Capeesh?!

Life in a pandemic has taught us how very little control we have. For me, and perhaps many of you, feeling out of control can be very frustrating and induce a lot of stress. I have long heard that control is an illusion and truthfully the only thing we have control over is our reactions. I feel sometimes I don’t even have much control over my reactions. Being self aware and noticing how you are reacting and exploring where those reactions are coming from can be very helpful; but also very difficult to do in the heat of the moment.

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Captain Jack Sparrow

I catch myself getting all wrapped up into what seems like the problem. I get stuck spiraling into unhelpful thoughts about what I think the problem is. But when I breathe, and take a minute to look at why I am feeling the way I am feeling, often there is a different cause. I am not saying that there are not problems. There are, everywhere. So unless we understand what triggers us to respond to these issues in the way that we do, we will be forever whipped around, a prisoner to our emotional response. Emotions can be very helpful in motivating us, but they also can be detrimental when we find ourself in a situation where the outcome we desire is not achievable.

There are things that I know trigger an emotional response in me. I like to be in control, so when I feel out of control, this can cause a lot of stress for me. When COVID first started I had a job where I experienced change on a weekly basis, sometime more often. Those changes were predictable changes. Once the Pandemic started, I was experiencing unpredictable changes. It cause me a lot more stress. I am flexible person. I enjoy change. Being fluid and in the moment, is how I do my best work. So I was surprised in how the unpredictability of life really got to me.

Awareness is the first step. When we examine the thoughts we have around the “problem” we can better understand why we are shaken when presented with the problem. Having this understanding gets us closer to being at peace; despite the situation we find ourselves within. Once we can see what is bring up our emotions and that it is really more about us than the perceived problem; we can start to work on this aspect of us.

It is important to have some strategies to get past these emotions or as Captain Jack Sparrow says, “…[our] attitude about the problem”.

  • Breathe – take a deep breath, center yourself, and just feel the emotion.
  • Acknowledge – emotions are not good or bad, they just are. Acknowledge what you are feeling. Give yourself permission to feel it.
  • Be Present – be present in the moment. Notice what is around you. What do you hear, see, smell, feel, taste? Notice that in this moment you are safe and everything is okay.
  • Understand – attempt to understand what is causing you to feel so …whatever you are feeling. If you can name what is behind the emotion it can be helpful in gaining understanding. For example: I feel frustrated at a lack of control because I have a fear of failure.
  • Calming ritual – create yourself with a calming ritual. What this is may differ on where you are and this will be very individualized to each person. Some ideas are:
    • cup of herb tea
    • lighting a candle
    • carry a “worry stone” that you can hold or rub your thumb against
    • take a series of slow, deep breaths
    • recite a poem, prayer, or mantra (out loud or internally)
    • have a mint or piece of gum
    • take a walk outside
    • rub some lotion on your hands
  • Carry on mindfully – once you have gained awareness you can carry on with your day. You will have a better understanding of why you were so upset and have taken some action to become present and understand you cannot change the problem – only your reaction.
  • Take action if it still seems necessary – once you have done all of this, depending on what the perceived problem was, there still may need to be action taken on your part. Now that your mind is clearer and you are not as caught up in the emotional response, you can attempt to make a plan.
  • Repeat as necessary – depending on what is going on you may find yourself needing to use these strategies over and over again. It will get easier as you practice.

I love the Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 

courage to change the things I can, 

and wisdom to know the difference.

I think there is a lot of wisdom in this prayer. There are things we cannot change. Things we have no control over whatsoever. Then there are things we can change. Often that is us and how we deal with what we cannot change. Working on ourselves is some of the hardest work, but also the most beneficial work we can ever do. Knowing what things we can affect and what things we cannot affect will give us much more peace, rather than banging our heads against the wall trying to change the unchangeable.

I also believe in the benefit of planting seeds, but that is for another blog. Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find peace within the storm. May you find the calm pool of serenity within yourself.

The Story of the Stone Buffalo

Emy and my adventures are mostly based in the BWCA (Boundary Water Canoe Area) but there was an earlier adventure. It also started with a Groupon, curiously. It was a kayak trip down the Mississippi. This was not a daunting journey that took days and multiple supplies. This was a leisurely paddle with the current for a few hours.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We were excited to get out and do something new together. I had done some canoeing and kayaking but this was our first joint voyage. We paddled along, enjoying the scenery and each others company. We talked about the environment and even sent some healing energy to the Mississippi. We wanted to help combat some of the pollution we feared was there. There was a little island in the middle of the river at one point. Feeling free and quite adventurous we decided to stop and explore. It was a small bit of land covered with trees. There was a little dirt path through the forest. Hiking on the path was a great way to stretch our legs after a couple hours in the kayaks. We came across a picnic table. We walked past it not thinking much about it. Emy wondered further into the woods but I felt drawn to the picnic table. On the table there was a small stone bison. I felt intuitively that the fairies had left it there for me. I excitedly told Emy about it and showed it to her.
When I got home I looked up the spiritual meaning of bison. I believe that when we notice animals (especially animals we don’t typically see) they come with a message for us. It is a way Spirit talks to us. When I look up the messages animal totems have for me, I trust my gut to guide me to the reason the animal showed up. Nothing about the stone bison really seemed like a strong message for me at the time. I kept it in a special place; I had a sense that it was a powerful gift.
Tonight as Emy and I were messaging back and forth about steps we are taking to get our books published, my phone autocorrected “vision” to “bison”. I was immediately reminded of the stone bison from all those years ago. I looked it up again to see what meaning or message it had for us now. The following list of words came up acquainted with the bison.

Abundance      Blessing      Community      Consistency      Goals
Gratitude      Manifestation      Prayer      Prosperity      Provision
Sacrifice      Service      Stability      Strength      Surrender

Since this evening had been focused on our efforts to get our books published, I feel that the message of the stone bison was about steps we could take to move our books forward. I find it so interesting that this gift was given to me so many years before the idea of the book or even the concept of the Adventure Sisters was born. Life is magical, if you trust it.
Do you have any similar stories? What magic have you noticed in your life?

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

 

Offer blessings or thanks prior to a meal?

Is there a purpose to offering blessing to our food? Anyone who has grown up in at least a moderately religious family has been told to offer blessings prior to a meal. Is there more to the idea of offering blessings?

Offering blessings to food have been a tradition in many different spiritual beliefs. There are prays of blessing in, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Wicca, Native American, and most other spiritual practices. Why is all of this blessing so important?

Gratitude – Of course we know an attitude of gratitude will help us manifest more things to be grateful for. The law of attraction tells us like attracts like. The more blessings we offer the more blessings the Universe will conspire to bring us.

Peace- In 1924 Cleve Backster hooked plants to polygraphs. He noted that plants could react with fear and anxiety. Others have carried on this research and it has been found that there is a peacefulness in the plants that have blessings offered over them prior to being eaten.

Energy- Everything is energy. By offering thanks for the food we are about to eat we align our vibration and the foods in order to most fully make use of the energy in the meal.

Gift- We acknowledge that it is a gift and that something or someone made a sacrifice in order for us to have the food that is about to fill our bellies.

Tradition- Many families have traditions about saying “Grace” or offering blessings. Traditions or a wonderful way to keep a connection to your ancestors.

Next time you eat a meal, offer a blessing to it, it may be more important than you think. It certainly will not hurt anything.

What are your family traditions around blessing food? Is offering blessings for your meal something you enjoy? How does it make you feel?