What kind of people spend 12 hour days in the woods, or sitting on hay bales, or at ski resorts, or in the mountains, and then end the day with pizza hot tub parties and a lil rose?
My kind of people.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Yeah, well, so is glamour.
Filming and everything that comes along with it is super appealing to me. My teenage self would be like YES this fulfills all type A personality / challenge traits I seek in life as well as the ultimate creative goals of individuality and group projects. Check. Check. Check.
Sometimes, though, you meet a group of people who seriously change your life.
*Cue the music*
I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think about how this would make a great series. Me, talking about these people I met on set, and how our lives all intersected and how we got to where we are, and then we flash five years in the future and it’s awesome and you know, I play myself because. Obviously. OK back to what I was saying.
What became overwhelmingly obvious after spending only two days with this group of people was that we all had been experiencing huge life changes. Each of us in our own way, had made some kind of decision and then bam – this project popped up.
For me that included a complete decimation of my former life, including my home, relationship, and career focus. Never has the phoenix rising from the ashes held so much meaning for me! Fitting I’m posting this on Easter. My career, my mood, my health and overall well being have improved immensely. And I really believe that my new friends have had a big part to do with it.
We all come from different backgrounds, are different ages, and have different life experiences. But as I have had time on the long days to talk with these people one on one and share many non-stop laughs as a group, I realize that we have way more in common than not.
The weird thing about working in film is that you meet people and you spend a ridiculous amount of time with them. You become closer than say you would with a normal acquaintance who maybe you have a beer with once a week or see at a party. The film goes on for several weeks and then it’s over. Every project, whether it’s been film or theater always feels like a break up at the end. You get together, you have this weird routine that will never be replicated again and then suddenly….gone.
I guess my point is that we all spend a lot of time trying to find the right people to have in our lives, when I have realized that all the best people have just come into my life by me just letting them. I really believe good people attract each other and we all have something to learn. Sometimes you gotta just let people in.
I love my life and I am so happy to be around people who really care about what they do and don’t take themselves too seriously.
This next week is going to be a wild ride. From filming, to Tribeca, to major changes, my life is full. So thank you to those people who have been helping me transition into the most beautiful place I have had yet to be so far. I couldn’t do it without you.
Medium Shot: Casey chortles to herself, pets her dog. End Credits.
Today I spoke with a friend of mine who I literally hadn’t spoken to in almost two years. But like with any good friend, solid friend, or as my friend Liz and I say, “Life Friends,” time is of no consequence. We talked about many things, but one thing we did talk about was accidents.
Accidents are usually defined as something that happens that wasn’t expected, that didn’t turn out so great. Other times it is used in place of a coincidence. In my personal experience with accidents, they usually happen at a time when so much is going on, it sort of acts of a punctuation or bridge to clarity. Not always fun, but almost always a wake up call.
My friend and I had both been involved in accidents this winter that could have turned out deadly, to be blunt. Both of our cars were totaled. The situations were very different, but what stuck out to me in both cases was that we were both extremely present, reacted with grace, and somehow managed to end up safe and unharmed.
For me, the accident made me think a lot about taking care of myself. I was very lucky to have been in a safe car and even though it was snowing and so cold I couldn’t feel my toes and the cop was a jerk and it was the icing on my already stressful, dealing-with-a-big-life-change kind of day, I felt a sense of “Okay. Got it. Time to let go of worrying, appreciate what I have, and look out for myself first.”
I met up with a friend for lunch who told me that any time she has ever experienced a motor vehicle accident, she was going through some major work emotionally and psychologically. When big life events happen, I can’t help but look at the big picture of my life and sort of find a thread of how it all ties together.
Most of the time, it’s hard to see it when you’re in it. Other times, a piece of clarity comes out right away. Usually when your life is on the line, you drop a lot of BS.
That’s been something I have had to remind myself a lot in the last month. So much worry and agonizing and pain is only JUST that. It only serves as a distraction from the fact of your beautiful life.
One could say that the people I have been reconnecting with, the people who have left my life, these are all coincidences or accidents. But they aren’t. The fact that I spoke to my friend who is on the other side of the country, living his dream, happy with his career and girlfriend, is not an accident. For me, over on the east coast on this sunny, wintry day, which happens to be a new moon, it underlines a lot of what has been going in in my life.
I had put some dreams on ice for awhile, and now, I’m coming out of a deep hibernation and surrounding myself with people who are pure and full of love and who believe in me and what I do. I feel things thawing out and I feel like myself again.
Also not an accident is the fact that his past week, I have had someone every day tell me I look great and I seem well and that I am even happier than normal. That is a result of events, reflection, and action. No holding back. Just being in the moment. Just waking up to each day and realizing how special it is.
I stopped by the grocery store and was having a really hard time getting a bunch of cilantro in a bag. I looked up and saw a man doing the same thing with one arm, but he did it quickly and easily. The irony of my frustration was not lost on me and I took a moment to take a deep breath and be grateful. Not an accident.
At the store I saw a military acquaintance. He was in line and I thought about how hard it would have been to see him even a month ago. But instead, I walked on by, grateful that I am in a new place and soon will have a completely different environment and way of life.
Each moment of our day is not an accident. Oftentimes, the pieces that are unplanned are the opportunities to be reminded of what we have and who we are becoming. Today reminded me that I am stronger and bigger than anything I have been through. I had my moments of stress like everyone else, but all I had to do was take a step away, breathe, and be grateful. Now is all we really have.
I am a firm believer that laughter breaks up stagnant energy in a person. Or a room. I am usually the one who awkwardly laughs when no one else does if a room gets too serious. It brings you back in the moment and it cheers people up.
Children have the best laughter. Especially babies. And if you don’t think so, you are a miserable person who needs to laugh way more often. So, in honor of kids, and especially those who need a bit extra love, care, and help with illness, I have created this video.
Indi.com is doing something really special with the National Child Awareness Month. People all over the place are creating these videos in order to raise awareness for certain charities that support children.
I’ve been vegan for almost 9 years and I had never once done a juice fast. And just as before I refrained entirely from eating meat products, I had a lot of misconceptions about doing a juice fast. Like..it would be too hard. And wouldn’t I not be able to do anything? Also, is it really THAT good for you?
Over the years, I have regularly incorporated fresh juice into my diet. I have a Breville juicer and I have always felt better when I had juice pre or post workout or first thing in the morning.
Recently, I heard Joe Cross (of the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”) talk about juicing and what really goes on in your body when you juice and how beneficial it is. It was the first time I actually heard my questions answered about juicing and I felt really inspired to just do one! So, my next stop was the Netflix vault where I watched the film.
If you are at all curious about disease in the body and how juicing can help eliminate that, I encourage you to watch this film. Especially for Phil, the 300+ lb trucker. You will be amazed. After watching this film, I thought, “Well, if he can do it, I certainly can!”
Some people who know me were a bit confused as to why I decided to do this. Aren’t you already vegan? Aren’t you already healthy? First of all, yes, I do eat a clean, plant-based diet. But I am not 100% raw, and there is definitely room for improvement. I am a caffeine drinker, I enjoy a nice Malbec, and just like every other person on the planet, I am exposed to pollutants and chemicals in the environment.
Currently, I am on Day 5 of my juice fast and I feel amazing. But let’s back up.
DAY 1 JUICE FAST:
I started off with a really strong juice recipe, as in, very detoxing: beets, lemon, ginger, celery, also…jalapeno, cilantro. I MAY have been starting off a little gung-ho. The juice tasted great, I felt great…and then an hour later I felt nauseated. I didn’t throw up, but this was the beginning of feeling like crap.
I was indeed regular, but I think because I already eat a lot of fiber, I didn’t have what some people experience, which is running to the bathroom constantly. I was just “normal.” I did have to pee constantly, but that’s to be expected.
I drank more juice later in the day, and on the first day I only ended up drinking about four 16 oz servings of juice in total. But by that night, I was kinda cranky, but I wasn’t hungry! On and off nauseated, and I started to develop a head ache.
I woke up wanting to punch the sun.
It was like I was moving through water. I didn’t feel nauseated anymore, but I still had a headache and I was in a very bad mood.
I also took two naps.
I checked my tongue and it was all white (grosss!) BUT health freak that I am, I pointed to my husband and said, “Look! Look! It means it’s working!” This is a common detox side effect. So began the scraping of my tongue on a regular basis!
I drank plenty of juice all day long, but man, I was useless. I wanted to have that super awesome productive zingy energy I was told most people don’t get until Day 4, but I had to settle for dealing with my emotions and not doing much else.
At one point, I did make an herbal tea of cinnamon and mint (weird, right?) which tastes great, but made my tummy hurt awhile later. That is normal for me if I drink tea on an empty stomach, but I didn’t want to push it.
The weirdest thing I noticed? I had pain on the back of my head on the left side, behind my left eye, my lower back on the left, and my left elbow. This may seem random to you, but t me, it was the places where in the past I have occasionally had flare ups from when I was hit by a truck crossing the street. I have done a lot of reading about how scar tissue and other repairs can start to be healed on a cleanse – because your body is finally able to use energy normally going to digestion to HEAL instead.
This was also when my supplemental juices came from Pressed Juicery. I mean, I’m all about making your own fresh juice – but damn if it doesn’t get old cleaning every single piece out and chopping up everything and whine whine whine. From this point on, I alternated between the juice i made and the juices that came in the mail.
Oh and guess what? That night, I could not sleep. Don’t know what that was about.
I woke up feeling much better. The headache and back ache thing would come and go throughout the day, but my energy was much better. I was moving around a lot quicker, and able to actually get work done.
At this point, when I thought about food, it didn’t make me super hungry, but when I smelled it cooking, it smelled soooo amazing.
That is another thing that happens – you smell everything so much clearer. I mean, walking outside, I felt like I could smell the earth and the rocks and the air and the sun and I know I sound crazy, but it’s true! Like Sookie, in Season 1!! (Anyone?)
I smelled the coffee beans on our kitchen counter just to enjoy the smell!
This reminds me, before I forget: I have had on and off sinus issues for the past few years, and I felt some major drainage this day. So I am hoping that’s a good thing.
Woke up with a slight headache. It wasn’t as bad now. No pain anywhere else. I practically jumped out of bed, my body was so buzzy. I was going to go to a Yoga & Abs class!
Even though by this point I had done a ton of research about energy, and how our bodies are actually meant to withstand feast or famine for long stretches, I was still a little nervous about doing an intermediate yoga class.
I pounded a green juice and packed my water and I was off.
OK ready for the weird hippie stuff? While driving, everything seemed sharper(as Joe Cross puts it, senses are heightened so that your body can go hunt and scavenge – already now prepared to be in famine mode) and brighter and honestly, I felt lighter. I mean, at this point, yes I had lost a little bit of weight, but I just mean I felt more energetic.
I got to class, and just did it…I felt energized, I never felt winded*
*Note – The first couple of days in a fast, your body lowers its temperature, as well as blood pressure, so until the intial hunger pang / detox symptoms are over, it is not recommended to jump into an exercise routine.
I did note however, that I felt “hungry” which I hadn’t felt in awhile, so I made sure to drink extra raw coconut water in between juices.
Last night, I also drank half a raw pressed almond milk from Pressed Juicery. And it was flipping delicious.
DAY 5 :
I got up at 4:30am this morning and I didn’t feel groggy. I wanted to do a couple of things in my office before leaving for work at Quinnipiac University. Felt fine!
I drank a parsley, cucumber, lemon and some other combination from Urban Remedy and that was perfect. When I got to Quinnipiac, I started to sip on a Cayenne / Lemon number, just in case I felt some thirst or hunger while I was working as an SP.
The one thing I did forget, was to drink a ton of water! I had some on the way to the school, but I should have really had more when I got there. My throat and mouth felt a bit dry. That was okay, because when I left, I chugged more water and juice on the way home.
I had purchased a cleanse that was low-glycemic, so I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter when I got home.
I juiced: 3 carrots, a snippet of ginger, a green apple, 4 kale leaves, 1 tangelo, and a bunch of red grapes. It hit the spot. I just finished another yummy blend from Urban Remedy, and I probably will have my “dessert” juice when I watch Netflix this evening.
Dessert juice? What?
I have a cacao nib / almond milk blend, as well as a cashew milk blend waiting for me. I did drink Pressed Juicery’s Vanilla Nut Milk Blend (Did you know you can juice a vanilla bean? YEP did that for a couple recipes!), only a half serving because the fat content was so high! Don’t go rolling your eyes – sprouted almond milk is indeed fine because it allows your body to absorb nutrients without absorbing too much fat – that being said, fat takes a lot of energy to digest. So I decided to drink half at a time. Night time is a better time to do this because I won’t be adding anything else in the mix to confuse my digestive tract 🙂
Tomorrow I plan on breaking my fast SLOWLY. By first drinking warm lemon water, then another juice, and then some fruit. From there, I will see how it goes!
Do I think juicing is for everyone? Nope. I think it takes a certain desire and a frame of mind to decide to do this. You should be prepared to face some discomfort and be okay with taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Regardless of whether someone juices or not, I think we all could use a time out of some sort now and then to deal with our emotions and figure out who we really are.
I did this cleanse for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see if I could do it. I love a good challenge. Also, I just felt that I needed to let go of some gunk from the winter and just appreciate things more in general.
Juicing requires you to slow down and savor each moment. It helped me to be more present and also to rethink food habits in general. It’s good to do a clean up / inventory every now and then.
This blog post is probably plenty long enough. I could go on and on and I know I’m probably leaving something out, but if anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them!
Thanks, and Happy Spring!
UPDATE: I haven’t posted this yet, but I wanted to let you know how Day 6, Breaking my Fast went.
BREAKING THE FAST, MAN:
I woke up and drank a green juice and went to a yoga and meditation class. Honestly, at this point, I felt like I could fast for a long time, but I knew I was going to get the itch for like..you know, actual food pretty soon.
When I got home, I drank a delicious Beet / Ginger / Carrot / Apple blend from Urban Remedy and about an hour later, decided to break my fast with fresh pineapple.
It’s a really good idea to break your fast with something juicy in order to reintroduce your body to fiber again. A funny thing I noticed while chewing was that my jaw cracked a few times LOL but besides that, it was great!
For lunch I made a simple veggie broth with a slew of frozen veggies and that tasted sooo good. I think the best part was eating something warm after having pretty much only cold or room temperature juices all week.
For my first dinner back on food I had a salad, kidney beans, and sweet potato fries! It was all good!
In honor of me going on and on about 2016 being a revolution, I am going to periodically post new stuff I am doing. Accountability. Be all You Can Be. And blah, blah blitz..
-Barre Classes – ass kicking and ballerina habit-forming! That sounds weird!
-Street Parking – By this I mean, I have been parking in different places when I work at Yale, or tried driving new routes home from places. You know, switching it up. You know what happens when you do that? You see new things, like a cupcake truck that has only one vegan cupcake left and you get to have it!
-FitBit – Now, I am pretty strict about NOT counting calories and instead using common sense and intuitive eating with my vegan lifestyle. However – that being said – I love counting my damn steps. Running, working out, walking city streets..it becomes a game and who doesn’t love a game?
-One Woman Show – I wrote and performed in my own one woman show. I am working on doing it again over the summer with some rewrites. But I finally did it and it was scary and awesome.
-Bootcamp Classes – DAMN I haven’t sweat like that in a long time. The numbing sensation of breathing so hard (this is quickly sounding like I’m talking about something dirty but I am not apologizing for this) you don’t care anymore, is an awesome feeling. Plus obviously great for the ol’ metabolism and also endorphin producing. I get super talkative and hyper after a sweat-breaking workout*
*When I was in high school and we would go running, my friends used to tease me for the first fifteen minutes post-run. Why? Cause I would say words backwards.
Example: “Hey Casey, where are you going?” Me “I’m French Class going to.”
“Cool socks!” Me “Thanks, I love socks orange!”
-Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Ice Cream: So far, I’ve had the Double Fudge Brownie one (Solid B) and the Coffee Caramel Fudge one (A-) I still have two more to go!
It is a balmy 50 degrees the day after Christmas. It hasn’t been a white one, but I am perfectly content with that. The afterglow of the holiday is still lingering in my house and I am grateful for the opportunity to have my family spend time here over food, drink, games, and stories.
This year in a word has been: unexpected. I could not have predicted the events if I had tried.
Coming off the whirlwind of 2014 with travel around the world, production planning, awards ceremonies, and film premieres, I was left feeling shocked, happy, and a bit unsure of my next step. So, I spent the majority of last winter writing up a storm while trapped inside due to the stormy weather outdoors and did a lot of thinking. Those who know me well may say perhaps too much thinking.
So for me, 2015 was a lot about boiling everything down to the essence of why I was doing art in the first place. It wasn’t until I decided to give up trying to perfect the search of the next “career move” that it found me in a series of fortunate synchronous events.
I made a drastic choice that left a lot of my family and friends scratching their heads. And I couldn’t explain why, but I knew that this year, if I did something completely new and different and perhaps off the course, I would find what I was looking for. I couldn’t explain how I knew this, but I did.
I was right. It took some pain this year and it took some tears, but I arrived at a fresh perspective in my acting work. Right near the end of the year, I landed a wonderful role in a feature film I was able to work on with old friends in the industry, as well as new friends whose work I had admired on the big screen from a young age. Around the time I booked this job, I suddenly had this familiar sense of clarity that I honestly don’t think I have had so viscerally since I first graduated college, determined to make a go of this whole acting business.
I know what to do now because I know how to listen to myself. 2015 was about scraping away the gunk, shaking off the old, unplugging from beliefs and throwing out the same stories to get back to the whole point of performing and bringing joy into other people’s lives by virtue of what I do.
My January 2016 is already booked solid with work. This fall, right after my birthday, I gave myself the best gift of all: the gift of yes and no, determined by no one else but me. I am only going to work on projects that make my heart race with excitement. I am going to work with people who respect my time and want to create beautiful collaborations together. I want to share my creative talents to make the world a healthier and more fun place to be.
You know that Tolkien line, “Not all who wander are lost”? That’s exactly how I feel. I knew I needed to wander a bit to get back to where I was always headed in the first place. I highly recommend wandering, and letting go of the need to control everything. Because once you do, only the important pieces of your life stay in place. The things that are holding you back and holding you down will simply fall away.
Business people might tell you “organization and planning is key” to any successful venture, but I would argue that things need to get messy first. Sign up for that class you always wanted to. Go for a walk. Go drive somewhere and get lost. Once you have struggled a bit, you’ll come back to your office or studio and look at everything in a new light. You’ll know what to throw away, what to keep, and more importantly, what organization principles will work best for you.
Biggest lesson of 2015?
Joy should be easy. And your work should be your joy.
PS. If you haven’t read this book yet, do it. It’s a game changer. But go take a hike first 🙂
My sister and I have been training for the Manchester Road Race. Yesterday I reached 3.25 miles, the longest I have ever ran. For some people that may be something to laugh at, but for me it’s a big deal.
Note of honesty: I actually thought the MRR was a 5k. incorrect. It is 4.748 miles.