Self Care

Could We Just Skip Valentine’s Day?



Valentine’s Day memories go way back for most of us.



Does anyone remember those packages of flimsy cardboard Valentines that we bought at Walgreens, making sure we had enough for everybody in our classroom? It was such fun cutting with our blunt end scissors, making those heart-shaped pockets that would hold all the “love” and glitter from the Valentines that the other kids would surely give us.  

Did you ever come to school before the BIG DAY and peek into your pocket to see how many were in there? 


This day, touted as the “Day of Love”, is loaded for most of us, both men and women. It is an “either/or” kind of holiday, one of anticipating and waiting to see IF and How Much you’re loved. When we’re not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we’re NOT loved…at least this year.


No matter how many ways my brain tells me that this is all a manufactured holiday and that real love is not buried in chocolate or expensive dinners, my heart still aches every single year I find myself “alone” on Valentine’s Day. It’s in my bones, this message about February 14 and I’m angry about that.


What do I recommend to all my readers as a way of coping with this holiday? Find a good friend who loves you even without your make-up, with dirty hair and in your ratty pajamas. If you are a man, celebrate not having to figure women out on this holiday! But, make a plan! Avoid restaurants at all costs and if you enjoy wine, buy yourself a nice bottle and enjoy every drop. No conversation is off-limits, but be sure they contain words of love, acceptance and joy for all the love that IS in your life EVERY YEAR.


Don’t fight the feelings around this holiday. Give advertising and marketing its due for being the King of Brainwashing. And remember, soon it will be over for another 365 days! The holiday, not love!

Alone this year? Leave your message in the Comments Section to share with others what you plan to do for Valentine’s Day!


Do you want to do everything you can so that next year, you’ll have a special someone to share not only Valentine’s Day together, but the fun and exciting next chapter of your amazing life?

I can help you begin today if you’ll call me for a Complimentary Strategy Session at 510-817-4242!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


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 is Fly Fishing Like Love?




A few years ago I was trolling on Match and met a man that seemed coffee-worthy, not to mention he wrote so beautifully, I couldn’t wait to meet another writer. Arriving early at the art museum, I found the ladies room, making  sure every hair was in place and that I didn’t have raccoon eyes. As I opened the door a tall, slim silver fox stood there by the elevator. Believe it or not, he actually looked like his photo. “Hi”, he said with the most gorgeous Southern drawl mixed with some California sophistication and I was off and running.


Some weeks spent in the pink cloud condos passed quickly and smoothly. As is always true when we tumble head over heels for someone, that wall of oxytocin keeps everything but perfection from reaching new lovers. Thank God for that and as I always say, enjoy the ride!


The details are not important to the story, but one day I had a rare but very real meltdown. Something very old in me was triggered by him and my poor body was flooded in fear. That’s when it happened. Not usually a man comfortable with emotions or touch, he took me in his arms and held me, and then said my magic words. “I will never leave you.” 


My life was not spent in Who-ville and in fact, I moved 17 times before I graduated high school. My daddy, for whom I was a princess, committed suicide when I was at the tender age of 12. I quite literally thought I would die from heartbreak. And, I didn’t but it took many decades to heal and to trust that when someone I love leaves for any reason, I won’t die. 


Mr. Southern Charm and I didn’t last long but I had fallen deeply in love with him. Deeper than I had ever allowed myself to go, no longer my usual one- foot- on- the- other- side- of –the- threshold. So, with my heart and soul heavily invested, I was devastated. Months later I wondered if I would ever be able to love again. 


I not only survived that loss, but have managed to navigate through new relationships, sadness when they didn’t work then get right back up,  bringing my new best self to the next one. And, here’s what I learned from the Southern Man that changed my life. I learned that my biggest “hurt place” is  loss and ensuing feelings of abandonment…of course it is. And, that no matter how much I heal over a lifetime, I will always long to hear a man I care deeply about say, “I will never leave you.” That’s like an award-winning lure for me. It will get me every time.


Being aware of what your lures are creates not only an opportunity to be compassionate with yourself and your injured places, but it will show you what hooks you to the wrong person over and over again. 


What are the lures that keep hooking you? What will you do to take care of yourself as you look for someone wonderful, healthy and ready for love?


Me?…Well, my skin will always be soft and thin in the area of abandonment. Even when I meet Mr. Right, I will remind myself, at some point that we all leave someone we love behind when our sweet lives are done. And, when I am fortunate enough to find love again, I’ll enjoy the ride!


Do you want to kiss more than your dog and are you ready to do whatever it takes to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life? 
Email me at and let’s schedule a complimentary session to talk about just how I can help you find them!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair






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