The AllSwell journal is a portal. It is a confidante. It is a map. It can be anything you want it to be. Draw your favorite waves. Start a surf journal. Cover it with stickers. Plan your next roadtrip. Write your personal manifesto. Bring it everywhere. Or keep it by your bed. There's no wrong way to do this.
The simple act of writing down your thoughts, feelings and dreams is good for you: mentally, emotionally and physiologically. Even just a few minutes a day. Drop in, commit and enjoy.
GET TO KNOW THE FOUNDER OF ALLSWELL, LAURA RUBIN
Laura, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the story of how AllSwell Creative came to fruition?
AllSwell was born at the beach. One morning in Montauk I went for a surf check and there were no waves. Skunked. But I always have a journal in my beach bag so I grabbed a cup of tea and journaled in the sand. It was a beautiful morning and I wrote “Swell or no swell, all’s well.” The idea for the brand was born in that moment.
AllSwell started with a single product. I was down in Costa Rica on a surf trip and to escape the midday heat my friend and I were sitting on the shady porch. He was drawing in his unlined sketchbook and I was writing in my lined journal. I thought to myself that there really should be one lightweight, travel-friendly version that had room for both. That’s where the concept of the Write-Draw notebooks originated.
After the products launched I began to get feedback from the marketplace that surprised me. I’m a life-long journaler, I started when I was 8 and haven’t stopped since. It’s a natural outlet for me. So it was shocking to hear that a lot of people don’t know “how” to journal or they think they’re bad at it. That inspired me to develop writing workshops that would be fun, beautiful and make it easy for participants to get comfortable with putting pen to paper.
I’ve now led journaling workshops for lots of different groups in amazing and varied settings: overlooking Teahupoʻo in Tahiti, around a beach campfire in Tofino, for hundreds of participants simultaneously as part of Goop’s virtual programming - and well beyond. Each workshop is special and it’s a remarkable honor to watch people wake up to the wisdom of their own internal voice.
What’s your relationship with the ocean like? How do you connect with her?
The ocean is my greatest comfort and my most thorough teacher. I love her when she’s wild. I appreciate her when she’s gentle.
If I’m not in or on the water, I’m near her. Humans are drawn to the water’s edge, that alchemical tipping point. Beach walks and bonfires are woven in and through my life.
How might journaling help to deepen our relationship with the ocean and surfing?
(1) If you’re interested in using your journal as a performance tool (like Serena Williams), take time to reflect on your session, what worked, what didn’t. Write it all down, tracking your progress. Record information about different breaks - what equipment you used and in what conditions - and set goals for yourself.
(2) Use your pen to paper practice as a way to observe and honor the ocean through mindful writing. Be near her and embody all five senses (scent, sight, taste, touch, sound). What are seeing, hearing, tasting? This slows down time, reduces your cortisol levels and brings you into the present moment. It’s a written meditation that connects you to the natural world.
What physical and mental benefits are associated with journaling?
Journaling is incredibly good for you. It helps elevate mood, reduce anxiety and depression and helps curb PTSD. It also boosts your immune system, speeds wound healing and even supports lung health. The list goes on.
The brilliant thing is that keeping a journal doesn't cost much, you can do it almost anywhere and you don’t need complicated equipment. If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do with a blank page, just grab a deck of our journaling prompts [thought this might be a place to link to The Deck on your ecommerce platform] and shuffle them up. Or, flip open a favorite book to a random page, read what’s there and use that as your journaling prompt. There’s no wrong way to do this.
Are there any poets or writers you resonate toward who talk about surfing or the ocean?
Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Melville, Hemingway...so many. The ocean has been a muse to writers and poets stretching back to ancient times (hello, Homer). She has an infinite number of faces.
This is one of my favorite poems. It speaks to me and really captures my relationship with the ocean…
“Ocean” by Mary Oliver, 2008
I am in love with Ocean
lifting her thousands of white hats
in the chop of the storm,
or lying smooth and blue, the
loveliest bed in the world.
In the personal life, there is
always grief more than enough,
a heart-load for each of us
on the dusty road. I suppose
there is a reason for this, so I will be
patient, acquiescent. But I will live
nowhere except here, by Ocean, trusting
equally in all the blast and welcome
of her sorrowless, salt self.
What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve been given?
Go outside and play.
What piece of advice would you give for Sisstrs looking to lean into journaling?
Try what I call 4x4x4. Journal for 4 minutes a day. Do it 4 times a week and try to stick with that program for 4 consecutive weeks. If you get to the 4 minute mark and you have more to say, keep going. But by setting gentle parameters, I find it’s more likely that you’ll stick with it.
How might Sisstrs get involved with the guided journaling workshops you facilitate?
Give us a follow on @allswellcreative and sign up for the newsletter at www.allswellcreative.com.
What’s your current surfboard of choice?
An 8’10” single fin shaped for me by my talented friend Evan Menen of La Mision. It’s buttery. I can’t get enough of her
**Products currently only available for purchase on Sisstr USA. *