“I wondered whether water is a mirror for our darker emotions as much as it is an engine for our happiness. Water quiets all the noise, all the distractions, and connects you to your own thoughts.” -Wallace J Nichols, Blue Mind
Most of us have experienced the effects of water, being near it, touching it, being completely submerged in it. There is an almost inexplicable sensation, particularly in the sea, in which you feel connected to something so powerful, full of soul, ancient, and so much grander than you and your world.
The ocean has the power to heal the brain, body, and psyche. I have witnessed these effects firsthand, in the healing of combat Veterans and their families, via the Warrior Surf Foundation. A non-profit born in Folly Beach, and cofounded by my fiancee Andy Manzi, WSF utilizes ocean therapy, via surfing, to holistically treat combat-related traumatic injuries.
This series, "Ocean Therapy", is my tribute to the work of the Warrior Surf Foundation, and the ever-growing community of Veterans, tough-as-nails spouses and kids, and surfing enthusiasts who have essentially become one huge family. Perseverance is the theme here, and nothing represents that more clearly to me than rugged waves, brutally honest and relentless, stripping your false sense of control right from under you, teaching you how you must manage in the face of primal fear. Ocean therapy is real. It has stared down those on the ledge, and talked them away from jumping.
In light of recent events, the main one being Andy chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes (out of over 10,000 nominees worldwide), I am donating 10% of the "Ocean Therapy" sales to WSF. This will be 2X more significant when I deposit these earnings into Crowdrise.com/CnnHeroes after December 17th. Subaru, longtime partner of CNN Heroes, is MATCHING ALL DONATIONS made to Warrior Surf between Dec 17th and Jan 7th. THIS is the time to give back to those who gave up their personal health and freedoms for ours.
I ENCOURAGE YOU, instead of over-purchasing useless Holiday gift items, perhaps consider taking advantage of this incredible opportunity, and donating to a non-profit instead. Your donation, made at Crowdrise.com/CNNHeroes will be worth double its value. Be sure to hold off on donating until after the premiere live broadcast of “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” Sunday, Dec. 17 at 8pm ET! Only then will the donation match take effect. Visit CNNHeroes.com for more detailed information.