Welcome to the Adventure Lab!

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.

user Login

To start connecting please log in first. You can also create an account.

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

What have you done that took you past your comfort zone?

May 13, 2016 in , , by Sue Braiden

David Bowie on Authenticity. What have YOU done that took you out of your comfort zone?

David Bowie has some gorgeous wisdom about pushing out of your comfort zone. In fact, I took his advice to heart and pushed way outside of my own. (Click through and I’ll tell you a little bit about that, and then I’m going to bust out my magic wand.)

So, Adventure Divas, what have YOU done that took you past your comfort zone? How did it turn out? Was it the kind of “Aha! moment” that makes you want to do it again?

If you haven’t gone there yet, would you like to? What is it that calls to your soul and scares the hell out of you, all at the same time?

Let’s talk! I’ve set a place for you over at the digital kitchen table, and I’m making it my personal mission to be YOUR fairy godmother! I am going to have your back, girl, and together, with a little help from our friends, we’re going to figure out how to have that Adventure that has been calling you too!

Carpe diem, baby!
Sue.

Ballet at 84! Carla Steenkamp Sheills’ Empowering Class.

November 25, 2015 in , , by Sue Braiden

Holy Estrogen Army moment, Batwoman! I had goosebumps watching this. Dance instructor Carla Steenkamp Sheills & her amazing pupils. The eldest is 84.

Holy Estrogen Army moment, Batwoman! I had goosebumps watching this! Think that’s a funny reaction? Watch this through to the end, and tell me when Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” comes on you don’t get it. An empowering ballet class with dance tutor and choreographer, Carla Steenkamp Sheills, and her amazing pupils, the eldest who is 84!

Always so cool to find another micro-adventure to add to the Estrogen Army treasure chest. Dance is such a great way of reclaiming a vital part of our femininity when we get older and perhaps (for some of us) no longer feel as sensual as we once did <3

On embracing vulnerability as an asset, and banishing shame.

February 2, 2015 in by Sue Braiden

On embracing vulnerability as an asset, and banishing shame.

Seems like a heavy talking point in a space about adventures, doesn’t it? Let’s just call it “clearing the log-jam” that causes some of us to stumble right out of the gate.

ALL of us want to have adventures, but sometimes we struggle with the unspoken idea that we don’t entirely deserve them.

Seem silly? More people struggle with this than you might realize! There are a whole lot of reasons for this, and we’re going to devote an entire section on unpacking them really soon.

For now, let’s just acknowledge that “vulnerability” and “shame” can be stumbling blocks that get in the way of even starting to plot our adventures, and put them into a context that helps us find our way through.

We have all, at some point in our lives, experienced deep and profound shame. We are also likely to have caused it for someone else. This is not a kind part of human nature.

Today I found a teacher in an unlikely place. She is a person whose caricature has been allowed to stand in her place for 16 years. She became a pariah at the tender age of 22, and remains an almost universal allegory for the fall from grace. I am ashamed to admit that, like most of the public, I have been guilty of holding this young woman in a place of disdain for many years. I allowed the media circus to define both her truth and her value.

16 years later, Monica Lewinsky did something impossible: she stood up and became an advocate, and a voice of wisdom, about something that everyone of us has felt, witnessed and perpetuated.

You did it too, didn’t you? — flinched when I just said her name. I’m inviting you to invest the next 25 minutes to listen to something that will change the way you think not only about Monica Lewinsky, but about the internet, about assumptions, and about the responsibility we each bear to create safe spaces that don’t include shaming. Click on the tab to the right when you’re ready to listen to what Monica has to say.

This talk affected me in the same way that vulnerability researcher Brené Brown’s callings-out do, and I’d encourage you to take a few more minutes to listen to those too. You’ll find that I’ve shared them in a tab to the right as well.

I suspect every single one of us will find a take-away in these moments of wisdom, first, from Monica, and then from Brené. At a time when such big parts of our lives are lived online, openly, publicly, fragile-ly, taking the blinders off and thinking about the impact of that is a very good thing.

Rock. Paper. Estrogen. (Guess which one wins every time?)

September 4, 2014 in , , by Sue Braiden

The Star Inside - Hidden Potential

I remember sitting in the reading circle in kindergarten while our teacher shared a story about an amazing house that had a star inside. What she was describing was an apple, and when she cut it open in front of us, I gasped out loud like every other child in the class. It was pure magic.

All my life that moment has remained emblematic of the hidden potential we each have.

There was a time when tradition would have us believe that we were “the weaker sex”, and fragile things. Thank heavens we’ve tossed that script away!

Discovering our own potential often happens during times of trial. When pushed to our limit, we dig down deep and discover resources we didn’t even know we had.

Think about a time when you were truly tested. What is it you drew on to survive? Were you surprised to find you had those inner resources? Have they come in handy in other situations since?

We are capable and deeply resilient, and it’s these secret “super powers” that can shape some of the most life-changing soul treks along the way.

Diva, gear up!

When getting ready for adventures, big and small, we often make lists of the things we need to prepare ourselves with. While money and gear and couches to surf are of course very handy, we might also want to consider a different set of assets worth equipping.

Over the years we’ve cultivated some pretty epic social, emotional and intellectual tools for seizing the day, and it can be helpful to take stock of the ones we’ll need most as we set out on roads less traveled.

When we’re mindful of a journey’s challenges, it helps to know what we can draw on, and where we might need to spend a bit of time shoring things up. Being mentally and emotionally prepared for an adventure can make a tremendous difference in how it plays out.

Take 5 …

Why not take just 5 minutes to open your Journal and create a new page in it? Write down 3 things that surprised you when you were faced with something really tough; resources you discovered you had that might come in handy when you’re plotting epic adventures.

Ellen, on finding your own way, mustering up courage, and living with integrity.

August 14, 2014 in , , by Sue Braiden

Ellen Degeneres - Tulane Commencement - 2009

Sometimes being comfortable in our own skin can be one of the toughest battles we face. It can also be fuel for really great adventures. When we think about the things we fear the most, there are often hidden gems inside, things that can be a powerful springboard to new experiences we’ve never really had the courage to embrace.

Ellen DeGeneres transformed the tragedy of the death of someone she loved at an early age into an opportunity to have a comedic conversation with God, opening the door to a truly unexpected life. She made her mind up that she was going to be on the Johnny Carson show, and be the first woman to be invited to sit down. She did, and she was, and well, you likely know the rest.

In spite of her success, happiness still eluded her because she lived with a secret that threatened to ruin it all, and it did. Ellen went on to turn shame and fear inside out to simply be herself, and it’s no surprise that this is one midlife diva who has gone on to have some of the most incredible adventures.

In 2009 she was invited back to Tulane University to give the Commencement speech in her home town of New Orleans, and in a way only Ellen could do, gifted everyone who listened moments of laughter, bumper crops of wisdom, and the way to take hold of a handful of elusive assets and make them your own: living with integrity, courage, resilience, determination, purpose and joy.

Grab a mugga joe (and a box of kleenex) and settle in for the most empowering 17 minutes and 54 seconds of your day …

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.

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.

Our Customer Happiness Center. Spelunking toward 365 days of Adventure Diva mirth ...

We're Here for YOU!

We\'re Here for YOU! We're an adventure incubator for women, helping you find ideas, resources and allies to create awesome adventures!

Our Tools. YOUR Adventures.

Click here to learn more about our vision, and our promise to be inclusive.

Community Kitchen Table

Click here to join us at the Community Kitchen Table Elbows on! Every family has a cozy place to connect and unwind, and it usually starts here.

Grab a cuppa joe, pull up a chair, settle on in, and say hello ...

Click here to join us at the Community Kitchen Table.

Hey, neighbour! Need some help?

Are you a registered member? Drop by the Help Desk and leave us a note to tell us what's troubling you, and we'll get on it ...

Not a member yet? No worries!

Click here to lean over the fence and give us a shout!

Meet Our Newest Adventure Divas

Meet Some of Our Tribes

Learn More About Our Latest Kiva Divas

Join Us!
Skip to toolbar