In the first week of spring 2019, the ground beneath the feet of writer, surfer and mindfulness coach Alice MacKinnon, disintegrated. Hell descended upon her home and neighbourhood in the form of the worst recorded bushfire in Queensland’s history. As she scrambled to regain a foothold of her life, it shifted again and again, leaving her reeling for three years.
In amongst those years of groundlessness, free-failing and endings, Alice chose to begin again and become someone entirely new. She has a new name, a new wife, a new home, a new community, and a new mindset and skillset.
She applied herself to transformation out of collapse like a martial artist. She practise inner stillness like a ninja to harness her mind and cultivate peace so she could more skilfully ride the waves of life with alignment and grace.
Becoming a Stillness Ninja: Reflections on Resilience, Recovery and Love is Alice’s story about become the person she always had the potential to be – more loving, wholehearted, joyful, kind, patient and true to herself.
This is a book of deeply personal reflections in the form of stories, poems and photographs, beautifully presented by designer Ingrid Schoder. It is Alice’s intention and great hope that this book reaches out and helps give your own life a feeling of substance, meaning, purpose and coherence.
Becoming a Stillness Ninja: Reflections on Resilience, Recovery and Love is a sister book to Surfing as a Dance: How one woman found grace in and out of the water which published in 2018 when Alice was named Sally.
This is the story of a woman who accidentally resurrected her lifelong dream of surfing at the age of 46. In an improbable twist of fate she became a surf instructor at 50. Sally MacKinnon walked out of a career as a professional environmental protector with a PhD in Adult Education, to reinvent herself as a fitness, yoga and surfing instructor on Queensland’s Gold Coast. She also took up the practice of Zen.
But this is more than a story about surfing and reinvention. This is a story about finding joy, meaning and delight in the twists and turns of everyday life.
This beautiful book of personal stories, poems and photographs is a love letter to life; particularly attuned to women because the arc of our lives can hold so much passion and pain.
Surfing as a dance calls you to be inspired by the possibilities inside your own life.
It invites you to be surprised by your own dreams and stories and to find the beauty and hope within them, nestled like pearls inside gnarly old oyster shells. This is a book to savour, to gift, to share and pass along. We hope it is like a dear friend – nourishing, compassionate and kind.
Sally MacKinnon in collaboration with photographer Alison Gowland, designer Ingrid Schroder and editor Diana Timmins, invites you to explore Surfing as a dance and take up or deepen your own dance of creativity with life.
“Surfing is more than standing up on a surfboard. It is, I believe, the language of ‘Oceanspeak’; of feet on waves, of heart in sky, of breath and body in synch with Mother Nature.
Perhaps if we surf with a spirit of sharing, connection, love, mindfulness, gratitude, humility, joyfulness, awareness, playfulness and curiosity, then we might also take those qualities further into our lives as a right way of living.”
“the dharma of surfing” is a coffee table book collection of 52 wisdoms and photographs for surfing and for life. They have emerged from the water-based experiences of surf, yoga and fitness instructor Sally MacKinnon, sailor and surfer Scott Johnson and educator Huon MacKinnon-Farnworth.