A Retreat With The Adventure Sisters!

I have felt guided to attend a silent retreat lately. When I checked into them, many were quite pricey, required travel, and a substantial amount of time off from work. It was simply not in the budget! However, the impulse to go on one still remained very strong for me. I decided I needed to do this. So I spoke to Adventure Sister Emy and we decided we could do our own silent retreat. So, would you like to come along, virtually?

We have an agenda all laid out with links to different types of meditation as well as instructions from different teachers. We are headed to the boat in Florida. It will be a nice quiet place for our retreat, but we could have just as easily done it at her house or mine. Our bags our packed and intentions set.

Below is our retreat schedule. Feel free to join us! Set your intention, raise your vibration, and dig down deep inside yourself to remove what no longer serves you so you may move forward into all the glory that is meant for you. Please feel free to adjust the times to suite your needs. Also, if you need more time in silence and less time listening to instructions, feel free to do that too. I was worried about spending the whole weekend in silence, so I planned lots of different links to help my monkey mind stay busy. I figured either Emy or I could walk away from the space where it was playing and find a quiet place if that is what we needed. It is meant to be structured enough but free flowing enough to offer you what you need.

I recommend, prior to your set start time, planning your meals and prep anything you can to make cooking as simple as possible.  Also prepare your space or spaces. Where will you spend your time during the retreat? What items will you need for comfort. Plan your clothing too. It should be comfortable clothing with layers so you can adjust according to temperature.

We look forward to sharing this experience with you if you join us. We will see you in the ether. If you cannot join us, we have blogs scheduled to post and memes for our FB page. We look forward to sharing our experiences after the weekend.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find what you need, as if by magic.

Silent Retreat Schedule 

Set intention for retreat, prior to beginning.

Friday

  • 4:00 – 5:00pm Dalai Lama https://youtu.be/lTLe5TFTh24 basic techniques of meditation 
  • 5:00 – 6:00pm Kundalini Yoga https://youtu.be/Q3lU1rRyoW4 Nabhi Kriya For Courage, Confidence, Power
  • 6:00 – 7:00 Dinner prepared and eaten and cleaned up after; mindfully 
  • 7:00 – 8:00  Meditation for Connection https://youtu.be/PkVvpfld7DQ
  • 8:00 – 8:30 Walking Meditation/ Free Time
  • 8:30 – 9:00 Shamanic Drum Journey https://youtu.be/MmQ1H4wU0zs (If you have not drum journeyed before substitute optional video from below, mindfulness meditation, or inspirational reading)
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Hot tea and journaling before bed
  • Restful night sleep

Saturday

  • Dream journaling upon waking
  • 5:30 – 7:30 Sitting meditation (if awake)
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Sun Salutations https://youtu.be/L4Z7lix6Qao
  • 8:30 – 9:30 Shower, prepare for the day and have some tea; mindfully
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Your Destiny Is Waiting For You ~ Michael Bernard Beckwith https://youtu.be/zViQiX2T2rQ
  • 10:00– 11:00 Breakfast mindfully prepared, eaten and cleaned up
  • 11:00 – 11:45 Hypnosis for Letting Go of the Fear of Success  https://youtu.be/yh-V9q93XC8
  • 11:45 – 12:00  Walking Meditation/ Free Time
  • 12:00 – 1:00  Yoga Nidra for emotional healing https://youtu.be/lBx7crrZw3A
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch mindfully prepared, eaten and cleaned up
  • 2:00 – 3:30 Inspirational reading and journaling (Deepak’s 7 Spiritual laws for success or any spiritual or mindful text you have been meaning to get to)
  • 3:30 – 4:00 Walking Mindfully / Free Time
  • 4:00 – 5:00 Kundalini yoga for expansion and elevation https://youtu.be/vwpm0F8L820
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Dinner mindfully prepared, eaten and cleaned up
  • 6:00 – 7:00 Becoming Limitless ~ Wayne Dyer https://youtu.be/gNZ1JqvXeN0
  • 7:00 – 7:30 Shamanic Drum Journey https://youtu.be/MmQ1H4wU0zs (If you have not drum journeyed before substitute optional video from below, mindfulness meditation, or inspirational reading)
  • 7:30 –  8:00 Free Time 
  • 8:00 – 9:00 Guided Loving Kindness Meditation https://youtu.be/c2iCoEluq8A
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Hot tea and journaling before bed
  • Restful nights sleep

Sunday

  • Dream journaling upon waking
  • 5:30 – 7:30 Sitting meditation (if awake)
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Sun Salutations https://youtu.be/9ZZa4psFcpk
  • 8:00 – 9:00 Shower, prepare for the day and have some tea; mindfully
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Kundalini yoga https://youtu.be/IX5vn7rAsuU
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Breakfast mindfully prepared, eaten and cleaned up
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Lisa Nichol’s Step into your lives purpose https://youtu.be/40LXbK94lxY
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm Crystal Jungle Meditation https://youtu.be/Zp3pZee34fo
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch mindfully prepared, eaten and cleaned up
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Shamanic Drum Journey https://youtu.be/MmQ1H4wU0zs (If you have not drum journeyed before substitute optional video from below, mindfulness meditation, or inspirational reading)
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Mathew McConaughey Speech on Finding Yourself https://youtu.be/p0p1fjLPjYQ
  • 3:00 – 3:30 Closing ceremony (not silent but something you have prepared that feels good to you) 

 

*Photo was taken in the BWCA

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My experience with a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship.

Emy and I are The Adventure Sisters but we are not biological sisters, we weren’t even raised together. We met at a class several years ago and were friends before we knew we were friends. Our friendship goes so much deeper than a typical friendship. We are soul sisters. There is a familiarity between us that hints at past lives of being princesses together. A soul connection that calls to past history of dancing through lives together. I am completely myself with Emy. Her presence brings out a deeper part of me. I feel safe in her love; safe in the knowledge that I can be me and she will not judge or walk away from me.

Emy and I have had an annual trip to the BWCA for awhile now. It has been something we both look forward to; at least until a couple years ago. For some reason, I have become more resistant to this trip. I know how much Emy loves it and how it feeds her soul; so I keep trying to push through to make it happen for her. This year, only about 3 weeks prior to the trip that has been planned for 6 months, I started to feel anxious about going. I am not an anxious person; typically I can push through whatever hang ups I may have to do what needs to be done. I spent a week, trying to work through it, seeking guidance and even talking to Emy about making modifications to the trip. In the end, just over 2 weeks prior to the date of the trip, I told Emy I wasn’t going this year. I still needed to feed my spirit but I needed to do it in a different way. I needed alone time to go deep within myself. I needed time to recharge my own batteries. I advise people all the time to take care of themselves first but relized I had not been following that same advise.

I knew Emy would be upset, disappointed, and angry with me. I imagined she would feel abandoned and maybe even disrespected. I reflected on how I would feel if the places were switched around. I also trusted that Emy loves me just like I love her. No two blood relatives could have a stronger connection than we do. I knew she would understand why I needed to back out and would support that decision, even if it wasn’t what she wanted. Emy did not disappoint me. She showed me what a strong, nurturing, and amazing woman she is. She modeled how I would hope to respond in a similar situation. She expressed how she felt, honestly, to me. She had reflected on what the lessons might be for her in this situation. She shared love and support with me. She is a beautiful soul! She encompasses so many powerful, nurturing qualities. I am proud and so very blessed to have her as my adventure sister!

This year we will still have an adventure but different than it has ever been before. She will voyage in one direction and I in another. I am setting off into a forest to spend time in nature searching for parts of myself that seem to have gotten lost in caring for others. She is taking her personal trip to discover her own lessons.

I love helping others; I feel it is a part of my mission. But, as they say on the airplane, I have to put the oxygen mask on myself first. I appreciate it so much that Emy understands and support me in this. I appreciate those wise friends who helped me dig deep for guidance. They supported and encouraged me through making a challenging decision, a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship that I hold close and so very dear.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish all of you will find your soul siblings, as if by magic. I love you and I am proud of you!

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters

Stacy’s Blog

Emy’s Blog

Adventure Sister’s Facebook Page

Stacy’s Instagram 

Emy’s Twitter

Adventure Sister’s Pinterest Board

Emy For House Twitter

Emy For House Facebook Page

Laughter As Medicine

Laughter was a huge part of our BWCA trips. I think I saw it inside a Dove chocolate wrapper once; “laughter is inner jogging”. I love this idea and it is so true. We had so many fun and funny moments, while we were letting the summer days drift away with the natural rhythm of the wilderness.

One very funny moment was when we almost tipped the canoe. We were out fishing and got excited over a fish and both leaned to the same side of the canoe. Being the canoe novices that we were at that time and not having a good awareness on how far one could lean, without tipping the canoe, I decided to sacrificed myself and went head first into the lake. When it became obvious that the canoe was going to tip. Because of this, Emy was able to get the canoe balanced again. Luckily all of our stuff and the canoe did not also fall into the lake. The look of crazy concern on Emy’s face soon broke into laughter once she knew I was okay. Some people may have gotten angry or frustrated but we just laughed and laughed and did what we needed to do to get everything taken care of so we could continue our fishing. Another of the very funny moments, was when we got to shore and looked into the bottom of the canoe. There was a fair amount of water in the bottom. Swimming through the water, as if they could make their great escape, was our bait! The leaches container had over turned and the leaches were doing the backstroke in the bottom of the canoe. We simply giggled about this, scooped them up, and put them back into the container. My camera also got wet in this little mishap. I hung it from a tree to drip dry, while we emptied the water from the canoe and got everything else put back right. The camera,  continued to work for the rest of the trip, but it has never really been right since then.

Go ahead and laugh with us! Laughter is truly the best medicine. I much prefer to laugh my way through life, not taking myself too seriously. It feels good to laugh! When was the last time you had a deep belly laugh? We would return from our BWCA trips with sore abs from all the laughing we would do. I often have wondered if other campers heard the laughter coming from our campsite and wondered what we were up to.

When was your last deep belly laugh? How do you feel when you have a great big, tears running down your cheeks, belly laugh?

Keep laughing friends! Thank you for reading my blog today.

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters:
Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister
https://stacycrep.com
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
https://emyminzel.com
The Adventure Sisters on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters
Stacy Crep on Instagram
@stacycrep

 

Beneficial Forgiveness

Who are you unable to forgive and why? What things do you consider to be unforgivable? What mistakes have you made in life that you are still holding tight to because the pain is too much to think about? Being able to forgive others and even more so, to forgive yourself, can be life changing.

Most people do not set out in life to be a pain the the you know what. As humans, I believe we do the best we can, in the time and space we are in. But because of what we are holding on to, sometime the decisions we make will cause pain for ourselves and or others. I think if we realize that people do the best they can in the time and space they are in, it’ll help you leg go of the anger, regret and disappointment in order to find it in your heart to offer forgiveness.

I was in a toxic marriage once. There was verbal and emotional things happening that have had a lasting impact. I stayed in the marriage because I really believed that my children needed a home with a father and a mother. I also did not believe I could be successful in providing my children with a home and the other things they needed without two incomes. I was wrong about both of these things. I stayed because I didn’t know I was wrong. I stayed because I didn’t understand the lasting impact that this environment was having on my children. I stayed because I did not have enough self worth to believe I could leave. Eventually, I found my self worth and did leave the marriage. I am only now starting to fully understand how my children were hurt and affected by this.

So who do I need to forgive as a result of this story. I need to forgive myself for staying way to long. I need to forgive my ex-husband for the way he treated me and the children. I need to forgive my daughter who still holds so much anger at me for staying too long and for not protecting her more. I need to forgive my catholic up bringing that made me think I couldn’t leave. I need to forgive myself for feeling like a failure, because I couldn’t fix it.

I will tell you I have worked through this and have been able to forgive. Much of this processing and healing took place in the BWCA, with Emy’s support and love. I was able to touch those very painful emotions that were pushed down deep inside. I was able to feel them and understand them and eventually let them go. I was able to understand that my ex-husband was doing the best he could in the time and space he was in. He had learned how to be a family from his own family. Perhaps what had been modeled for him, when he was a child, was also not healthy. I came to understand that he had his own inner demons and probably did not like himself very much. He did not know how to deal with or heal these things. So it came out in these ways that harmed our family. Once I had some understanding of why he acted the way he did, I was able to forgive him. This forgiveness was a gift to him but more importantly it was a gift to myself. Forgiving him freed me from wallowing in the hate and self loathing. Forgiving him allowed me to get to the place where I could forgive myself. Forgiving him allowed me to let go of that “failed” marriage and give it blessings for the experiences I had and the things I learned as a result of it. Forgiving him gave me a new found freedom and a new found peace. Forgiving him was far more beneficial to me than it will ever be to him. Forgiving my daughter is easy. I pray the someday she will forgive me. Not because I feel I need forgiveness but because it will free her and allow her to heal. Forgiving my catholic up bringing was easier once I realized that it was a result of good intentions on my parents part. They were doing what they thought was right. They were doing the best they could to raise their children. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I think when we can see the good intentions behind the things that hurt us, it is easier to find forgiveness.

The hardest forgiveness that took place from the story I shared above was forgiving myself. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We do not allow for our own mistakes. We take these perceived “failures” and hold on to them. We often feel they are unforgivable. None of us are perfect. Once I was able to realize that I too did the best I could in the time and place I was in, I began to see that I was able to forgive myself. I forgave myself for staying too long, for “failing” at marriage, for the mistakes I made in the midst of the marriage that made situations worse. The freedom of no longer holding on to these things allowed for a sense of freedom. The chains had been released. I was able to move on. I was able to work on myself and become a healthier version of me. I was able to find a relationship that is happy and healthy.

What in your life are you not able to forgive? Yourself? Others? Situations? Is there a way that you can see these situations from another perspective and find forgiveness? It will change your life. Forgive others, not for their benefit but for your own benefit. Free yourself from having to hold on to that disappointment any longer.

Do you have a story to share about how forgiveness improved your life? Do you have things you are currently working on forgiving yourself for? Do you have things you have learned along the way you would like to share with others?

Thank you for reading my blogs today. Feel free to share it with others you feel it may help. May your life be filled with healthy forgiveness. Blessings, Stacy

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters:
Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister
https://stacycrep.com
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
https://emyminzel.com
The Adventure Sisters on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters
Stacy Crep on Instagram
@stacycrep

What I Love About the BWCA!

What do I love about the BWCA? 
Have you heard of the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA)? If you are a faithful follower of my blog you have. The BWCA is a magical place. There is so much about the BWCA that I love. Want to know what tops my list? 
  1. Quiet! – It is an area for canoeing; truthfully that is your only way in. There are no motorized vehicles, no noisy motors zipping around. You paddle your way through it. You have what you bring in and what nature provides, nothing else. When you get to land you pick up your stuff (including your canoe) and carry it till you get to land. All you hear is nature and the occasional paddles hitting water. It is shocking to come back to reality after so much isolation and quiet. 
  2. Nature– It is the only place I have been to where nature is really left alone. The camp sites consist of a pit toilet and a cooking grate, lots of trees, and critters. It is really you and nature. You hear the wolves howl. We saw a moose swimming across the lake, have been visited by ducks, and heard bears over on an island. It is beautiful!
  3. Privacy -The campsites are spread out; maybe 2 on a small lake and 5 on a bigger lake. You may go the whole time and see only the people you brought with you or see others on the paddle in and the paddle out. Emy and I skinny drip. It is so freeing! Why bother with a swimming suit when it is just you and the critters? 
  4. Beauty – The BWCA is one of the prettiest places I have ever been. Serene beauty is everywhere you look. Shimmering lakes, undisturbed forests, big skies, and wildlife. It is where I feel God! Nature is my church; nowhere (that I have been) is as undisturbed as the BWCA. 
  5. FUN – And a lot of work, but it is the kind of work you feel real proud of when you are done. You feel like “Hell ya! I just did that!”. You can fish if so inclined. Everything is cooked over an open campfire (or a camping stove). You sleep in a tent and spend the rest of your day outdoors. If it rains hang  out under a tarp. I am telling you – there is nothing like it! 
There are so many more reason I love the BWCA…. but for 7pm on Monday night this is a good start. I love you all and appreciate you for stopping by and reading my blog! I look forward to the next time. Have a wonderful rest of your Monday! 

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters:

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

The Adventure Sisters on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

The Adventure Sisters on Instagram

@stacycrep

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, like so many beautiful areas, may be at risk from exploitation. If you feel so moved please sign the petition below to save this amazing natural resource!

https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters

How I Learned to Love My Body Again

Think about being a child, care free in your appearance. How free that must feel. I watch my stepson and grandchildren. They will put on some goofy thing and know they look good. Body image is such a struggle for so many today. How can we heal this within ourselves?
My own struggles with body image started very young. I can remember being in elementary school and thinking I was fat. I am not sure where the initial problem started from. Was it my grandmother saying I should wear dark colors because they were slenderizing? Was it the kid on the play ground who called me a 2000 pound Tyrannosaurus rex? Could it have been noticing that clothes did not look on me the way they looked on my Barbie Dolls? Whatever the reason, from a young age, my body image sucked! It started a vicious cycle of dieting and binging that carried on until my late 30’s when eventually I had gastric bypass surgery. I lost 113.5 as a result of the surgery. I looked amazing, at least with my clothes on. Without them my skin hung and sagged. Without the fat I had way more skin than I needed. Stretch marks from years of weight gain made a map across my body. My breasts hung, more than a little, lower than were they belonged. I still felt disgusting. I consulted with a plastic surgeon to have skin pealed off of my body so that other skin could be pulled up and the folds would be decreased. Even after the surgery my body would not resemble those molded plastic fashion dolls of my youth. At least my body would be a little less gross. I scheduled the surgery.
At that time I was doing online dating. It struck me sometime before the plastic surgery that this was not the correct option for me. I needed to learn to love myself as is, otherwise how could anyone else love me? The kind of man I was looking for was the kind who could look past people faults and love the beautiful soul inside. I canceled surgery and decided any man who wanted me would have to be able to love this body with all of its mileage. I started working on loving myself. I started working on improving my feelings about my body.
I started small. Noticing aspects of my body that I did like was a way to begin. My toes are cute. I have strong legs. Parts of me that were easy to love paved the way to loving all of me. I found a great hair stylist. Which taught me my frizzy, out of control hair was actually full of really fun curls. Then the shopping began. The jeans and t-shirts were pushed to the back of the closet. Dresses now hung in the front. Pretty girly things that made me feel like a woman. I embraced my femininity. Changing my dating profile from “a few extra pounds” to “curvy” really helped me embrace my body as sexy, even if I still felt it was imperfect.
I did find a man who loves me as is. He is a beautiful and kind soul. The year we were married, Emy and I were planning our annual BWCA (Boundary Water Canoe Area) trip. These trips have morphed from fun adventures into an opportunity to work on wellness and self improvement. We still have lots of fun but they are now so much more. In the bags I included a pack of metallic pastel colored pertinent markers. “A fun activity for our trip, awaits in the bags”, I told Emy. Letting the anticipation of surprise speak to the little girl in her. All the while the little girl in me was relishing this idea.
As we sat on our private island in the BWCA, near our campfire, drinking tea, and watching the sun glisten off the lake, I produced the markers. “We are going to write message of love to our body”. She lit up. We set to work covering our bodies in words of appreciation and things we wanted to manifest for ourselves. When we were done the metallic ink sparked in the afternoon sun. Words such a strength, love, beauty, temperance, feminine, courage, and support adorned our bodies amidst peace symbols, flowers, vines, hearts, and other symbolic drawings. It was a transformative experience.
I am more comfortable with my body now than I have been since I was a very young child. I still have moments, but for the most part, I love my body. I love every line and fold. Even that parts that don’t sit as high as they once did, receive appreciation and loving kindness from me.

What struggles do you have with your body image? Do you have helpful tricks you can share with others?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you have loving kindness for your body!

Please Follow the Adventure Sisters:
Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister
https://stacycrep.com
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
https://emyminzel.com
The Adventure Sisters on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters
The Adventure Sisters on Instagram
@adventuresistersbwca

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, like so many beautiful areas, may be at risk from exploitation. If you feel so moved please sign the petition below to save this amazing natural resource!
https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters

How I Became an Adventure Sister!

Hello, I am Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister! You may be asking yourself what is an adventure sister? You may be curious to find out how I became an Adventure Sister. You may want to know what kind of adventures I have gone on. I will tell you all of this as well as my Adventure sister goals.

It all started with a Groupon! I saw a Groupon for a 3 day canoe trip. It sounded so fun. I just couldn’t pass it up! And who doesn’t love a sale! I bought 2 and contacted my friend Emy to go with me. At the time I had no idea what the Boundary Water Canoe Area was. BWCA, is that a funky dance from the 70s? I really didn’t understand what I had gotten us into. People warned us that we would get carried off by mosquitos and eaten by bears. As we started doing research we discovered that there is this thing called portaging. It is the crazy concept that when you get to land you pick up your canoe and carry it, on top of your shoulders, by yourself, until you get to water again. Not to mention all your gear.

That first year we learned so much! 2 ordinary woman out there in the wilderness at a campsite that consisted of lots of trees, a cooking grate, and a pit toilet. It didn’t even have walls. We chopped wood and learned to build a fire in the rain. We caught and cleaned our own fish, never had I ever done that before, but we wanted to eat. Washing dishes in the forest became second nature. We persevered after we tipped our canoe and had a lovely time. When we were packing up and leaving the last day, the only day that was warm and sunny, by the way, we decided to leave note for the next campers about the beautiful campsite and the fun we had had there. We left a couple tea bags and the note in a plastic bag tied to some extra fire wood we had chopped. We signed it Adventure Sisters.

We have continued to go back to the boundary waters year after year. We have survived lighting storms. We have climbed and navigated difficult portages. We have never mastered packing lite. We have managed to stay a float in rough water. One time it was so rough that when I went to paddle my paddle did not make contact with the water because it was between the massive waves. Once we endured camping in the forest when we couldn’t make it to a campsite. We didn’t even have a pit toilet that year… just a shovel.

This year we went to Orlando and had a different kind of adventure which included a swarm of fireman and 2 sheriff deputies. But that story is for another time.

These continued adventure have built our confidence and have helped us learn about ourselves. By pushing ourselves in these physical and many times emotional ways we have grown so much personally. We want to share this with others and inspire them to live the life of their dreams. We have decided to write a book to share our experiences with others. The idea of a book has grown into not just one book, but three. Lessons Through Joy, Lessons Through Forgiveness, and Lessons Through Magic.

An impulsive purchase changed my life and from it the adventure sisters were born. We were not carried off by mosquitoes nor were we eaten by bears. We had struggles, we learned a lot, we saw amazing aspects of nature (to include a swimming moose), but most of all we learned who we are and who we want to be. I am Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister. We are already planning our next adventure! Want to come with?

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters