spirituality

All posts tagged spirituality

Live in the Moment!

Published November 18, 2015 by Maryanne

always-live-in-the-moment-source

Last night I had a meeting with a client who is writing a very cool book and I am helping him edit it. We had the greatest conversation about spirituality and living in the moment. We agreed that some people take themselves way too seriously and are too dogmatic about their beliefs to see the beauty of what is in front of them.

I once knew a girl who was very dogmatic about her version of “spirituality.” She was into yoga, vegan-ism, creativity, Buddhism, the universe and so on. BUT do not mention Jesus Christ in her presence. She did not want to hear it. She thought it was so funny to share the story about a guy she was dating answering the door naked when a Jehovah Witness came to the door. And that they never came again.

What a shame, she (and her date) missed the point.

True spirituality is being in the moment. Just because something isn’t your belief, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a message there. A subtle point I make in my upcoming book, “The Gypsy Smiled” — that you can learn something from anyone no matter what their walk in life. The lead character Lucy snubs a younger guy who is interested in her because of his youth; but he’s actually wise beyond his years. Then goes to a new age spa, but it’s not the retreat that evolves her, it’s her ex-boyfriend who is there and teaches her a valuable life lesson. (You can vote to help me get a book contract for “The Gypsy Smiled” by going here: http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/gypsy-smiled-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/).

This morning two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door. Unlike my former friend, I love when they come to my door even though that is not my religion. I love getting the Watch Tower magazines and learning more about Jesus Christ. Today’s message was about Jesus bringing Peace on Earth. It was a powerful thing to hear, but I do believe it will happen. I hugged both Witnesses and thanked them. I went off to run my morning errands feeling elated. Had I answered the door naked, discouraging the witnesses, I wouldn’t have heard such a powerful message; the message of having faith in Jesus Christ.

Those Jehovah Witnesses will never know just how happy they made me today. But I have to give myself credit, too, for opening the door and opening my heart to a message.

I shared this story with my client and he said, “You were in the moment!”

The client is a vegan, but he’ll eat waffles with his little girl at a pancake house. That is a great father! When you can bend your own rules so others around you can be happy, it’s a beautiful thing. Be in the moment!

We can’t advance in our spirituality if we take ourselves too seriously. Check out the following video that my friend Marie sent to me this morning, it puts it all into perspective:

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!

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! 🙂

Dreaming is Not Drugs

Published February 8, 2015 by Maryanne

fireworks by MaryanneFireworks by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Honestly, the only time a friend should stop another friend from doing something is if they are harming themselves. And the first thing that comes to mind is — drugs.

Other than that, anything anyone wants to do, it’s their life they should be encouraged by a good friend — or anyone for that matter — to follow their dreams! Unlike drugs, dreams are healthy and if you can make them come true, even better!

Years ago, I was working as a journalist in the newspaper industry. I was living on my own for about 15 years and to cut corners I used mass transit instead of having a car and insurance payments. It wasn’t a problem and I never wanted for nothing — I had both a bus stop and a train station within my block.

When I was dating my future husband for about a year, we decided to move in together. He lived in a house in an area that mass transit was lacking, so I needed a car. My husband drove a PT Cruiser and I fell in love with it. I wanted my own.

My biggest mistake was casually sharing my dream with a co-worker. This woman shot me down immediately saying, “Ew, those cars are so uncomfortable!” From that moment on, I avoided this woman like the plague.

How dare she rain on my parade! If I felt the car was uncomfortable when I took it for a test drive, I wouldn’t get the car, right? Common sense, no? I did not need her ugly opinion and to this day I will never forget how crappy she treated me when I was excited about something. Needless to say, I ended up getting a PT Cruiser and enjoying it for several years before I got a new car!

It’s so sad that people are more in a bad habit of cutting people’s dreams down instead of just going with it. We’re all individuals and have different dreams and desires. Many people have dreams that are different than mine, but I won’t insult their dreams, I’ll always be happy for someone when they get something they want in life.

It’s not being “dishonest” if you are encouraging to someone who shares their dreams with you and you don’t necessarily agree with them. It’s being a good person — being someone who can take their mind off of themselves for one frigging moment and tell another person that you are proud of them or ecstatic for them!

If you’re not in the habit of doing this, regularly, I highly suggest you start. Because being a “Debbie Downer” makes a person undesirable.

My husband recently shared with me that he thinks “everyone” love me. I laughed because sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. I’ve had many people shoot down my dreams and it makes me secretly wonder if that’s their way of telling me they don’t like me. Or maybe they just have diarrhea mouth and are vomiting their hate using me as a punching bag. And that doesn’t feel too good, so that’s when I start avoiding people (like I avoided the co-worker many years ago).

Think about it. If you want a positive person to like you and want to be in your company, be that same positive person! Don’t shoot down people’s dreams. Unlike drugs, dreams are a good thing. Dreams are what get us out of bed in the morning. Dreams are what lift people out of a depressive state. Dreams are what keep us young.

Friends let friends dream!

It’s NOT Luck!

Published February 5, 2015 by Maryanne

fireworks by MaryanneFireworks by Maryanne Mistretta

The other day I took offense to a friend saying I was “lucky.”

“Luck” is not a word in my vocabulary.

I’m truly of the mindset that everything we have is because we’ve attracted it into our lives with wisdom and creative visualization. When people say I’m “lucky” to have an amazing husband, I’m not. I’m blessed because I was smart enough to not settle for the first guy who came along. I fell madly in love with someone I’m super attracted to and adores me equally.

I’m not “lucky” to work with friends — I am intelligent enough to refuse to work in a stressful environment with negative people, therefore I purposely choose the wonderful people I like to build my career around. I’ve spent years doing things on my own until the right girlfriends came into my life. Luck has nothing to do with anything.

When you take a moment each morning to spend in prayer and gratitude and have been doing so almost 20 years; when you have studied Gurdjieff since the 1980s; when you are not afraid of sitting in traffic or being in your own company because you don’t know what “boredom” means since you are in love with yourself and the mind is always going — THAT, MY FRIEND is not luck. It’s called WISDOM. (And mine came at a young age rather than an old age. Since 19, I’ve been told I was wise for my years).

Evolving Spiritually in Business

Published November 16, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6364Cherry Hill, New Jersey

(photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

When the Universe is Perfectly Aligned

On Saturday I had the experience of being an extra in a commercial for a new health product. The shoot was on location in gorgeous Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This scenario is nothing usual for me as I’m always finding cool, creative work. I’ve been self-employed since 2008 (www.peartreeenterprises.com) and the best part of it is being able to work with the most amazing people doing things I love.

Saturday was one of many perfect fits. The acting cast and film crew were absolutely spectacular! Everyone was nice, professional and easy to work with. Our team was so together we finished an hour and a half earlier than was excepted!

When I got home, I raved to my husband about how cool everyone was and what a great time I had. Like many other instances I’ve had since being self-employed, what happened on Saturday was way too much fun to be called work. From a spiritual standpoint, when you’re in the right place things are so easy you wonder if you’re dreaming!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Of course in business, even being self-employed, things aren’t always perfect. We know that. And of course you roll with the punches. However, when things get so hard you’re in tears, that’s a major sign that things need to change. A friend once said, “The universe doesn’t always speak softly, sometimes it shouts.”

For example, if you’re not getting along with your co-workers it means a lot more than not fitting in. Do you feel overworked, underpaid and/or not appreciated? Do you have more bad days than good? Do you hate getting up in the morning? These are major signs that you’re in the wrong place and should make a change.

How do I know? I’ve been there, many times over. Even being self-employed and loving what you do, it’s not unusual to get hooked up with the wrong clients — or outgrow clients you’ve been with for some time. Perhaps your business has outgrown what some clients are still paying you. While money isn’t everything, let’s be realistic, taking two hours out of your day to appease a client who is paying a low hourly fee is not helping your business grow.

Suppose you’ve grown as a person and now you cringe at a client’s misogynist comments you once found funny. Or maybe a client never gave you mutual respect from day one and never will. The more you hang on, the more you go backwards, over-analyzing situations and figuring out how to make it work. Frustration leads you to secretly wish certain clients didn’t need your services anymore. Unfortunately you can’t wish bad clients away. You have to do the dirty work to get from Point A to Point B.

Spiritual Evolution in Business

One of the first signs your business is evolving spiritually is when you realize there is definitely more to life than profits and business. It’s about treating your clients (and having them treat you) in a responsible, caring way. It’s more than a cash cow. It’s talking to others with respect and creating a “family” vibe.

It’s always awkward when I feel like “just a number” to a client. Brief “all business” emails weird me out, especially the single word “okay” as a response. Ew … just ew!

As a sensitive — no, make that hyper-sensitive — person, running my business in a sweet, caring manner, for the good of all, is very important. I like to get up in the morning and feel like I have a purpose in life, not just thinking about the money I am making. I want my clients to feel comfortable with me and know that I am on their team.

Each morning I say a prayer to bless the day with the highest good for all involved. And then when you put the trust in the universe, you can sit back and watch the magic happen. Because it always does. When you operate your business from a spiritual standpoint, you can kiss good-bye excess marketing on Face Book and stressing yourself out seeking clients. Because good things ALWAYS happen to good people! And oftentimes effortlessly.

RIP Bayani Mendoza De Leon, Loss of a Very Special Friend and Spiritual Mentor

Published November 17, 2013 by Maryanne

Bayani's PhotoBayani Mendoza De Leon

November 24, 1942 to September 13, 2013

In the late 1980s I was a young girl, not yet 25, working at A.B. Bookman in Garfield, New Jersey, as a typesetter. Bayani Mendoza De Leon was a proofreader there. The first time he spoke to me, it was because he was very impressed with my typing skills and asked how I got to be such a good typist.

Now this was before home computers, and I shared that I spent many hours typing poetry I wrote on my Smith Corona typewriter at home. Bayani expressed interest in my poetry and we became good friends, spending all our lunches and breaks together, as we were both vegetarians and very much into the new age. Bayani was a lot older than me — at age 46 he seemed almost ancient. But the age difference didn’t stop us from becoming friends. Then something extraordinary happened — Bayani became my spiritual mentor. He gave me hundreds of books and tapes on Teachings of the Far East, Gurdjieff, Buddha, Ouspensky, numerology, alphabet-ology, The Bible … and so on. I stopped going to night clubs for about eight months, spending all my time studying with Bayani and on my own.

I celebrated my 25th birthday with Bayani. Our favorite restaurant was The Gate in NYC (of course it’s no longer there). It was a Japanese restaurant that served green tea and red bean ice cream — something extraordinary back in those days. Another restaurant we favored were Pumpkin Eater up on 79th Street. We also saw one of my favorite musicians — Mick Karn — perform at The Bottom Line.

Bayani was also a well known musician in the Philippines. He was friends with another musician, Eleanor Academia, who was from California (where Bayani spent some time living). One day Eleanor treated Bayani and I to lunch in New York City. She had a great saying, “Spend your money, save your soul.”

When Bayani left A.B. Bookman several months after we became good friends, we touched base a few times but really didn’t keep in touch. So I was beyond thrilled when out of the blue I heard from Bayani in 2011! He found me via my website (www.peartreeenterprises.com) and wrote me an email! A few months later, February 2012, we got together for lunch at my favorite restaurant, Veggie Heaven. He was in great spirits and we had a wonderful time. I was 48 (two years older than Bayani was when I first met him!) and Bayani was 69.

We promised to keep in touch, but  sadly, that was the last time I saw Bayani. Our last email was a few weeks after our lunch.

I heard of Bayani’s death today by chance. I was looking up info on music.orb and found that they acknowledged his birthday! I was excited and Googled him — only to find a sad tribute about his death on You Tube.

I was shocked and sad. When we were friends back in the 1980s Bayani met both my mother and grandmother. He also took pictures of my sister and I one night before we went to a Halloween party. That’s how close we were. I once met his sister too and had dinner in his home when she was visiting. I still have photos of me and her together. As well as all the pictures he took of my sister and I on Halloween, 1988. One of the few nights I deviated from my spiritual studies.

So many fond memories, but my favorite was when we took breaks at A.B. Bookman and sat in the hallway sharing vegetarian snacks like Eden Soy Milk and Japanese plum ball sours. In just 15 minutes we shared great food and had such deep conversation. It was great!

So September 2013 was such a tragic month. My Billy cat died Sept. 3, my mentor Joan Finn died a few days later, and then Bayani (which I just found out about) left us at age 70.

Rest in Peace to a wonderful soul and an ever-joyful spirit … a deep, quiet man with a good heart. Definitely heaven’s gain.