditation, spirituality (or so they say) and it’s all out in the open. That said, I’m not ashamed to say I cried my eyes out learning of her death. You see, when I first read “Creative Visualization” I had an “aha” moment before that was a term.  “So THAT is what it’s called!” I was familiar with being a visual creator since I was about 12. I continued using it as a tool my entire life, and it was later known as “Law of Attraction.”

I passed on the “Creative Visualization” books to friends over the years. And a copy always found its way back into my hands. I’ve kept Shakti’s books by my bedside to read during bouts with insomnia. Each time I read her words I felt a new awakening in my soul. I never met the woman, but I feel like I lost a friend. There is a hole in my heart in learning of her death. As I’m so sure many feel the same. My wish is that someday I’ll see her on the other side of my spiritual journey. Until then, I will continue to visually create, here on Earth.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” traditionally by Higher Ground and available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available for speaking engagements throughout the USA and overseas. Email for pricing and dates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Your Own Personal Caring Ministry

Published February 3, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9489Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

This morning in my moment of prayer, I was looking back to a few years ago when I spent more time at church. I really wanted to be a part of something special, for God, and was trying to get involved in everything. I voluntarily wrote for their newsletter. I participated in activities. And I even volunteered to be on the Caring Ministry, where I’d go to the homes of those who were bedridden and give them communion.

Then things just didn’t work out. No one’s fault, but that’s just how life happens. New people came on board. I wasn’t asked to write anymore. The woman who was supposed to train me for the Caring Ministry wasn’t available to train when I was available.

So, time went on … a lot of time. Then one of my favorite people in the church passed away and I couldn’t bring myself to go back as often as I once did. It was too painful. I remember driving to church, then feeling so uncomfortable that I turned around and came right back home.

While some die-hard Christians may suggest Satan was keeping me out of church; I have to disagree. There’s a saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I was always of the mindset that when something is right for you, you know it. And what has been right for me was going to church less often, because I felt so much more comfortable (and right with God) by practicing at home — every single morning. I’ve been reading the Bible more and working consciously on my well-being by praying for opportunities to help others.

Then it dawned on me … God is using me, via my business. I’m a full-time, self-employed author and journalist. I am also a ghost writer and book editor. I’ve helped countless people get their books written and published. I make dreams come true — and everyone needs a dream.

Another way I make a living is by public speaking. Two years ago, I started a library series called “Learn and Listen.” I present a half-hour biography on a famous musician, followed by live entertainment by local musicians. Through this series, I am helping to employ musicians — excellent musicians who are top of the line. Being a musician is a tough, competitive business and via this series, I am helping the ones I employ get more work. I’ve also helped an artist friend get work when I created a children’s recycling series. Getting work for people and helping them is what I do best, so that’s the way God uses me. I’m excellent at booking gigs, follow-up calls, organizing dates, and so on … That’s what I’m good at.

But what I’m not so good at …

Though I’m a very good listener, I can’t listen to people’s problems without feeling drained and depressed myself. Some people have the gift of resolving other people’s problems by listening to them complain. I do not have that gift. Nor do I have the gift of singing in a choir. Or counting money for a church. Or organizing big events. These are talents other people are so much better at.

While I was more than willing to let the church dictate how God would use me, I feel God went directly to me. Because these are the people who relate to me — the creative types, the musicians, the writers, the artists …

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and I’ve been so incredibly busy these days; business is the best it’s ever been. Today is the first day I was able to take a breather and write a blog in a over a week. And to think, I used to write in my blog every single day — sometimes twice a day.

So when I take such joy in my career, I’m also taking joy in the fact that it’s not just about me. We’re all part of this great big chain connecting each other, working together, inspiring, and forging ahead, using our God given talents. Every day is beautiful and meaningful.

God knows where to place us. You’ll know when He’s there because, while it may not always be easy, you’ll just have that gut feeling of “This is where I belong … and who I belong with.” And you will feel God’s presence.

What is your Caring Ministry? Share your stories! Post them here, or email me directly. 

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

Her “Learn & Listen” series is available to libraries, churches, assisted living facilities, Jewish Community Centers, Rotary Clubs, and senior centers. “Learn & Listen” features the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, John Lennon, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

Time, God, and Patience

Published November 17, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7832Nature’s Timing is Impeccable

Yesterday I was on the phone making an appointment to see a woman I highly admired and couldn’t wait to see. As an author, public speaker, book editor, managing editor of Dining Out magazine, wife, and kitty mom, you can imagine how busy my schedule is — as I imagine how busy everyone else is in this day and age. I squeeze as many things in as possible to have a beautiful, happy career and am as equally precious about my down time. In other words, I know what works for me and what is right for me — as should you!

Because I couldn’t squeeze this person in when she wanted me to, her words to me were: “What I’m hearing is you’re not interested and you’re not flexible. When a person wants to do something, they will make the time.”  Then she went on about how busy she is

I corrected her.

“No, what you’re hearing is I know my limits of what I can and can’t fit in. Yes, I am interested, but sometimes the best things in life you have to wait for!”

That stopped her dead in her tracks and she realized I was right. I told her I adored her, but what difference did it make that our appointment would be later than sooner?

As a late bloomer, I am used to waiting. I’m not the most patient person in the world, but when you are patient, good things are well worth it. As I’ve said before, I had my first article printed in my mid-20s, but didn’t make a career out of writing until my late 30s. I married in my late 40s. And had my first book published the year I turned 50. What is wrong with that? NOTHING!

Isn’t it better to do things when the timing is right? I’d rather wait to see this person, when I can focus on her 100 percent and be bright-eyed and bushy tailed, rather than go in a rush and watch the clock.

And in my heart, I feel that when God wants something for us, it’s in His time. Not ours. How do we know it’s His time? When it’s easy and it feels natural. Just like animals in nature; they know when to rest and when to come out of hibernation. That’s why I love the saying about God having three answers, “Yes” “No” or “Wait.” Waiting ain’t that bad.

Two years ago, I had a lecture in Pennsylvania and I had to cover a story in Paterson and somewhere in between I had to eat and attend a funeral. It was a very crazy day to do all that. Luckily the weather was nice for all that driving. My regular life isn’t too far fetched from that day. It’s fine because I live a comfortable life, making my down-time all that more enjoyable. But when someone suggests for me to drive somewhere that’s two hours away from where another appointment is, I have to put my foot down, when something can simply be scheduled on another day.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Every blessed moment of it. Whether it’s your career, your friendships, your marriage, your family and so on …

Sometimes our priorities have to shift because of death or illness and we have to make sudden changes and choices over what needs to be done pronto or what can wait. But most of the time, a happy, well organized person knows his/her limitations. And if we have to book events well into the future, we (and everyone else) needs to be okay with that.

Like the old saying goes, “Tomorrow is another day.”

So get a good planner and look forward to many tomorrows! ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and public speaker. For more information visit: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

I Don’t Wear Yoga Pants

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

bullshit

Ages ago, it was really cool to be spiritual … when no one else was.

I secretly studied the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a mentor. The catch metaphysics phrase of the 1980s was “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” And sure enough, at the age of 24, I met a man twice my age (though so wise he seemed even three times my age). We studied together intensely for eight months. During this time I stopped drinking, stopped clubbing, didn’t watch television and read over 100 books about various sources of spirituality including: Teachings of the Far East, Finding of the Third Eye, The Aquarian Christ, and Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.

Back then this knowledge was sacred. I covered my books in brown paper bags so no one would know what I was reading. I entered a journey beyond this world. It was a true blessing.

Then a few years later, I found Jesus Christ and became a Christian. Even knowing all this esoteric knowledge, I felt the strongest connection to Jesus. Nevertheless, unlike the stereotype Christian, I still drew from my knowledge of other cultures and religions and the really deep stuff like Gurdjieff. In 1989 I coined the phrase “spirit whore” meaning I was all over the place spiritually. I liked that a lot. Being non-committing and feeling safe in any place of worship.

Fast forward to the modern world. It’s no longer the 1980s and thanks to Oprah, the sacredness of spirituality has been brought to the masses. That would be fine, as it is the Age of Aquarius and people should know this stuff. HOWEVER … it’s a shame that Jesus Christ isn’t acknowledged in the mix. It’s cool to be anything but a Christian. So this is what these modern day new-agers use as a way to one-up: “I’m so worldly, I’m so spiritual, I’m better than you because you’re JUST A CHRISTIAN.”

It’s become a sad hip phrase for middle-aged women to make it KNOWN: “I’m spiritual, not religious.” It’s an ugly mantra I’ve been enduring for the past several years — said more and more frequently.

The “I’m spiritual, not religious” sing song haunts me as I try to sleep at night, so much so that I swear it must be a chant to bring satan out of hiding. It’s like chalk on a blackboard, just a pathetic way of saying, “I’m better than you.” URGH, how it makes me cringe! So much so that I’ve come up with the snarky phrase that I’m sharing all over social media:

“Spiritual not religious” gives middle-aged hipster women something else to do
… besides Whole Foods and Botox.
When something that was once beautiful has become so blown out of proportion that people are using it as a way to seem hip and condescending — I’m sorry, it’s not spiritual.
Perhaps these “spiritual” criers should seek out religion, if not for anything else, for balance.
They are too ignorant to realize that they are behaving the same as the holier than thou super-saved Christians who believe in a monstrous god who damns everyone to hell.
maryanne backI don’t wear yoga pants
But they are worse. They are disguised in designer clothing, yoga pants, botox, and hair straighteners. A new vision of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Modern new-agers are just as judgmental as super-saved Christians. And that ain’t nothing special.

 

30-Something is Not “So Young”

Published July 6, 2015 by Maryanne

30Responsible

I’ll never forget when I first realized how delusional younger people were. I was in my early 40s and still working for “the man” in a newsroom. The younger generation — girls in their 20s — seemed so much more childish then I was at their age. They squealed like pigs over silly things, talked too loud on their cell phones and couldn’t take criticism. And it was “okay” because they were “so young.”

Now this trend of being coddled, not taking responsibility and being downright selfish is carrying over to the 30s and even 40s! Where did this immature mindset come from?

When I was a kid, 21 was considered “old.” There was a saying, back then, “Never trust anyone over 30.” A three year generation gap between age 16 and 19 was huge! At 16 I was sneaking into bars with a fake ID. By 19, I was in bed by 8 p.m., working a full time job and going to night school. By 22 I had my first apartment.

I’m now 51. I could take it as a compliment when people say I don’t look it or act it. But is it really a compliment? Three people in the past week told me I could pass for someone in my 30s. But I don’t want to. Most young people today have a scary, sad way about them. Now I’m not speaking of ALL young people. I have some very lovely friends and nieces in their 20s and 30s that absolutely rock. But I do speak of the majority.

I’ve been age-shamed more than once by younger women and I pity them for their attitude. Fearing age and insulting other people because they are older then you is a pathetic existence. Your only other alternative is death. Though with such negative attitudes, I can guarantee 90 percent of these women won’t look as good as I do when they reach my age because negativity goes straight to the bone. And sooner or later truth shows up all over your face. Believe it!

There’s a song by The Stooges called “Your Pretty Face is Going Straight to Hell” and that’s exactly what I’m thinking when pretty young women are nasty and condescending to others. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and karma is a bitch — an unforgiving on at that. I used to work with an extremely gorgeous young woman. We were both in our 30s at the time. At first we were friends, then she showed her true colors. She bitched at me because I drank too much. She said, “I’m vain and drinking ages you. We CAN’T go out drinking all the time like this.” She complained about everything and was a control freak. I told her she was a “nit picker” but that was an understatement. Truth be told, she was disgusting. So much so I couldn’t stand to be in her company anymore. The prettiest girl I ever saw in my life turned ugly right before my eyes. I ran into her in later years. She was still bitter and now old before her time.

Another young person I used to work with, a male, used to harass me every day, whispering and making fun of me and turning young women against me (and the ding dongs went along with him! DUH!) It got to the point where I was absolutely uncomfortable going to work. I asked an older male co-worker, “What the fuck did I ever do to HIM?”

He replied, “You turned forty.”

Interesting, soon following, that guy had a string of bad karma. A tree branch fell on the roof of his car, his wife got into a bus accident and I heard through the grapevine that he wasn’t the good writer everyone thought he was — his “facts” were incorrect and he had pissed off many locals.

I recently saw his picture on Face Book. The dude looks older than me! Now he was never much to look at to begin with, but when I saw how fast he aged, I had to laugh. Payback is a bitch! Because like I said, if you’re ugly inside, it catches up with you. I guess you can also say, God watches.

Aside from what a person looks like, some say you’re as old as you feel. I’m proud to say I do feel my age — 51 (and a half!) Honestly I wouldn’t want to “feel” 30 again. Think back to how it was in your 20s and 30s — full of piss and vinegar. But in your 40s and 50s you develop a beautiful sense of peace. You know how to relax. You don’t always have to be right. You let things go. You’re not antsy to get out. You like to go to bed early and snuggle. It’s a BEAUTIFUL place to be! (And I never threw a shoe in my 40s or 50s).

And what is the alternative to growing old? Dying young? Sadly half these 20 and 30-somethings are dead already. Their negative attitude tells me so. There’s an old saying, “Youth is wasted on young.” Well it’s wasted on the not-so-young 20 and 30-somethings too!

I pity these people.

I’ve been an old soul since the age of 12, wishing to be 18. And once I got there, I embraced every step of the game. And I have diaries to prove it.

I choose life!

SAM_7927Age 51 and a half! Silly, happy and always having fun!

Who’s car is this? I don’t know, but I like it! 🙂

Tarot Card Reading with Psychic Kathy Biehl

Published May 2, 2015 by Maryanne

psychicAbout once a year I treat myself to a psychic.

In many ways, I’m my own psychic. I read my own tarot cards, interpret my dreams (and even have dreams about other people that come true), and have an insanely keen sense of intuition. Nevertheless, it’s always super cool to have an extra bit of guidance from those who do this professionally.

In the past I’ve had psychics predict incredible things. The most fascinating was that I’d be an author, during a time when I was still perfectly fine as a journalist and had no intention of writing a book — ever. Just a few years later, my first book was published.

And when I was even younger, in my late 20s, I asked a psychic if I’d ever become a writer. At the time I was just writing poetry … for fun and the occasional open mic or featured reader set. She said, “Yes, but not right now. Later in life, like in your late thirties, early forties.” I didn’t want to hear that at all! When you’re in your 20s, you think 30s/40s is so old! Sure enough, I had to bide my time. My first article was published world-wide when I was 32, but the article was in a magazine where I worked selling advertising. I wasn’t “officially” writing full-time until I was 38!

So, I’m a believer!

Today I was blessed to get a reading from Kathy Biehl (http://www.empowermentunlimited.net/Empowerment_Unlimited/Home.html).

She’s a very cool lady. And with no disrespect to other psychics I’ve been to, I have to say Kathy’s reading was the best I ever had in my life. First of all, I love her personality. In spite of all she’s done in her life (refer to her site!) she’s incredibly down to earth. And she “gets it.”

During the reading she focused on me — 100 percent. You know that’s rare in this day and age when everyone is so “me-me-me” oriented. From doctors to hairstylists to therapists, it seems that every “professional” finds a way to take away from the client and make the visit about themselves which is a turn-off. Kathy wasn’t like that at all. I had her undivided attention throughout the visit.

And when I found out she was an Aquarian that made perfect sense, as they are very giving people. (As I said a few days ago, I married an Aquarian and most of my favorite people are Aquarians!)

Kathy was able to rattle off things that are currently going on in my life now. She was also able go back to events that happened when I was a child and guide me on how those experiences are affecting me today.

As for the future, only time will tell if her predictions will come to fruition, though I see a lot of it what she said about to happen. There’s been a self-help book idea that was swimming around in my brain for some time now. When she told me that’s the kind of book I’d be writing, I almost fell over in my chair!

I’m been feeling big changes coming for me for some time now. Kathy confirmed this for me. I’ve always been a lover of life … now more so than ever.

Thank you, Kathy. The universe is good!

 

 

Religious or Spiritual? Universal!

Published February 24, 2015 by Maryanne

HelloBuddhaDrawing by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, 2005

“Religion” means God-fearing. And in this day and age “spiritual” means people-fearing. People are so afraid others thinking they are Catholic or Christian, they wear the word “spiritual” like a badge of courage.

That upsets me.

Because while, no doubt, it’s not healthy to be God-fearing, dogmatic and/or pious, religion does have a huge place in ethereal growth. Yes, even Christianity.

Hear me out.

In the mid-1980s, I spent almost a year studying several different religions with a spiritual mentor. I was only in my mid-20s and back then it was unheard of for a young girl to want to study with a man old enough to be her father. For almost a year, I spent less time in nightclubs and more time in meditation. It was a wondrous experience I will never forget and have several diaries in case I do.

The conclusion I came to was that everyone is right. In fact, my favorite book that my mentor gave me was called “Everyone is Right” which is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Comparative-Religion-Relation-Science/dp/0875165656

Even though I came to this conclusion I was still drawn to the Christian church. What can I say, I just love the teachings of Jesus Christ. Mind you, I was never forced to go to church as a child. I came to love Jesus on my own. And a few years ago I found a Christian church I was able to call “home” though I don’t go as often as I probably should.

Some Christians don’t relate to me because I still take from other religions. And on the flip side, many non-Christians turn their noses up on me as well for going to church.

It’s okay though. I feel completely comfortable being around others who are not exactly thinking like me. This is the beauty of putting faith into a ritual (of sorts) and sticking to your guns about it. I feel that in order to grow spiritually, you need to be around others who are different from you. That kind of experience makes you more spiritual. Uh … wait … I can’t use that word, it’s become too hipster (and possibly a code word for non-Christian).

Let’s just say I’m universal! That’s a badge of courage I can live with! 🙂