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Life coach wakes students up with Empower Me!
by Michelle Zewin
Mar 27, 2008 | 1634 views | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Tony Contini - Life coach Erin Zundel teaches a Washoe County School District Community Education class called Empower Me!
Tribune/Tony Contini - Life coach Erin Zundel teaches a Washoe County School District Community Education class called Empower Me!
Life coach Erin Zundel believes far too many people in this world are unconscious of their true desires. So she’s here to wake them up.

“I love to find out what motivates people,” Zundel said. “I want people to face inward and discover what is missing in their lives. After that they can get on the right track to a fulfilled life. Without knowing what your values are it makes for such an empty life. Then you end up living for someone else.”

And she knows because she’s been there too. After living her life somewhat aimlessly in the health care industry she knew something had to change. She was searching for something more.

“An inner voice told me I had more to offer,” Zundel said. “It was saying, ‘what are you doing here?’ And it just kept nagging at me.”

And so Zundel, 42, finally listened to that voice. She registered for classes at the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, Calif. and a year later she was certified. For two and a half years now she’s been a life coach.

“And it’s just been incredible,” Zundel said. “I’m very fulfilled now. I feel like it’s my calling and my passion.”

Zundel is so passionate about her work that she almost cannot believe it when she finds participants in her classes apathetic to life. On Wednesday night at Mendive Middle School, participants stared blankly when Zundel instructed them to prioritize their “passions” on paper.

“Some people are passion challenged and it’s so surprising to me,” she said. “I want to help them dig a little deeper and discover them. Give them a trigger.”

And that’s exactly why most of the students signed up for Zundel’s three-day Empower Me! class, a part of the Washoe County School District Community Education program. Stacy Cox said she signed up for the class to discover what she really wanted out of life.

“I wanted to find what my goals and dreams are to give me a purpose,” Cox said. “I feel like I’ve just been existing.”

Sarah Howe echoed Cox’s sentiments.

“We learn about our inner strengths and what lies underneath,” she said. “This class gives you tools to live your life to capacity.”

And that is what Zundel strives to show people. But it isn’t always easy, especially when students don’t want to accept the necessary changes.

“The biggest challenge for life coaches is shattering old belief systems and opening the mind,” Zundel said.

But her work is well worth it when it does happen.

“It’s amazing when the breakthroughs happen in my class,” Zundel said. “The realizations and emotions that come out – it’s very powerful.”

In her Empower Me! class, Zundel begins by having students map out a life collage. She tells them to cutout anything the grabs their attention.

“And it opens the door to things they haven’t seen in a while,” Zundel said. “It’s almost like getting in touch with childhood again.”

In the final class, Zundel teaches the students how to hold themselves accountable to enact everything they learned in class.

“Now they have to make these things happen in their lives,” Zundel said. “They discovered their dreams and now they’re going to bring them to manifestation.”

Before finishing Wednesday’s class, Zundel had the women pick cards from a deck with different motivational quotes on them. Cox draws one that is particularly liked by the class: “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Spoken by feminist and historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the class contemplates this for a moment and decides it’s true after naming off the likes of Rosa Parks and a few others.

Aside from the Community Education classes, Zundel offers one-on-one sessions. She asks for a three-month commitment and meets with clients once a week for an hour. While there are similarities with life coaching and the psychiatry field – plenty of tears are shed in both – Zundel said the two should not be confused.

“We’re not diagnosing,” Zundel said. “We refer out if we feel it’s necessary. But coaching is more future based. We’re about taking a person from where they are and taking them to where they want to be. I teach them how to fish rather than give them a fish.”
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