6 Alternative ways to Meditate

Many of my friends are curious about meditation and its benefits. Who doesn’t need a little mental health break occasionally?! Yet, many are intimidated by the thought of trying not to think. This is nearly impossible for most of us to do but I am about to tell you a secret; you do not have too! There are many ways to mediate and you don’t even have to do it cross-legged on the floor while listening to ocean waves and pan flutes.

For those of us who have a hard time ‘sitting still’ or quieting our mind for an extended amount of time. Here are some alternative ways to get the same relaxing benefits of traditional meditation by just using intentional mindfulness. The best tip I can offer, for keeping your mind in the here and now, is to focus on your breathing. Make sure you are taking in deep belly breaths, then notice and relax any and all areas in your body that feel tense.

Walking Meditation: Getting out into nature and fresh air helps to clear our minds. It is also almost automatic that we become more alert and in the here and now, when outdoors. The whole point of meditation is to be here, right now. Most walks are pleasant, if you aren’t thinking of something that happened in the past or will in the future. Try to only focus on where your next footstep will fall and how beautiful that sunset is, your mind will be at peace.

Shower/Tub Meditation: Water is a very healing element. When you step into the shower or tub, do your best to keep your mind in there with you. Don’t think about what you are going to have for breakfast later or all you have to do today. Just enjoy the blessing of indoor plumbing and hot water; while thinking thoughts of gratitude. This is one of my favorite ways to start the day and to ‘fit’ meditation into my schedule.

Guided Meditations / Yoga Nidra: To be honest, I sometimes prefer guided meditation over regular meditation, when I am trying to clear my energy. It takes the pressure off when trying to keep my thoughts in check, because it keeps your mind busy listening to instructions. Stacy recommended to try Yoga Nidra last year on a very particular hard day I was having and I have been hooked ever since. It helps me get into a deep sense of relaxation by suggesting you focus your energy on different areas of the body.

Cleaning: Believe it or not, cleaning is an excellent mediation. Doing dishes, vacuuming and dusting; demands our focus. When doing an activity, that is not too challenging, we tend to pay attention to our task at hand and this allows us to stay in the present. Plus you get instant gratification results, which is always nice!

Massage/Acupuncture: Any practice that leaves me feeling like I am in an alternative universe for an hour or two is much like meditation. Some people fall a sleep on the massage table (sleeping is not meditation) but most people slip into a state of Zen; if they feel like they don’t have to fill the silence. Some people like to talk and that’s okay, but the ones that do not seem to get more than physical relief, they get mental relaxation. Feeling warm, safe and completely relaxed is a form of mediation that leaves us feeling blissful. 

Coffee and Car rides: Believe it or not, even a quiet cup of coffee in the morning or a car ride can feel like a short meditation, if you can stop yourself from mentally running through your list of daily chores, just for a bit. Try instead to give thanks for the day you are about to embark on. You will be amazed at the peace it can bring. Turn off the noise and just breathe.

These are just a few tips and tricks I have learned on my journey to heal. I realize that we cannot be healthy without the body, mind and spirit connection flowing together as they should. So, to all of us who have a hard time with traditional ways of meditation, please do not give up! There are many ways to go within and give yourself time to destress!

I hope some of these suggestions will help you see meditation in a less intimidating way! Wishing you a blissful state of mind and a relaxing state of being in the here and now. Namaste!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Why is it so hard to relax? Turns out I was doing it wrong!

I recently wondered why it was that I was feeling down about not having the ambition to do all the things I want to do. My willpower seemed to have taken a winter vacation but didn’t have the courtesy to tell me first. Turns out that the things I was trying to take a break from where actually what were keeping my mood positive. Why would I want to take a break from that?!

For some reason when I think of relaxing; I think of blissful effortlessness, meditating in nature, hiking, camping, reading, napping, or even floating in the water somewhere. However, in everyday life of work, family, and chores what relaxing ‘looks like’ is much different. I am not on vacation while home, so the activities that relax my mind are going to be different.

This seems simple enough, now that I see it. Yet why did it take me so long to acknowledge and accept what truly relaxes me? Truthfully, I believe it is because I have finally had the time to process and examine my thoughts and feelings now that I am not working so darn hard. The time I have been blessed with to go ‘within’ is something I don’t want to take for granted.

During this time, I have had to look at why some of my actions don’t always match my beliefs or words. I have had time to dig deep into why I am doing the things I am doing. Working on making changes where necessary.

I have been wondering why it is that I keep striving so hard to get ahead and questioning why I seem to be taking the hardest path possible to get there!

All I know is what I ‘do’ must be meaningful to me and it is important that I help others in some way. But, do I really need to take the adventurous path everywhere I go?!

As an Adventure Sister, I say “Um yeah! You see and experience a life you normally would not on the unbeaten path!”

As a regular woman just trying to make it in this world, some days I think to myself. “Hmmm… are you sure this is the right way?! I think I know a shortcut.”

For some reason the words work and relaxing did not jive in my head! I am guessing it was past work history that has jaded my perception. I have not always been so lucky to work for myself. It has taken me a lot of years to understand that phrase.

“If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” This is so true! And it’s meaning completely snuck up on me.

Anyway, the point is, I discovered that being busy doing what I enjoy and ‘working’ on projects, is in fact, relaxing for me! I had no idea how joyful my work is. I find joy in my Massage Therapy and Energy Healing Practice because, I know how fortunate I am to retain loyal clients who appreciate me as much as I appreciate them.

Also writing my heart out and building a positive online community of adventures with one of my best friends Stacy, brings me relaxation and happiness. As we continue to work on our own separate spiritual growth paths, we still hold common goals of publishing our books and going on more Adventures together! I am so blessed to have a friend like Stacy!

When I got involved in my community pursuing the improvement of environmental issues via local politics, I also got to work with like-minded friends who have similar goals. We were all there because we wanted to be, not because we had to be! It has been a great deal of effort and work, yet it was exactly what I needed to feel to be the best me.

The whole journey of pursuing interests that make me feel good, is turning out to be a really great thing! While binge-watching Netflix and eating an abundance of my mom’s homemade delicious Christmas cookies is only relaxing occasionally. The times I am multi-tasking with blogging or researching serves only as a disturbance which makes me feel the opposite of peaceful. No wonder I have taken to enjoying a quiet house!

I just wanted to fill you in on my new-found discovery of what relaxing can truly mean. It does not have to look like a vacation, it only must feel like one to you!

Have you found something that relaxes you that seems like ‘work’ to others?

*photo taken in Glenwood, Minnesota

Wishing you an abundance of joy and blessings,

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

 

 

Coffee contemplations

Sunday morning I had some time to myself, the house was quiet, the day was starting out with the sun shining bright. The temperature was perfect 68 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, although we do need some rain I chose to enjoy this spectacular day waiting for me outside of my door. I had a rare day to sleep in, I felt rested while I sat and enjoyed my coffee on the porch.

During my coffee contemplations I decided I was going to clean the house since I am expecting company through out most of the week. Yet I still wanted to take some time just for me, I has been a while since I have had me time and I wanted to seize my opportunity.

I sat and meditated for a bit, holding my favorite cobalt blue pottery cup in my lap. I love this mug, I like to drink my morning coffee from it most every day. This mug reminds me of home, it was made by a talented local artist. I was listening to the birds, with my two dogs laying on the porch next to me. It was easy to center myself and slip into a calm state of mind.

During my peaceful morning meditation, I felt the calling to do some drumming. I trust my intuition, especially when it talks to me during introspection. Sound healing is very therapeutic, drums are powerful when it comes to moving energy. I knew immediately, yes! This is exactly what I needed today. I good drum shower to shake my up chakras and get my flow to pick up the pace would do my body good.

I heeded the call and went to get my drum, I sat outside in nature while I did my best to use the vibration of the bass drum to clear the lower energy I was holding in my body.  It was time to let it go. The deep rhythms of the drum can put you into a trance like state almost like meditation but with help, which is a very interesting and invigorating experience.

The drumming session only lasted about ten minutes, but the effect of the energy boost lasted all day! I had regained energy and felt revitalized, my mood had shifted, and I felt happier. This joyful demeanor lasted all day as I got chores done while sneaking time outside to enjoy the sunshine of a perfect spring day.

I can’t help but wonder in awe at the affect of noise on our cells and our psyche that we are exposed to every day. I know I like to listen to nature as opposed to television, radio and ringing phones, but this is not realistic all the time; we must participate in life!

I believe we must be sure to make time to rest and quite your mind, body and soul to feel and be our best selves. I just thought I would send a reminder; to take care of you this week.

Maybe sound healing or meditation is not for you, that is okay! Maybe try a massage or acupuncture treatment to let your body be rejuvenated. Maybe just enjoy a cup of coffee or an iced tea by yourself enjoyed outside in peace will do.

Regularly be sure to let your mind check out and reset into a calm state, however it works best for you. Wherever you can, sneak in a time out, seize your opportunity to just breath.

You are worth it!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful 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

 

 

Spring Fever

It’s that time of year in Minnesota when we go back to wearing hoodies instead of winter coats because the sun shines bright and warm. Then because Mother nature has a great sense of humor the next day it sleets and snows to remind you to it is still winter. Even though the beautiful sunny days persist and grow longer there is snow on the ground, yet there is fever in the air, spring fever that is. I have it bad, my dogs have it worse.

Spring Fever has hit in most every part of my life, I wish to move forward into the happy days of gardening, walking the dogs in the wildlife refuge, camping, kayaking and just being outside. I even have campaign activities and meeting many wonderful new people to look forward to. Although I want to do all these things, it is still not time. Also, I like to follow a little astrology it’s fun and interesting they say Mercury just turned retrograde which means miscommunication can be likely, electronics act up, and the general pace of life seems to be stalled.

This means even though we have tons to do, no matter how hard we have the gas pedal down, we are stuck in the muck spinning our wheels. Our lives seem to feel like tight wrapped buds of a tree just taking its sweet time making sure you are fully ready to bloom into spring. This can be a great time to do prep work for the big launch of the coming spring season.

Revising, reworking, strategizing, planning, even some spring cleaning should be the focus now. We should be doing all the stuff we won’t want to do indoors when we finally get the chance to get back outside. I don’t know about you, but these are not my favorite types of things as I like to spend my days doing. Reworking or cleaning sounds like a trip to the dentist, necessary, but not so fun.

Spring fever is the time of year when we have desires to blossom but are stagnantly bound safely in the bud of late winter. So frustrating! I just wanted to mention this feeling, so we are aware of it. Sometimes our frustration of spinning our wheels no matter how much effort we give can really get us down and affect our moods, attitudes and conversations.

During times when we feel naturally stressed by the feeling of not being able to move forward we may be short with our words or inconsiderate with our actions. If we are aware of the reasons you may be feeling this way, it is easier to put a name to it and acknowledge the true source of your frustration. When we can see why we are frustrated or upset it is much more likely we can handle it in a gentle way. It’s just a reminder to be aware and be kind.

So give yourself a break, acknowledge it’s not time to put the pedal to the metal just yet. This is the time of year we should enjoy the calm because before you know it, the hectic busy season of spring will bring many exiting activities to our longer days. The slow last days of winter are to remind you it is okay to rest, to get your house in order, to clean your office, to edit your work, or plan and strategize.

Here are some examples of type of things that I will be doing to make the most of spring fever. I plan to work on my campaign materials, logos, literature, websites, etc.… Stacy and I must go back and re-edit the revisions our wonderful editor made on our Adventure Sisters book proposals. I will be starting seeds and planning a very simple garden layout since I will have a very busy summer and won’t be able to give it as much attention as I have in the past.

All the things that can seem at times tedious and time consuming are still very important steps to the outcome I wish to achieve. Times like these can feel like spinning wheels, but I know there is a purpose for this slow down, if you can see these things in your life for the intention of the outcome it helps us stay focused.

Even when all I hear is the forest and my kayak calling… I will sit down and work hard today, so I can be ready to enjoy the abundance of fun to come!

How do you cope with spring fever? What are you planning or planting? I would love to hear from you.

 

Wishing you an abundance of joyful 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

 

Five things to do when stressed

There’s been a lot of wonderful things happening in my life lately. Several opportunities have popped into my world as if by magic asking me to level up the effort and intensity I put into certain affairs. I find the new challenges exciting, even invigorating at times, but the sheer volume of the information I have been trying to learn and the effort I need to exert chasing dreams has me losing sleep and feeling anxious.

My anxiety is revved up so high I have heart palpitations and it feels like if I had an electric outlet in my chest like Iron Man I could power a small city. For some reason this also makes me feel even more excited about these opportunities because as an Adventure Sister I love to face my fears by doing things that frighten me just enough.

I won’t let the fear of the unknown stop me from pursuing my dreams and goals or any opportunity that God hands me. I believe if its meant to be it will be. If not, maybe that direction is just the way I need travel to get where I need to be. Just because I don’t let fear stop me doesn’t mean I don’t suffer the side affects of it like anxiety or stress. What do I do with all this extra anxiety energy banging in my chest? How do I calm the cyclone of thoughts in my head? How do I simmer down enough to sleep or even relax?

Exercise: I go to the gym or take the dogs for walks as often as I possibly can when I am feeling anxious. If it were summer I would take the kayak out. Exercise really helps to calm my mind and then my body seems to catch on and the anxiety passes. When I move my body it’s like all the energy goes where it’s supposed to go, and I no longer feel super charged like Iron Man.

Music: Blast it, sing along with it, jam out to it, cry to it, get mad to it or do as I do. Dance and jump around the house like a dingo while I sing to the dogs and birds is just another way that lets me release tension that makes my eyelid twitch. Music is therapy for you mind, body and soul.

Creating art: I’m talking any kind of art, craft or activity at all, working with your hands takes your mind off things. Scrapbook, make a vison board, I feel that making homemade soup or baking can be considered art. I love taking time out of life to get to enjoy making a yummy healthy soup that helps heal me from the inside out. I also like to write, but not always something like a blog or chapter, sometimes just escaping into making a manifestation list at the full moon is exactly what I need. Use your creativity.

Read: I find reading is a great distraction from the real world when you need a time out. I gobble up books as fast as I can when I have free time, I even buy books I don’t have time to read. I read at the gym, in the car or any time I just need to unwind and slow down the over active mental cartwheels keeping me wound up and anxious. Getting lost in a good story helps every time.

Friends, Family and pets: The very most important thing that I do when I am feeling stressed out and anxious is call on my closest friends for support. Having a friend or family member to talk about your thoughts and concerns helps you process emotions, releasing stress by talking about it can help you feel better. It eases my mind when I know that no matter how challenging life might be right now they have my back and are there for me. Somedays nothing tops cuddles from my dogs.

Wine: I will not lie, it is not the healthiest coping mechanism that a girl can use but I do have glass or two of wine in the evening because it helps me relax and fall to sleep. Maybe even a glass in the bathtub sound fabulous.  I don’t recommend it every night yet I do not judge, some doctors say a glass or two a night is A-Okay, so I won’t argue with that! Enjoying it with friends is even better. Tea is good too.

When I feel supported it helps me view these challenges as opportunities to level up and be the person I want to be. It helps me feel that even if things don’t turn out as I might like, I know that I will still be okay because I have my family and friends who love me for me. I think to myself “What’s the worst that could happen? If I try and fail I still have this wonderful life… If I do not try I will always wonder; “what if?” As an Adventure Sister think I would rather tell you what happened after I tried.

As I choose to pursue my goals I see stress is just component of the journey. I choose to be kind to myself and remember to relax a little. I must remember to enjoy the in between of here and there as much as I possibly can. By taking short time outs to rest my soul, ground myself, and be in the present moment it helps keep things in perspective. I remind myself each day bring my goals closer as I continue to put one foot in front of the other, with a glass of wine in my hand of course. Cheers!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful 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