We all want to be happy and free from misery. Happiness is the generic-term of what people actually want from their lives when they wish for a house, being rich, a new car or the love of their life. What most people don’t know: There is no official definition of happiness. Unless you are skilled in poetry or you have the scientific knowledge to discuss dopamine and endorphins, happiness is a choice! Meaning, you can choose to be happy which is great if you know how.
Considering you are reading this Mag, surfing is very likely one of the things in life that make you feel happy. So you already found something you can do to be happy. But to really be happy from the heart, there is a lot more to it. We at WMNSurfmag are no big fans of guidelines to happiness because it’s vague. But we dig inspiring stories you can learn from.
Therefore we would like to introduce you to this book we have read: Surfer Girls Kick Ass.
During our recent trip to Hawaii we got the chance to do an interview with an ambassador of happiness and the author of Surfer Girls Kick Ass: Tiffany Manchester.
Tiff, congratulations to your book release, Surfer Girls Kick Ass!
We’re stoked we got to read it in advance and chat with you about it on the North Shore of Oahu. Now finally it’s time to let our readers know too. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m Tiffany Manchester, author of the newly released book ‚Surfer Girls Kick Ass’. I’m a born and raised Canadian from Toronto, Ontario.
Canada isn’t a famous surf destination. How did you get into surfing?
After university I became a whitewater raft guide on the world re-known Ottawa River, which then turned into a career as a professional athlete in freestyle whitewater kayaking. It’s about doing tricks on river waves, so it has a similar vibe to freestyle surf.
It was an incredible experience. I finally felt as though I’d found my community…my tribe, so to speak. The people, the rivers, and all the crazy adventures that came with traveling the world as an athlete were some of the most profound experiences I’ve had. I got to paddle remote rivers in Uganda, New Zealand, Ecuador, Taiwan, just to name a few. I loved training and becoming both mentally and physically skilled at a sport that was incredibly challenging (not to mention scary). Plus, learning what it took to win competitions felt damn good as well (3x Canadian Champ, North American Champ, Bronze World Medalist)!
However, after many years of this I began to feel disenchanted with the ’scene', and started dreaming about surfing in Hawaii. It was calling me! But that dream of surfing in Hawaii actually began back in the 80’s after I saw the movie ’North Shore’. I was 14 years old at the time, and looking back I now know that that was when the seed was planted (in my mind) of one day surfing in Hawaii. I had to wait 17 years for the timing to be right, and to let the idea present itself to me!
You built up a life, you don't need a vacation from
That’s amazing! So one day you just decided to make that dream come true and moved to Hawaii? I’m sure it wasn’t that easy.
Well, the truth is, my kayaking career and personal relationship was coming to a close, and during that time I was very confused (haha that’s what happens when change is upon us). Feeling the urge to get some space ‘away’ to clear my mind I literally woke up one day and decided to book a trip to Hawaii. 2 weeks later I was at a retreat center on the Big Island. I loved it and wound up staying for 3 months before I had to go home again for another season on the river. I went back and forth between Hawaii and Canada for a couple of years before finally moving here full-time.
I went through a major transformation during my first 5 years here in Hawaii, mostly from the need to recover from heartbreak when my fiancé (and kayaking partner) left me for another woman. It forced me to do a lot of personal healing which turned into massive self-growth. I started surfing and eventually met the man of my dreams (Ken) one night on the dance floor of an electronic music festival.
While in Hawaii, Ken and I wanted to find a new surf mecca. We jotted down our goals and desires, and when Nicaragua kept popping up on our radar we decided to take a trip. We fell in love with it, and have been going back for years. During that time, we started a little brand there called ‘NicaLove’ that began with stickers. ‘Surfergirlskickass’ being one of those stickers.
How it all started with 'Surfer Girls Kick Ass'
So the book, Surfer Girls Kick Ass’ started with a sticker?
That’s right…the book started with a sticker!
While I had written articles for kayaking magazines, I had never considered writing a book (even though my mom always told me I should). But I had this urge that wouldn’t go away. It was like that same perpetual feeling to go to Hawaii, except this time it was about writing a book. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The force was so strong that the only thing left to do was to do it!
And then you just did it? How did you know what to write about?
I didn’t know what it was about, I just knew that it was called Surfer Girls Kick Ass. Finally, I sat down one day and began writing. I didn’t have an outline or anything. I just sat down and started at Chapter 1, making things up as I went.
It was a surreal experience, creating a story out of thin air while incorporating my experiences, developing characters, and sharing lessons along the way.
Well it turned out to be a great book with a very relatable and inspiring story. ’Zoe‘ the main character of the book could be pretty much anyone of us.
Thanks and it’s nice to hear that! I see a lot of myself in Zoe because I had to draw from my own experiences to make the book relatable. Yes, the storyline is fictional, but the underlying essence, and feeling of it - comes from the depth of my soul. As for the other characters, I’d say they all have bits of lots of people in them, especially Sophie and Seth…who became very dear to my heart. It’s really incredible how these characters became ‘real’ to me. As if they are long lost friends…
Surfer Girls Kick Ass is a book with a purpose
What’s the purpose of ’Surfer Girls Kick Ass‘?
There are a lot of things I would have done differently during my time as a pro-athlete…lessons I learned after the fact, and I wanted to help other girls learn those things faster than I did, which is a huge part of the book’s purpose.
What was it like to write a book with the purpose to transmit a message?
In terms of writing a book, it takes diligence. Luckily I’m a very driven and motivated person, and when I decide to do something - you bet it’s going to happen. I tried out different methods like; write one page a day, or one chapter a day etc. Sometimes I didn’t write for a couple of months — but eventually I got back to it, feeling determined enough to set a goal to finish it by the end of the year (it took 1.5 years to complete the first draft).
I often liken writing to yoga…the hardest part is getting to the mat. But once you’re there, you just do what you can do and be grateful.
Part of the struggle for me was that I didn’t know why I was writing the book and what would come of it. How did it fit into my brand ‘Follow The Feelgood’, if at all? I think that slowed down my progress simply because, as an entrepreneur, I’m constantly asking myself ‘is this what I should be working on?’ ‘Is this moving me towards my goals’?
But as the story unfolded, I realized I was meant to incorporate the principles of ‘Follow The Feelgood’, to teach people how to overcome obstacles and move through life's challenges via mindset, meditation, and magic. Essentially, the book became a self-help wrapped in fiction.
„Essentially, the book [Surfer Girls Kick Ass] became a self-help wrapped in fiction.“
And that is exactly what we loved so much about it. It is entertaining and touching while the reader learns about life and personal growth. What is your aim with ‚Surfer Girls Kick Ass‘?
My aim is to help girls develop their intuitive skills so that they learn to go inward for the answers to their questions, and realize that while asking for the opinions of others can be helpful, the only real way to gain confidence in your ‘self’ is by paying attention to and taking action from the truth within.
Your Blog, followthefeelgood.com goes even deeper. What is it about?
“A simple strategy for creating a life you love.” - yes, right now, the strategy is simply to ‘Follow The Feelgood.’ It’s a mantra to help you stop and acknowledge the truth about how you feel and what you want, before you say ‘yes’ to anything.
Too many of us get lost in guilt and obligation and fear etc. -and wind up doing all sorts of things that are our of alignment. To get back on track (in the feelgood), you must start paying attention to how you feel with everything you choose to do, and then start eliminating what doesn’t feel good.
But it’s not always easy to know what feels good because we get so wrapped up in fear. My blog is there to help you unravel those fears to reveal the truth about how you really feel.
Your book -Surfer Girls Kick Ass- charmed us at WMNSurfmag.
Its story truly is magical. Do you believe in angels?
I absolutely believe in angels! A few years back I took an angel tarot reading course and it blew my mind wide open. Learning to call upon them and connect with them is fun and exciting, and the rewards are incredible (peace, trust, love, clarity). And being able to connect to the angels for other people via my 1:1 sessions is extremely rewarding, because my clients always feel so much lighter, clearer, and with a new and improved perspective with how to proceed.
The angels are messengers of God, so they help to bridge that gap between the ego and love. That may sound vague, but the essence behind the angels is that they will help you get out of your head and into your heart - which is the path to creating a life you love.
Is there a ‚to be continued…‘ or no?
I believe there is! I have an idea that’s brewing. Stay tuned 😉
We are looking forward to hear more about it soon.
Lovely to meet you Tiff!
If you want to learn more about how to Follow the Feelgood, you can download Tiff’s guide: “10 ways to make any decision with ease.” at https://www.followthefeelgood.com/make-decisions-with-ease
Tiffany gave us another copy of the book for YOU as a gift! If you want it, follow the instructions on our recent Instagram post or place your order right here.