Seeking a Leadership Role? The Journey is More Important than the Destination

The path to a Leadership role should be a journey…not a destination.

I recently read an article explaining the difference between the two. The path as a destination is to achieve some level of proficiency or stature in your chosen field of work.  The path as a journey is to experience work from a variety of perspectives in your field.

To become a Leader, whether in a Senior Management role at your current company, or as a Chair of a Committee, Board Member or President of a non-profit association, your path should be a journey through the organization.  Experience all the diverse areas they offer!  Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one role year after year, delve into the full experience.   By becoming a well-rounded employee or association member, you bring value, knowledge and wisdom to the table.  The two groups can enhance the other, allowing you to succeed with both by your journey.

When I started out in commercial real estate in the late 80’s, I began my journey on the bottom of the ladder.  I was an administrative assistant for the property management office.  Then I delved into construction management.  And leasing.  While I was on my journey in commercial real estate,  an opportunity arose to become a Property Manager.  While I was certainly interested in that role, all of my varied experiences within commercial real estate ensured I was ready to take on that challenge.  My journey had made me very well-rounded, knowledgeable and an asset to my employer.

In conjunction with working in commercial real estate, I joined a non-profit real estate networking group.  I became involved serving on several committees over the years and subsequently chaired a few.  I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors and a few years later, was honored to serve as President. My experience serving on non-profit Boards has taught me that finding members with working knowledge of the association for Leadership roles can be challenging. About twenty percent (20%) of members in an association do the actual work.  The other eighty percent (80%) are more passive and may just attend events throughout the year instead of serving on a committee or board. Large corporations have many layers of management, but there is usually more competition for the roles that become available.  Have you talked to a current Leader in either the non-profit, or your employer, about the path to the Leadership role you are interested in, and how to get there?  Don’t assume anyone understands your goals and the path you want to take.

Several Board members I served with on non-profits, both past and present, have worked on multiple committees, attend several events a year, and are very passionate about the association.  Becoming President isn’t necessarily a bucket list item or a resume enhancer to them.  They truly have a vested interest in making the non-profit the best association to join. When I was asked to serve as President of a non-profit, I didn’t seek it out at the time.  I had spent my time serving on a variety of committees and becoming a well-rounded and a very knowledgeable member of the association.  When I look back, there were probably a hand-full of members, out of 400, that had as much experience as I did.  That is not a big pool to fill several Leadership roles every year.  If you are new to joining an association, seek out a few of its Leaders.  They all have a story to tell about how the association helped them personally or professionally to succeed. Ask them, they would love to meet you and share their story!

While on your journey to a Leadership role, why not build relationships and enhance your personal development?  Your current employer can definitely benefit from the network you build with your peers. Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and completed?  Do you have a photo posted?  Make it easy for others to reach out to YOU.

Serving in a Leadership role for a non-profit association benefits the association, but it also showcases the way you interact with others and your work ethic.   Committee Chairs look at your skills and how you handle assigned roles.  When opportunities arise to fill Leadership positions, usually Chairs and Board Members are asked who they recommend.  If you are dependable and consistently shine, your name will be passed around as someone to watch.  Others will think of you first for business opportunities.  Take some time and explore the associations website to check out what opportunities are available.

How will your success serving in Leadership roles in non-profits translate to success with your employer? You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience running a committee, serving on a Board, leading meetings, public speaking and planning events. You will gain confidence.  Your journey will lead you to your destination.

Karrie Westphal

Cape Fear Commercial



Manifesting your Dream Life:  As Easy as “Open Sesame”

Have you dreamed of living in a beautiful home in a scenic location? Are you still waiting, wondering when the perfect partner will show up? Or, maybe you are stuck in a dead-end job craving a career you love, while another year ticks off.   Why do these things seem so hard to obtain?  I bet you told yourself, “I’ve never been lucky.  Dreams come true for other people, amazing things never happen to me.”  Well guess what?  YOU can be lucky too!  YOU can have all your dreams come true.  YOUR life can be amazing!

Karla Westphal was born in Perrysburg, Ohio and grew up with five siblings in a beautiful, small town on the Maumee River. She moved to Atlanta in her early 20’s and started working in commercial real estate, a career she has pursued for 30 years. Karla always had a dream of becoming a published author, and would work on a novel off and on over the years. It seemed like an elusive goal.

Manifesting things into her life has always been natural to her, and the idea to share how easy it is to do prompted her to write, and publish, her first book, The Genie Code. Karla, and her long-time boyfriend, Jeff, recently moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, where they share a home with two rescue dogs, Miss Bee and Bear, and a tripod cat named Kitty. She shares how she manifested her life living on the East coast in her book, The Genie Code.

When reading other books on manifesting, one thing Karla loved was hearing how it actually worked for the author, not just theories. So in her book, The Genie Code, Karla shares many examples of how manifesting worked to create her dream life and how she made it happen for her.

The Genie Code


Dreams of Deceased Loved Ones or Visitations Pt2

In my previous post, I shared a few vivid dream visitations from my father after he passed.  He looked younger and happier in my early dreams.  Then, after a month or two, they turned chilling…

I was standing at the top of basement stairs, looking down onto a landing, and my father was standing there. It was pitch black, except for the light behind me shining down onto his head and torso.  He had a sad look on his face and he looked old and frail.  I felt that he was saying goodbye. 

I woke myself up from that dream.

A week later, I woke up shaking from a nightmare.

I was in a fetal position in a spotlight on a darkened theater stage in my dream. Then I started to scream and scream. 

I managed to wake myself up at that point. I knew what this dream represented.  The last time I saw my father, he was in a coma at the hospital.  As my family and I were walking down the hall to the elevator, the nursing staff moved him, and he automatically cried out.   It was such an awful cry that I asked my brother what it was. That was the last memory of my father. And it was terrible.

After that horrid dream he disappeared for several months. Then, my father started to reappear in my dreams, making cameo appearances.  If I dreamt of being in my parent’s home, but I didn’t see him, I just knew he was there, like in another room.  It was nice to see my father, even if it was briefly in my dreams.  I would always wake up in a good mood and think about the dream most of the day.

Lately, my dreams have been more interactive. I’ve carried on conversations with him for example.  One time he picked me up in his car, and when I got in I told him it might not be a good idea to let him drive me since he was dead?  He just smiled at me and started driving.  I knew I would be safe with him, so I didn’t protest or ask to be let out of the car!

Do you have a close relative or friend who is deceased? Do you think about seeing them again but would be too afraid to have them just appear in your room?  You can ask them to visit you in your dreams.  As you get ready to fall asleep, tell your loved one that you are open to a visit from them in your dreams.   Think about them as you are falling asleep and what you would like to ask them.  See what happens!  I would love to hear your dream visitation stories.

Dreams of Deceased Loved Ones or Visitations

Have you had a deceased relative or friend appear in a dream?  Was it a vivid dream that you still remember?  Most dreams are forgotten immediately after waking, but dream visitations are dreams you won’t soon forget…

My father passed away a few months after my Past Life Regression.  While I was sad at his passing and missed him terribly, I was comforted to know that he was free from pain and I would see him again one day.  I didn’t realize how soon I would see him.   A week after he passed away, he visited me for the first time in a dream.  Since then he has appeared in numerous dreams.  It’s almost like he never left. Almost.

We had a family celebration at my parent’s house the week after my father died, over Labor Day weekend. It was heartwarming to reminisce about my father and the funny things he used to say and do.  I always described my father to friends as Alan Hale’s character, the Captain, on Gilligan’s Island.  He was goofy and was Alan Hale’s doppelganger.

When I was working out sleeping arrangements with my mother earlier in the evening, she offered up the room my father used his last few years of his illness. Sorry, but I couldn’t bring myself to sleep in my father’s sick bed a week after his passing!  I respectively declined and said I would sleep on the sofa.  My mother then offered up her room and she would sleep in his bed.  That night, as I was sleeping in the bedroom that was my parent’s room for a good 50 years, I had very vivid dreams about my father.  I can still remember every detail.

One indication that your dream was a visitation by a loved one, are details that you can remember long after waking.  Most dreams fade within five minutes, which is why you should keep a dream journal next to your bed.

In the first dream, my family was gathered on the patio having a cookout and celebrating my father’s life. I was sitting, talking to my mother, and my father walked into the scene.  He looked great, probably twenty years younger (he was 84 when he passed), and he had a spring in his step.   It was surprising to see him since he had just died!  I asked my mother about it, and she said that yes, he had died, but they revived him and sent him back home.  I accepted that explanation and didn’t think anything more about it.

I don’t recall any specific interaction with my father in that first dream, just that he appeared and looked younger, happy and energetic.

In the second dream, I was sitting at the kitchen table, again, with my mother, and my father walked in from the back of the house to grab his keys off the kitchen counter. I remember him saying that he ‘forgot his keys’.  He was dressed in a black suit and a black fedora, like photos I had seen him in back in the 50’s or 60’s.  He just smiled, grabbed his keys, and left again.  It was good to see him, even for a brief moment.

After I returned home, I had a few more dreams where my father made cameo appearances, like what I experienced at my parent’s house. Then, about mid-October, I had two, very chilling dreams…

Past Life Regression Part 2

In Part 1 of this Chapter, I explained what lead up to seeking out a Hypnotherapist for a Past Life Regression.  Below is what I experienced…

I was a married woman with two small children, a boy and a girl. My husband and I were working on an estate in what looked like Ireland, maybe in the late 19th or early 20th century.  I was a housekeeper and my husband worked in the stables.  I became this woman and I could see things through her eyes.  It was very strange, but, seemed natural.  Scenes moved forward, in response to questions by my therapist.  Next, I knew that my husband had been killed in an accident in the stables, so now I was in a position of supporting my young family alone. I could feel her emotions of despair and sadness.

Years flipped by like hitting a fast-forward button on a remote. My son was now a teenager and he was telling me he was sailing to America with friends for a new start.  I knew that I would never see him again when he left, and I could feel her heartbreak.  The pain almost took my breath away.

Several things were starting to resonate – why I loathe house cleaning to this day, my fear of having a family and not being able to support them and how I was always able to imagine the pain of losing a child, when I don’t have children of my own.   Did I really experience these things in a past life?  Or was this all my imagination? It seemed very real to me.  I also recognized my brother Ken as my son. Its not that it looked like Ken, more like I recognized his soul.  Very hard to explain, but I just knew.  More on that later in the story.

Things moved forward again. I was now an old woman, living with my daughter and her family.  I was lying in bed looking around me, grateful that I was comfortable at the end, surrounded by my family.  I still mourned the loss of my son to America, but, I knew that I would see him again one day.  The moment I died, I was floating above my body, looking down at it, dispassionately.  I didn’t feel an attachment to it anymore, and my daughter and her family looked like actors on a stage.  No feelings of loss in leaving them.  I could feel myself floating up and up then shooting straight up into the sky.  I became different colors, and, was moving at the speed of light through space.  There was definitely a destination I was heading towards.  I have never felt so free and unencumbered by anything before in my life.  It is very hard to describe the feeling of soaring and having a totally clear mind. Have you ever had a dream of flying?  This experience was similar.  Then, I landed in a place that I would say was my idea of Heaven.

I believe Heaven would look different for each person, sort of like that movie, What Things May Come, with Robin Williams.  My father used to cry whenever he watched that movie.

It was what I imagined ancient Greece or Rome to look like. The light was different than what we have on Earth.  The buildings were marble with columns.  I saw a man walking towards me and he looked like Socrates.  White hair and beard and wearing a white robe or toga.  I recognized him at once as my Spirit Guide, Ethos.  I was so happy to see him again!  I cried and cried and felt like I had come home at last.  I could have stayed with him there forever.  I knew this was where I belonged.  Ethos took me into one of the buildings and we walked down a long corridor.  There were several doors along the way.  My maternal Grandmother Millie popped out of one of the doors and gave me a hug.  She had a huge smile on her face and she looked fantastic.  Exactly how I remembered her when I was a child.  I was so happy to see her again!  He opened a door and we walked in the room.  Inside I recognized my father, my brother Ken, my sister Janine and my other three brothers, Rick, Ron and Jim.  There were several others in the room as well.  Ethos explained that these 10-12 people were in my soul group and that we all had agreed to go through several lives together and swap roles to help each other learn lessons to advance our souls.  If I had multiple life regressions, I would see the roles that those in my soul group have played over the ages.

A better explanation is that you might be a parent in one of your lives and your mother or father in this life might be your child. In my case, my brother Ken was my son in a previous life.  He obviously taught me loss and letting go of those you love.  Everyone has had someone come into their lives and leave for reasons we can’t understand sometimes.  But you need to look at it from a different angle, those people had a role to play in helping you grow your soul, then they had to move on to someone else.  Instead of bitterness or resentment, you should think about the different people who touched your lives, in a good or bad way, and what you learned from the experience.  Oh, and all my communication with Ethos was telepathic, not verbalized.  I know – sounds crazy, but again, it seemed totally natural.

Ethos then took me to a room that resembled an arena. Oval with rows and rows of bench seating and a center stage.  People were filing in, filling up the arena.  All these people would touch my current life in some form or fashion before I died.  I recognized a lot of people from growing up in Ohio and living in Atlanta.  Some I haven’t met yet.  I tried to scan as many of the faces as I could, but some faces were blurred, like I wasn’t meant to see them yet.

He explained that each person consults with their Spirit Guide before they are re-born to decide who their parent’s will be and what lessons needed to be learned. I remember seeing my mother and father sitting on a sofa, they were in their 20’s and 30’s, about their ages when I was born.   They were smiling and saying ‘Choose us!  Choose us!’   Obviously, I liked what I saw, because they became my parents.

Some people, apparently, choose to have multiple lessons to learn in a lifetime just to reach the next level in soul development. Their Spirit Guides try to dissuade them from too much, but it is each soul’s decision.  When this happens, some souls end up not being able to handle all the obstacles and lessons they signed up for, and subsequently commit suicide.  They then have to figure out how to work through those lessons in another lifetime, maybe in smaller doses.  

I asked Ethos who my Guardian Angel was, and he told me his name was Thomas. I didn’t meet Thomas at the time, but as mentioned in the previous chapter, he shows me signs that he is around me.  About this time my therapist started to bring me out of my hypnosis, by walking me back to the tree on the hill.  I opened my eyes and remembered everything that I experienced.

It was a very interesting and unique experience. If you are curious at all about your past lives and what happens when you pass, I highly encourage you to seek out a qualified Hypnotherapist, who specializes in past life regression.  Practice the breathing technique and maybe download a meditation to play while you relax.  This will help get your mind and body used to becoming relaxed enough for hypnosis.

Have a conversation with the Hypnotherapist you choose and let him or her know any concerns you might have. Obviously, I didn’t want to go far enough ahead of the game to see how my current life is going to play out!  Only do what is comfortable for you.  I would love to hear your experiences with regression!

My next chapter will delve into Dreams of Deceased Loved Ones.  Have you had a deceased relative or friend appear in a dream?  Was it a vivid dream that you still remember?  Most dreams are forgotten immediately after waking, but dream visitations are dreams you don’t soon forget…

Past Life Regression

A prayer we used to say at night, when we were young, was ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to the Lord my soul to take.’  Personally, I think you have a better chance of dying while awake.  What a prayer to ask a child to recite!  Consequently, the last thing I thought of, every night, whilst lying in my childhood bed, was of dying.  I would get distressed thinking that I would have to die one day.  Everyone must.  It terrified me.  All I could imagine was that you were put in a coffin, buried in the ground, I had been to a cemetery after all, and then your body slowly rotted away.  How dreadful.  Not something I was really looking forward to.  Who would?

Between 1988 and 1998 I lost three Grandparents, several uncles, and a younger cousin. Around this time, I found a book on Near Death Experiences, or, NDEs.  It fascinated me.  There were several stories about people from all walks of life who had clinically died but ended up coming back to life.  Almost all the individuals who were interviewed did not want to come back to their life here on Earth, even though they had children and a loving spouse, or parents, if they were young.  The other side was beautiful and peaceful and beyond imagination. They were told, by a being of light, that it wasn’t their time yet, they still had things to do. I was very intrigued by this since this was quite the opposite of my ghastly imagination of death and dying, and what I was taught in the Catholic church.  You know, the whole Heaven and Hell thing and when you died you had to go through a period of Purgatory, to answer for your many sins on Earth.  Only the truly Holy, like Mother Teresa or Pope John Paul II, received an express elevator to the Pearly Gates.  On a side note, I had the honor of a private tour of the Vatican while in Rome in 2009, and as I walked past Pope John Paul II’s tomb, I started weeping uncontrollably.  It didn’t occur anywhere else but at his resting spot.  My guide said it happened all the time and not to be embarrassed.  I believe John Paul II was a truly holy man, whom I admired greatly, and I didn’t hold a grudge about his fast track into Heaven.  But, after the debacle of Adam and Eve, no one was perfect, right?  Why should I have to sit in Purgatory for years and years before I was allowed into Heaven?

After I exhausted all resources on NDEs, I consequently came upon books discussing Past Life Regression.  What is this you ask?  A trained Hypnotherapist would put an individual into a meditative state or hypnosis and walk you though steps to reach a past life or multiple past lives.  You are put in a very deep relaxation, but you are aware of your surroundings always.  The Hypnotherapist would guide your journey by asking questions.  Your subconscious mind is free to open and explore different possibilities. This is not like in the movies where you would be made to do crazy things while under hypnosis.  Totally safe and you can open your eyes at any time.

Do you ever wonder about why you drawn to certain people and feel like you have known them before or, if you have experienced déjà vu when you visit a new city or country?    Do you have a natural talent, displayed early, for a musical instrument or languages?  Unexplained phobias?  The answers to these questions and more are revealed during a Past Life Regression. This was a different animal then having to go through an NDE to experience what happens when you die.  This was something anyone could do.  I was very curious to experience it for myself!

Alas, another decade had gone by before I got the nerve to make an appointment with a Hypnotherapist.  Her specialty was a Life Between Lives regression.  What prompted me in 2010, my father was in a health decline and I knew we wouldn’t have him around for much longer.  He would tell me dreams he was having about roller skating down a street and a bus came by loaded up with his parents and his deceased brothers all telling him to get on the bus.  He knew what it meant, and he shouted ‘No!’ and skated away.  I was worried that his time was drawing closer and closer and that one day he would say ‘Ok!’ and get on the bus.    What would he experience when he died?

The first time I tried hypnotherapy was a bust. Nothing happened.  I couldn’t relax enough to be guided through a meditation.  It was a workday evening and I had been stressed all day with meetings, traffic and the upcoming appointment.  My therapist suggested that we try again, but maybe a Saturday morning, early enough that I would still be relaxed from a good night’s rest.  A few days later I was back and ready to give it another try.  It worked.

I will do my best to explain what I experienced during my Past Life Regression, but some things I sensed, or saw, are beyond description.   You start out by doing breathing exercises, deep breaths in and out through your nose, while lying comfortably, out of direct light, with your eyes closed.  The Hypnotherapist will then guide you through a scenario where you walk through a forest or the beach, in my case up a hill to a tree, then, have you sit down and describe what you see before you.  Here is what I saw, as I looked down the hill, with my back against the tree…