Finding Joy

Adventure Sister Stacy and I have a book we wrote on called Lessons Through Joy. We tell stories about how we were tired of learning lessons the hard way and decided it was time we started learning lessons through joy. It was an intentional manifestation of how we were willing to ‘learn our lessons’. Believe it or not, we did learn many lessons through joy after we sent that request up to the heavens in a fire ceremony in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

I believe that because we were expecting God/Spirit to answer our request; it happened. We had also made steps to purposely look for the blessings in each of our situations, deciding to focus on the good rather than what we perceived as bad. Stacy and I often consult each other when life gets rocky. We depend on each other to be there when we need to talk or vent our frustrations. I depend on her to remind me of the good, when I have had a bad day.

Bad days happen to us all, often when it rains it pours and somedays it can feel overwhelming. I am human, I have bad days. Lately its been storming, shaking things up in my calm life. I feel the need to step back and look at the big picture. There are things demanding my attention keeping busy and distracted from what was and is truly important to me in my life.

I have big dreams goals and aspirations folks! Sitting on my tush isn’t going to get me there and I know I’m busting my butt for a good reason. I am dedicated my goals. This is not to say that it is always fun or exciting. Some day’s all these goals and dreams take a lot of hours, leaving no time to relax or enjoy nature I love so much. Some day’s make me think can I really have it all? Can I really write books, run for State Office, run a business, enjoy the great outdoors, and have a happy family all at the same time????

Yet, I know deep in my soul, I cannot and will not quit. That’s not who I am. That’s not what I want. What I have decided to do instead is to ask the Universe again, to start helping me learn my Lessons Through Joy. I know it is possible because it’s happened before. I am going to choose to look for the blessings in my situation. I am choosing to be thankful for all the opportunities I am offered.

I believe that Spirit would not give me these opportunities and desire to make a difference in the world if I was not able to achieve them. I believe if by chance I don’t succeed, I will still be just fine.  I also believe the way I choose to look at things is how I choose to experience life. If I think today is crap, then in fact I will have a craptastic day.

If I wake up and decide I am ready to seize the day, I usually do! I’ll admit once in a while I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. My attitude sucks and I need to adjust it, or my day will reflect my energy. Today was one of those days. I spent all day in a miserable mood, sharing my energy with my family and receiving what I had given.

I complained to Stacy and as she usually does, she helped me put things into perspective. She’s not in the thick of things here at my house, she can see the forest and that I am just a tree in it. Stacy reminds me to step back, relax and to see the blessings in the situation. So instead of complaining about to do’s and such, I am going to express my gratitude for all I am blessed with today.

I am thankful for the generous people who have offered and delivered exceptional help to the Emy for House Campaign. These people have been a blessing since the moment I met them. I will probably never be able to repay my gratitude for their time and energy donated to help me win. These people help me believe there is an abundance of good in the world.

I am thankful for my husband who supports all my big dreams, aspirations and goals even when they are a lot of work for him and take time away from our family. He is devoted and takes care of me with stability, strength and love. I am blessed beyond words to be the one he loves this much.

I am thankful for my daughter who I think of as a great friend, she gets me out of the house, takes me and the dogs on walks because she knows just when we need them. My daughter is an amazing, and kind young woman who I am incredibly proud of. I am thankful for that.

My mother and I have not been able to see each other much but I try to be in touch with her more often then we used to. I love her lots and I know she loves me. I am very blessed to have my mom, she shaped the strong willed, big hearted woman I am today, I am thankful for this too.

I have tremendous friends and supportive family. Even though they may not understand my desire to do all I do, they love me and support me anyway.

I am thankful to have a roof over my head, enough to eat and a life that keeps me feeling alive. To feel strongly and feel big feelings is human and what makes me chase my goals. When it feels like a bigger job then I anticipated, its up to me to trust that I will not be delivered anything I cannot handle. It’s up to me to find my Lessons Through Joy every day.

Wow, I feel better after I see my blessings on paper.

I wonder how many times I have counted them out while complaining about trivial situations? I hope not too many. I know many of you understand that life can feel heavy, and somedays it pushes more than you think you can take. I believe all of us feel that way at one time or another. What is important is to step back, count your blessings, be sure to acknowledge there is always, always, always, something to be thankful for.


Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Has anyone else been getting their butts kicked this month? It seems to me that ever since my calendar turned to June my life was like a snow globe tipped upside down. All the snowflakes in my globe have turned into to do’s that would bury me to my nose. Yep… that sounds just about right.

I don’t mind keeping busy, that’s the way I like it anyway. I don’t like to be bored. This month is not just busy, this month seems to be plain nuts-O! I can blame it on the campaign, work, or just chalk it up to summer time in Minnesota which is always busy.

But I am not buying it, there’s got to be something going on with the planets, the moon or divine intervention taking place to teach me something! I am sure of it. It feels like there must be a lesson in here somewhere. Where?

It could be that I am still in need of many volunteers on my campaign. I have people willing to help a little, but I have big asks with big tasks. By that I mean I need to fill positions that take a great amount of time, energy and talent and I can’t pay you…. That’s a big deal and I know it. So obviously people are lining up for that gig right?! Honestly, I can’t say I blame em’!

My friend and campaign manager had a wonderful turn of events in her life recently. She got a promotion and also is commuting to a city 3 hours away leaving her with less time to help. She is excited for this opportunity and I am very happy for her. She deserves this blessing! Yet, this leaves the campaign with big shoes to fill and we have a few more pairs that need good people too.

I am incredibly thankful for the spectacular help I do have right now this minute. My treasure and my advisor have stepped up big time and I am incredible grateful they have. Yet things are moving slowly, and I feel pressured to do more then I realistically have hours in the day to do. Also, I think I feel more gray hairs growing as I type! This is a sign I should meditate more right?!

In my dream world I would have a Volunteer Coordinator, an Event Organizer and an army of volunteers lining up to take some of these to do’s off my lap. This would help give relief to me, but also to the few people who are helping me and who also have too much to do. Now, I know that God/The Universe hears these wants, needs, dreams and aspirations, right?!

Who doesn’t look up and talk to the heavens when life is feeling pretty heavy? I talk to my angels or guides all the time, so I know they are fully aware of what I think I need. Yet they are taking away my help? I am going to have to trust and hope this turn of events is a blessing in disguise.

Then just for fun, the Universe seemed to poke me. I was at a Women Winning luncheon with Valerie Jarrett, who was once the Senior Advisor to Obama. It was a great event. There was a lineup of endorsed women candidates and elected officials that were march on stage at the beginning of the ceremony. I was supposed to be in the line, and on the stage.

This is a perfect opportunity for a photo with determined and passionate women just like myself!

This is where you read the “I was” part. For some reason I didn’t see the lineup and sat down at the table I was assigned. I realized far too late what was happening, all I could do was watch from the back of the room. Seriously folks. Face palm… four times.

“Geeze Universe! Listen up when I’m talking to you. I need a break, more help and some light in my life right about now! Please?!”

Anybody else like to try and boss the Higher Power around?! Yeah… it doesn’t work for me either.

Until then I must trust in my path, know that everything happens as it should, I cannot will it, force it, or bargain it into existence. I must learn to see the forest beyond the trees.

I am choosing to let it go. I must practice trust. I do believe that I will get what I need, when I need it.

If it is meant to be it will be!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Father’s Day without a father

I grew up without a father in my life. I knew I had one, and he knew he had me, but I did not meet him until I was 18. Ironically, I met my real father at the celebration of life wake for the man who was most like a father figure to me. My Uncle Bob who was no real blood relation at all, was the father figure in my life that I still cherish and remember fondly to this day.

Uncle Bob was an avid sportsman, he loved to fish and hunt with a bow and arrow. He painted his face with camouflage before hunting as he sat up in a tree stand in the deep woods of norther Minnesota. My Uncle Bob would take me fishing, he would take me into the forest with him to scout for hunting spots and he made me feel as if I were his partner in crime. We were friends and I knew that he loved me even though I was not his.

This man I called Uncle Bob was my mom’s best friends husband. They both took me under their wings and helped my single mom out as much as she needed. They never made me feel like I was a pain or an inconvenience although I am sure I was at times. I remember one year when I was in elementary school my Auntie Max came to pull me out of school early. I was confused but ecstatic, this sort of thing never happened to me unless I was sick.

Auntie Max walked me back to their home which was just a few blocks from school so that I could help my Uncle Bob with his hunting success. He had taken a large buck with his bow and now needed some assistance from his little helper, me. I had not felt this special very often and at that age most people do not think to ask and 9-year-old to help skin a deer.

But my Uncle Bob knew that I needed him some how and he stepped up to fill those shoes even though he had no obligation to. He was not in a relationship with my mom, he had no ulterior motives but to befriend a little girl who desperately needed one. I felt so important as I held the horns of this buck to keep it still as he went to work doing what was necessary. I am not a hunter now, but I know that he was not killing because he liked to, he was hunting to feed his family.

My ‘adopted aunt and uncle’ where not wealthy but they always freely shared what they had with my mom and I including feeding us with fish fry’s and being generous with their time and attention. My Uncle Bob’s efforts to be in my life shaped my love of nature. I remember him waking me up in the still dark early morning hours telling me to get dressed we are going out nightcrawler picking. We walked to the spot and he handed me a flash light and went to town picking them out of the grass getting enough for the weekend of fishing.

He was with me when I caught my first Northern Pike, oh man that was a fun memory! He was there for me when my mom and Auntie Max where out working night time hours together doing what needed to be done. Me and Uncle Bob would watch Boxing on HBO in the 80’s when it was really good stuff! He used to watch Wrestling too which he called Rassling as I still do, to this day.

This man was not my father, but I will always be who I remember as my father figure. My Uncle Bob was amazing, kind and generous. Maybe I was just lucky, or I looked at him through rose colored glasses of a very young girl looking for a positive male figure in my life. Even if someone else has a different perspective of the situation I still have mine that I hold dear in my heart.

I had moved away from my home town of Virginia Minnesota when I was a teenager. Every time we would go back to visit our family my mom would ask “Do you want to go say Hi to Uncle Bob?” And every time I would say “Yes!”

Towards the end of his life (he passed too early of a heart attack) he had saved enough money to start his own business. He chosen to open a pet store. His love of animals and nature shaped who I am at the core of my being. The last time I saw him, he was sitting in his pet store called The Menagerie. We visited for a bit and had to hit the road. But we never once parted without giving each other our signature big ole bear hug! I am thankful for that.

The things he taught me, respect nature, to respect animals and only take what you need. Led to my love of animals and the environment that has carried me to my purpose. I was called to voice my opinion and avid disagreement of mining in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Which led me to where I am right now, campaigning and running or office so that I can do all I can to protect the environment and speak up for what and who do not have a voice.

So, all of you men out there who think your actions or time spent with children does not matter. You are wrong. The future generation depends on your participation the way you act or contribute will be forever remembered in a young person’s life. You do not have to be blood and you can still make a giant difference in the world and theirs. I want you to know that. There are great men in this world. I wish to see more of them stepping up and doing what others don’t think they have to.

I am lucky enough to have married a man who’s done the same for my daughter. I met  my husband when my daughter was 11. He does ‘Dad things’ because he knows his role in our daughter’s life is important and it matters every day. He knows that being consistent and dependable and loving are the best thing in the world for us and even for him. He learned this from his dad.

To all you men out there who step up and do Dad stuff that isn’t your responsibility or try to be the best Uncle EVER! Thank you.

You matter so much more then you know. I see you. I salute you. Good job.

Happy Father’s Day.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

What if we all just love each other?

It is common for people to fear what they don’t understand. When you don’t know how to overcome or process fears, fear becomes hate. When you compare all your differences instead of your commonalities visions and truth are skewed, perceptions are half-truths. I denounce organizational practices that use scare tactics to keep people separated and fearful, knowing full well Unity is where the power is. When an organization, religion or race is spurred to be fearful of another it turns into “Us vs. Them.”

I believe the Higher Power gave us free will to make our own decisions. We can choose to use our curiosity to learn about others instead of imagining false reasons to fear someone you do not know. I do not buy into any separation of myself, other humans or living beings on this planet. I do not think any living being is less or more important then myself. I believe in helping and supporting others who are doing the best they can in the everyday struggle of life. I know we all struggle in our own ways.

I believe must not fear or try to make life harder for others because you do not have the same beliefs, religion or culture. I believe when we show compassion to others it is good for both souls. I believe refugees do not leave the country they love to unless they feel they must. Would you? What does it say about me if I choose not to see through the color of skin or religion into the soul inside? Maybe they fear me in the same way? Should they?

Why don’t we open conversations and get to know others who are much different in your perception? I bet if you took the time you would see, most people have very similar wants and needs. I want healthy food to eat, clean water to drink, a safe place to lay my head at night and a good life for myself and family. I want peace. I bet that is what you want too.

I want opportunities of success for my daughter and her children who are not born yet. I want the same for your children and grandchildren too. I imagine a world full of good will, unity and cooperation. Can you imagine how the world would look if we thought of our neighbors and other countries as family? I bet we would not fear others and practice wider acceptance of characteristics we do not share.

You could look at your neighbor with different color skin, or the woman who drums in her garden with compassion and acceptance as if they were your beloved aunt or uncle. You may even think “Oh that’s just Auntie Em, doing her thing, not hurting anybody, she will stop banging that drum soon.” Or you may think “Uncle Joe is preaching to the choir again!” You would not roll your eyes in annoyance because you know his heart is made of gold. We choose to practice compassion and acceptance when we share connection.

Why do we continuously choose not to see we are ALL connected? I believe we can change our thought and beliefs. When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes. When I look for negative things about others, I find them every time. When I choose to look for the good in others, I find it every single time. I am choosing to believe in my faith of a kind, loving, and compassionate world full of great neighbors and family. To do this I have to start in my own back yard, in my town, in my state. Every day I choose to actively practice acceptance, choose love, and choose faith over fear.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Week 3 of 90 day meditation challenge

Week 3 – Turns out I am not excellent at making time to meditate. I see how people get frustrated with guru’s who tell you how easy it is. Of course, it is easy to do. What is not easy is finding the time to truly do it!

I did take some time yesterday over my lunch break to meditate for about 15 whole minutes. I tried my friend Stacy’s mantra of “I easily release what no longer serves me.” I felt lighter and I felt emotions move as tears rolled out the side of my eyes.

Yesterday was a very emotional day. I felt defeated after a long day of work that is not valued. I know that this is a feeling many people experience at one time or another in their lives. I know a lot of women who call that everyday Mom Life. I can usually take those days in stride. I don’t need an applause for my work, and most the time I don’t even need to be appreciated although it is always nice when it is.

Yesterday I found out people who haven’t stood in my shoes were making judgements out loud, discounting my efforts which I found to be a slap in the face and very disheartening. I began to wonder why I even tried or if I should continue to keep trying?

Knowing in my heart that I am doing 100% more than the nobody else who wanted to step up and try. All my effort, time, and energy were feeling futile and unappreciated and by someone who is supposed to be on my side. Which made me feel crummy, sad and frustrated.

I needed to meditate so I could clear this negative energy and melancholy. I ended up shedding tears and letting the feeling pass.

It was just a reaction to my feelings, I know it was not my truth, so I released this bad feeling of betrayal with meditation. I know that I am working hard, and I am doing my best. I won’t give up because I know what it is I am working so hard for. I know that people say thoughtless things all the time with only one side of the story to express opinions about. I have done it, it’s a human thing to do.

Anywhoooo… I did not meditate every day this week. What I did do was use meditation as the tool that I needed to help me move those big emotions on a really bad day. This was one of the crappiest days I have had in quite a while and meditation helped me move through those emotions in a real and healthy way.

All in all, I like that when I needed to reset I have a tool within me that I can utilize for my greater good. I did not have to go anywhere, it did not cost me one cent and I can use meditation as a holistic remedy at any time.

Although the challenge was to meditate every day, somedays I just do not remember, or I only had time for a very short attempt that just does not do what it is intended to do. It did give me practice for when I truly needed to let that shit go.

Does anyone else use meditation to help bring you back to basics of life, to remind you what is real and what is your truth? It was a very healing meditation even if it was the only one I accomplished this week.

I hope for you the best today and every day.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Ode to Coffee.

Coffee, oh coffee, I love you! I will not lie.

I think you taste the best when you come from a Fair-Trade guy.

The smell of the beans and first whiff of morning brew…

I will not, cannot lie! Coffee I love you.


Coffee you make mornings bearable for this mama bear.

Even on days I want to pull out my hair.

I like that you are a reliable as the sun

Because today I gotta run.


Coffee you are great, piping hot or iced cold.

I love your rich flavor and how you make me feel bold.

Straight up black please! No need for sugar, or creamer fufu…

Coffee, oh coffee, I love you.


No other beverage helps me seize the day

Coffee you just get me, we are on the way!

A new Monday is here and you’re here for me too.

Oh, coffee oh coffee, I love you.


Wishing you good coffee, and an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Nature is calling!

As an Adventure Sister, I can feel safe in saying. This girl NEEDS some adventurous activity soon! I need to get into the wilderness and on to the water. My nature loving spirit feels the absence of Mother Nature acutely. I have vacations planned this summer and I am looking forward to them already. Yet until then, I cannot just ignore this craving for wild countryside and watery adventures happening inside of me right now!

I live in a beautiful wooded area, yet I crave floating on the water as much as possible during our short Minnesota summers. My husband does not enjoy water activities leaving me to count on myself and other friends to paddle with. The kayak is still in the garage and has not had it’s first voyage of the season yet. So sad!

I know it would be easy to toss they kayak in the truck and go, if I was able to just made the time. I also like to go out on the lake with a friend, it seems more enjoyable when you can share the moments. I am not afraid to go kayaking alone however, I have not gone this summer yet.

What I crave is a connection to Spirit that I can only feel when immersed in the outdoors. There are factors besides my time that keep me active around the house checking off my to-do lists. As most people can attest, we can rationalize anything. I tend to put my desires on the back burner when busy. What is it that really keeps me from soaking up the beauty of nature while hiking, camping, swimming, and kayaking?

These are some of my very favorite activities. Why don’t I put them on my list of priorities too? I know that I must make sure I get my work done and keep up with my responsibilities. Yet isn’t keeping my spirit centered, connected and happy part of my responsibility as well? I think it is. If taking an hour or so to float my boat is what I need, I must do it.

My Adventure Sister Stacy seems to be able to get more nature therapy into her schedule then I, even though she is on the road almost all the time. I love how she makes time to do so! She and her husband just purchased a houseboat in Florida and to get out to enjoy it regularly. I think that’s a magnificent way to make sure you get some environmental healing. Although the boat is a fixer upper and they spend just as much time working as playing. I find her dedication to adventure and exploration admirable and I like to do the same.

Stacy seems to go through life lessons just a few years before I do, and I see how she manages them. I look up to her in a big sister kind of way. I see that even though Stacy schedule is just as demanding as mine if not more, she knows that spiritual connection to the Earth/Mother Nature is very important. I see how she finds wonderful friends who enjoy the same types of activities which gives her more opportunities to explore and have great company while doing so.

I have been on the lookout for other local adventurous and outdoorsy people to spend time in nature with. I did not know that I am so unique in my love for the great outdoors, or maybe my obsession with water is also not shared? I find this hard to believe. Clearly, this not true because it is a bond Stacy and I share.

Sometimes going on the water by yourself isn’t ideal or not safe, so I find myself feeling stuck in the house or stranded on dry land! But it is just a feeling and not always true. I can choose to change those feelings into action and purpose. That’s what feelings are for right?! They guide you to what it is that you desire.

Does anyone else find it hard to fit in adventure or connect to nature when you hear the call? I trust that one day soon I will manifest an abundance of water loving adventurers to join me.

Until then, I must go solo!

Into the water I go. To free my mind and heal my soul.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister