Gratitude experiment

Surfing through social media, I saw a meme picture of a pumpkin with words written all over it. The premise behind it was that each day, you write one thing you are thankful for. You can use the pumpkin as a fall centerpiece or just enjoy it as a visual reminder of all the blessings we wrote down throughout the month. Our pumpkin was gifted to us by my aunt, which is something I can already be thankful for!

I thought this was a lovely idea, and since starting this thankfulness practice, it seems to have had a splendid effect on my daily life. Each morning when I open my eyes, I have started my morning by giving thanks for the day before me. There were days I woke up grumpy, but after making it a point to give thanks for my blessings, it turned my mood around remarkably.

What I didn’t expect was that even random interactions with the world around me seemed to benefit. Was my face reflecting the peace of the gratitude I felt? Helping strangers feel welcome to show kindness, smile, or give me a compliment? I started to enjoy my work even more than usual when I made sure to send gratitude for the opportunity to help my clients before each session. Random people at the grocery store would start up conversations or compliment me.

Kindhearted interactions seemed to be a pleasant byproduct of the self-inflicted attitude adjustment I needed. I had been feeling frustrated and down about things beyond my control. It occurred to me that it is my responsibility to manage my attitude and I can change how I was looking at things. I decided I must do something to transform my negative ruminating. I needed a positive push and this Thanksgiving pumpkin idea came around the perfect moment.

I did not know how profoundly my shift in gratitude would move me! That is how it goes sometimes, isn’t it? One random choice to change something seemingly small turns out to be precisely what you needed all along! My new attitude of gratitude has remarkably helped lift my mood and the quality of my days. Instead of looking only for what’s wrong in each situation, I look for the blessings too.

Giving myself permission to be happy for no reason other than I decided too, was liberating. I found when I show thanks for life, family, friends, work, and all the blessings I sometimes take for granted, it is almost contagious. That’s my experience anyway. I know it sounds a little Pollyanna like but there is wisdom in choosing to be grateful!

Last week I bumped into a client while in town who said to me after a short chat. “You know, sometimes you just have to be thankful!” I said. “Yes! Yes!!!” That client did not know of my thankfulness experiment. Still, it was like she was a messenger from above confirming my findings. I love it when synchronicities happen! It’s like a sign from the Universe you are on to something useful here.

It seems it would be wise to continue this habit of saying grace every morning and throughout the day. Counting my blessings regularly has been a catalyst for better days and a lighter mood, which raises the vibes I bring to the world. It’s been such a lovely experience that I wanted to share this idea with you. I genuinely hope you have the same benevolent response from the world that I have felt.

Wishing you an abundance of blessings to be thankful for!

Love,

Emy Minzel

 

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EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

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Stacy Crep ~

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Photo credit – Emy Minzel

Shifting in sharing my caring ~

I’ve been asked to write a mission statement for the campaign to help me decided on running for State Representative in 2020. This request got me really thinking about the crossroads I am sitting at and what direction would be best for me.

How do I want to spend the next years of my life, and how will it feel when doing so? I can take two very different journeys depending on my decision. This choice is hard because it’s a big one that will change the trajectory of my days, my future.

Who am I really at my core? I know I have a desire to help others, I care deeply for people, all living beings and the planet. I ask myself over and over. “What is the best way for me to put these passions to good use? I have had the extraordinary opportunity to try different approaches on for size and see how I felt doing so.

The political path is exciting, empowering, educational, and brought me closer to the members of my community. There are also downsides of this choice. Politics are not conducive to balance in lots of areas of my life. There is a sacrifice of family time, personal desires, career, and on top of the lack of help I would need. Not to mention the contentious arena that supports a Bloods Vs. Crips kind of rivalry.

Listen, I will fight if I have too. But deep down, I am a lover, not a fighter. Lately, I feel the calling of peace. Many people were surprised by my choice to jump into the political arena in the first place. I would often think of it as an avenue to express an alter ego side of me. I was often conflicted in my mind and heart following the political trail. Not in policies but in my personal life.

At times I would even compare myself to Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk. To continue the governmental track would mean to endure more of this same frustration. Is pursuing this political path worth my balance, wellbeing and the future of my life. Is there another way to make a difference that feels better?

Over and over, I asked myself what if’s, how and why? Can I make a difference in the world around me in a different way that feels good to me, my family, and those I love? I work from home for a reason, and I love it here. I live a blessed life I am beyond thankful for it. These questions got me looking within, getting back to my roots, surrounding myself with loved ones that know my heart.

I was asking myself the hard questions of who I want to be as I grow into this next pivotal transformation in life. I am thankful for the time I have had to contemplate the pros and cons of each choice and how it will affect me and others I care most about. I am thankful for the opportunity to see myself in the future and how I think it will look.

When I started this political journey, I had called on the inspiration of my grandmother, EmaDee, who was a Registered Nurse for over 40 years in a very small-town hospital. She was a good, kind, and caring person who had a positive impact on her community just by showing up and being herself. My grandmother is one of my heroes because of these traits. I’ve always wanted to be like her in this way.

This desire has never wavered or changed. It was the way I was going about it that altered. I have been allowed time to process this shift, how it feels to me, how it affected my family, and how it changed me has been a blessing.

I know I can still be politically active in a different and muted approach. I do not have to be the candidate; I can be supportive of the changes I wish to see differently. I am excited to see the next candidate get the opportunity to share their passion for our community in such a big way! I can support others who run by being a cog in the wheel of revolution.

My voice does matter and how I used it counts. I have come to see that this political path is a little too extra for me at this time in my life. There must be a balance in the way I care for myself and others. Right now, I feel that I must focus on helping me before I tackle the problems of a whole community. I am choosing to put the oxygen mask on myself first.

Who I am in my soul is full of spirit, love, compassion, and joy. To choose a path that supports and nurtures this part of me means I am kind and truthful with myself. I have a massage therapy practice that fills me with purpose and brings many wonderful people into my life. The real me behind the political persona is a hippie at heart. I am content with being precisely this — just me. I don’t need a microphone to be myself.

Understandably, there may be some disappointment by some, but I must do what is best from me at this time. I have chosen to take the alternate path and continue my career in caring. I’ll begin with Yoga teacher training and see where I go from there. I am choosing to foster the goodness in myself by finding the balance I seek.

I hope to share this kindness with the people around me in a similar way. Teaching is also a powerful approach to help foster a positive, feel-good effect on myself, my family, and the community I love! By sharing my caring in a different form, I can open more hearts, bring inner peace and Zen, with an agenda to create a community of acceptance and connection.

This teaching opportunity can also be a powerful technique in being the change I wish to see in the world. I wish to see more love, more kindness, and more connection to one another. This decision is how I am choosing to be the change. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey through life together. I cherish you.

Nameste!

With love,

Emy Minzel

 

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~

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Photo credit – Emy Minzel, Wild rose bush with bee in my back yard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who do you think you are?!

Do you ever dream big and aim for the stars doing something you really want too? Then when you start to take the steps. It seems that once in a while, your self-doubt whispers in the back of your mind. “Who do you think you are?! What makes you think you can do this?”

It’s like there’s a grumpy angel sitting on my shoulder, asking me. “Do you remember where you come from? Let me remind you of all these limiting the beliefs you picked up along the way. Girl, it’s me. Your debilitating doubt, reminding you to watch yourself! Who gave you permission to succeed anyway?! Certainly not me.”

This sounds so silly to write it out and then read. Yet, I genuinely believe I am not the only person to fight these limiting thoughts. It has become a habit for me to write about life lessons and roadblocks to process them. As far as coping mechanisms go, writing is my healthiest. Even then, sometimes, I feel like who cares? Why do I feel this pull and desire to share such personal information?

I believe it’s not that I need someone to care per se. What I need is to feel like I am helping someone else. Isn’t that peculiar? I am a certified massage therapist, I volunteer in my community, and I have a passion for protecting the environment. Yet, with all the action I take to “help” others, I still feel that there is more to do. Then I get frustrated when I don’t see it happening fast enough.

I have this pull to write what I live; in case someone needs to hear they are not alone. Selfishly it feels like I need to write to help myself too. I just listened to a song that said. “Take your time. Life’s lessons are not learned in a day.” How powerful this short phrase is at the exact moment when I seem to be in a hurry to know it all and do it all; like, RIGHT NOW!

Even though I know in my heart that life is a beautiful journey meant to be savored and enjoyed one day at a time. Apparently, I have the patience of Hulu on pause, because when I feel my effort isn’t progressing somewhere fast enough, I get down on myself and just quit moving. That jerk voice in the back of mind kicks in its two cents and asks. “So, this is it then?! Nice try. Remember who you are, sit down and shut up.” Unfortunately, lately, I have been complying.

What an a$$Hole I am to myself sometimes hey?! I mean really, I don’t talk to my friends like this. Why do I speak to myself this way? Where does this icky habit of doubt come from? I honestly think it comes from my lack of patience and just maybe… a buried fear of success. This also seems silly when I write it. Who fears success?!

Most people I know, try every day to succeed on their personal paths. I guarantee they have doubts as well, but do they handle them better than I do? There are days I feel like throwing in the towel on all of it. That dark angel on my shoulder tells me maybe I should just go get a regular job, so I don’t have to worry about doing the books, finding clients, and building my business.

Why do I volunteer my time instead of crawling into bed with a good book and my dog? Why do I pursue politics that get me all riled up, instead of working more on balancing my Zen?! Why do I stifle my creativity because I fear judgment from those who do not create themselves? Why, do I want to have it ALL?! Is what I am working towards even attainable?

Also, why do I have so many questions about life? I hope this is coming across in a friendly and relatable way. There must be others out there who struggle with doubt when pursuing dreams and goals. Are there other people who can relate to my frustration with the pace of life when you feel like you’ve been working so hard but just to feel as if your spinning wheels?

Listen, I believe if every one of us put our problems in a pile, most of us would choose to keep our own instead of trade. This frustration I feel is not a problem, it is an obstacle I know I can navigate. Yet, it feels like I need to a little help to push through right about now. I think we are all in this world together, so I’d like to ask for your help.

What do you do or tell yourself to keep your head up and hopes high? What would you tell your best friend asking this same advice on this topic? I am a fan of sharing sisterhood support, and I’d love to hear from you today!

P.s. I’d love to hear who you think you are! And what obstacle are you working to overcome right now!

Sending the intention of encouragement and self-love to you!

Wishing you the luck you need today,

Love, Emy Minzel 

 Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

@EmyMinzel

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Contact me at: EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

 

Stacy Crep ~

https://stacycrep.com

Photo Credit – Emy Minzel – Slim Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – Ely, Minnesota

 

 

Feeling 43

 

My forty-third birthday is almost here, and the year behind me was a wild ride with many unexpected twists and turns! I am grateful for them all, even the bummer ones. I grew emotionally stronger and learned valuable life lessons while growing courage I did not think was possible. I hope to express an authentic reflection of personal growth that can happen all in just one crazy year.

In my 42nd year, I took a giant leap of faith and tested my luck by running for State Representative in Minnesota. Whoa! This was an unexpected turn of events for me. I’m talking altogether out of the left-field! I had no idea what I was getting into. I lost the election, but the skills I gained personally made it all worthwhile.

Yet, as I am about to turn the page on another chapter in my personal story. I am thankful I conjured up the courage and took that chance to speak from my heart. Pursuing politics still pulls at my protective and compassionate environmental loving spirit. I believe we need good people to stand up and fight for those who does not have a voice.

My campaign motto was, “Protect what you love.” I still believe this, and I just can’t seem to walk away. It is coming time to make the decision if I am going to run yet again. You would think it would be an easy decision, but it is not. It was hard in ways I did not expect. Yet, the pull of this protective passion is something I cannot ignore.

I am beginning to see, it’s who I am and what I came to this world to do. I love to learn, and I love adventure. This is how I chose to see my path. This year’s motto will be; “My work feels like fun all the time!” Because that’s how it feels when you do what you love! Stacy says this is because I am following my Dharma. It sure feels like I am being ‘called’ so maybe she is right.

Getting elected to the Board of the Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge last January has given me opportunity to keep putting my time and energy towards my environmental and community supporting passions. It’s been a wonderful experience that also allows me to share the skills and grow connections I’ve learned from campaigning. So cool how that worked out!

This past year my friend and I came very close to finishing our book series. We really almost did it! Then just feet from the finish line, when it came time to become business partners, it was clear we were not able to do so. Turns out we would rather be friends, than colleagues! We both walked away from years of collaborative creative work as Adventure Sisters, to go our separate ways.

It was an unexpected turn of events but, I believe this also has happened for our highest good. It now leaves me the ability to be creatively authentic and more faithful to myself. I will be able to write about what I wish instead of within the confinement of a partner’s expectations. I really do believe it is for the best. We are still friends, and this is what matters the most.

I am thankful for the journeys we took together and the encouragement we shared with one another during this process. It’s a blessing to have the ability to make tough decisions and put friendship first when it came down to it. It’s best to find out before you get in too deep and that’s what happened.

We both have a different path, and that is okay! I already have started another creative project that excites me and keeps me passionately pursuing my publishing dreams. If it is meant to be, it will be! I am thankful for my friend because she believed in me and encouraged me to write years all those years ago.

Without our friendship and this joint journey, I may have been too insecure to pursue my writing dream. We would have missed out on all the fun we had doing so! It was this same friend who also encouraged to push through my fear to pursue a political path. Now, look! I can’t stop writing or the pull of political passion if I wanted too! They are in my soul and what I love.

I am thankful for all these round-about experience even if they did not play out like I thought they would. This seemed to be the theme for year 42. This year has taught me to embrace my independence, follow my dreams, and the tug of my soul. These lessons in independence gave me the confidence and courage to do the work when it comes to fulfilling my needs.

I even took a solo trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness this summer! #SavetheBoundaryWaters! Never in a million years did I think I could or would, and I did! I am so proud of me. I don’t know how I became so brave. I think it just maybe one of the most valued traits I’ve come to possess! They say when women get older, we get bolder. This part of aging is darn fabulous if you ask me.

I love growing older! I’ve embraced the silver in my hair and the wisdom that comes from my mistakes. Aging is a blessing. I am grateful for the time I’ve been given to learn, grow, and bloom into who I always knew I was. I am so much more than what you see. I realize that I don’t need to prove it to you. I need to show it to me!

If being in my forties means I get to release my fears, trusting the twist of my path, enjoying every minute of being alive and loving myself for who I am. Then I am good with that. This next year around the sun I am going to welcome new experiences, new lessons, be more open to making new connections. Expanding my circle of friends and making contacts that will help me make a ripple of hope in the web of life!

Self-doubt has no place in year 43 for me. “F’ it! Let’s try it and see what happens!” Sounds more my style anyway. This past year has allowed me to see this is my chance to grab the opportunities life has placed before me. I can choose to sit them out or jump in the deep end. We all know I’m the kind of gal who likes adventure so I guess we will see what the Creator has in store for me! I am excited just thinking about the possibilities.

One more thing I learned last year was the importance of balance. Love, Family, Self & Mind, Body, Spirit. These are all important and require my time and attention before they go rogue. I know which ones need attention because I feel it. This year also gave me a lot of time to relax, reflect and really get in touch with my own needs.

It’s no secret there is lots of time that matters laying in between the ‘big stuff’ that needs tending to. Life can be demanding and crazy, but great when we let it! I have realized how vital it is to listen to my inner knowing and the tug of my soul. It’s not always easy, but it’s still worth it! I am worth it. I am beyond thankful for this blessing of time that allowed me this solace.

I want to thank you for understanding when I don’t blog as often as I have been. I know I’ve been slowing down on blogging significantly, but it’s because I’ve been busy chasing my dreams, living a life I love, enjoying my husband, family, and friends while working at smashing my goals.

Along with working, building my business, volunteering, being a wife, mother and taking care of my own needs! This all takes time and effort. So, when I do write, I trust it is because I am being called to do so. I hope that when I post, you find it educational, entertaining, and worth your time.

My goal is to share these lessons with you as I learn them, in hopes you can be entertained and educated from my crazy life! I promise not to portray myself as perfect. I am far from it. My dreams are to share the real me, the soul inside that is following the tugs of my heart. This is what it means to me to feel 43.

Thank you for reading my blog for sharing my life lessons and adventures with me! I appreciate your support and encouragement beyond measure!

Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel

 

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

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

Visit me at :

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EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

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Boundary Waters Canoe Area Solo Adventure Day two!

It’s six a.m., and I wake up with the dawn, excited for the new day. I clear the sleep from my eyes and set about making coffee. It was overcast and a bit chilly, it also seemed quite windy again even early in the morning. I had a feeling a storm was on the way, so set about my morning duties, grabbing some food, and the most crucial chore on my mind was getting my coffee fix. I tried to ignore the signs of the weather, but I know when it’s time to retreat.

 

Startled by the Thunder God’s and some warning raindrops that sent a firm signal to get to it; I knew I had better hurry and put things away to stay dry. I quickly tucked my camp chair under the canoe, filled my coffee thermos, and headed for the tent. Just as it started pouring hard lighting lit up the tent feeling way to close for comfort.

 

Zipping the rainfly down tight to prevent the water from coming in, but it also prevented me from seeing out. Sometimes not knowing is worse than anything! For hours I was stuck in the tent while Mother Nature reminded me who was in charge here. As if I needed reminding. Luckily even though cell service was very spotty, I was somehow able to make a call to my husband so he could check the weather for me.

 

He had said that it was going to be a couple hours be for it passed so I might as well get comfortable. Also, he let me know to expect another spot of rain that afternoon. This gave me plenty of time to think, lying in bed with my thoughts. This was when it occurred to me that I should make some videos of my solo adventure to share with our friends on our Adventure Sisters Facebook community. I recorded myself and my thoughts, and it felt comforting like I was able to talk to someone while I was a bit scared and wishing for company.

 

The storm passed without incident, thank goodness, and I emerged from the tent ready to do some exploring. It was crazy how just an hour before the wind was howling and now the calm after the storm turned the water as still as glass. Since I had nobody to entertain but myself, I took this opportunity to go for a paddle and explore Slim Lake scenery. It was a nice break in the day that allowed me to keep my mind and body active.

I paddled for about an hour or more until the wind changed directions and started to pick up again. The lake began to sway with force, and I turned the canoe around to head back to the safety of my campsite. When I got back to the site, all I had to do was wait for the rain to come, so I made lunch and sat back to relax. Interestingly, I was starting to get antsy, I felt that I was over the rain, but there was nothing I could do about that!

 

Inevitably it started to sprinkle then come down harder, and I had to retreat to the tent yet again. This time I took the opportunity to journal and gave myself a tarot card reading. When there are no distractions, it’s easy to get into the flow of creativity, and I began to write and write. Even after the storm had passed, I felt moved to keep writing as I sat out and watched the scenery sitting close to the water on the boulder point.

 

I have always thought that the best conversations happen on rainy days, it seems that it is true when I am alone as well. The quiet time allowed me to hear myself, to listen to my gut and time to digest what it is trying to say. This was why I went out to the Boundary Waters in the first place. To reconnect with myself, and this is what happened.

 

I was missing the comfort of my family. The BWCA reminded me just how important they are when I am going through the metaphorical storms in my life. We tend to retreat into who and what is comfortable when we are scared or confused, and this experience reminded me not to take my blessings of my great family for granted.

 

Some days it’s easy to let the dumb annoyances of life get in between relationships and happiness. This time alone helped to take responsibility to catch those times when I get back home. There is real spiritual healing that happens when I go into the vastness of the Boundary Waters. Every trip I make changes me deep inside and for the better. I come home with a new appreciation for my life, tending to see situations from a different perspective that I had not seen before.

 

Inevitably I miss the solitude and the healing power of the big water and vast forests. The slow time of nature and quite relaxed pace of living isn’t so easy to bring home with you. There is lots of noise in the world we’ve come to know, most of it is just that, noise. I miss the realness of just being. I find it hard to keep centered when I return to home from the BWCA.

 

My wish is to embody that Zen flow of poignant peace folding into myself so securely to be mine forever. If I were able to do bottle that feeling of serenity, I would be rich! What I can do is continue to go to the places and do the things that allow this feeling as much as possible. To make sure I do the things that feed my soul is just as important as caring for my body or my work.

 

Mind, body, spirit is all of me, neither more important than the other. It’s up to me to take care of all three. As day two ended with clear skies, a peaceful campfire, and a nightcap, it was clear to me this solo excursion into the wild was precisely what I needed to do so. I felt the peace I had been craving, I felt the gratitude for just being, I was genuinely relaxed and connected. Yes. This is the stuff that helps make life great.

Good night friends.

I hope my words help you or even allow for a short escape while you envision peace and serene solitude. Thank you for sharing my journey with me.

 

Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

 

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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www.AdventurewithEmyandStacy.com

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

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Boundary Waters Solo Mission Day 1

I will not lie. I was a little nervous as my favorite Guide Lawrence, drove me and the rented solo canoe to Slim Lake. Pulling into the tiny parking lot and setting all the gear down, he said. “The most important thing to remember is to always wear your life vest and take your time. Don’t hurry, that’s when you make mistakes.” I thought this was sound advice, and since I was planning to stay for four days, I was not in any hurry.

When I got all my gear and the canoe to the lake, I had noticed it was windy, and the waves were strong. Luckily the water was flowing north to the direction I had planned on paddling, which is a plus. I loaded my canoe with two portage packs, a soft-sided backpack cooler, and my trusty brown backpack that has accompanied me on all my BWCA adventures. I pushed off and went feeling adventure calling me home.

My heart was racing, but the majestic beauty of the landscape seemed to calm me, reminding me to relax. I knew deep down that I got this. The waves were strong, and it took some effort as I paddled to my intended campsite, I saw that it was already occupied by two women. I asked if they knew if the next site to the north was open and they said they had not seen anyone else all day. Perfect!

I kept going north hoping that the campsite was free; otherwise, I would have to turn around and fight the waves all the way back down to the southern end of the lake where there was another site. Thankfully when I arrived, I saw the site was free, and it looked perfect for me. It was on a point, and I noticed it even had a lovely small sandy beach where I could pull up the canoe. There was a lone butterfly that fluttered around me the whole time I was setting up as if to say. “I am so happy to see you!” I took this as a good omen and continued on.

 

 

Deciding that when I had set up the tent and got situated, I knew this beach is where I would be sitting that evening. By the time I was done, I was warm and needed to cool off. I decided to put my swimming suit on and test out the water to enjoy my own little piece of heaven. The water was warm, and the wind had died down considerably. It was if Slim Lake was giving me a warm, gentle welcoming because the first day was the best weather of my stay.

The campsite was so peaceful I did not once feel scared! I felt secure knowing that experience had taught me enough to stay warm, watch my footing, and like Lawrence said, take my time doing everything! As I sat in my camp chair on the mini beach, eating a peanut butter sandwich, I couldn’t help but feel anything but gratitude for this moment. Appreciation for being in the middle of a postcard picture moment and being brave enough to journey to that spot alone.

As dragonflies zoomed by taking care of the flies that may have bugged me, I felt contentment seep into my body. The peace and calm I felt was the exact reason why I love the BWCA as much as I do. I am telling you, nowhere in the world do I feel as connected and centered to my self and Spirit as I do when I am there. I kept repeating my mantra for my stay, which was simply. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

As the sun sank behind the giant pines and the dusk grew into darkness, I noticed that I was tired, so got ready for bed without having a campfire. I put everything away and tucked my portage packs under the rainfly. I used bungee cords to secure my cooler to a pine tree that was farthest away from my tent. It wasn’t hanging or fancy, but it would help to detour forest critters from food theft. Besides, I figure if a bear wants my food, I’m going to just let them go ahead and have it!

As I lay in the tent alone, the sound of the nocturnal critters coming alive kept me up for a bit. Beavers came to the campsite and chatted so loudly that I thought it was a gang of raccoons! I clapped my hands a few times and said. “Hey, you! That’s mine!” to detour them from my cooler tied to a tree. It seemed to work just fine, and after a bit, they skedaddled. I fell asleep and woke up around midnight to see the moon shining brightly through the screen window of my tent. It was so pretty I tried to take a picture, but of course, you cannot capture the beauty of the moon on a camera.

Moon in the tent

This first day was so enjoyable and fantastic!  Again, I just have to say. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I felt that I had indeed made the right choice to go out on my solo adventure. That was until the next morning when the tides will change. But I will save that story for tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed the story and pictures of my first alone in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as much as I enjoy sharing my love with you!

Wishing you a beautiful blessed day,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

Visit me at EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

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