When is Enough Enough???


I woke up at 4:45 this morning feeling like a four year-old waiting for Santa. I am heading out for a massage and then a great cup of tea at a tea room I’ve been wanting to see. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

I wasn’t alone when my eyes opened this morning. Already having had her proverbial “cup of coffee”, one of the voices that cohabits  with me  was ready to spar. My grin suddenly disappeared and the frown line that resembles Ruth Buzzi on “Laugh In” took its place. “How could you be taking the day off when you have work to do??”, she said. OMG, we were off and running!

When is enough, enough? What is it in all of us that will not let us rest and just enjoy ourselves fully when it is time to relax and let go? I have a few ideas about that…

Thank God  I can blame my “dysfunctional family”.  I spent much of my childhood getting up at 4am, sleeping in a cold farmhouse and never being allowed to just “be”. My grandmother’s core belief was  “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”. We shelled peas if we were going to sit down. We ironed clothes if we wanted to watch TV and we ALWAYS did our chores, our homework, everyone else’s chores and everyone else’s homework before we could go out to play. Everything had to be done before there could be any sort of joy or fun. Sound familiar??

Add to that living in a country that thrives on “more and better” and spawns such management ideas as “Work smarter, not harder”. The United States boasts the highest rate of productivity, and this on the backs of American workers who come to work sick, smear rouge on their cheeks to look good in a meeting when they have the flu, and are proud to say they haven’t taken a single sick day in their careers. We coined the phrase “24/7” and wear it like a badge of honor.

Well, I have to go now. I’m so out of here, leaving “Miss Productivity” behind, giving her a Personal Day!

Don’t wait until those mule driver voices get quiet, or for someone else to give you permission. It just won’t happen. You have to begin to say, “I am SO worth it!” And if you’re having trouble hearing your own voice, give me a call. I will show you how to do some radical self-caring. You won’t have to leave your partner or your children behind to do it. Just learn that putting yourself first is a loving thing to do for not only you, but those you love.

Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love




Pulling Back the Curtain


Lately, thanks to some time under my belt doing meditation, I have been aware of how many times a day, an hour actually, I think that somehow my life is different or I’m different than anyone else. When I get up in the morning and don’t bound out of bed, pain-free and with the same  smooth face and skin I had 20 years ago, I have these insane questions…like, “Why does my _____ ache like this?”


Fast-forward to the credit union. I look at my balance, and think “”How could that possibly be right? By now, I ought to be wading through those bonds, and give a damn that the stock market just dropped 800 points. What in the world did I do wrong to have THIS balance?”


I realized those questions leave me feeling completely alone, as if I am the only one who hurts, doesn’t have enough money, hasn’t found the love of my life, can’t drink wine any more. Then, it really hits me ! I start listing every friend and family member I have. Every single one of them has been sick, has parents who are aging, are afraid of a diagnosis, or sad about some loss in their life.   They too are confused and ashamed about something they “should have done”, thinking they “wouldn’t be in this predicament”, if only.


My friends aren’t unusual or unique.  It’s just that when I pull back the curtain that isolates me and makes  me feel ashamed, embarrassed and believing it must be about me, what I see is the sea of humanity. All of us swimming in the same waters of life.


From now on when you feel alone in your struggle, whatever it is…pull back the curtain. I hope you’ll see that we’re all swimming and thrashing about in that same ocean. What makes me feel better is when I reach out to my friends and those I love and offer something, anything that might help them see they’re not alone. You never are, ya know.


Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love



Who Can You Count on These Days??


It hit me one day last week. I’d been feeling lonely that day. My head knew why. “For goodness sake, Donna. Who wouldn’t feel lonely today? All your new friends are out of town…all four of them, and your family is spending the day with friends of their own”, my sweet little parent voice reminded me. Then I realized that not only was I lonely, but resentful and a little angry (am I supposed to admit that?), that my son and his family weren’t more sensitive to my needs. They should _____. Complete this sentence with anything that sounds like “poor me” and you have it!


I made it through that day and a few days later while in therapy, which is what I call walking, it came to me! “You’ve put all your well-being eggs into one basket and you know what happens when you do that.”


Do you know what happens when you do that in your life? Perhaps, you do it in your marriage or partnership with someone you really love, but he/she is always disappointing you when they don’t understand what you want, don’t listen so well that they take away all your pain or have the answer that makes you happy. Aren’t people we love supposed to “care” i.e. “fix what makes us unhappy”? Do we  believe that if they really love us they wouldn’t or would _____. That’s what love is, right? Not to burst your bubble or break you eggs, but in fact, that’s not what love is at all. True love is when we take good care of ourselves, discovering what makes us happy and DOING it. And, it’s  listening to our partners when they are struggling and believing that they will find the answers they seek. There is no greater gift to someone we love than listening, really listening.


Beware of where your eggs reside. Your partner should have some of them in their basket for sure. That’s what makes it a relationship. And your own basket should, at all times, hold about 80% of your eggs and 20% of theirs.  Truly, that’s what a healthy relationship looks like.


As for my own pity party about my son and his “insensitivity”, he and his wife are some of the sweetest, most sensitive, caring people I know. And, in fairness to my sweet self…I have only been here a year and not knowing a soul last April and through a long winter that was too cold to mingle much, I have needed and leaned on them pretty heavily. I’ve had to put my eggs in their basket while I was filling my own, one friend at a time. They’ve been pretty darned gracious in carrying that heavy basket.


Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching and Speaking

Donna’s Big Red Chair



Big Red ChairGetting you from where you are to where you want to be!


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