Uncategorized

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

 

 

Museum Wisdom

 

Yesterday I took my grandson to a new museum. It was one of those crazy, Chicago-style windy days that would blow him off his bike, so even though we both have spring fever, being inside was the smart choice.

 

Some friends here who’ve already spent winters in every possible museum or bouncy house told me this SciTech Museum might be a little advanced for a four-year old, but of course I smiled, knowing that “MY grandson” was exceptionally bright and it would be just fine. So off we went, steering my car back onto the road, fighting hurricane-force winds.

 

After taking our jackets off, and my pulling out a small rake to restore my hair to something other than a the “Back to the  Future” look, he headed straight for the chase car on the first level. Yep, they really do chase tornadoes out here in the Midwest.

 

Then I spotted the large pool-like table with two holes and a ball about the size of a tennis ball resting in one of the holes. Instructions asked, “Which hole will the ball roll into?  “Me first!”, he said as he dropped the ball into the bowl of the table. Seemed pretty obvious to his 4-year old mind and pretty obvious to me (my age shall remain with me) which hole the ball would drop into. As it rolled down and around the curved terrain, it looked as if it were going to settle right into the logical  hole. Our mouths dropped open as it then moved back up a few inches, toward the second hole. Surely, that’s where it would end up. No dice! In and out and back to hole number 1, where it finally found some peace. Wow! He’s four, and wonder was enough to make him happy. Not Grammie. She just had to make sense out of it. It was “supposed to” land where I thought it would. There was some part of me that felt a little out of control, wanting the outcome to match what I thought I knew to be true.

 

We moved on to watch a machine that replicated a tornado, a skeleton that talked, and trying to dodge 85 kids there on a field trip. My mind was still thinking about that table. It didn’t make sense.

 

So often we go through our lives thinking things will end up a certain way, that people will behave in just the way we think they should. That our bodies will always act and be the way we want them to be. That our friends and partners will be who we want them to be. That life should be what we were led to believe… ordered, predictable and understandable, if we just put our minds to it.

 

It’s taken most of my life to finally get it. Life, bodies, relationships, plans, goals, expectations are completely unpredictable. Our need to control, to be perfect, and to hope beyond hope that we will avoid pain, disappointment, sadness and heartbreak if we just do the “right thing”. That success will come, money will remain in our retirement accounts, and we will be happy if we only work hard. It only takes living long enough, watching those myths dissolve and finally knowing that life is, as the Buddhists have been saying for thousands of years, unpredictable and filled with mystery.

 

We headed out of the first floor exhibits a few hours later. Walking by that curvy bowl of a table, I couldn’t resist picking up that ball and dropping it into the bowl again . As I let it go, I saw the title of that exhibit…”CHAOS”.  Yep, that’s life. Make the best of every moment and enjoy the ride!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red Chair

Is it a Turning Point for Men and Women?

 

This morning will be an opportunity for generations, both old and new, to see some truth about some men and a courageous woman and the struggle to find ourselves and our “rightful” place in the world in which we all live We’ve been evolving since the dawn of civilization, and today thanks to technology, we can witness a fork in the road that will allow us to see where we’ve been and where we now must go.

 

No matter your politics, what I hope you watch today is just how powerful our ego and our primitive brains are in our daily lives. It might help to see that Senate committee as if you are watching Planet of the Apes.

 

What is at stake today is fear and the loss of power that has protected men forever. When the fearful are IN power, their grip is like a choke-hold and the question within the fear is “What will I be if I lose my power?” Anihilation is what many of these older men fear. Who WILL they be when they have to share both power and responsibility for their past actions? Who were the teachers of these men? Why did they need to believe that absolute power and control was the only way to stay alive? Are they really the bad guys in any of this or were they set up with an impossible task…to take care of everything, including killing anybody that might harm their families? And does any of this matter now when we see the destruction that has occurred while they’ve worn this warrior mantel?

 

Today you will see the destruction this ego and power and fear has done to one woman. The “boys will be boys” belief that our culture espoused for decades. A hall pass, get out of jail free card that young men have been given in their sexual lives, destroying the lives of children, teens and adult women who are forever changed by violence against them.

 

To many of these men, power remains more important than any girl or woman, more important than their own integrity. Control over everything, including women’s bodies, their right to choose when they want children will be wrapped up in their final votes.

 

We can only hope and pray that some moral progress has been made since Joe Biden prematurely gaveled the Thomas hearing to a close and sacrificed the life on Anita Hill in exchange for power. Integrity is a non-negotiable in all of us. When we violate it, our wonderful soul just won’t stand for it. If those on the committee, both men and women choose power over fairness and justice, their souls won’t let them forget it. Problem is, the victim has spent her whole life unable to forget it.

 

So, I pray today for a surprise. A wonderful miraculous surprise that will show us the power of truth, love, justice and our compass that we call integrity. We don’t know the truth. Only those involved may claim that. But, we do know that the search for truth is essential, and this committee has not given these women the time of day, nor the time to hear the evidence that just MIGHT give them enough truth so that they can do what is right. If they can find the courage to risk their office, believe that voters will  support  them and their decisions to seek the truth, we will have changed the course of history, and one in every four women in this country who has been the victim of sexual abuse can breathe a little easier tomorrow.

Page 1 of 2612345...1020...Last »