Colleen Hannegan

Finding the words....and the perfect pair of glasses.

self love

Self Confidence.....having full trust in oneself.

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I've been thinking much about self confidence lately. How it's an aspect of our being that's required daily to achieve our goals, find a mate, a job, create art, speak up or choose an outfit to wear. I'm speaking of confidence in the goodness of oneself, your gifts, talents and finer qualities that contribute to the world in positive ways. 

It's needed as often as we need daily nutrition, exercise and to give and receive love. Confidence, from the Latin... to have full trust. So that means, to me, 100% doubtless. 

"I can fly!"

"I can fly!"

Well, I fail on a weekly basis. Some days my confidence levels are on an uber scale of high ratings. Like right now as I write this blog, I feel extremely confident I will get all my thoughts down about the subject and when my final edits are done, will be pleased with my work. I am a writer. Writers write. I know I can do this and I have a gift that oftentimes makes me feel.......yes, confident.

But not a week goes by that I don't have long moments of feeling I'm near empty on my confidence meter. Not just about writing but about anything and everything. I've compared myself to others, I've judged my reflection, I've had too many conflicting negative thoughts in my brain competing for real estate in my gray matter and I end up running on empty in confidence. Over stupid stuff like my nail polish choice, ( I told you it was stupid), and important things like my deeply personal connection to higher powers, ( it's all make believe). I'm way down low if I'm swimming in those waters. Drowning more like.

But when those put downs from others hit me, oh I crumble.  My confidence takes direct hits as if heat seeking missiles were aimed directly at my heart and blasted me to unrecognizable tidbits. Putting oneself out there is a risk every artist, writer, actor, advocate, and suffragette knows well. Comes with the territory. "They just didn't get it," I tell my hurt self. "Stop your sob fest already," my Big Girl tells my self.

An artist can't explain it; the work. The public accepts or rejects and onward we march.

When I read quotes about confidence, many come from actors and writers and citizens of the world who are visible and easily recognized. They are on the world stage in one way or another, so confidence to them means to be sure of themselves in front of lots of people frequently. Millions of people see them and judge them good or bad or indifferent. (Excuse me, but I distrust indifference. Let me know how you really feel! It feels like being invisible when people are  indifferent to  you. I really hate being treated like I'm not here or you can't see me!) That's a Leo personality trait, folks. Having others say you're boring is bad enough, but if you ignore me, oh, geezuz I come unglued. Faulty wiring on my part. But then there is much to adore about shiny bright and gift giving Leo's.....oh I feel that happy confidence coming on! Happy! Happy!

Okay, so back to my discourse on confidence and getting it and keeping it going.

Confidence is not just about being in front of others. To me, it's standing in front of my worst critic in the world, myself, and feeling completely comfortable. As is, at worst and best and all those grays in between.  Liking, loving and enjoying standing right here. Or sitting right here, in front of me or the whole big world. Whatevah! True liberation, baby, if I could just be with confidence every little and big moment I'm here.

Most of us are not on stage, up front, on TV or followed by thousands of readers. Yet, we each  need confidence to have a fulfilling life that is worth getting out of bed for and that's filled with joy and love and great meals, adventure and awesome people in it. I want to feel confident every day and every minute. To have full trust in myself. When I do, kindness follows, as does more fun, more good surprises and goals accomplished...more easily. And prosperity of every sort.

I looked up other words that describe confidence and I was pleasantly  surprised at the variety of words that showed up.

Assurance, certainty, courage, determination, poise, spirit, tenacity, aplomb, backbone, boldness, brashness, cool, daring, dash, élan, fearlessness, firmness, fortitude, grit, hardihood, heart, intrepidity, nerve, pluck, reliance, resoluteness, spunk, sureness.    

Confidence, to me, is more like ConfiDANCE. To confide in myself that dancing through life is so much more worthwhile than sitting in the stands and watching others compete for the prize. No one else can live my life or win my prizes or publish my prose or wear my clothes (with confidence) or send out my love into the world or receive my love that's mine to receive. 

Solid confidence is a deep seated feeling that who you are and what you bring to the party of life is unique and worthwhile. Self doubt is a big fat lie we listen to. Don't listen to that broken record, I tell myself.

So when I consider what confidence is, having full trust in oneself, is to decide every moment if necessary, that I am my own best friend and cheerleader. The other ingredients for a full recipe of confidence would be plenty of humility, kindness, patience and a dash of pizazz.

Because the energy, vitality and good vibrations confident people bring to the world is a place I enjoy living in. 

Even when it's just me, myself and I. Let the party continue.









Save Yourself First, then save the whales

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Big Nature, Little Me

Big Nature, Little Me

When one of my sisters was having a a difficult time with making a decision about how to help someone else, I told her rather bluntly, “F*** the Whales, Save Yourself!” We broke out in uncontrollable laughter from the shocking impact of my comment. I went on to explain that if people would see to their own immediate personal issues, there would be less need to champion the protection of whales, or trees, or mountains, our oceans, neglected children, polluted rivers, environmental chaos and various problems in our community and the world at large. Wellness in our neighborhood and in our world begins with our own inner wellness. As a natural side effect from extreme self care, whales would be saved, rivers would become unpolluted and all children would be well loved.

I encouraged my sister, to take action that would see to her own needs and by doing so, the needs of others would be easier to see and to attend to. Like the flight attendants teach us, in an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then on your child.

It’s easy to understand that helping others feels good. I believe we are all hard wired to various degrees to jump in and try and do some good! But if it’s a feel good distraction from attending to more sensitive and difficult matters within your own home and family, it can become a take away from those who need your love most.

Recently I experienced an amazing healing of just such a feeling.  My love for others and desire for their happiness was a kind of burden. I’d always felt I needed to figure out how to help them. That if I tried hard enough or prayed smart enough I’d be able to “show them the way”. Whatever the way was for them.

Ugh. There is no way I could show someone else the way if I didn’t understand which way I was going!

It always comes back to Love. Extreme self Love.  Self Love creates a higher vibration to those who are near you, both physically and energetically. When I can say I’m taking really good care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, maybe I can say something to another person that just might be what they needed to hear just then. Or I might more honestly lend a helping hand that truly comes from Heart and not the Head. And not “think” twice about it.

When we let go of worry for another person and embrace thoughts of peace, love, goodness, laughter and compassion into ourselves,  your thoughts for others well being will follow the channel of Love and all its healing power.

Love always knows what is needed or what healing means to a person. It is not for us to decide what any other person really needs. We can only decide to Love ourselves and from there Love will spill over onto all we hold dear where we live and who we live with.