By Kami Guildner, President Syzygy Consulting & Coaching and CWCC Member
The Circumstance. Brenda had a successful 16 year career overseeing Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for an automobile brand throughout the State of Colorado. Her passion for customer experience was pivotal in her country-wide leadership efforts of a grass roots brand phenomena that captured significant media coverage. Loyal car owners from across the nation joined in this “family of owners” and supported Brenda’s efforts to save the Brand.
The cards began to shift with the struggle of the American automotive markets, and the Brand that she had identified with for so many years was discontinued in 2010. Her 5-stores shifted into a new brand and Brenda could not find the same passion with the new focus. Feeling that she was at an important crossroads in her career, she began to consider the next chapter of her life. This is when she met Kami Guildner at Syzygy.
Interesting Roads, Interesting Discoveries
Brenda began her journey knowing that that she wanted to do something new and different – but not knowing where or what. She began to ponder, “What was I driven by? What were my passions? What kind of environment had been good for me? I saw this as an opportunity to get back to my roots.”
So Brenda started her weekly coaching sessions with Kami, over flip charts and cups of tea – reconnecting back to who Brenda was. She looked at her strengths, explored her passions, connected to her values. Brenda shared, “I couldn’t wait to get back the next week to share what I’d discovered or learned about myself.”
As Brenda was rediscovering herself in that first month of coaching, she also had an opportunity to join one of the Syzygy Equine Vision Journey weekend retreats. It proved to be a life changing experience from which big decisions would emerge.
Brenda recalled that inspirational weekend. “I gained such a sense of peacefulness. The horses allowed me to explore what was on my mind. I was able to further clarify who I am as a person – and it provided me with a new grounding that enabled me to make the decision that it was time to leave my job of 16 years.”
Brenda continued, “It’s amazing how the answers came to me that weekend. It was something that maybe would have taken years with regular coaching or counseling. Taking a whole weekend to focus only on me was empowering. Tapping into nature – the hawks flying overhead and connecting to the horses – somehow brought me new answers and showed me the way.” Within days, Brenda turned in her resignation to dedicate herself to this journey of self exploration – to find her next chapter.
The freedom from lengthy hours at the office allowed Brenda to continue her next chapter exploration at an even more in-depth pace. She shared, “I had fallen into a pattern of overworking – at a workaholic pace – and had lost my creativity and life balance.” As she tapped back to the roots of herself a person, many of her good friends with whom she’d lost close touch kept coming up for her. She knew that they were special people in her life, and something told her it was time for a roadtrip.
Now this was no ordinary roadtrip. This roadtrip took Brenda through 17 states over 6000 miles! “I wanted to see, at least, three of my best friends and get to know their families because I hadn’t been able to do that. When you’re a mom and you’re trying to work, you don’t have a lot of free time to develop or maintain personal relationships that are special to you.”
And she covered these 17 states all on her own, with an independent sense of accomplishment. Along the way, she visited her former automotive plant, letting go of that last chapter with a final goodbye. She listened to the inspirational life stories of her friends, who just happened to have led incredibly successful and rewarding paths of their own. And most importantly she found a renewed connection to her own roots.
“Kami helped me remember that we always have to be a student, and engage other’s expertise and experiences to continue on our journey,” Brenda shared. “The stories my friends shared were inspirational. This whole trip idea was born in the realms of a coaching session one day! For that I’m thankful!”
Discovering the next chapter
Brenda spent the next several months exploring her next life chapter: what to do and where to go. She looked at a variety of new career options – considering the pros and cons of each, and always weighing it against her passions. Eventually she selected a path into the real estate market, as an opportunity presented itself in being the ground floor of a newly opened office in an upscale mountain community.
In recalling her passion of working with customers in the auto industry, she shared, “I loved helping people get into a new car – their enthusiasm around this important purchase was fun and exciting. Now, I help people with an even more monumental purchase – their home! Through the coaching process, I realized that I valued beauty and elegance, and helping people build their dreams in the beauty and elegance of their new home is very rewarding.”
In reflecting back to this incredible six month journey of transition, Brenda shared one of her favorite quotes, “To discover a new purpose in life will require that you live more authentically, not bending to the outside forces around you. You will be challenged to go to the center of who you really are.”
Brenda continued, “This is what Syzygy did for me. I now know I can do anything in life. I just needed to explore, to take the time – and Kami’s approach to coaching enabled me do this. Her tools, her approaches – opens your mind to dream and explore and find new paths. As my own growth plan organically unfolded, Kami provided me with the right questions at the right time. She didn’t let me get away with trying to hide behind myself. She pushed me to look deeper. Then she held me accountable. This was the difference for me.”
Brenda ended with, “Syzygy was the best 6 month investment I ever made. It saved me the rest of my life to enjoy. Sometimes, it takes a whole lifetime to learn what we did in 6 months and some never figure it out. Thanks for challenging me and putting me back on track.”
NOTE: Names in this Case Study have been changed to maintain confidentiality of the Syzygy client.
Kami Guildner, President of Syzygy Coaching and Consulting, has been in the Colorado foothills for over 20 years. Kami helps people uncover their passions and discover their purpose to guide them to an inspired future. Her consulting and coaching agency, Syzygy, is grounded in the experience of stories, nature, passions and the power of positive – opening new doors for new visions. Kami is a Certified Equine Guided Educator and trained in Appreciative Inquiry change management methodology. Visit the Syzygy Web site at www.syzygy-co.com or contact Kami directly at 303-670-7244, firstname.lastname@example.org.