top of page
  • Writer's pictureJessica DeLeo

Updated: Dec 30, 2017

When you build a Sanctuary for the Circus

Location: Princeton

Photographer: Anthony Russo

Non-Profit: T-shirt Humanity Unified

Lessons brought to you by 2017: When you build a Sanctuary for the Circus

1. Trust your gut

2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to Rise to all the occasions in your life

3. Allow others to shine light on your shadows

4. Serve your happiness hand and foot and you’ll selfishly end up serving others 

5. Allow gratitude to be your greatest teacher 

Photographer: David Haws @dchaws

Location: Station House

Acrobat: Ryan Gibson @acroairlines

Trust Your Gut

I’m sitting at the front desk of a business Iv’e helped build, ready and willing to set my 2018 goals. A business I had no idea would be brought into existence when I sat down to write out my goals for 2017. I can’t help but reflect upon the last year of my life. That being said, I’ve realized that 2017 has been the year of the GUT for me. I’ve trusted my gut through and through this year, which plays a rather large part to my, and our, success here at The Movement Sanctuary. It seems that we may all be guilty of this; jumping right into our goals for the next year, without celebrating what we have learned and accomplished in the year that’s passed. Perhaps some of you have already taken the time to practice just this. My gut is telling me, that this reflection is imperative to serve the future.

Location: Teaching with Aaron Tremper at Gratitude Migration

Photographer: Brian Cruikshank @briancruikshank

Surround Yourself...

To start, It feels strange to use the words I, my, me, mine. Perhaps this is a side effect of living in community, building a business with the people you love deeply, constantly trying your best to consider other peoples feelings, thoughts, and dreams. Your ego becomes a WEgo! For now, I’m allowing myself to drop the WEgo.  2017 has taught me that I am strong, patient, kind, loyal, devoted, a few steps closer to confident, and a few shades closer to organized. However, I didn’t learn these lessons alone. I've also learned that I am loved, respected, and viewed as a leader. I don’t say these things lightly, and they have been earned. I am blessed to be surrounded by magical beings that ask everything of me, and I’m honored to rise to the occasion, because We truly Rise Together.  

Location: Philadelphia

Photographer: Keith Reid

Acrobats: Aaron Tremper & Jessica DeLeo

Allow Others...

This intuitive belly of mine, has led me to an unshakable love. This light, has joined forces with the light of another. It takes guts to trust, serve, surrender, and truly listen. Starting a business with your chosen partner can potentially be one of the hardest conquests of your life. Duh... Collaborating with The Acrodude has been the most rewarding challenge, and it takes a village. No one could have prepared us for this. What has helped us a long the way has been our original intentions behind our relationship, and support from the community we have all built. We have both vowed to make a difference in the world through personal growth, action, and truly believe our love is bigger than us. Aaron and I have been forced to look at our shadows more than ever this year. Shadow work can been stifling at times; especially in a warehouse with no A/C in St. Petersburg, Florida. Growth has been our only option, and it seems that we are both of the nightshade verity. And it's through these dark times: the difficult conversations, disagreements, miscommunications, blurred boundaries, that expansion has come to pass.

Location: Playa de Fuego

Photographer: Thomas Carroll

Acrobats: Brian Cruikshank & Jessi DeLeo

Serve your happiness...

I’ve quickly realized that I am a servant to my own happiness, and that the moments of misery have been generated by no one other than myself. In order to keep this place running, it requires hours upon hours of maintenance and meetings on top of meetings. Something, I, and many others, are commanded by daily AND it’s our choice! We have consciously chosen this work, to serve others. We have chosen this path to make a difference, cultivate creative community, inspire others to accomplish the impossible by facing their fears, honor their limits, and condition their bodies to feel the best. We’ve built a space for artists of all kinds to gather, collaborate, inspire, and playfully challenge one another. The results have blown us away and we are less than a year into this journey.  

Location: The Movement Sanctuary First Saturday Warehouse Party

Fire Artist: Angela Marquez

Photographer: Jon Tereshinski


In 2017 I had the Guts to trust my gut AND had the guts to trust others. I allowed two very important people into my life, my life partner Aaron Tremper, and my chosen Sister Erin Yonke. They have shown up for me and our collective vision in ways none of us could have imagined . I can not thank either one of you enough. I am so grateful for the community of people who have shown up for all of us at The Movement Sanctuary. Our teachers, students, volunteers, muralist, aerialist, contortionists, jugglers, fire spinners, acrobats, hoopers, yogis, hand balancers, videographers, photographers, body workers and so many more. Thank you for your time, passion, and commitment. 2017: I didn’t run away to join the circus, but I did help build a circus, and so much more.      

bottom of page