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New Moon No. 14, Spring

LUMEN  LETTERS

Waterfall Minnewaska State Park
capturing footage for GROUND+CENTER in Minnewaska State Park

“Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes.”
 
David Bowie

Hey there <<First Name>>,

I've been on a bit of a Bowie kick since experiencing the David Bowie is exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum this past weekend, and have rediscovered my love for his music and otherworldly artistic expressions at just the right time. I first fell in love with David Bowie during my high school years, very much during my own phase of rebellion in self-expression and the quintessential trying on of different identities during teenage years. Now, a decade later, his music, various personas, and messages resonate with a streak of nostalgia for that sense of figuring out who I am. Being in the thick of one of the biggest transitions I've experienced in quite some time, I'm reminded of the possibility for transformation during a time like this. Wherever you go, there you are. But wherever you go, colors who you are. Who will I be in Portland? As a newcomer? Will my east coast, New Yorker identity be slowly washed away with each Pacific Northwest rain shower? Change has always held an immense duality for me, as it does for many. An elated welcoming for what's to come, a bittersweet fear surrounding what will be lost. People keep inquiring, "Are you excited? Are you ready? Are you scared?" I'm all of these things, and so much more, sometimes simultaneously, which definitely adds to the lurking sense of overwhelm. With transitions and changes being a very strong current carrying me through life these days, I thought I'd take this final Lumen Letter I'll be writing in my sweet Brooklyn home to share what I've been seeking to steady my sense of self during this wavering time. David Bowie's music being one them. 
MIND
 
Staying sane when there's what seems like a never-ending to do list for this big transition from one coast to the other is a tall order. I'm not going to pretend I'm remaining super zen and grounded at all times amidst the sometimes overwhelming moments that are just par for the course with a transition like this one. I've felt the screws coming a bit loose from time to time over the past few weeks. I'm human. I'm also a human that's a mover. In the past, a dance class or yoga practice has been my go to for securing my sanity. Those are still very helpful for me at this time, but what I've found to be my ultimate mind-focusing, or perhaps, mind-distracting practice as of lately is training Krav Maga. I've been training Krav Maga, the tactical mixed-martial art and self-defense fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces, for about 3 months now. This has been one of the more effective ways to get in my body and out of my to do list mindset, constantly reinforcing that I'm not made of glass; I can withstand a lot of external pressures and not break. Letting that reality set in as much as possible roots me in my strong, perseverant sense of sanity. So if you're feeling a little crazed these days, or interested in picking up a martial art that serves to empower oneself and instill an efficient self-defense strategy, give Krav Maga a shot. You may even wind up with some cool Krav tattoos (read: bruises, battle wounds) to show you can take some hits in life and not break down. In fact, you may even find yourself getting stronger and more resilient. 
 
BODY
 
When the cortisol levels rise, you better believe your body takes a toll. While I daydream of full body massages, my foam roller replaces the fantasy. Getting out to the Catskills to say goodbye to the mountains I first slept on sounds so lovely, but I'll graciously take a day hike in the Hudson Valley with the Catskill Mountains in the far off distance. In addition to the technical moving to do list, there's a fun farewell NYC list that will most definitely have some items left uncrossed. I could run rampant during my last weeks in NYC, attempting to get everything done on all the lists, just to arrive in Portland battered and broken. If I'm already sacrificing my health to get all of the not so fun moving tasks completed, I might as well continue with this subtle form of self-abuse to do all the fun things too, right? WRONG. Luckily, my FOMO isn't as strong as my sense of self-worth and with that, self-care...although it's more like self-preservation these days. Finding a healthy balance between work and play, healthful practices and indulgent ones, has always been my modus operandi, and as of lately, it's being tested. When in doubt, opt for a piece of dark chocolate and carry onward. Chocolate as medicine, my friends. One might call this a slippery slope. I call it my saving grace. All in all, your body is best suited to handle the trying times of big changes when you're making decisions that will reflect sustainable longevity rather than inevitable breakdown. 

 SPIRIT


My community, my tribe, my support system. I get by with a little help from my friends. From escaping NYC for a day hike to passing on the wisdom of sourdough bread making, rainy park strolls filled with nourishing conversation, reuniting with dear friends, whether at my women's gathering or the old neighborhood place where we used to kick it, and receiving the nurturing warmth of my mother's embrace, these relationships have provided me with a sense of security that I can lean into and feel sustained by during times of transition. While the nature of many of my relationships are going through their own transition with my relocation to the other side of the country, the spirit of what I share with each of these special individuals in my life will live on, no matter the time and distance that comes between us. 

Lessons from the elements,
on transition and change:
let the fluidity of water carry you,
the grounded presence of earth encompass you,
follow the wind's guidance,
embody the alchemizing power of fire. 
Connected to all, past and present; spirit.
Remember you are well prepared.
After all, from birth to death,
life is one big transition.



Luminous love,
Jessica

feminine farewell

a women's gathering

Friday May 18th, 6pm - 8pm in Prospect Park

Circle up in the park I'm so deeply fond of with this community we've created together to gather for the last NYC women's gathering 'til I return in the fall!

event details
GROUND+CENTER unboxed

GROUND+CENTER unboxed

debut of Ground and Center project by Jessica McCarthy + Kitfox Valentín

Saturday May 19th, 8pm - 11pm @ Arts On Site May Performance Party


+ photographic print exhibition

+ short film screening

 

featuring co-creation with Ryan Gallagher 
 

event details


follow @groundandcenter on Instagram 

Align yourself with the energy of the spring season. Explore the Spring Elixirs line to discover which elixir is your ally this spring season.

Stay in touch, wherever we may wander!
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