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Why Fear is Important in our Lives

Why is it that we dislike being “fearful”? Why do we allow it to hold us “hostage” in our lives? I am not writing about fear of “rational” things like poisonous snakes and matters of safety.   More like, living small because of the “inner bully” in ourselves that wants to keep us small and protected by not living our soul’s calling with great joy. Often times our “inner critic” will try to serve us in ways that are not for our highest good. For example, when I began to train as a Life Coach, I knew that I was going to be doing work that I am passionate about, but I also was nervous about going “BIG” because I am an introvert. OK—an “extroverted” introvert to be more accurate.

Admitting raw and real stories about my past was the hardest thing for me to do, but yet, I do write and talk about them. I share with others about being sexually molested as a child, childhood/adult bullying, an alcoholic marriage, and landing in the Mental Health ward after dealing with two years of horrendous bullying for being a Veteran Affairs “Whistleblower”. As I wrote about these events in my book, there was a part of me that wanted to “hide” under the bed and not share these events with others. Part of me was fearful and it felt scary to be so authentic about these circumstances in my life. While these feelings were distressful and fearful to me, I received the message, “Yes, you can do this and you are going to help a lot of people by telling your story and how you overcame your own dis-empowerment”.

When I worked in the Midatlantic Consolidated Patient Accounting Center (MACPAC), which is a division of the Veteran Affairs in West Asheville, NC, I witnessed a lot of fearful people who were afraid to speak out about the nepotism (illegal hiring of family & friends) and other prohibited personnel actions that were going on in this VA agency. It made me sick to see the fear on these people’s faces and I knew that when I turned in the management of the MACPAC, that I would be paying a high price. I did it anyway. Yes—I was fearful, but in the large picture of that event, I knew that it was important to change the unfair hiring practices and expose the bullying that happened when conscientious “whistleblowers” like myself turn these illegal practices in to government agencies that handle these matters.

I could have done nothing and then everything would remain the same in my former job, within the MACPAC. While feeling scared and knowing so many people would turn against me, I turned in my management to the Office of Special Counsel in Washington D.C. and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Charlotte, NC. Why was I fearful? Because I turned in over 15 people for prohibited personnel actions and they ganged up on me very quickly. While being fearful, I still held them accountable and “settled” with the Veteran Affairs in March 2014, without a “gag order”.   Often I get asked how I can tell my story when I settled with the Veteran Affairs. I can tell my story because I refused to sign a settlement with the VA that would keep me quiet. The VA attorneys finally agreed to this settlement, two days before the EEOC hearing. Moving through all of my fear made me a “victor” in the end.

We are always going to feel “fear”. It is what we do with it that counts. We can stay stuck or we can move through it. How we deal with “fear” is important.   Do we listen to our “inner critic” that says to play small, stay silent, stay hidden and don’t take chances? Or do we listen to our soul that says to keep moving through our “fears” and to follow our soul’s purpose for being on this earth? We get to choose how we deal with fear. The reason why fear is so important in our life is because we get to “play” bigger in our lives if we move through our fears.   First, fear can inspire us to take positive action.   Fear can push us to take the actions we need in our life and create wonderful opportunities.   Second, we can become “liberated” when we move through our fears and accomplish worthy goals. It can push us out of our comfort zone and created a new life for us if we allow it to happen. Third, fear can build our confidence because when we do something positive that makes us fearful, it can make us stronger and more confident.   So, anytime we are dealing with “fear”, consider what side of fear we want to be on— the “empowered” side or the “victim” side.  For I am not letting the “inner critic” in my head win.   I am heading to the Vancouver area to do a workshop on “Overcoming Fear” with my friend, Wendy McClelland on Sept 26th, 2015.   I am hoping you will want to become more empowered and live the life you are supposed to live on this earth.

If you would like to learn more about “overcoming” your old “stories” and moving through fear, check out my book, “The Empowered Whistleblower: A Practical and Spiritual Path to Personal Power” at http://getbook.at/Dawn   You can also get a complimentary copy of my first chapter at www.TheEmpoweredWhistleblower.comDawn looking to the side with mike

Five Reasons Why I Was Able to Overcome My Miserable Life

Dawn and VirtueWe all experience miserable life experiences from time to time.  We may get a divorce, a spouse lets us down or we absolutely hate our job.  I could go on and on about miserable experiences, however, I would rather share my experience with you about “overcoming”.    When you are able to “own” your old stories, instead of your old stories “owning” you, empowerment and liberation prevails.   It is that simple.  Why live in misery, when you can feel better about your life and your circumstances.  Let’s go ahead and jump in and take action to “overcome” the misery we experience at times.

First, every experience in your life is a growing opportunity for you.  I had an experience a couple of years ago where I felt another person had demeaned me after they asked me what I had been up to lately.  I then shared with this person some of the rougher parts of my week. Their comments back to me were very harsh and cut me to threads at the time.  I actually cried because those comments made me feel so small and unappreciated.  I later realized that I had received a “gift” from this person because the experience reminded me of being a young child and getting a verbal lashing from my grandmother.  My grandmother was very stern and had grown up in an orphanage.  She was a very good person, but gave very tough love to me.  I never realized that I had unresolved issues with my grandmother.  The experience of receiving unkind and cutting words helped me to realize I needed to heal the past with my grandmother.  What an eye-opener and a gift for me!  I made peace with my grandmother, who has been dead for many years.  I no longer get as “triggered” by unkind people.  I fixed that problem.

Two, my life felt out of control and I was barely keeping up with my own self-care.  When you work too much and neglect taking care of yourself—you are going to pay a high price.  Your mental and physical health may begin to decline.    I experienced this myself when I ended up in the VA Mental Health ward for three days.  I neglected myself and wore myself out working too many hours on my two court cases against the Veteran Affairs.  The stress and my own neglect on self-care got me a three day stay in the Mental Health ward.   Not fun and the food really sucked there too!  Today, I schedule in self-care in my daily calendar.   I meditate, pray, get massages, receive energy work from a friend, and fit in the best thing I can afford to do, that helps me when I need it.

Three, we always have choices in our life. Have you ever looked back and realized you may have not made a good choice?  We all do!  For example, I had a consultation on the phone the other day with a female who had “bought in” to the fact that she should follow her parent’s advice for her career path. This was a truly gifted lady who wanted to work more in the “arts” and not work a boring job just for the benefits.   She was suffering from so much guilt and wanted the freedom to be herself and work in jobs that were more to her taste.  As children we may become conditioned by our parents who really love us and want the best for us.  However, when we become adults, we are giving away our “personal power” when we let others control our lives.  Most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another.   I use to give away my “personal power” all the time by trying to fit in with others or by trying to please others too much.   Today, it is much easier for me to “catch” myself before I give away my “personal power”.   I have my own choices to make and I am 100% accountable to myself. I encourage you to look at how you have given away your own “personal power” and make a decision to love and respect yourself more.

Fourth, can you think of someone who takes advantage of you or someone who is always complaining?  Don’t they just suck the energy out of you?  Some people call them Energy Vampires.  As I said earlier, we all get to make choices in our lives.  I found the best way to handle these kind of people is to set boundaries in our lives.  You don’t have to let another person abuse you or make you their sounding board.  Setting healthy boundaries with another person can be as easy as telling a negative person that you would rather not hear them complain about their life all the time. You could ask them to start telling you positive aspects of their life or avoid them as much as possible.  I often do this when I experience constant negative outbursts from people.   I also enjoy reading and recommend “Assertiveness for Earth Angels”, which is a book from Doreen Virtue.   This book describes many different kinds of personalities people have and how to become more assertive with each one.

Five, you must show up for your life.  If you are just riding the roller coaster of life and you are not in control, it is time to be accountable to yourself.  If your spending is out of control, get professional help.  If you can’t stand up for yourself, hire a life coach or hypnotherapist who can help you become more empowered in your life.   The worst thing you can do is think you cannot afford it.   The real truth is you cannot afford not to get help.  The real expense could come in the form of debt that financially drains you or an expensive divorce that drains you financially and emotionally.   You must invest in yourself and your life.  I do—I work with a business coach, who also has a coach and so on and so on…..  You always want to work with someone reputable that is doing better than you are at the time.  This way you are learning and growing. It has really paid off for me in so many ways.   I have made sacrifices to work with a coach so I could achieve the results I wanted, in a much faster manner than if I had done it on my own.   It was well worth it and I encourage you to invest in yourself so you can obtain the results you want in a faster manner.   My life is now happier, more peaceful, and I am excited to be a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist, who gets to help others become empowered.  We all deserve to have happy and have empowered lives.

If you feel kinda “stuck” in your life and need a “break-through”, request a complimentary 20 minute strategy consultation with me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/contact

Here is one of my testimonials—“Dawn helped me to “break free” of some emotional baggage that was stuck for quite some time. It was quite surprising at first, but a calming sense of grounding and peace followed. Her loving energy made me feel nourished and focused. Wonderful experience. Will have to do it again!”

Signs of Faith are Everywhere

Signs of Faith are Everywhere

Signs of faith are everywhere and you must slow down to see them.  Just last week, I was in north Florida because my brother married his sweetheart on 12/13/14. It was an awesome wedding, only one week after my father passed away.  We had mourned our father leaving this earth and then embraced a wedding.  The wedding had been set up over a year ago and it turned out to be the happiest wedding I have ever experienced. I offered to pet sit my brother’s carrot-eating dog named Pugsley, while he was on his honeymoon. The weather was very comfortable and I took every opportunity to walk on Flagler beach, which is right below St Augustine, FL. I found myself asking for a “sign” on the beach one evening. I wanted to know that certain actions I was taking were the right ones for my personal, professional and spiritual growth. I soon walked upon five starfish, that had been swept up in the tide, in a matter of 30 minutes. Very few people find starfish like that on Flagler beach and I knew it was a sign that I am being supported. It was also clear to me that I am on the right career track for my life. I threw all of the starfish back but the one I knew was no longer alive and it was very dried out. It is my reminder that I am always being supported in my life and there are signs to prove it.

Often times I will find things that are out of the ordinary and I know they are signs. We are always supported and never truly by ourselves in this world. I remember walking into my closet and looking at the stack of sweaters in my closet on day. I began to think that I needed to donate some of them because I was not wearing them. All of a sudden, one of the sweaters drops to the floor. Of course I laughed! The sweaters were nicely stacked towards the back of a shelf and the sweater did not just fall to the floor because it was close to the edge of the shelf. Another sign! Like many people, I have been guilty of trying to explain everything and ignoring my own intuition. We all have intuition and it’s up to us to develop it and use it properly. It is highly beneficial in my coaching practice.
I remember constantly seeing a blue butterfly in the summer time that would always dance near me when I went outside. Butterflies are a sign about transformation and I knew I was in one hell of a transformation from my old self. My transformation has been mostly about “overcoming” and stepping into my spiritual gifts. My past no longer haunts me and I have become an “Overcomer” of my old stories. How did I “overcome” my old stories is a constant question I receive by those who want to overcome their own stories. I had to learn to trust my faith and that the “signs” I constantly see in my life are meant to assure me that I have all the support I need. As, I walked off the beach after seeing those five starfish that evening, I caught a glimpse of sparkling gold lights out of the corner of my eye. Yes–another amazing sign! We are all supported, loved, and never alone. We must trust our faith.

If you are ready to kick-start your 2015, be sure to ask for your complimentary 20 minute “break through” strategy session with me.  You can contact me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/contact  for your complimentary session.  You deserve it!