Boundary Waters Solo Adventure Day 3

Last night was rough, I woke up wanting to go home, like right now. During the late-night, I had a tummy ache and needed to climb the hill with a flashlight, not once but three times! Ugh! I was doing my best to be brave while making a lot of noise at 1 am in a dark forest alone.

Listen I like to rough it, I don’t mind getting dirty, fighting dangerous waves, caring heavy loads or even sitting out a thunderstorm in a tent. Turns out that this girl draws the line at tummy tribulations in the Boundary Waters! I know I am not alone here.

I was feeling better when I got up at 6 am with the dawn, even though the skies were clear the sun did not peek over the treetops until around 8:00. As I sat drinking coffee, soaking in the scenery and contemplating if I was going to stay the one more day as intended or pack it all up. It was hard to decide.

The weather was warming up, and the sunshine was trying to talk me into staying. I wanted to stay, and I wanted to go home too. The weather was not going to be warm enough to swim for very long. Which was a bummer because that’s one of the reasons I go up the Boundary Waters to get some very needed hydrotherapy.

About an hour later, while I was cooking breakfast two canoes full of a family with mom and dad and three children family paddled by. They inquired if I was leaving today and I told them I was thinking about it. The other campers at the campsite they passed to get to me told them they were going later as well.

I felt terrible that they didn’t have a campsite free, and I think they were also bummed to have to paddle all the way to the other end of the lake to see if possibly the last of the three campsites on the lake would be open. If not, they would have to wait it out while we packed up.

As they paddled by me again, I felt the urge to tell them I would be packed up by noon. Giving the family at least some hope of getting settled soon if they could not find another open site. Had they not paddled by would I have stayed? I don’t know. Maybe I used their search as an excuse as I convinced myself I was being kind by making sure that family had a place to sleep tonight. Or perhaps I really had been there for long enough?

I certainly proved to myself what I knew I was capable of all along. What else did I need to prove? Going into the Boundary Waters alone was something I did for me. I needed to push myself in a way that was not connected to others needs. I needed to level up my courage and confidence for my personal development to prove to me that I can do the same in other aspects of my life.

The Boundary Waters is a holy place, you may think you come for the beauty of it and to get away from it all. What you don’t anticipate is how it changes you so profoundly in just the short time you are there. Having the time to be alone with only your thoughts and allowing the tranquility to seep into your soul that enables you to listen to your own inner knowing is powerful stuff.

The solo excursion I embarked on this year is no different. I knew inside that it was okay to leave because I had gotten what I came for. I had reconnected with myself and allowed the spirit of nature to reconnect with me. That morning I realized I could stay, but I wanted to go home.

As an only child of a single mother, I have always been fond of my alone time. I get cranky without it. Yet while out in the wilderness, I did not feel afraid or lonely, I did think that something was missing. I missed my husband and my dog, and this just confirmed that even though I don’t mind being alone, my life is much more enjoyable sharing it with those that I love. I learned that I must work at bettering myself without help, but it sure is nice to have support on the sidelines of life.

As the family paddled away to leave me to pack up in peace, I did just that. I did not rush myself. I did my best to enjoy the end of my journey. Even taking the time to put my swimsuit on and get into the lake one last time. The water was warmer than the air temp, so it was steaming as it was chilly only 59 degrees.

I did not allow the weather to detour me from getting the swim in I needed. I am Minnesota tough dontchyaknow and did not flinch as I made my way down into the water via the boulder shore. Where I could fully submerge allowing the healing stillness of the big water to wash away all that I did not need to bring back home with me. That last swim felt great and gave me the emotional boost I needed to get going.

After all, my gear was packed and loaded into the canoe. I sent a prayer of gratitude up once again. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!” This experience had all the emotions and tests that I needed and came for. The Boundary Waters Wilderness never lets me down and always centers me to a much calmer space deep within. I am beyond grateful and blessed for this experience once again.

The wind was picking up, but this time the waves on Slim Lake carried me back to the bay. I took my time enjoying one last paddle soaking in all the scenery and the musical harmony of nature I could possibly absorb. As I pulled into the entry point, I was a little melancholy not wanting this healing time to end, yet also happy to be on my way to home sweet home.

Thank you, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Thank you for all the lesson’s past, present and future you continue to bless me with. Until next time my friend, you still hold a part of me.

Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Who’s in your soul tribe?


Isn’t it wonderful when you find the others that make up your soul tribe? These are the people who stay by your side no matter what. These devoted souls are rare and irreplaceable, but in my experience, we don’t really know who they are until we grow up and get older. The length of time and experiences shared, help to prove the bond and loyalty of your relationship. Some of us are lucky and have wonderful relationships with our parents and family, these are usually the first folks to fit the description of dependability.

My Auntie Max told me when I was very young. “In life, you will be lucky if you have 5 friends who you can count on.” she said as she held up her hand. “And most people never are lucky enough to have that many.” The older I get, the more I think it is true. Not everyone, who is your friend, is going to fit the description of completely loyal and dependable. But when we find them, it’s up to us to return the trust and devotion to keep that relationship strong.

I met my best friend in middle school, she is one of the people I can count on. My mom got married when I was thirteen and we moved from northern Minnesota to a Twin Cities suburb the year I was in 7th grade. I started my new school, the first day back from Christmas vacation, smack dab in the middle of the year. I walked into art class as the new kid and I was unsure where I should sit. As I stood there, scoping out the possibilities, I heard; “Hey! Hey new girl! Come sit over here.” My heart swelled with gratitude at the kindness this blue-eyed girl had shown by inviting me to their table.

That girl, who welcomed me with kindness, had also been new to the school at the beginning of that same year. She knew what it felt like to be the new kid and not know anybody so, she offered me her alliance. I asked her name. Meagan was twelve with puffy bangs, spunky and super funny. Little did I know that meeting her that day in the seventh grade was truly a blessing from the Higher Powers. Meagan and I have been best friends going on thirty years now. I consider her my soul sister and part of our family.

We have gone through all sorts of life experiences together; and for it have a wonderful bond that neither of us would ever want to be without. We looked out for each other and we had a blast growing up together. When I became pregnant in high school, Meagan always stood by me. She was my personal cheerleader and helped me get through some very emotional times. After I had my daughter, we lived very different lives and drifted apart for a bit. But, no matter how different our lives looked, Meagan was always there if I needed her.

I knew she was just a phone call and short drive away. She was a teenager with wheels; while I was perfectly content to stay home and do the mommy thing with my beautiful baby. She still would swing by to visit my daughter and I, before she went out at night. She still knows how to make me laugh when I am down. Even though our paths differed a bit, we didn’t let our varying lives change our friendship. Meagan and I know that we are there for each other no matter what. What a blessing to have such a faithful friend!

As we grow older, it becomes easier to pick out the qualities of people who are loyal friends. I like to give others the benefit of the doubt and trust they are who they say they are. I let their actions speak to their reliability. When you can’t physically be there, I’ve learned it is still important to check in and show you care.

During the ups and downs of life, the people you lean on varies with different situations. That’s why it’s important to me to be part of a kind and caring community of friends and family. I am also fortunate to have a family full of allies. When we are lucky enough to find those that show up when life gets real, it’s important to let them know how much you appreciate it. I just thought I’d share this reminder to value those irreplaceable people in our lives. And give thanks to the higher power for sending their support your way.

*Photo taken at our friends wedding reception with other great friends from high school. I have my best friend in a playful squeeze because I just love her so darn much! 😜

Thanks for reading my blog today.

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister




Summer of Hope

There are about seven weeks left in the Campaign season and I am feeling conflicted. Half of me is ready for some rest. While the other half will really miss the excitement and energy Candidacy has brought to my life. This summer was a much different type of adventure then I was expecting or planning for.

When January 2018 rolled in, I was planning my BWCA trip and all the summery things I wanted to do and making sure they went on the calendar. Three months later I threw my hat into the political ring and it all was put on hold, so I could direct my time and energy to the State House of Representatives Campaign adventure!

I believe to be called “adventure” there must be a great deal of excitement, fun, and just a hint of uncertainty (or fear) to round out the experience so that it helps you feel fully alive. I believe the campaign trail has been full of these characteristics for me. The uncertainty of not knowing what I was getting into (because I have never run before) was very scary at times.

Still, I allowed myself to follow my heart and not be detoured by fear.  Even though there were times I was fearful, I was also certain this divinely guided civic escapade, was exactly what I was supposed to be doing this summer.

Once I had dedicated myself to this political path, I started to experience the excitement that others brought to the campaign trail. The friends and supporters I have met; have made this summer adventure a whole lot of fun! The people on my campaign team have turned into friends I adore. Other DFL Candidates I have met, my supporters and mentors, have made this unpredictable race that much more fun and interesting.

I have had the opportunity, for a great educational experience, by being deeply immersed in the social studies of District 15A. I have enjoyed learning from the genuine and kind people I met door knocking. I am thankful for other leaders in my community reaching out to share their knowledge with me. I am thankful for regular folks sharing their sometimes-painful stories with me. They express their hope that I can help once elected.

I am humbled when others feel comfortable enough with me to discuss private issues that they may be facing or concerned about. They are reaching out knowing I truly wish to do what I can help them in some way. I am thankful for friends and supporters who ask me questions and offer their genuine opinions as well. My heart swells with the pride knowing that I am doing my best to bring hope and light to my community.

This spring when I decided to run, I was scared. Six months later, now at the end of the summer, I have experienced a whole mess of emotions since. From fearful and uncertain in March to September, where I have settled into the feelings of empowerment and fearlessness. I am going to give it all I’ve got!

I will do my best, to be my best, every day! I will live with my heart on my sleeve because that’s where I like to keep it. I won’t be ashamed about wearing it there either, because that’s me! I have decided I will be authentically me, so I can be the best me I can be.

I had once called this year a ‘bummer summer’ because I didn’t get to escape to the wilderness or take the vacation I had originally planned. (I know. I know. Boo Hoo… spoiled girl problems hey?) Once, those words came out of my mouth, I knew immediately that was so WRONG! This summer has been nothing but absolutely amazing! I will never, ever have this first-time candidate experience again! I must enjoy the now.

I was able to make such a bunch of wonderful friends that it felt, very much like finding my soul tribe, when I jumped on this political path. Finding people who care about the world around them like I do, was an epiphany. I saw that they saw me as hope.

They wanted me to be the walking, talking hope and guiding light of positive change. They want me to be the person who works hard as their District Representative to make their lives and community better. Even though there’s a great deal of work and sacrifice, it has also been a heart-opening experience and so darn exciting in many ways.

This summer taught me I really want to give my community someone to believe in too.

This summer has taught me that I am the person capable of offering hope that I wanted to believe in all along.

This summer has asked me to step up and own that I am the one that I have been waiting for!

This summer has been empowering and very full of hope!

I would not change these experiences or lessons that have changed my feelings about myself and my original plan for the year. I am so open and trusting of this path, I know that I have already won.

This summer’s Lesson’s through Joy, have me hanging on to hope.

Did this summer offer you any life lessons?! I would love to hear them!


Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister



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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Brave enough to bloom

As a young girl I would often lead my younger cousins down the trails and into the backwoods in Northern Minnesota. Not knowing where they would lead us or if I we could even get back. Never gave a second thought to dangers that may lay ahead. There could have been a Momma black bear with cubs or a snare that may have been set; that I wasn’t even aware to be on the look out for. I was not concerned with any of these dangers as a 10 -year-old child adventurer. I was very loved and felt invincible!

I believe it was because I was so loved, that I always felt safe. I trusted that my family and the Higher Power would take care of me. Obviously, it worked out. I am still here. I even survived my teenage years, my early twenties and into my forties; trusting my curiosity (and family support structure) even if the path it takes me on may seem a little scary at times. Often, I find my curiosity and bravery (even if it is bravado at the time) often lead me to new wonderful experiences.

When Adventure Sister Stacy and I set out on our first trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area many years ago, we had no idea what we were getting into. We’d never done anything like it before. We were both just in need of new experiences. We both needed some ‘me’ time at the same time. What would be better then going up the BWCA where the only option there is to ‘rough it’ with the minimum needed to survive and no cell phone signal.

Sure, we were nervous, not to mention that our families were a little worried for us as well. Yet we were strong women who were bound and determined to get away from it all. This decision, to risk going deep into the forest, led to where we are today. Five years later we have written three books about our continued adventures and life experiences spurred on by this one first choice. We chose to be scared but brave and adventurous anyway. Because of this; we are currently working to get our trilogy published.

I find, that when I am bored with my day to day routines, I look for something different to try to spice-up my life. Some years it’s wondering into the forest. Some years its contemplating the risk to write and share my personal stories and art with the world.

 This year, my curiosity and drive to make a difference in the world, led me to run for the State House of Representatives. It was a scary decision to run because I didn’t know what to expect. Yet I am trusting this adventure I’ve been lead to.

Being brave does not mean you are not aware that you are vulnerable. It means you see the risks, you contemplate how it will affect you, and even weigh the judgment of others. Sometimes you know that if it goes bad, it might go really bad. Then I choose to chance it anyway. Or not.

I choose to do this because of the support and love of my family and friends who will catch me if I fall. Often, in adulting, we know that others are depending on us. So we choose their concerns and wellbeing over doing what our souls call to us to do.

After I became a mother, I settled down pretty darn quick. Yet now that she is grown and out of the house, I feel that it’s okay to start taking some calculated risks again. I believe, that in our society, we have gotten to the point where fear is ruling our decisions and even impeding our growth.

Change is scary and taking chances are risky. But I feel that if I do not try or even take small steady steps in the direction I wish to go, then I will always be in the same place. There is no mental or spiritual growth in staying in the same place. Without new experiences in my life, I get bored.

There is no innovation or progress if we are content with the status quo of our life. Is this why life feels uncomfortable at times? To make us want to keep moving forward to a possible ‘better’ life? Maybe the Universe puts opportunities, to take those chances and risks, in front of us for this reason.

I believe in chasing your interests, dreams and drive to where your heart calls you because it’s calling you for a reason… The reason why you were put here on earth in the first place. I also believe all our wondering, inclinations, and inquisitive yearnings are instilled in you to lead you to your life’s purpose. Probably why I was a political junkie and so interested in environmental protections for the last ten years.

Life is sometimes scary when it asks us to level up in our efforts. Whether it is starting a new job or a new life, with a move far from the home you’ve known, it can challenge our bravery. What I find scarier though is staying the same and not giving myself the opportunity to grow.

I strive to grow so much that I bloom over and over again. By bloom, I mean to help to make the world just a little more beautiful than it already is, by increasing my effort to benefit the greater good. I strive to be send positive vibes out to the Universe because it needs it.

I realize I am blessed with an abundance of love in my life. I have come to see love as the water I need to bloom where I am planted. I bloom by being brave enough to first crack open the cocoon of my soul’s seed. My soul’s desires sometimes seem to be fertilized by the darkness that makes me ache to reach for the sun.

At times I crave the growth so strongly that it allows me to overcome my fears. I believe being brave, even when I am scared, has turned out to be the best way to bloom into the life I am meant to live. I was planted on this path; I might as well trust it because it was meant to be.

I believe divine guidance is always taking place in my life and if I don’t trust my path, I stall my growth. Yes, being brave is hard and scary but I recommend you try it anyway. Nobody likes to be stuck in fertilizer too long!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings today and always! Love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister



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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Anxiety sucks rocks ~

I had a great weekend full of learning new things, meeting new friends, socializing, love, laughs, dancing, seeing old friends, and having a blast while fundraising for the campaign. It was my ten-year anniversary on Thursday and my husband Jason and I had to work, but made time to spend together in the evening. We decided that since the next day was going to be a big one for us both that we would just grill and chill. It was fabulous. I enjoyed the energy of the full moon on our anniversary while enjoying the company of my best friend with a full belly. I was feeling mighty blessed.

The next morning, I had an appointment with a person I had been waiting for weeks to meet. I was a little nervous when I got there because I was almost running late and took a wrong turn. This gets me a little frazzled because being late is not who I am. I feel that being on time is respectful to your schedule and mine, I did not want to appear disrespectful by being late! Thanks to friendly kids on their bikes who helped with directions, I got there just in time. As I set off the panic button on the car as I got out of course. It was just the thing I needed. The alarm startled me so much that I forgot to be anxious when I walked into the meeting. Funny how that works.

I was surprised and relieved they had an informational tour scheduled for me to go on for the meeting. It made me feel more comfortable than I would have sitting across from a desk for a formal interview that I was expecting. I was introduced to my second escort who was the with government relations team. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. Seriously… I think maybe she thought I was hitting on her because I kept staring at her multi colored hazel/blue/green eyes. Anyway, her eyes were very pretty, as was she. I am not usually, self-conscious but I felt like I was the token normal looking neighbor in a movie script. Like I was sitting by attractive actors of Mr. and Mrs. Smith film as I climbed into the large pick-up truck for a tour.

It was a pleasant morning and I met even more wonderful people I hope to work with on the campaign trail and in the future once I get elected. I was thankful for the hospitality I was shown, and the energy offered left me feeling safe to share my true self. I love when that happens while meeting new people. Often, I get anxious about big events, but this felt natural. I was thankful for that feeling as I drove an hour back home to get ready for a campaign fundraiser my team had been planning for months.

The temperature on that Friday reached 99 degrees which almost melts most Minnesotans. The event was hosted at the biggest Hops Farm in Minnesota inside the processing facility. Thank the Spirits above for keeping that building temperature tolerable for the comfort of the guest who braved the heat to support the Emy for House Campaign that evening. We had over 50 people show and had a wonderful time.

There were three speakers who educated community members and myself about hops farming, diversifying agriculture by promoting the growth of industrial hemp, and another speaker whom talked about his passions and ideas of the Ecology Democracy Network organization. I was the last speaker and had practicing for a week.

As I stood up in front of the room it was clear to me I had psyched myself out about speaking and I did not deliver the best speech ever, as I was hoping. I know I could have done better but nerves got the best of me that night. I must learn how to get over my fears, for my sake and for the sake of the people I represent.

Part of me wants to say, “If anyone thinks they can do better at this candidate thing then have at it!”

While the other part says, “Keep going, you will get better with time and practice.”

I know I will get better when I am able to just tell my story and lead with my heart. I overthink my speeches yet at the same time I want to be completely prepared. Then I over compensate with written words on a note card, instead of just trusting that what is truly in my heart will make its way out of my mouth the way I want it to sound.

I gripped the microphone so tightly I thought I might break it, but it helped me settle down just a little. Well not really… I fluttered too quickly through a good speech. You couldn’t tell it was good because I said it too fast. Anxiety is the pits I tell you.

I know exactly what I want to say but put me in front of an attentive crowd and the world around me turns surreal and I seem to lose grip on my everything, including my cool. This is not a handy skill to have when you are running for office as a public figure, so I am going to have to get over it and fix it fast. I know I can do better, and be better,

I want to be better for my community not just my image. I will keep working on myself until it is second nature to speak with my heart even while it is pounding as if it wants to leap out of my chest. It is a weird sort of feeling to be so passionate about what I believe that I put myself out in public to do what I think is right.

At the same time, I am terrified at just about all the events I must speak at. I am regularly being interviewed by powerful people while still feeling like I can sit at a table full of leaders and believe I belong. However, stick a microphone in my hand and a crowd in front of me, even knowing they want to hear what I have to say, and Forgittaboudit… this girl shakes on the inside like tin roof in a hurricane. Inside my head even hears the storm as well.

This anxiety really ticks me off, now that I think about it! It’s stopping me from being authentically me. I know who I am, what I believe in and what I want to say. Why is it that I just can’t spit it out because there are people looking at me? I mean really? WTF hey? I have no problem talking to all the very same people as we mingle in the room an hour before. But, put me in front of the room by myself and its like I turn to someone else.

My calmness takes a leave of absence and its like an outer body experience as my shell stutters through the speech I had been writing for a month and practicing for weeks. I butchered it an I know it. This anger I feel at myself right now, will help move forward with purpose of doing better. I will not quit for as long as it takes to work on this skill. I will continue until I have it down.

People look to me for leadership and I feel my heart is in the right place. I just hope that they see who I really am, I am just me, a wife and a mother, a woman full of heart. I hope they hold space for me to be human. I am simply a woman who is fed up enough to get out of her comfort zone and try to affect change for the better. I am not a professional politician, I am for the most part an introvert!

I work from home on purpose, I write stories and work on our Adventure Sisters books because that is what I like to do, and I can do it in my home away from crowds. Also, I can write how I feel not have to say it. Probably why I like to write. I love to spend time in the great outdoors, with just a few people and my dogs in my free time.

I am not used to nor do, I enjoy public speaking. I am just angry enough at the state of affairs of our politics that I am willing to get out of my comfort zone, push myself to do better and be better for the greater good of the world around me.

So, when a well-intentioned constituent tells me “You are better at one on one.” I am not surprised because I already know this… and say “You are absolutely right. This is me. All human in every way, just like you. “

Maybe this is lesson for me as well, not only to be brave enough to get better. But to realize we are all just humans trying to do our best, sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we hit a home run.

I believe these experiences are offered to learn from and grow into better people with. Its up to me to make these difficult changes. I hope others are doing their best to make the changes they wish to see in the world too. Even as your hands are shaking, your knees are weak and there is a hurricane taking place inside your body. I think it is always best to do what moves my soul, so I will continue.

To all the people who push on through when scared. Way to go! Keep kicking butt, because I know it is hard. Anxiety sucks rocks. But what sucks worse is not even trying, because then you will always wonder what if? Which we all know, just leads to more nerves about that too because that’s what we do. Anxious people stress about our stress too.

To those who do not have any anxiety thank you for holding space and practicing patience with us that do, as we fight through it. We are doing our best to be brave. Thanks for being the oak tree in the back of the room, where we can look to you for grounding and calmness. Thank you for standing besides us as we do our best.

The people who support me through this weekend where the blessings that come with the lessons I am learning. I am so thankful for those whom have been kind, compassionate and caring. This weekend was great, even if I feel I could do better at public speaking, this experience was laid before me as a Lesson through Joy.

I know I can experience joy even during times of challenges. I am thankful the Universe has been answering my request to learn my lessons in joyous ways. I knew it would.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister