Voices of Youth Inspire! Catching Waves with Easkey Britton

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Please tell us your name: Easkey Britton

Your age: 28

Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?

West coast of Ireland

According to your business card – what’s your job title?

Surfer. Scientist. Artist. Explorer.

Give us 10 words that describe your typical work day?

Unpredictable, flexible, freedom, elemental, challenging, inspiring, creative, communication, connection, passion.

In a nutshell, how did you get to where you are right now? Name some of the most important milestones.

Falling in love with surfing and living my passion all my life, traveling from a young age, never giving up, not conforming, moving towards the unknown, stoking my curiosity and exploration, support and mentorship, facing fear, learning from mistakes, letting go and cultivating my own sense of self-worth to weather the storms.

The defining moments in my life are those that allowed me to myself push beyond my comfort zone. Most recently, finding my voice and my courage, having to reflect deeply on my story and what I have to give and share with others, and then standing up in front of an audience of over 2000 people at TEDx Dublin, full of fear and pushing through that was definitely a milestone.

Another very recent defining moment was in the middle of huge surf last December 21st at Mullaghmore, were I faced the biggest waves of my life, and for the first time, I felt like I belonged. I was still full of fear and awe but I totally let go of expectations, of the desire for any outcome, I just felt the power and presence of that moment. It was very liberating and freeing for me because I was right where I was meant to be.

You are the co-founder of Waves of Freedom, an initiative that uses surf to create positive social impact and empower women. According to you, how can sports such as surfing achieve these goals?

Surfing is more than just a sport, it is a lifestyle and an art-form synonymous with freedom and creative self-expression. Waves of Freedom has grown from a belief that the ocean does not discriminate. Once you get in the water, the rules and norms of society dissolve and the power of the ocean to connect and spread happiness is huge. It really comes down to having the power to finding our own inner truth, or in the words of the poet Hafiz, “to let your soul unfurl its wings.”

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your surfer’s career and how did it help you to grow as a person?

Fear, but mostly it was fear of what other people think. I was led by a sense of what 'should be' rather than what 'must be' and the expectations that go along with it. The more I follow the path of what 'must be' - those moments are where you feel a tugging in your chest, your inner knowing, calling, voice. This is where you can follow your true passion, doing the thing that lights you up most of all, the more I was able to let go of that fear.

What’s next for you?

I believe in life-long learning and personal development and I’ve recently joined THNK as a participant at their School for Creative Leadership. My challenge to myself is to actively practice the values I hold to be most true and using that as the driving force to create positive change and social good in the world. A core part of that is helping Waves of Freedom grow into a global, cross-cultural community of connectivity and bringing people together through events such as Let’s Make Waves in Bali this summer.

Some words to youth out there: What advice can you give them when chasing their dream career?

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

I don’t make strict plans for the future. Instead, I allow my future to hold this tremendous sense of possibility and limitless potential. Sometimes it can feel like there is a lot of pressure and the challenge seems too great, and times like that I remind myself that it’s okay to try and fail, because you can always begin again. Be kind to yourself.

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