My love of learning

I have always loved learning new things about subjects that I am interested in. I find that it keeps my mind busy from worry or stress, especially if I have my nose in a book or busy reading news online. I have always been curious about the world around me. I figure if I am unable to go out into the world to explore, as much as I’d like, then I can do my best to read about it through other’s experiences.

It never fails, once I read a book about a place that interests me, it only makes me want to visit even more. I want to go see with my own eyes and experience the nature and culture for myself. I have read several books about women who have embarked upon the long solo journeys on the Camino de Santiago trail. I have also read the book “Wild” by Sheryl Strayed who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. I find I admire women who decided to challenge themselves by “giving themselves” the  time and opportunity to find out what they are really made of.

These women were brave in the face of adversity. Hiking trails that were hundreds of miles long with unpredictable weather. Having to be self-reliant when looking for shelter on journeys that lasted months. Can you imagine hiking by yourself in a strange place, 10 to 20 miles a day, carrying all your equipment and needs on your back for three months? It sounds horrifying and exciting all at the same time to me!

The reason I love to read about these journeys, and one day find my perfect hiking adventure for myself, is that everything you learn on these journeys has to do with who you are on the inside. I love that these challenges, these adventures, teach us who we can be and what we are truly capable of. Sometimes you cannot learn what you need from a book or others. Sometimes life has to be lived and experienced for yourself, so you can find out what you are made of and who you really are inside.

I love to push myself to do better and be better in different ways, as much as I love my comfortable life in my warm safe house, I also love excitement. When I tell my friends about my desire to embark on such a journey, they often look at me like I have three heads! They tell my all the reason I should be scared and nuts for even wanting to subject myself to such a challenge! They say it would be dangerous for a woman to go it alone. I think to myself, “Yes, it could be but that is part of the adventure, right?!”

In all honesty, I think I would prefer company on such an adventure. But where does one find someone who would be as adventurous to join me? I won’t sweat those details yet, because it is just not the time for me, right now. It would be quite the undertaking to accept these hiking trail adventures that last for months. Yet, I think it will happen eventually. When the time is right, I will know.

Now I have read several other interesting books from memoirs and spiritual growth to non-fiction, fun reads and historical events. I do love me a great book! Isn’t it funny the things you find that you are interested in or that pull your soul? That say; “Yes, do that. This is for me.” Just by reading someone else’s experiences? I probably would have never known that these types of journeys were even possible, if it weren’t for my curiosity.

My love of reading and researching of what interests me, has accidentally gotten me to my political journey, as if by magic or what I like to call “divine guidance.” Many years ago, I was researching and learning how to live a more holistic, sustainable life, and working to do just that. When I researched the importance of organic foods, I learned a great deal of information about our food system, that surprised and angered me. It made me start my own organic garden and learn more about permaculture, but this was not enough for me.

I realized quickly that to answer this calling of my soul, I had to step up and protest the status quo. I would March Against Monsanto and I would research environmental statistics. Putting pieces of the puzzle together to try and make sense out of our modern way of life that seemed to be making me sick.

It turned out, that to make any change that should be made, to protect my family from chemicals in our drinking water and too many GMO’s in my daughter’s belly. Well… I was going to have to pay more attention to the politics that allowed and supported this way of life. I was never interested in political ambitions, never. As a matter of fact, I kind of despised politicians who continually let me and our environment down. Yet here I am.

It is not ambition or pursuit of success that brought me here, it is passion to do what is in my heart. It is no coincidence that I was led on this path that guided me to fight to protect the Minnesota I know and love for future generations. I see self-interest groups trying to weasel their way into our pristine Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area to poison our water and us. I felt I had to stand up and say something. So here I am. Running for political office because I see this as the only way to protect what I love.

As Ansel Adams says; “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”

My love of learning leads me to where I am today. It may not be as ‘fun’ as a journey on the Camino or Pacific Crest Trail, but I know I will learn a great deal and already it has been an adventure. I will be proud of myself for following my heart. Reading and researching keeps me holding on to dreams and planning adventures for my future.

I see, now, how my curiosity has made my life so much better. My love of learning and collecting knowledge asks me to step up and be bold enough to fight for what I want. Knowing I can defend my beliefs, because I have armed myself with the information and facts to do so.

Sometimes, learning is a hands-on experience, that has nothing to do with studying. Life is always sending me lessons through my experiences. It’s up to me to learn the lesson or repeat it until I do. Our paths are funny that way, twisting us around, to re-learn what we thought we already knew but now in a deeper more meaningful way.

Until I get to spend some time getting lost on a trail or some other adventure I find. I figure, while I am here on this path, I might as well enjoy it, while learning all I can!

What do you love most about learning? What is your favorite way to learn or… do you know everything you need to know already?

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

 

Perfectly Imperfect

I find beauty in the imperfections.  The way an old barn leans a little to the left and the red paint is wearing thin. I love the tenacity of trees contorted in unnatural directions because they are searching for the sun in an area just out of reach. I love a gap tooth smile or crooked grin that are genuinely, beaming happiness. I love when people’s imperfections make them beautifully humans.

I love it when my husband works for weeks on making an antique head and footboard into a bench for me. then when it is complete to discover the seat that opens for storage sticks just a little. My husband feels that he didn’t do it well because it wasn’t perfect.

I believe that the bench we made together is perfectly imperfect. I love that this bench required planning, teamwork, and a talent we both have that compliments each other so we could complete the bench project together. To me, this bench is perfectly imperfect.

I love it when my littlest family member hands me a dandelion puff and reminds me to find the joy in blowing those dandelion seeds all over tarnation! I love when I see a three-legged, one eyed dog who is the kindest creature you will ever meet. I love old dogs. I love when it rains all day and you can toss your yard work “to do’s” in the for-later pile.

I love how my friend speaks of her passion and I see the energetic enthusiasm driving her to do what she loves. I find beauty in refinished, repurposed, and refurbished old items that become useful once again. I find that when we look for the good in someone or something; we usually find it.

I find that when I appreciate the beauty in things that are not traditionally beautiful; I am able to find the beauty in myself and others that may not be evident at first.  I love a grumpy old man in overalls with a stubborn streak and a good sense of humor. I love how old people and innocent children have a genuine kindness in their eyes. I love how the biggest, toughest looking men have the greatest hearts.

I love when broken and hurt people use their experiences to help others. Some choose to share their experiences in hopes to stop someone from making their same mistakes in life. Other’s help to ease another’s pain by listening to them. Often drug and alcohol counselors have been down this path before and now choose to help themselves by helping others through their healing journey. To me this is the beauty of the imperfections in humanity.

I find beauty in imperfections because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfect is unattainable but we all seem to have the urge to reach for it. The funny thing is that one person’s perfect may look nothing like the next person’s version of perfection.

I like to think that it is our imperfections that give us our own unique personality and make us who we are. I do my best to love someone because of their imperfections and not despite them.

I strive to always see the value in imperfectly perfect. This means to love something as it is, not what you want it to be. I believe that to be able to practice acceptance and appreciation for those who are imperfectly perfect in their own way, is the definition of true love.

I believe we should first try this, by practicing this philosophy on ourselves.

I love you and all your beautiful imperfections too!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

http://www.EmyforHouse.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

What the heck?!

What the heck?!

I believe self-analysis can be a good tool when you are working on bettering yourself or trying to improve relationships with others. I am finding my hyper self-analysis is not so helpful when used to extremes. When I am second guessing my every movement, word or belief it is not helpful but harmful. Over thinking stunts my growth and my ability to move forward in my life, censoring myself because of fear.

Let’s take campaigning for instance. I knew, that when I decided to run for office, that my every thought and word were going to be analyzed or questioned. I knew I would be the subject of interviews, surprise pop quizzes on the street and random meetings to discuss my intent. Originally, this did not concern me. I have an opinion on just about everything like most people in the world, just ask me.

Yet, when I over think the judgements of others, I want to shrink back into my hermit hole (home) where I am safe and secure. Is this anxiety or human nature? I had even stopped writing so freely because of these feelings. I have decided to concore my fears and keep moving forward anyway. What the heck?! Why not?

Clearly the option to retreat into my comfort zone is no longer available. I am in it up to my chin on the campaign trail and most of the time I love it! My fabulous community has embraced me and my efforts to be the change I wish to see. Running for this political position is my noble attempt to really put my effort and energy into bettering my community and myself. Yet the human tendency to second guess is still very real.

I do not second guess why it is that I am making these efforts. I know that the “why” behind my goal is very much to protect what I love. My community, my family and the environment for future generations. To be a voice for those who cannot speak.

It is the how I go about it, that gets me insecure in my efforts. The time and energy campaigning take away from my real life needs and responsibilities is very noticeable. I work less because I campaign more. I am not a trust fund baby. Like most people, working is a necessity to eat and pay the bills. I’m having a tough time balancing work and the campaign responsibilities, which is causing me stress in other areas of life. This is where the second guessing and over thinking comes into play.

Like most people, I try to figure out what it is that is wrong and how I can take steps to fix it.

I feel that the stress and effort will be worth it. When election day comes I want to say that I am happy with my efforts and that I did the best I could to make a difference in my small corner of the world. I will be able to tell myself “You did all you could.” And be okay with the outcome life gives me.

At times I think to myself “Why would someone put themselves through a life consuming, 9 month long, job interview for a position you may not get? Only to work as a public servant who is sometimes ridiculed and unappreciated. Why would you do this if you didn’t have an ulterior motive or a beneficial end game ploy?” This whole experience has taught me how important it is to be authentic. To be authentic in remembering why I am in this position in the first place.

I am running because I feel guided to a way that puts my purpose in line with bettering myself and my community for the greater good. To do my best to move forward towards a sustainable and healthy for the future. To be a leader with integrity that looks out for the greater good, not just what is good and easy right now.

Sometimes it is not profitable to do the right thing. Sometimes it is just best to do what is hard because it’s the right thing to do. That is my goal. I really am just a regular person who never really had political aspirations. I am only me. Standing up and doing what I can to be a voice for our environment because it needs one.

I am learning on this journey that yes, I may second guess words, but you know what? Who doesn’t at times? If, I can say I’ve done all I could to stand up for my beliefs and for others, then I need to be content in that effort. Progress doesn’t come in a straight line to success, it’s a twisted path of ‘Ah ha’s’ and moments of ‘what the heck was I thinking?’ This is life!

I don’t’ believe it is healthy to be certain about everything all the time. That is a dangerous echo chamber, of in the box thinking, that impedes progress or necessary change for improvement.

I believe if I don’t quit, I am still moving ahead. I am choosing to be content with the uncomfortable in-between moments that make us human. It’s okay to question myself, my motives and my uncomfortable situations, it leads to growth.

I will always continue to question myself as this allows me to hold myself to the high standards that I have set for other political leaders. Maybe that is the point?!

Thank you for reading my blog today!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

http://www.EmyforHouse.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Lessons through disappointment~

It’s going to be the second week in August and I have been on the water and in my kayak only one time, back in June. For unforeseen reasons, both lake vacations I had scheduled to take this month had to be cancelled. I had been puting off lake time and rest during early summer because I knew I would have the opportunity in August. That was the plan anyway. 

I was supposed to go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with my Adventure Sister Stacy, the first week in August. Then to a resort (on Lake Kabetogama) with my Husband for his birthday and our Ten-Year  Wedding Anniversary a few weeks later. Turns out things changed and not just one but both vacations had to be cancelled. This turn of events was a devastating blow to my spirit to be frank. 

I was so very much looking forward to spending time on the water; reconnecting with my dear friends, my Husband, myself, and the nature I love so much. It literally feels like the Universe took away my Birthday. Oh, and like I told you in my previous blog, my one and only child moved out of the house this week. So honestly, although I have a great deal of important things to do, my spirit is feeling neglected. I’ve also noticed this feeling reflecting in my attitude and spirit.

We all get this way sometimes, when life changes or events begin to feel overwhelming or never ending. We may dream of getting away to escape it all; so that we can have quiet time to process our next move or to simply have a moment to quit moving! Going and going like the Energizer Bunny, does not allow me to stop and contemplate my feelings, choices, or strategy for the future. When I am unable to find time to reconnect with what is important to me; like spending time in nature, floating on the water, cooking, or writing, I can feel it in my soul.

At first, the news of my cancelled vacations led to a short pity party for one. But I decided not to wallow and keep moving forward with life, as that is what adulting is about. I had decided it was guidance from the Higher Power that my energy was needed at home and on the campaign trail. Yet, as the week of my BWCA vacation passes and my body does the motions of work and progress, I feel the  usual upbeat energy of my spirit and drive fading. Because I am not making time for my own needs. 

It is easy to get caught up in living the life others think you should be. Especially as a Candidate. I have a whole team of people who bust their butts for me and I do not want to let them down nor myself by not doing everything I can do! My campaign life is exciting, important and the way I see myself making a positive difference. Yet, is neglecting my own needs the right way for anyone to live their lives? Probably not. I am hard on myself as I have high standards not only for me but the people around me. 

Yet when they need a break, I am compassionate and understanding while they take one. Why do I feel like I do not deserve one or that I am not able to take one? I am lacking disposable income for vacation this summer because I have cut my working hours down to meet the campaign needs. It was a sacrifice I was able and willing to make. The repercussions though, are that I feel like I missed out on some much needed and deserved time out in the forest and on the lake to recharge. 

I am not looking for pity, I understand many people are not allowed the luxury of vacation. These choices are mine and I believe my heart and efforts will see me to making a positive difference in the world. If not, I still made a lot of great friends and had wonderful experiences this summer! I knew it would not be without hard work or expense, I was up to the challenge/adventure. 

What I am not willing to sacrifice are the needs of my spirit or ignore the calling of my soul to do what I must do. I must be the change I want to see in the world, to do that, I must make time to be authentically me. My spirit is being called to the water, asking me to rest for a bit to find balance and peace.

My soul, is telling me that I have been telling myself, “What I want and need does not matter.” I am not making my spiritual needs as important as other things in my life. I am not making my ‘peacefulness’ a priority. I am putting the wants and needs of my campaign, my family, and my goals over my spiritual wellness. 

This is a reality for a lot of people in our society. I believe this lack of connection to what is tranquil and quiet is where a great deal of our displaced anger comes from in our Nation. All work and no play makes Emy an angry girl. This is not an obscure dilemma for most people in our world today. I find myself covering up my sadness of not being able to connect with nature (or enjoy some of our short Minnesota summer) by coping with anger. I am distant and distracted.

I am distracted by my desires to be anywhere but here sometimes. 

I know you feel these words. 

This is not normal for me, I am  usually and naturally an upbeat person. I thought about not posting such personal feelings. Yet I wanted to acknowledge that I believe; most of us are striving daily to do better, be better, have better, but that we get lost in the ‘doing and getting’ part. Forgetting that stillness and connection to Spirit/God is of great importance, not only for ourselves but to our connection with others and society. 

So, what is a girl to do? I don’t know. I am not a Guru. I won’t offer advice. I will only share my experiences and feelings for you to judge me upon. Do I go put my kayak out on the local lake that is full of algae and pollution? Nope. Don’t need that energy. (Although I acknowledge it is there and strive to do all I can to fix it.) 

Do I find a friend with a backyard pool to float in for a moment in the sun? Nope, not what I am looking for. I need a change from the daily grind. I need new experiences and scenery to stimulate my mind. I want to hear nothing but nature and water. I must reboot like my computer! My body, mind and spirit connection needs to be tended to. 

As with the unpredictability of life, I am not sure when or where it will happen. Yet, I am trusting that Spirit has a plan for me to do just this. Somewhere out in this big Universe this opportunity is waiting for me. Until then, I will be thankful for the good in my life. I will enjoy the nature from my front porch. I will focus on the song of the birds and the wind rustling the leaves of the trees instead of traffic.

I trust the higher power knows what is best for me at this time in my life. I trust this path, I trust this frustration, I even trust the feeling of having my Birthday taken away! This gives me incentive to acknowledge, respect and tend to my own needs. 

The nurturing instincts I have for my loved ones, the planet, animals and others must be also extended to myself. Life lessons or tough love from the Universe can open our eyes to the reality of our actions. My needs are important too. And so are yours. Remember that.

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