Alison Teal was born into a family of conscious explorers. She grew up between the family’s off-the-grid Hawaiian base, and well, the rest of the world. She thrives on educating through entertainment, with a mission to share in the spirit of Aloha (a mix of love, harmony, presence, and positivity,) in all she does, and wherever she goes.
Alison Beckner: What are your thoughts on flow? When are you in the flow?
Alison Teal: As a surfer and female explorer on a quest to save our greatest treasure on Earth, our world’s water, I think flow is kind of everything. Whether you’re on a surfboard, having to flow with the ocean, and figure out which way to take—which is pretty symbolic for life— you’re out there. You’re either going to crash and burn, or you might end up underwater and discover a whole new world that you never knew about. The same with travel. Whenever there’s a certain element of the unknown, you have to go with the flow. Also, our bodies and our world are made up of a lot of water. So even in the sense of elements, it’s best to be flowing.
AB: What would you suggest to people who are out of flow? How can they make their lives and relationships more harmonious?
AT: Everyone has stress in their life, or things that they have to overcome. And whether we wear a burqa or a bikini, whatever culture we come from, we have the same kind of human needs: namely shelter, water, food, and love. It’s easy to think that the coconuts are always greener in someone else’s field. But I truly believe everybody was put here for a purpose. And if you follow that purpose, things will manifest and magic will happen. I’ve seen it time and time again.
I also believe in balance. The balance of believing in magic and manifestation. In many of the cultures that I grew up in, this is just a given. We need to start to reconnect with nature, because that’s where the nature spirits and the magic lives. Maybe it’s coming from nature, or maybe it’s coming from our innermost self, of what we desire, when we truly tune in. Anything is possible. The best way to figure that out is to literally dive into the unknown. It doesn’t happen overnight. The path of least resistance is not necessarily an easy path. It’s just the one that that feels the most smooth.
AB: What or where is your sweet spot?
AT: No matter where I go, the world is my classroom and the ocean my playground. I try to bring my happy place in the ocean into everything I do. I was homeschooled— or “world schooled” and learned that listening to nature or the water can really help you get in tune with nature. Recently with technology, there has been a lot of disconnect. But I do think all the answers can be found in nature.
AB: What emotion or feeling do you attribute to water?
AT: Water is life. Connectivity.
AB: What are your thoughts on creativity and creative energy? How do you source yours?
AT: I get excited about a story, I want to go explore it and learn everything about it. And from there I think: How can I instigate change? How can I take a stand through storytelling . . . Creativity . . . In regard to the ocean, it’s how can I protect my friend? That’s just where I enjoy my time. Just as much as hanging out with a friend, hanging out with a wave is pretty special to me. I grew up on myths and mysteries and legends. So my work became about figuring out how we teach our future generations in a fun way. How to teach the people that are going to be our future leaders how to love the earth, and pass on stories, because storytelling is the fabric of culture, right? That’s how everything was passed down. I would like to start by teaching something that I learned from a Hawaiian elder at a young age, that our world waters are the greatest treasures on earth.
Wetsuit CYNTHIA ROWLEY
AB: Do you think that spending so much time in and around the water and consistently connected to nature has had a strong impact on your ability to stay creative and curious?
AT: Yes. My storytelling and inspiration stems from the water. I see something, want to help, and then decide how I can tell that story in a way that people will want to learn [from it], and want to see and make change. Every time I’m in the water—in a wave, or in the ocean, or under a waterfall—it’s addicting and inspiring. It clears your soul and your mind. And! The color blue consumes you and stimulates creativity. 50 to 85 percent of the world’s oxygen come from ocean plants. Breath is pretty important [here], too. Each breath we take actually comes from the ocean. Even if you live inland or you don’t think it’s important, protecting the ocean is pretty important if you want to be alive on this planet.
AB: A dream, a goal, a wish.
AT: I hope that we can all come together as a global family to make change. Whether that is sharing the stories that I tell or that Sylvia Earle tells, or that the media tells; whether it’s speaking, or through technology—let’s share what we have and use it for good. Concretely, my dream is that we can spread Aloha around the world.
Recently with technology, there has been a lot of disconnect. But I think all the answers can be found in nature.
My parents have given me pretty big flip- flops to fill. My dream is to carry on the legacy of education through entertainment. Sharing that, being kind and spreading Aloha, can actually be fun and be exciting. I don’t think it’s just about protecting the planet. It’s about protecting what you love. And if you love yourself, you’ll treat yourself well. And you will protect yourself, and this leads to being connected to a source. For me, this comes when I dive into the unknown and dive into nature and do good.
AB: Where is your favorite place on earth so far?
AT: Wherever I am now. I know that sounds cheesy. I really have learned that it is about the journey, not the destination.
AB: What is your superpower?
AT: My superpower is definitely Aloha. Love. Laughter. And the fact that people want to share their stories with me.
AB: What does “human shift” mean to you?
AT: We need a global shift in consciousness, and of course that starts with humans. If we can have a human shift, we can continue to have a human race and a planet. It’s about bringing back the idea that we have endless possibilities. Reconnect with magic. Tune in. Dive into the unknown. Trust. Be dedicated.
Photography by Sarah Lee
Photography by Tina Segura