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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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You are browsing the archive for happiness Archives - ᘡ Adventure Lab ᘠ ... rock paper estrogen.

Borrowing a little childhood magic to reboot a bad day

June 30, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

Childhood Magic

You don’t have to be Alexander to have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Sometimes, you just have to get out of bed, and that’s enough.

So when you have one of those days, what to do?

I’ve found that one of the most powerful reset buttons is the “willing suspension of disbelief” that comes wrapped up in a children’s tale on the silver screen.

Here’s why …

Tomorrow is 90. Today’s the day to do it! (…or as Lorraine says: time to grab life by the balls!)

June 11, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

Every now and then someone points me in the direction of an “Adventure Diva” that’s is just so full of sass that I end up with tears rolling down my cheeks for hours after from laughing so hard.

90-something New Yorker, Lorraine, is one of those sassy divas. She has a channel called “Ask My Neighbor Lorraine” on YouTube. She invites people to ask her questions, and she answers personally, full of hilarious irreverence, colourful epithets and all.

I wish I had this woman over the backyard fence. I’d invite her in for coffee every, single day … 😀

This is one of her tamer responses. Her parting words tell you all you need to know:

“Don’t forget: tomorrow is 90. Today’s the day to do it!”

Cut through the sass, and this woman’s figured out a thing or two in her 90+ years that the rest of us would do well to tap into <3

Where’s the Beef? (and how a really bad movie can be a really great tool for checking in with yourself)

May 18, 2016 in , , by Sue Braiden

Where's the Beef? (and how a really bad movie can be a really great tool for checking in with yourself)

I’m always on the look-out for good Adventure Diva movies, and when I stumbled across “I’ll See You in My Dreams” on Netflix, I thought I’d found one.

I was wrong.

The premise was a woman named Carol confronting her age, and realizing her life had become predictable and mundane. With a husband who had been dead for twenty-years, and a handful of friends pushing her to get out there and date again (while simultaneously pushing for her to move to a retirement community), Carol is reluctant to change, until a set of chance encounters turns that on it’s head.

So far, so good. Clinging to the familiar and fear of the unknown, even if things have gotten stale, is relatable enough, and I was encouraged by the promise that Carol was about to push way out of her comfort zone and shake things up.

It had potential, until it slid straight into a quagmire of clichés.

I wanted this movie to be great, and while I found it predictable, completely implausible, and definitely disappointing, it served a wonderful purpose: it made me check in with myself every time I complained. If it made me so damned mad, what was it that I thought should have happened instead? I was cheering for these women. I wanted them to be brave. I wanted them to get off their asses and go out there and grab a hold of life and shake the hell out of it.

And that’s what made it great in an unexpected way. Anything that shakes you out of your comfort zone, that gets you questioning what’s important to you, that moves you to want to take a step, make a change, is a tool to be grateful for.

So I ask you, sister Adventure Divas, what is the perfect happy ending? What is it out there in the wild blue yonder that calls to your Adventure Diva soul? What will your life be incomplete without?

What calls you, know matter how crazy it may seem? And more importantly, what’s stopping you?

Let’s put our elbows on the kitchen table and talk about it!

Visual Soul Pepper: a fun way to begin equipping yourself for adventures!

February 13, 2015 in , by Sue Braiden

Building our capacity to create happy, healthy, epic adventures. The assets that we’re going to focus on here at the Adventure Lab are focused on our internal toolkit. They are “a way of being” combined with “character” and “know-how”. Consider these intrinsic assets as a sort of bank account that we can make deposits into to invest in future adventures, and withdrawals from when we launch them. They have tremendous worth. These assets are our “super powers”!

Let’s get our hands dirty and do something!

Baby steps, right? Ever pinned a picture to your fridge as a motivator for some goal you’d like to achieve? Well, this is sort of like that 🙂

Let’s make a YOU map. Let’s pick some of the words that paint a picture of the kind of Adventure Diva you want to be. Let’s use them to create a visual that we can stick to our computer desktop, or print out and frame to keep that in sight.

I’ve got just the tool. C’mon in and check it out …

On the objects of my affection, and the lessons of a captain and his bride.

January 29, 2015 in , by Sue Braiden

The Captain and His Bride

30 years ago I was a very young woman on a very big adventure. Traveling West through several provinces on business, I was treated to a night up in the mountains at the Banff Springs Hotel. My colleagues and I were dining at a table next to the Calgary Flames NHL hockey team, who had just the day before won the Stanley Cup. Their boisterous celebration was eclipsed by this amazing couple, gliding around the ballroom floor with their feet barely touching the ground. They were on a trip around the world, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, and the way they looked at each other made you absolutely, positively believe in true (and lifelong) love.

We sent a bottle of champagne over to their table, and they came and joined us. He introduced himself as “The Captain,” and his wife was simply beaming as they shared stories from their incredible life together.

Their biggest adventure? Raising a family.

To this day their picture remains within reach on my desk. In front of them rests a mala, blessed by the Dalai Llama, and given to me by my friend, Pam, during a really hard time. Next to these treasures is a bird to remind me of my late mum. Every important thing in life is held in celebration here. ❤

How Drew Carey’s “Mimi” ditched the pancake makeup and obnoxious bent to help make you “Queen of Your Own Life”.

August 12, 2014 in , , by Sue Braiden

How Drew Carey's "Mimi" ditched the pancake makeup and obnoxious bent to help make you "Queen of Your Own Life".

She’s not Drew’s Mimi anymore! Kathy Kinney wants to make you the Queen of Your Own Life!

You’re going to find that we’re really into “asset building” as a way of helping ourselves get ready for awesome adventures. In a nutshell, it’s a way of taking stock of the things we are equipped with to meet life’s challenges, and figuring out where we need to shore things up, or sometimes add new things to our toolkit altogether. Things like determination, strength, resilience, self-esteem and courage don’t always come as easily as we wish they would, so we’re going to do our best to share resources and create spaces that help you build these assets — and many others — for yourself.

While this may sound like dull, boring work, it’s anything but! In fact, I’ve got a terrific tool I want to give you for your kit to get you started.

I wanted to share this with you because it’s something really simple that inspires me throughout the week, without it needing a lot of time or attention.

If you’ve ever watched “The Drew Carey Show”, you’ll likely remember a really over-the-top character named Mimi. She wore gaudy blue eye shadow and was obnoxious as hell. She was played by an actress named Kathy Kinney who couldn’t be more opposite that character than a person could be.

She’s gone on to do some really neat things, including writing children’s books and producing and acting in a show for kids, but the coolest thing is this little project she has with her friend, Cindy Ratzlaff. They run a blog called “Queen of your own life” and send out newsletters with these little tiny nuggets of wisdom tucked in each week. They’ve drawn from their blog to create a quirky and equally insightful book, with the same intention of helping women claim happiness in midlife.

In case you hadn’t noticed, age isn’t a 4-lettered word (and how a drag queen’s pink coat might be your next parade) …

August 8, 2014 in , , , by Sue Braiden

In case you hadn’t noticed, age isn’t a 4-lettered word (and how a drag queen’s pink coat might be your next parade) …

It’s cold out today. Last night was so chilly I actually pulled my fleece lounge pants on. This wouldn’t be so surprising if it wasn’t still early in August, the supposed “dog days of summer”.

I was thinking about this as I was making a cup of tea to warm up, and it occurred to me that I had already been pining the “near end” of summer way back in July. I catch myself doing this each year, already ringing my hands over the loss of the precious heat and inevitable slide into fall, even though the season might be just weeks old. As much as I love fall, look forward to picking apples and making pumpkin pies, I never really shake off the notion of it as “an end”.

And this is why I still have not learned to embrace being 51. It feels like my autumn. My hair is more than touched with frost, and there are plenty of the tiny but ever-marching betrayals of my body as it sheds the gifts of youth and becomes something I no longer recognize as myself.

Why does aging come with so much grief? Why do we dread it? Go to such lengths to hide it and push it off? And how do we turn this wasted angst into something more productive that helps us learn to love this very moment where we are right now?

Kiss my assets. One of the most eloquent responses you’ll ever read from a woman confronting the bullies that body-shamed her.

August 4, 2014 in , by Sue Braiden

Kiss my assets. One of the most eloquent responses you'll ever read from a woman confronting the bullies that body-shamed her.

You’ve spent months planning an epic adventure. You feel courageous as hell, until you eye up that little bikini your girlfriend talked you into buying for the occasion. What were you thinking? You can’t wear that! Your hand is shaking as you try to will it into the suitcase.

There is no shortage of things that chip away at our self esteem as we get older. The battle of the bulge is often one of them. Shame and that inner critic rob us of so many awesome opportunities to feast on joy when we deny ourselves the freedom to just be ourselves.

Sometimes it can be damned hard to love our own bodies, especially when there are people out there bent on feeding our anxieties. Whether it’s the media’s relentless campaign to edit the reality of our Botticelli curves, or the disapproving look of a passer-by, we get the message, day in and day out, that who we are is not okay.

Tanis Jex-Blake is a 33 year old mother of 5, and she’s about to be your hero.

All those things you wish you had? — like courage, strength, dignity and self-love — are served up in one seriously epic, wisdom-packed wallop to the wiseasses who put her sense of worth under assault. Take a peek at how Tanis responded through a Facebook post when she wore a bikini to the beach for the first time in 13 years, and was body-shamed by a trio of strangers. I promise you’ll be standing on your chair cheering by the time you get to the end.

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