Spring is in the Air!!!



No matter how much we look for the answers out in the ethers, it is always up to us to make changes in our lives. There are some amazing books out there and I am here to tell you about one that a  friend gave to me.  I  believe there is nothing as healing as Nature, and apparently so does, Jeffrey Anderson.  His beautiful book The Nature of Things will look at first glance like a quick read. But, you’ll soon discover that you want to take your time and read some pages over and over.

Here is one of my favorite sections…


We often think of the spring of our lives as times when we are younger. In his chapter, “Flow” Anderson begs to differ.

“Clearly spring is our early lives, the time of youth and enthusiasm and vitality that seems to slosh all over with wild abandon onto everything that we do and think and say and feel.

Yet spring is not limited to the young. Spring seasons also happen frequently throughout our lives…fraught with promise, brimming with vitality, curious and even reckless with an impulsion to live as big as we can.

Love is often equated with spring. If you know love, you know the feelings that it elicits. There can be ten feet of snow outside, but love can make it feel like a spring day.”


Don’t let anyone tell you spring and love are for the young. Spring is for us all throughout our lives…and so is love!

“Love is life believing in itself”


Are you tired of watching sunsets alone? Ready to find the love of your life to share this next amazing chapter of life? It’s spring…just the right time for new beginnings. I can show you how to find love in your life. All you have to do is be willing to do the digging and planting.


Email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love or call 510-817-4242 and enjoy a 30-minute Complimentary Session to  discover how you can find the next love of your life!


Donna Bailey, MS Human Development

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love 


Big Red Chair






Chicago, Here I Come!!


My mother used to say, “Donna, never say what you won’t do. It’s the very thing you’ll end up doing!” She had a lot of crazy cute sayings that, of course when I was younger I could have cared less about. As I began sprouting my own grey hair and with the advent of Andy Rooney crazy eyebrows, I knew she was wiser than I ever gave her credit for being.


I’m from North Carolina and when I was 28, “escaped” the South headed for the place I felt was home…Maine. Sitting in class at the University of Maine in Orono wearing my Bean boots and thermal underwear, I knew this place and these people were my tribe. It felt safe and warm even in those crazy long winters because I learned, it’s not the temperature, it’s the people you meet and come to love. People that value what you do, and welcome you into their kitchens to sit around a big lazy-Susan and talk about family and what’s going on right around you, and yes, asking “What in the world can we do about what’s going on in the world?”.


The only thing Maine lacked for me was enough light to keep my mood in the winter from shifting from a Unicorn to Eyore. After 17 years, I had to leave my tribe there and head to California where the sun shines so often, you forget what rain sounds like when it hits the pavement. Sunshine, amazing fresh vegetables, open skies, some wonderful people, vineyards ablaze with yellow mustard right in the middle of “winter”, Northern California has been a beautiful reprieve from Maine winters, but my heart has missed those places where friends gather around fireplaces, live more simply and because it’s “Life in the Slow Lane”, have more time for each other. 


It’s time for me now to move back to that kind of life, so in two weeks, I’m headed for the Chicago “burbs”. Just far enough away from an amazing city to dip into small town life, and yet, a short Metra ride to some of the most amazing art museums, incredible music and theatre, Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs with pickles and tomatoes on them! It’s more than the food that will take me there to the Midwest. Yes, that place where I said many a’ time…“I can’t ever imagine living where there’s no coast.” See…my Mother was right! 


I’ll be with my tribe again… my youngest son and his amazing wife…and the cutest, smartest, joy-machine of a 3 -year old grandson you’d ever want to snuggle. It’s Nirvana for me and I hope I will be able to offer these young parents more time to catch their breath…and a quiet dinner out that all young couples need.


My Red Chair travels well, so I’ll be there for the clients I’ve had the pleasure of serving over the years, and I can’t wait to see who else will come into my professional life seeking love and relationships that are healthy and full of the kind of joy love can bring, no matter how old we are. It’s going to be a blast!


More time to write, blog and snowshoe! Alas, Spring is coming fast there, so denial will be my friend until the first blizzard. I’ll be in touch as it all unfolds. See you in Chicago! Tell me things and places you love about Chicago…


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


Big Red Chair



I’ve Really Been Struggling Lately


In the past week I’ve had two “suspicious” moles removed and biopsied, am scheduled for a medical procedure to rule out all the crazy things I think are lurking and just waiting to kill me, and I’m soon making a big move to live in the Chicago “burbs”, happily to be near my younger son and his family which includes the world’s little “Joy Machine” of a grandson. And, moves are no small potatoes! I’ve been busy, but there’s been plenty of time left over to systematically wonder what’s wrong with me for not being able to handle the stress better? There must be something wrong because I can conjure up any number of people that I just know would not be feeling so afraid. They would be handling it better than me. You see the problem here?


Why are we so hard on ourselves at times when our day or even days aren’t perfect, and WE aren’t perfect? When we feel sad or anxious, angry or like we’ve failed at something? Why can’t we be better at handling it we ask ourselves? We try harder and harder to manage the feelings. We do more yoga, meditate longer,  walk until we have blisters…all good things to do by the way, however what works to make us truly feel better when life hands us big challenges is always compassion. It’s a word used a lot by Oprah and the Dalai Lama. Easy for them to say. Maybe if I had millions of dollars, I’d be able to cope better too. If I were celibate, being alone would give me more time to meditate. As Oprah would say, “One thing I know for sure is_______”. Well, one thing I know for certain is that it’s really hard to stop those voices that tell me I should do this all “better”.


Years ago when I went to my first therapist, she listened to me as I revealed my endless lists of “shouldas and couldas”. She looked sad when I finally stopped. Looking right into my eyes, softly and firmly she told me something that changed my life. “Donna, you have to treat yourself better and not constantly beat up on yourself. You set impossible standards to meet. Nobody could possibly live up to those.” But no matter how hard I tried to rewire that brain of mine, I couldn’t seem to do it. Then she showed me the way. I hope this will work for you too.


When I am in stressful times and feel afraid, I spin off into those old behaviors, expectations and self-criticism that sometimes can lead to self-loathing.  There’s no way out when you’re in that dark place of the soul, except this…

Imagine this part of you that is frightened, anxious, sad, and frozen is a 2 year old child and you are their parent or caregiver. This sweet little one is very small and can’t soothe herself. She needs an adult now. What would you do? Yell at her? Tell her she needs to stop feeling that way? Of course not! You’d pick her up or take her sweet little hand and bend down, hug her, pick her up in your arms and rock her. That’s what you need for yourself now. When we are frightened, it’s the “little person” in us that needs to be heard and cared for. She needs compassion, not criticism. Lots and lots of compassion.


So today if you’re having a “bad one” or you’re in the midst of a big change, struggling with the flu that never ends, dealing with the loneliness of being single yet another Valentine’s Day…whatever your challenge, catch yourself when you try to shut yourself up or down and remember, there’s a little one who needs your attention and love. Stop and give that to him/her…Your sweet self. That’s what I’m gonna do. It’s worked the best of anything I’ve ever known and hope it will for you.

Tired of watching sunsets alone? Looking for someone to hold you too? I can show you the way to find a special someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life. All you need to do is be open and ready to do any and everything it takes to make loving again a reality.

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

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