Art of Gathering and the Power of Process
Finisterre ambassador Easkey Britton walks us through the Surf & Social Good Summit. A gathering of fascinating folk, all passionate about the positive role surfing can play in social change, where sand between toes was an everyday occurrence and people left with full hearts, optimistic about the path ahead.
How is an idea born into reality? About a year ago this slowly began to take shape. It came from a need, a realisation that I could only do so much on my own... Having just started-up my own non-profit, Waves of Freedom, I had so many questions and I wondered how other people coped in similar situations – trying to effect change doing what they love. I wanted to ask them, how did you do that? What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them? What motivates and inspires you? I discovered how much easier it is to find the answers to what we’re seeking when we ask! Sounds silly, that should be so obvious. But when we’re so driven by passion we can forget how important it is to reach out. It’s not a sign of weakness but of strength – by coming together and acting collectively, creating meaningful connection we can bring about far greater impact. That’s what happened in Bali, Indonesia from May 15-18th at the world’s first global Surf + Social Good Summit, and how this collective for social change began and continues to grow.
Photo 1. Opening address at the Summit - What we so often fail to share or what tends to stay hidden is the process. What inspired it and what were challenges and opportunities shaped the outcome? I believe that if we can better understand where we’ve come from, we will be better prepared to take the next step.
Photo 2. The Surf + Social Good crew - For me, I’m motivated by this question; how do you share something that you’re that passionate about to create a depth of understanding and connection with other people?
Photo 3. Open Space session at the Summit – creating the “space to explore the meaning of things, the horizon towards which to journey, and the nature of the journey itself.” (Lederach, 2005:176, In ‘The Moral Imagination’).
Photo 4. The power of surfing to connect isn’t some abstract concept – reunited with world-famous surf innovator Nev Hyman after 12 years when we met on a surf trip to Tahiti and I got my first real taste for surf travel and powerful waves. Amazing how seeds sown so long ago can sprout at the most unexpected times. It’s about the little things as much as the big things – the importance of creating a space where people feel they can be themselves and share that.
Photo 5. The most important part and the inspiration for it all – the art of wave-riding. The greatest insight for me is the ability to remain present to the unfolding, to experience my own joy within that transformative space.
Photo 6. “To be truly transformative, the post-2015 development agenda must prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment. The world will never realize 100 per cent of its goals if 50 per cent of its people cannot realize their full potential.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.”
Photo 7. Fellow sea-sister, three times world champion and Director of The Inspire Initiative, Cori Schumacher speaking about the impact of the S+SG ‘Girls Make Waves’ Action Day in celebration of Women’s International Surfing month, “The most important thing I got out of it was to have a beginner’s mind where everything is just new and bright and a little scary but you’re still going to go out there and do it.”
Photo 8. “We each have a story and change is happening. No more antiquated narratives and representations of what it is to be a ‘surfer girl’. We’re writing our own stories.” – Danny Clayton, founder of Salt Gypsy and creator of the ‘surf legging.’
Photo 9. On the day after the summit physical, mental and emotional overwhelm was a common state of being...The impulsive desire to jump into action at the end of it all from participants – a sign of how inspired people felt to act, and yet the timing is too soon. First, space is needed to let the swirl of emerging possibilities begin to settle. To let the outcomes or the desire to control the outcome go, recognising that the process itself is the outcome.
"In between the old and the new there is an empty space. It is a time when the lessons and learnings of the old story are integrated. Only when that work has been done is the old story really complete. Then, there is nothing, the pregnant emptiness from which all being arises. Returning to essence, we regain the ability to act from essence. Returning to the space between stories, we can choose from freedom and not from habit."
- Charles Eisenstein