The Keeper of the Shoe


I recently met a man who brought with him a story about a woman who had recently left him. The narrative wasn’t simple and he was left standing in a big puddle of WTF!!?? His version of the story was one of many sweet months of fun and companionship. She had just stuck her neck out from under a shell in which she had been living since her husband passed five years earlier. I can only imagine how this world of dating looked after a long marriage that ended when cancer took her only love. And, now meeting this man who was solid, sweet and no doubt a loving new partner, she must have let love in again while still gripping that photo by her bed to hold on to those memories as well.


One day this sweet man was rushed to the hospital with pneucoccal pneumonia….you know the one that can kill you, the one that our doctors tell us “natural medicine new-agers” we REALLY need to get vaccinated for? Before this bacteria took him to the hospital, he was a healthy man, skiing the powder in Utah at 71 and still racing cars. And, after that three days in the hospital, he was back!


She came to visit him in the hospital, brought him food and stayed in touch, but the touch felt to this man as if it was now cool and distant. He must have felt the chill before she arrived to tell him it was over. Not only was it over, but she told him she didn’t ever want to see him again, not to call or contact her and left. Thus, standing in the WTF?! began, as did the constant questions…”What did I do?” being chief among them. No way to know. Only she had that answer and all contact was now gone.


In desperation, he went to her house to try and get some resolution, just an answer that he could understand. Was it too much to ask? The only thing he learned on that visit was that this 60 year old woman was now dating a 31 year old man. She had found a new love…was that the reason? It didn’t give him a moment of solace. and when I met him, it was the first thing he told me. He still had to know what he did and how bad it must have been for her to walk away, never to talk again? Can you imagine total rejection from out of the blue and no way to resolve it (that he knew how to do)?


So, he meets a new woman three months after this devastating experience and now, will watch her every move, every innuendo, timing of her return calls. She is the Keeper of the Other Shoe. And, where can that lead either of them?

Most of us who live and love long enough will get hurt in love. Sometimes it’s our choice of partners, death, divorce, old patterns that lead us to choose those who can’t love anyone and though it’s not personal, our hearts get broken.

After heartbreak, we need time to heal. Only we know how long that is. Don’t listen to otwho want to tell you what your timetable should be. Take the time. Ask for help from friends, clergy or a professional, but know that you must heal your broken heart so that when that next opportunity to love appears in all its splendor, you can grab it and cherish whatever happens. You won’t have a sore neck or a guarded heart while waiting for that shoe to drop.

Take your time…

If your heart is broken from losing someone you loved, it will mend. I would love to show you how to get from pain to joy again.

Text or call me at 510-87-4242 and let’s talk about it.

Teleconferencing now to keep us all safe and sound.


sad toddler


A dear friend of mine’s best friend just passed away several days ago. Another sweet friend just found out his brother’s cancer is back and this time, clinical trials aren’t possible now. I want to help them and yet, feel that what I offer isn’t enough. Like some mother bear, I want to bare my teeth, protect them from the pain of it…and I know all I can offer is what I have to give…love and understanding.


Have you ever noticed how you struggle to ask for help when the truth is you are so afraid, feel so powerless, sad and  feel like a toddler who screams because he hasn’t yet developed words to ask for what he needs? And yet, even when we do have the words, it’s hard for most of us to say, “Please help me. I don’t know what to do.”


David Whyte says it so eloquently…”Help is strangely, something we want to do without, as if the very idea of it disturbs and blurs the boundaries of our individual endeavors, as if we cannot face how much we need in order to go on.” 


To need help makes us feel vulnerable and incompetent because the crazy messages that we should be able to do it ourselves runs a mobius loop in our sweet little egoistic brains. The real truthWe are born with an absolute necessity for help, grow well only with a continuous succession of extended hands, and as adults depend upon other for our further successes and possibilities in life even as competent individuals.”-David Whyte, Consolations


Not only do we need help, but human beings must help each other in order to find their place in the fabric of life. By giving to those we love, and even to those we don’t know, life-giving hormones flood our bodies. Powerlessness brings on anxiety and is damaging to our hearts…and our souls. So, practice asking for help. Start small by asking someone safe for something you need. Gradually, you’ll begin to see that this is how we thrive and feel less alone in this world that sometimes fills us with powerlessness.


If you’ve been thinking about finding love in this new year but just don’t know how to break out of the patterns of fear, poor choices in the past or wondering if there’s anybody out there, I can help you. It would be my pleasure to be your guide. When you are truly ready, just know that I am here and will offer you a Complimentary Session so that we can see what is possible when you ask for some help. 

Need help finding love?  Call me for a Complimentary Session today!

510-817-4242 or

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair



How to Restore Your Faith in Love

glasses clinking


Go to a bar!!  OK, I am the last person to recommend drowning sorrow in alcohol, but on occasion, it’s just fine. And you never know what kind of love you might find there.


I found love in a bar last evening. And I left with a new someone that I definitely love.


A woman friend I recently met called to say, drop what you are doing and join me for a hamburger (at the local Trader Vic’s only a boardwalk away). I was just about to put some Trader Joe’s sodium soaked, high carbs on a slab into the oven, put my post-Grammie feet up and accept that this was how I was going to spend my Saturday night when I remembered what a 94 year old woman once told me. I asked her what the secret of living a long life was. She said, “Don’t sit down, keep learning, don’t turn on the TV and say ‘Yes’ to everything you feel like saying ‘No’ to.”


Arriving, I saw my friend sitting with 4 senior women and 1 man, walker parked beside him. He was our “designated driver”! I sat beside Jane, a woman fro Latvia who later told me her husband was a jazz artist and revealed more than once how their great sex kept him from behaving like a touring musician. There were stories in that group that nobody would believe, except the young couple who were sitting next to us. He was French, 28 and cute as a button. She was from Michigan and they were there to watch that gorgeous sunset. And the party was about to begin.


By evening’s end, we were joined by a man from Jamaica via the state of Georgia. There was the bi-sexual couple, a May-December romance. One romantic man delivered every woman’s fantasy by declaring his love for her to the entire restaurant. And all the while, old talked to young about lives lived, Pokemon Go,  about politics and getting out the vote. We clinked glasses “to love!” and we knew we were talking about more than romantic love. People of color, seniors, lesbians, and even the waitstaff joined with us to toast the real America. We were united. We knew once again what really loving each other means. We felt the oneness and joy of connection.


I walked home with my new friend and even though I didn’t have a man to kiss goodnight now, I knew a love that night that was equally joyful and it was the perfect antidote to a week of watching the Republican Convention spewing hatred. Go Love!!!!!

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