Wednesday, August 7, 2013


You don't have to actually be Italian to prescribe to Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner's philosophy of life.  She is a self-help specialist who created a unique style of living after her husband of 32 years died suddenly.  She had known him since they were toddlers so the loss was incredibly hard.  Mautner turned to her Italian heritage, the rich rituals and way of life, the recipes and traditions, to get her through the difficult time.  She feels everyone suffers great personal loss, of a loved one, a precious pet, a job, finances, and needs key ways to recover.

Recently at the New Haven Free Public Library, she shared what she has learned, the tools she has used, that have become the basis of her newest book,
"Lemons into Limoncello" (Health Comm. Inc $14.95).  Mautner is passionate about her message, one she shares on her weekly radio show "The Italian Art of Living Well": on Monday mornings at 7 a.m. on 88.7 FM.  Writing "a self-help book with an Italian perspective," she advocates living a good life, La Dolce Vita. After her beloved Tom died, she felt "everything is my life became unrecognizable.  My challenge was to change from a lemon to limoncello."

Drawing from her PhD. in psychology and her Italian heritage, from her extended family, here and in Italy, she landscaped life changes.  She likened her world to a mosaic which has chips and faded tiles and imperfections when viewed up close but looks perfect from afar.  She believes strongly that we have the ability to get through everything life hands us and she has assembled tools for each stage.

1. Lascia Stare.Just Let It Be (for now).  Take time to heal. Join a support group. Seek professional help.  Assimilate the loss.

 2. Piano Piano.  Go slowly. (but surely) Do something to move toward recovery.

3. Reagire. Begin to React (concretely).  As you feel stronger, move forward.  Do some things automatically. Organize your life.

4.  Avanti! Go forward into Life (with creativity).  Get your life back in balance.  Life is to be celebrated.  Develop gratitude.  Every single day is a gift.

In addition, she advises you believe in something greater than yourself, let music lift you up, indulge in the challenge of doing nothing and letting a healing power pamper you and do something nice for yourself every day (pick a flower, have a special cup of coffee).  She also encourages discovering beauty, simplicity, rituals, wisdom through writing, physical work, becoming part of the community by volunteering, eating well, dancing, putting your best foot forward and smiling.  In essence, she wants you to start your own personal get unstuck and remount your life.  Live for love and make life worth living.

 Come meet Raeleen Mautner at the Italian Festival of Angels on the North Haven Green on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24 from 4-7 p.m.  She will be honored with the Humanitarian Award from the American Committee on Italian Migration at Anthony's Ocean View Restaurant in New Haven on Sunday, October 27 at noon.

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