Fun with friends!

All too often women are the caretakers who forget to make time to care for themselves. It’s a tale as old as time. For many years I would give other people’s needs priority over my own comfort and as a wife and mother, it is sometimes necessary. However, we must still take the time to invest in our own well-being for ourselves and the families around us if we wish to continue to be caretakers.

Our loved ones want us to be happy too! When we are happy, we share our inner joy with our families, friends, and co-workers and that makes the days much more enjoyable!

Coffee/Lunch/Dinner date with a friend – With our ever-growing workloads, family obligations and never-ending ‘to do’ lists; we tend to forget the importance of time spent with our best friends. I think it is always a great idea to spend a short while catching up, listening and laughing when you can. Scientific research says people who spend time with friends are happier and live longer! Stacy likes to say. “Laughing is inner jogging!” I recommend trying Facetime when you are far away. If you make some tea, it feels like you are really sitting together!

Art and Wine classes – It doesn’t matter if you’re painting a sign and drinking wine, at a book club or any gathering at all. If it piques your interest, to get creative and be authentically you, you should! We are all good at different things but how will you know what your good at if you don’t try a few? It’s fun to expand our energy into the world by letting our creativity flow. So, make an ornament, paint a sign, learn to bake cookies or whittle a spoon. Maybe even a house party that turns into an old fashion slumber party?! It’s okay to answer the need for more fun in our lives. You deserve it!

Skincare – Spa treatments with friends are a fabulous way to get some self-care and girl time in. I don’t know about you but harsh winter weather dries my skin worse than any other season. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and we must care for it. Now that I am growing older, I see the importance of hydration! I do not believe we should feel like it is indulgent to get facials, body treatments, and effective moisturizers to be comfortable in the skin you’re in! It is okay to love yourself. You are worth it.

Self-care – Going to the gym, getting a massage, taking yoga classes or even cooking classes are an investment in your body, mind and spirit connection. I find that sometimes it is energizing and encouraging to have a friend with you while we practice self-care. Friends usually add comedic relief that also helps us unwind. We all need to move our bodies while remembering they are connected to our heads! The more we make sure they work together the more balanced we feel. It feels good to feel balanced!

Comfort Food – Cooking with friends can be a heartwarming and uplifting experience. Collaboration in the kitchen encourages teamwork and communication, something all relationships benefit from. While certain foods can calm our soul by making us feel safe, warm, full and content. We sometimes crave the foods that make us feel like we are home. For some of us it is hearty stews and casseroles while for others it is baked goods and sweets. Feeling like we are safe and cared for is a basic human need we must feed!

Retreats and Vacations – There are places that offer quiet settings and relaxing spaces for groups of women to do hobbies, take classes, or have gatherings. Others offer weekends of silence, yoga, meditation and cleansing rituals. Retreats are meant to let you catch your breath, revive your energy, and allow you space to come back into balance. If this isn’t your style pick one that is! You get to make the rules for your life!

There are lots of ideas that don’t need dollars as well, from walking the dogs to volunteering or cocktails at home. Spending time is great for you and your friends!

I hope this blog offered some ideas to get you and your best friends together for a bunch of belly laughs! I’d love to hear the creative ways you and your best friends spend time together too.

Wishing you an abundance of joy and blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Don’t eat poop!

 

My beloved and best friend Gus likes to eat poop. Every winter my Bulldog looks forward to fresh turdcicles from the backyard. It is disgusting! We make light of the situation by joking that he goes to the backyard to get $hitfaced and comes in smelling like a sewer. So, every time I let him out to go potty, I look him square in the eye and say “Gus, don’t eat poop. Look at me buddy. I mean it. Don’t do it.”

You may wonder why I am telling you this icky yet funny story. It is because I find it not so different then what humans do to themselves. We drink alcohol, diet pop, eat fast food, some smoke cigarettes, and other habits that are full of nothing good for you at all! Then especially during the holidays and we top it off with cookies, bars or sugary deliciousness that goes straight to our waistlines.

Now I am aware that not everyone eats like this all the time. But we do have our moments, habits and weaknesses that remind me of my dog Gus. He knows he is not supposed to eat poop, he will even sneak around the side of the house or go where he doesn’t think I can see him. However, when he comes in the house the secret cannot be masked.

Just like when humans eat or drink too much crap, we know we should not! The weight, and health issues it causes us cannot be hidden for long! You may not know this about me but the originating event that got me into politics was food! About ten years ago I was getting sick and could not figure out why. The doctors could not figure out the reasoning behind my debilitating tummy troubles, inflammation, skin rashes, and breakouts. I was frustrated but refused to take “I don’t know.” For an answer.

So, I started doing my own research, several articles and books I read said to focus on digestive health. I watched an abundance of documentaries that exposed how our food is grown and processed. Learning how governmental regulations were written by and for large corporations that did not care about your health, they cared only about making money. Light bulbs were going off in my head left and right! I had more knowledge now I needed to do something about it! (Besides complain!)

I started by eliminating foods from my diet in hopes of healing myself. I had no idea just how horribly bad the processed and fast foods were for my body! I learned so much that I did not know before and slowly stopped eating processed foods. I cooked more whole foods and removed wheat and dairy from my diet. It took many years and a lot of intentional healing of my digestive system before I felt better and get back my energy. Oh man, the tiredness and lack of energy were the worst! I kept me from enjoying life and kept me homebound when I could have been out having fun.

The point is, I discovered when I ate like poop, I felt like poop! Crops grown with insecticides that are meant to explode insect’s stomachs are in processed foods that humans eat. It does not wash off, and it doesn’t go away just because they put cheese on it! The modernized monoculture food system has been modified for convenience and cost not for health. The taxpayers are basically subsidizing processed foods like Doritos, sugary cereals, and ice cream instead of whole foods that are healthy.

Corn, wheat, soy, and dairy are the ‘big agriculture’ crops that tax dollars subsidize. We now have so much of it, we need to do something with it! Have you ever read the back of a tuna can?! There is now Soy in a can of tuna…. Why is there soy in our tuna? We must buy a $4.00 can of tuna if we do not want to eat the processed tuna with soy in it for a lot less money. Not to mention the pesticides liberally used on the grain crops that feed our families.

I believe the more information we have, the better choices you make. Which is why I wanted to remind you and myself, that even though processed and fast food is easy and quick it is not good for you! It is a habit that is easy to get into and it really is easy to be broken. I am proof!

I have fallen off the healthy train many times, and I can always tell when it is time to get back on. When you know better you do better. When you eat better, you feel better! A new healthier, happier body, mind and spirit is waiting… My body tells me when it’s time to get back on track and I bet yours does too. Here is the friendly and caring advice I give my best friend Gus this winter. Don’t eat poop!

Here is a list of documentaries you may find as interesting as I did! Most of them you can find on Netflix.

*Fed UP *Food Inc. *What the health *Food Matters *Cowspiracy * Supersize Me *Fat, Sick and nearly Dead *Food Choices * Sustainable *Forks over Knives *In defense of food.

Recommended reading!

Joel Salatin and Vandana Shiva; Any book written by Joel or Vandana will be full of information on how our food system can be altered for better health of our selves and our planet.

Turn Here, Sweet Corn by Atina Diffley (Minnesota author with a story that makes my soul smile.)

There are many more, but this is a good start!

Wishing you an abundance of joy and blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Get back on the bike

After taking some time to process big feelings. I  imagined what I might say to a friend who is feeling down. Mostly I believe I would recommend to keep doing what they love and volunteering for things that call to your soul.  Encouraging my friend to answer the calling to contribute to the greater good of the world around them. I would say simply, keep putting your energy where  your heart feels guided.

It’s like I discovered a secret about myself that I should have known the whole time… finally seeing that I feel sad and anxious when I choose not to participate in all the glorious life there is to experience! Then I start eating all my feelings and… Blahhhh!!!!  Not cool… just sayin’. (Who’s with me here?)

So, I have decided it’s just going to be best for me, to get back on the bike folks.

Do you find its best for you to keep moving when you feel a little derailed? I think we feel better when we get our heads back in the game and participate in expanding our life experiences. Having a few things that keep me excited about the future makes a huge difference for my outlook.

Truthfully, I am very curious to see what life has in store next! Until then I will keep following my inner compass. This is the advice I would give my friends so, I may as well try it myself. Below are some things that will help me keep making progress.

Writing: I have always enjoyed and learned that sharing my experiences, to help others, makes me happy. It allows me to organize and process my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I look forward to writing every day! I love to read other peoples stories too! Sharing our life lessons has helped build our Facebook page, while writing our books and blogs has led to building a soulful, adventurous community that makes me smile. Being an Adventure Sister has been a beautiful experience I will continue, because I love it!

Family Time:  Spending time with family and friends is something that makes my heart sing and my soul smile. Lately, I am doing my best to enjoy each day when it is here. I am more aware of living in the now instead of constantly planning my next move. Slowing down to check-in with ourselves allows us to put priorities in order. Being fully present, when I am with family, is something I was not doing great at. I am now doing my best to put my phone down and be better at living in the moment. I know many of you can relate!

Volunteering and Community Organizing: After some time to contemplate and hibernate, I have realized, I’m missing the involvement in projects and organizations that have a bigger purpose. I really miss working towards a positive greater good. So, I will also continue to build a strong foundation that includes the friends I’ve made on the campaign trail. We are organizing gatherings that promote conversation and action to improve the community and our lives. I already have some exciting ideas floating around, I can’t wait to see where it goes from here! Do you like to volunteer? I’d love to know where!

Get back on the bike: The way I see it. Most everyone who’s ever been anyone was or is just a regular person. A person, just like you and I, determined to do what they knew they must. They followed their hearts and listen to their souls. Even when they’re told they can’t, shouldn’t or won’t succeed; they did it anyway. Successful people don’t quit when it gets hard or when they fall. They just get up, rub some dirt in it and keep going. I’m choosing to pick myself up, and keep doing what makes my heart flutter. I highly recommend you try too. It’s not anxiety, it’s excitement!

There are so many ideas and things I want to do that it just doesn’t even seem possible to do them all. But this doesn’t seem to stop me from trying… I have a ‘to do’ list, a ‘wish’ list, a ‘vision board’, travel goals, and many dreams that I try to work towards most every day. I have finally realized I have accomplished a whole lot from where I started so why slow down now?!

What are the things that bring out your passion for life? Do you have hobbies and interest that keep you fired up and excited to wake up tomorrow? Where are the destinations on your dream travel itinerary?

I would love to hear what makes your heart sing. What happened when you decided to ‘get back on the bike’?! Please, feel free to share your stories with me!

Wishing you an abundance of joy and blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Photo credit;Google images – http://thegoodthebadthequirky.blogspot.com/2013/01/getting-back-on-bike.html

Grieving life experiences

Mourning doesn’t only happen when you lose a loved one.

It never occurred to me that I would mourn the loss of the election. I don’t mean that I am morning the loss itself. I am okay that I did not ‘win’. I am very proud of myself for overcoming my fears, being brave, putting my hat in the ring and making a strong run. Yet after the election day came and went, my life as I had been living it, abruptly came to a halt.

It feels like losing a close relationship that I had been in for over 8 months. I very much enjoyed the work, the learning, the events, but most of all the people who I spent a great deal of time with. After the election it was like my job was terminated and I sat wondering “What do I do now?!”

It was during a soulful conversation with my Adventure Sister, Stacy, that she mentioned I may be grieving to process my emotions. Stacy is a hospice nurse, so she knows a thing or two about how grieving may look.

Five stages of grief are; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

As thankful as I am for this whole experience, I still spent the week of Thanksgiving in a fog of sadness. The week before that I was bargaining, debating and trying to convince myself of the reasons why I would or would not run again. These weeks after the election have me following the same pattern and stages of the grief process.

When Stacy mentioned her observation, the light in my head said “ding!” I knew she was on to something. We traded Reiki energy healing, and this seemed to help me push through some of these emotions. Yet still I feel a slightly depressed.

Mourning can happen when you move, lose a job, end a friendship, suffer great financial loss or break up in a relationship and most commonly after a death. I feel like I had a break up of sorts. For me, the experiences of being a candidate were much like having a relationship with my community, that I love so much, that just seemed to end.

The experiences as a candidate were life changing, uplifting and heart opening. Very much like a new romance or job that you thought was ‘the one’ yet finding out that nope… it was not. I feel extremely sad that it is over. I did not expect this emotional conflict that has shook up my soul. I certainly didn’t expect this much emotion over all!

I believe I am going through this grieving process because of perceived loss of the relationships, the activity and the job in which I truly felt was a part of my purpose. But most of all, I believe I am mourning the derailment of my path.

It has me second guessing “Is this really my purpose or an adventure meant to lead me someplace I don’t see yet?”

The logical part of my brain says, “You are not alone, many others tried very hard and still lost as well. You ran because your soul guided you to this and you wanted too! It was a life experience not a destination. You did your best and most of all you enjoyed the journey. The purpose of life, is to enjoy the journey, learn and grow. You should feel blessed to have this amazing experience!”

I know deep down I am blessed. It is not over. And I must keep, keeping on!

I still have so much to accomplish. I know I must get back in the ring because I still have the desire in my soul to help my community in some way. Maybe it isn’t in the way I thought it might be? That is okay too.

I also know it is fine to take some time to heal myself; mind, body and spirit. I will fight the sadness that sometimes slips into my mind by working to replace those thoughts with thankfulness.

I know that my life is great! I am blessed with a wonderful family and career I love. But for some reason I feel there is more for me to do. Maybe it is the uncertainty of my path that keeps me searching for the next adventure? I believe we don’t escape any huge life experience without learning some lessons.

Maybe this feeling is part of the learning process as well? I’m hoping these emotions may guide me to where I can make a positive difference in myself and my community. I must be thankful for the whole experience, beginning to end.

Maybe that is another lesson? To just be thankful for it all.  Before you know it, it may be gone. Be grateful for the experience, the love, the relationships, the fear, the uncomfortable parts, the scary parts, the adventure of it all, the whole time you showed up to experience life! Be thankful.

How do “you” get back in the ring after a loss? What are the things you do to help you feel better on ‘down’ days? Please feel free to share your experiences and advice so that it may help others know they are not alone!

To all the souls who struggle for a smile once in a while; I see you and I love you.

*Photo taken in Tofte, MN on Lake Superior

Wishing you joy, love and blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

If you need help please reach out to:

suicidepreventionlifeline.org

1-800-273-8255

6 Actions You Can Take Today to Make the World a Better Place.

Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister

I would like to introduce you to my Adventure Sister, Emy Minzel. She wrote todays blog post about some ideas she is passionate to share with you.

The overload of information we receive every day can feel overwhelming. We watch the news, read the papers, and surf the web taking into our subconscious an abundance of negativity every day. Even when we close our eyes at night the thoughts that keep us awake are usually cringe-worthy, disheartening and can lead us to feel helpless. This leads me to wonder, what can I do today that will help make this world a better place?

Start at home – Make sure to water your own grass, so you aren’t comparing ‘lawns’ with your neighbor. I am not actually speaking of grass, but using it as a metaphor for our closest relationships. The family, partners, and friends we spend our days with. If…

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I want to help!

 

There are so many ways to help better ourselves and our communities yet sometimes we have a hard time finding our perfect fit. What pulls at my heartstrings and makes me want to donate time and energy, may not be what drives you! Yet you should not let that stop you from finding a way to share your light with the world around us.

Lots of people want to spend their Thanksgiving donating time by preparing meals for those less fortunate. As much as this is on your mind, this time of year, these food shelves, homeless shelters, and community meal kitchens also need help the rest of the year.

So, when you are thinking of donating your time to these humanitarian causes on the holiday, please open your mind to the immense need beyond Christmas and Thanksgiving Day. There are 350 other days in the year in which your help is very much needed and appreciated!

The food shelf donations and volunteering – You can volunteer to sort and expedite at your local food shelf. All you need to do is call! You can also ask your friends and family to organize donation sites at work, school, church or other regular gathering spots! Did you know you can donate more than food, they will also accept nonperishables like diapers and toilet paper too. You can also always donate cash. Did you know that they can usually purchase more with your dollar than you can?

Diaper Drive – Speaking of diapers, there is a huge need at women’s shelters and food shelves. Diapers are expensive and often in high demand. Consider expanding your donations beyond food.

Tent City or Homeless shelter donations – More and more we see the homeless population growing around us. Mercy comes from regular folks like you and I, who expand our compassion by serving those less fortunate. We could take it upon ourselves to ask our friends, family or work for donations of water, hot food, blankets, winter jackets, boots, hats, gloves, socks, toothpaste and brushes etc… put these together in mercy baskets, then drive and deliver the goods to the souls in tent city to help them survive the winter in tents.

Not by these any of these sites? You can always dig around and use your detective skills to see if you have an invisible homeless population in your hometown. I am a big believer in supporting my local community. Often Churches take donations for homeless or low-income individuals in small town areas. All you must do is inquire and help.

Animal Rescue – there are so many great animal rescue organizations popping up all over the place. Lots of them have found that keeping pets in a foster home, where they are treated like a part of the family, has the best outcome for the health and demeanor of the pet. When the pet feels cared for, instead of locked in a cage, they act completely different and are more likely to be adopted into their forever home. Consider donating dishes, food, collars, toys and maybe even open your home to a pet in need. I have found fostering dogs has been a heart opening experience that changed me for the better. Animal shelters need volunteers and money too, I choose to support no-kill shelters.

Money – donations are always greatly appreciated. If you don’t have time or energy, you can still help by donating your dollars to those causes that are near and dear to your heart.

I like to donate to www.savetheboundarywaters.org and www.ruffstartrescue.org. Both organizations that I feel deeply passionate about.

Environmental Help – I would also like to support organizations that are helping families, firemen, animals and other victims of the California fires. I found this article interesting, so I will share the link.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/california-camp-woolsey-wildfires-help-charity-donations.html

Do your research on who you want to donate to. Make sure they are reputable and responsible with your dollars, so you can be proud of your donation. There are many other options such as driving for Meals on Wheels and donating blood or plasma.

As a final point, I also believe that random acts of kindness are still a thing!  Share your light as often as you can and watch how others do the same.

We are blessed to be here on this beautiful planet with plenty to be thankful for. I hope this has helped bring some ideas for you to share your light! I’m thankful for you, and I believe in you.

Namaste!

Wishing you an abundance of joy and blessings, this holiday and throughout the year!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Should have, could have, would have…

Most people have times in which they think; “If I could do that over again, I would have done things differently.” However, this is only true because… you only know what you would do differently, after you’ve already done it! It was a learning experience.

I believe most of us do the best we can in the time and space we are given. If we were to attempt to repeat the same situation, of course we would do it differently, because we already had the experience of the first go around.

To beat ourselves up with should have/could have/would haves, is just plain self-abuse. You probably tell your friends in similar situations; “Hey! It’s okay. You did the best you could!” So why not yourself?!

We tend to be much harsher on ourselves when it comes to judgements.

Hindsight is 20/20 because of experience. When you know better, you do better, or hopefully try to anyway. As I age, I am trying to be a better friend to myself. Nobody is harder on me, than me. I bet many of you reading this are the same.

If I can think about, dwell on it or stew in it, you know I will. For days, hours, months even years if I think I should have done better, no matter what it is. The thing is, these feelings do have a purpose. We are supposed to learn from them!

So try to give yourself a break for doing the best you could in the time and space you were in. This is life, you live and learn.

I like to beat myself up about working so much through my daughter’s childhood. I tell myself “I should have/could have/would have done better if I had only known what I know now.”

I call BS on this train of thought.

First; she was my first child and is my only child. The only way I could have done better is to have had experience, which I did not. I love her more than myself or anyone on the planet, yet that does not replace the failings all parents go through at some point and time.

Second; I was single mother with a mortgage to pay and a child to feed. During those years (I missed out on) I was in no position to stay home with her as much as I would have liked too. Honestly, I was a very young mother who was not nearly as ‘woke’ or evolved as a more mature mother may be. So, to say I could have done better, most likely would not be true.

What I have learned from this experience is to enjoy every single second of the time I get to spend with her now. I try to make our moments together full of quality, since we do not have quantity. We are learning more about each other as we grow and age together. I am very much enjoying the woman my daughter has become, even if she grew up with a working mom.

My point is, what we do and experience in our lives, happens as it should. I believe our life experiences are divinely guided to teach us what we need to learn. The only way we can mess that up is to not learn from those experiences.

So, to those of us who like to get down on ourselves about things we could have, should have, and would have done differently, give yourself a break. Know that you most likely did the best you could in the time and space you were given.

I hope this blog has helped you in some way or given you a different perspective on self-doubt. You are doing your best and I believe in you!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings!

 

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com