Make New Friends

It’s been a whole year and many more new friends since this blog!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

When I was a small girl, I joined the Brownies (The introduction group to Girl Scouts) where I learned to; Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Did you sing along with me? It’s a good tune and good advice. After four decades I am blessed with a handful of precious friends I love dearly. Some friends I see and talk with as much as possible, others I haven’t seen in years.

Sometimes as we get older life sweeps us away. We are afloat in kids, careers, errands, and responsibilities, making time a precious commodity. It can seem something always comes up, people move farther away, schedules just don’t match, and/or months turn into years. Before you know it, their kids are half grown, and you think “Well maybe we can get together in a couple more years.” Keeping them in your heart…

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6 Alternative ways to Meditate

Many of my friends are curious about meditation and its benefits. Who doesn’t need a little mental health break occasionally?! Yet, many are intimidated by the thought of trying not to think. This is nearly impossible for most of us to do but I am about to tell you a secret; you do not have too! There are many ways to mediate and you don’t even have to do it cross-legged on the floor while listening to ocean waves and pan flutes.

For those of us who have a hard time ‘sitting still’ or quieting our mind for an extended amount of time. Here are some alternative ways to get the same relaxing benefits of traditional meditation by just using intentional mindfulness. The best tip I can offer, for keeping your mind in the here and now, is to focus on your breathing. Make sure you are taking in deep belly breaths, then notice and relax any and all areas in your body that feel tense.

Walking Meditation: Getting out into nature and fresh air helps to clear our minds. It is also almost automatic that we become more alert and in the here and now, when outdoors. The whole point of meditation is to be here, right now. Most walks are pleasant, if you aren’t thinking of something that happened in the past or will in the future. Try to only focus on where your next footstep will fall and how beautiful that sunset is, your mind will be at peace.

Shower/Tub Meditation: Water is a very healing element. When you step into the shower or tub, do your best to keep your mind in there with you. Don’t think about what you are going to have for breakfast later or all you have to do today. Just enjoy the blessing of indoor plumbing and hot water; while thinking thoughts of gratitude. This is one of my favorite ways to start the day and to ‘fit’ meditation into my schedule.

Guided Meditations / Yoga Nidra: To be honest, I sometimes prefer guided meditation over regular meditation, when I am trying to clear my energy. It takes the pressure off when trying to keep my thoughts in check, because it keeps your mind busy listening to instructions. Stacy recommended to try Yoga Nidra last year on a very particular hard day I was having and I have been hooked ever since. It helps me get into a deep sense of relaxation by suggesting you focus your energy on different areas of the body.

Cleaning: Believe it or not, cleaning is an excellent mediation. Doing dishes, vacuuming and dusting; demands our focus. When doing an activity, that is not too challenging, we tend to pay attention to our task at hand and this allows us to stay in the present. Plus you get instant gratification results, which is always nice!

Massage/Acupuncture: Any practice that leaves me feeling like I am in an alternative universe for an hour or two is much like meditation. Some people fall a sleep on the massage table (sleeping is not meditation) but most people slip into a state of Zen; if they feel like they don’t have to fill the silence. Some people like to talk and that’s okay, but the ones that do not seem to get more than physical relief, they get mental relaxation. Feeling warm, safe and completely relaxed is a form of mediation that leaves us feeling blissful. 

Coffee and Car rides: Believe it or not, even a quiet cup of coffee in the morning or a car ride can feel like a short meditation, if you can stop yourself from mentally running through your list of daily chores, just for a bit. Try instead to give thanks for the day you are about to embark on. You will be amazed at the peace it can bring. Turn off the noise and just breathe.

These are just a few tips and tricks I have learned on my journey to heal. I realize that we cannot be healthy without the body, mind and spirit connection flowing together as they should. So, to all of us who have a hard time with traditional ways of meditation, please do not give up! There are many ways to go within and give yourself time to destress!

I hope some of these suggestions will help you see meditation in a less intimidating way! Wishing you a blissful state of mind and a relaxing state of being in the here and now. Namaste!

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

Why is it so hard to relax? Turns out I was doing it wrong!

I recently wondered why it was that I was feeling down about not having the ambition to do all the things I want to do. My willpower seemed to have taken a winter vacation but didn’t have the courtesy to tell me first. Turns out that the things I was trying to take a break from where actually what were keeping my mood positive. Why would I want to take a break from that?!

For some reason when I think of relaxing; I think of blissful effortlessness, meditating in nature, hiking, camping, reading, napping, or even floating in the water somewhere. However, in everyday life of work, family, and chores what relaxing ‘looks like’ is much different. I am not on vacation while home, so the activities that relax my mind are going to be different.

This seems simple enough, now that I see it. Yet why did it take me so long to acknowledge and accept what truly relaxes me? Truthfully, I believe it is because I have finally had the time to process and examine my thoughts and feelings now that I am not working so darn hard. The time I have been blessed with to go ‘within’ is something I don’t want to take for granted.

During this time, I have had to look at why some of my actions don’t always match my beliefs or words. I have had time to dig deep into why I am doing the things I am doing. Working on making changes where necessary.

I have been wondering why it is that I keep striving so hard to get ahead and questioning why I seem to be taking the hardest path possible to get there!

All I know is what I ‘do’ must be meaningful to me and it is important that I help others in some way. But, do I really need to take the adventurous path everywhere I go?!

As an Adventure Sister, I say “Um yeah! You see and experience a life you normally would not on the unbeaten path!”

As a regular woman just trying to make it in this world, some days I think to myself. “Hmmm… are you sure this is the right way?! I think I know a shortcut.”

For some reason the words work and relaxing did not jive in my head! I am guessing it was past work history that has jaded my perception. I have not always been so lucky to work for myself. It has taken me a lot of years to understand that phrase.

“If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” This is so true! And it’s meaning completely snuck up on me.

Anyway, the point is, I discovered that being busy doing what I enjoy and ‘working’ on projects, is in fact, relaxing for me! I had no idea how joyful my work is. I find joy in my Massage Therapy and Energy Healing Practice because, I know how fortunate I am to retain loyal clients who appreciate me as much as I appreciate them.

Also writing my heart out and building a positive online community of adventures with one of my best friends Stacy, brings me relaxation and happiness. As we continue to work on our own separate spiritual growth paths, we still hold common goals of publishing our books and going on more Adventures together! I am so blessed to have a friend like Stacy!

When I got involved in my community pursuing the improvement of environmental issues via local politics, I also got to work with like-minded friends who have similar goals. We were all there because we wanted to be, not because we had to be! It has been a great deal of effort and work, yet it was exactly what I needed to feel to be the best me.

The whole journey of pursuing interests that make me feel good, is turning out to be a really great thing! While binge-watching Netflix and eating an abundance of my mom’s homemade delicious Christmas cookies is only relaxing occasionally. The times I am multi-tasking with blogging or researching serves only as a disturbance which makes me feel the opposite of peaceful. No wonder I have taken to enjoying a quiet house!

I just wanted to fill you in on my new-found discovery of what relaxing can truly mean. It does not have to look like a vacation, it only must feel like one to you!

Have you found something that relaxes you that seems like ‘work’ to others?

*photo taken in Glenwood, Minnesota

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

 

 

Willpower – What willpower?

Now that I have written about getting back on the bike and on track with taking care of my health; I feel like I better get to it! Even though I know it is what I must do, I still seem to be lacking the willpower to do it, and it is stressing me out. I know I am not the only person who struggles with making changes even when they are necessary. Days go by that I don’t make progress or even try to implement the goals I have set.

I wonder to myself. “Why am I so resistant to getting healthier? Why can’t I make myself do all the things I wish to do?”

Instead of pursuing personal and professional goals; every cell in my being says. “Nope, nah, not today. You should hibernate instead! That sounds like a much better plan. How about a nap?!”

I often call myself a walking contradiction. Isn’t it interesting how a person can contradict their own inner knowing, simply because our minds resist our will? It is to me. I know that when I go to gatherings pertaining to subjects that I am interested in. I feel much better than when I do not, because I get to see my friends! Yet it seems to take every ounce of willpower, in my entire being, to make myself go.

Do you feel this way about your own goals and will?

How do we get over these invisible roadblocks that delay our progress? Taking initiative to just do it! Sounds so simple, yet we know it is not. Have my internal wires been crossed? Are these feelings a sign that it is okay to take my time? Is there some innate subconsciousness that purposely sabotages my own success?

I ask myself so many questions that I don’t have the answers to… I am sure you do too.

It is Winter here in Minnesota and the temperature is perfect for hibernation. Every ounce of my get up and go, says. “Nah… no thanks. I’m good right here at home.”

Then my mind says. “Great! You don’t have to go anywhere! There are plenty of things you can do here at home. You could catch up on your ‘to do’ list! You don’t have to go to the gym, you can exercise right at home in the living room. Also, you wanted to write some blogs so… you can exercise later. You know what? You can work on that ‘to do’ list tomorrow. Or the next day, or the day after that…”

Is it the Winter blues or am I still in the grief process; I know I am trying to plow my way through? It is Winter, the time of the year in which we are supposed to slow down, rest and regroup for Spring shenanigans.

Adventure Sister Stacy likes to remind me of divine timing. To trust the process and pace of life. It is nice to think that there is a divine order and timing of our path. Yet, I struggle with my own willpower to do what it is, what I know I ‘should’ be doing and when I think I should do it. Maybe I should just stop ‘shoulding’ myself and lean into the respite I must need.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Some of us are better at allowing ourselves to rest than others. I seem to be finding my lack of willpower and over resting uncomfortable, and it is not helping my mood! But, until I find that willpower again, I am going to try and be gentle with myself. By allowing my soul the break it needs to regroup and recoup in this season.

Maybe there is nothing missing at all? Not my willpower or my ambition. It is, in fact, entirely possible that I am just flowing with the Winter cycle of life.

*Picture is of my boys Gus and Hank in their favorite spot.

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

 

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