When you are healthy and feeling good, living your best life, it’s easy to forget how awful it feels to be unwell. At least it is for me. Last year, I chose to take a much-needed health boot camp vacation to get ready to shoot a feature film. I made it through the grueling hours and emotionally taxing scenes of movie making with surprising ease. I was eating clean and drinking sparkling water – instead of whatever I could get my hands on. After a reset, I was not grazing crafty or fighting the hangovers and repercussions of running around looking for love in all the wrong places. I had a place to put myself – into my work. Then we wrapped. Now what?
I was just settled into a newly purchased home after emerging out the other end of the worst year of my life, having drowned the pain of loss in a good deal of vodka, my go to self medication. When I had enough of that nonsense I decided it was time to get back to life. Fantastic! Of course, a glass of champagne at this charity event, or an after dinner drink there won’t hurt, as long as I am not starting my day with a screw driver right? I am physically and emotionally strong enough now. I am not a mess anymore, right? Wrong. Being clean simply made the slippery slope speed up.
A whirlwind of life events, including earning an acting Emmy award nomination, with multiple cocktail celebrations, began another non-stop schmooze and booze fest. Suddenly I was drinking …again. I was going thru the In-N-Out drive-thru at midnight and skipping yoga and hikes for champagne brunches. I was drinking to get over the last party and ready for the next. I was losing myself…again. Just six weeks after enjoying living extremely clean I felt I was at health and happiness rock bottom… again. I reached out to a select group of friends and family for support. They were there to encourage me but also remind me that ultimately only I, myself could make the decision to get off this roller coaster that was no longer a fun ride.
So, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, I didn’t drink. I resumed eating healthier. I chose to love myself more. I chose life. As I am writing this I am over one year NDA – my self prescribed “No Drinking Allowed”. One day at a time is not always “easy does it.” But it is working for me. I am happier, more confident, and connected than I have been in as long as I can remember. It could of just as easily be “No Donuts Allowed” “No Doubting Allowed” or “ No Dickheads Allowed” – Whatever it is no longer of service to feeling good. To celebrate my one-year NDA I wanted to do something decadent. I thoroughly enjoyed the sunburst oranges and yellows of the California Superbloom and was not in a hurry to plan a trip away from my hometown paradise. “May gray“ and “June gloom” started to clear for a sunny So Cal summer solstice. “Why go anywhere else?” I thought. It is the perfect time to explore the area around my new Oceanside home.
I was recovering from a minor foot surgery that had some major complications. Note: minor surgery should not be called minor. It is not a hangnail. Surgery is cutting your body open, making it vulnerable to needing a second and third surgery and 4 months of IV antibiotics to get rid of a staph infection contracted from having surgery in the first place. It can happen to you. It happened to me. The miracle of the body recovering from such an ordeal is indeed a lesson in patience and gratitude for health. Anyway, no power yoga and 10-mile hikes for me just yet. I was going to spa it up close to home.
I had repeatedly been drawn to Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. I was invited to a friend’s New Year’s Eve wedding there but could not attend when over the Holidays my foot infection began to rear it’s ugly head. Then in March I was contemplating a yoga retreat on the property when a second surgery to clear out the infection, now in the bone, prevented me from participating. Strike 2. However, the third time proved to be a charm when I was asked, as a luxury lifestyle influencer, to finally experience it for myself. What a blessing to be able to use my platform to share some of my personal journey with health and wellness. “If you build it, it will come.”
Omni La Costa Resort is known as the original destination for mind, body, and spirit wellness. Named “Favorite Resort Spa Nationwide” by American Spa, The Spa at La Costa is a relaxing oasis in Carlsbad, CA, just north of San Diego, which uses organic ingredients, sustainable products, and innovative techniques. The outdoor facilities are absolutely lovely with a designated spa pool surrounded by an infinite array of vibrant flowers set against mission inspired white stucco architecture. A quaint herb garden and a spattering of other spa guests luxuriating in their white robes speckle the tranquil California Oasis. Inside, the locker rooms have all the amenities you expect from a 5 Star resort including Roman showers, a large steam room, sauna, whirlpool, cozy lounge areas, and doting staff.
For a signature spa treatment they offered a seasonal massage with cucumber and mint oil made for it’s anti-inflammatory and stress releasing benefits. My whole body, including my still inflamed foot, was in soothing, sensory heaven. I also enjoyed an Osea Anti-Aging Wellness facial with organic bioavailable seaweed and cold pressed essential oils. My normally dry skin was extra dehydrated from months of heavy-duty antibiotics. I soaked up the products and left the treatment room plumped up and ready to face the world all a glow. Exiting my facial I walked along the spa’s rock formation reflexology pathway. This quintessential California spa day was just what the podiatrist ordered.
The Spa Café was simple and sweet. I loved the crab and mango salad with plentiful greens and fun purple potato crisps. They have many light, and not so light, fare options on La Costa’s 200 + acres including a Peet’s coffee, Bob’s Steak house, several bars, and an ice cream shop. La Costa is not the place to go for forced deprivation. You must self-monitor how you want to abstain or indulge.
Speaking of indulgence there are also several shopping options. I especially liked the Live Well shop with a curated selection of the latest Spiritual Gangster and Lululemon active wear. I walked in saying aloud “I do not need any more t-shirts”. I walked out with three. How do you pass up a LOVE MORE inscribed cropped rocker T? I can’t. We all have our vices.
While visiting La Costa I also ventured to The Chopra Center on site. I’m oh so glad I did. They have a plentiful offering of organic oils, crystals, spiritual self-help books and such. Their Ayurvedic Spa works in conjunction with the amenities of The Spa at La Costa. I was eager to try an energy clearing treatment recommended for healing the trauma of surgery, infection and the affects of prolonged antibiotics. Marmas, I learned, are the junction points between the body, mind, and emotions. Using oils specific to my mind-body constitution, or dosha, apparently I have a lot of Pitta, this light circular touch stimulates vital energy points to awaken your inner healing system. I was all for giving it a try and it was indeed delightfully calming. They sent me home with a relaxing mist spray to prolong the affects of the aromatherapy. I have been spraying it on my pillows each night before bed.
I am grateful to have realigned with the mind, body, spirit wellness lifestyle La Costa has been at the luxury forefront of since 1965. As it’s right in my beach house’s back yard I have a feeling I’ll be back for regularly scheduled self-soothing, stay-cations. After all what keeps me happy is consistently doing things that make me feel good. If it’s not a necessity or a “hell yes” it has become a “no”. I enjoy self-care more than the average bear. I love food. Not always the wisest choices either. Sometimes gelato and pizza are the only things that satiate my cravings on the days my hedonist tendencies shift into overdrive. However, for about 80%, ok 70% of the time, I eat pretty darn well. I like walking the dogs on the beach or in the hills. I get a gold star for visiting every yoga studio in my general vicinity. I gravitate to the practice itself as well as the happy, shiny people in the room breathing with me. I still have to force myself to sit quietly and meditate. But it is not as awful as it used to be and I do feel the benefits of turning in and letting go. It turns out meditating is actually much more relaxing than scrolling through Instagram
I’ve also made a point to surround myself with healthy, successful, spiritual people vibrating on high frequencies instead of partners in crime for cocktail parties and purveyors of petty drama. I’ve enjoyed meeting inspiring people in the sober and spiritual communities with a desire to live deep, juicy, fully present lives. My new life goals are more about forgiveness and being kind, to others and myself, than a to do list of things I want to accomplish. Though through this time of transition I have accomplished a lot, including building a happier, more honest relationship with family and friends. The latest film I acted in and executive produced was awarded on the festival circuit, acquired and distributed worldwide and I have five projects in production and development. I am crediting all my current life success to self-care and plenty of trips to the spa…without partaking in the once obligatory poolside Bellini. I’m simply doing more of what I love. I’ve fallen down and gotten back up so many times now I think I am strong enough to stay up for awhile. The view is good from here.