Living in Color

 Source: Nicole Evans ( @n.i.k.k.i.3___ )

Source: Nicole Evans (@n.i.k.k.i.3___)

  • Got on a bus to Mexico for a yoga weekend retreat by myself: Check!

  • Attended a music festival by myself: Check!

  • Drove down to Encinitas to take a watercolor + surf workshop by myself: Check!

While some people are afraid or anxious to try new stuff by themselves, I thrive on it.

Which is why I consider myself an extrovert-introvert:

Extrovert because I get along with people easily, enjoy the occasional night out with friends, and talking to people all day is the main part of my job.

Introvert because during the week I prefer to spend my afternoons mostly solo or with a few people, I also prefer reading a book during my lunch break instead of mingling with others, and usually tend to avoid unnecessary small talk at all costs.

Ever since my intern days at Billabong, circa 2014, I've been toying with the idea of picking up surfing as a hobby. However, every time I had the courage to ask someone to join me they were either busy or made fun of the fact that I wanted to master surfing.

As dramatic as it sounds, this Summer I kept getting called by the ocean to finally put my fear away and get in the water but stubborn self kept ignoring that feeling. When I came across Marissa's Instagram post about the workshop I knew it was a sign, so I said I f*ck it and signed up for it on a whim.

August 12, 2018 was another solo weekend day for the books and this is how it all went down:

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

 Source: Nicole Evans (@n.i.k.k.i.3__)

Source: Nicole Evans (@n.i.k.k.i.3__)

It was sunny Sunday morning as I arrived to the workshop at Be + Well, I actually arrived 30 minutes earlier but made my boyfriend drive around and walk down to the beach with me to kill time, all 18 of us were quiet and anxious except for the overly excited instructors. I kept trying to find the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to someone but my introvert self kept me quiet, frozen and sort of collected.

"Ladies welcome to our workshop, Living in Color! Drop your bags, grab your boards, and let's all walk to the beach for our surf lesson with Kelly Anne!", Marissa Quinn said lively.

I ran to my bag, took out a couple of beach essentials, and proceeded to join the group outside. The moment we exited the room we all completely transformed, greeted each other and bonded over the fact that none of us had any, or very limited, surfing experience. 

As soon as we touch down to the beach, our instructor Kelly Anne didn't waste any time getting us partnered up with someone to share a board and taught us basic techniques. I've personally tried improving my surfing skills about 5 times, and Kelly Anne gave the best "mini-lesson" I've ever had.

Did I drink a lot of salt water? Yes, I did.

Did I hurt my knee while trying to master something outside of my comfort zone? Yes, I did. 

Will I try surfing again? Absolutely.

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

 Source: Nicole Evans ( @n.i.k.k.i.3___ )

Source: Nicole Evans (@n.i.k.k.i.3___)

After we finished our surfing lesson, we headed back to Be + Well where we relaxed in outside patio for a few minutes while enjoying the beautiful snack table that Marissa and Lauren Duke, the owner of Be + Well, set up for us. During our little hangout, I had the chance to chat with some of the women that I didn't get to interact with during the surfing session, I then realized we were all here for the same reason: to take a little break from life and unwind with a little bit of salt water and art.

Sooner than expected, it was watercolor painting time! Marissa gave a little intro to the class and told us to look around: everyone was makeup-less, rocking messy beach hair, and with our bikinis still on. This symbolized the willingness to break down our walls and be fully vulnerable as we all got to know each other.

I took a color theory class at FIDM but Marissa explained colors in a way that made more sense—through chakras. 

"Beginning with Red, the Root Chakra, let's dip our brushes in water and pick up a bit of the pigment. The mantra for the Root Chakra is: I am..."

After going over the color wheel, we proceeded to have a drawing lesson, also led by Marissa Quinn. She taught us how to draw whales and moons which surprisingly look beautiful together and are also a stable of Marissa's own art.

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

Marissa Quinn always made sure we were having a great time and genuinely cared about our wellbeing; from pointing out her house and offering her outside shower for all of us to utilize, to encouraging us to keep trying again. Marissa was an amazing host and I would 100% attend another workshop planned by her. I can't thank her enough for her wisdom and willingness to bring together 18 wonderful sea sisters full of light, creativity, and raw beauty inside and out! — IG @marissaquinn

Be + Well was an aesthetically beautiful venue and perfect for this event. I am happy to say I'll be returning to this little creative place next month for their second Be + Well Surf Club session! — IG @bewellencinitas

Kelly Anne was hands down the best surf instructor I've ever had. Thank you for being so patient and giving us unlimited motivation! — IG @saltyaguagato

Thank you to the two photographer for capturing every beautiful moment from this workshop. — IG @n.i.k.k.i.3__ @saltandmoxie

Thank you to all my new sea sisters for being so open to learning with me. Can't wait to see you all again in the water!

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

This workshop was definitely eye-opening. It made me realize that I have been living in fear caused by the judgment of others.

I am proud to say that I've picked up surfing as a hobby,

I have joined a wonderful and supportive all women surf club (shout out to Wahine Kai) who I surf with regularly and are always there to answer all my crazy surf related questions,

I’ve met three rad women who I surf with every weekend (Ansley, Paige and Rose),

And I have officially booked my first solo surf + yoga trip to Costa Rica!

All of this wouldn't have been possible without this life-changing workshop and Marissa Quinn. 

 Source: Allison McCulloch ( @saltandmoxie )

Source: Allison McCulloch (@saltandmoxie)

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