From Italian Roots to Branches of Compassion: Maureen Pisani Brings Peace of Mind to Others

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Interview by Mary Kovach, Ph.D. 

Maureen Pisani is a sweet, caring, yet strong Italian woman with many passions. Proud of her heritage, she grew up on an island near the coast of Sicily. She is a classically trained musician with a love for the Italian culture and a yearning to help others. Even more, Pisani is a motivational speaker, hypnotherapist, and author, who recently published her thirteenth book, a best-seller “Against All Odds.” In this interview, Pisani shares details on her saintly lineage, her passion for Italian music, love for Italian food, and details on her amazing career.

You have Italian roots, but you grew up in Malta. How has your Italian heritage influenced your life? 
Well, my family (although from Malta) traced our lineage to Pisa, Italy, all the way back to the mid-1400s. We joke - once a Pisani, always a Pisani! Yes, we’re very proud of our family name. I was always aware that my ancestry was Italian. However, since coming to the United States, people automatically come to the conclusion that I’m Italian because of my last name, and I’m more than okay with that. From one perspective, most people know Italy; however, almost no one knows of the island of Malta. They hear my accent and my last name and presto - Maureen Pisani is Italian!

Because your family has done its due diligence on your Italian heritage, you have a unique connection - your ancestry can be directly linked to a saint! Which saint are you related to and how did you learn you had saintly lineage?

Her name is Sr. Adeodata Pisani. She was born in Italy in 1806. Her father attempted to marry her off many times, but she refused proposals. Instead, she chose a life of prayer. The story I was told was that she and her mother escaped to Malta, where she entered the Benedictine community and lived the rest of her life as a nun. She died in 1855. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 2001. My family learned about this lineage when my Godfather researched our family tree and accidentally stumbled on Adeodata’s existence. It was bewildering. One doesn’t expect to discover a saint as an ancestor! Don’t worry, I’m a very fallible human!

You are a classically trained pianist and have a great passion for Italian music. What are some of your favorite Italian songs and are they attached to any specific memories?

I remember Toto Cutugno signing “L’Italiano” in the San Remo Festival in 1983. It was an incredible experience just watching his song skyrocket through the entire evening’s competition. From the moment he sang it, everybody knew he had won the festival! Yet even though he won, there were other incredible hits that year like Mattia Bazar’s “Vacanze Romane.” Every time I listen to those songs I cannot help myself but end up singing out loud, proud as can be! As a classically trained pianist, and I have a deep appreciation for classical music. One of my favorite groups is Il Divo, especially their song “Adagio.” To me it’s simply superb. Their voices, their technique, and their harmony… their music is breathtaking. A while back, I had brunch with a friend at an Italian restaurant. All of a sudden, and to her shock, I jumped up and said “I know you have no idea who this is singing in the background, but it’s Eros Ramazzotti!” There are certain songs and tones one never forgets. I remember his San Remo debut with “Terra Promessa” and the rest is history.

I can hear your passion for music in your voice! Do you have a favorite Italian artist and what is it about him/her that you love?

Andrea Bocelli is one of my favorite artists. Apart from his incredible talent, he has been able to transcend styles and genres while maintaining the classical essence of each song. My two favorite songs of his are “Because we Believe” and “Mi Manchi” (I Miss You). The first being incredibly motivating for me, while the second pulls on my heartstrings every time I hear it.

All over the world, there is a special love for the Italian cuisine. Do you have any favorite memories growing up in an Italian family, specifically in the kitchen?

Absolutely! Growing up cooking was integral to family life. My dad’s favorite meal was cheese ravioli with special garlic tomato sauce. Of course, we had bragioli for Sunday lunch and on special occasions. Considering that I grew up on an island, seafood was paramount! Stuffed calamari, octopus aioli, and seared swordfish are some my favorites.

What is your favorite Italian dish to make?

My favorite dish to make is lasagna. I love that it has everything - all of the flavors. I’ve also been known to make a mean eggplant parmigiana. I enjoy making caponata, especially when I make it with cod.

Do you have a favorite Italian meal or dessert?

My favorite dessert of all time is cannoli! I mean the real cannoli – filled with ricotta cheese, candied fruit and chocolate bits!

As we approach the end of the year, what is one of your favorite holiday traditions?

Considering that we’re about to launch the holiday season, I can easily admit that for me, it’s not complete unless there’s some Panettone in the house! Then it’s truly a Christmas Celebration! Buon Natale a Tutti!

Is there any other pleasure that you have for the Italian culture?

I cannot discuss anything Italian without mentioning Leonardo da Vinci. We all know his masterpieces, but I especially appreciate him for being the epitome of a Renaissance man. To call him “talented” is an understatement.

You have an amazing career! First, congratulations on publishing thirteen books! Is there one or two that stand out with significant meaning and why?

Thank you. Yes, there are two books in particular. One book is “Invisible to Invincible,” and it was published as a mini-memoir in 2018. My intention in this book was to show how resilient the human spirit is. The latest book, “Against All Odds,” became a best seller. It was published in September 2020 and written as a self-help book, not only to guide the reader through my journey, but also to help the reader take what I learned and implement it into his or her own life. I’ve lived an incredibly unique life having gone through experiences some cannot even imagine. Being that I’ve overcome so much, I decided to share some of those experiences to teach and guide others. Truth be told, if I got through it all, so can they!

You are a hypnotherapist. Can you please explain what that is?

Many years ago I got injured. It took six years of my life. I underwent ten surgeries (five on each elbow), swallowed over 25,000 pills, at the end of which, the system declared me 100% disabled and put me on Social Security at the young age of 30. To manage my pain, I went to a hypnotherapist, and the pain was resolved with two hypnotherapy sessions! That’s why I’m a hypnotherapist, because I know it gives results! Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. It accesses the unconscious mind and allows new solutions to be accepted and implemented with ease. It is known as the shortest therapy for the most permanent results. It is an effective therapy that is based on mental collaboration, where results, upgrades, and solutions are achieved in surprising ways.

If someone were to seek out your services, what should they expect?

I offer a complementary phone consultation, to answer any and all questions and to see what the client is looking to achieve. My sessions range from 75-90 minutes because I always focus on the client, rather than the clock. Sessions are split into the cognitive and hypnotic portions. During the hypnotic portion (yes, for every session), I create a personalized recording and email it to the client because my second goal is to empower each client with every session. All the client has to do is listen to the recording every evening as they’re falling asleep. This enhances results. Plus, they get to have their own hypnotic MP3 library so should they face that situation again, all they have to do is re-listen to the recording and it will help them again! Should they wish to find out more about me, my techniques, or my books or desire to contact me, my website is - www.ProThriveSBH.com.

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