Toronto

There’s something alluring about Toronto. When we lived there we loved it. Hamilton has its perks; it is a quieter, more industrialized town just forty-minutes outside of the big city. Head the other way and in about the same amount of time you can hit Niagara Falls; I can see the draw that Hamilton has with its location smack dab in the middle of two Canadian landmark cities.

Summertime in Toronto is almost indescribable; its energy so palpable as you wander through the streets on foot or crammed in a TTC streetcar. Some restaurants are so packed that you’re often dining with a stranger in the seat next to you; it is intimate yet anonymous at the same time and I love it.

Walking down Queen Street West has to be one of my favorite adventures if I’m in the mood for shopping; hit up Kensington Market and all my metaphysical goodies await. And the smell. Walking beside a patio filled with people sipping wine and enjoying an ice cold beer alongside tapas; talking and laughing and looking ultra cool and relaxed and especially on-trend. We’d walk to Loblaws on Queen Street and then walk back to our condo on Spadina and Bremner; our arms heavy but our minds heavier filled with images of city life and grocery bags full of what will eventually become dinner.

Up past the twentieth floor, I can see so much activity. Our condo faces North so I can see Lake Ontario and the highway, too. Toronto is a city filled with the most eclectic combination of human beings; you’ll find packs of similarity yet differences are far more vivid. Hamilton, Toronto and Niagara Falls are like siblings; Hamilton the rugged steelworker, Toronto the chic businessperson and Niagara the earthy and fun-loving child.

When I roam the streets of Hamilton I see big yellow and black signs supporting our Tiger-Cats and maroon for our McMaster Marauders; cross the Skyway on the QEW and there is the familiar sight of the industrial bay-front to welcome you in. Keep going down that QEW and eventually industry fades away; vineyards replace concrete and grey turns to green. Or maybe you’ll be compelled to hit up the casino; or perhaps the bars frequented by Niagara College and Brock University students. Take a walk near The Falls to feel the mist touch your skin.

I’ve not a favorite city; each offers its own unique experiences and I’m happy to be sandwiched in the middle with the option to go anywhere when I feel like it. I totally understand that not everyone is into the metaphysical stuff so I’m just going to speak about my experiences rather than try and focus on either tarot or my career in the skilled trades; I’d like my writing to be as fluid as the water flowing down the Niagara River. Life is my muse; everything became vivid once I opened my Third Eye. I draw from this “eye” to project it into yours, here.

My husband Tim and I are excited to announce that we’ve recently purchased our first home together. He’s the one who manages our money; I was terrible at financial management before we met and now I’m pleased to say we are both financially healthy as we grow our little family.

His knowledge and expertise in finance and property ownership allowed us to purchase our dream home quickly and offer our children an upbringing in a home we’ve wished for together for years. We go well together like yin and yang; he holding the more serious and realistic view of life to balance my more mystical, ethereal viewpoint.

Divination tools have definitely helped me get to where I am and so has developing my conscious awareness, eating consciously and taking daily steps in ensuring my self-care. Everything good in my life catapulted when I met Tim, a handsome vegetarian trades-person who could show me how to eat properly for a physically demanding job without consuming meat; his support towards my lifestyle propelling my lust to know more which saw me dive deeper into the occult.

In life, inevitably we will suffer.

It is how we deal with the stress that defines whether we’re living happily or in hell; I choose to live out my days with a smile on my face and my smile is no longer dependent on the external world. Recently (as I write this) my father was hospitalized while I became his primary care contact and began helping him organize CCAC home health care; he’s been battling Reiter’s Syndrome and recently severe complications due to liver cirrhosis.

When I went to see him on Christmas Eve he couldn’t move so I convinced him to allow me to call paramedics; he stayed in the hospital for five days and came home early 2020. As I write this my life has been particularly stressful and I have been actively taking notes on how my self-care tools help me in my time of need so that I can help others who are struggling, too.

I had hit a “low” in my depression when all of this happened; I could feel it coming on and held tightly onto my boat as I rode the giant waves through another unexpected storm.

The days that I wasn’t with my dad at St. Joe’s or at his house preparing for him to come home saw me curled up in a ball in my bed; my energy was extremely low due to the circumstances of dad’s health, the unknown and the simultaneous general sadness of not being able to simply enjoy the holidays with my small family. I didn’t see my daughter open Christmas presents and that was hard because this was the first year she was cognizant of the holiday; we also lost a close family member just before the holidays which added to my list called “Fuck This Sucks”.

There have been days where my energy was so low I could only lay on the couch; these days are required to recharge and I always take these days to use my journal to reflect on what is required from me going forward. Mindful coloring using pencil crayons and adult coloring books – like the Disney animal themed one I received from my sister shown in the next photo – also works to take the mind away during difficult times.

Music is especially soothing during those types of days and can help with relaxing, too. And of course I consulted my cards. The elements of our earth can help us if we know how to use them; water is my favorite element because it can be used in so many ways and it’s much cheaper than fancy crystals if you’re just starting out!

I just recently acquired my first real crystal – an amethyst – which was a gift from my mother-in-law for Christmas. Hot baths to soak the skin – with Epsom salts! – drinking water to increase chi flow inside the body and hot Japanese rice tea to calm my nerves are just some of the ways I use water in daily practice to assist with my well-being. Pop, sugary drinks and caffeine are all restricted for they are particularly disruptive; I am known to eliminate these substances altogether during times of crises.

The moon cycle affects us and one major change that happened to me is that my menstrual cycle linked up with the full moon cycle upon working with it – sorry if that’s TMI lol – but I found this helpful in connecting with my divine feminine and honoring the body I was given from this earth. These cycles and patterns once illuminated only serve to increase our connection to the earth we came from.

Sometimes I will put an empty jar outside in the backyard to collect rainwater for spell-work if the moon cycle supports my desires; these “weird” things have shaped my life in ways I never thought possible and now I write them here for others to learn and benefit from them. There was a time where I had no idea where this life would take me. I worked diligently to give my life a chance to show meaningfulness behind all of the grief, sorrow and despair I had been feeling…and the universe didn’t let me down.

I take life day by day; minute by minute. I’ve been living consciously for over six years now and I’ve seen my life flourish whereas before I thought I was destined to fail in every aspect of it. The roadblocks aren’t there to stop me like I once thought they were; they are placed there to allow me to expand my mind enough to see a way around them. On days like today, I am thankful and appreciate a clear blue sky and some fresh air with my daughter.

Some days are hard, some days are easy; some days are so manic that nothing helps other than to sit in the peaceful silence and wait for the chance to catch my breath. Typically, Tim heads out the door for work first in the mornings but before he does he always plants a kiss on my forehead; and I can smell the coffee being freshly brewed from all the way upstairs as I make my way down to him to say goodbye.

Five in the morning comes early; some nights I’m writing or YouTubing ’till midnight and I don’t get to sleep very long but life ticks on so fast some days it’s – and it’s crazy how much less sleep is required when energy is meaningfully spent each day. Dropping Mila off at daycare is always a treat; we put her in home daycare ran by a friend of the family who feels like home. She’s an angel for sure; PTSD reared its ugly head when I went back to work and started worrying about my daughter in unimaginable/excruciating ways; my care provider always texts me reassuring words, photos and mantras to help me relax when I tell her I’m suffering.

How did I get so lucky?

Oh, and the new home we purchased was owned by Tim’s uncle! Another magical twist of fate happened to be that his uncle owned our dream house so we were able to purchase it upon his wanting to downsize; it was just a lot sooner than expected but definitely a welcome surprise. To know that our home was well-cared for throughout its life and filled with love by our own family members is immensely wonderful for me; especially since energies matter very much to me and knowing our house history as a witch is immeasurable.

 One thing that I love about our new home is the amount of nature that surrounds it; mature trees, a gorgeous ravine and plenty of green-space are what we will be calling our backyard by the end of January! In just three years of knowing one another, Tim and I have grown exponentially as a couple; we often refer to ourselves as a “team”. I believe our pairing is a twin flame pairing and I wanted to keep that quiet because of all the buzz around the term; I didn’t want anyone rolling their eyes when I said it lol.

Yeah, you…lol.

A twin flame partnership is when two people come together as parts of one soul which were divided before birth; when these souls acknowledge their authenticity as individuals they can have the opportunity to meet and become one again, fulfilling a higher purpose. This website is a direct product of our partnering; themindfulmillwright.com is part of our larger mission.

Empowering other people to live extraordinarily while maintaining ordinary lives. When I first met Tim I was doing a lot of spiritual research because I didn’t understand what I was experiencing with him and had thought it was “too good to be true”. That’s totally rude of me lmao but I had preconceived notions about him because of the way he looked (he’s attractive lol).

He ended up being truly authentic and his warmth and kindness only drew me closer to him; not to mention that I’d ask my guides to have him say something and then he would…lol. He started to fill in the gaps where I could use help (finances) and I can see where I fill in his (magic); he can be a little more ridged and structured while I am more fluid and flexible. He sees stark reality whereas I am a starry dreamer; we collaborate and pair well together and I thank the cosmos for aligning us together once again. We have separate hobbies and support one another respectfully; we take care as a couple and as parents yet nurture one another as individuals, too.

Having the balance, support and understanding reach far beyond my ability to offer appreciation; we are just too intertwined as individuals I feel as though we’ve been together for lifetimes. On my first day as a millwright apprentice, my journeyman mentor handed me a pneumatic ¾” drive impact gun and I thought I was going to throw up because I didn’t know how to use it. Now, I use 1” drive pneumatic guns and barely bat a manicured eyelash.

On my first date with Tim I thought I was going to throw up because I couldn’t imagine a person like himself ever liking someone like me. The scariest shit I’ve experienced has benefited me the most! As a couple, we love to eat together. Tim is of Italian and Hungarian ancestry while I am of Irish, Scottish and German descent. Yet we both lean toward Asian cuisine most often if given the choice.  I believe this particular draw in food choice is due to a previous incarnation together but that’s for another time lol.

Touhenboku Ramen in Toronto was hands down the best ramen we’ve tried yet and Saigon Lotus has some of the most drool inducing vegan pho that you’ll ever taste in your life…I swear on my life lol. The best thing about Toronto has to be the endless vegan and vegetarian food options; Atami Sushi and Noodle Me are favorites when we’re home in Hamilton as they’re affordable and delicious options available locally. When Hamilton hosts its Art Crawl on James Street North we like to bring Mila down for a walk; there is a vendor that does map art of local areas for the GTA and we’ve collected a piece for each area we’ve ever lived at both single and together.

Collecting meaningful trinkets and memories are my favorite thing to do. When I first found out I was pregnant we did the “City Pass” for Toronto and saw the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Casa Loma landmarks to name a few; I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and threw up at each location all while trying to maintain sanity but that week remains one of my best memories to date. The constant fluctuation between the highs and the lows are what shape my experience here and I look forward to where this road continues to take me.

Writing about ramen made me hungry so I’m going to go watch Chonnyday on YouTube and be jealous of their culinary travels; or maybe I’ll grab a beer and see you on YouTube.

Either way…I’ll talk to you soon!

Kaila A. Notto

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