Stacey Newman Weldon, Week 36 in my Share Your Story series is all about ADVENTURE.
The best part of her definition of ‘adventure’ is that you don’t necessarily need a passport nor tons of cash.
She creates her providence at ‘home’ so to speak. She is generous of spirit in sharing – having created a 20 day program, “Find Your Fun”; helping others explore her new-ish home of Oregon. Stacey also writes about her adventures weekly in her Adventures Wednesdays blog. Now is the perfect time to escape with Stacey. After reading her story, I know I was inspired to ‘re-define’ some of my current situations from the mundane to the adventurous. It truly is a mind-set.
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
STACEY: I started having adventures on Wednesdays about 10 years ago, so I suppose this stage of life started around then too. My weekly outings to discover what I find fun (vs. my people pleasing days) turned into something more formal when I was gifted the url www.adventurewednesdays.com. Being a writer was not something I had ever aspired to, but learned that I enjoyed it. In response to others being inspired by my adventures, I started to dream about it becoming a business. The surprise for me, and for others, is that after my last high-stress, corporate ad sales job downsized me – I didn’t go back to corporate. I switched gears and became an entrepreneur, and am working on becoming a digital nomad. My mission is to help others discover their inner sense of fun through an adventure mindset and showing them the possibilities by actually walking my talk every day.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
STACEY: The most typical part of every day is waking up and thinking (or just an inner knowing at this point) “I wonder what Adventure will surprise me today?” Some days that means I’m out exploring and learning new things (a big part of an adventure attitude is “ABC” = Always Be Curious), and some days it means dipping into my tool bag to find ways to overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur. The other typical part of my day is coffee! (And even that has become an adventure inspiration – trying new coffee shops, trying coffee in different ways, or pairing coffee with chocolate!)
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
“… I struggle with shiny object syndrome; imposter syndrome; lack of co-workers to be social with; and my desire to learn (and do) ‘all the things.’ “
STACEY: I struggle with organization and prioritization. A major portion of my life I worked for a corporation that took care of details (health insurance, which software programs to use, our sales targets, etc). Now I decide every little thing. Like many entrepreneurs, I struggle with shiny object syndrome; imposter syndrome; lack of co-workers to be social with; and my desire to learn (and do) “all the things.” My mission is to help others see that adventure is a mindset – in a sense redefining the impression that adventure means one needs to travel to exotic places and take physical risks. For me, adventure is facing your fear in a way that is fun or becomes a life lesson to be learned. This can be done anywhere – even in your (not literal) backyard!
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
STACEY: I used to be motivated by an inner drive to prove myself as “good enough.” After climbing out of my rock bottom and changing my perspective on life, I now focus on trusting my inner knowing to show me my next best steps. Sometimes that means ‘radical self-care’ and sometimes that means creating in a way that helps others too. I also created a stash of testimonials (not published) where people have let me know how much I have helped them, just by being my true adventurous self.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
STACEY: We live in a time where you don’t have to follow the stereotype of becoming a crone. Redefine what it means to be your age. Embrace your true self – accepting all the aches, pains, grey hairs, and well-earned middle belly while enjoying whatever it is that ignites your passions and creative flow.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
“Vulnerability, to me, means taking the risk and allowing love (of all kinds).”
STACEY: Vulnerability, to me, means taking the risk and allowing love (of all kinds). After looking inward, I’ve realized my biggest fear is abandonment. To overcome this, I have learned to love and trust myself, and to reassure myself I am “enough.” This has expanded my life by leaps and bounds because I am comfortable with accepting love in whatever form it shows up.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
STACEY: By far, the biggest would be having my sons enter my life. They changed everything, for the better. Not just learning unconditional love for another, but accepting people as they are and not as I want them to be. Wanting to be the best parent I could was (and is) my motivation for any internal changes.
My early life was impacted by my parents’ behavior during their marriage and after divorce. A while after I left my (now ex) husband, I hit a relationship rock bottom. This rock bottom inspired me to evaluate my life, how I look at it, and to shift my perspective to become the person I am now.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
STACEY: I am a big believer that life offers each of us teachers for life’s important lessons. My first thought was I have too many who influenced who I am in so many ways. But, as I meditated on this answer, one person kept showing up – smiling and waving at me. Grammy. She didn’t have an easy life, although most of what happened to her I learned not from her. She lived her life on her terms. She was upbeat – always with a smile, laugh and doing something fun. If an adventure attitude were a gene, I would say I inherited it from her. Throughout my life I would say to her “I want to be you when I grow up” and she always responded “I want to be you when I grow up!”
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
STACEY: “Take Yourself on Adventures!” This came from a channeler who goes by the name White Buffalo Woman. During my rock bottom recovery period, I tried many things to climb out. By chance, I joined a group event with White Buffalo Woman. The energy of the session and the advice that came through that first time was intense. At the time, I thought of adventures as ditching everything and going backpacking in Nepal. I couldn’t do that! I had too many responsibilities and no desire to ditch them. So I went to more sessions with her. Whether you believe in spirit world or not, my time with her changed me from within. There were times I felt like I was talking to my “higher self” through her. When I finally was able to connect with my own inner power, I no longer needed her advice. I trusted my own. Now, my life is filled with adventure – no exotic trips to foreign places needed.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
STACEY: There are so many women who inspire me! My Grammy, for being my first adventurer inspiration. Helen Keller, for overcoming her challenges and becoming far beyond what anyone expected. Amelia Earhart for going after her dreams, overcoming all the obstacles men put in her way. Susan Sarandon, for unapologetically being who she wants to be and choosing her own direction. My mom, for always knowing how to make me laugh. Plus all my chosen sisters…
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
STACEY: Absolutely. I’ve learned not to confuse being childish with child-like wonder. To me, developing an adventure attitude comes down to this formula “Creativity + Wonder = Play”. When you (re) learn to play and have fun in life, that’s when you are being your true self. Who defines “grown up” anyway? The same people who define “normal”? I love that I no longer define my life by the mysterious “they” who want you to live by their ever-changing norms.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
STACEY: The easy answer would be what beauty routines I do. But that’s not how I see self-care. It’s more about following your inner truths. Standing up for yourself. Trusting your intuition. Listening to your body to give it what it needs and desires. My self-care routines vary depending on what feels right to just be me.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
STACEY: I’ve written blogs about bucket lists. The last one was at the suggestion of a reader who asked me to list all the items I have already done! It’s amazing how much can be done, when you start with one small adventure (like taking a different route home). I’ve done things like jump out of an airplane, gone (several times) to Burning Man, sold my house to move across country and buy an Airstream to convert into a tiny home, seen my music idols perform, visited foreign countries, eaten weird foods and so much more. What’s left? While my list is still long, my top three are 1) to explore the United States to meet people of all kinds of backgrounds and see this beautiful country before the government and corporations ruin it 2) to own a retreat center which consists of tiny homes I’ve helped build 3) to be the tide that lifts all the boats higher -to inspire as many people as possible to become their own version of being adventurous.