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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 opportunities Archives - ᘡ Adventure Lab ᘠ ... rock paper estrogen.

Adventure U: Taking back September.

September 4, 2014 in , by Sue Braiden

Bouquet of Pencils

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

If ever a quote summed up the infernal pull on the heartstrings I feel each September, it’s that one. Tom Hanks said it to Meg Ryan in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”.

It perfectly encapsulates that longing to return to the hallowed halls of some school, nearly any school, to saturate myself with learning once again.

My daughter has just returned for her final year at college, and I always feel so envious when she comes home with armfuls of books and school supplies, like I’m missing out on some long lost rite of passage.

I got to thinking about this and realized that this adventure we’re all on together — the quest to create adventures — is ripe with that “back to school” magic, is it not? Learning to create epic moments on a shoestring budget; giving ourselves homework assignments to figure out what our heart desires, what assets we have to meet each with, and what we still require; learning to explore safely; learning to trust ourselves; they’re all just a monumentally more personal (and seriously cool) versions of hitting the books once again.

This “aha!” moment lead to another …

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if we could expand this little digital kitchen table we’re all putting our elbows on to include a space where we can capture what we’re learning along the way and share it in small, simple, meaningful ways with each other? — sort of an “Adventure U” where we can each contribute what we know and continue to learn about the art of crafting great adventures?

That is, after all, the spirit of the Estrogen Army project, so cultivating a slightly more structured learning environment in addition to our usual playgrounds might just amplify what we’re capable of!

When the idea first struck me I dove into finding simple tools to begin making this real. I found the perfect kit, and set out to integrate it, only to find out it no longer plays nicely in our particular backyard.

I am undaunted. 😉

In the days ahead I’ll be working toward the goal of “taking back September” and finding creative ways for us to collaborate on even more estrogen-charged adventures!


What kinds of things might -you- teach sister adventure divas?

You might not realize it just yet, but there is something valuable and unique that you have experienced or know that will be very empowering to others!

For some of us this revelation might not come until we’ve been poking through things a bit here. For others, we might already have an idea about something that could be a really great springboard to help other women have safe, life-altering, epic adventures.

I’ve opened a conversation at our kitchen table where we can begin brainstorming a bit. This will help us understand the kinds of tools we might need to make sharing our knowledge easy and fun.

Why not pop in for a bit? Even if you’re not sure what you might share yet, just putting your elbows on the table might inspire a thinking infection!

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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