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Have fun. Do good.

The "Adventure Lab" is an idea incubator and collaborative resource hub for women over 40 who are hungry to create epic adventures, even on a shoestring budget. With a focus on asset-building and mentoring, we deal with the whole person in a way that is inclusive, regardless of financial means, and that creates opportunities for women at risk both in our local communities, and in developing nations.

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Isabel Allende, on aging, living with passion, and the wisdom of having fun while doing good.

March 1, 2015 in , by Sue Braiden

Isabel Allende, TED Talk, Vancouver 2014

I fell down a rabbit hole this morning, and it left me anxious to share this TED Talk given by 71-year-old Chilean author, Isabel Allende. There was astonishing synchronicity for me, from the quote she shared by another favourite author, Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one precious and wild life?”

to her invitations to embrace the wisdom of adopting an ageless attitude; of living in the moment; a hearkening to care deeply for others, fueled by her mentor, Olga Murray (another Adventure Diva who found her calling at age 60, rescuing more than 12,000 young girls from domestic bondage, changing both the culture and the laws, and ensuring an education for more than 4,000 children); and even a later revelation, as I went on a hunt to learn more about her, in a serendipitous trip to India (something I have been planning for myself).

As I dug deeper it simply left me overwhelmed. There is so much about this woman that I wanted to come back and share, but I didn’t know where to start. I worried about doing her justice, and finding a simple way to bring back such a complex berth of wisdom and “Aha! moments” that I thought I should simply put this aside.

But I’m learning that it’s best to be in the moment, while it’s fresh and full of life something that Isabel reiterates in her talk), so, I simply asked myself the question: “What do you want to say?”. Click through to learn more.

On bucket lists, and planning your own funeral (just because it’s fun)

July 2, 2014 in , by Sue Braiden

It’s no surprise that as we get older the topic of death rents a lot more real-estate in our head. We lose parents, friends, and sometimes even our children, with each of these deaths being held up like a mirror reflecting the inevitability of our own.

What we fear we give power.

Why not take it back?

Many of us talk about our “bucket list”. It’s the sexy portmanteau we stuff all the supposedly important things into on our journey to the end, generally cramming it chock full in our heads, but not always taking the time to get it down on paper and sorting it out to map the way. There are all kinds of fiddly bits hanging out: dreams of treks to exotic places, passionate love affairs rekindled with long lost souls, and maybe even writing the Great Canadian Novel. But it would likely be a cold day in hell before you heard the soundtrack from your own funeral trailing lovingly behind. Where on earth would be the fun in that?

While we’re blazing a trail to great adventures with ecclesiastical zeal, is it possible that in overlooking it — that celebration of the glorious end — we’re actually throwing away one of the most powerful tools of all? What if leaving a legacy started with knowing exactly what you hoped people would be saying about you in that colossal eulogy? What kind of person would you hope they’d say you’d been? What kinds of things would they celebrate your having done? And hell yes, while we’re at it, exactly what bloody music IS that playing while they’re all waxing poetic about the saga of your last (and ever so many more) days?

Do you honestly want to picture a bunch of people hunched together sobbing? Wouldn’t it be so much more epic to plan a wake to end all wakes, where people were laughing and spinning inspired tales about the awesomeness of what was gloriously -you- until the wee hours of the day? Hell yes, you would!

What if this is THAT moment? On gutchecks and living life on purpose.

July 1, 2014 in , by Sue Braiden

Last night my son and his girlfriend were hit by a drunk driver. My heart jumped into my throat when I got the news. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare, to get that call. You play it over in your head a hundred times when they’re out there beyond the reach of your arms, having to admit that you cannot protect them from so many things.

How does it end? A life snuffed out? More ruined?

Your head is going a thousand miles an hour, living through every horrifying scenario, making bargains with whatever higher power you pray to or hope might be there to listen: just let them be okay, and I promise to do/be (… and this is where you fill in the blank).

Have you ever made that bargain? Clutching your stomach with the wind knocked out of you? That moment where time actually does stand still?

How does it end?

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