My university experience has taught me, above all else, the value of research and results. And you can never edit too much.
My life over the past decade has been a grand experiment wherein I decided to curate a better life for myself, despite the personal challenges and obstacles that came my way.
Truly, these challenges and obstacles were more than I could have anticipated, but I am now living a life that I could only have dreamed about previously, which is enabling me to call this personal experiment a success.
These days, I write for the person that I once was and for my daughter, who I want to grow up knowing the abundance of power a person holds within themselves, naturally.
It is time to take off my mask.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been an expert in masking behavior.
I did this effortlessly almost all of my life up until the past decade, and it hindered my personal growth significantly.
It was exhausting trying to navigate social situations and constantly trying to force myself to be like everyone else.
I grew tired of this behavior and couldn’t foresee continuing on my life that way, but my mother fully accepted and really knew me…so I was okay at the end of the day.
Until she died.
I felt completely alone all of a sudden.
My father and sister tried to reach me and were afraid I would attempt suicide, and they were right to think that because I was really contemplating it.
They hid all the knives in the kitchen and constantly watched over me; I remember lying in the fetal position on the kitchen floor as my father called our pharmacist, desperate for a Xanax prescription.
As soon as I took the medication, I realized a very important detail: I could not go my entire life numb to what had just happened.
I had just spent months weaning off of anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication with severe withdrawal symptoms that included seizures. I had to make a choice, and I had to make it fast.
I could no longer handle the torment that my mind was offering me, and it kept screaming that I’d killed my mother.
“No, COPD killed my mother, I just couldn’t save her…” I would try to retort.
But the thought would always come back. It was very, very hard. The day that I decided to die, I happened to be creating a collage for my mom’s upcoming funeral. It was to celebrate her life and I was in shambles.
Photo after photo of her smiling and laughing, enjoying the life that was cut short three days prior. It was all to much for me to handle, I was fragile, and at my breaking point.
Death offered relief and I so desperately wanted out of the feelings I was experiencing.
What was the point of life if it hurts this much?
As tears welled in my eyes and I desperately tried to keep myself breathing without hyperventilating, is when it happened.
To this very day, I cannot accurately describe in words the feeling that washed over me.
It saved my life that day, she saved my life that day.
Since then, I have been on a mission to figure out life, and the reason that I’m still here is because I know that bodies aren’t everything.
I would not be here if that were true.
I’m not here to argue with anybody. Religion, philosophy and literature are available for everyone and anyone who wishes to research what I discuss for themselves.
I did most of my research for free out of my local library.
If it weren’t for the very real magic that we possess, not only would I be dead now, but I know that my life as it looks now would also not have happened.
Most likely, I would have been stuck in a continuous loop of failed relationships and jobs with no direction moving forward.
Understanding energy has empowered me to be a better person and to live an authentically happy life, despite the occasional mental health roadblocks that come my way.
For the past few months I have been suffering with arising symptoms of depression, heightened anxiety and more frequent flashbacks stemming from PTSD.
After months of strict journaling and observation, I understand what would have caused these symptoms to come back.
Firstly, major over-consumption of the media, infatuation with social media and influencers, poor diet and exercise habits and lack of intrinsic work (meditation, creative writing, yoga, breath-work, reiki, etc.) had come together to weave a disaster in my mind.
After becoming a parent, my life changed so drastically and so quickly that I had put myself on the back-burner until I overheated.
I became overworked, over-stressed and slowly began to feel so overwhelmed that I stopped most of my me routine.
I had stopped wearing makeup except for meetings at work, my inner-chatter had become negative and harshly critical and attempting to grocery shop would send me into panic-mode…and that’s pre-pandemic.
In my attempt to control my life, I had fooled myself into thinking I had that control despite knowing otherwise.
With almost arrogance I shouted from the rooftops the wonders of divination and how it had improved my mental health, yet now it wasn’t working for me.
In fact it was, I it was just too noisy in my head for me to be able to hear my guidance and intuition.
I have uncluttered and reorganized my mind to appreciate this experience and relay it to other people.
The lowest moment that I most recently felt was a thought that my daughter would be better off in a world without me in it.
I cannot stress the importance of seeking help when thinking these things – I did – and now I write them here for others to know that you’re not alone in thinking these things, and that there are options available for help and healing during the worst of it.
There is no substitute for professional help.
There are many personal factors that prevent me from considering medication, but if I could not fish myself out of the dark pond of suicidal thoughts, I’d most certainly take that medication to get to a place of stability again.
There is no doubt about that.
Energy work, conscious awareness and mindfulness helped me – but these things are not substitutions for professional help.
They ought to be considered additional support to those who have professionals in their personal army – these people are here to talk and to help when we go through experiences that are beyond our emotional threshold.
Suicide should never remain an option in your mind, but rather to serve as a warning that you’re about to cross a scary line and to seek some help when you realize that.
There is no shame in asking for help and I’m always advocating for myself when I find myself stuck.
It is worth it, you are worth it.
In my educational life, I struggled significantly until my experience at Mohawk College in 2012.
From elementary school right up until university, I significantly hindered my success by refusing to express to anyone what I was going through.
I suffered in silence for years until that suffering almost killed me, when it extended beyond anything I could personally handle.
My final years in university saw me walking around medicated and zombie-like, but I was extremely thankful that it had put me in a position to successfully finish my Bachelor of Arts degree.
Because I had chosen to be a millwright apprentice with more research and preparation – and knowing full-well that I was inexperienced (we call it being green in industry) – it made the experience much easier.
I made sure to communicate with my classmates, teachers and coworkers and learning skilled trade work connected my body and mind in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I was thriving in a career for the first time in my life, despite the occasional issue that came with being female. Truly, my work had became a form of solace for me and to this day it remains as such.
There is not a day that goes by wherein I’m not grateful for my position, the company I work for or my coworkers’ constant support.
When they say choose a career you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, I’m pretty sure what I’m doing is following exactly that.
As a female millwright apprentice, my experience is unique and I don’t try to deny that.
I have overcome obstacles that my male peers have not, however I do not think that gender ought to have any critical role in choosing a career.
There have been instances where I have seen fellow male apprentices given much harder work while I get the lighter jobs, and I know that it is because I am of petite stature. Most often in these instances, the guys were just being gentlemen.
I have only ever encountered a small handful of individuals who were unwilling to accept that I was a millwright apprentice, and these people have long retired.
It was a matter of generational perspectives and differences, and had nothing to do with me personally, and I knew that.
When I encountered someone who was less-than willing to show me the work, I would search for a mentor who would.
I am confident that this is not a gender issue but a people issue; there are people who simply won’t like you and that’s anywhere you go. I don’t take it to heart, and I strongly believe that adopting that mindset helped shape me as a tradesperson.
Generally, people are very encouraging and helpful, and sometimes overtly so.
I have been very lucky to have been gifted several mentors who not only successfully applied the knowledge transfer procedure we strive for in our brother’s keeper arrangement, but who have instilled in me a strong mechanical foundation.
My mentors are the reason I was able to so quickly adapt and apply for a mechanical planning position.
The career that I perform now allows me to utilize my mechanical background (reading engineered drawings, measuring, parts, equipment, tools, etc.) and to network with an array of tradespeople (pipe-fitters, welders, carpenters, millwrights, electricians, non-destructive technicians, etc.) and to thrive in an office setting where I employ my computer skills acquired from my university days.
Eventually, it all fell into place as though I was always meant to be exactly where I am.
The thing is, when life goes awry, these experiences shape us as human beings. I thought I was going to be defeated at the death of my mother but I lived.
My first day walking into steel-making as an apprentice I thought was going to be my last, because I nearly shit my pants at how terrified I was of the unknown that I had dared to step forth into.
It was loud, dirty, masculine and scary for me. I had only ever worked retail jobs before. I have learned that fear is a very real thing that can hinder us, and I am proud of myself for continuing to paddle when I think I’m going to drown.
The waves always seem to slow down and my feet touch the ground again, until the next cycle begins.
Of all the conclusions to report about life, the realization of our inability to control our circumstances and very real ability to manipulate energy and therefore our minds are the ones that stand out as most important.
The entries that I post themed divination, spirituality and witchcraft represent this magic. I understand that many rational minds view this as willy-nilly or akin to a game, but I have used this magic with success and results for years.
It is not something that I can turn off, though it automatically shuts down when I am not in a good place to “hear” spirit. It took me a long time to calibrate myself to be able to see.
As someone who makes the bold claim to be clairvoyant or a medium, it is essential for me to point out that our mind-noise is what typically keeps most people from understanding their natural abilities and it certainly hindered me.
Pile on top of that our mainstream media, social media, fear and all sorts of societal factors and it becomes easier to understand why energy work has been superseded by technologies that focus on the body and the tangible.
I hope to dispel some popular myths and preconceptions about modern day witches – I most certainly study astrology and perform spells! – with my writing about actual experiences in being one and the usefulness/applicability of it all.
As you can see, it is very difficult for me to choose an interest to advocate for.
The interconnection of my interests and their overlapping onto one another in my ordinary life offer little ambiguity to what I can write about specifically, and my goal is to be as clear and concise as possible for each of the interests that I write about going forward.
I want to relay real experiences and examples from my life so that other people can use me as a resource for their own fountain of knowledge.
I apologize for my lack of offering personal tarot services, but with my parenting and work commitments I do not have the time nor energy to fulfill this growing passion of mine.
Spirit remains clear with me that I am to continue with the collective readings, especially since my love for amateur photography and art is beautifully expressed by the photos I take with my tarot and oracle cards.
I hope you enjoy these messages of comfort, guidance and hope as they come along and I’m excited to grow as a reader with you.
I look forward to continue writing with my critical thinking hat on and will answer any feedback or questions you may have.
I am ready to upgrade this website into yet another dream.
Until then, I am going to gently remind myself that this life is largely out of my control, but know that there is magic awaiting to assist where it can.
Copyright © The Mindful Millwright 2020. All Rights Reserved.
The Mindful Millwright
Kaila A. Notto