LOS ANGELES — The first thing someone notices when going to life coach Cindy Warden’s website is the name of her business, “Reinspire Your Life,” with her photo and infectious smile lighting up the space.
Probably the most important thing are the words. There are a lot of them, but they are powerful and insightful and offer hope to the reader.
People would be surprised to learn that Warden’s life has been a variety of twists and turns, victories and failures, which is why she became a life coach in the first place.
Warden is a 1982 graduate of Shawnee High School in Lima. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ruhl Warden, of Lima. She graduated from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, with a degree in musical theater.
“While I was at Shawnee, I had leads in Oklahoma, Music Man and Sound of Music, and I went off to college and played those ingenue roles,” Warden said. “While I was at college, I had to take over at the last minute for someone who had this lead in the play, and it was this really broad comedic role, just this random thing that happened at the last minute, and that’s when I found out what I was, I was a comedian.”
After graduating from college, she took a job at Cedar Point working in shows at the amusement park. She eventually was cast in Cedar Point’s Amazement Park Review, going on the road for a year.
“Then I moved to Los Angeles because my dream was to do television and film and so on,” Warden said.
She was immediately booked in commercials, did stage work, musical theater and ended up voicing cartoons for Disney.
”I did television and shared the screen with Jim Carrey. I did a couple small roles on soaps and things like that,” Warden said. “I got accepted into the most prestigious theater company at the time, the Colony Theater. We were all professional, union stage actors.”
Warden married an animation writer. They were together for 10 years and married for five. The marriage, however, did not work out.
”I think that whenever we go through big life shifts, when life changes in a big way, we start to change,” she said. “And so I was going through this divorce, and nobody told me about the post-divorce apocalypse, where friends think they need to stay loyal to one person over the other. It was like I lost friends, which I never anticipated, and I was very lonely.
Surprising herself one day while going to an audition during this difficult time, she said she was wishing she didn’t have to go to the audition.
“I went, oh wait a minute, what’s going on here? I never in a million years thought that this would change,” Warden said. “And I knew something was changing. It was my identity and everything I’d done, and it took me a while to let go of it.”
After the divorce, finances were difficult for Warden. She could not get a job.
“I was going flat broke; nobody wanted to hire me. I went to a temp agency and ended up at Hollywood Records, which is a division of the Disney Music Group. It’s a pop and rock record label,” Warden said.
Eventually, the record label created a job for her in the artists in repertoire department. That department works with the artists, books songwriters, producers and finds the songs.
With all of the success, however, Warden admits that she was just in the wrong life. She ended up getting sick and was sick for 18 months. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Shortly after that, she detected a lump in her breast.
“It was not cancer, but it was heading in that direction. I had to have a lumpectomy,” Warden said. “It was the wrong life, I was not happy, so stressed out all of the time. I knew I was in a situation that was making me sick. …
I got a life coaching certification while I was still working at Disney. I left Disney and started life coaching.”
Becoming a life coach didn’t automatically mean she would have clients flocking to her. Warden went through the usual doubt of questioning her new career choice.
“At first, especially being sick for a while and feeling not so great, I thought, ‘Who is going to want to work with me?’ The irony is that it’s why people want to work with me,” she said. “I’ve always likened it to if you want to lose a bunch of weight, are you going to hire a weight loss coach who has been thin their whole life or someone who has lost a bunch and kept it off?
Her philosophy on setbacks is that they happen to empower a person.
“It doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you,” Warden said. “If you look at it if it happens for us, you can always be empowered. You can always find a lesson or there is always an opportunity there.
“It’s funny, my divorce when we split up, it was one of the most painful experiences I have ever been through, but I’m grateful for it because it made me go, ‘Wait a minute, there’s stuff going on like I need to look at patterns not serving me.’ Once I started getting in there and looking at my own stuff, that’s when I changed and my career trajectory changed as well. I lost my identity, but the beauty is when that happens, you can become anybody you want to be.”
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.