Cara Gallagher

Ideally the ocean would play a role in my life every day, but being a self-employed mother, it’s more like every other day. The ocean is a reset, if you’re feeling low or overwhelmed, the ocean washes that away.
Community plays a very important role in my life. As humans, we’re social creatures (some more than others) who thrive in a community, and a couple of years ago I felt that my community wasn’t strong enough so I created a couple of groups to build on that, especially with other women. 
I now have several wonderful communities which I belong to, a book club, a surfing group, an online community of fellow celebrants who support each other and share stories, make life more fun and easier to live.
Surfing makes me feel strong. I’ve never loved typical structured exercise like going to a gym, and surfing has been a form of exercise that I can really love and enjoy wholeheartedly. I’ve only been surfing for a couple of years, so my paddle fitness isn’t something that is always there.
If I manage to get three surfs in a week, by the third day I can really feel a difference, and I will strut around the house showing off my guns. Being out in the surf with my best friend and hearing her yell, "Paddle, paddle, paddle" makes me feel even stronger. And out in the world the support of my friends and loved ones makes me feel strong too.
I’d love to see humans respect the earth and each other more. We are living that change by trying to be conscious about what we buy, minimising plastic use and by nurturing our garden and teaching those lessons to our children. 
I am a Marriage Celebrant, and I do need to look nice at a couple's weddings. 
I’ve promoted movements of wearing the same outfit over and over again (One Green Dress - I have worn one particular dress to over 40 weddings) and have started hiring clothing so that I contribute to fast fashion as little as possible. 
I'm proud of so many things I've achieved in my life. I'm also thankful for the things that didn't continue. I went to acting school straight out of high school and then travelled Australia several times with theatre productions. It was an amazing experience, but touring life was hard for me, and I was brave enough to let it go and move into a different direction and I love my life now. I don't think acting would ever have suited my nervous system in the long run.
I wasn't encouraged to surf as a teenager, not many girls did in the 90s, but I always wanted to. I am married to a surf photographer, and we've been together for 15 years, but I still never ventured out on a board. It was on a camping trip to Straddie a couple of years ago that I went out in small waves on a soft board and stood up and I was hooked.
I'm loving that at 39 I finally felt brave enough to start surfing, and not care that I'm a novice and give it a go. I have improved so much over 2 years and it's all about getting that time in the water.
I live in Mullumbimby with my husband, Phil, and our three kids, Milo, Leni and Thea. I'm a marriage celebrant and a voice over artist.

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