What you focus on expands: SE Clinton street art:)

I’ve been switching up a lot of life things lately. One major thing is this new job, of course, but with that comes a whole host of other changes — some super exciting, some super sad. And with those changes comes the mental gymnastics of what to focus on, what to spend energy thinking about, where to send my psyche.

For the last few weeks, helping me along this process, I’ve been following the advice from a sweet little piece of street art I often pass on SE Clinton Street:


(the bitty blue sign is what matters. Heh — and the fact that it matches (sort of) my blue handlebars and waterbottle;)


The sign is made by artist Dawn Furstenberg (there’s an awesome article about her on BikePortland if you want to learn more), and she leaves them up along SE Clinton and, apparently, NE Tillamook just to brighten your day. At least, they definitely make me happy, and often, like this one, they sink deeply into my soul.

“What you focus on expands.”

I’ve been trying to take that to heart: I could be cranky and sad, or dwell on the things I’m leaving behind, but the more I think about that, the bigger it gets in my mind, and the harder to remember what’s good. Better to spend my energy on the many things I’m excited about, think about how to expand those into the rest of my life, focus on optimism and possibility and enthusiasm until I realize that I’ve left so little space for sadness or doubt that I’ve almost forgotten it entirely.

Generally speaking, I think I’m pretty good at this, but especially when a lot changes at once and I’m not so sure about all of it, it’s nice to see a friendly reminder that I have control over what I allow to grow in my mind. Every time I bike up Clinton. It’s like a sweet little encouraging hug:)

Like her other signs, this one will probably also eventually disappear to someone’s home — according to the BikePortland article, she encourages people to take them down and bring them home if they need them. I’ve actually seriously considered taking this one and putting it up in my room, since it’s become my personal motto. But instead I leave it up and take pictures so it stays up for other people to see, and I try to incorporate it into my life instead of my decoration.

And I keep focusing on what I want to get bigger in my soul. Yay for street art and for people like Dawn Furstenberg sharing their little happinesses with the rest of us, reminding me to do the same.

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