Episode 02: Damien Rider

Episode 02: Damien Rider

Damien Rider is an ultra endurance athlete who broke a world record in 2015 by paddling on a prone paddle board 800km from the Gold Coast to Bondi. He completed this mission solo and unsupported over seventeen days and it was a turning point in his life.

Just prior to the paddle he was contemplating suicide and in the months and years that have followed this accomplishment he has gone on to change the lives of many other people.

A feature film was produced by National Geographic on the epic expedition and you can watch the documentary where Damien encountered numerous shark attacks and near drownings - all in effort to raise awareness for child abuse - in his documentary Heart of the Sea. Available for purchase on iTunes, the documentary tells how this experience turned out to be a catalyst for healing his own childhood trauma and how Damien found peace from this experience.



What makes Damien and his story so inspiring is the fact that he is a victim of child abuse, yet as he explains in our interview he sees himself as an adventurer, not a victim. 

He has had the willpower and mind-set to achieve many unbelievable feats. In addition to this physical and mental endurance and strength, he is also a humanitarian: Damien has established the Rider Foundation & PACA (Paddle Against Child Abuse) with the aim of supporting victims of child abuse.

He is also on a mission to change lives through Oceans Retreat. He will be sharing some of the non-conventional approaches that helped with treating his own post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the Oceans Therapy Retreat over Easter that he's running with big wave surfer, Ryan Hipwood.

I feel very fortunate to have met Damien and to be able to use the gorgeous Oceans Retreat for our Ocean's Mindset Retreat in May (details are below) and our Seven Day Mind Body Wellness Retreat in October. 

After Damien’s paddle, he skateboarded from Chicago to Santa Monica (a 3600km trip), he completed some extreme paddleboard & running events in Thailand, and he also ran the Gold Coast marathon (42km) carrying a 16kg mattress - all to help others. 

Damien somehow found the ability to transform his own pain into a healing source for many other people.

Those brave enough to face suffering that for most would be unbearable are alchemists. They are the ones who go on to create the changes to this world and that can shift the way we look at things. 

Damien recently spoke at the Safe Children's conference in Sydney which addressed the Royal Commission findings into child sexual abuse. Thank you Damien for making this world a better place and thank you for all that you spoke about on the podcast. 

Raw, vulnerable, courageous and incredibly moving, he shares his story completely from the heart. 

I hope you enjoy the episode,

Jess xx




Oceans Mindset Retreat

On May 4th 5th and 6th I am looking forward to hosting the Oceans Mindset Retreat

Over the three days you will journey into the mind to:

  • Learn to work with and transform your difficult emotions, feelings and thoughts on a moment to moment basis. You'll learn how to work with fear, stress and how to relate wisely to self-doubt. 
  • Learn to stay calm and focused for greater effectiveness regardless of what external events and circumstances are in your life. You'll leave this retreat with the skills to better manage stress and anxiety. 
  • Learn to bring presence to your daily interactions by slowing them down and responding to them instead of habitually reacting to situations. You'll increase your emotional intelligence, decrease overwhelm and conflict and improve your relationships.
  • Learn what limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns are holding you back from reaching your true potential and living the life you dreamed of. 
  • Learn more about what your deepest and truest intention are for work, relationships and living so that you can feel more alive. 

Episode 01: Venerable Shih Jingang

Episode 01: Venerable Shih Jingang