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A little insight into the life of Free Spirit - a melting pot of our thoughts, beliefs, suggestions & ideas to inspire you on your path as you journey through life.

Published: 05/08/2015

One Wave is All it Takes

I went to my first Fluro Friday surf a couple of weeks ago here in Manly and met with Sam, one of the co-founders of One Wave is all it Takes – the surf community helping to raise awareness for anxiety, depression & mental health; along with a great bunch of other people who came for the sun rise surf all dressed in Fluro. As I walked down the seafront adorned in a fluro orange jumper, fluro pink shorts and a fluro yellow scarf wrapped around my head, yes I did feel a bit silly!... But as I passed joggers or early morning commuters...every single person I passed I saw a smile creep across their face. How awesome it felt, even if most were laughing at the ridiculousness of how I looked, that I made someone smile! And I guess this is just part of what Fluro Fridays are all about.  

Firstly, I have to say that the reason I chose this charity to support above any other is that it has a place close to my heart. Mental illness has effected some of the people most dear in my life, at varied levels and as with any of us, I myself are not immune to it. I'm not saying dressing in fluro & going surfing is the answer to all our problems but it certainly can give little shimmers of light to the darkest of days. Seeing people smiling or laughing at me dressed so ridiculous that morning also made me smile...knowing that I'd had that reaction on someone even just for a minute. In fact just putting on the silly outfit in the first place already lifted my mood, and it's like going out to spread the positive vibes, no matter how small, little by little. Then we get people talking. We start conversations, firstly “why are we dressed like that in the first place” and when we explain more people are keen to get involved.


So I didn't feel so out of place when I got down to the Surf Club and there was a whole group of people all dressed in fluro ready to go surfing! Nor did I feel out of place paddling out into the water, worried that I wasn't a good enough surfer to join this cool crew! Because it's not about that...everyone is there to support each other. Sometimes someone will share a story, or just how they are feeling, or any other perfectly normal or perfectly weird chit chat in the surf with often complete strangers... but that's the beauty of it because we all know that no-one is there to judge and no-one is being judged. Everyone is there to help and be helped. This awesome surf community that I'm so glad I stumbled across that Friday morning.

And so I wanted to help more. What can I bring to this amazing cause that can benefit others further..? Yoga of course! So it turns out there's already a girl teaching fluro yoga once a month in perfect! Let's do the same in Manly! I chatted with Sam that morning and he was excited. “Let's do it..” he said...”I'll buy your breakfast if you make it happen...” Now I'm not one to turn down a free breakfast so I accepted the challenge and after 2 weeks of spreading the word in Manly, getting a feature in the Manly Daily and getting a pro photographer & sound guy on board for the event, we made it happen.

30 beautiful souls braved the cold, dark morning to attend the first Fluro Friday Yoga in Manly and were rewarded with a majestic mix of Vinyasa flow yoga, chilled meditative sounds and that beautiful sunrise over the ocean that no one ever regrets getting up for. And if that wasn't enough, a pod of dolphins swam past for the finale.


I am so grateful for everyone who came that morning. It was so amazing to connect with everyone, to share stories and recognise mental health as something we shouldn't be scared of. To feel the support of others around, whether they are your very best friend or a complete stranger is such a warm feeling... knowing that someone is there, or that you could make the smallest gesture to someone's day and make the biggest difference.


So let's keep on spreading the message, and continue to grow this community!


Fluro Friday Yoga – 1st Friday of every month – North Steyne Surf Club – 6:30am Free to all, just wear Fluro!


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