In this new beginning of 2016, lets start with the first step. “I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits.” – Anais Nin
And that’s it. In February 2015, our team of three Portuguese girls (MY Destiny team) went to India to empower girls and women from local villages. We didn’t have any special ingredient, any special job, or any special conditions. We were (and we are) three completely ordinary surfer girls… but we did have a purpose.
I’ve worked hard to create that moment, but couldn’t stop wondering if I, alone, would be enough. I asked myself if I was doing the right thing. And because I invited Lisa and Mafalda, I was afraid for them at the same time. Not afraid that something bad would happen to them, but of failing on my word. An alignment between what we preach and what we do should always exist. Words worth our actions, right? And what would an ordinary 21 year old girl have to offer to India?
We were building the community around Girls Power movement, working with girls from Asha Kiran Orphanage and women from Puri, and the local community. With the team from the India Surf Festival, we were skateboarding with sáris, searching for waves, exploring the coast, inspiring and speaking in conferences, sharing experiences. We were learning with the slow (Indian) rhythm, with the dances, the colors and “nothing is what it seems” in a land where everything is possible.
All together, we have created an amazing community. And from that community, a new local and global movement was born. And it’s building momentum, creating a safe space, bringing awareness about crucial gender issues and promoting action.
It’s a global movement of surfers and artists who want to share their support, be role models, and simply inspire. Surfing has been the key tool for breaking the ice, to make change happen, and the window to a brighter world.
After we left, a woman wrote to us, “We have no words to describe how you made us feel.” That sentence was reassurance that we must be on the right track. I really believe in the power of surfing values as a tool for positive change, and deeply believe elements of surfing have the potential to ground human beings in a unique and meaningful way.
The future is now, folks. You’re the ordinary heroes of your days! Not me, not anyone else… it’s all about YOU. Make your moment happen.