Jingle All the Way???

 

Currier and Ives did it to us. Those serene scenes of horse-drawn sleighs filled with perfect families and horses that never pooped. Burned into our hearts, we saw them year after year and like Cinderella trying to squeeze her two sizes too small foot into that glass slipper, we just keep trying to make our holiday fit into that envelope too.

 

Every year I am surprised by it. The complex ups and downs, wishing I had _____, missing what I used to have and most of all, wanting for all the world to feel that idyllic feeling of those “Yuletide carols being sung by a fire”. And all the while, knowing in my head that I can’t have what used to be, forgetting that THIS holiday is a blessing.

 

A colleague recently sent me a story about eating an artichoke. She loved artichokes, craved what she remembered about how that “heart” tasted, dipped in melted butter. Having never cooked one however, she began stripping off all the leaves…no small feat when you are dodging the sharp uncooked leaves. She’s persistent and finally got to that fuzzy center. Plopping it into boiling water, she couldn’t wait to get it into her mouth. Lifting the lid after 25 minutes at a rolling boil, her mouth fell to the floor. It was mushy and she could feel her salivary glands freeze. Then it hit her…you cook the whole thing and the leaves protect that heart center like some amazing dessert that waits for you while you enjoy it one leaf at the time.  Like an artichoke, holidays are the whole thing…the past memories, current life challenges, and all those voices saying how we should do them.

 

 What if we just savor each leaf and try not to get lost in what we think is waiting for us?

 

Some years we are struggling with life. These are the times when holidays can be challenging if we keep staring at those horse-drawn sleighs. The gift that is most important in those years is one of self-love and compassion. The relief of saying, “Yep. This year it’s tough to feel the joy”. Acceptance, kindness, and by all means, being honest with those you love who can give you gifts of listening and support. Never forget, giving is a gift too and loved ones feel the joy of the season even more when they can give to us. So, reach out this season. Giving and receiving…it’s what it’s all about.

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

 

Big Red Chair

 

Holidays…You Gotta Love “em”, Right?

 

 

 

Yesterday afternoon I gathered with a bunch of women who decided not to go winter alone. We call it the Women’s Wisdom Circle because despite the cesspool filled with messages to the contrary that live in our heads, we all know that we ARE wise indeed.

 

The only challenge is holding on to that belief as it moves from our gut that says, “Yes! That’s the right move!” to what comes out our mouths which can sound not at all like the truth. Imagine the journey from gut to voice…past our grandmother’s voices, the church’s bony finger, the library shelves marked, “Boys” and “Girls”(Yes, that once did happen, at least up in Northern Maine), and mothers who took little blue pills to keep their voices quiet.

 

In that room yesterday there was wisdom galore. Taking a deep breath, I owned my one word we were allowed describing how we really feel about winter…DREAD!. One woman jumped on it, saying “it’s all in how we define it in our minds”, urging us all to be grateful, keep a journal, relish the alone time, go inward. I tried to buy it, but it wasn’t working for me, at least last night. She didn’t know me yet, so how could she know that going inward was not my challenge, and that I had stacks of gratitude journals, and that I AM grateful for so many things in my life? There are times when all the gratitude in the world doesn’t touch how we feel this time of year…both because it’s winter, and for some of us, because we’re alone and want to go outward toward another human being. To find love again and cherish alone time rather than looking for ways to stay awake just to have less of it…that’s what we want. 

 

I recently moved after a rather difficult year back in CA. I wasn’t well most of that year and lost my apartment in a market that only the tech folks can afford. And yes, I was grateful then as now. But, change is just plain hard, even when it’s good. Now, I can begin to feel the good of it as I sled down a hill in my grandson’s backyard almost crying from the joy of it. New friendships are feeling warmer and I’m in the circle most days rather than feeling outside it. And, I’m waking up to the want again. The longing for love and all that it brings to winter’s chill.

 

Turning on my computer to browse faces, scanning the rooms at the art opening, remembering that those bright, sweet men I seek might be at the library. Remembering how much lovelier holidays are when you can share them with someone special makes it well worth the layers of underwear, down coats, ugly hats and sturdy shoes it takes to put one foot in front of the other.

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share this next chapter of your life with someone special? Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to find love again?

Begin NOW, and perhaps next year’s holidays will find you dancing!

 

Call me and let me get you started on your90 Days to Love”

510-817-4242  or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red Chair

Is it a Turning Point for Men and Women?

 

This morning will be an opportunity for generations, both old and new, to see some truth about some men and a courageous woman and the struggle to find ourselves and our “rightful” place in the world in which we all live We’ve been evolving since the dawn of civilization, and today thanks to technology, we can witness a fork in the road that will allow us to see where we’ve been and where we now must go.

 

No matter your politics, what I hope you watch today is just how powerful our ego and our primitive brains are in our daily lives. It might help to see that Senate committee as if you are watching Planet of the Apes.

 

What is at stake today is fear and the loss of power that has protected men forever. When the fearful are IN power, their grip is like a choke-hold and the question within the fear is “What will I be if I lose my power?” Anihilation is what many of these older men fear. Who WILL they be when they have to share both power and responsibility for their past actions? Who were the teachers of these men? Why did they need to believe that absolute power and control was the only way to stay alive? Are they really the bad guys in any of this or were they set up with an impossible task…to take care of everything, including killing anybody that might harm their families? And does any of this matter now when we see the destruction that has occurred while they’ve worn this warrior mantel?

 

Today you will see the destruction this ego and power and fear has done to one woman. The “boys will be boys” belief that our culture espoused for decades. A hall pass, get out of jail free card that young men have been given in their sexual lives, destroying the lives of children, teens and adult women who are forever changed by violence against them.

 

To many of these men, power remains more important than any girl or woman, more important than their own integrity. Control over everything, including women’s bodies, their right to choose when they want children will be wrapped up in their final votes.

 

We can only hope and pray that some moral progress has been made since Joe Biden prematurely gaveled the Thomas hearing to a close and sacrificed the life on Anita Hill in exchange for power. Integrity is a non-negotiable in all of us. When we violate it, our wonderful soul just won’t stand for it. If those on the committee, both men and women choose power over fairness and justice, their souls won’t let them forget it. Problem is, the victim has spent her whole life unable to forget it.

 

So, I pray today for a surprise. A wonderful miraculous surprise that will show us the power of truth, love, justice and our compass that we call integrity. We don’t know the truth. Only those involved may claim that. But, we do know that the search for truth is essential, and this committee has not given these women the time of day, nor the time to hear the evidence that just MIGHT give them enough truth so that they can do what is right. If they can find the courage to risk their office, believe that voters will  support  them and their decisions to seek the truth, we will have changed the course of history, and one in every four women in this country who has been the victim of sexual abuse can breathe a little easier tomorrow.

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