Sunday, May 22, 2016

LAFC coming to DTLA in 2018!

As a newbie to the world of soccer, I am excited to hear that they are building a new soccer stadium in DTLA and debuting a new MLS team in 2018 called Los Angeles Football Club or LAFC. I admit I know very little about soccer but I have slowly been becoming a fan. With this new team coming, it feels like the perfect opportunity to come in at the ground floor as a fan of my city's newest sports team. Yes, there is the LA Galaxy but they are based in Carson. I can actually see myself hoping on the Metro Redline to watch a game. I'm sure I can learn a lot from watching the LA Galaxy, and who knows, I may become a Galaxy fan as well but, LAFC is a team I think I can see LIVE and that is exciting to connect with from the standpoint of "LA City Pride"!

Also, watching a team being formed from the beginning is just what I need. So, I have just under two years to learn all I can about soccer so I can enjoy every moment of my new LA team!

Developing and Unexpected Love of Sports: Cycling & Soccer! Who Knew?!

The earth must is shifting on its axis. Saturday, I found myself enjoying watching NYC vs New York Red Bulls in a soccer match where the Red Bulls blew NYC out of the water 7-0. I actually enjoyed myself and yearning for more. And today, I turned on the tv and got engrossed in the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, watching Mark Cavendish wind the final stage and Julian Alaphilippe win the overall race.

I have never been a follower of sports on television or sports in general to tell the truth. However, I have always had a fondness for cycle racing, largely for sentimental reasons. As a kid my brother Butch and his wife Mary were amateur cycle racers. So much of my  childhood is littered with outings to see them compete. To this day, cycle racing is one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching.

Now as I have three nieces, Butch's girls, who have been involved in soccer for years, I have had a slow growing interest. The truth is I know nothing of the rules of the sport, I have decided to learn what I can. Especially now that LA is looking to bring another soccer team to LA, as they build a new sports arena in DTLA, now seems like a good time. I have often been tempted to go to an LA Galaxy game but Carson is a bit too far for me to want to travel on a regular basis. But if a new team is based in DTLA, I may find myself getting tickets! In the meantime, I can get started and learn a little bit more about the soccer league in America.

I have no idea how to educate myself on the world of soccer but as a native Philadelphian, I might as well check out the team there, compare it with LA Galaxy and wait to see what the new LA team looks like before making a final choice who I will align myself with as a fan. In the meantime, I guess I should scour the web to learn about the sport itself, the key players worldwide etc so I can get the most out of this new adventure.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Birthday: New Year...New Beginning


For the first time in many years, I am excited to welcome my birthday and the official start to an amazing new year of adventure.  This is my time to re-ignite the fuse and let my SPIRIT SOAR.

Now more than ever I am hearing Life's call to LIVE FULLY, COMPLETELY, AND WITH LOVE OVERFLOWING! I'm listening Universe!

If anything has come from my now month-long meditation practice it is a swelling desire to LIVE with JOY and make every day count. I have shed a lot of crap over this last month. In
many ways it feels like I have been preparing for this year's adventure by learning to LET GO of a lot of the negative mental baggage I have been carrying around.

A new chapter has begun TODAY.

for all the wonderful things happening.

I am living the life I have always wanted but I have forgotten to be grateful and enjoy.

I am now grateful. I am choosing to ENJOY everything Life has in store for me!
I am willing to remember what it means to be HAPPY, to LOVE, to LAUGH, to DANCE and to DIVE headfirst into THE FLOW OF LIFE!

I get to choose...
how to live,
how to think,
how to be.

I choose to live from a place of LOVE.   
This is MY GIFT to MYSELF. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Heading to Philly in June!

It's official! I bought my Southwest Airline tickets and will be heading to Philly to visit my family!  Actually my biggest hurdle was finding a friend to take my boy Rusty in for a week. I am truly blessed because my good friend Monse stepped up and agreed to help me out.

Truth be told, I also think it is a healthy thing to step out if the high energy pace of living and pursuing an acting career. in LA. When I go home to Philly, I literally feel my life slowing down. Don't get me wrong I love my Los Angeles life, but a lttle break will be much appreciated.

Given my mum has had her share of health issues lately, this visit is very important to me. I cannot say how grateful I am.

Life is good!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Focus on The JOY: On Set of "Hand of God" Season 2

Friday, I had the good fortune of spending the day doing what I love... acting professionally!!

I was on the set of HAND OF GOD, when I was reminded of what my mother always says when I tell her I have an audition.

"What is for you, is for you."

It's funny how whenever she said it, I would just sigh and think yeah yeah but I want to book it. The truth is my mother's sage advice has become the best perspective I could take to my work.

This simple statement reminded me that I had no need to be nervous or waste a moment entertaining any thoughts of nervousness or fear. As I drove down to the set, I repeated my mother's words and allowed myself to focus on JOY, I set the intention of lapping up every ounce of JOY I could experience from the day from every interaction with the crew to the wonderful director to my playtime with my cast mate.
Kevin D'Arcy & Anastasia Liddeck on set

There is something about staying "present" and "grateful" that opens a door to enjoyment. To my surprise, the sound guy on HAND OF GOD was the same guy who hooked me up for sound on my stint on AMERICAN HORROR STORY last year. Small world. It reminded me again just how much I have to be grateful for.

The day was a blast. I literally enjoyed every single moment. In doing, that I felt such freedom in my work it literally felt like play.

This is going to be my performing ritual moving forward.

Focus on the JOY and everything else will fall into place.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Finding Balance & Setting Priorities

This has been an interesting week. Wednesday morning I received a call from my nephew that my brother Cecil had what is called a "widowmaker" heart attack while he was at the doctor's office for back pain. Thankfully, he was in the best place for this to happen. Luckily, they did not have to open his chest but somehow went in through his leg and put in three stints. Saturday, he called me from his home in Dover, Delaware to assure me he was doing well and on the road to recovery.

My mother, this morning, fell and hit her head, hurt her neck, and had to be admitted to the hospital in Philadelphia.  She is recovering but it was definitely a scare as she is 89 and already suffering from prior falling incidents.

I have not been able to afford to go home in about two years but the "Universe" is telling me I need to make it happen. So, I intend to fly home in mid June. Where the money will come from I don't know but I trust that the money will come and I know it will come.

So what is going on? What am I meant to learn from all these health challenges? What has come to me is how important it is for me to, number one, take a good look at my own state of health. I've recently started a meditation practice and a ritual of going to LA Fitness every morning to workout for an hour. However, the most important thing I have realized is how important it is to never leave things unsaid with those you love.  I live so far away, it is easy to get lost in the busywork of my day-to day "stuff". At the end of the day, no acting job will make up for being disconnected from family. My new challenge will be striking the balance of pursuing my dreams and remaining close to those I love on the other side of the country.

Life continues forward no matter what. It is up to me to make sure I don't miss out on nurturing the relationships in my life that mean the most to me.

My love to all, wherever you are.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Learning to "Listen" and Follow The Current of My Meditation

What a beautiful, sunny Sunday it is here in Los Angeles.  I woke up as planned to do my morning meditation which I did, Now if I were keeping with my new schedule I would have been preparing for my Spanish session followed by a trip to my local LA Fitness. My body had other things in mind.

You see, I spent so much time during Saturday's workout session on an ab machine, my body went into shock. I was able to do some plant shopping at Lowe's directly after my workout. However, after transplanting a rather large Mother-in-Law's Tongue plant into two containers to decorate my bedroom, I found myself unconscious on my bed. I slept until about 2 pm. Much of my Saturday is a bit of a fog as my ever present sore ab muscles made my plans of apartment cleaning a dream I would undertake another day. After publishing my blog post yesterday, my body led me back to bed and I continued to sleep the day away. I woke again sometime in the evening to squeeze in Rusty's second walk around the neighborhood.

Still feeling groggy, we returned home and I relaxed, did my 2nd meditation session before I visited Jordan Bach's website, The Bach Book, where I watched a clip of Oprah Winfrey giving a speech at Stanford on Living A Meaningful Life. It's an inspiring speech. It was late and in the middle of my viewing Lady O, just below my balcony window, an obviously drunk woman sat in the alley of my apartment building and proceeded to scream at her soon to be ex-boyfriend for cheating on her with some woman and keeping it a secret for a year. In the privacy of my own bedroom, I felt like an intruder on their conversation, so Rusty and I took a late night walk. I returned later, finished my inspirational viewing and fell once again into a deep sleep.

I awoke today, now with the rest of my body as sore as my abs still were. LA Fitness was not on today's menu. I am happy to say, I did fit in my Spanish session, albeit later than planned. As if a repeat of Saturday, I fell asleep only to be awakened by a group of women from a neighboring apartment building screaming at each other for some unknown reason. Rusty and I took it as our cue to go for his walk. We returned and, yes, I found myself back in bed. I have only felt this exhausted after running the LA Marathon. While in bed I noticed I had been sleeping next to the second book picked up from The Illiad Bookshop during the week. It is entitled "The Heart of Meditation: pathways to a deeper experience" by Swami Durgananda. Truthfully, I have no idea why I picked it up other than impulse.  I only read the book's Foreword and I realized this book has, in some way, a part to play in the journey I am now on. Swami Durgananda writes:     

"Meditation is the basis for all inner work. We might struggle conscientiously to change our limiting qualities; we might saturate ourselves with instructions and help, both concrete and subtle. Yet in the end, it is the direct, naked encounter with our own Awareness that shifts our understanding of who we are and gives us the power to stand firmly in the center of our being. No one else can do this for us. Only meditation unlocks those doors."

After reading this, I suddenly realized this was in essence exactly what Oprah was talking about in her lecture but I allowed the distraction of the drunk lady under my balcony to overshadow the message I was given.

I find myself in the midst of a mini epiphany. There are so many things going on around me that may seem completely irrelevant but may hold something, whether it be as simple as a thought, or a passing comment that I am meant to hear if I a open to the hearing. So what am I saying?  I have been expecting some big revelation to appear within the silence of my meditation practice, and in the past this is where I would get frustrated and give up. However, what if part of the point of meditation is, the practice of getting quiet in my mind allows me to be aware of messages sent my way through the seemingly random experiences of daily living? What if there is something to be gained by questioning why of all places that woman last night decided to have her drunken rant under my balcony? All of a sudden, every moment of my day has the potential to teach me something.

I would much rather see my life as brimming with endless possibilities for spiritual growth. Listening, living more mindfully, seem to be the inescapable messages the Universe is sending this weekend.