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What to call in and What to let go
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"Outer strength or physical strength can be seen, it will be admired for personal reasons, and boost self-esteem. It goes with our ego, which can be a deadly weapon because it gives us the power to self-destruct. Outer strength does have some life-saving possibilities, but only for a limited time.

...Inner strength does more than lifting, it can’t be seen but is more powerful of the two. It strengthens, teaching life lessons, and aids in overcoming obstacles life throws at us. Strong on the inside gives us the power to survive the odds, thus allowing us to live our lives by example. Inner strength is admired too, but for different reasons.

Ego and age can’t touch inner strength, because unlike outer strength, it doesn’t need them to survive. It doesn’t go with age, it goes with experience and wisdom so it’s unlimited, and so are the lessons of life. More respect is given to the ones with inner strength because their knowledge, wisdom, and experience are assets that have life-saving possibilities.

Outer strength has a shelf life, inner strength doesn’t. So next time you go shopping for strength, choose the one with the longest shelf life."

- Annelise Lords,
 The Power and Limitations of Inner and Outer Strength
 

August 5, 2021

I am thrilled to be back from New York and can't wait to see you all this weekend and next week. Our vacation away celebrating our anniversary was full of surprises and opportunities to practice levity. We woke up feeling great and carefree, made it to the airport early for our flight to NY. Excited that for the first time in 16 years, flying to NY was only going to take a little over an hour versus 5-6 hours. And then the flight delays came. The first delay was 4 hours. The second delay was 7 hours. I noticed the muscles in my body tense, my throat constrict, my breath shallowing and heat (from anger) rising in my body.

And then I remembered that my card of the day that morning just happened to be the Strength card from the Future Ancestor Tarot by Filipina-American Seattle artist Alexa Villanueva. She has one sentence messages for each card. For Strength it says, "Your power lies in knowing what to call in and when to let go - even when it's hard." Even as I could feel the blood boil to my head, I let out a lioness growl and shook my mane (my head of hair). I decided in that moment that we could choose to harden and take the hard route or we could let go of our plans and choose something different. In that moment we chose to cancel our flight and drive the 9-10 hours to NY...something we would not have been able to do had we lived on the west coast. We love to drive together and chose the path of adventure.

We got our suitcases and then our car and hit the road. We listened to music and podcasts, and took in the changing landscapes as we drove through states between North Carolina and New York. It was 2AM by the time we pulled up in front of our hotel. We were exhausted and invoked levity wherever we could. We checked in to our room and then went back out to find a garage that was open 24/7. Google maps was our friend. We finally found one several blocks from our hotel that wasn't completely out of our price range. And then we realized how hungry we were. There was a hot dog stand on the corner of our hotel so yep, we had hot dogs and a pretzel for "dinner." What unfolded in the days that followed was mix of moments where we needed to choose levity again and again. It was always the same - the choice to hold on to our best laid plans or to let go and allow for something new and different to emerge for us. We had to have the strength to soften and surrender. 

NYC felt weird. It was wonderful to be back and we both noticed the aftereffects of the pandemic - its impact on the city. Tons of business that we used to frequent had closed their doors for good. Other places we often frequented in the past that remained open closed earlier than usual (8PM or 9PM). Homelessness looks to have reached new levels - I was left breathless at the number of people of all ages living on the streets in the Bronx near my mothers place. There was a heavy police presence. Vendors seemed desperate for people to use their services. There were fewer people on the streets so it was easier to move around which was only mildly disappointing as I quite enjoy the sport of weaving in and out of the bustle of NYC pedestrian traffic. Restaurants were extremely short-staffed. We spoke with owners of restaurants we always go to and one had tears in his eyes. He knows we visit every year and he said he is afraid every day that he has to close his doors. He can't operate at 100% capacity, the rent is high, he can't find shift workers, his staff is overstretched, and he has to balance paying the bills and keeping his staff and customers staff (by keeping operations at 60% capacity). He said, "I keep praying for the strength to continue every day." Yes, strength as embodied archetype was all around us. 

We took in the landscape in front of us and realized that our plans needed to change. We knew three people that had gotten Covid despite being vaccinated. We could not put ourselves, or our immune-compromised loves ones, at risk. We went out of our way to minimize riding the subway (not everyone was wearing masks though they were supposed to). We walked everywhere which ended up in some delightful encounters - including "running" into a 5,000 pound, 8.5 foot tall, and 23 foot long bronze gorilla. We leapt into his arms ;). Photo to the right. We ate outdoors as much as we could. My brother's coworker offered to keep our car in his driveway so that we would not have to pay a small fortune to store our car in the city. So we drove up to the Hudson Valley and enjoyed the trees, mountains and rivers. We saw our families several times - my abuela, my mom, my brother his wife and kids, and a surprise - my dear friend Kyle, who I hadn't seen in 13 or 14 years, happened to be in NYC at the same time. He now lives in California so it was a delight to see him in person and to discover that his hotel was adjacent to ours! Gary and I spent our anniversary at the Bronx Botanical Gardens and the next day visited the Cloisters where we went on our first date 23 years ago. It was eerily empty of people and we embraced the spaciousness to leisurely wander throughout the grounds. The vacation felt like a real vacation. It was actually the first time I felt real levity going back "home." There were tons of disappointments but when we could let them go, there was so much lightness to discover. 

This brings me back to the card I got, Strength, the day we left for vacation. The day before we left I had a somatic therapy training session with my small group. One of my colleagues shared that he spent much of his life dedicated to building physical strength as a way to compensate for the vulnerability he felt from within. He said that his sensitivity ran deep and he felt like the slightest comment could tear him apart. I realized something so important in that moment and he and I talked about it --- that the choice to harden, especially when it is provoked for survival purposes, is a defense mechanism. That particular kind of physical strength and posturing is compensating for a perceived weakness from within. We both honored it as something essential for his survival and ability to overcome trauma and he reflected on that it's taken him 38 years to realize that he can soften his hard exterior and dedicate himself to building inner strength and a more open heart. It reminded me of Peih's birthday class, "Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart." A strong back is standing tall aligned from within, a soft front is open and willing to be present to experience, a wild heart is alive and trusting of its life force potential to endure. There were so many moments when I wanted to brace myself, to harden and muscle through over the past two weeks. Each time I pushed myself to soften my muscles and strengthen my resolve from within, and to let myself be willing to be surprised by how life can unfold when I meet it with an open mind, heart and hand. I am humbled by the various embodied expressions of Strength. I look forward to sharing them with you and to learning even more WITH you, together in community. 

A brief update on my aunt as many of you have asked about her. She had a follow-up appointment with her oncologist on my wedding anniversary and I am thrilled to share that there are no signs of cancer in her bladder. She is being monitored for some other vulnerabilities to nearby organs but she is feeling stronger of body and spirit. As she said, she didn't realize how much strength that hope and good news would bring her! And my abuela looked radiant and beautiful. We had several hours visiting together while I was in NY <3. Looking good at 103!

This weekend, in celebration of Leo season and Strength, we dance Lioness: An Embodied Exploration of Pride, Power, Protection & Play. This gorgeous body of work was originally curated and choreographed by my dear friend and Nia teacher Janice Steinberg. I have woven in my own choreographic and storytelling prompts into this body of work - we will truly be embodying the qualities of the Lioness. Next week, the first somatic yoga-dance class of the month (Tues Aug 10) will focus on cultivating qualities associated with inner strength: courage, dignity, compassion, boundaries, confronting fear with kindness and curiosity, and brave tranquility. Then our next ArcanaDance workshop is on Saturday, August 14 - The Dance of Strength: Exploring Bravery & Courage via Tarot & Movement. I hope you can join us. You do not need to have any tarot experience to participate. We will be entering the archetype via guided movement, narrative, self-reflection, and embodied exploration. Cards will be used but if you do not have a deck, Lisa Hirotani White has created an excellent list of online apps (many free) that you can use. Thank you, Lisa! 

Oh before I forget ;), I came home with a massive swollen left eye and some other skin outbreaks. After six hours of attempts, my persistence paid off and I was able to see a doctor. This was a ridiculous process - it should not take a dozen phone calls and being punted from person to person to get an appointment and yet I celebrate and appreciate that I secured one. I am on the mend with medications and ointments and soon we will be able to identify the allergy trigger(s). So if my one eye looks a bit funky this weekend, you know why! Somehow I will work it into the choreography- LOL! 

Can't wait to see you all in our virtual space this weekend and next week,
Jennifer
 

Reminder! Summer Schedule -
For the Summer, I will teach Somos Luceros on Sundays at 10AM PDT and Somatic Yoga-Dance on Tuesdays at 4PM PDT.

A reminder that I am taking Saturdays off this Summer.  
 

Dance with Janice on Saturdays! 



For those of you interested in a Saturday 10AM PDT Zoom class, I highly recommend Janice Steinberg's Nia classes! She is one of our beloved Somos Luceros community members and I dance with her whenever I can. I love her classes and know you will too.  

This Saturday, August 7 at 10AM PDT, Janice is teaching her exquisite routine to the music of Rising Appalachia.
 
To join Janice's Saturday Nia classes (10AM PDT), email her to get on her mailing list. She sends the Zoom link for class via email on the day of class. And like my classes, Janice's classes are donation-based as well.

Email Janice atjanicesteinberg@cox.net

 
 

Somos Luceros

Our weekend classes are called Somos Luceros.

Somos Luceros is a somatic dance practice designed to illuminate the wisdom of your body and cultivate deep embodiment of archetypal qualities that offer lightness, depth and joy. The dance moves are simple and guided by the language of storytelling, opening new chapters in our bodies where we can see and feel our most luminous potential. Release the stories in your body that weigh you down and reclaim your light. In Spanish, Somos means “we are” and Luceros means “bringers of light” or “bright stars.” This name honors my father, my paternal indigenous ancestors in South America, my heritage, and our collective oldest ancestor, the stars. We are dancing bodies of light.


With immense gratitude for your continued support, 
Jennifer

 

Somos Luceros – Lioness: An Embodied Exploration of Pride, Power, Protection & Play (via Zoom)

Date: Sunday, August 8, 2021, at 10:00AM PDT

Time Zones: 10:00AM PDT | 11:00AM MDT | 12:00PM CDT | 1:00PM EDT

Pay what you can in exchange for the class experience.
 

Register for class: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZclf-6orD0vE9xUPwnxjzOtkQUwcwZ_Ootx

Join us on this for Somos Luceros – Lioness: An Embodied Exploration of Pride, Power, Protection & Play to the music of Wiyaala

Lioness is a body of work that was initiated and choreographed by my dear friend Janice Steinberg of Nia San Diego. She and I both fell in love with the music of Wiyaala awhile back. When Janice said she was creating a routine to Wiyaala's music, I asked her if I could learn it. With her blessing I have embodied and reinterpreted Lioness for Somos Luceros.

The lioness is primarily the hunter and leader of their pride (family/community of lions, lioness’ and cubs). They are keenly aware that the survival of their pride is dependent on their skill, strength, speed, agility, courage, and grace. Unlike lions, they retain a sense of playfulness into their adulthood which makes them quite fun and creative. Their roar, used to proclaim their territory and defend their loved ones, can be heard up to two miles away. The lioness teaches us to be self-assured, caring, protective and purposeful.

Lioness is an invitation to explore and embody pride, power, protection, play and proclamation (the lioness’ roar) along with their gifts of grace, agility, strength, courage, and beauty. This body of work has brought me so much joy. I look forward to dancing it with you. And yay - it's Leo season!

The dance moves are simple and guided by the language of storytelling. You are invited to receive the choreography, bring it into your body and make it your own.


Somos Luceros is a somatic dance practice designed to illuminate the wisdom of your body and cultivate deep embodiment of archetypal qualities that offer lightness, depth and joy. The dance moves are simple and guided by the language of storytelling, opening new chapters in our bodies where we can see and feel our most luminous potential. Release the stories in your body that weigh you down and reclaim your light. In Spanish, Somos means “we are” and Luceros means “bringers of light” or “bright stars.” This name honors my father, my paternal indigenous ancestors in South America, my heritage, and our collective oldest ancestor, the stars. We are dancing bodies of light.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the class/meeting.

Pay what you can in exchange for the class experience:


Coming Home to Ourselves Dance-Yoga Practice
Movement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Mantra, and Mudra (via Zoom)


Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Class Time: 4:00PM PT – 5:15PM PT

Time Zones: 4:00PM PDT, 5:00PM MDT, 6:00PM CDT, 7:00PM EDT

Pay what you can in exchange for the class experience.

*If you are unable to attend class live, please email me to rent the recording.

Register:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdeGspz4iH9GeaIA38UVNZvKA6tzNmIL_

Coming Home to Ourselves Dance-Yoga Practice is a somatic dance yoga practice that brings together movement as metaphor and the expanse of yoga with the intent to guide us to deeper embodiment beyond the yoga mat. This practice is about befriending your body and reuniting with it as a sacred beloved and noticing how your mind and body work together to create harmony in your life.

The focus/theme of this class is Cultivating Courage.

For two weeks in August all of my classes will focus on embodying qualities associated with inner strength: courage, dignity, compassion, boundaries, confronting fear with kindness and curiosity, and cultivating brave tranquility. For this class, we will explore aspects of these qualities through our somatic yoga-dance practice.

This class includes simple yoga postures in dance form (alternating fluid movement and stillness), mindfulness prompts, various meditation practices, the application of mantra, mudras, and the weaving in of the rich and deep yoga philosophy that guides us into deeper levels of self-knowing and unity of mind and body. 

Class is 75 minutes. Wear comfortable clothes to move in. Make sure you have a yoga mat or towel. Feel free to also have a blanket or pillow to sit on for the seated portion of class. 

We do not do any weight bearing poses in these classes. This practice is truly gentle and I am working towards making yoga accessible. If you would like to see a sample class, simply email me and I will share the link and password with you. 

If you are new to the language I have used above to describe class, here are some simple guiding definitions:
  • What is Movement? For this class it is body postures in motion. We will take simple yoga asanas (poses) and embody them through a dance that blends fluidity and stillness.
  • What is Mindfulness? A quality of focused awareness to the present moment and of our sensations that includes our body, mind, and emotions. 
  • What is Meditation? Various experiential practices and techniques that support mindfulness and focusing our mind and body. 
  • What is Mantra? A sound, word or group of words (such as affirmations) that aid in mindfulness, meditation and focusing the mind and body. 
  • What is Mudra? Hand and body gestures that both ground and move energy in the body. 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the class/meeting.

Here is the info to make a payment of your choice, in exchange for the class experience: I am YTT 300 certified in the Honor Yoga's Roots cohort via Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute.
 


ArcanaDance™ – The Dance of Strength: Exploring Bravery & Courage via Tarot & Movement (via Zoom)


Date: Saturday, August 14, 2021

Time: 10AM – 12PM PDT, two hours

Time Zones: 10:00AM PDT | 11:00AM MDT | 12:00PM CDT | 1:00PM EDT

Pay what you can in exchange for this two-hour workshop (recommended: $25-$45)

The workshop is two hours, held live via Zoom and will not be recorded.

Register for workshop:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpf-2prT8tGdD93l2RNg3EnZVPoIfpkFp4

Join us for the Dance of Strength: Exploring Bravery & Courage via Tarot & Movement

During this ArcanaDance™ workshop we experience the magic of using tarot, guided movement and music to summon “flexible defiance and brave tranquility” (terms from Chris-Anne Donnelly, creator of the Muse Tarot)

In the tarot, the Strength card represents the archetype of bravery. Strength is a primal call to summon our inner courage when faced with uncertainty and/or adversity.

This is the perfect archetype to explore when you are noticing that fear, doubt and perceptions of weakness are limiting and restricting your life. 

Guided by the voice of Strength, we will bring a somatic infusion of fierce compassion and self-love to embolden our hearts and lives. You are so much stronger than you know!

In this workshop you will:

  • Experience a movement exploration of the qualities of Strength
  • Play with and learn from tarot
  • Discover ways you can cultivate flexible defiance and brave tranquility

 No tarot or dance experience is required.

ArcanaDance™ is a fusion of tarot and movement that feels like dance therapy! Using imagery, music and guided movement prompts, ArcanaDance™ makes personal growth fun, empowering, multidimensional and transformative

Pay what you can in exchange for this two-hour workshop (recommended: $25-$45):

What to bring with you:
A journal, pen, and tarot deck.
If you do not have a tarot deck, Jennifer will send you links to some online apps that you can use for the workshop.
 

*This workshop will not be recorded. ArcanaDance™ experiences are personal. To protect our personal and collective privacy of the group, the workshop will not be recorded.
 

Access/rent recorded classes
 

Video recordings of previous classes, from Somos Luceros and Coming Home to Ourselves Somatic Dance-Yoga Practice, are available for you to move to at your own time.

Simply make a donation and email me with the class(es) you want to rent. I will then send you the link and password. Click on the images below to be directed to the webpage with the list of class recording options. 











 

Donate and then email me:


 


Tarot Sessions


I am scheduling sessions from early September though late-November. I will be taking the month of December off. 

If you would like to get on my calendar for anytime between September and November 2021, get on my schedule sooner than later. There's plenty of time to schedule but my calendar does fill pretty quickly!

These sessions are my lifeblood and I so appreciate your continued support in scheduling appointments and referring your loved ones and friends to me. As you know, I don't advertise. All of my client work has been via referral. For that I am immensely grateful. 

To schedule a session, choose the session type at www.jenniferluceroearle.com/tarot-with-me/sessions and email me your questionnaire.

Tarot Consultation Packages
There are several tarot packages to choose from, including options for multiple one hour to two hour sessions throughout a one year window.

Huge thanks to Brooke Lowe Johnson for the photo (top) above! 
Some of you will recognize this song from the ArcanaDance: Dancing for Hope & Healing with Tarot & Movement workshop, which was our embodiment of the Star tarot card. In the tarot, all major cards have sibling archetypes. Strength and the Star are partners, siblings, the yin and yang to the other. Hope and faith can fortify and magnify our inner strength. 

Enjoy the live version of one of my all time favorite anthems to strength and hope - Hold on by the Sounds of Blackness. And the dancing is fun too! 

Excerpt of lyrics:

Yesterday, a man step to me
He said, "How can you smile
When your world is crumbling down?" I said
"Here's my secret, when I wanna cry
I take a look around and I see that I'm getting by"

And I hold on (hold on)

Change is coming (change is coming)
Hold on (hold on)
Don't you worry (don't worry 'bout a thing)
Hold on (hold on)
You can make it (you can make it)
Hold on (hold on)
Everything (everything will be alright)

...When the troubles of life weigh you down
Just lift your head up (yeah)
(Yeah) yeah yeah (yeah, yeah)
When the love you seek (you seek) is hard to find (ooh)
Don't give up, just be strong, keep the faith

And hold on (hold on)

Change is coming (change is coming)
Hold on (hold on)
Everything (don't worry 'bout a thing)
Is gonna be alright
Said you can make it (you can make it)
Hold on (hold on)
Everything, everything, everything (everything will be alright)
Is gonna be alright"
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Copyright © 2021 ArcanaDance™, Embodied Tarot, and Somos Luceros. All rights reserved.
 
Visit my website: www.jenniferluceroearle.com

Calendar of classes and events: www.jenniferluceroearle.com/calendar

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Everybody, Love Your Body · Greenwood, Fremont and Ravenna · Seattle, WA 98177 · USA

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