In conversation: The Healing Essence of the Ocean With Monet Cheung.

May 3, 2024

The ocean holds a special place for many, for Monet Cheung, it's more than just a body of water; it's a sacred sanctuary where she finds solace and inspiration. It draws her in with its hypnotic rhythm and boundless expanse. In this story she shares her meaningful relationship with surfing, the ocean and how the scent of the ocean and aromatherapy is woven in to her experience. 



Introduce yourself. 

Hi, I’m Monet. I was born and raised in Honolulu. I’m a person who works as a physician, and am finishing residency on the West Coast.


Describe your relationship with the ocean, and the impact it has had on you. 

I grew up in the ocean. As a child I would swim, fish, surf – it was a source of sensory nourishment. You knew the rise and fall of the tide, you drove beside it on the way home from school, you gathered around it with loved ones. It took leaving home to understand its hold on me. It gives me a horizon line, something to orient myself to. If I go too long without the sight of it, I feel uneasy. I draw from its motion, its vastness. It expands the container in which I am able to experience life.


What lessons have you learned from the challenges that surfing can present?

My state of mind shows up immediately in my surfing, and how I carry myself in the water. It’s a perfect mirror. You also have to accept a kind of beat to beat presence to feel peaceful out there, which can be hard to access. You place yourself at the mercy of a force much greater than yourself. I’m humbled every time.



Can you share any transformative or memorable experiences you have had whilst being in the ocean?

I think being on any wave is transformative. Aligning your energy with that force is indescribable, it’s the closest to god I’ve
ever felt.

How do you take time to pause and reconnect with your senses?

When I sense that I am out of body, I close my eyes and consciously take three breaths. This helps to reintroduce
awareness, and some healthy distance between myself and whatever is trying to cross into my physical or psychological

What does the scent of the ocean represent to you?



Explain how scent is interwoven into your experience in and out of the water.

Scent is a visceral experience for me. I use it to open and close chapters of the day. To open the space for surfing, I’ll burn incense on the drive, or apply an oil to my skin before paddling out. It drops me into the body, and signals what we are
about to do together.

It is known that negative ions are naturally created by the environment, including the ocean. They have been shown to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness and more mental energy. How do you feel their presence affects you?

The ocean gives me a kind of total clarity that I’m not able to achieve in another way.


How do you incorporate Basium into your day?

I love to apply Beau, with its grounding notes, just before surfing. It’s nice to bring some earth element with me out on the water, like a little anchor. I rinse off the salt water, and apply Luce to the ends of the hair and body for hydration. Then I
transition to Flora for the rest of the day – its scent helps me hold on to the bright, lucid feeling from a session, and is attuned to the landscape of Hawaii.


Your astrological sign.

Morning ritual.
Wake slowly, drink a glass of water, take a warm shower, make tea, drive to work. If I have the day off, and there are
waves, I’m up before the sun and roll from bed straight into the car.

Evening ritual.
Morning ritual in reverse. I also write to empty the mind, stretch to empty the body.

Currently reading, listening, watching.
Reading Think on These Things, listening to these songs, watching the marine layer burn off in the morning sun.

One thing you’re moving towards.
Necessary action.

One thing you’re moving away from.
Unnecessary thought.

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