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

Turn and face the strange changes –

Adventure Sister Stacy has a series of self-help blogs she is writing that suggest ways to deal with the stress of change. I find that she has great advice, and the suggestions she offers are valid. However, maybe it is just me, but even with all the assistance and techniques offered, I still find change stressful. To go from one way of life to another even when it is self-inflicted causes stress of all kinds.

The stress of change affects my attitude, my time, my sleep, my family life, and my social life because I am being changed! Therefore, how I deal with this change is going to be altered depending on my experience. For the most part I think that I am doing my best to take charge of the direction and change happening right now. Then there is the fact as Stacy also mentions that we do not have control of anything except ourselves when life redirects us.

Yet, we all know that people are not their best selves while under intense stress. This is a fact I hope we can all agree on. I do my best to be kind, keep a positive attitude and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I keep faith that this change is being guided by spirit to bring me the life I have been asking for all along. Most days I find new experiences exciting and invigorating, but on those rare days that stress gets me good, I find myself well… not being my best self.

I am not proud of myself when I snap at someone out of stress or even to set boundaries that have been pushed too far. I know that there is a better way to communicate my feelings and emotions, yet as I am just a regular person like everyone else. Shit happens. I can only be poked with a sharp stick for so long and by a very few people. When someone else tries to add their extra push or poke in the wrong time I will reflexively bite back. I have my limits.

Now, I have worked long and hard on myself over many years. I do my best to practice kindness, generosity and patience to all the people in my life. So, when I act in a way that surprises others and even myself, I am going to take that as a sign that my boundaries have been pushed too far. I have reached my tolerance of any more pushing, no matter how well-intentioned the pushes may be.

To say take a deep breath in the .02 seconds it took to push me over the edge is just not realistic. I believe I must listen to my instincts or reflexes and ask myself what was it that made me snap like that? Or why am I feeling overwhelmed at this moment?

When I ask myself these questions instead of accepting my feelings as fact, it gives me an opportunity to redirect my attitude. Stacy did give the advice to acknowledge your feelings. I believe these feelings help direct me, even if they aren’t shiny happy feelings, they are guiding me to listen to what is under the surface.

They say we are given free will. We choose our actions, our decisions, and our personalities by the way we have experienced life in the past. I know that if I choose to act in a way that I am not proud of because of stress and change, well… its up to me to change it moving forward. I can practice all the self-soothing techniques Stacy had to offer at I can also acknowledge my reaction may have been an automatic response of protecting my boundaries.

When you start a new path, you get new people on that path with you. Sometimes people will unintentionally push your limits too far and it is up to us to let others know where those boundaries are. I work for myself for a reason, I am not used to people telling me what to do or the metaphorical feeling of someone walking behind me with a sharp stick.

If you poke this bear one to many times, I will growl at you and not so subtly. What I do not like about my reaction to stress is that I may accidentally hurt others with my sharp tongue; which happens to be my weapon of choice when protecting my boundaries. I like to do things at my own pace so when the path I am on changes and forces me to do more then I think I am able, this will stress me out.

I know I am not alone here. All the deep breathing, meditating, and visualizing a good outcome will not stop me from being human. I would like to meet the person who is always calm, always relaxed as life shoves them white water rafting down the river of life. It gets rocky, scary and adrenalin is jacked up so high your mind goes to automatic survivor mode and not one bit of your calm is available for you to access at those exact moments of stress.

Maybe this is just me?

Maybe I am just resistant to change even though I want it so badly? There are things in my life that I love just as they were and are. But those are also part of the journey of life and when I change, they change whether I like it or not.

What I find most useful adapting to this change is letting go. Letting go of what I think it all ‘should’ look like, letting go of ‘doing it all myself’ and learning to ask for help. What I find helpful is my friends and family who listen to me and hold space for me as I change.

The support of others is where I find the most comfort on this roller coaster ride we call life. Like my husband likes to quote, “Life is like an EKG reading; if it’s not going up and down, you’re dead.”

Acknowledging that life does have its ups and downs is how I have faith that tomorrow will be better. Having a hand to hold and friends who listen to my growing pains is comforting and keeps me on the path even when it is scary or stressful.

My advice when dealing with the stress of change is to reach out to those you love and your friends that have your back. Find comfort in your closest relationships and maintain them through the change. Reach out and ask for help and emotional support you need when you need it. Know that your life is not just yours. We are all connected, when you hurt, the people you love hurt with you, maybe even because of you.

Knowing to tend to what is really truly important to me in my life through the journey is where I find comfort. It is never usually about me. It is about connections I hold dear that keep me striving to be better, do better and to contribute to this world for the greater good. It is because I care so deeply about the world around me that I am willing to change my life, my normal, my direction.

Being with those I love, reminds me of my purpose. Knowing it is all divinely guided, helps me let go and enjoy the ride. Choosing to learn my lessons through joy, by looking on the bright side of things, is how I cope with stress and change. I try to stay positive, I try to be my best self. I choose to love myself even when my best-self, take’s a momentary leave of absence. I give myself a break, knowing I am doing the best I can in the time and space I am given.

I like to give the same courtesy to others who are stressed and going through change as well. Accepting people just as they are being one of the best lesson’s I’ve learned in life and the most useful. To practice it on myself, is a work in progress but I continue to try. After all, I do have high standards for myself and others around me. To be flexible and compassionate are the techniques that work best for me as well. Because I truly believe we are ALL doing the best we can on this roller coaster of life.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

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