Self-Reflection lesson ~

Ugh, you know those moments that you make mistakes, and you recognize them immediately yet too late to change them? I hate that! However, sometimes, these moments are even more teachable because we’ve learned the hard way. I was out and about with my friend as we were visiting local businesses looking for donations for an upcoming community event we were working on.

We had pulled into the driveway of a business that raises birds for hunting-dog training and food. We had just turned in the long driveway to see a loose pheasant with blinders on. It had escaped and was wandering around free without being able to see. I immediately hopped out of the car and scooped it up so we could return it to safety. This sinking feeling came over me as we pulled up to the office to return the bird back to the farm.

I knew nothing good was going to happen to this poor little guy, but I did it anyway. Man, I am kicking myself in the butt for this. Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the wrong thing. I believe I should have saved this little bird from impending doom instead of delivering it back to its captures. The feeling of guilt was overwhelming as I handed the bird back. Telling myself this is what I am ‘supposed to do.’

Sad pheasant face

If I had it to do over again, I would have made a different choice. I would have brought this bird home and cared for it myself or brought it to the wildlife rehabilitation center if necessary.  Days later, the thoughts and feelings of my actions still are with me. Oh, how I wish I would have done this differently. How many times in our lives do we do have situations like this come across our path? I think more than we admit or care to count.

Learning lessons the hard way is not my favorite, I prefer to learn my lessons through Joy! I am sure most people are the same way, but this is not how life goes, is it? All we can do is forgive ourselves for our mistakes and vow not to repeat them. I believe the Universe/God puts these experiences in front of us in a way that will stick with us for growing purposes.

This bird was vulnerable but trusting enough to let me pick it up because it could not see me. In turn, I violated its trust instead of taking responsibility for its life and safety. Did I take the easy way out? I mean really, what do I know about raising a pheasant? Would I be able to keep it safe and happy, or do I just think I could? Technically taking the bird would be stealing.

Or, if you are an animal rights supporter like I am, I don’t look at it that way. From a moral standpoint, I let myself and this bird down. I know this because I can feel it in my soul. This blog post is not joyous or uplifting, but hey, we all have days like that. We all have lessons we learn the hard way. I am sharing mine with you to let you know you are not alone. Next time we will do it; differently, next time we will do better.

Later that day, I helped relocate and rescue dozens of Monarch caterpillars onto their milkweed food source. Did you know milkweed is the ONLY food for Monarchs? Hopefully, we saved the lives of these endangered beauties by giving them a helping hand. Doing so helped me feel like I redeemed my actions of returning the bird, but only just a little. I reminded myself today that sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.


Thanks for reading my blog today. I hope that sharing my hard-earned experiences helps you to learn more of your lessons through JOY!


Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Photos by: Deb Sorenson

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


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister



Well played Universe ~

The recent full moon had me feeling overwhelmed but in a good way… I have been pursuing a ‘calling’ getting caught up in the excitement and newness of this possibility that could have a large effect on my daily life. I was ready to stand up and say, “Bring it on Universe, I was born to do this!” The Universe let me get closer, toes hanging off the edge of the pool gathering my courage to jumping into the deep end. I was so close that I had called my family and my closest friends to let them know about this giant leap of faith I was about to take.

As people who love you do, they get concerned about big leaps of tenacity, they all asked me are you sure? Are you ready or prepared for the opportunity? My answer was “No. Honestly I am not prepared but I am passionate and smart, I can learn what I don’t know.” I felt that it was my passion and gumption that would guide me through the learning curve that will happen in all new careers. They were just showing love with concern about this plot twist in my life seemingly out of left field.

This I was under no illusion that this opportunity would not be hard work requiring a great deal of time and energy. While the ‘reward’ would be uncertain and maybe fleeting ‘if’ it even happened. Yet that didn’t seem to discourage me. Somewhere deep down inside I knew that this was the Universe saying, “Come here, I have something I need you to do for me.” It felt so exciting and intriguing that I had no other choice but to follow where the Universe led me. After all, I am an Adventure Sister and I find opportunities that are just a tad bit scary but totally exciting adventurous!!! And I love that $hit!

Last week I was officially endorsed by the DFL to run for my local State District Representative position. I’ve always been politically involved keeping informed in the happenings of Washington D.C and my local government. I am very vocal about environmental protections and most recently about the toxic mining proposals here in Minnesota of two different mining companies currently vying to get their mitts on the Adventure Sisters beloved BWCA.

They would  love the opportunity to raid the Boundary Waters Canoe Area’s pristine lands and water; in doing so would likely permanently poison them for us too. These mines historically have a 90% failure rate ending in environmental tragedy that will last for hundreds of years. History shows it’s inevitable if we allow it. You know because we need more disposable televisions and smart phones instead of clean water… I digress. Anyhow, I pay attention to politics and I get involved when it comes to the environment as much as I know how. Which brought me to where I am today.

The Universe/God seemed to have just asked me to step up my game, or level-up as the Adventure Sisters say. I feel this is a path I am being redirected by a higher power to be hiking at this point in my life. I accepted the opportunity to represent my beliefs as I pulled up my sassy pants intending to fake it until I made it as most adults do when the Universe calls them out. Just when I was sure I was going to jump into the political pool I had a meeting with a woman who told me that the person who ran last term would like a chance to run again.

I could choose to stand up and say, “Nope, it’s my turn. I am going to run.” Or I could concede. My first response was to allow him another chance to finish what he started. I knew the tremendous effort and hard work they had put in prior to this election would help their chances of getting even more votes this time around. Since we are on the same team I gracefully decided to step down from the chance to run for public office.

I am bummed to have missed the opportunity to make a difference I would like to see in the world. Yet I was also a little relieved I would not be called upon to put forth the effort required to run a successful campaign at this movement in my life. I already have a full existence with plenty of things to do that also keep me busy and fulfilled. Yet the calling to be more involved in my local politics will be a path I must pursue. That unexpected and exciting plot twist opened my eyes to where I see my future path.

I am sure I would have done well had I persisted, yet this twist of fate allows me more time to get organized and involved in a way that will fit me perfectly. I trust that the higher power knew just what to do to make me want to move. Just like my mother and husband say “The best way to get you to do something is to tell you, you can’t.”

Well played Universe, well played.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister