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.

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

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

What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like?

May 13, 2016 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.

One Son’s Creative Love Letter to His Adventure Diva Mum

April 3, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

Alex and Eva -- Looking for Adam

Alex Lyngaas loves his mum. He loves her so much that he wants to help her find the love of her life. Over the course of a year he had been filming her, but until last May, she had no idea why. 69-year-old adventure diva Eva could be any of us: a woman in act two, living life solo, with someone who cares about us wanting more for us. Take a peek at the moment Eva discovers what her son has been up to, then c’mon back here and weigh in! What would YOU do if you were Eva? Would you embrace the unconventional adventure that someone who cared about you set you on? C’mon over and join us at the kitchen table, and share your thoughts!

J. K. Rowling on the Power of Failure and Imagination

March 31, 2016 in , , , by Sue Braiden

J. K. Rowling's inspiring commencement address to Harvard University graduates, June 5, 2008

As adventure divas we may be faced with similar fears: we’re too old, we don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough courage. These old scripts that we read from don’t serve us well. They become self-limiting beliefs, blocking the way to living our fullest lives. How can we possibly have great adventures when we are faced with such daunting challenges?

The power of two simple words — “what if?” — become wonderfully apparent when we look at the incredible journeys of other women who are just like us, and who have shaped inspiring adventures in spite of those challenges.

When I say “women just like us” we might not think of those who have eclipsed any sense of what our own “normal” might be. We might assume that people in positions of power, or lifestyles of privilege or status, are people to whom we could not possibly relate; and in doing so miss the lessons of kindred spirits whose paths started out very much like our own. One of those souls is author J.K. Rowling, one of the richest women in the world, and certainly one of the most renowned in our time.

Would you be surprised to learn that she came from a place of great poverty and suffering, endured domestic violence, and experienced spectacular failure? In spite of this, or perhaps fueled by it, she reinvented her life in inspiring ways, and it’s these experiences that shape the very moving commencement address that she gave to Harvard graduates on June 5th, 2008.

We don’t have to be 20-something to relate to Jo’s chat. Commencement is a wonderful world. It means “to begin”, and for many of us, entering this part of our journey feels like exactly that. In a way, when we enter “act two” in our lives — when our children have grown, when some of us might be retiring from lifelong careers, when we enter that sacred space that is finally “all about us” — we are graduating. And while we are graduating, really, from a lifetime of lessons, some of us may feel woefully ill-equipped to embrace this rich new time in our life.

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

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 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.

[VIDEO] Want to know a bit more about the Adventure Lab project? Let’s talk …

December 24, 2014 in by Sue Braiden

Let's Build an Adventure Lab Together!

I’d like to tell you a bit more about the “Adventure Lab” we’re about to start building here at “Adventures with the Estrogen Army”.

Adventures with the Estrogen Army will be growing as an adventure incubator and collaborative resource hub for women over 40 who are hungry to create epic adventures on a shoestring budget.

Our “Adventure Lab” will serve as a “dream catcher” where women can design and share their own adventures – from micro to epic – and discover others they may not have imagined yet. We will be stocking it with tools to make it easy to discover, plan and launch big-hearted adventures fit for the sassy adventure diva you are.

We’ll be sharing ideas, tools and resources to make it easier to give ourselves a hand up, and doing it in a way that doesn’t leave people out. Not everyone with big dreams has a big budget, and this project is about finding ways of making sure every adventure diva has a chance to make her bucket list a “been there … done that” list.

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.

Giving Women-at-Risk a Hand Up

In fact I’m so committed to ensuring that women from every walk of life have a fair shot that I’ll be investing 20% of the profits from the “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” project into non-profit programs that help women at risk give themselves a hand-up.

Have fun. Do good. Not a bad way to embrace act 2 in our lives, huh?

Want to help build the Adventure Lab?

For as little as $10 you can become a Founding Member. (Psst! Great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present for the Adventure Diva in your life!) Our Indiegogo campaign runs until January 20, 2015:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adventure-lab-rock-paper-estrogen/x/730644

Whether or not you participate in the Indiegogo campaign, I hope you’ll join me at the digital kitchen table! January 1st is right around the corner, and this is one year when you’re not going break those New Years resolutions. C’mon over and put your elbows on the table and let’s start chatting about how …

http://estrogenarmy.com/kitchen-tables/kitchen-table/adventure-diva-bootcamp/community-kitchen-table/

Where to find us on Facebook

We also have a page on Facebook if you’d like to keep in touch as things unfold:

https://www.facebook.com/rockpaperestrogen

“Like” the page and be sure to click on “Get notifications” beneath the Like tab to ensure you’ll know when we share something new there.

I hope to see you at the kitchen table! What’s YOUR adventure?

— Sue.

[VIDEO] Wondering about the inspiration behind the Estrogen Army project? Here’s a 2 1/2 minute primer …

in by Sue Braiden

Sue Braiden welcomes you to the Adventure Lab

Hi! I’m Sue Braiden of “Rock. Paper. Estrogen” and I want to tell you about the “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” project.

I’m 51 years old, and like many of you, I’ve been a mom, a wife, a career woman and a community servant, and now that I’m about to be an empty-nester, I’m ready for an adventure! The catch? I have to do it on a shoestring budget, and I bet many of you have the same challenge too.

So I’m setting the digital kitchen table and inviting you to put your elbows on it with me. It’s a place where we can share our stories about the things we crave, what worked for each of us, and how we might help each other have those epic adventures we’ve been dreaming of all our lives.

We’ll be sharing ideas, tools and resources to make it easier to give ourselves a hand up, and doing it in a way that doesn’t leave people out. Not everyone with big dreams has a big budget, and this project is about finding ways of making sure every adventure diva has a chance to make her bucket list a “been there … done that” list.

Giving Women-at-Risk at Hand Up

In fact I’m so committed to ensuring that women from every walk of life have a fair shot that I’ll be investing 20% of the profits from the “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” project into non-profit programs that help women at risk give themselves a hand-up.

Have fun. Do good. Not a bad way to embrace act 2 in our lives, huh?

Want to help build the Adventure Lab?

For as little as $10 you can become a Founding Member. (Psst! Great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present for the Adventure Diva in your life!) Our Indiegogo campaign runs until January 20, 2015:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adventure-lab-rock-paper-estrogen/x/730644

Join me at the kitchen table …

I hope you’ll join me over at the kitchen table. Roll your sleeves up, girl, and put your elbows on it!

What’s YOUR adventure? I can’t wait to find out! In fact, why not drop in and say hi right now? See you at the table!

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