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

 

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~

https://stacycrep.com

 

Photo credit – Emy Minzel

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 :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Divine intervention that gives you Goosebumps!


Have you ever had something bad happen, only to realize that it was a good thing in the end? I have a story, I’d like to share, that is just this way. As a lone practitioner Massage Therapist, I like to get to know my clients and we often become friends. Clients will spill their hearts out on the table, releasing mental stress as I help them relieve their physical stress at the same time. I love that I am able to offer the comfort and feeling of safety to do so. My clients leave my office feeling better and I take great pride in that.

After almost a decade of being in business, I have picked up some regular clients that come to see me like clockwork. I do my best to make sure that these clients get in as soon as possible, because I know they need it. I had this one client whom I will call ‘Fred.’ (*) Fred was a regular client who was very active, in fact, Fred enjoyed working as a fitness instructor. When Fred called one day, telling me about an ache in his leg that would not go away, I wanted to help.

We made an appointment for the very next day, but when morning came, I woke up very sick. I had come down with the flu! Oh man, I had to call and cancel Fred’s appointment and I felt horrible about it. I was so sick with fever and other flu symptoms that I had later forgot to call Fred back to reschedule. As time does, it flew by and before I knew it, more than a month went by before I heard from Fred again.

Fred made an appointment and came in, he told me a story that made me ‘very thankful’ that I had come down with the worst sickness I’ve had in a long while that day.

Fred came into the door and said, that night we canceled his appointment, the pain in his leg got so bad he decided to go the Urgent Care. While at the clinic, the doctor immediately sent him to the hospital emergency room. The doctor was concerned the pain was from a blood clot and the hospital confirmed this. This blood clot broke loose and traveled up to his lungs. Fred nearly died! He had to be hospitalized for a long while but thankfully pulled through!

What made my heart stop was the realization that; had I NOT been sick that week… I know for a fact I would have done my best to help my dear client! I would have done all I could to relieve his leg discomfort. So, that he could get back to living pain-free. But, if I had tried to help Fred that day, it would have been very likely that I would have moved the blood clot and my client could have died right on my massage table!

Can you imagine?! I’d like to think that there are forces in this world that help us on our journey through life. Had this gone differently, had I not gotten sick, I would have most definitely been a changed person and Fred would no longer be with us. I have never, in my life, been so thankful to be struck down with the flu!

I know in my heart that this was divine intervention at its best.

So, the next time you are stuck waiting for a train, your car breaks down, you get sick and miss an event or even if you miss your flight. Remember to relax, it may be divine timing helping you steer clear of some unfortunate event you just do not see yet. I have learned a lot from this experience and I hope my story has helped you too.

Do you have a story of divine intervention that gives you goosebumps? I’d love to hear it!

*The names and identifying information in this story have been changed to protect client privacy.

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

Thank you.

The campaign trail has been fun, exciting, scary, invigorating, exhausting and full of emotional ups and downs already. I am enjoying this new adventure very much! I love getting to meet the people in my community who surprise me with an abundance of knowledge and kindness they willingly share with me. I am learning a great deal about the fabulous folks I am blessed to be surrounded by.

So far, the hardest part of the campaign for me to wrap my head around, was asking everyone for their financial support. I know I am not the only one who feels weird about asking for money. I just had to convince myself that the fact is, it is not asking for myself. It takes real dollars to make change happen, it takes real dollars to spread our message.

While I was in Washington, D.C. I took a class about asking for donations, seems like I was not the only person in the room with the same hesitation of asking for financial donations we need to spread our message.

The instructor had asked us to offer one word that describes what asking for money felt like.

Asking for money makes me feel….                         

Embarrassed

Intimidated

Uncomfortable

Nervous

Self-Conscious

Scared

Then the instructor had us use one word to describe what it feels like when we give…

Engaged

Connected

Thankful

Included

Proud

Joyful

Encouraged

Valued

Hopeful

It hit me during this class, that people do not give because they are asked. They give because they believe in me and they want to be part of the campaign that changes our community for the better. My supporters give their hard-earned money and their valuable donation of time to the Emy for House Campaign because they are committed to our ideals and our beloved community.

I now see it as asking for help from my community to support my effort in defending our values of caring and compassion for the people in our district and the environment we all share. It is asking for assistance in finding the money it takes to share the message that Emy Minzel is going to be the one to stand up and fight for the people in my community who are not feeling heard or acknowledged.

This fills my heart with so much joy to feel supported by wonderful people. It gives me fuel to keep burning both ends of the night. It helps me push through the long days knowing I am being given so much support. It really does feel like I am being pushed along by a communal wave of people power like a vessel on a wave headed in the exact direction I need to go.

As I sit here tonight enjoying the sunshine on my deck with my dogs, I am filling out ‘Thank You’ cards. I send them out to all the people who have donated to the Emy for House Campaign. I tell you what, it humbles me, makes my heart swell with gratitude and determination to win. Of all the things that are happening on the campaign trail, writing Thank You notes is my favorite.

I am blessed.

Thank you for your support, I truly appreciate you.

If you wish to follow the Emy for House Campaign check us out!

@emyforhouse15A

emyforhouse.com

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

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

 

Untamed

It’s snowing again, it’s the second week of April in Minnesota… will it ever end? The snow seems to fit my mood today. I have been feeling very anxious about the drastic changes in my life that have abruptly altered how I spend my time. Campaigning has been a fun and adventurous undertaking with many positive experiences meeting great people. I feel like I have been dropped into a circus ring. There is a big show going on and I am the wild lion attraction with trainers and everything. Today is the first day I feel like eating my trainers, so I can escape back into the wild.

Is it fear that makes me feel like running? You betchya. Fear of leaving my old life behind to burst into a new way of living my days ahead. The time I get to spend with my family and friends has been drastically modified. My days went from the relaxed peaceful pace of writing and working in tranquility of my home; to chasing my tail and everyone else’s around three counties day and night, working from the time I wake up until way past my bedtime. Endless email chains, demands on my time from people whom I just met and endless flow of information seems to keep pouring into my head.

Currently I have three jobs, I work from home as a massage therapist, I write several weekly blogs while working to completing our three Adventure Sisters book proposals due next week, then I work on campaign duties daily and nearly every weekend. Which means I write and craft my political message while working to meet people who are politically involved in the community. I am listening carefully to their concerns, so I may be better able to help them if elected to The House of Representatives.

One of the best parts of campaigning is hearing from so many of the great citizens from my district and surrounding areas, because I am truly concerned for their wellbeing and happiness in our community. I must remind myself this is the reason I am dedicating my time, attention, and serious effort to move forward in service of my community. Although it is great fun and I am learning so much, it can seem very overwhelming at times. I guess this is what happens when you toss an introvert into the middle of the ring at a circus!

Even though it is uncomfortable, I know that the purpose of it is extremely important to the future of my community. It is a dedication to public service for the greater good, it is the hope of be involved in something bigger than me, that keeps me in the ring so to speak. I know without a doubt that there needs to be progressive change and regular people like me in positions to facilitate it. I realize I am blessed to be able to pursue this crazy political path, I am thankful that it seems to embrace me even more when I am hesitant.

Today I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, checking off items on my ‘to do’ list, knowing that no matter how hard I work or how long I try there is still be more to be done; that is why I will persist even when I want to resist. I will not allow the animal like instincts in me, chase away or eat the trainers that are truly helping me accomplish my goals of representing my community in a nurturing way. I will work on taming my highly-spirited instincts because it is for my own greater good of accomplishing my goals and winning this election. When I win, then I can truly be the change I wish to see in the world.

So, here I am a little wild, full of fight and in the ring at the circus because that is where God/Higher Power guided me. I will use my untamed passion and naturally persistent characteristics to realize I can do this, I am doing this. I got this.

~And so it is!

What do you do when feeling overwhelmed? What keeps you persistently chasing your dreams and goals?

I would love to hear how others people handle their emotions and actions when life paths take a hard left into the unknown forest of life. I love to hear other life experiences so feel free to share them with me!

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

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

Something bigger than myself

For the last five years, I have been extremely introverted, focusing on bettering myself, nurturing better relationships with my friends and family. I busied myself making my new house a home, growing gardens, writing books and dreaming of how I want my future to look. Sometimes I would feel glum about this fabulous life I was blessed with, and I didn’t understand why. What do I have to be so down about? What is the reason behind the emotions that where affecting my energy and my attitude in negative ways?

I have a wonderful family, a career I truly enjoy, a brown house with several gardens that I love. From the outside looking in, one would say I had it pretty darn great. Yet, this feeling of melancholy was heavy as a weighted blanket just not as useful. I would meditate, drum journey in the garden, exercise and write about how I was feeling. I hoped this would help me move through the uncertain feelings I was experiencing but didn’t understand where they were coming from.

After reading books and watching documentaries about living more sustainably to help the environment, I chose to implement changes in our household and my lifestyle. This led to growing a greater interest in politics, learning what I could do myself to help the greater good. I read self-improvement books, went to classes that helped me process my feelings. I would try to fill up my life with more love by fostering dogs and manufacturing busyness tending to my family and animals seeking to fill a persistent void that seemed like an endless tunnel.

Why was my fabulous life not enough to make me happy? I read a book called ‘The Hope’ by Andrew Harvey and it changed my direction just enough to lead me to where I am today. I believe that I do have more to offer the world, I am a nurturer by nature. It is in my blood to care for others, except my daughter is now grown, my husband is very self-sufficient, and my dogs are good boys who don’t require much doting either.

This left me with tons of nurturing instincts inside and nowhere to use it; I realized this is where my frustration came in. I contemplated fostering children which clearly is a much bigger commitment then dogs. This didn’t seem like the right time in my life and my intuition told me this was not where I would find what I am looking for. I know inside that I am connected to the earth in some way and here to foster in a new way of caring for it. I just did not know what I was supposed to do or how I was going to go about it.

I believe when you want to make the world a better place you start at home. You nurture your relationships, cherish and care for your community and do what you can right where you are. I picked up trash on the county road, became more politically involved and vocal, and I joined the local Friends of the Sherburne County Wildlife Refuge Advocacy committee, so I could have a small part in nurturing a tiny part of the world I hold so dear. Let me tell you that the moment I realized I do have the power to be the change I wish to see in the world, doors seem to fly open, life seemed to hand me magical opportunities to do even more good!

Adventure Sister Stacy tells me this is what happens when you are on the right path of your true-life purpose; what you came to earth to do in this life time. I sincerely hope she is right. I am having the best time moving forward with purpose and laser focused direction to foster in a cleaner, kinder community around me.

Wouldn’t you know it? That feeling of melancholy has dissipated, I wake up each morning excited about what life holds for me. I no longer wonder what to do with my abundance of passion that stokes my desire to care for something bigger then myself. I found it. I am thankful.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

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 I count my blessings

I am grateful for the abundance of blessings in my life. I am thankful for the relationships I cultivated over time and the new ones just seeds of beginnings. When I think about these people I have surrounded myself with I realize how blessed I am to have them in my life. I am grateful for the choices I have made to get me where I am today. Life has not been thorn free roses, but I have been rewarded with millions of dollars’ worth of love throughout my life and I believe that helped me shape you I am.

The life I have lived has led me to gain experiences unique to me, every soul I met had a role in my existence. Even the dogs I have fostered, rescued, transported, or unfortunately failed… positive and negative have had a significant influence on the character I hold today. Same can be said about all my relationships some have grown while some have failed to thrive, I know it takes two to have relationships, so I take some responsibility in those friendships I have lost now I work to cherish the ones I have.

Being grateful seems to increase the abundance of blessings that come my way. Or maybe it just makes them clearer for me to see and accept as truth? When you go around complaining about everyone and everything naturally you look for more things to complain about. The same is true when counting your blessings. When you go about your days being grateful for everything and everyone in your life, the more you will see things to add to your list of abundant every day miracles.

As the world turns around us, we have duality of good/bad, light/dark, happy/sad etc… so that we have contrast to compare our experiences. We would not know the deep sense of loss without great love, we wouldn’t appreciate the sun if it never rained. This is how life cycles us through the phases we grow through as we age; all of our experiences shape our perceptions of what to be thankful for. We appreciate what we have when we learn from what we’ve lost. Sometimes we see the beauty in life because we’ve seen ugly parts too.

I am grateful for my family, friends and others that love me and support me.

I am grateful for love expressed in little ways that say ‘I love you’ with no words.

I am grateful for the support I feel that allows me to brave and adventurous.

I am grateful for the inclination inside that nurtures my endless quest for knowledge.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to express myself through the creativity I have been blessed with.

I am grateful for being able to love myself in a way that I feel it to be true in my mind, body and spirit.

I am grateful for all these things because I have had experiences that have been the opposite. Remember this today as you go through your daily routine, the things you complain about maybe affecting the things that you appreciate because that is where you are putting your energy. I propose we put a little more effort into appreciating what we love today! And the next days too. 😉

What are you thankful for? Do you write down or even acknowledge blessings every day? I try to be thankful for at least five things a day, which is easy, so then I start looking for more! Contemplate this; Does thinking of your complaints make you happy? Does counting your blessings make you mad?

What mood/energy would you rather carry around in your body, mind and spirit to share with the world today?

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