I’LL HAVE A BLUE CHRISTMAS BY ABIGAIL SPENCER
ACTRESS ABIGAIL SPENCER, STAR OF NEXT MONTH'S OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, SHARES MEMORIES FROM A RENEWING RETREAT IN COSTA RICA TO CELEBRATE OUR ESCAPE ISSUE.
No truer words have been spoken (sung) than those of Elvis by way of Presly into my life this past Christmas. I’m a little late on the uptake in my review on what going to a Blue Zone to a tiny jungle destination at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers on the coast between Cabuya and Montezuma on the Pacific Ocean of the Central American Haven, from the sometimes murky waters of “busy” that is the Los Angeles of it all, was like…but in true Pura Vida style, I will banish the negative vibes and forge ahead.
I actually went to Costa Rica earlier last year. The first week of April to be exact, in a very different frame of mind. In a different frame. Without frame. I was transitioning out of my home, out of a relationship, out of an illness, out of the past, out of taking a few months off for the first time since my father had passed the year prior. I was in deep transition and found myself a little stuck. Like quicksand stuck. Like, um, yeah, this isn’t getting any better stuck.
After taking to my bed one too many times for my liking, I reached out to my dear friend, actress and newly minted yoga retreat creator and owner Perrey Reeves, who is a personal guru and picture of health. She immediately said, “Abby, get to Costa Rica. We just opened the retreat and you need to go. It will change your life.” Without hesitation, I got on the email horn and sent a “call to action” to a few friends to join me on the excursion. I warned them if would be intentional, and that it would be an adventure. Six friends were up for the task, and we pioneered south on many, many different airplanes (some prop-like), finding ourselves dropped at the basin of a beach, a jungle and two rivers. A car can’t get you to the retreat, so we loaded our things into a “gator” and got to walking. I was exhilarated. No idea what to expect and filled with that strange breathing that happens after you realize you actually haven’t been breathing for a good year.
More than that, I would be flanked by four good friends and four complete strangers on our journey. Twenty-seven mosquito bites, a jungle rash, a massage, seven days of yoga and three five-star, all-organic vegetarian cuisine meals a day. Two waterfall walks, one surf trip up the coast, and one terrible sunburn turned tan later…I was cleansed. Somehow renewed. The jungle can hold my pain-that was our mantra. The jungle can hold our pain. I was made new, and all of us consented the trip was life changing…and the best trip we had ever been on.
You see, we were in a Blue Zone. There are six in the world. Blue Zones are places where they have discovered that people live longer and are happier, more so here than anywhere on the planet. They are highly oxygenated and there’s a deep sense of community. You know, where people say…hi.
So I ventured back this Christmas for a “Blue Christmas.” This time in a very different place. Literally. Figuratively. I moved into some new digs since my last trip to Costa Rica. I was in the middle of shooting a movie called Beautiful Now, and since my Blue Zone experience, had shot my series Rectify-from the producers of Breaking Bad that premieres on April 22 and that I’m so proud of-an Audi spot, an Indie film Kilimanjaro with Brian Geraghty that recently made it into SXSW, the indie film One Heart, the season finale of Suits (revisiting the great character Aaron Korsch created, Scott), premiered the deeply personalChasing Mavericks, finished writing my second feature, deep in the throws of raising a four-year-old…and had oddly and profoundly found and was open to love. I took my love to Costa Rica to see what it had in store for me this time around. Here are my pictures from the journey. Hope you enjoy. Find your Blue Zone.