I am a graduate of Martha Beck Wayfinding Coach Training, and am currently in the certification process. As a life-long student of human nature, I have graduated from multiple leader trainings including Crucial Conversations Train the Trainer and Landmark Education's team management and leadership trainings.
I have navigated three intentional, fulfilling career changes: 27 years in local television marketing, 13 years in nonprofit communication and development (primarily local food system change), and most recently, life coaching. These careers are where I learned the difference between being in charge and being a collaborator and a co-creator. It's where I developed my values (read more here) and most importantly, where I discovered the pure joy of helping people be who they really are.
In addition to career changes, I am no stranger to life-changing events. I have overcome addiction, lost parents at an early age, raised two children, survived financial crisis, started businesses, divorced, and married the woman of my dreams (more about that in the story below!)
What people say about working with me (names changed to protect confidentiality):
“In my business, I'm putting myself where my talents are, like vision and strategy, and delegating to others on things that are not my bailiwick. Cindy's coaching helped me be honest with myself, and speak the truth to my team. I'm taking responsibility for my actions, and removing myself from tasks that have been delegated to others. This has created full accountability (and relief!) for me and my team.”
Sarah, recent retiree:
“Cindy is compassionate and insightful...able to listen to others with undivided attention and hear underlying concerns, issues, emotions. She asks good questions...to help me discover my course of action for myself.”
Jen, corporate exec:
“Cindy is a master at being with people in upset and helping them work through it.”
Now for something personal…
Words really can’t describe the terror and exhilaration of that realization. I felt alive—truly, deeply, scream-out-loud alive—AND filled with dread and foreboding. Life as I had known it for 35 years was about to come crashing down in a spectacular, publicly embarrassing, family-destroying way. I was sure of it. I was about to be driven from the career I spent decades toiling away at for 10 hours a day. My credibility as a manager, a professional, and a leader was about to evaporate—or more like, explode, into a kind of nuclear mushroom cloud destroying everything in its path. My two kids would disown me. My husband would try to keep me, and I would devolve to a caged animal, a tiny, quivering, miserable shadow of my former self. That aliveness I felt would be pulverized into dust and blown away into a distant memory. In the moment that’s how it felt, true or not.
Flash forward: I am sitting in a cabin that hangs over the New River, and the sun is rising over the mountain. The water is on fire, and a mist rolls upstream. This is the same river, the same mountain, the same meadow, where I got married to that same woman I fell in love with, our grown children walking us down a petal-strewn path to an altar made of fabric and flowers draped lovingly over a tree bough by the best friends anyone could ever have. And in the audience were my brother, my soon-to-be wife's ex-husband, and all my soon-to-be new in-laws. It was, quite literally, a miracle.
It was a miracle of truth—
of coming to terms with the woman who has always been there.
But it was NOT a miracle by happenstance or luck. It was a miracle of Truth—of coming to terms with the woman who had always been there. The path from there to here was not easy, nor welcomed; there were years of desperate grasping and grieving a life I had trained myself, and everybody else, to be in but no longer wanted. More desperately, I would try to NOT hurt the people who loved me most. It sucked for a long time as I navigated very choppy waters, when the boat was almost capsized by near-bankruptcy, career crisis, and overwhelming grief.
I used to think that if I did everything right, if I was smart enough, then life would be a steady upward trajectory. On the contrary, I eventually learned that the light shines on the most beautiful truths when you allow yourself to walk through the darkest moments.
This story is not an unusually difficult story; nor is it especially unique from others' difficult stories. It’s just one of many transformational, tumultuous journeys like yours that illustrate how change is inevitable. Some of it is beyond our control, but NOT beyond our ability to grow and create and BE who we really are.