"Changing your words changes your thoughts, ultimately changing your life!"

About Me

Welcome! I'm so glad you chose to check me out further on my About me page. I'm grateful for you. I'm not one to talk about myself. However, in this case, it is how I share my struggles and changes with you.

My name is Norman, although friends often call me Norm for short. Here I will share more experiences that led me to write this website on Self-Esteem for you. 

I work to keep my ego in check because I only hear myself if I don't. And that's sad because you have so many excellent experiences to share. If I'm drowning in my ego, I can't hear you. And I don't want that to ever happen.

Making Sense of Societies Paradox

Sometimes I listen to people go on and on about how special they are. It feels like they are telling it to their reflection in the mirror. Well, that's just ego.

I shared the first part of some of the earlier things in my life on the Home page that started my journey into low self-esteem, like family interactions or the lack of meaningful contact within the family, public education, and church. 

I feel confident you have had similar experiences in your life, too.

You probably noticed I've primarily shared with you about family, public education, and church. Well, to me, there are two excellent reasons I will share with you.

1) they're things, in one form or another, you and I have had in common, but more importantly, 2) those three areas are the most significant avenues used to train or condition us (society). You and I have been conditioned to live in a small mental box, afraid to look outside of the box, let alone boldly step out of it.

This website has so much fantastic information you should bookmark it now for easy access.

Societal Conditioning: Expanded

Society's and religious conditioning

You are going to see societal conditioning woven throughout the website. I encourage you to gain a broader understanding of it. It's like the software idea I shared with you on the Home page that constantly runs in the background of your mind. Only it's on a much bigger scale.

It's not like conspiracy nonsense, but how human thinking evolves or doesn't in our global society. You have or will hear of collective consciousness or perhaps the hive mind.

What Makes Me an Expert

The path of life

What makes me an expert in the field of Self-Esteem? Not formal education and a long list of degrees. No, my experience comes from living every part of it, all the highs and lows and everything in between.

My training or education is in Experiential Learning. In the purest sense, I lived every second of my life in "school". Meaning my experiences educated me. While I was recovering from my physical and emotional injuries, I did attend college. I have enough college experience for a BA, but I no longer feel the need to pursue it.

I love cooking, gardening and martial arts, so most of the classes I took revolved around my interests at the time. My passion is sharing what I've learned about the importance of a healthy self-esteem. 

A degree for what I've experienced and studied so in-depth would be pure Experiential Learning. How would that appear, ELM? I am hopeful schools will one day recognize the importance of the incredible knowledge taught by life itself. But for now, I'm satisfied with my unique, informal education.

The Rest of the Story About Me

Now as I promised you, here is the rest of the story. I hope you can relate to some of it. Parts will seem a little heavy, but it's what launched me to improve my life.

I grew up this typical kid in a lower-middle-class family. Mom and Dad, who I realized did not like each other stayed married, at least for a while, because of me, my two older brothers, and my younger sister.

And, I think, because they felt stuck. They had a family to raise and felt tied to an obligation; otherwise, they never would have stayed together.

Church as the Reinforcer

Mom would drag me and my sister to church 2-3 times a week. I noticed two opposing sides of our church when I was still young. The pastor would preach from the bible, telling us about the love God had for us, but in the same sentence telling us how undeserving we were and that we were going to hell.

It was a lot for a young mind to take in. I heard that God loved me, but I was falling so short of his expectations I would never gain his approval. My home and many homes were a mini version of that system. 

I surmised we were all charity cases, but God was obligated to love us even though he thought we were unworthy. That's how I felt at church. We were taught to feel worthless.

If we stepped out of line, God would throw us into a burning fire pit for eternity. ETERNITY!!! Well, that made little sense to me but scared the crap out of me. That was Learn to Fear 101. It only got worse.

church as the reinforcer

The Bible Teaches Against Gossiping

Speaks out of both sides of mouth

One day after hearing the same old parroted sermon at church, I walked past the pastor as he greeted people leaving the church. I overheard him telling one of his confidants that another church member was an awful person. That was my first introduction to gossip and the phrase "speaks out of both sides of their mouth, or speaks with a forked tongue."

I asked myself, "Wasn't it all supposed to be about the guy in the story named Jesus? Who loved us no matter what and showed us how to become better human beings?" 

It wasn't clear to me then, and I was conflicted. But it was eye-opening. I realized I had been fed mixed-up half-truths. And by then, I had it drilled into me from multiple directions I wasn't worth the effort.

Shocking Blow to My Self-Esteem and Defining Moment

The inevitable finally happened in my teen years. My parents divorced, and my dad left us for another, better family. My mom remarried too.

The whole thing left me surprisingly screwed up about who I was supposed to be. The balance and structure I depended on crumbled to the ground.

I had become disillusioned with public education and the indoctrination at church. I was baited by the, Be All You Can Be, military advertisements. Wanting out of my downward struggle, I joined the Marines. Wow! Talk about mind-warping low self-esteem tactics. 

The marine drill instructors are masters at crushing any self worth you may have had. Their whole goal is to break you down mentally and physically and rebuild you. I had jumped from the pan into the fire.

The Million Dollar Question, Why Me?

After being discharged from military duty, I was in a motorcycle meets semi-truck crash. One morning I decided to go for a motorcycle ride when it happened.

Coming around a corner where I had right-of-way, a semi-truck suddenly pulled out in front of me. I only had a couple of seconds to react.

I hit the truck in the rear tires. When I regained consciousness again, I was surrounded by people who had stopped.

It was odd; my vision was like looking through a camera's fisheye lens. A guy was asking if he could take my helmet off.

I asked him, "Are my legs broken?" He said, "Yes." I couldn't feel anything but knew I was screwed up or nearly roadkill as I joked about myself later.

I recall lying on an operating table screaming why me? Waking up in ICU a few days later and watching the fan spiraling toward me was startling.

I let out a yell of surprise, which brought a nurse with another dose of morphine. Later, reopening my eyes, I realized I was floating at ceiling height, clearly looking down at my body lying on the bed with tubes and wires attached to it.

My body was pretty far below me. That was my first actual realization we are more than the body alone.

Writing about it now for you is hard. A lot of old fear feelings want my attention.

Nature Became a Good Friend

So I want you to know I'm taking a break. It's a beautiful spring day, and my lawn needs to be mowed, and flowers wish to be planted.

Hanging out with Nature continually refocuses me and gets me centered again. Nature is a wonderful friend. She is a healer of many wounds.

OK! I feel much better. As I played in my garden, I did some easy breathing exercises, leaned into the old fear stuff, and with kindness, asked it what was unresolved and what needed to be released.

I always approach old issues with love and compassion. I will share exercises like this and more with you as my website grows.

The Next Phase

After spending weeks in the hospital waiting for my body to heal, depression set in. I found my self-image and self-esteem bottoming out. All the years of negative social conditioning hit me like a ton of bricks.

I looked like hell and felt worse. I spiraled way down in self-esteem. All of my friends were beautiful and normal. I was this broken thing trying to learn to be "normal" again. I felt trapped and lost.

It thoroughly messed with me physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. The physical pain part sucked, of course, but recovering from a concussion to my brain was the worst. I realized I had changed in a big way, but my friends hadn't.

I would hear things like you've changed, I don't recognize you anymore, or you are no longer fun. Ouch!

My Friends and Family Looked at Me Like I Was an Idiot

I had difficulty stringing understandable sentences together and couldn't remember names or phone numbers anymore. It was far from perfect, but I was in the middle of the situation I to survive.

I finally stopped talking with my friends, who now viewed me as a stranger. I couldn't blame them; they had no similar experience to compare it to. I became very introverted.

My brain healed itself over time, but I never thought the same way again. I had begun to think more about spiritual stuff, not the confusing church parroting kind of babble, but the meaning of life kind of thoughts.

My First Experience of Energy Passed Between People

Since I was still on crutches after months of hospital beds and wheelchairs, people stared at me. At that point, I became super sensitive to loud noises, sudden changes, or bright lights.

I later learned they were symptoms of my concussion. I noticed an intense feeling of people's vibes.

Changing how I thought and choosing to seem more confident somehow changed the vibe between us. People still looked at me but not so strongly. I thought maybe I was on to something useful.

Being stared at was unsettling and was not helping my self-esteem. I was trying to get back into everyday life. I began to carry myself more confidently more often, lol; not so easy on crutches.

Society Operates on a Pattern or Blueprint

Awakening from the hive mind

I soon found I was becoming an observer of those who observed me. It was like their intense gazes forced or lifted me to a higher level of observation. That's when I began to see the patterns of similarities we all live by.

We do our best with what we know and have available, primarily the conditioning data we have been force-fed. We create our unique boxes and become stuck in the pattern.

The rewired neuron pathways in my brain saw life differently than before. Naturally, I began to see certain behaviors in people that ran across society. My brain started to categorize behaviors.

I imagined each category like boxes labeled: low self-esteem, high self-esteem, fear of expressing yourself, anger issues, overdeveloped egos, controllers, and their victims, and so on.

Which type of box has society helped you create for yourself? Do you see what I'm getting at?

I found myself trying to fit back into society's mold again. Still, I was seriously beginning to question the societal norm. I saw programmed people oblivious to what was happening around them. It was as if we had all been hypnotized or had never woken up when we were born.

You and I were programmed to think inside of given guidelines while made to believe we were all free thinkers.

Who I Am Now

Since then, I completely turned to researching how to feel good about myself—reading dozens of books on improving my self-view. I've attended several human empowerment seminars and training.

The more I learned about who I am, like peeling away the layers of BS, the more doors opened for me to keep growing.

Once I recognized I was an intricate part of life, it was like Life said, "OK, I see you are catching on; now let me help."

You are extraordinary!

Life and I have become partners, whereas before, I fought and resisted it all the time. Life wants you to be more of who you already are inside—an extraordinary, exciting person.

I feel empowered and encouraged to give back to this amazing miracle we refer to as life. And I am starting with you.

You will start looking outside the box when you realize you don't belong there, or perhaps you have finally outgrown your cage. You will be astounded at what you find.

You will reclaim your power to choose what you want in your life and how you want to be viewed and treated by those around you. You have the right and ability to choose what words you want to describe yourself.

So let's begin by fixing your self-esteem, OK?

"Thoughts create our feelings. When our thoughts are all over the place, our feelings are as well. Most people on the planet believe their feelings are indicative of something that's true. They're not. Our feelings are only temporary reflections of our thoughts."
Wanda Vitale

"Think like Spring; always embrace renewal and growth."