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Support Report: Body, Mind, Spirit Festival Outcomes

The Body, Mind, & Spirit Festival in Marblehead, MA this past Saturday was a huge success. We had about 40 people visit with us at the Marymac Missions table. I gave a 10-minute talk and a 40-minute workshop on the theme: “Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey.” Our table featured a Seven Sustainable Skills digital presentation – people practiced the Seven Sustainable Skills Dance in front of our table! Visitors to the table enjoyed brain food treats including dark chocolate squares and almond snack packs. Many people were interested in our Alzheimer’s/Dementia informational kiosk providing information on current estimated numbers of people living with dementia and unpaid caregivers (local, national and global), key findings from the Alzheimer’s Disease International Report on Early Diagnosis, and a top-10 Brain Foods list. Many people also helped themselves to literature provided by the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Education office.

A couple concerning social themes (well known among dementia-care community members) surfaced at this local community event:

Early Dementia Detection & Diagnosis – System Barriers
A woman who attended my talk shared with me afterwards that she is experiencing memory loss and she is asking her family to keep a journal of when she is forgetting things. She shared that she has tried to get cognitive testing but that her insurance company won’t pay for it because she doesn’t have a family history of dementia.

I encourage people experiencing memory loss to share your concerns with your primary care physician. If you experience barriers to receiving cognitive testing consider speaking with your local Alzheimer’s Association office about this or contact your local or state representative’s office.

Dementia Devastates some Marriages
Two women at the event shared with us at separate times during the event that caring for their beloved family member with dementia caused the break-up of their marriage.

I encourage couples who are experiencing the stress of dementia care on their relationship to consider couples counseling. This was very helpful for me and Karl as we navigated the stresses of dementia care during our engagement.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Morning Report: Koi Pond Iris, Savorii

Koi Pond: Koi & Iris
Late June Koi Pond
At the Body, Mind & Spirit Festival in Marblehead this past weekend I met two women social entrepreneurs, Pat and Pat, who are empowering women and men at the St. Francis House of Boston and the Women’s Collaborative in Lowell with sewing projects that provide jobs and income. The social enterprise is called Savorii, formerly known as Green Lifesavor. Annette, who helped me at the “Marymac Missions” table at the event surprised me with a gift of one of Savorii’s creations: The Salem Sack. My sack was made by Joe at the St. Francis House – I love it.

These women will be coming to our home, Rest.Stop.Ranch, in the near future to tour our wheelchair accessible gardens with their family member who uses a wheelchair.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Morning Report: Japanese Iris, Body/Mind/Spirit Fest

Lavender Japanese Iris Bloom
The Color of Intuition
My intuition tells me… What does your intuition tell you this morning? Take 5 minutes to notice how Spirit is moving you gently towards greater self-love and wholeness in your life.

(Marblehead, MA) Friends North of Boston: Remember the Body, Mind & Spirit Festival tomorrow, Saturday: 10am-3pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. The Marymac Missions table will be inside the building and will offer:
– Meet & Greet: Stop by and say hello!
– A tabletop digital presentation: A short, silent, and colorful presentation introduces Marymac Missions’ service offerings (5 min).
– Marymac Missions’ poster & literature
– “Families Affected by Dementia Globally and Locally” poster & Alzheimer’s Association literature

Also, I will offer three short programs which will take place inside the church building.
“Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey.”
10:15 am 10-minute talk
11:00 am 60-minute workshop
1:00 pm 60-minute workshop

I look forward to seeing you there!
~ Mary

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Body, Mind, & Spirit Festival this Saturday in Marblehead!

(Marblehead, MA) A friendly reminder to folks North of Boston to check out the Body, Mind & Spirit Festival this Saturday: 10am-3pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. Be sure to visit the Marymac Missions table or attend one of the free “Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey” workshops!

Learn more about this Event >

I look forward to seeing you there!
~ Mary

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Morning Report: Summer Walk & Wheel

Karl and I assisted Dad with a wheel around the MargFMac Front Garden Loop late yesterday afternoon. If it wasn’t for my father suggesting we take some photos, I wouldn’t have thought to videotape this Father’s Day stroll. Dad enjoyed seeing and smelling the Sweet William and roses as well as observing the many different plantings and horticulture methods in use along the path.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Register Now! My Doable Self-Care Plan 4wk Small Group

For the first time, I’m offering a small group tele-coaching opportunity for caregivers interested in prioritizing their self-care practices. This tele-coaching small group is available to anyone in the country who would like to join us via conference call for four weeks in June. We’ll meet for 60 minutes on Tuesday evenings (limit 6 participants).

Learn more about this special program!

Warmest regards,
Mary

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Rest.Stop.Ranch Respite Report: Brooksby Village Caregivers

I presented a “Take Care of Yourself: Seven Sustainable Skills for the Long-Term Care Journey” 60-minute workshop to the Brooksby Village Caregivers’ Support Group yesterday. The group of six and their two group leaders learned and experienced the Seven Sustainable Skills Song & Dance, a 2-minute breathing break, and a 5-minute guided meditation on the Seven Sustainable Skills self-care themes. We explored the experience of being at rest, with no interruptions. The group members reported feeling at peace, calm, relaxed.

We also discussed the Wellness Wheel for Dementia Caregivers, a visual that I developed based on my reading of the dementia caregiver wellness literature. It highlights five wellness activities that help dementia and other long-term caregivers: Wellness Education, Skill Training, Coaching, Support Group, and Peer Networking.

Group members’ feedback indicated that they most liked: meditation, concentration and change of thought, the seven steps, breathing, the community spirit, guided meditation combined with the yoga/dance, a feeling of peace, clear and slow direction for each pose, moved at a pace with participants.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Called to Coach

Dear friends,
About a year ago, on Good Friday of Easter Weekend, I received a phone call from a woman in New Mexico. She shared with me that after five years of caring for her husband with Parkinson’s Disease, she had reached a limit. “I feel like I have Alzheimer’s. I can’t think straight anymore,” she said. We spoke for forty-five minutes and at the end of our conversation she said, “You’ve been incredibly helpful. You should become a coach.” Well, I hadn’t before considered becoming a coach. I heard her suggestion but didn’t feel I would take action. A month later, I met Judi Neal, the author of the book Edgewalkers, and Director of Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, Sam Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, at a conference. When we followed up via phone a few weeks later she too said, “Mary, you should become a coach.” Hearing this a second time made me listen. A few months later, I became a certified Life Coach and Group Leader. I am now passionate about the benefits that coaching offers long-term caregivers and others. On-going coaching truly offers a level of companionship and support that can be a foundation for personal empowerment, growth, and realizing positive, sustainable results.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry and action,
~ Mary