lessons learned in portland

Oh, so many lessons. They only continued as I touched down onto LA ground. 


BRINGING HEALTHY FOOD TO THE AIRPORT IS THE BEST IDEA - This may seem like a very obvious idea, but I hadn't done it before until yesterday. I eat pretty clean at home, but find myself buying all sorts of weird things at airports (Starbucks, french fries). In the past, my awareness of what this did to my body wasn't as strong. But after this trip, I realize that I need consistency with my food, especially when traveling. I've had a ton of food allergies since I was a baby, so certain foods are crucial for vitality, grounding and mood. 

MIRROR, MIRROR - Again, this isn't a new concept for me, but it really hit home this trip. I've always found that the universe will mirror my belief systems, often in harsh ways ie a man saying something negative about my body bc i think that about myself. This teaching was on high volume on the last day, after speaking about a particular area of my life where I have guilt. Hello, karma! Luckily I have meditation and yoga to help clear some of this, so that it can stop showing up in my reality. 

THE NEWS CAN BE COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING, AS CAN PACKED BUSES - Duh. For the past couple of days, I felt like I was oscillating between happy and afraid. Grateful and petrified. 

PRIVATE SPACE - Should never be taken for granted.

SELF REVELATIONS- The process of art making will reveal so much. Perhaps more so when done in a group, especially when you read your new work out loud. Pain comes through the voice. It now has a place to be birthed, when it wouldn’t normally reveal itself. It’s surprising. Uncomfortable, at best, but one must push on. Keep reading. Keep writing. So that the truth has no where to go but out. 

EXTRA TIME - Giving myself extra time for airport check ins and bus stops helps reduce stress levels greatly. 

GUILT - I am carrying a lot of this. All over portland and most likely, at home, too. Consciously or unconsciously, for various reasons. I know it isn’t helpful. Not useful for the kind of life I am trying to lead. Not helpful to those who struggle or suffer. The kind of lives, that when compared to mine, by me, lead to more guilt. No one needs my guilt. Not me, not the world. Currently looking for all of the ways to transmute this (karmic/patterned) feeling. 

INTROVERT - I need a lot of alone time to recharge. I guess I knew this, but maybe not to the extent that I know it now. After living like a semi hermit for several months, I was needing people. Community. And so I entered it with trepidation and found good things. But through doing this, I realized how quickly I can become depleted, especially if my food is off or I'm not sleeping enough or doing my meditations. Self care and prioritizing my needs are crucial to success. This way I can be an extroverted introvert, in and of the world, happily. 

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS - I experienced this a lot in portland, both firsthand and as a bystander. A woman on the bus gave me the extra 50 cents I needed. I watched a young man help an old lady to her seat. Another woman sat next to me at brunch and ended up giving me her number, in case I had any questions while visiting. She also wrote out a list of all of her favorite places. Her and her friends were happy to meet a fellow east coaster. My Airbnb roomie gifted me her bagels and cream cheese. I didn’t eat them, but I was grateful for the gesture. The woman I sat next to on the plane helped me wiggle out of my coat when it was stuck. She also told me deeply funny stories. Kindness is everything these days. 

CODA - It's official- I am totally codependent. This wasn't surprising, but I am aware of it now in a new way. I want other people's approval. I want to make them happy. To make sure they feel ok and that I am not effecting them in a negative way. So if you see me at a Codependency Anonymous meeting soon, make sure to say hi. ;) 




Photo: Lani Trock

Kenna Conway