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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 perspective 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

Letting go of trauma to clear the way for Adventure

May 17, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

Sue Braiden, Rochelle Zohn, Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca

Twelve years ago I was attacked on a subway platform in Boston as more than twenty people stood by and watched.

No one intervened.

When I finally broke free from my attacker, and was running for the stairs, I fell. My hand was broken. I was crying, begging for help, but no one stopped. One by one, people disembarked the train, stepping over me, some on me, without ever looking back. When I finally reached street level, telling subway officials in the toll booths what had happened, they simply pointed me to a bank of 4 pay phones. 3 of them were broken.

No matter what I did, or who I asked, I could not get help.

May 17th has been in my calendar since 2004.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to hang onto it. Maybe to remind myself to be more vigilant (I made some stupid, tourist mistakes). Maybe to remember to be grateful that I’m still alive (especially given the very detailed account of what my attacker told me he was about to do to me). Mostly I think it’s just because I wasn’t ready to let go.

Somehow the trauma became part of what defined me. It’s also been one of my greatest blocks to getting on with the business of Adventures.

Come put your elbows on the kitchen table, and let’s talk about the ways we can stay safer as we’re creating happy experiences and memories …

Soul Pepper | Friday, May 13th, 2016

May 13, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mt. Everest.

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mt. Everest.

What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like?

in , , by Sue Braiden

What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust.

What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust. The Swedish ultra-runner began her run through Iran on August 29th 2015. She was to become the first woman ever to cross Iran by foot.

Take a peek at the trailer for “Alone through Iran – 1144 miles of trust,” a documentary about Kristina Paltén, a lone Swedish woman, who wanted to challenge her own and others prejudices against Islam by running across Iran.

“I will tell people about the incredible kindness I have met.” — Kristina Paltén.

What are you afraid of? (Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!)

April 20, 2015 in , , , , by Sue Braiden

What are you afraid of? Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!

Ten years ago if you had asked me what I was afraid of, I would have told you: heights, a world chocolate shortage, and snakes.

Today? Getting old, getting sick, being alone, being irrelevant, peeing my pants and dying.

Aging has a funny way of shifting the lens. (And yes, dignity is often one of the first things to go).

When we understand what we are afraid of, we also understand what we need, and that is the key to asset building.

There are all kinds of clichés I could apply to this (things like “what we fear we give power”, and it would be true), but instead of waxing poetic, I’ve decided I’m going to take that litany of self-conjured horrors and turn it on it’s head. I’m going to turn it into the best damned fuel for a bucket list. Ever.

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 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. ❤

The Humbling Months

November 14, 2014 in by Sue Braiden

Instead of aching over winter, I want to embrace it this year as the humbling months; the season of sweaters and snuggles; a hibernation into good books, hot chocolate and sherpa throws; hearts softened by yuletide; and an invitation to reflect on the inevitable spring. When things are always the same, we lose appreciation for them. Change invites us to take stock in what we truly value in the things we have, and to be open to the gift of new things -- people, ideas, experiences and adventures -- so today I am happy for the snow.

Today I woke up from a 3-day slumber in the grips of a wicked, feverish flu and the world outside is changed. I walked out into the snow barefoot this morning, just because I could.

Instead of aching over winter, I want to embrace it this year as the humbling months; the season of sweaters and snuggles; a hibernation into good books, hot chocolate and sherpa throws; hearts softened by yuletide; and an invitation to reflect on the inevitable spring.

When things are always the same, we lose appreciation for them. Change invites us to take stock in what we truly value in the things we have, and to be open to the gift of new things — people, ideas, experiences and adventures — so today I am happy for the snow.

Trading places. How asking one simple question can give a whole new perspective.

September 2, 2014 in , , by Sue Braiden

Trading places. How asking one simple question can give a whole new perspective.

Needs can be such bothersome things. Sometimes feeding one comes at the expense of another.

We’re creatures of habit. We love dwelling in our comfort zones, even when it’s no longer a smart thing to do.

So how do we find the courage to break out of unhealthy behaviours?

Try asking this one simple question:

If it was my daughter/sister/best friend, what would I tell her to do?

Have you ever been in a bad relationship that you just couldn’t shake? Men, chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, a toxic friendship … you go ahead and fill in the blank. (Okay, so maybe not chocolate 😉 )

Detaching can be an awesome tool for gaining a little much needed perspective.

When -we- are part of the equation, seeing things clearly can be almost impossible. In our hearts we already know the right thing to do, (our instincts are rarely wrong) but human nature comes bundled with “attachment,” and that can be a tricky thing to sort out.

By stepping back from the situation, effectively removing ourselves from it, it’s easier to jettison emotion right out of the mix.

If we were to watch someone we loved doing the very thing we are doing now, and know to be an unhealthy or self-destructive behaviour, wouldn’t we want to help them make a change?

We need to learn to treat ourselves like a cherished friend. Take five minutes first thing in the morning to sit quietly in a sunny window with a cup of tea, and have a chat with yourself. What do you want to give yourself the courage to do? What do you love about yourself that can help you be strong and resilient in those tough moments? Who do we trust most to share this with, and to be supportive without judgement? (Allies are important when we’re facing really difficult choices, especially on those days when we’re feeling weak and full of doubt).

Do you have a secret weapon?

What kinds of things do you find most helpful when you’re trying to make a really difficult change in your life?

Why not put your elbows on the kitchen table and talk about it? Chances are you’ve got some wisdom that a sister Adventure Diva will really appreciate, while tapping into some great ideas others are sharing too!

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