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  • Writer's pictureSally Maeng

Identifying your values to find peace and alignment

Brenda's Story


You're faced with a situation that clashes against your core values.

Let's say you're talking with someone who disagrees about a particular LGBTQ+ issue. Or your workplace encourages management tactics that you consider ineffective and questionable. Perhaps your friend posts a political comment on social media that makes you cringe. How do you navigate through these situations?

Brenda faced one of these situations. At the time, she was the Department Director. And in 2010, Brenda left her job heartbroken. She left feeling invalidated and misunderstood by her workplace community.

While deconstructing life, teaching university students, and completing two Master's degrees (theology and leadership), Brenda arrived at this conclusion: it is essential to understand our values and learn how to walk them out.

When you understand your values, you're more aware of why you are stressed, defensive, and uncomfortable. When you learn to speak them out, you are empowered to take charge of your situation rather than feeling like the situation is controlling you.

After leaving that particular job, Brenda recognized one of her core values is honouring people's truths. She is a big advocate for social justice, amplifying the voices of underrepresented populations and creating spaces for deep, hard conversations to take place.

This makes her sensitive to communities that chastise her for her beliefs. You don't have to agree with her. While Brenda makes deliberate decisions with thorough, thoughtful considerations, she also believes we can live in harmony despite our differences (unity in diversity). Holding space for unique perspectives, deep listening to understand one another, and room to challenge dominant narratives are guideposts for how Brenda shows up in the work she does.

Having worked out her core values through her time at graduate school and Seminary, training to become a certified leadership coach and professional associate coach, Brenda can look back to that painful experience with new understanding. It makes sense why she tried to oblige during that time, acted defensively another time, and eventually felt compelled to leave that environment. Her values were slightly, moderately, and then highly threatened. Our inner core beliefs determine your outer action and behaviours.

Brenda also realized the importance of living out one's worldview in community with others in healthy, confident ways. The first step is doing the hard inner work of identifying what you actually believe about yourself and the world around you. Brenda developed a holistic coaching practice. She works with individuals and groups to help them uncover pathways forward through uniquely tailored coaching services. This often starts with conversations around individual or collective values. She begins by asking powerful questions like these:

  • Tell me about a time when you were the happiest.

  • When were you proud of something you accomplished?

  • What might a healthy, successful organization act like?"

After discovering your values, it's easier to clearly articulate concrete language that authentically represents these abstract concepts. Once you have the words, you can learn to share them with others in an effective, authentic manner. So instead of feeling like you're reacting to a difficult situation, you can feel empowered to navigate through the complexities with clarity and confidence.

To this day, Brenda is passionate about helping people cultivate their inner lives. She finds joy in guiding people to identify their values, so they could find peace, alignment and feel grounded in everything they do.

Her passion, however, sprouted from one of her most painful experiences in her early 40s. Your passions aren't always hidden in the rainbows and butterflies you find at age 12. Through this journey, Brenda realigned her values and discovered a passion. Now, instead of feeling powerless during a difficult conflict, Brenda can help you know your truth, flourish in mutuality, and hold space for others to do likewise.


To contact Brenda and learn more about this story, follow @brenda.lee.sasaki on Instagram and visit her website.

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