Lessons From the BWCA

I would have never guess the types of changes that came to me and my Adventure Sister Stacy when we first launched our rented canoe full of gear into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota the summer of 2013. We were naive in what the forest would teach us, how it would refine me by polishing my character, deepen my morals, give me courage to pursue ambitions, value and believe in myself gaining self-worth, our experiences in the BWCA even mended my faith in God/The Universe.

We were immediately awe-struck with the beauty of the Boundary Waters as we paddled towards our very first portage experience. Words were insufficient to represent the peaceful grace we felt in the remote and visually stunning wildlife landscape. It was the day I fell in love again, with nature. I thought to myself while feeling that grace and hearing the sound of only our paddles hitting the water “This must be where God lives.”

The Boundary Waters does don’t suffer fools, the wild wilderness can be just as dangerous as it is beautiful. Stacy and I thought nothing of this as we boldly longed for some fun and adventure in our lives. That summer was healing and transformative for the both of us. Stacy had just left her marriage of twelve years, and was selling her home. I was starting a new career, struggling to grow my client list, while making very little money. Times where much harder then we’d been used too, life at home was sometimes stressed.

On the water in a canoe with my new friend, I felt the burdens of life lifted from the minute we were dropped off in the wild to fend for ourselves. Isn’t funny how some things you deem as important are not too important, when you are using all your focus, kicking in heighten survival instincts that work like magic, giving you the abilities to navigate new watery paths before you. In the Boundary Waters it is imperative to be extra careful not to make careless mistakes that might be hilarious, also maybe dangerous… or even worse.

I know from experience see, because the very next day, we tipped the gosh darn canoe! We were lucky that it happened while fishing, we did not have all our portage packs filled with equipment in the canoe with us, only our fishing gear. Whew!!!! Thank the good Lord above for that blessing. Because (Insert dingy white girl voice here) “O.M.G! Like that would have been the biggest bummer ever!” It took us forever to get the swamped canoe emptied enough to ride back to camp. Luckily we were okay and still had a boat to get back to civilization the consequences could have been far worse.

I’ll admit it, we did not know much about anything on our first trip to the Boundary Waters. Even though neither of us had even filleted a fish, we went up into the Northwoods with sparing food, depending on the fish to catch to eat while there. I find it funny that when we were naïvely trusting the Universe to provide us fish, we caught more then enough and released what we did not eat. During the several more years of remote wilderness hardcore adventures we boasted, not one more fish would be caught after that first year. Now we don’t even bring our poles.

My philosophies on my experiences fishing have changed my beliefs about the ethical treatment of animals we eat, it has changed the way I live my life. This change in my ethical beliefs started on the very first time I visited the Boundary Waters. although with my Irish German heritage I am just a teeny tiny bit stubborn, it tends to take me some time to adapt… Change is scary and hard if you are not ready for it. I wasn’t ready at first, but the winds of change blew a seed into my soul, it takes time for gestation.

Stacy and I went deep into the forest to connect with Spirit, to manifest the changes we desperately wanted and needed. The concept of The Adventure Sisters was born on this first excursion into the BWCA wilderness. Little did we know that five years later we would be embarking together on a literary adventure, with a shared dream of empowering others as we have felt empowered. The Boundary Waters voyages changed our lives in so many positive ways that we want to give back to others in hopes they may find the same magic in their lives.

Stacy and I repeatedly faced obstacles, challenges, and follies in the BWCA we worked together to over-come them all. We learned we could depend on each other, we fostered trust in each other and man-o-man we had discovered we could have grand adventures and lots of fun together!

We came out of the forest as The Adventure Sisters, with a renewed self-esteem, exuding genuine Joy. We were very proud of ourselves for going well beyond our comfort zones challenging ourselves to make changes in our lives. We learned we work well individually but are much stronger when we work together. Things that sound so simple in words, but has a much bigger impact with experience.

From just this one, very first Boundary Waters Canoe Area experience I have gathered:

Courage: To do the things that scare me, and try new things, even if they make me uncomfortable.

Spiritual connection: Connection I felt to God, the earth and all living beings in it, changed dramatically, my thoughts on how we treat and respect the environment changing the direction of my life path.

Self-Worth: That grew into the ability to make the changed in my life that were needed by valuing my self and morals.

Self-esteem: I needed to believe that little old me, can make a difference of good, for the future before I would even try. Here I am, trying new things again, the BWCA helped me believe I could do that.

Teamwork: Better, stronger, wiser when we stick together babe.

Trust: I learned not only to trust in the abilities in myself but trust God/The Universe to bring me only good. My path does have a purpose, I am able to see that and trust in it now.

Thats just the first year! We were instantly hooked on the physical challenges, and the spiritual and emotional growth that keeps us coming back year after year. There are people just like you that bring their children, loved ones, or go solo up to the forests of BWCA where they can unplug from the daily grind just enough to be able to plug back into our connection with the Universe.

We sincerely do feel God up in God’s Country in The Boundary Waters, you would too I bet. This place should not be gambled away for any amount of money. The BWCA gives magical life lessons that no money can buy.

Look I’m just a girl who loves, her family, friends and pets… and clean air and water. I have learned that if I feel like I should be doing something then I better do it! Or inevitably I suffer anxiety, depression, and even create bad habits to cover up the feeling of guilt for not doing something I should be doing.

I believe life makes us move and act by making us uncomfortable, making us upset, and waving red flags in front of your face that move powerful emotions. If we were happy and content about the way things are we would not want to change right? Powerful emotions make you move.

I am passionate about keeping the environment clean for future generations. So avid that I choose to bravely push aside my introverted tendencies, gather courage to voice my opinion publicly in hopes of affecting change to protect the Boundary Waters from the impending environmental mining pollution.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a magical place in the forest that teaches people to be better people, this place where God lives, must be cherished, treasured and protected.

Please help me in doing so by signing this petition to Save The Boundary Waters.

https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters

 

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

The Adventure Sisters on Instagram
@adventuresistersbwca

Kind of a dick…

It’s recently occurred to me that I am kind of a dick. I don’t mean to be, I very much try to be a nice person to everyone I encounter, even unkind folks. That’s who my best self likes to be, open minded and compassionate. Lately I have had low tolerance for people who aren’t accepting of others, or my opinion of the environment, how hypocritical is that? I am a dick to the dicks I come across and I realize that it is my ego saying “No not like that. Do it my way.”

I have been writing about environmental awareness this week, it is one of my passions. I feel that it is part of my life’s purpose to speak up about the injustices happening to Mother Earth. Especially when it come to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota because it means so much to me. When my Adventure Sister Stacy and I go deep in to the forest of the BWCA we reconnect with spirit and ourselves. It is a magical time for us to recharge our souls by connecting with The Universe through nature. We would not be able to do that if it were to be poisoned my mining for its resources. It would not be the same place at all.

The thought of losing such a treasure makes my blood boil and my warrior spirit or ego gets all worked up. This is a stark contradiction to my other self! In my other life I am a massage therapist and light worker that believes the energy you give out comes back to you. On one hand I am a healer, a caretaker and a generally happy person, on the other hand I am human, I have a darker side too. We all do.

I struggle at times to keep the balance between keeping my thoughts and vibrations high by counting my blessings. Then when I start thinking about the possibility of something I cherish so profoundly, such as the Boundary Waters, becoming polluted, my love turns to fear, my fear turns to anger then I turn into that dick I was just talking about. I think this reaction is universal to most people I know when something or someone they love seems to be threatened.

So, what do I do to keep my vibrations and thoughts positive about a subject like environmental pollution that is not a happy subject at all? How do I stay true to my values of kindness and compassion when I am feeling the exact opposite? I must accept the duality of my true self, we all have light and dark energy for a reason, our emotions spur us to take action when we feel it is necessary. Our Yin Yang energy is variable it is meant to flow in balanced state, yet it is altered by our thoughts and actions. I know this, and I try so hard to keep it balanced yet someday’s I fail miserably.

So next time I come across a dick being a dick, I will try not to be a dick too. I will acknowledge that maybe they are reacting the same way that I do. They may be fearful or angry about something and I must listen to them if they are to listen to me.  This is the only way we can make progress, we are all on the same team on the same planet. I will do my best to keep my words and message positive, yet I know that life isn’t always joyful and there are subjects that do need to be discussed even if they are uncomfortable.

So here I am still a good person, with good intentions, sometimes a dick, most of the time I am not. My reasons are not excuses to be rude, yet I will not be mute on a subject that must be addressed. In the end I don’t need others to like me, I need them to listen, so that I can fulfill my purpose of environmental awareness. I know that I don’t like to listen to someone I don’t like, so I must be more aware of the words I use and how I use them to get my message across. I am a work in progress we all are.

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