How Strong is the Soul After Workplace Bullying?

Dawn in Mar 2012--Two weeks after getting out of the Mental Health ward

Sometimes we are unaware how strong and powerful we are on this earth. The picture of me looking exhausted and dis-empowered was taken two weeks after passing out in my workplace due to the stress of two years of workplace bullying.  My skin really was yellow back then and I had purple discoloration under my eyes at the time of this picture.  I ended up being taken to the Charles George VA Medical Center for treatment from the Midatlantic Consolidated Patient Accounting Center (MACPAC), which is the “revenue” agency within the Veteran Affairs. I had reported numerous managers for nepotism (illegal hiring of family and friends in the government by management) and other prohibited personnel matters. My management did everything they could to “break” me and to get me to quit my job, but I was determined to hold them accountable, which I did in March 2014. It was an “emotional victory” when I was able to refuse signing a “gag order” settlement that would keep me quiet and unable to share my story to help others who deal with workplace bullying.

Memories of all the “tactics” used to harm me, actually “liberated” me. If you are being bullied in the workplace, you also can become “liberated” too. I look back at all the false charges placed upon my character as I was on Administrative Leave for about 100 days, the wrongful denial of being given a medical Reasonable Accommodation as a severely disabled veteran, the hateful looks, and the denial of promotions, while management’s friends rose in their own promotion system, which was illegal. Reflecting back, I remember the man who called me on December 23, 2014 and told me he wanted to hire my healing services, but wanted no records and he would pay with cash. He asked me if I worked with gay people. That made me highly suspicious of this being a deceitful natured call. Who calls someone and asks if they work with “gay people”? I knew my Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) hearing was coming up in a couple of months and my “gut” was telling me that this call was not from a honest man. The entire call sounded like a “script” being read. Highly suspicious!

“Red flags” were coming up for me and I felt that this was no ordinary call. When I accepted the call and answered it, I had noticed it was from a “restricted’ caller, which denied me their phone number on my caller identification. While I listened to him, my intuition was also providing me with “insight” that this was not a normal call and he was up to something “shady”. I could even hear machinery in the background, which was common while I was waiting for my Equal Employment Opportunity hearing with the Administrative judge. I felt like the call was a “trap” of some kind and politely told the man that I did not feel that we were a good “fit” to work together and ended the call. Later 30 pages of my Facebook posts were entered into the “discovery” phase of the EEO process. All of my posts were positive and inspirational, which baffled my attorney and I. It appeared to me that desperate attempts were made to find something derogatory on me. That never happened. I had done no wrong.

When you deal with workplace bullying, you may experience a little or a lot of bullying. It really does not matter how much harm you receive–it’s how you perceive your own situation. Your thoughts form your belief system. Isn’t it time to evaluate if your belief system is supporting you for your highest good? Maybe it’s time to take a deep breath, and allow that breath to slowly be released, along with releasing old thought patterns that are keeping you trapped and small in your life.

You may be wondering how you can become liberated from workplace bullying. If you are a sensitive person, you may have a harder time working with aggressive workplace bullies. They sense that you are a “nice person” and according to statistics with the Workplace Bullying Institute, up to 37% of the people who are bullied in the workplace are targeted because they are compassionate and kind people. Often times, bullies perceive you as a “weak” person or an “easy target” to harass. Sometimes our “gifts” in our life come in ugly wrapping paper. The lesson or “gift” you may get out of bullying can help you to find comfort, healing, and owning your “personal power”. Let me explain. For me–I had to realize that the biggest bully was myself for thinking I was a “victim” during this time. That lesson propelled me forward to work on my own personal issues and become “free” from my past dis-empowerment. You may find that you get the “gift” of learning you need to set healthy boundaries in your life with all people or you may discover you need to work on having more self love and self respect. This give you the opportunity to discern on ways to “liberate” yourself and become happier in your life.

No matter how bad your situation is around workplace bullying, there is always an option you may never have thought about or an action you should take on your behalf. Keeping good records is always important. You can learn more about the importance and how to document at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ZrLOMccHg  Once you “liberate” yourself and stand in your power, you may move onto a better job where you are treated with respect or you may become an entrepreneur like myself. What ever you do–live your soul’s purpose with great joy!

p.s.  If you would like a complimentary 20 minute strategy session with me about workplace bullying.  Reach out and contact me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com

Dawn empowered on the bridge

What Government Employee Bullies Don’t Want You to Know

Dawn sitting on a rock in black and white

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it, depending on whose statistics you use, government workplace bullying is on the rise.  According to http://www.forbes.com/sites/naomishavin/2014/06/25/what-work-place-bullying-looks-like-in-2014-and-how-to-intervene/ “96% of American employees experience bullying in the workplace, and the nature of that bullying is changing”.   Workplace bullying creates a hostile workplace that is devoid of a safe and respectful work environment.  Bullied employees can hardly put out their best work when they are under so much stress. Then they may face disciplinary action because they are not working up to mandated work standards.  Talk about stress and feeling like a ‘victim’!  Holding government workplace bullies accountable can be hard, but I can make it a little easier for you. Let me share five tips for dealing with workplace bullying so you employ these tips and have a better outcome.

The first tip is to document your workplace bullying.  I created a video that explains it further at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ZrLOMccHg  This video explains the importance of why and how you should document workplace bullying.  I was able to ‘settle’ with the Veteran Affairs (VA) in March 2014 because I had ‘solid” documentation that supported my case of retaliation for being a VA “Whistleblower”.  Two days before my Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearing, the VA attorneys were willing to ‘settle’ with me.  I won an emotional victory as I can now write and talk about my own bullying story to help others because I refused to sign a “gag-order” that would keep me from sharing my story.

Second, be mindful that most government Human Resource departments are part of management.  If you are being bullied by management, you are also addressing your bullying situation with your management.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware of your organization’s structure.  Every government agency is required to have information on their bulletin boards such as job safety/health, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) information, etc., that comply with government requirements.  Here is more information on Equal Employment Opportunity rights:  http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/eeopost.pdf  Be aware of your rights and who to contact if they are being violated.  For example, if you file a discrimination report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sex or genetics, you must file within 45 days of the occurrence or the claim may not be accepted.

Third, federal laws prohibit covered entities from retaliating against a person who files a charge of discrimination, participates in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposes an unlawful employment practice.  If you have filed an EEO case or have submitted prohibited personnel information to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and receive retaliation from your workplace, you are entitled to report the alleged allegations within 45 days for retaliation of you filing a grievance. Often times, the retaliation case may be combined with your initial reported case, for ease of processing and time guidelines. Be sure to report each occurrence of retaliation within 45 days or it may not be accepted.  Note:  Winning a discrimination case can be tough, however, if you are retaliated against and have good evidence or documentation, you may end up winning or settling on your ‘retaliation’ case because you are in a ‘protected status’ for filing your claim.

Fourth, often times there is very little disciplinary action done against government perpetrators. For example, the Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) has taken action to employ accountability in the Veteran Affairs and a new law was passed according to http://cv4a.org/cva-applauds-house-passage-va-accountability-act/ however, there does not seem to be a lot of accountability in regards to removing employees who meet disciplinary action mandates.   If you decide to ‘settle’ with the government agency you work in, you may consider not signing a “gag order” that keeps you legally from discussing your case with others. Who knows—you may want to write a book or share your story to help others who deal with government workplace bullying. If you have kept great documentation records, you may want to hold your ‘ground’ and refuse to sign a ‘gag order’ settlement agreement that most government attorneys will want you to sign.  Remember—it’s negotiable, but you must have the courage, documentation, and the willpower to demand it.

Fifth, workplace bullying takes a toll on your mental and physical health.   You must find balance, peace, and positive distractions so that you can stand up to your bullies, demand your entitled rights, and own your personal power.  It’s imperative to find a modality that helps you manage your stress.  You may find great relaxation with yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation or another modality that resonates with you.  Also, learning how to empower yourself is one of the best ways to step up and own your ‘personal power’.  Find a coach, mentor, clergy member or someone that can help you to find your own confidence and empowerment that is within you.  Claiming your ‘personal power’ and becoming empowered is the greatest revenge of all when it comes to workplace bullying in the government.

P.S.  Did you know you can request a complimentary 20 minute “find your voice/strength here:  Get Advice or Coaching  As an anti-bullying speaker, author, coach, and HR consultant, I am able to help others stand up to workplace bullying.

 

The Formula for Recovering From Workplace Bullying

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You hear about it and read about it in the media, all the time. Workplace bullying is increasing according to who is keeping statistics. It’s a known fact that the damage to the ‘victim’ is harmful and creates many hardships for the ‘bullied’ and their loved ones. When I became a Veteran Affairs (VA) Whistle-blower, I alleged nepotism (illegal hiring of family and friends) and other prohibited personnel practices. I turned in numerous personnel and was retaliated for my actions. I was put on administrative leave for about 100 days, denied the right to seek medical care as a severely disabled veteran, I landed in the Mental Health ward after two years of horrific bullying, and my paycheck was cut-off when I refused to go back to a hostile work environment. This created a financial hardship and my whole economic portrait was much compromised. The life I knew was changed in a short time.  I also experienced having poor credit to boot because I could not afford my large house that I had worked so hard for and cherished.

Losing my old ‘self” was the greatest thing that has happened to me. Back in those days, I “bought into” the victim role. I felt very unsafe and insecure with myself.  These days, I often pass the road that would take me to my former job location. I smile each time and then I say ‘thank you” to the bullies who tried to break me and destroy my reputation.   For if it was not for my former bullies, I may not be as liberated as I am today.   My bullies were awesome teachers! I had to work on myself to get this far with my ‘liberation’. I have deep gratification for my workplace bullying experience. Sometimes our ‘gifts’ come in ugly wrapping paper. That’s exactly what happed in my case. Let me share three tips of how I claimed my ‘personal power’.

First, you get to decide if you are going to be a ‘victim’ of your workplace bullying. You may never get the results you think you want from workplace bullying, but you may get what you need to be happier. For example, if you end up leaving the job, you may find a more respectful position or even strive to be an entrepreneur. I have never been happier to work for myself and I love my boss! Sometimes it seems scary to leave a job you are comfortable with and have known for years. When you are striving to do your soul’s purpose on this earth, you may get an uncomfortable nudge to move forward and get in alignment with the work you should be doing–the work you love and can’t wait to do because it feels so ‘alive’.

Second, look at your experience as a lesson. What did you learn from it? Did you learn that you need to have more confidence or standup for your rights? Was the job or the position a ‘bad fit’? Perhaps you learned that you need to value yourself more and work in a job that is better suited for you. There are always lessons in each of our experiences. I believe we get to learn some great lessons from our bullies. They can teach us so much about ourselves and what we need to do to have a better life. Yes—they may make you anxious and depressed with their actions, but you can decide to not be a ‘victim’ and take all the appropriate action you need to stand up to them, leave the work place or find a solution that makes you happier.  Maybe you learned that you needed to learn how to get empowered and stop relying on unnecessary anti-anxiety or anti-depressant pills. NOTE: Always follow your doctor’s advice on medical care.

Third, bullying can take a serious toll on your confidence and self-esteem. You have to understand that you must believe in yourself more than others believe in you. No one can breathe confidence in you. There are many modalities out there that will help you find peace, confidence, and help you to find your own intuitive ‘gifts’.   You may find that exercising, receiving energy work, reading self-help books, taking empowerment courses or seeking reputable help from a coach, counselor or clergy member to be highly beneficial in helping you to heal. This will take some time, but it is so worth it! When you conscientiously invest in your own well-being, you will get results. I wrote a blog, “Five Tips Before Hiring a Life Coach” at Five Tips to Hire the Right Life Coach   Invest in yourself and also be gentle on yourself. Sometimes our worst bullies can be ourselves if we ‘beat up’ on ourselves. Another thing—if you are spending money on things that don’t empower you, that can back fire on you.   I know of a lady that spends endless money on clothes, trips and fun things that she enjoys. While there is nothing wrong with this, she complains she has no money to hire a coach/consultant for her own workplace bullying case. Hmmmmmm! Do you think her priorities are good ones or could she re-think her priorities? It’s sad, because she is being bullied for blowing the ‘whistle’ on her workplace, but could really benefit from an HR consultant or a coach that deals with workplace bullying. You always get to decide and make choices in your life. You must decide wisely or it may backfire on you.

If you need some help or advice, I have 22 years of Human Resources experience, a Masters in Management/Human Resources, I am retired from the United States Air Force, and I am regularly featured on the radio or in magazines for tips on overcoming ‘dis-empowerment’ and ‘workplace bullying’. Today, I am an anti-bullying speaker, personal power coach, author (Empowered Whistleblower: A Practical and Spiritual Path to Personal Power”, and an HR consultant.  I ‘settled’ with the Veteran Affairs in March 2014 and without a “gag-order” to keep me quiet and sharing my story to help others.  It bring me great pleasure to help empower people.  You can find out more about me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com

Be a Winner by Being Authentically You

Dawn looking to the side with mikeWe live in a culture that values “followers’, rather than leaders.   It seems like “selfies” have gotten out of control and are rampant everywhere! While there is nothing wrong with having fun, there is an issue of always trying to “fit in” with the expectations of other people.   Why not celebrate your own uniqueness and talents? You pay a high price by trying to “fit in” with others. You lose your identity and authenticity when you always try to follow the herd.

For years, I had a sign, “Mavericks Don’t Follow the Herd”. It reminded me that it’s ok to be a unique individual and to not always try to “fit in” with others. Have you noticed that when you are authentic, you attract other like-minded people like yourself? It’s ok if people walk away from you or do not engage with you. They are probably not your “tribe” or people. I know I have spent years trying to be liked and to fit in with people. It was frustrating and mind-boggling to say the least, when people did not “get me” or understand me. Today, I surround myself with positive like-minded people who are my “tribe”. They are very different from me, but they like me for being authentic and unpretentious. It just feels good to be with people who support you and love you for who you are in this world.

You know what you are passionate about and what excites you in your life! You probably have ideas that you want to see come to fruition. You are meant to be engaged in activities, friends, and a career that supports your highest purpose on this earth. You must listen to your “gut feelings” or intuition that is pushing you to be authentic and happy! Oprah Winfrey, one of the greatest hosts in America, has mentioned in interviews that she did not “fit in” when she worked at a TV station in Baltimore, MD. She was removed as the evening news co-anchor in April 1977 and ended up as the co-host of a morning talk show, People Are Talking. Oprah immediately knew that she was on the right path and where her own uniqueness would “shine”.   The rest is history—Oprah is well known by many people. She is respected for her soulful interviews and philanthropy to make other people’s lives better.

There is a natural course to being authentic and fulfilling your soul’s purpose. When we allow ourselves to be unique, we are able to connect with other like-minded people and resources that align us in offering our “gifts” and talents with others through our work and our personal lives. Being authentic and being the real “you” creates honesty, self-esteem, joy, inner peace, creativity, and unconditional love for yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to others. They have their own “uniqueness” and you have your own. Strive to recognize that others have different “gifts” than you do and they may have skills that you wish you have, but don’t have. They may even be further down their career path than you are or they are more spiritually advanced because they have conscientiously invested in their own self-growth. The spiritual message of being jealous of others is that which you are jealous of– is your own unrecognized potential. It really is that simple. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be “You” and shine your own light.

Think of the “mighty oak tree that begins as an acorn. The acorn cannot be any other tree than an oak tree. With all the right conditions—sun, rain and nutrients from the soil, the tree becomes stronger and stronger. We all have our own personal destiny—to be authentic and live the life our soul demands. It’s my wish that everyone embraces their own uniqueness!

If you are wanting to empower yourself, now it the perfect time. Grab hold of my book, “The Empowered Whistleblower”: A Practical and Spiritual Path to Personal Power” at http://getbook.at/Dawn It’s my own story of being severely dis-empowered, me blowing the whistle on my “victimhood”, overcoming, and how I am empowering others today as an anti-bullying coach, author, speaker, and HR consultant.

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

Kind People Can Stand Up to Bullying

According to The Bully Institute, http://www.workplacebullying.org/tag/bullying-statistics/ the person who gets targeted the most in the workplace is the person who is considered kind and compassionate. Yikes, what if that is you in the workplace? Well, it was me when I worked in the Midatlantic Consolidated Patient Accounting Center (MACPAC), which is a Veteran Affairs organization in West Asheville, North Carolina.  Years ago, when I worked there,  I was asked by my former management to run an employee assistance program that would help MACPAC employees when they had economic issues that would come up. I was known for my “humanitarian” skills and for caring about other people.

Even though I consider myself a kind and compassionate person, I am a no-nonsense person when it comes to bullying or any kind of mistreatment in the workplace. Everyone is entitled to work in a safe environment and where they are treated with respect. After working 20 years in the Air Force as a female, I learned to be assertive when needed. That skill has come in handy many times in my life. I have never had a problem in being a “nice” person, but you must do so with healthy boundaries too. Let me explain. While I am a nice person, I held my bullies accountable and reported them to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and “settled” in March 2014. I held my “ground” and had great documentation—I “settled” with the Veteran Affairs without a “gag order” that would prevent me from telling my story. How often do you hear about that? You can be nice and you can also stand in your “personal power”.

Your presence and your demeanor tells everyone how you feel about yourself. If you carry yourself with dignity and grace, that is the way you are generally perceived by others. Bullies, who generally have low self-esteem, can pick up your energy and know that you may be an easy target to harass. They generally go after the people they deem as weak.  I realize that there are many kind and “sensitive” souls who have dealt with hardships in their life—divorce, death, bullying, etc. It’s part of your own journey to become your greatest self, but only if you learn your lessons or experience self-growth from these experiences.

If your old “stories” are “owning” you, instead of you “owning” your old stories, then it’s time to heal your past. Nurturing old wounds and not healing them is a sure way to stay small and stuck in your life. You must let go of your “hurtful” past so you can fully live the life you deserve! You can reach out to a trusted clergy person, a coach, mentor, therapist or anyone who is reputable and will help you heal your past. If you want to be truly “free” in your life, you must forgive the perpetrators in your life and let go of your old “stories”. You are forgiving them for your own “healthy” reasons—to move on with your life and heal.

I spent many years dealing with self-loathing and insecurities because I was molested as a young child. After I dealt with forgiving the perpetrator and working on my own self-development, I really found my “inner strength” and began to realize I could now help others because I am on the “other” side. I will admit—it was not easy, but it was worth it! In the past, I have lived in fancy houses and had many materialistic things in my life, but I was not happy. I had attracted an “alcoholic” into my life and my home felt like a “prison” back in those days.   I did not realize at that time, that I was looking through the “lens” of a victim and someone who had not found their “personal power”.   I had attracted many negative things in my life because I had felt “hopeless” and very insecure back then. That has changed, because I took 100% charge of my life and began to “cut” out negative people out of my life as much as possible. I carefully discern on who I want as friends today and it really makes a big difference for me. Today, I have never had more “freedom” and peace in my life. You deserve it too!

Let me share a webinar, which is now a video, I made about “Commanding Respect in Your Life”. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oV12-pzac4   More free resources at  www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com

 

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It is ok to be a “Maverick”

For many years, I like others, have been “conditioned” in what to believe in, what to wear, how to do things, and have been told to support a myriad of other beliefs. When we have rebelled against something we did not like or have “buy-in”, we may have been scolded or received some kind of disapproval from others. Like many, we seek approval from others. Hey, it happens! Abraham Maslow states that one of our basic needs is to belong, love and be accepted according to www.goo.gl/eLB2qZ

While there are many mutual beliefs that people like and accept, there are also beliefs that we should discern on. Each of us has our “soul’s calling” and should be listening to our intuition that will give us many answers. If we follow the herd all the time, we may get lost in in a sea of doubt and fear. I believe some people are operating out of fear and insecurity. They dress like everyone else, “buy-in” to marketing that makes them feel inferior and motivates them to buy products and services they may not need. Now, I believe everyone should be wearing professional clothes in a professional venue, but I am talking about the person who will buy the latest fashion just so they will fit in with others who are also following the latest fashion trend. Why not consider clothes that flatter you and wear a style you like?

When we trust our intuition or our “gut” we are seeking our own validation on answers we need. For example, if we have an “icky” feeling about someone, we should honor that feeling. It does not necessarily mean that the person is not a good person, but they may not be the right partner, business consultant or employee that is right for you. We should always honor our “higher knowing” and trust it. Believe me, I have struggled for years trusting my intuition, even when I saw the “red flags”. I finally realized that I was denying myself the most accurate and best answers. When we constantly seek validation and approval from others, we are giving away our personal power. This is not to say that we should not seek sage advice from a mentor or a professional. We need to look within and trust ourselves.

Every one of us has the right and ability to shine our “light” brightly and to do our soul’s calling on this earth. We cannot do that at times when we are so worried about being proper, fitting in, seeking constant approval from others, and that we are afraid to open up our own wings and fly. We become liberated when we learn how to stop seeking approval and validation from others. There are times that we will not be accepted! If you are trying to improve yourself, your friends and family may become very uncomfortable or even threatened. That is their story! I find that people who get “triggered” by others may have a need to heal their past and their old stories. Insecurity can stem back to childhood or anytime we became insecure in our lives. We become more empowered when we heal our old stories, whether that is through a clergy member, a wise friend or coach.

Work with someone who can really help you. Generally, you will move faster when you work with a qualified person who can help you “shift” faster in your life, then if you did it alone.  It can be very uncomfortable trusting our intuition at times. Sometimes, I will question my own intuition, but that is only because I have an “expected” outcome of how I think things should work in my life. The best thing I can suggest is being open to the best possible outcome and it may be far different than what you think will happen. I remember saying that I would give anything to stand in front of Congress/Senate and tell them that the “Whistleblowing” laws that are in effect now, are not working to protect people like myself. I was a Veteran Affairs “Whistleblower” who suffered two years of horrific bullying for turning in my management for prohibited personnel actions.

I kept wondering how I could make it to Washington, D.C. after I “settled with the Veteran Affairs in March 2014. I use to work in the Pentagon years ago, when I was in the Air Force. I had worked with congressmen/women and senators through my Air Force work then, but I had no idea how I would connect with them at the time. I live in Asheville NC now.

Nearly one year later, I was paid by the Concerned Veterans for America to talk to Senators about the need to protect “Whistleblowers” like myself. What a great feeling to be in Bernie Sanders’ many-peopleoffice the day after he announced that he was running for president! Did I see this trip coming? No! Never in my wildest imagination, could I have seen this coming. I admit, it’s hard to “let go” and “trust” sometimes, but it’s vital for our “souls calling”. Living from the heart and not the mind, takes guts and courage. Even I work on my own issues regarding fear. Nonetheless, I would still encourage you to trust your heart and your intuition.

I bet you will have more clarification and peace in your life. Because it does work. I authored a book, “The Empowered Whistleblower: A Practical and Spiritual Path to Personal Power. I address overcoming dis-empowerment through my own stories. You can get a complimentary copy of my first chapter at www.TheEmpoweredWhistleblower.com and you can get a print or kindle-version at http://getbook.at/Dawn Here’s to your success and being authentically “You”!

“The Real Cost of Being Beautiful”

Dawn in iPEC schoolSometimes people will “go the extra mile” in efforts to be beautiful. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013, which is a 3% increase from the previous year. Of these procedures, most of them — 13.4 million — were minimally invasive procedures, like botox injections and chemical peels. But a large number of people — around 1.6 million — went under the knife to have invasive procedures, like breast augmentation surgeries, nose reshaping surgeries, and liposuction surgeries, according to http://www.cheatsheet.com/personal-finance/how-much-do-we-spend-on-beauty.html

Now, I know that most of us want to look our best, but how much of this obsessions is pure insecurity in ourselves. It really “pains” me to see women chasing after “beauty” as if it will truly make them more confident. Let’s face it, when you take off your makeup or your garments that perform some miracle, you are the “real you”. I am not putting down makeup or looking your best, by no means! It’s when you become obsessed with “beauty” and it runs your life, I think there is a concern.

Do we ask men to get “implants”? Seriously! I heard that comment last night when I was at the Millrun for a comedy show featuring Vince Morris. Vince was taunting the women in his audience about their obsession with their views and unrelentless desire for plastic surgery and trying to be perfect. He had me on the end of my seat! I totally get his humor and his raw “truth” about the obsession of beauty.

I went to Miami, Florida last September to finish my third module of coaching with iPEC. I forgot to take a couple of makeup items and realized it down the road. I realized how perfectly comfortable I was without makeup and the need to impress another human being. I could have gone to a drug store and bought some makeup, but I chose not to because I am about the “beauty” inside me. But—don’t get me wrong, I do value looking great, but not at the cost of being obsessed with it.  The picture above proves that I have no makeup on and I am still a happy girl!  So, I may have been one of the few women in Miami (at this time) who had absolute no makeup on and was just perfectly fine with it!

As a teenager, I went to a high-end modeling agency in Jacksonville, Florida. I was told that I had the “looks” to be a high-fashion model.  My father was very handsome and my mother also gave me some very good genes too. I mean—I was 5’10” and about 120 lbs. when soaking wet. I was jumping up and down for joy, and that came to a halt when my mother told me in her own words—“It is not going to happen!” That probably was a beautiful gift from my mother at this time.

Most of my life has been about helping others and advocacy. I value inner beauty and kindness.  I went many years without wearing makeup and declining “miracle” garments that would somehow make me look “different”. I had spent too many years feeling insecure because of my childhood woes to let that insecurity back into my life as an adult chasing after “beauty”.

If you would spend the money to hire a coach or hypnotherapist that could help you feel better about yourself—that is beautiful! A coach or a hypnotherapist can get down to the “root” of your problem and help you “overcome” it so you can feel better about yourself. In my practice, I don’t just hypnotize someone and they are “confident”. There is never a magic “blue pill”.   I intuitively ask empowering questions so I know more about the “blocks” that people have that make them feel less beautiful or insecure. Together, whether in coaching or hypnotherapy, I work with each client to get “positive affirmation/results” that they want in their session. It’s always about the client—not what I want for them.  It’s their agenda.

If you work on becoming more secure and stop paying attention to marketing that is targeted to “insecure” women, who will buy about anything to make themselves feel better about themselves, you will find the reflection in the mirror to be more beautiful. Trust me on this! There is a trend with the women I work with–they all want more confidence. I even see it with men too. Wouldn’t you agree, that confident and positive women are far more attractive than one who is externally attractive, but feels insecure?

I share with this group my “Confidence building” hypnosis/meditation I made at http://DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/blog/ . I can work with individuals that want a more “tailored” session with me at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com

Phone, Google hangouts, or Skype work out just fine if it can’t be done in person. Here is to being “beautiful” you– inside and outside—because you are!

“How to Shine Out the Darkness in Your Life”

We all deal with it—negative people, events, and situations and it can be draining, hurtful, and down-right nasty sometimes.  Let’s face it, there are people out there who are hurt, have not healed from their “issues”, and may be stuck in a “rut”.  These people may hurl insults or be negative around you.  It can be a surprise to see a grown man or women acting badly, but it happens all the time.  It even happens to me.  One of the best “tools” I have learned is to spread “white light” when there is negativity.  Let me explain.   Many spiritual people believe that white light is the space within the universe where positive energies are stored and can be released.  You can call upon it anytime and in any place.  People who are “empaths” may be one of the first people to notice or sense negative energies around them.  Empaths are very sensitive people who can often “feel” emotional energy from other people or even in physical spaces.

I have been very sensitive and an “empath” all my life.  I have continued to become more sensitive as I have gotten older too.    This can be great when you are a healer or work with people like I do as a Personal Power Coach.   On the other hand, it can be draining if you are picking up negative energy that a person puts out.  You don’t even have to be physically around them and you can still “feel” the negative energy.   Everything is energy and so are thoughts.  I can sense the energy of many things and I am not alone.  There are other empaths out there too and they may need a little help in negating energy that is not so pure and nice.  Plants need light to grow and we as human need light to thrive.  We live in a world that does have “darkness” and I will gladly share a tool to help you spread “white light” so you can help remove darkness and negative energy from your life.  This is a tool that one of my mentors, Martha Juchnowski taught me for my own usage and really does work!

First, imagine that you have white light emanating from your heart.  The heart puts out more energy than the brain does. Researchers have actually measured this with machines that can measure energy.   The heart is very powerful.  When you are imagining white light coming from your heart, begin to visualize it getting bigger and bigger so that it is now all of you and expanding around you.   You can make this “white light” as big as you want.  You can spread it in your house or in a friend’s house for example.  I do my own “white light” version with all of my loved ones and all of our pets, every single day. It works.  I visualize placing white light in their homes, all around their homes, their workplaces, and around their neighborhoods too.

Don’tDawn in Sylva, NC panic if you are not good at visualizing—that does not matter!  It’s all about intention and every thought is energy too.  So, basically you are sending love and light out when you are doing this.  When you do this you are spreading goodness, love, and pure energy.  Darkness and negative energy can’t live in a loving and pure environment.  It has to leave! It’s the law of the universe and I called that—God.  I have imagined white light spreading in a loved one’s entire house.  Later that day they informed me that the air felt so light and maybe it was the weather.   I can assure you that the weather in that neighborhood was rain for the past three days and that does not make the air seem “lighter”.

Try it sometime—shine white light around you, your pets, your home, your work space, and where ever you need it.  It cannot hurt anyone or harm them.  You may notice that people become happier or more at peace.  To me it seems miraculous, but I have seen some pretty cool stuff as a result of me shining white light on people, places, and situations.  You never do it with the intention of harming or hurting someone.  It cannot do that!  It just makes the energy around the person more pure and loving.  When you are emitting love or good energy, you are pushing away negativity.  People feel better and I bet you will too.  Love is powerful!

“The Leadership of Energy”

While I was attending training to become a coach with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), I learned from their coaching program that there are seven levels of energy. You can learn more about iPEC at www.ipeccoaching.com  The founder of this wonderful coaching school is Dr. Bruce D. Schneider.  Let’s talk about energy.  Everything is energy—our clothes, our cars, and even our personal thoughts.  There are also two types of energy:  anabolic and catabolic.   Anabolic energy is healing, productive, positive, and growth-oriented. While catabolic energy is contracting, draining, and resistant.   If you feel like a “victim’ or feel “hopeless”, that is catabolic energy.  While you feel like a victim, you perception may be distorted and affect the choices that you make.   If you are non-judgmental and feel passionate about your life, you may be at the high-end of the energy levels.

If you feel fear, guilt, worry, self-doubt or have low self-esteem, you will be operating at the lowest level of energy and feel like a “victim”.  Feeling this low, makes you susceptible to feeling helpless and avoiding confrontation.  You may feel like you are “losing”.  This is a highly destructive energy level.  You may notice that you are attracting other “victim-like” people in your life because “like” attracts “like”.   But you don’t have to be a “victim” or feel like you don’t have choices in your life. You can raise your energy levels by becoming more “empowered”.

As you move up the energy levels, you may experience what is known as level two energy.  This is where a person may want to manage others by force or control.   A person may want to project blame on others.  It’s an “I win and you lose” situation in this energy level.  It is certainly better than being a victim, but it’s still catabolic energy that is draining you.  Do you really want to have level two energy?

Level three energy is an entry-level of anabolic energy, which is productive energy and more uplifting.  A person may take responsibilities for their thoughts, actions, and emotions.  They realize they have a choice in the matter and take accountability for this state of being.  This is an “I win, and hopefully you win, too” energy.  A person can motivate themselves and others through forgiving others, being more tolerant, and compromising with others.

When you have a level four energy, you take little or nothing personally and are able to be more objective.  There is more of a “You win” going on and a “service” before self-mentality.  This kind of energy lends to compassion for others and inspiration to serve others.  This fosters team work, loyalty, and collaboration with others.   It is definitely a high level of energy that lends to you becoming more successful and making a difference in this world.

Some of the greatest leaders in this world have a level five energy, which is a “We all win or no one wins” mentality.   The people who possess this energy tend to be calm, confident entrepreneurial, and powerful.  There is a sense of being in control of your life and destiny.   There are no challenges, but every experience in life is an opportunity for self-growth.  One of the core thoughts is that a person is “accepting” of others and does not try to change them.

Level six energy is an energy where a person sees everyone and everything as an extension of themselves.   Their intuition is very active and people possessing this energy can tap into being a creative geniuses and they are visionaries, along with being a conscious leader.   The mentality is “We always win”.  The feeling are of permanent joy, satisfaction and pleasure.  There is a great sense of connection with everything and everyone.

The highest level of energy is one that is characterized by complete objective thinking, being fearless, and are non-judgmental.   A person with this kind of energy can view things with complete objectivity.  The mentality for this energy level is “Winning and losing are illusions”.  It is hard to imagine that concept, but with practice you can achieve it.   Leaders who possess this energy are “masters” in their world and consciously co-create their life experiences.   These are the most powerful leaders in the world.

There are always advantages and disadvantages of each energy level.  Everyone can experience level one energy (Catabolic energy aka “victimhood”) at times and also experience level four energy (Anabolic/where you take nothing personal) too.   Your overall average of your energy levels can dictate how successful you are in your personal life and in your business.  Generally, the higher your energy levels, the more satisfied you are in your relationships, finances, personal self-growth, and your achievements.

It is great to have an awareness of who you are, you level of “consciousness” and how you act in your life.  If you are interested in learning more about the leadership of energy and how to determine where you “fit” in with these energy levels, you can request more information at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/contact    Just remember that every experience in our life is not a “challenge”, but an opportunity to grow and learn.  If you can truly accept and embrace that, you are raising your energy leadership.  Here is to an “empowering” 2015 and taking action to realize your dreams and Dawn and Virtuegoals this year!