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Why Are There So Many “People of Color” in the Projects?

I used to wonder why so many “people of color” were living in the “Projects” in Asheville NC, which is my hometown. Surely, most of them want to work and live a dignified life like most Americans.  Everyone has their own thoughts, but I am going to share mine. When I moved to Asheville, NC after retiring from the Air Force, I noticed that there were very few people of color in Asheville.  After working only a few days in my former government agency, I realized there was a serious problem going on and it had been going on for a long time.  It was time to address the matter and to educate others so they could make cultivated decisions about their careers.

Nepotism, which is the illegal hiring of family and friends in the government has been ignored by many and actually celebrated by those who are benefitting from it.  When you have unlawful hiring of family and friends, the moral in the workplace goes down and you see “qualified” people working in the lowest grades in the federal government and “unqualified” people getting hired and promoted in the federal government. Then add in the fact that racial discrimination also plays an important part of why there are so many “people of color” who are suffering from financial drawbacks to not being hired or promoted in my hometown.  You can learn more about racial discrimination at www.EEOC.gov

When I worked in the second largest federal government agency, I noticed that there were only five black employees out of about 550 employees.  I listened to my “white” management brag about hiring their family and friends.  It was disgusting to me as employees would secretly talk to me about the matter because they knew I had worked in Human Resources for over 22 years at the time.  You are probably wondering—yes—I did report it to the Office of Special Counsel in Washington D.C.

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Many of these employees had many years of experience and education that should have supported them in receiving a job offer or a promotion if they were already hired in the agency.  But, no, they were being deprived of having a fair opportunity, while unqualified people were hired and promoted because they were friends and family members of management. How do federal supervisors and manager get away with nepotism and racial discrimination?  I will share three ways that can happen.

First, if a federal supervisor/manager wants to hire a “certain person”, they can write a position description (PD) that would “eliminate” other potential people from being qualified.  The PD is written where only this person or very few people are qualified for a job posting.  This is called a prohibited personnel practice (PPP) and it grants the “targeted individual hire” an illegal and unfair disadvantage.  You can research nepotism restrictions in your state at http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-table-nepotism-restrictions.aspx.

Second, only certain federal employees receive training that can later support them receiving a promotion that requires the training they attended, while other employees may be denied this beneficial training. This is also a prohibited personnel practice that is illegal and reportable to the Office of Special Counsel that investigates valid prohibited personnel practices.  You can contact them here:  https://osc.gov

Third, if you are working in a federal agency and you are interviewed for a promotion opportunity, you may be “downgraded” in your skills or capabilities.  For example, when I applied for a supervisor position, I later found out that my supervisor experience was down-graded as if I had never been a supervisor and had no experience as a supervisor.  I had many years of experience as a supervisor and manager.  I found out my “low” supervisory scores I received during my in-house interview when I received access to view my scores and everyone else’s scores that applied for the promotion, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  You can learn more about accessing FOIA (federal) records here:  https://www.foia.gov/report-makerequest.html

If you are concerned that you were not hired due to nepotism or because of your race, be sure to reach out to the resources I provided in this article.  It is illegal to receive retaliation for being a “whistleblower”.  Yes—retaliation does happen, but if you ignore a serious problem, it does not go away—it lingers.  If you receive any kind of reprisal for filing charges of nepotism, prohibited personnel practices or discrimination based on unfair treatment because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, be sure to contact the agency you filed the charges with and submit the “alleged retaliation” charges within the required time-frame required for each agency.  Most reprisals have to be submitted within 45 calendar days of the retaliation action.

If you are looking for resources on workplace bullying or discrimination you can find many answers here:  http://www.fspagainstbullying.org/workplace-bullying.html

Every Wednesday, you can watch a new video (1 -3 mins) I put out weekly, that addresses workplace bullying and discrimination solutions.  Be sure to “like” our business page: https://www.facebook.com/FiftyShadesOfPurpleAgainstBullying/   so you can get notifications of new videos and other valuable information.

Join our Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1752823468278515/ so you can get the support and guidance needed if you or another person is experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

Stay empowered and drop me a line if you found this article to be helpful at http://www.workplacebullyingsupport.com/contact/

 

 

Who Stole Your “Personal Power” from You?  Five Tips for Recovery

Dawn Westmoreland Full size picture(2)Are you constantly worried about what others think of you or that you won’t fit in with certain groups?  Do you “give in” easily to other people’s demands or you have given up hope that you will ever be truly heard?   As human beings in a spiritual body, I know that many of you have experienced it—giving away your “personal power”.    You have taken the unappreciative comments from another person or you have felt “isolated even though you are in a crowd of people.  It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.

Garbage men are often looked down upon from some people who feel they have achieved a “higher” status in life.  When I lived in Southern France for eight months, the garbage men went on strike for higher pay and better “holiday” time off.  I will never ever forget it.  They went on strike for one month and refused to pick up any trash till they got their demands.  I will not describe the smell or tell you what it looked like.  We all know what kitchens smell like if we don’t get the trash out in a timely manner.  Those garbage men got everything they wanted and I must say, I was secretly impressed and happy for them.

So often we give away our “personal power” and don’t realize why we are not being treated with respect.   You must believe in yourself, more than others believe in you.  If you are not being treated with respect, there may be a chance that you don’t respect your own self.  Hey it happens!  Been there myself and got the tee-shirt.  I also burned that darn tee-shirt a while ago.  I learned the hard way to find my own self-love and self-respect.   I am always excited to help others find it a whole lot faster than I did.  It’s time to burn that tee-shirt if you have it.  Let’s dive in and take action to stop giving away your “personal power”.

First,   Part of being a human being is feeling valued, appreciated, and having a sense of belonging.  There is no one on this earth that is more valuable than you or deserves more than you do.  That’s right!  We are all God’ children and if you have a different faith or belief, than choose your “source”.  Slow down a little in your life and notice the “signs” that are always there that tell you that you are connected to the divine and you are never ever alone on this earth.   I am constantly finding these “signs” and it was only when I really slowed down that I began to notice them.   Are you going so fast that you need to take yourself off of autopilot? Our society has conditioned us to go-go-go all the time and many times you are just being “busy” and really not as productive as you would like to be in your life.

Second, on this earth, you must put yourself first, before others.  There are so many people “serving” others and they are burning out because they are not nurturing themselves and practicing self-care.  Compare it to driving a car for a long time and not maintaining it.  The car will break down eventually because it was not maintained.  You must fulfill your needs first, so you can respond and care for others.  You may be more “driven” or motivated than your spouse or partner, you cannot change them, but you can change yourself.   And you must take action to fulfill your future or you will most likely experience being “uncomfortable” or that things are not working out the way you want them to be.  Sometimes we have to experience misery or being uncomfortable so that we are “prompted” to be in alignment with our life purpose.  This is no joke.  Being in the mental health ward for three days was the best “gift” ever for me.  I realized I was working in a job that was totally unfulfilling and working with people who had very low energies.   It “shifted” me quickly to train in a year-long program to be a Life Coach.  What a “gift”!

Third, stop worrying what others will think of you.  They are responsible for their actions and emotions.   You must be fair and considerate to others, as it is always the right thing to do.  If you compassionately share some unpleasant news and the other person cries or gets mad, it probably means that they have some “unresolved” issues in their life that they need to heal or resolve.  They may have been hurt in the past from a bad experience and it is still “unresolved” and eating away at them.  Each of us has to “heal” ourselves and make amends with issues that have harmed or hurt us.  We cannot “will” away some one else’s hurt or pain.  We can be there for them and show support, but we cannot do the work for them.  There is no magic pill.  Healing or forgiving others can be hard work, but definitely worth it in the long run.

Fourth, if you are seeking answers from everyone else, but yourself.  Stop it right now!   You have an opinion and an “expert adviser” in you for many of the answers you are seeking.  Stop asking someone else about how you should handle your affairs, unless you are seeking professional advice that you truly need.  I see this over and over with people. They will ask me what I think about a matter involving them.   I will turn it around in an empowering question and ask, “How are you giving away your personal power” to me when you know better than I, what is best for you.  I never give advice to people.  I will provide information that could be valuable to them, but want others to feel empowered because they become their own leader and take charge of their life.  Think about it yourself—how do you give away your own “personal power”?  When you realize it–that is the first step.   Now take appropriate action for yourself.

Fifth, I use to run track in high school.  I was pretty good too.  I was running a race and I looked back and that was all it took to slow me down and the other runner won the race.  I was so disappointed in myself that day.  My coach and my mother told me later, that if I had not looked back, I would have won the race. How often are you comparing yourself with others or you are feeling insecure because someone is further down the “track” than where you are at this time?  Often times, people who are successful will open up their wings more and take more risks in life.   They don’t play small and they are competing against themselves so they can be their very best.  Just keep your eyes on the goal and outcome you want in life. Stop comparing yourself and getting upset if someone else is doing better than you.  They have bad days too!  Consider this—what is the most loving and empowering thing you can do today, to help you achieve your goals or live the life you deserve?

I am about to create a “confidence” hypnosis/meditation MP3 soon.   If you have never experienced hypnosis—it’s simply a guided meditation designed to relax you while you benefit from suggestions provided.   If you want to get a copy, be sure to sign up for my newsletter.   I offer complimentary products from time to time, and only in my newsletter.  Sign up for my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/8vFN1   The “confidence” MP3 will be included in my next newsletter.

Here is to your “Empowerment” and a great week!

Warmly,

Dawn Westmoreland

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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!”

The Art and Science of Self-Care

Self careWe all know that burnt out feeling when we are tired or overwhelmed in our life.  It may come on slow, but it can really affect us personally and professionally when we are not taking good care of ourselves.  We rush, we scatter, and we are running with our heads cut off………We think it is the way to success, by always being busy and multi-tasking.  With all the conveniences we have today, we seem to be still on “overloaded” with work and activities.   No wonder we are so darn tired!

Self-care is about taking care of yourself and your needs.  I find that getting energy body work and massage to be very healing and grounding.  When I get regular energy work and massage, I am able to focus more on my practice and it recharges my energy.  Our bodies need regular care and if we do not practice self-care, we will end up feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and not succeeding in all our endeavors.  I highly suggest that you make it a practice to get a massage, receive body work or experience a modality that helps your body to feel better.  The body heals itself, but it does count on us to make wise choices and to be good to ourselves.

You never want to think of self-care as a luxury.  It is not.  It is a necessity that will keep your body “fueled” and in a homeostasis manner.  Pay attention to the food that you put in your body.  Is it free of pesticides, herbicides, dyes, additives, chemicals etc.?  Our body was not designed to eat poisonous foods and drinks.  Are you overweight and depressed?  It is time to evaluate the self-care you are giving yourself.  Are you getting the necessary exercise you need?  Sometimes, it is as simple as taking a daily walk and experiencing the benefits of an active body in motion.  It is well known that people sleep better at night when they have a good exercise routine.

I encourage you to evaluate how you can incorporate self-care in your life.  One of the best ways to see how your life is changing is to journal each day.  You can later review your trends and your accomplishments.   Be good to yourself!  Not only do you deserve it, but your body needs it.  I find that getting regular massages and energy work to be the best self-care for my body.  It shows too.  I have accomplished so much more in my life and people notice the difference in me too.  I attribute it to being better at self-care and loving myself in a healthier way.

Did you know that hypnosis is a great way to provide your body with self-care.   Not only is it extremely relaxing, but it is very effective in being therapeutic for your body.  Check out my complimentary “relaxation” hypnosis/meditation video at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com  You will find it on the top right side of my home page.  Enjoy.  Relax.  You are on your way to self-care.

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!