Brave enough to be vulnerable –

“There is no greater measure of courage than vulnerability.” Brene’ Brown, PhD

There are people who can mask their emotions under even the most stressful of situations. I call this ability a poker face and we all have worn it from time to time.  We wear this unreadable expression when we want to keep our cards close to our chest and don’t want others to know our true feelings. We mask those emotions with a very neutral facial expression.

We cover our vulnerability. As humans we have become good at reading facial expressions, it’s a survival skill. A twitch of an eye, a tear or maniacal smirk can give us a warning when the situation is about to go in a negative direction. Just the opposite is true also; laughter and smiles can let us know it’s okay for us to be at ease.

Although humans share this planet and we all should be on the same team, we know this isn’t true, for everyone seems to separate themselves by their beliefs. Still others will use your vulnerability to manipulate you or use it against you. There are even some situations in which having a poker face is necessary for success; as a lawyer, a business person making deals, or even a politician.

Yet, even with all that, there are those who wear their hearts on their sleeves and everything they are thinking is as plain as the nose on their face. What I don’t understand is why showing our emotions is considered weak. As a woman, I swim in my emotions every minute of every day. I find them very useful actually. These emotions grow my strength.

If a sunrise makes my eyes tear up with gratitude for another day or if a Kleenex commercial makes me cry with sentiment, why is this considered fragile? If I am vulnerable enough to feel all these emotions, I am also strong enough to process them and use them to my benefit. Doesn’t feeling our emotions and willing to share them, make us stronger than those who chose to keep sentiment under lock and key? Emotions get things done; they make us act, move proverbial mountains and even change the world.

Being emotionally invested in an outcome, helps us to see alternate routes and options for solutions. Being passionately invested in the results makes me very creative in finding solutions. I don’t buy into the two choice only options always given to us as a society. False choices of having to choose between the right or the left, masculine/feminine, right/wrong, environmental preservation or economic growth… just doesn’t always fit the need.

Who decided it is the emotionless, poker faces of the world that get to choose what is right and wrong? I’m calling BS on how ‘strength’ is depicted. The way I see it, emotions, covered up by a neutral mask, only means you are not brave enough to show the world your real face.

It is our beliefs that separate us and make us give others the choice of my way or your way… when really, our world is full of options and solutions and hardly ever is there only two choices.

As American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge.”

I believe we are currently in a “times of challenge” part of our history. There are still so many people who think that maybe women are not ‘strong enough’ to lead because we are emotional beings. I disagree. To choose to wear your heart on your sleeve or your emotions all over your face, is brave and profoundly human. To show your vulnerability is to show your courage and what you stand for. It is those with the poker faces you should be wary of.

Emotion like this can even be seen in the little details of life. Like the strength of a mother who brings her 6-week-old newborn into the clinic for vaccinations. Knowing she is about to subjecting her infant to the pain of the injection. She too cries with her baby, as the shot is administered. Holding in her arms the embodiment of unconditional love. She knows this act is for a greater good and protection… There is the emotion of love streaming down her face. There is strength.

Strength has a face and it is not what Hollywood tells us. It is not a poker face or an angry face. It is in the emotion and courage to be brave no matter what. If society is going to heal, we need to change the way we view strength. Because if anyone knows how to heal, nurture and grow; it is a woman with the courage to be brave enough to show her strong emotions to all.

It’s our time to show up and be our true selves. Know it is okay to be vulnerable and that being true to ourselves is the greatest measure of courage.

“There is no greater measure of courage than vulnerability.” Brene’ Brown, Ph.D. from her book Rising Strong. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it!

*Picture take on the Mississippi River, my daughters first canoe ride. (She was scared but brave. I am so proud of her!)

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 being an Adventure Sister means

Being an Adventure Sister means that I am someone who goes on adventures and also inspires adventure, it means I enjoy encouraging others to inspire themselves. My dream is to motivate others to feel the same sense of delight and satisfaction I feel when doing something I find exciting and invigorating by getting off the couch and jumping into my life. This reminds me of a saying that I love. “The only difference between, fear and excitement is, your attitude about it.” I find this to be true. There are many times I’ve felt frightened, and excited at the same time. The difference in my experience was decided by my attitude while going through the journey.

I became an Adventure Sister when I realized that I was deeply moved by my experiences in nature. I was hooked on the feeling of personal accomplishments, doing things I’ve never done before, addicted to the feeling of pride that adventure provided! Was it the adrenalin of boldly sauntering into the forest of unknown activities and occupants? Was it the excitement of mysterious endeavors and events that kept us on our toes? Not knowing everything that’s going to happen seemed to lend itself to the magic of synchronicities that appear to motivate our fun outcomes.

Adventure Sister Stacy and I have survived waves that were so large when we dipped our paddles into the water it only hit air, then wildly splashed inside the canoe. We’ve battled waves that muted each of our strokes, so powerful they pulled our canoe to the middle of the large lake no matter how hard we tried to keep closer to shore. We’ve survived athletic feats we were in no way prepared for. We’ve even accidentally popped a gas tank on a rental car in Florida, that leaked so profusely the firemen said, it likely could have been very dangerous. Yet we continue to make it home safely and in one piece each time we dared to be brave. I feel like I should give a shout out and giant expression of gratitude to my guardian angels and guides right now, they’ve helped through some wild rides.

Who you choose to accompany you does matter when on an adventure, and Stacy is great because she doesn’t fuss while working as hard as we needed to. We were able to turn hard-core camping excursions into spiritual adventures that helped us gain confidence in ourselves while building trusting supportive relationship with each other. We grew our spiritual practices simultaneously which became a special type of bond like the one lots of people cherish at church. Only our church nature. It is a blessing to have someone to help you grow in meaningful directions, and inspires you to be a better you. The bond of sisterhood that Stacy and I have founded in each other through our expeditions together has added depth that seem to make our adventures more enjoyable and meaningful.

You just never know where you’ll end up on an adventure, that’s what so exciting about it. Leaving your schedule open to be being able to take that invitation, or the scenic route on vacation can be one of the best ways to find excitement. Going off the beaten path leads us to have new experiences lets us see things I would not have if everything was scheduled on a strict itinerary. Support is essential to a joyful adventure, its important bring someone who you like and trust. It helped that I felt supported by my family who had my back when going out of my comfort zone.

I want to inspire others to bring excitement and play back into their lives, by telling them them how I found Joy in my life, that just so happened to be inspired by adventure. What I find exciting may not be to you, or vice versa, I am not recommending you bungee jump off a bridge if you are frightened of heights. Or go ahead if you want to be courageous! I found the feeling of honor in doing something I never thought I could is one of the best feelings to be in my body for. Not all adventures have to be dangerous, thrill seeking events. Finding courage to write that book, to have a baby (or not) to change careers, or make any change that makes you feel good about yourself are adventures. It’s all in the way you look at them.

I believe with all my heart, you’re never too old, too young or too anything to do something that makes your heart sing. It makes your heart sing for a reason, because that’s your song to sing! I want to inspire the bravery in others to find courage you need to sing your song by being fearless in pursing my own unique melody. To be an Adventure Sister means to inspire greatness in all of life’s adventures, from babies to grandbabies, from college to retirement and everything in between or after, it is never too late to feel great!

What makes you feel brave? What makes you feel proud? Are you an Adventure Sister too?

I would love to hear what inspires you to inspire others!

 

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