Rest.Stop.Ranch Guide Services is a life-coaching and care consultation service for families, groups and individuals. Sustainable support is offered to caregivers and receivers currently navigating a long-term illness or recovering from the effects of long-term illness.
Hi! I’m Mary, the resident guide at Rest.Stop.Ranch. I’m a certified Life Coach, Group Leader and Kripalu Yoga Teacher. I companion, coach, consult and teach individuals, groups and families: body, mind and spirit. Being a veteran dementia caregiver gives me a unique understanding for the experience of family members who journey with loved ones through degenerative illness. The family care consulting I offer is independent, informed by my personal dementia-care experience, reading, and study of our national health-care system. My style of coaching includes listening with my heart, asking questions that help my clients articulate their goals, dreams and desires, and working with each person to realize their personal best.
My Credentials to Companion, Coach, Consult and Teach
- 2012: Member, Spiritual Directors International
- 2011: Certified Professional Coach, Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching
- 2011: Certified Group Leader, Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching
- 2011: Certificate, Leadership for Change, Boston College, Carroll School of Management
- 2010: Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher (400+ hrs; specialities: restorative, chair, dance, special populations), Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
- 1999: M.A. Pastoral Ministry (concentration: spiritual care and counseling), Boston College
- 1994: B.A. Psychology and German (Phi Beta Kappa honors), University of Rochester
Why call it Guide Services?
People experiencing long-term illness and its effects often feel like they are in the wilderness without a compass. The feeling of uncertainty, not knowing the path, and the frequent occurrence of surprises are common. Like an experienced wilderness guide, I help clients identify the paths that feel truest and help them prioritize their “life-line” while navigating surprises and challenges. I offer support and encouragement during life’s most difficult times when its easy to feel disheartened, disappointed, depressed, devastated, and even on the edge of despair. I most enjoy helping my clients reach their mini- and mountain-peak goals and aspirations.
Called to Companion, Coach, Consult and Teach
Theologian Frederick Beuchner defines vocation as “the place where your passion meets the world’s greatest need.” I experience the exponential rise of long-term illnesses in our world, and the corresponding human cost, as one of the greatest spiritual and human crises of our time. The needs are deep and growing deeper. After enduring a personal experience with our public health crisis, I was called into deeper relation with myself and my community. In 2008, I looked within and saw that my most natural gifts are in fact, what the world needs now. Parker Palmer writes:
As I learn more about the seed of true self that was planted when I was born, I also learn more about the ecosystem in which I was planted—the network of communal relations in which I am called to live responsively, accountably, and joyfully with beings of every sort. Only when I know both seed and system, self and community, can I embody the great commandment to love both my neighbor and myself. – From Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation
The initial call led me to study yoga (the sanskrit word translates as “yoke” or “union”), as a life-affirming practice for myself, which I could also teach others. I began teaching my local/global community in 2010. The call was confirmed and clarified by a long-term caregiver in New Mexico who phoned me in 2011. After a forty-five minute conversation she told me I should become a coach. This recommendation was echoed by a mentor a month later. A few months later I listened, and I became a Professional Coach and Group Leader (Read “Called to Coach” posted March, 2012). I have now coached and witnessed significant growth and personal fulfillment in clients who were previously unfamiliar with the benefits of coaching. I believe that coaching offers the consistent personal structure and support needed by many to realize the positive life changes they wish to see in their lives.
In 2012 I traveled to Assisi, Italy on pilgrimage with a group from Spiritual Directors International. During this time, two spiritual directors asked to speak with me about their current long-term care experience with family members. This was the first time I was asked to be a family care consultant. One of these friends then followed up with me at my home in Topsfield, MA with a family meeting that spanned two continents (N.America and Europe). The meeting, and my role in it, touched me profoundly. I realized that the health-systems and dementia-care knowledge I hold, when shared, is very helpful to families facing care decisions. I realized that I’m able to offer a central meeting and learning space for family members distributed across the country and the world. I decided to offer family care consultations as a service.
Some have said, “it takes a special person to do this work.” I am naturally drawn to “making a difference” and meeting people during the life-moments that seem most difficult. I embrace the spirituality of every major tradition as authentic and offering guidance for healing, connection, and unity. Taking the action to recover and renew myself by using wisdom techniques from several traditions, I now share what worked and works for me with others who experience similar healing effects – this is the practice of the Wounded Healer (Henri Nouwen). As I continue to learn better balance, I share my attention and compassion, knowledge and methods with others. Donna M. Fisher-Jackson writes:
The healing path can also be a spiritual path. In healing ourselves we can help others heal around us. The wonder in the healing process is that our personal healing can have a ripple effect, and help others around us to heal. Through our own personal work, we can see how our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and on and on are affected by our healing journey. That is the mystery of life – how we all seem to be connected on some level, and how we can affect one another with the changes that we make. We are not alone in our journey, but one of many who are here to learn lessons that help us grow and evolve as human and spiritual beings. We each have our own unique set of lessons, but as we work through the lessons we help others with their lessons. – From The Healing Path of the Romantic
It is not always easy to follow the direction my inner-compass leads, which is ever-evolving. The following reflection is adapted from Carl Rogers’ work, On Becoming a Person:
Rooted and growing in a loving life-partnership and supportive family, I am blessed to be a person who has more than the usual freedom to choose. I have been able to be a changing, fluid, process. I have moved toward a friendly openness to what is going on within – learning to listen sensitively to myself. I have experienced a harmony of complex sensings and reactions. I move toward greater acceptance of my true self and accepting others in the same listening, understanding way. I trust and value my inner processes as they emerge toward expression. I am creatively realistic and realistically creative. I am a sensitive, open, realistic, inner-directed member of the human species, adapting with courage and imagination to the complexities of the changing situation. – Adapted from the chapter: To Be That Self Which One Truly Is
I specialize in serving clients caring for a family member living with long-term illness or disability (i.e. Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Mental Illness, Autism…) or who are in a transition period after the loss of a loved one.
The Care Consultation Clients I Serve
Adults living with illness, caregivers, and/or concerned family members experiencing the beginning or middle-stages of a long-term care journey (often involving dementia) reach out to me for conversation and counsel. I offer an independent, U.S. health-systems and dementia-care understanding that applies to care situations within any state in the USA. I offer a central meeting and learning space (via conference call and skype) for family members distributed across the country and the world. I help individuals and families understand care options and plan for next steps for themselves or loved ones.
The Coaching Clients I Serve
Women and men, as young as 25-80+, who have a vision for life that they are eager to realize, create their new reality with my support, encouragement, and help. This includes increasing health and wellness, emotional well-being, work and career satisfaction, improving relationships, and discerning one’s spiritual path. While caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, many clients report finding it difficult to focus on their own health and wellness, relationships, emotional well-being, spiritual practices, work and career goals, and/or financial dreams. After the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a spouse, parent, or child, life often looks and feels different, and a process of grief, healing, re-evaluation and renewal occurs. Clients in these situations find the structure, support, and companionship of coaching to be helpful. Coaching sessions are offered via phone or Skype.
Clients who are Ready for a Coaching Relationship
You are self-aware. You know who you are and what you need or want in life. You can say where you’re succeeding and where you’re challenged. You are ready to empower yourself to realize a sustainable life-style that feels good, healthy, and successful – as YOU define “success”!
A One-time Conversation
Sometimes all you need is to talk to someone who’s walked your walk, someone who understands where you are now because they’ve been there before. Sometimes all you need is some validation that you’re not crazy and a little support to help you through.
Mary has been so helpful in helping us look at the whole care-giving system around our mother (and mother-in-law). We met with her at her home in Topsfield for a family care consultation which our brother joined (via Skype) from his home in Europe. We were looking for advice and insight and received practical suggestions, pointers to resources, and a broader view of how to care for the system (including ourselves and her husband) which was caring for our mother. As we’ve followed her lead and followed up on her suggestions, we’ve increasingly valued both the depth of their origin and their immediate practicality.
Dr. Kenneth Haase & Dr. Margaret Benefiel, Boston, MA
My Doable Self-Care Plan Small Group Tele-Coach Program
Being able to have time to listen to others who walk a similar walk as I do day to day…helped me to realize that I am not alone in my feelings and that there are ways of finding time for myself, so that I can experience the joy in my life again.
Helen Skidmore, Atchison, KS
When taking care of a family member, finding time to nurture ourselves is a significant challenge. In spite of my commitment, preparing for the first week of the program seemed like just another task to do. Within a very short time, participating in self-defined activities for “My Doable Self-Care Plan” resulted in greater focus, clarity and energy. I highly recommend it.
Carol Lemieux, Salem, MA
The My Doable Self-Care Plan Program is an inspiration! Mary has found a creative way to provide support for long-term dementia caregivers that fits well within the constraints that the illness places on them. This transformative program addresses many of the major challenges caregivers face: the difficulty of finding time for themselves and the impossibility of scheduling and planning as the disease progresses. Mary’s conference calls allow caregivers to connect with others who face similar challenges without leaving home. Caregivers are no longer isolated and alone. The program ‘Playbook’ provides structure and encouragement as participants develop a self-care plan that addresses their individual needs. I found that identifying and accomplishing a few small ‘doable’ steps can have a huge impact on my quality of life. Mary is a great coach and guide. The real excitement, though, is that Mary’s unique approach overcomes geographic limitations as well. This was extremely beneficial for me while I was working in New Mexico, far away from my own support community of family and friends. This program is a tremendous value and benefit, offered for a reasonable fee that is ‘doable’ for many. Thank you!
L. Gentile, Lexington, MA
Having this time and guidance with Mary has given me the confidence and support I needed to change the things that need attention. I feel better about myself, where I’m going, and fulfilled.
Elizandra Zapata, Stoughton, MA
Mary is a gifted teacher, coach and healer. I highly recommend her coaching program and workshops. When my daughter returned to school, she and my granddaughter moved in with me. Though I’m committed to help, I’m a small business owner for whom this presented serious challenges. How to be available, while meeting my own goals and focusing on my business? Mary’s coaching gave me indispensable tools that were flexible, but consistently helped me to concentrate on my business. I’ve also participated in Mary’s “Take Care of Yourself” workshops. They offer simple, easy, yet highly effective techniques for maintaining health and wellness.
Carol Lemieux, Salem, MA
I am an attorney, who recently started her own legal practice. Having been an employee most of my life, I was excited yet concerned about the challenges of working for myself. Being a wife and full time mother of three children, I questioned how I would balance work, family, and everything else in my life. Having Mary as my life coach during this important juncture in my life was invaluable. Mary is truly gifted. She facilitated exercises that allowed me to prioritize what was most important and then we worked on achieving these goals weekly. At the end of our 5 week session I was able to measure my progress. Among my goals that I achieved was to launch my website and create business cards, which were the first steps in making my practice a reality. I also created a vision statement, which Mary recorded. I enjoy listening to my vision statement daily because it keeps me focused on my priorities which include family, spirituality, as well as finances. I highly recommend Mary as a life coach for anyone who feels stressed, is looking for more balance, and wants to improve their life by achieving their goals.
Jaqueline Vega White, Topsfield, MA
Respite Retreat for Family Caregivers
I received so much good from your workshop… I am amazed. I had no idea how “bad off” I was until I laid down and felt the physical and emotional pain. I didn’t think a few hours would help — and miraculously it did. I’m very impressed with the processes you have developed and how you have brought together multiple disciplines for holistic healing and support. I felt so relaxed after your workshop, the wonderful luncheon, and the networking with people in similar situations. I have practiced the 7 poses several times — both today and yesterday — they come naturally — you developed a beautiful flow. And they remind me that after I retreat and withdraw I must reconnect! That is a struggle.
With Gratitude for your strength, courage, and loving healing helpful ways,
Patty Chrystycz, Danvers, MA
I am a 57-year-old big city fireman, working the job for close to 30 years, who also was raised in the big city. I was asked by a friend to attend one of Marymac Missions’ workshops and I thought I was doing my friend a favor by going. But as it turned out, my friend was actually doing me the favor. You see my wife has been chronically ill for almost five years, with 3 children and a new home, I thought I was handling it okay. But after opening my mouth and the immediate outpouring of emotions, I realized that I was truly a wreck and needed some support. By the end of the workshop, I felt that I had the needed resources and vowed to take the steps to help myself, in order to help my family.
Ed White, Topsfield, MA
Simple thank you for the morning retreat today. It was wonderful and just about everybody left energized, full with new ways and everybody felt not to be locked into a small box, which is our life, when we hit with tragedy. I benefited a great deal from this beautiful retreat.
Klara Vajda, Andover, MA
Accessing Rest.Stop.Ranch Guide Services
Family, group and individual care-consultations and life coaching is offered on-location and by phone or Skype. Our fees are designed to better meet the financial needs of family caregivers and receivers we serve at all income levels who are affected by long-term illness. To learn more about enrolling in any of our coaching or consulting programs, please contact us:
Phone: 978-887-4202 (M-F, 10a – 5p EST; Need to reach us in the evening? Email us or use our web form to request a call on Monday or Tuesday, between 6-8p EST)
Web Form: Contact Us
Family Care Consultations
A care consultation may involve one or more family members who are seeking information and guidance on possible next-steps in a long-term care journey for themselves or loved ones. Meetings are accessible globally via conference call or Skype. Sixty-minute sessions are offered for a sliding scale fee $80.00 -$100.00, based on one’s ability to pay. Thirty-minute, focused-topic sessions are available for $50.00.
Group Coaching and Support
The Benefits of Group Coaching: Group coaching supports individual members as they identify, achieve and maintain their unique goals within the context of a supportive group. Groups usually have a common life goal focus (for example: self-care, recovery, renewal). In addition to receiving coaching from the group leader, a group member receives valuable support and networking from peers. Group coaching is also more affordable for more people. Four-, six- and eight-week group coaching series run regularly. Group themes include: My Doable Self-Care Plan and Life Coaching for Life Transitions. On-site and Phone groups (maximum 6 participants) generally last for one hour and average $15.00 -$25.00 per session.
Individual Coaching and Support
The Benefits of Individual Coaching: Private coaching may offer a one-time conversation or ongoing support, coaching, and companionship to individuals as they identify, achieve and maintain their unique life goals. A one-on-one coaching relationship offers more time to individuals who feel they need or like that level of support, or who have a broader range of life goals they are interested in working towards with the support of a coach. Private coaching is available at program locations as well as by phone. We will contact you within 48 hours to schedule your private coaching session. Sessions are usually scheduled within two weeks upon receipt of your payment and based on our mutual availability. New private coaching clients are required to fill out a registration form.
One-on-One Coaching Session Length and Investment
- Introductory 30-minute Phone Session – $50.00
- Ongoing Sessions: 15 minutes – $30.00
- Ongoing Sessions: 30 minutes – $60.00
- Ongoing Sessions: 45 minutes – $80.00
- Ongoing Sessions: 60 minutes – $100.00
- Ongoing Sessions: 90 minutes – $120.00
Prepaid One-on-One Coaching Session Packages (60-minute sessions)
Decide how often you’d like one-on-one coaching, weekly or monthly? Then, pick a package that meets your needs and save!
- 4-week Package (meet weekly) – $360.00 (Save 10%, $40!)
- 12-week Package (meet weekly) – $1,020.00 (Save 15%, $180!)
- 24-week Package (meet weekly) – $1,920.00 (Save 20%, $480!)
- 52-week Package (meet weekly) – $3,900.00 (Save 25%, $1,300!)
- 6-month Package (meet monthly) – $540.00 (Save 10%, $60!)
- 12-month Package (meet monthly) – $960.00 (Save 20%, $240!)
Coaching Sessions Payments Policy
All coaching sessions must be prepaid. Payment for individual sessions is expected prior to the start of the scheduled session. You will receive an e-mail with payment instructions at least 24 hours before the start of a session. Once received, this payment is non-refundable, whether you “show up” for the session or not. If payment is not received by your scheduled session time, the session will be cancelled. If you need to cancel or reschedule a session, please do so 24 hours prior to the start of the scheduled session. If a coach cancels a session that has been prepaid, you will be refunded for that session.
Prepaid one-on-one coaching packages and group coaching programs are non-refundable and non-transferable. Every reasonable effort will be made to reschedule any package sessions missed by a client or a coach.
Coaching fees and program options are subject to change at anytime.
Introductory Phone Coaching or Care Consult Session
Congratulations on taking the step to schedule a one-on-one, confidential phone session for yourself. A 30-minute care consultation via phone can help clarify and direct a specific question you may have about your own care or the care of a loved one. A 30-minute phone coaching session can help clarify and support ‘next steps’ towards a personal goal or challenge. An introductory coaching session gives you the best sense of the value and benefits of coaching, as well as the opportunity to discern if a coaching program is right for you at this time.
Prepare for a Phone Coach/Consult Session
Take some time to think about a current question, goal you’d like to achieve or challenge you are experiencing. Before our call, make sure you’re set-up comfortably in an interruption-free quiet area. Be prepared to start on time. We’ll begin the phone session with introductions and then address the question, goal or challenge of your choice. At the end of our call I’ll give you information about continuing a coaching or consulting relationship with me. If we both feel its a good match, we can schedule our next session.
Schedule the Session
Fill out the form below and press “Please Contact Me”. Once I receive your request, I will contact you within 48 hours by phone or email to schedule the session.
Sessions are generally scheduled within two weeks, based on our mutual availability. The Introductory Phone Coach/Consult Session fee is $50 for approximately 30 minutes. If we schedule a session, I will direct you to a link to pay for the Introductory Phone Coach/Consult Session. This fee may be applied as a credit towards any one-on-one coaching package.
Introductory Phone Coach/Consult Session Contact Form
Please note: All fields are required.