Please consider Subscribing to our eNews to stay up to date with our community-based content as we continue to Support Local in West Toronto & Midwestern Ontario.
Understanding The Human Mind
Trust Your Gut
Mind Over Motor
Thinking Outside The Blue Box
Art Is Love
2023 Arts & Culture Edition Cover Story Featuring Carolyn Grazini
By: Roger Tumminieri
I’ve always had an affinity for Toronto neighbourhoods. Growing up in the city (Agincourt, to be exact), I developed a passion for the uniqueness and diversity of every distinct pocket of Toronto - which is effectively a city of neighbourhoods.
I’ve been ‘Supporting Local’ with my work since 2015 when I started the Etobicoke Lakeshore Press (even before that, if I take into account the first magazine I published back in 2006 for West Queen West) and have carried that passion with me ever since.
After moving from Long Branch in South Etobicoke to the village of Flesherton in Grey Highlands, I began to view our new country communities through that same lens - seeking the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between places like Meaford and Thornbury, Southampton and Duntroon, and even Markdale and Collingwood.
How happy was I when I stumbled upon Carolyn Graziani’s social media accounts:
Her illustrations of Toronto neighbourhoods and locales across Grey-Bruce-Simcoe struck a chord with me. So much so, I was inspired to profile a collection of her work as the feature story in this month’s Arts & Culture edition.
If you’re a fan of locally-inspired art, consider ordering a print featuring your own town or neighbourhood.
All work credited to Artist: Carolyn Graziani
Arjan is a graphic designer with over 25 years of experience working in the Toronto advertising world. Originally raised in Owen Sound, Arjan and his family left the Big Smoke in 2020 and built a home in Priceville. With a passion for conversation, Arjan loves connecting with local businesses to capture the heart and purpose behind each brand. Need some help getting clear on your logo and branding? Arjan’s your guy! He can create postcards, stationary, flyers for mail-outs, tradeshow banners, vehicle design wraps, real estate/construction site signs, as well as online assets for social media, magazine ads, and websites. Arjan loves working with people to see their vision come to life! In his free time, you’ll find Arjan cycling the stunning landscape of Grey County and tending to his homestead with his wife, Allison, and their two daughters. They host guests at their air bnb “Kinfolk Cabin” and love introducing folks to the many incredible businesses in the area!
ARJAN HAAK DESIGN
Spring Gardening Do's & Don'ts
By: Becky Bouwmeester
It’s hard to believe that spring is almost here! With drifting snow and squalls, imagining the green grass and leaves on the trees seems slightly farfetched in possibility. But thankfully, it is on its way!
If you’re like me, you’ll be anxious to get outside and start tending to your garden. Days with plus side temperatures make it tempting to pull on your boots and tackle the yard work.
It’s ok to be excited, but before you get started, here is a list of some Do’s and Don’ts to help you enjoy and be successful in your garden this Spring.
Don’t: Prune if you’re not sure. Shrubs like lilacs, spring flowering spirea, big-leaf hydrangeas, and weigela bloom on old wood, and pruning these plants can remove this years flower crop. If you’re not sure what you’re pruning or if you should prune, take some pictures to your local nursery for their expertise and guidance. Also, remember to clean and disinfect your pruning instruments between plants to reduce spreading disease amongst plants.
Do: Spring is the best time to apply mulch, and using a generous amount of natural, undyed mulch product will help reduce weed load, retain moisture, and help feed your soil as it breaks down. A 3-4” layer in your beds is ideal and is easiest done when plants are still small and developing.
Don’t: Fight the urge to start up the lawn mower! Running or using heavier equipment on moisture saturated lawns can cause soil compaction which will affect the plant health, as well as making your lawn susceptible to machine damage. Nobody likes ruts. Ever.
Do: Check your plants and trees that are above ground for signs of animal or winter damage, canker, visible disease, or pest infestation. Taking note of these things can help with your future decisions in plant purchases, as well as help you control transmission to other plants, maintaining your garden’s plant health.
Don’t: Looking at your calendar instead of watching the weather for signs that we are going to be receiving consistent days of warmth is a big no-no. Just because your local stores are selling certain products doesn’t mean it’s the right time or temperature for them. Frost can still hit into early June, so pay attention to the forecasts, not the sale flyer ;)
Do: Organize your tools and supplies. Making an inventory of items that you have, want, or need to replace is easier when you have time to research and send in for repair before you desperately need it.
Don’t: Ignoring weeds at this time of year is a big mistake! If you’re confident identifying and pulling out that pesky weed that got missed in the fall, do so before it ends up competing with your garden plants. If you’re not sure, snap a quick picture and take it to your local nursery for identification.
Do: Taking cuttings from flowering shrubs and trees such as forsythia, pussy willows or crabapples is a great way to bring spring and colour inside. Make sure to use a sharp pair of pruners to cut the branches, place them in a vase with fresh water, and in roughly two to three weeks, flowers should begin to emerge!
Most importantly, have fun with it! Gardening is a great way to release stress and gain a sense of accomplishment!
Mastering the Art of Self-Talk: How to Intentionally Direct Your Thoughts
By: Jonathan Nhan
Are you in conscious control of your thoughts? As functioning people, we often have learned and ingrained patterns of how we think, feel, and act so that we can navigate through the day without too much hardship. There inevitably comes a time when those patterns are challenged - especially when trying to learn something new. In these times, we may experience difficulty and struggle and to add on top of that, our thoughts can run wildly against what we want. If you are aware of having a thought, you can change it. In this article, I will share with you how to start using your conscious mind intentionally to your advantage.
Think of the last time that you felt like you were struggling. Do you remember the thoughts you were thinking? There are times when we repeat statements to ourselves like “I’m just not good at this” or “I can’t do it”. Know that the only way that this holds true is if you believe it. While you may think that these statements are accurate, they describe a state - a moment locked in time. When you believe statements like this, you are making a choice to stay stuck, and ignore the process of growth and development.
Reflect on your self-talk and ask yourself “Does my self-talk describe a state? Or does it leave room for the process of growth to occur?”. Before you can intentionally direct your thoughts, you need to be aware of your thoughts and accept that your beliefs may not serve your purpose. When you are ready to let go of your negative self talk, you’ll be ready to start intentionally crafting better self talk.
If you notice yourself making statements about your behaviors or capabilities (“I can’t…”, “I don’t…”, etc), repeat the same statement and add “yet” to the end. This simple change will move you from a stuck state and open yourself to the possibility of change. Consider how different it is to say “I can’t do this YET” or “I’m no good at this YET”. This is a great first step.
Now that you have begun shifting your negative self talk, let’s explore how to use empowering questions to lead us to better solutions. You’re ready to start discovering solutions, so the next important questions are “what?” and “how?”. “What will you do…?” and “How will you do it…?”. The most important thing is to know what your specific goal is. If you don’t yet know what that is, and instead have a long list of things that you don’t want, ask yourself “What would you like to have happen?”. Listen openly to the answers that come up because this will lead you to your desired target state. Once you know what you are moving towards, you can start consciously directing your attention towards solutions to get there.
Will simply asking questions like this be enough to get to your goals? On a conscious level - yes! Your conscious part has the capacity to create this guidance, but will definitely struggle in reaching the goal. This is where your unconscious mind comes in. Practice shifting your self talk, opening up possibilities, and formulating empowering questions. Next month, we’ll dive into how these questions direct your unconscious mind so you can fully leverage your inner potential.
The Conscious Mind: How to Use It Effectively for Improved Mental Health
By: Jonathan Nhan
That internal dialogue in your head that is always narrating, debating, and deliberating your day to day life is the part of the mind that we are aware of. Because it is the most visible part of our mind, we often attribute our successes and failures to it. While this is not completely inaccurate, it is not the full picture either. In the second part of this series examining a practical model of the mind, let’s get acquainted with the conscious mind, how you might be using it wrong, and how you can use it better.
The conscious mind is the part of your mental processes that you can observe and control most directly. For some, it narrates their daily lives and their thoughts. You can hold an awareness of a limited number of things in this part of your mind, on average about 5 to 7 things in your conscious mind at once before it gets overwhelmed and kicks something out. It can be challenging enough to recall your own phone number at times, imagine how difficult it would be to keep 2 or 3 phone numbers in your conscious awareness simultaneously!
When we struggle with problems and get stuck, many of the blocks come from our conscious mind. Think about a recent problem where you got stuck. How much of your brain power was used to solve the actual problem versus thinking about how you are stuck in the problem! We can get stuck in cycles of worry and anxiety when the focus becomes how we are experiencing a problem. Thinking about how you are stuck in a problem will rarely get you out of that situation.
It is very important to acknowledge these feelings and emotions of frustration, anxiety, and worry because once you can acknowledge these feelings and accept that they have occurred, it becomes easier to set them aside. Denying these feelings puts your energy towards moving away from them rather than moving through them and processing them in a useful way.
The conscious part of your mind has a very important role in your overall mental health and well being. The conscious mind can be used to set your focus and intentions. This internal narrator is often responsible for controlling negative self talk and limiting beliefs. Many of these things can be seeded by an outside influence, when we repeat limiting beliefs that are put on us by other people, we are reaffirming them and cementing them into place.
Begin to expand your awareness to identify how you are talking to yourself. It’s is all too common, and quite nefarious, the amount of times I hear people put themselves down in the course of normal conversation. When we give voice to negative beliefs about ourselves, we are limiting ourselves. Your conscious mind is under your control. While it may seem impossible to change how you think or feel about yourself, I’ll offer you one small thing that I found immensely impactful.
When you catch yourself saying that you can’t do something, add “YET” to the end of that statement. I recently started taking up drawing and I used to tell myself “I can’t draw”. Changing that to “I can’t draw yet” is a distinctly different message. The first statement is a limit, a wall, a barrier. The second statement gives space for growth. Bonus points for if you state the action you’ll take to get to your goal - “I can’t draw yet, but I will practice everyday”.
Begin noticing how you are using your conscious mind and start playing with different ways of speaking to yourself. Encourage yourself and be on your own side. Once you get good at setting your own positive intentions, you’ll be ready to tap into the true powerhouse of your mind: your unconscious mind.
Where's the (Grass Fed) Beef?!
By: Roger Tumminieri
In my freezer. That's where :)
A big shout-out goes to Josh Bauman at Greener Grazing for keeping his clients healthy and well-fed.
We're very much enjoying having an ample supply of Grass Fed Beef at the ready...and buying in bulk sure is cheaper and more convenient than going to the store every week for more meat.
Have you ever bought beef in bulk?
Consider reaching out to Josh and see what difference it makes to your health and finances.
“Fiat Lux” is Latin for “Let There Be Light”
(as in 'shining a light' on local businesses).
The Fiat Lux logo is inspired by the Barn Quilts that grace Grey County and was designed by farmer / graphic designer, Hiliary Breadner.