Welcome to Donna’s Big Red Chair

Last year I rented an office in a beautiful area of San Francisco. I knew right away, even before my first client came to see me that I was where I was supposed to be. Maybe not Nob Hill, but my soul’s resting place. Every time I went to that office I could feel every part of me let go and feel the joy of anticipating what would happen as clients began sharing their stories.

You see, I am a storyteller by history, a Southern and Irish gift that comes with the territory. And like any good Southern folk, I love getting to know people and asking them where they are from. As you tell your story, I look for the threads that tell me who you are so that we can get you back to yourself and find the happiness you want and deserve. Most of the folks who come to see me aren’t happy at all, but that is a gift too. You see, if it weren’t for pain, we would never change.

Though I loved the work and had a few great clients throughout the year, something held me back from doing my own footwork to make the practice grow. Maybe it was living in a new city for only a short time, the lack of contacts, and my own lack of faith in me. I suspect it was all three, but the lack of faith part was what haunted me. The soul does that. It is her job because she is sent here to make darned sure that you are happy and joyful and that you don’t miss one minute of living. There is nothing in her contract about “making” a living, simply living life. She knows that part of living has to include making one, so here’s her deal…she tries to talk to you, whisper in your ear, send you tingly feelings when you hit on something that just “makes you want to shout, pick your heels up and shout!” When you are headed in the direction away from your life’s purpose, you can hear her scream, “No, cold, cold, cold…warm, now… cold…” The only problem is that there are many others hollering at the same time, so it is hard to hear her. She is soft-spoken until after time, she realizes that it is time to give it a shout out. This, to save your life and to give you backs that happiness.

This is what I believe, and I don’t claim to be “woo-woo” in who I am or the way in which I work with my clients. This other stuff, those other voices, the real time need to pay rent, send yourself to college, find a job, get health insurance, be able to retire are part of being in this body and this world. And it is after all that body’s job to carry that soul of yours around.

Here is the deal though… your life can get very lopsided and become filled with things that you think are making you happy, but can never do that. Big houses, new cars, new clothes, flying first class, spending summers in Maui are all great, but once the new car smell is gone, you feel that gut begin to tighten again and not from the pig roast down on the white sand beaches. That gut knows EVERYTHING and sometimes the soul asks for its help in keeping you awake.

So, I am ready now to practice what I preach, to hang out in the wind, fly out over the ravine and to finally go for broke. The big fear is of course that it will indeed do just that and that is like feeding fear a large chocolate cake. On a sugar high, and adrenaline rush, it will call into the hall all the voices you ever had in your life that told you to play it safe. Some will tell you to “get real and get a job.” Dream smashers come in all shapes and sizes, and they usually scream at you to stop because risk terrifies them. . You see, they aren’t in enough pain yet to do that for themselves.

My new business is called Donna’s Big Red Chair. I will be counseling, coaching and consulting with individuals, organizations, boards, businesses and anyone that is ready to find their path from feeling lousy or just “OK” to a place where they live to do the work they are here to do. It is not “woo woo” work. It IS soul work, but we do it together in a way that makes complete sense, feels good and promising right away. And it doesn’t take months of couch time. In fact we will talk while we walk, have lunch or take a hike for a few days to do some deeper work high atop Mt. Tamalpais. That sure helps with the fear, right?

It is my gift and my deep pleasure to welcome you to my new business, and my new blog. I hope that you will leave your comments, tell me what you liked, disliked, and more importantly, what you would like to know that would help you move out of a place of fear into real courage that will lead you to the most amazing happiness you have ever experienced.


  1. Donna Bailey on September 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    It is launched!! Hooray!!

  2. Gary Patton on September 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Hope this will be a great adventure, Donna!

  3. Tami-Jo Halliman on September 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Wow! You moved all the w a y to CA? How exciting. Love the blog, that lack of faith in myself is getting old too. It is a new and exciting day!

    • admin on September 12, 2013 at 3:13 am

      That lack of faith, Tami will go when you just wake up one morning, or in the middle of the night and just say…”just gotta do it!” It will come. I saw you in action, remember?

  4. Kelsey on September 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Love the name, love what you wrote here, just love the whole enchilada! Best wishes on a great and soulful adventure!

    • admin on September 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you, Kelsey! It is a wonderful adventure and I am honored you are part of it.

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