Opening the Heart Center in Portland, Oregon

Opening the Heart Center in Portland, Oregon

Bryce Boothe is a vibrant visual artist and a full-blown Aquarius. She has explored many parts of the US and incorporates her inner worlds and outer worlds into her artwork. She is also available for commission-based artwork. 
View more of her artistic designs at www.instagram.com/omnipresentgoddess.

I knew that when I booked flight 111 to Oregon the trip was going to be divine (to say the least). The adventure was presented to me randomly when some acquaintances asked me to join their travels. Knowing I have always longed to visit, I said yes without hesitation.

Upon my arrival at PDX, although I had not slept in 24 hours, a surge of energy rose through me, giving me the power to explore the magical city right away. I spent a few days in Portland observing the culture and art, as well as indulging in the abundance of amazing vegan food. 

Portland is unlike any city and is definitely the weirdest city I have been to…but I like weird. It is the “good” sort of weird that inspires me and brings about joy and laughter. 

The diverse selection of things to do for nature lovers and creators surpassed any expectations I had. One thing I noticed, and that I had thought was pretty cool, was that no matter how hard it was raining, everyone still seemed to be out enjoying the city and the beauty of mother nature.

people on portland's beach

Before heading up to northern Oregon, I spontaneously decided to get my first tattoo which, after some deliberation, ended up being an ankh. The ankh is an Egyptian hieroglyph that symbolizes eternal life. 

It hurt. I was sweating, and I “OM-ed” my way through the entire process, which definitely helped. I felt it radiate from my heart center for the next week, and it felt amazing, as if it had activated something within myself.

That night we drove 3 hours through the pitch black mountain sides of Oregon, and my friend who was driving nearly drove us off a cliff multiple times. Needless to say, there was a strong sense of relief and gratitude when we arrived to the cabin where we would be staying for the rest of the week. 

The next day I woke up and did my daily practice of kundalini yoga in the 40-degree, rainy weather. Feeling vitalized with the essence of God, I felt so in tune with where I was in the present moment, that it felt like my life away from Oregon was just a distant memory. Our cabin resided on a forested mountain and was a 10 minute walk away from the Pacific Ocean. 

looking out over the pacific ocean

After my kriyas (aka my yogic practices), I walked to the ocean where I got to see the immense beauty of the Pacific for the first time in my life. It was stormy, the waves were high, and the deep green mountains topped with snow surrounded me. 

I saw smoke rising into the sky from one of the mountains and realized that Oregon actually has active volcanoes. When I say that Oregon is beautiful, I mean that it is literally breathtaking. Beyond the physical allure, there is a sort of energy in the air that I have yet to feel somewhere else. 

It truly felt that I was on psychedelics the entire week despite the fact that I was sober. I mean, this place made it so easy for me to recognize my connection to the source of everything. I saw my reflection in the mountains, the storms, the ancient trees and the waves of the ocean.

 

With the group that I came with, I drove a couple more hours to another mountain. It was the largest mountain I had ever seen. It took us about an hour just to drive up to the part where we would be hiking.

waterfalls near portland

Throughout the hour drive, I was in awe as I watched the weather change from the sun shining intensely, to the rain pouring, the snow falling, and then clear skies emerging. We used the rest of the daylight hiking for hours through the redwoods around the mountain. These trees had to be thousands of years old, and wider and taller than any other tree I’ve seen before. 

Oregon was full of first time experiences and sights for me.

Feeling the euphoria of the kundalini energy, I ran through the mountainsides as fast as I could, just laughing. In this moment I connected deeply to the child within my heart who longed for this sense of purity, playfulness, and adventure for so many years. 

As I connected with my inner child, I let my guard down; I let go of any attachment or expectations and allowed myself to be free in the now. I was out of breath but did not stop running because it was liberating to be running on the edge of a mountain, in the heart of nature. 

I then came upon a long, swaying, wooden bridge that dangled heights over a waterfall that flowed down from a clifftop. I stopped just to breathe and observe the view that was incomparable to any other. Here, I felt a sense of home that I had been searching for my entire life. I left that sense of home there because for some reason, I have not found it anywhere else.

walking over an old wooden bridge

As the days passed by, I continued to take part in my morning meditation. One day I invited my friends to join me. As we were tuning into the pranic forces (or the invisible life energy in everything), the sacred kundalini energy shot up my spine in synchronicity with my friend who had never had such an experience before. 

The energy tingled like electricity and felt orgasmic. Each of our chakras were activated and aligned in the same moment. I felt pure unconditional love and bliss flow through my spine and radiate from my magnetic field. I was reminded that enlightenment is something each of us already possess and cannot be sought anywhere but within. I felt beyond thankful for the trees as I acknowledged that they were giving me the ability to breath and passing on their wisdom to me.

The same day we headed to a sea cove on the ocean shoreline where I watched the deep blue waves come and go. I could not help but notice the way the birds flew by so effortlessly. There was no resistance.

beautiful boulders in the pacific ocean

From my observations, I witnessed what it looks like to surrender to change, and from there on out I decided to embody that quality which I admire about the natural things in life. 

I learned that change is an inevitable process and saw the beauty in it, when in the past, it was something that I feared. I now understand that it is a lot easier to move with change than to try to defy the laws of nature.

Before these divine travels came to an end, we returned to Portland where I spent a day by myself just wandering, getting lost, spending hours at the bookstore, conversing with strangers, and learning more about who I am as a person. 

At this point, my energy was truly enhanced; the way I felt was comparable to taking a dose of LSD. Though, on the train ride to the airport, I ended up missing my stop and getting lost. 

On the train, as I passed by tents of homeless people lined up for miles, many were not close to being sober, and trash covered the sacred grounds. My heart ached and I started crying because I was not used to seeing people live like that. I tried to imagine myself in their position, wondering what it was that led them there, and I sent my love out to the community because that was all I could really do. 

I got off somewhere unknown at about 11 pm. It was dark, and intuitively I felt anxiety, something which is usually a warning sign for me.

neon sign in portland 

A man on a bike came up to me speaking very quickly. He told me I was in the most dangerous area surrounding the city and I asked him how to get to the airport. Fortunately, he gave me a sense of direction at the time I needed it most. 

All I saw around me were people who looked more like zombies than human beings. Their eyes hung low and their mouths were wide open. Some of them even approached me while being completely dissociated from reality. The man on the bike waited for the train to leave my side, which I greatly appreciated. 

Although my experience there brought about a sense of healing and oneness, there is a huge issue with drugs in Portland, such as meth and heroin. There are also a lot of crimes against women that people do not speak of, and of course, homelessness. 

Observing my surroundings in an area like that, the illusion of duality became visible to me once again. 

At last, my train came and I headed on my way only to get lost again. I ended up sitting next to an old homeless man who just smiled rather than spoke, as well as a young woman and a young man who talked quite a bit. These strangers gave me further direction. 

As I waited for my next stop, the four of us got to talking and we found out that we were all born under the sign of Aquarius. The woman and I even shared the same birthday. I felt like that had to have a deeper meaning to it, and it brought about an angelic feeling. 

I realized that I am never truly alone.

sunset over the pacific ocean

No matter where I went or how lost I was, God was always there, shining through other people to guide me.

Traveling throughout Oregon was my most sacred travel experience. I returned to Michigan healed and inspired. 

To be general, the main lesson that was shown to me was to go after the things I want in life, because in some way or another, in the future they are already mine. I also learned never to doubt myself, and to enjoy each moment of my journey. 

There is no final destination other than unity. Life always goes on. Everything is always evolving. 

But, the most essential thing is to count your blessings and to just be present in every moment which we are given the opportunity to exist in. Nothing other than change is a sure thing, and this is why releasing attachment and expectations is so beneficial to building a stronger relationship with yourself and with other beings. 

Oregon has inspired me to continue to explore the vast nature of this planet, because Mother Gaia has so much to offer and teach us if we listen

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