We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Abbott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, how does your business help the community?
Gulf Therapy is a non-profit organization that encourages people to get on the water for mental wellness. We live in a beautiful location in Northwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico and I bring people out on paddle boards to experience the therapeutic qualities of salt water. They say salt water heals and it truly does. You can see people get the release they need and feel a sense of peace. The sound of the waves actually connect with your brain wavelengths and can allow you to feel calm. When I notice if someone needs an extra layer of support I also pay for their therapy sessions on land. I do feel this makes a difference for people in our community. I hope that it encourages the world to pay more attention to mental health as well.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am proud that Gulf Therapy helps people. I expose people to paddle boarding not just to do the activity but to do it with intention, with meditation, with release. When I went through my own traumas and trials in life, getting out on the water early in the morning when it was quiet was how I got through that time. I truly felt like it healed me and I wanted to share this with others as a mean to cope and get to a better mental state. I feel most spiritually connected when I am on the water and know God led me on this path. It allowed me to take my pain and turn it into a purpose.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would wake up early in the morning and head to the coastal dune lake called Western Lake. It is surrounded by state land and beautiful sand dunes. This is a fresh water lake that connects over to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a rare ecosystem and we are one of only 7 (I believe) locations in the world that have coastal dune lakes. It is truly special and magical. We would paddle down the lake at sunrise. You can hear the birds, see the glow of the sun and take in the serene environment — it is nearly impossible not to feel calm. Once we paddled down to the beach we would then get in the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy that environment too. After our morning wakeup paddle I would bring them to my favorite coffee shop & bakery – Black Bear Bread Co. and enjoy a lavender oat milk latte and fresh pastries made daily. Then to round out a day of adventure I would rent electric bikes and cruise around our bike path on Scenic Highway 30A. This is an iconic bike bath and there are tons of great shops, parks, and restaurants. Would end the day at Bud & Alley’s rooftop deck for a sunset cocktail – their froze is my favorite on a hot summer day! Then I would end the day with dinner and live music at The Grove 30A, 30A’s newest hotspot with outdoor cabanas, great food and atmosphere.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to Beverly Kennedy who linked me up with you! She is also an amazing, talented woman that I love and support. She goes by “Bodywork Babe” and offers specialized massage, sound healing, reiki and more.
Photo Credit: Mike Ragsdale 30a.com