weekend wandering: Minnehaha Park

When did you go: Friday, July 19th

Where did you go: Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis

What were you up to: hiking and relaxing in a piece of heaven amidst the big city.

How far did you drive: 47 miles

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Toes in the sand

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Minnehaha Falls- breathtaking!

This weekend’s adventure took us to Minnehaha Park located in Minneapolis along the Mississippi River.  What a wonderful time it was! It was the perfect day out, warm but not humid like it had been for the entire week. Even though the park was bustling with people it was still relaxing and peaceful.  We took plenty of pictures, went on a leisurely hike, laughed and ended the hike with a refreshing IPA from Rush River Brewing Co., wh0 had a keg trailer set up outside the park restaurant Sea Salt Eatery.

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We did not eat at the Sea Salt Eatery in the park but instead chose to find the Birchwood Cafe for a late lunch/ early dinner. What a treat it was! Birchwood, located in a quaint neighborhood, utilizes local farmers and fresh products to make their tasty menu items. I opted for the delectable Tour de France turkey burger which was topped with prosciutto (really the prosciutto sold me on this~ i literally can’t pass it up!), grape-rosemary salsa, blue cheese walnut spread, garlic scape mayo and micro greens atop a buttermilk bun. I’m not sure I can even find the words to describe how yummy this was. Not being a food critic, I know I can’t, so I will just stick with “yummy, yummy, yummy”! Trust me Birchwood Cafe is a must-try.

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View from our patio dining table- bikes!

Right in front of the Birchwood Cafe is one of Minneapolis’s Nice Ride bike share stations. Located around the city -in neighborhoods, the college campus area and in the heart of downtown- are stations where one can rent a bicycle to use as a mode of transportation or just to hit the trails. All you need to do is pay a small fee to unlock the bike from its solar powered station and enjoy the ride!

a-ha

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Have you ever had one of those “a-ha” moments? No I’m not speaking of the of the 80’s Norwegian pop band we (or I) rocked out to back in the day “take on meeeee, take me onnnn…”. Just one of those moments so many people speak of in a nonchalant manner, but on a grander more deeper level than an everyday “a-ha” moment. I had one of those today, and just in time, really.

You see, without getting into the background right now, I’ve been going through a hard time lately. Just kind of feeling stuck in my circumstances and not knowing where I wanted go, what I wanted to do or even how to cope with some feelings and hurts I’ve been dealt lately. I try to stay positive and listen to my friends & family and grasp the  meaning of “have patience, you are where you need to be right now; something better is ahead.” But when you are feeling stuck, patience is not a virtue that comes easily, trust me I have been asking for patience for months now and really getting no where with it.

A couple of days ago I came upon the reason why seeking patience wasn’t working for me, and today it was truly affirmed in a couple of ways. But I’ll get back to those affirmations.

First off, on Monday evening I was just sitting around and I asked myself “Susan, why do you keep going around & around with your emotions.” One minute I would be happy and on top of the world, things are going to be fine, I can see the light. Yeah! Then WHAM-MO!! The sadness and anger would hit again out of nowhere; the cycle would start all over. Then the answer hit me like a brick~”You are going through the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.” We’ve all heard of them, and many of us have been through these stages but what I came to realize is that until you get to the acceptance stage you don’t realize that you were caught up in a never ending cycle of the first four.

Acceptance. I wanted to once and for all be stuck on the acceptance stage for a longer period than any combination of the first four. My problem with learning patience was that I would forget to finish the saying of what I was hearing and reading which I quoted above “have patience, you are where you need to be right now; something better is ahead; you just need to accept your current circumstances“. Wow, that was a pretty big realization for me. So for the next couple of days, if I would feel down and catch myself heading in reverse I would repeat the word “acceptance.” Trust me it wasn’t a magic word. I wasn’t automatically lifted up, feeling perky and ready to take on the world but it helped.

Right now there are so many things that I need to accept. I must accept that am not living where I want to live, that I don’t have the answers to so many questions in my head and accepting that I may and probably will never have those answers (that’s the big one for me: accepting the not knowing why), and accept that I’m not necessarily doing what I want to do with my life/career. I’m not saying that right now I’m in complete acceptance, but I’m heading that way. WIP – work in process- right? If I was in complete acceptance maybe I would just stop where I am and not continue to move forward to where I want to be. I just need to accept where I am and continue moving in the direction I am going, which is the right direction for me, the one where I break the cycle and make the changes needed to keep moving onward.

So, back to the affirmations I received today.  Remember, I had been saying “acceptance” to myself since Monday when needed. Today after lunch I checked out Facebook and one of my friends had posted the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”

Wow! It’s as though she was reaching out directly to me! And who knows she could have posted it because she was frustrated with a co-worker, which we all feel at times and I’m not down playing the need for prayer in those times. It doesn’t matter why she posted it, all I know is I really needed those words right then. Amazing how such a little act such as someone else status update on Facebook can affect one person. I should thank her, really.

My second affirmation came while I was listening to an online conversation between Mastin Kipp and Panache Desai. Very briefly, if you don’t know, Mastin Kipp started this amazing site called “TDL:The Daily Love“. Any way, a friend turned me on to his site a few months back when she felt I really needed it, which I did, but I wasn’t truly accepting of everything he was writing all the time. Some days I would totally agree and others I was like “nope, I don’t want to hear that BS today”, (but only because I wanted to dwell in my anger, denial, depression, etc, etc). Earlier this week I signed up, for free, to listen to some conversations he was making available with different life coaches, self helpers, gurus, whatever you want to call them. Today I tuned in to the interview with Panache Desai, whom I had never heard of before. Twice. Guess what one of his biggest beliefs is: ACCEPTANCE. So I am listening to this guy stream through my phone while at work, the whole time thinking he’s speaking directly to me. I’m not going to get into his whole beliefs about acceptance, I’m not hear to do that, just check his site out if you want or need. I just wanted to share how much his words resonated with me today and that finally something clicked inside.

I guess I am sharing this because being open with myself and others is one of the reasons I started this blog. Not only do I want to share things that I enjoy- writing, fitness/ health and fashion topics, but my main goal was to start getting real, with myself and others. I thought maybe if I share my feelings and a-ha’s, not only would it help me to express myself, maybe my words will resonate with someone else. Truly, I want to become the best person I can be and I want to help others do the same. Don’t we all?

Enjoy. Laugh. Live. Accept. Most of all~ BT2U