Millennial Mom, her head and shoulders, directly gazing at viewer.

Love Yourself First

I have pondered long the difference between selfishness and self-love. My husband has a problem with this one, says people will take it the wrong way.  Egos will read this as license to think only of themselves.  Mayhem will ensue.  That I fail to acknowledge the true One-Self of the enlightened. But I trust my readers will understand what I’m saying, largely because many have lived the consequences of what happens when we don’t heed this advice. Below, I share why this matters, and what it means in our day-to-day life. We can heal the world by first healing ourselves,…

Millennial Mom's face, eyes tightened in frustration.

I Didn’t See This Coming

LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE One of the basic laws of life is the constant of change.   Living in fear and resistance, it can be too much.  Lack of care for psychological stress can tip one into despair. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. — Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), John Lennon THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL Our culture teaches us we can get what we want if only we try harder, sacrificing to get where we want to be.  Today’s norms have us moving away from family support,  over-committing ourselves so we can enjoy all life has…

Millennial Mom Battles Monkey Mind

Meditation has saved me.  Along with exercise, a nutritious diet, great sleep, sunshine and fresh air, a daily meditation practice is key to my health and well-being. Much of our suffering is caused by our thinking.  We can free ourselves from this suffering by learning to recognize what is true in the present moment.  We do this through the regular practice of mindfulness, otherwise known as meditation.   – Tara Brach, PhD WHY MEDITATE Very practically, meditation has been shown to help manage pain, depression, stress, and cortisol levels, as well as raise our happiness set point, that point on…

Millennial Mom's hair blows in the wind as she watches a beautiful sunset.

There Will Be an Answer

When life is challenging us, we may push away our discomfort, wanting life to be different.  In this place of fear, we are lacking faith that we are being led through a gateway to deeper understanding. Sometimes the best thing we can do is … let it be. Soothing our suffering with the wonder and magic of our natural surroundings can help ease the pain, until our faith is restored, until we know from deep within … THERE WILL BE AN ANSWER. INSPIRATION On the 49th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Let It Be single, I honour that…

Millennial Mom, on floor, in distress.

Life School in a Hippie Rock Opera

I believe life is about learning to love. And that we are given lessons in various forms, be it relationships, events, stories, religion, art, or anything, really. Always seeking wisdom, I listen for answers everywhere. Here I share with you a timely and profound life lesson which took me years to understand, and one which I revisit regularly. THIS IS ABOUT SPIRITUALITY, NOT RELIGION All religions teach stories from which we can learn. I’m sharing an Easter story here, but only because Christianity is the religion I was raised in, and am familiar with. I don’t attend church any longer,…

Smiling, happy family including Millennial Mom, husband, and four children

The Complexity of Love

If you’ve seen my work, you know my paintings aren’t pretty pictures. My art explores illusions, suffering, relationships, love, courage, trying to make sense of it all. Loving Can Hurt is about deep, long-lasting, Real Love. Here I attempt to lift the veil for a moment, and explore the idea that the true experience of family life is not the one we portray in our family portraits of harmony and connection. Those moments occur, sure. But many of us have seen another reality go down behind the scene captured by the camera, one which we often do not share in…

Millennial Mom, on her knees, gazing down in defeat.

Millennial Mom Surrenders…And It’s Not What You Think

I love this painting, because it is one of the transformational points in the Millennial Mom story. Deep in her emotional underworld of despair and grief, she finds the key to change and resiliency. When most people think of surrender, they think of weakness, and failure. I think surrender is about strength, faith and maturity, and is critical to peace of mind. Just let go. Let go of how you thought life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness. – unknown, quote found in my journal OUR CULTURE OF MAKING IT…

MM, hands on hips, contemplating a row of minivans for sale on a car lot.

Sigh…It’s No Batmobile

  The dreaded minivan. This was the day my ego….perhaps not died…but definitely took a big hit. It was difficult to accept that a very unsexy minivan was the practical choice for our large family and stretched resources. For one who values beauty and style, it was very humbling to accept yet another hit against my delusions of sexy and cool. I tried to christen her “Deathstar”, or even “Party Bus,” to maintain some element of boss. My kids settled on “Giant Marshmallow.” But… you know, over time… function, peace of mind from responsible spending, and the freedom of regard for protecting…

Married woman, dressed as a superhero, rakes a vast lawn before a beautiful family home, preservng the myth of the american dream.

Millennial Mom Preserves the Fortress Grounds

Have you ever told yourself you’d be happy if only you could get control of the mess in your life? This myth persists in my life, and every spring, a fierce internal war rages anew: Victim vs. Wiser Self. It’s the Battle of the Baker Grounds, and it’s ugly. I like order, neatness, and beauty in my surroundings. Those things feed my soul. Chaos, mess and unkempt appearances stress me. Not that I can maintain my life the way I’d like. I can’t do it all. Not unless that is all I do. I know, because I’ve been miserable trying….

MM wet vacuuming a flooded basement.

Millennial Mom Battles the Dungeon Demon

    Do you know the joke that goes, “If you ask God for patience, he’ll give you a long bank line”? I have a story to illustrate this is no joke. I have a need for safety. And my husband is away a LOT for work. In the past, whenever my safety felt compromised, I didn’t trust my own ability to handle it. I would wish for someone strong to help me deal with the situation. Perhaps you can see where this is going…. Almost all of the challenging situations in my life have occurred when my husband was…