The work is the prayer

“I pray every single moment of my life; not on my knees but with my work.”  Susan B. Anthony

This quote always makes my heart smile and my soul sing. One of my favorite things about my grandmother was that even though she was a good Catholic woman, she did not preach her faith to others, she lived it. She just lived her life as an excellent nurse, wife, mother, grandmother and wonderful caring friend whose life seemed to be her living prayer. She had a wonderful effect on her small town of 600 people over the 60+ years she lived there. She was even out delivering meals on wheels the day she passed away.

 

I admire others who change the world by just being themselves by following their hearts and offering compassion. I believe that even small acts of kindness can make a huge difference to everyone. The person who gives and the one who receives the kindness; are both blessed by the feeling of caring. In a world so big, we must not forget it is the little everyday actions that make up our lives and legacy. My goal is to live my faith; by exhibiting compassion, kindness, and inspiration so others will feel free to share their light as well.

If we all take a moment to share the light inside ourselves with others, it tends to have a chain reaction. It’s as if we take turns relighting the spirit we all hold inside. This is important because there are times in our lives that some candles burn brighter than others and we all need a little motivation (or fuel) to get your pilot lights glowing again.

My friend Stacy and I take turns firing each other up all the time! We hold space and love for each other on our hardest days because we know that life has its ups and downs. During the downs, we do our best to uplift and inspire each other with ideas and suggestions on how to pull ourselves out of these lower vibes.

This doesn’t have to be miraculous or extravagant action, simple things tend to work best. Stacy often will suggest a book, or a Kundalini Yoga set that helps me in just the way I need. We take turns fueling the creative light in each other and then go out and share it. We do this by sharing ourselves with the world through our stories of growth; writing of our life-lessons, the gatherings we hold, coming soon retreats and even in our careers!

I shortened the original quote “The work is the prayer” to inspire myself to keep moving forward with our goals. Our ‘work’ as the Adventure Sisters does not really feel like work at all! I can truthfully say that it feels more like a living prayer. It is what I have to offer the world. The higher power did not give us these skills or desires for without reason. We have them because they are our gifts to the world.

Stacy and I are very different in many ways, yet so perfectly in sync that we complement each other’s strengths and even benefit each other’s weak spots. It is no accident that we came together in this lifetime; we have work to do and we know it. This inner knowing, listening to our guidance and desires to help other women grow and become their best selves, is our way of sharing our light. We believe lighting up even just one person can indeed change the world for the better.

We know this is true because we’ve practiced with each other, our families and our communities with positive results! Sometimes this doesn’t always look like light or sunshine on a beautiful day. Somedays it’s quietly listening and caring through tough times. Such is life though, it is not all sunshine, glitter and rainbows.

We know in those moments of darkness or difficulties, that we tend to grow the most and in the most valuable ways. These times are just as precious as the good days. So, as you go about life, remember that every action can indeed be a light in the world. Even little things like smiling at a stranger in your way at the grocery store, instead of an exhausted sigh and eye roll as an example.

We all have the power to change our world by changing ourselves, our attitude and this also changes our lives. When I am much older and look back at my life, I would love to say I spent my days living my prayer. By following my inner guidance to make the world around me a little kinder and brighter, because of my efforts to spark the light of others.

The work is the prayer!

I’d love to hear what inspires you?! Please feel free to share!

Wishing you love and blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Service IS Joy!

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life is service.

I acted and behold, service was joy. 

Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet

 

It took me a long time to realize just how important being of service is to me. I always liked to help others, and still do what I can, to “make myself useful” as my mom likes to say. Yet for a long while, I did not understand the overall effect acts of service had on my psyche. I have since learned it feels good to be helpful, appreciated and even needed. Although it can sometimes feel like work, the influence volunteering has on me is quite magical. I no longer think of it as effort but as an opportunity to bring joy into my life and those of others!

When I volunteer for something that touches my heart, I usually get to meet new people and make new friends at the same time. This helps me to get to know others in my community who are also doing their best to better the town we share. When I see so many others, taking time out of their lives, to be part of the effort required to make our community so great; it brings me hope for the future. It’s a wonderful reminder that there are lots of people like you and me who still care about our neighbors and do our best to spread joy.

When I give my time and join my neighbors who have the same intentions as I do; the results can be heartwarming and encouraging. I was recently elected to the board of our local Friends of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Committee. I am so excited about the opportunity to be part of this program. ‘The Friends’ have started a Young Naturalist program that provides the children, from our local Elementary schools, the opportunity to learn through outdoor field trips and provide educational information at the Refuge, that’s a lot of fun for them!

I love this program so much, because I believe that getting children excited about nature is how we ensure they care about the environment when they grow up.  To have this opportunity to make a real tangible effort that affects the children and other folks that enjoy the Refuge is exciting! The environment and protecting it is one of my true passions in life. Children are the future and I truly hope they care about the environment as much as I do when they grow up!

I think it is extremely important to have natural spaces that are free for our communities to enjoy. I first started going to the Wildlife Refuge several years ago; because it was full of beautiful hiking trails where I love to take my dogs for a walk. The trails are well maintained and safe, thanks to the funding they receive and the hard work of The Refuge employees and volunteers. Volunteering for an organization that is so near and dear to my heart and echoes the core of my beliefs really fires me up.

I try hard to make sure I am doing my best to bring good ideas, help where I am able, and put my skills to use. ‘The Friends’ Committee does much more beyond youth education. It also includes several subcommittees that have different purposes. I am on the Advocacy Committee which involves talking to Legislators and asking that they ensure our local Refuge will get the funding it needs to be maintained. Pretty sure I can do that!

I believe when you want to change the world you need to start in your own back yard… Volunteering and making a difference in my direct community is pretty darn cool in my mind. We often forget that politics are not just in our State Capitals or Washington D.C. Politics can happen in our towns, schools and even our parks. Being active in your community is the planting of seeds where the grassroots grow. We forget that politics is just putting our beliefs into action. It’s easy, fun and nothing to be afraid of!

Volunteering in other areas of the community has been an excellent opportunity to see the good in the world. We are all different but that’s what makes us so great! When you put us together for a good cause, great suggestions inspire miraculous action and happenings that truly do bring joy to each other and the community we share. How cool is that?!

I also Volunteer at a local animal rescue when I can. It has been a life changing experience that I enjoy and always has me going back for more!

What is your favorite volunteering experience? I’d love to hear what moves your heart!

Wishing you love and blessings,

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

Are you feeding your faith or your fears?

They say, what we focus on, grows. Which is why I have been choosing to focus on good, even though I know darn well there is plenty of darkness in the world. I want to grow the goodness in myself, my family, friends, community and even the world if possible.

It seems like a lofty goal doesn’t it?! I mean, who do I think I am, to be able to affect global change for goodness sakes? I am just little ol’ me, a middle-aged woman from rural Minnesota with a humble job and no real connections to ‘greatness’ as defined by society.

But isn’t that the best part of it all? Even though I am just me, a regular Jane, I am choosing to nurture my environment in hopes that the love I have inside my soul will ripple out into the world around me. Listen, I fear plenty of things, but what good does it do? Holding on to fear has an immobilizing effect on me. When I get scared, I just want to hide in my house away from the world. Does this ring true to you?

I’d like to share a little story of my path through fear to reach faith. When I was thinking of running for State Rep, I was fearful of all sorts of things, like losing my privacy. Although I am a writer, who wears my heart on my sleeve, I still cherish my private life. I know I am far from perfect and worried that the world, or my little part of it anyways, might  find out all the lesson’s I learned the hard way. That might lead to judgments from those who think or believe differently than I. Am I prepared to handle those judgments? I mean… it’s guaranteed to be kind of a lot!

One person even told me. “It is truly a selfless act to run as a Democrat in this District.” History shows this is true. All the hard work of Democratic Candidates generally ends in defeat, according to the political election results of previous decades. Is this something I should also fear? Nobody likes to lose, especially when they are working hard and doing their best. Many knew it would probably be a losing fight.

However, no matter what you believe, you cannot win the game if you do not play! Everything about this path scared me. Public speaking was my worst fear magnified by a hundred or more. Everything I said or didn’t say, everything I wore and how I carried myself was up for judgment. This was a very scary arena to jump into as a rookie not knowing what to expect.

Honestly, I was a bit relieved when I didn’t win. I never felt so free in my life! I no longer had to show up with my underdeveloped confidence and a smile on my face as I shook like a hurricane on the inside. I could now relax. At the same time I was sad, depressed and I even mourned the experience. It helped me grow in so many ways that I will never experience again.

Facing my fears, to be part of the change I wished to see in the world, has helped me expand! All of me! Mind, body, spirit and all the energy I give out into the world has been shifted into someone I always knew I was.

Putting aside my fear of failing, or being judged and facing my doubts helped me ‘level up’ as you do in a video game. To stand up for what I believe, even though my anxiety, was the hardest thing I have done in recent memory and worth it even though I lost.

There is so much wisdom in the journey others call ‘failure’ that I no longer consider it a loss at all. I consider the experience of rising above my fears a blessing that expanded my life in ways that didn’t seem possible.

When I came out the other side, I saw that most of my fears were unfounded, unnecessary and failing was a real-life win. Learning to stand and speak my truth fed my soul and gave me true confidence I no longer needed to fake!

Instead of feeling like I was headed to the basement in a scary movie, This experience helps me see I am armed and prepared for whatever I find. I also know that I am perfectly capable of learning what I need on the job or on the fly, to come out alive and well. Choosing to feed my faith in myself and humanity, instead of my fears, has changed me for the better as if by magic.

Feed your faith adventurers, it is life changing.

Wishing you beautiful experiences of faith and love,

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

                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

What a wonderful world!

Have you ever fell in love at first sight? I have, and believe it or not, it’s almost a daily occurrence for me. At the grocery store I’ll see an adorable little toddler asking five hundred questions to her patient parent, who’s answering the best they can. It happens when I see an elderly married couple, happily shopping together, knowing exactly what the other needs. Chatting away and oblivious to the rest of the customers around. How about when you see a new born baby or small puppy? Oh man, I fall head over heels in love with the adorable new additions to the world!

When I see people being their best selves, smiling, sharing love and kindness; it makes my heart swell and sometime tears of joy, from observing love in action. In those small blessed moments, I feel love just by witnessing it.

Does falling in love mean you stay in love forever or does it mean you had the opportunity to feel the emotion of love for a split second? I think it’s the later.

With all the news pointing out the bad in people, I am doing my best to seek out the best. I am choosing to fall in love with the world around me. I am working to see the good we have to offer before I focus on the bad of humanity. I do this for a reason. I believe that nurturing and encouraging the good will cultivate more goodness. Sure, there are people we run into having a bad day, but it’s up to you to choose if you let them share their negative energy with you or you share your positive energy with them.

Some may think of my optimistic tendencies as unrealistic, but I don’t. Yes, I do see the darkness out there as well. I am doing my best to choose to just not to focus on it though. I think this a feminine quality that many women hold intrinsically in our beings. To be able to take $hit in our environment and turn it into usable fertilizer that grows gardens of love and wisdom. I feel we see this as we witness the divine embodiment of feminine energy expressed as Mother Earth; caring for billions of living creatures. Mother Earth knows how to turn our waste into nourishment that fortifies all living beings.

It is nothing short of magic really. I think that is an inherent characteristic of the feminine; to be able to selflessly nurture who and what we choose if we so choose to. To me, holding love for the strangers at the grocery store or curbing harsh judgment to someone who may not fit my definition of civilized, has helped me to grow as well. Every living being deserves to be treated with kindness or respect.

As the Dalai Lama says. “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

I believe that even a smile from a stranger passing by, may help to lift the spirits of others. I know that looking for the good in the world around me in my everyday life, helps me to feel good too. What you focus on grows. I am choosing to focus on the love in the world. I am choosing to see the love that flows all around me. I believe you will find love is everywhere if you look for it too.

I enjoy looking for reasons and ways to fall in love with humanity, even opportunities to experience love at first sight. If more of us would choose to do so; might this give us the will and ways to be the change, we wish to see in the world?  I know it can’t hurt. When you think to yourself, “What a wonderful world!” our actions will support your experiences of a wonderful world!

Wishing you beautiful experiences of lots of love around you. May you be a witness to love at first sight today and every day!

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

 

Will you hold my hand?

Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.

Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!

When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.

When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.

It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”

She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.

Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.

Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.

Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.

What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.

It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.

Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?

Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.

Wishing you an abundance of 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

You’re So Nice!

I have been making a lot of new friends this year, which I enjoy very much! Of course, when I meet new people, I usually try to be as kind as possible. I believe in treating others the way you would like to be treated. I have learned, from my Grandmothers’ example, to live your beliefs. I have chosen, as my religious practice, to offer kindness and compassion to every living being I come across.

Lately, I have been hearing; “You are so nice!” or “She is so nice!” when I hear them talk to others about me. I find this very flattering and it makes ‘me’ feel wonderful that I leave others feeling good!  This is exactly how I want others to feel if I can help it. But if I am being totally honest, my husband laughs a little, when he hears it too…

Like all folks, I have many qualities, some of which are very opposite! The longer you know someone, the more you get to know them, right?! My best friend of thirty years gave me a birthday card earlier last month that said.

“You’re the Birthday Queen today! You should be honored, worshipped, and just a little bit feared…. Just like every day!”

We both found the card to be quite hilarious! Because this girl knows me very well after three decades of friendship. She has seen the me that will stand up for myself when needed.

I enjoy making people feel good when they are around me. What a blessing to be able to do so! Not everyone is as blessed to be as outgoing and comfortable with life as I have learned to be. There are times I have my moments, though. When I am not feeling so secure and acting kind. In those moments, others feel comfortable enough to think they can bully me… Ha! Wrong.

I try my very hardest to keep calm with the people whom I adamantly disagree with. But… Let me tell you. This girl also knows when to stop being so darn nice. It is not my favorite way to communicate but sometimes I feel I must be clear with my boundaries by being clear with my actions, if my words are not being respected. Sometimes I choose to act by walking away, other times I choose to stand and fight; with my words of course.

For me fighting is exhausting and kindness is energizing. I would rather work to practice respecting others, just as they are, if they are respectful in return. We do not have to agree on everything, but I do demand the respect of being treated civil, regardless. I find that there are more favorable outcomes, even in times of strife, when we do our best to listen and practice gentleness.

I was raised by single my mom, who was supported by my aunties and her girlfriends that became my ‘adopted aunties’. My mom surrounded me with strong, opinionated and independent women who raised me to be the same. Be nice but take no shit! I was also a free-range kid given trust to ‘be good’ and allowed to roam without worry. This cultivated my adventurous spirit. It helped me learn to explore what interested me, to be brave and to trust my instincts.

There have been times in my life that I have not always been so nice. When I had more toughness then kindness in me but now I choose to live with more kindness and patience. It took me many years to know when to lose my cool and when not too. It is true that with age comes wisdom.

I believe I had to go through those experiences to learn the lessons I needed to grow as a person. Life has taught me that I much prefer to go through life being kind, but at the same time, being firm with my boundaries. You CAN be kind and tough all at the same time! I believe everyone embodies these yin yang traits. These experiences have taught me that I like to be nice!

I believe that kindness is like my religion. I practice kindness as often as I can, it is my way to “practice what I preach”. I very much wish to be a light in a sometimes, dark world. However, given enough time, my new friends will see the duality that lives within me and everyone else. I can only hope they accept my humanness with kindness themselves.

I love being kind. I love that kindness is the energy I choose to share with the world around me, as often as possible.

Which energy do you share the most?!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

EmyforHouse.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

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

https://emyminzel.com

EmyforHouse.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com