Dawn Marie Westmoreland speaks with us about her experience working with Veterans Affairs and the horrific workplace bullying she suffered after reporting unfair treatment, the subsequent law suit, her activism to empower others experiencing this type of harassment, and her book coming out in May of 2015, The Empowered Whistleblower.
For anyone who has experienced workplace harassment this book and this show are for you.
Some of the questions we asked Dawn on the show are listed below:
1. What is your background?
I am retired from the Air Force, where I worked in Human Resources and was an Air Force Recruiter. I retired and later worked in the Veteran Affairs for five years. As a nerdy and eager learner, I earned four degrees. I have travelled and lived in many places. I loved living in Southern France for eight months, while serving in the Air Force.
2. How was your 20 year Air Force experience?
Most of my Air Force experience was pretty positive. I was recognized for my leadership skills and served mostly in special duties. While there is a pattern of conformity, I never lost my individuality. “Mavericks don’t follow the herd” is one of my favorite quotes. I did stand up to some unethical practices and was retaliated against for not complying. This resulted in me having to work 65+ hours a week for over a year. At the end of one year, I was exhausted and began to suffer major depression. You just don’t get to “quit” your work in the Air Force—you are in a contract with them. All, in all, I value the skills and leadership I received while serving in the Air Force. I also really learned a lot from living in so many places.
3. How did you overcome the negative events in your life?
Pain and suffering is optional. I have used hypnotherapy and coaching as tools to overcome my own negative events in my life. I later became trained in these modalities and use them in my own practice today. I have a daily meditation practice that helps to ground me and where I also can get all of the answers I am seeking too.
4. What advice to you have for women who are experiencing hardships?
Look for the “gift”, sometimes we have to experience misery or being very uncomfortable so that we are “prompted” to be in alignment with our life purpose. This is no joke! Landing in the mental health ward for three days after receiving two years of horrific retaliation from being a VA whistle-blower, 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”!
5. What would you do differently if you could go back in your past?
If I could go back in time, I would want to be more empowered and confident like I am today. I would start believing in myself, more than others believe in me. I would tackle the “blocks” that have held me hostage and worked on overcoming them sooner.
6. How are you empowering women today?
Today, I am empowering women through my coaching, hypnotherapy, speaking, writing and consulting. All of my own journey was set me up to “overcome”, forgive, heal and then teach other women how to become “empowered”. You have to be able to “own” your old stories, instead of your old stories “owning” you. The Christian Science Monitor commended me on my bravery and what I am doing today to empower others.
7. Why are you willing to be so vulnerable about yourself?
Being transparent is very powerful and empowering. When I am very open about my own past, I am able to convey to others that they can also become more empowered, just like me. We all have all the answers right inside of us—we just need to slow down and go “within” ourselves.
8. What are your short and long term goals?
My new book, “The Empowered Whistleblower” comes out in May 2015. I will be using my book as my platform to get out and speak nationally and do group coaching with women, as my short term goal. My long-term goal is to have five or more books out in the market and become an “icon” and go-to-person on the subject of “empowerment”.
9. When is your book about your life story and self-help coming out?
My new book, “The Empowered Whistleblower” comes out in May 2015. I blow the whistle on many di-empowering subjects and teach others how to “overcome” their own dis-empowering stories with my own sage advice.
10. Where do you get your courage and strength?
I get my courage and strength from God and it must also be in my DNA. Even though I am an “extroverted” introvert, I am able to feel fear and still move forward to tackle what I need to do while on this earth.
11. Would you describe a typical day in your life?
I am an avid reader and must find time to either read or listen to an audio book each day. I meditate to stay grounded and to find many of the answers I am seeking for my life. Writing is also been a key part of my daily activities. I am always writing a weekly blog for my website at www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/blog.
12. What are you most proud of in your life?
Standing up to the Veteran Affairs for prohibited personnel actions, overcoming two years of horrific bullying that landed me in the VA mental health ward for three days, “settling” with the VA last year, and then training to become a Personal Power coach to help empower others today, is my proudest moments of my life.
13. What complimentary items do you have for the listeners?
I provide a complimentary copy of my first chapter of my book, “The Empowered Whistleblower” at www.TheEmpoweredWhistleblower.com.
14. How does helping others “heal” you?
I receive healing when I help other people to become more “empowered”. Living a more “empowered” life is the way to live life. It helps me to feel better about my own journey. It’s all very rewarding and humbling to me.
On the third day of being admitted in the Asheville NC VA Mental Health ward, Dawn Westmoreland checked herself out and began taking back her personal power. She reclaimed her power and stood up to severe bullying from the Veteran Affairs. The workplace harassment was retaliation for reporting her managers for prohibited personnel actions. Dawn had given away her “power” many times in the past. Raised in a broken home, Dawn experienced childhood sexual abuse from a reputable male that was trusted in his community, grew up as an extreme introvert, dealt with childhood and adult bullying, walked out an alcoholic marriage with only $17 in her pocket, and ended up in the VA Mental Health ward as a result of two years of horrific bullying for blowing the whistle in the Veteran Affairs.
Dawn finally realized that she had given away her personal power many times to others and made up her mind that she was sick of being a “victim” and feeling powerless. Looking back at her life, she realized she had also earned four college degrees to impress a dead grandmother who had been very stern to her as a child. Trends of “victimization” showed her how she was attracting negative experiences in her life. One week after she settled with the Veteran Affairs in March 2014, she went through extensive training to become a Life Coach that empowers women who feel overwhelmed, stressed out, aren’t able to set healthy boundaries in their life, and who are “leaders in hiding”. Dawn finally saw the big picture and knew that she had experienced these events so that she could learn how to “overcome” them and later teach other women how to own their old stories, instead of their stories “owning” them.
She now jokingly tells people that all these experiences in my life have helped to define her and make her a much better person. Today, Dawn is able to “shift” women into the women they want to become–quickly and easily though life coaching and hypnotherapy. Women who work with Dawn are able to “break-free” of feeling overwhelmed, manage their stress, find their voice, set healthy boundaries in their lives, and stop being “leaders in hiding”. They are able to live the lives they want and “own” their personal power, instead of giving it away to others. Dawn helps women realize that the key to their happiness is always inside them and they have to key to open their own door to success. Dawn provides a weekly blog on www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/blog that provides tips to empower women and show them the way to happiness in their life. Today, Dawn uses her “gifts” and wisdom to teach others how to empower themselves through speaking engagements, radio/magazine interviews, workshops, teleclasses, webinars, and private coaching sessions. She is a retired Air Force veteran who has over 20 years of experience in leadership, Human Resources, and teaching. She combines hypnotherapy that is certified through the National Guild of Hypnotists, with life coaching to provide dramatic “shifts” in women who want to take charge of their lives and be happier.
Dawn Westmoreland has been interviewed on more than 20 radio shows and featured in four magazines. The Christian Science Monitor praised her for her courage and what she is doing to help empower women today, Dawn teaches other women that they can take charge of their life by being 100% accountable and that we always have “choices” in our lives. She provides complimentary 20 minute “break-through” strategy consultation sessions to women and requests for complimentary sessions can be sent to www.DawnMarieWestmoreland.com/contact.
“Because Dawn Westmoreland was severely bullied for being a “whistleblower,” she has taken the money from the court settlement related to her case and is using every penny to create The Foundation of Respect”.
A few of the articles and shows Dawn and her powerful message has been shared: