Authenticity

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

 

It’s Safe to Love and Be Loved

 

 

This morning I was listening to a guided meditation. God bless technology and apps that can bring this kind of peace to my mornings. And, how often when I’ve been steeped in the down-side of technology for the past two weeks do I remember the upside of what it brings to my life every single day? Love and loving are like that too. I can get lost in the memories of the past that can make me want to ditch the whole dang thing. 

 

Her soothing voice gave me permission to lie down rather than sit up straight with my feet on the floor and my posture erect. Believe me, at 6 am the word “erect” is not in my vocabulary…well, that’s not totally true. OK…back to meditation. After a few deep breaths, my guide told me to think of someone with whom I feel totally at ease, with whom I can be myself and who makes me feel totally safe. My gratitude for more than one friend who fit that bill rose from the depths of my soul. How lucky was I that I had to decide which one of them I’d focus on this time?

 

One of my friends in California drifted into my heart. I remembered many times when we were together at her home, at restaurants…it didn’t matter which memory arose, what was so beautiful was that each and every time we were together over the years, I never had to be anyone other than who I was at that moment in time. No memories of feeling judged or her wanting me to change. Just the hum of acceptance and with that, the feeling of complete relaxation and comfort…the kind I seek daily, and this morning, through meditation.

 

“Now, think of the person you want in your life to be your next life partner”, she said. “Imagine yourself and this person together at an event, a date, a place. Do you feel that same safety and acceptance you felt when you remembered your friend?” I did! I knew then, that all those years when I’d journal about feeling safe, it wasn’t an anomaly, a wounded woman who had not been safe as a child. It was simply “normal” that a healthy relationship from the moment you meet someone MUST give you the feeling that you are safe, that you are like treasured friends. There are no exceptions. 

 

So, if you are in a treasured relationship, ask yourself if you feel that safety so essential to trust and the ability to truly love. If not, perhaps it’s time to look at that and see if perhaps there’s a way to make the changes necessary to feel safe and accepting of one another again.

 

If you are living solo, and long to find the next love of your life, now you know that this next love will begin with friendship. That you will feel safe from the first coffee date onward. Trust yourself and open your heart. You will know the difference between authentic healthy love simply by asking, “Does this person make me feel safe?” You deserve to feel safe and loved by another. 

 

Are you tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to find an amazing person who makes you feel safe? Don’t be afraid. I am here to join you as your guide on this journey to love.

Contact me and we will set up a complimentary session and get you on your way to love!

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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