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The Book: “Surfing as a Dance” - finding grace through self-discovery and surfing

25 January 19


After a ten-year journey into surfing starting at the age of 46, Gold Coast woman Sally MacKinnon, couldn’t keep what she learnt quiet and in 2018 set about writing and publishing a book on loss, resurrection, grief and joy called Surfing as a dance: how one woman found grace in and out of the water.

“The book is about finding grace, one of my favourite words as it encourages us to rise up and be everything we can be, to grow from the inside out and stand humble and resolute in all our power,” Sally said. 

“This is an every-woman’s story about rediscovering meaning in life while still navigating the everyday – paying the bills, turning up to work, and being present for your family.”

The book was recently described as “achingly honest…delicately drawing out the Zen lessons of the surfing dance…” by seasoned author Tim Baker in a review in Coastalwatch.

In early 2019 Sally adapted Surfing as a dance to create a unique workshop program for mothers and daughters to nourish and empower them as individuals and as a family team.

The workshops include beach-yoga, qi gong and surfing lessons as well as interactive conversation and hands-on activities about inner and outer beauty, the power of gratitude and mindfulness, healthy bodies and minds, and compassionate communication.

Surfing as a dance is set against the backdrop of Sally’s local Gold Coast break at Currumbin and the book is a literary and visual exploration of self-discovery, made up of reflective essays, poems, prose, and dreamscape photographs, carefully curated by writer Sally MacKinnon, photographer Alison Gowland, designer Ingrid Schroder and editor Dianna Timmins.

BOOK TRAILER VIMEO

TIM BAKER’S REVIEW:

EMAIL SALLY:

THE DHARMA OF SURFING: thedharmaofsurfing.com

About the Author

Sally MacKinnon was a long-time professional environmental educator and communicator with a PhD in Adult Education before becoming a fitness, yoga and surf instructor in 2013 at the age of 50. She lives in the mountains behind the Gold Coast and often wakes at 3.30am in order to write and meditate before free-surfing at dawn. She has published three books, two independently:

  * Expanding Green Strategies: Creating change through negotiation – 2009
  * The dharma of surfing: wisdom from the water for life – 2016
  * Surfing as a dance: how one woman found grace in and out of the water
 

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