The Key to Survival (it’s not what you expect!)

adventure coaching mindset Jul 12, 2017

Last week, my family and I spent a week in London to celebrate my mom’s and sister’s birthdays. (Okay, the birthdays were more of an excuse – we just wanted to see each other and explore somewhere exciting.) The whole week, there were eight of us coordinating plans, picking out activities, trying to agree on a restaurant…and it went so smoothly. Everyone was surprisingly flexible, and it was wonderful.

I’ve been on enough group vacations to know how special that is. On other trips, whether with family, friends, or colleagues, it isn’t always so easy. So this past week, I’ve been thinking about the virtue of flexibility, and how underrated it really is.

I brought it up to Lauren in the office the other day, as I often do with things on my mind.

“How important is flexibility, do you think?” I asked her. “People don’t really talk about it that often, but it’s pretty critical, right?”

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How to Keep the Magic Real

adventure gratitude love Apr 20, 2017

For months now, my son Ty has been on a mission to disprove the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, and all things magical.

A few weeks ago, when he lost a tooth, I snuck into his room and put some money under his pillow, successfully taking the tooth without waking him up. When I got back to my room (this was about five in the morning) I just put it in a bag under a sweatshirt, thinking I was safe to leave it there for the night.

It wasn’t even seven a.m. when I opened my eyes to the sounds of rummaging. As I sat up and rubbed my eyes, there was Ty, holding up the bag, with a look of supreme triumph on his face. Ha! his eyes said. Caught you.

“What are you doing, honey?” I said, opting for the “innocent-me” route.

“What is my tooth doing in your room, in this bag?” he said, his sweet voice dripping with accusation.

I shook my head in wonder. “I have no idea,” I said, as if I could not fathom such a turn of events....

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The Dark Side of Bucket Lists

adventure Apr 05, 2017

When she was in third grade, my beautiful, waif-like daughter Kaya earned herself the nickname “Pig.” For years, her friends called her that – affectionately, I might add – because it’s her favorite animal, and because she wanted nothing more than this: to swim with the pigs in Exuma. (Yes, it’s a real thing.)

So last weekend, we boarded a plane – me, Kaya, her friend and her friend’s mom – and headed to the Bahamas.

We took a boat ride to the island where the pigs lived. When we got off, one thing was clear: the pigs were not interested in swimming. They had swum all morning, and were tired, and just not in the mood to help Kaya live her dream.

At first, I just stood there, dumbfounded. This was it?…This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen at all.

Kaya was disappointed, but she didn’t dwell on it. We did other islandy things – hung out on the beach, went swimming without pigs, you know, the usual.

When...

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These 3 Lessons Changed My Life

This week, my mom celebrates her 85th birthday. In the last few weeks, as my sisters and I get ready for her big day, I’ve been realizing how much I love her, but I sometimes forget to take those moments to say so and really appreciate her. Isn’t it strange, how easy it is to forget to express your love to those closest to you?

So in honor of her, today, I’d like to share with you three things she taught me that changed my life. Here they are – The Top 3 Life Lessons from Gunvor Satra:

1. Let the spirit of adventure guide you.

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom found a way to show us the world. She loves to travel, and anywhere on the globe was fair game. Once, we were actually debating between Turkey, the Baltic countries, and Peru. Most people don’t look at such a wide range of place at one time, but from her, I learned that anything is possible, and anywhere is worth seeing and learning about. (We ended up in Turkey...

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How You Can Make a Difference for Generations

adventure gratitude Dec 15, 2016

The other day, I ran into an old friend, Mike. We’d gone to grammar school together back in New Jersey, and I hadn’t seen him in years.

“I was just talking about you!” he said. “I took my family skiing for the first time, and I told them about my very first ski trip in seventh grade, to Shawnee Mountain. I need to thank you for bringing skiing into my life, and my kids’ lives. They loved it.”

“Wow,” I said. “How cool! But it wasn’t just me, it was thanks to Ms. Patterson, too.”

Yes, I’d planned our school’s first ski trip, back in seventh grade. But it wouldn’t have happened without the help and support of our teacher Ms. Patterson, who pushed me, supported me, and consistently raised the bar on what I thought was possible.

Throughout middle school, she challenged me. I rewrote papers, did volunteer work, and became officer of various clubs, all under her strict eye. She’d...

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The Most Outrageous Thing You Could Do Right Now

adventure goals mindset Sep 20, 2016

This summer, I played the role of the women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, when she interviewed Hugh Hefner in the 1970s. While I was studying her for the role, I came across something she said that changed the way I think about my own life and work.

She was promoting her book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, and Someone asked her about the title. Initially, she joked “It’s too long, don’t you think?”

“Not necessarily,” he said. “I’m just curious what it’s about.”

“Well,” she said, “A movement is really just people moving. In order to create a movement, you have to have people consistently moving toward what you want to achieve.”

She explained that whenever she gave a speech, she worried that the energy would stop when she stepped down from the podium. Her feeling was, “Okay, maybe I inspired people, maybe I’ve informed them about something they didn’t know....

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How to Stop Fear from Stopping You

adventure goals moticise Sep 08, 2016

As soon as I booked the plane ticket, it started.

If you’re going to New Zealand, said my brain, you’ve got to do something exciting. They’re the inventors of crazy adventurous things. They even invented bungee jumping.

Bungee jumping. Oh, boy.

I’d heard you could do it off the Auckland Bridge, which sounded cool, but I wasn’t sold. I was scared.

All during the thousand-hour plane ride, my brain went back and forth. Do it, don’t do it. It’s exciting, it’s scary. You have to, I don’t know if I’m ready.

I got to the hotel at 6:30a.m. As soon as I checked in, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Do you think I can bungee jump off the Auckland Bridge this week?”

“I don’t know,” said the concierge. “People do, but maybe not in winter. I’ll call as soon as they’re open.”

I thanked him and went up to my room. An hour later, he called up. “They go...

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The Possibility of Something Amazing

Spring is a time of renewal, cleansing, letting go of the old to invite in the new. This week, I want to share the incredible story of how my friend Kim learned to let go of her pain and embrace a new life, while flying high above the Hudson River…

It was Monday, March 2013. I was sprawled out on my couch in Brooklyn, putting the finishing touches on my grad school application and waiting for my boyfriend to get out of work and planning what to make for dinner. When he got home, without explanation or apology, he broke up with me. Just like that.

I was devastated. We’d been together six years, talking about getting married – yet he gave me no warning, no compassion. In a second, my life came crashing down.

I fell apart. I lost ten pounds in a week, surviving on coffee and liquor, moving through my days in a painful, unreal fog. Everything hurt. I just couldn’t absorb the truth: that relationship, which had been my bedrock, my identity, was over.

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“I Can’t” Is Not A Reality

Last week, I got to go on The Daily Burn, a fitness show based here in New York, as their guest celebrity. I did the morning workout with them, and we did a really cool exercise about “reaching new heights” on a trampoline. You can still catch the interview, and if you’re looking for a fun, challenging workout to do every day, you can stream the workouts free for a month – check it out!

During the workout – it was about a half hour of cardio and strength-training – Greg, the instructor, said something that really struck me.

“If you’re thinking ‘I can’t do this’ – remember, that ‘I can’t’ is just an interpretation of a feeling. It’s not a reality,” he said. “Breathe into it, stay calm. Keep going.”

How profound! And it’s true in several ways – not just about exercise, but about life. Self-talk is a hot topic these days, and it’s continually...

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You Feel What You Focus On

It was high tide, and the waves were enormous, crashing against the shore. My family and I were spending a weekend at Cape May, and every day the beach had been glorious—sun, waves, sandcastles, the works. This one day, though, the waves were the biggest I’d seen—and it brought two totally different reactions from my two kids.

Ty, who’s seven, saw it as a big adventure. The waves were bigger than he was, but he couldn’t stop giggling as he jumped into each one. He watched the bigger kids doing it, and he followed right along, for hours, loving every minute.

Kaya, though, was terrified. My husband Stephen and I tried to shift her focus—“Look how many people are out there having fun! How can we jump each wave? What else can we do? You’re fine, you’re perfectly safe!” But she simply could not see past the fear.

It was such a clear example of a simple but powerful truth: you feel what you focus on.

Which means that you have the...

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