What You Do MATTERS

The Secret to Happiness is in the Smallest of Things
by Jenny Houston
This year has been a doozy, filled with ups & downs, loss, fear, anxiety, grief….
I could go on.
It’s super easy to name the negatives.
And the truth is, there are so many positives that have come from 2020. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-evaluate what is important. There’s been an unveiling, a surfacing, of areas where we’re sick and/or misaligned, both personally and globally.
Distractions like travel and social engagements have been taken from us, and although it feels like a dreadful punishment for most of us, we’ve been given the gift of time, to go inwards and build awareness around how we live our lives and what (and whom) we surround ourselves with. The quality of the foods we eat, the honesty in our relationships, the way we treat our fellow humans, the disfunction of our politics, (etc., etc.) are all impacting who we are, and who we are becoming. And to see it, perhaps for the first time, can be unnerving and rattling… to our very core.
Well, hey….I’m just gonna to give it to you straight. 2020 has turned me upside-down and inside-out. As a business owner, a mother and a partner, and as an individual, I’ve seen parts of myself that I haven’t been happy to see.
And, the good thing is, it’s all in my power to change.
Have you heard this quote before?
“It’s not your fault you’re messed up,
But it’s your fault if you stay that way.”
Oooof.
When I consider how long it’s taken, basically my entire life, to become the person I know myself to be, I can choose compassion when I’m frustrated with outcomes I’m not pleased with. I’m always doing my very best, with what I know at the time.
And when I know better, I have the opportunity to do better.
It’s in our smallest of daily habits where we stitch together the fibre of our beings. This is really hitting home for me.
We may not realize it, but every decision we make impacts our future Self.
Every. Single. Decision.
From what we eat, to our sleeping habits, to our work habits, to how we make and spend money… right down to the thoughts we think about ourselves.
Everything we do matters.
Every moment and every experience accumulates, and over time we’ve carved a path for ourselves that we might be proud to look at, but for most of us, it can be a bit of a rude awakening.
When we get right down to it, we can only blame (or praise!) ourselves for the place we’re at in our lives. No one else makes us choose the burger over the salad, or snooze the alarm, or opt-out on a workout, or arrive to work late on a consistent basis, or hold grudges, or think mean things about the reflection we see in the mirror. These are daily habits.
The good thing is, today we can re-write the ending to our lives! Starting right now, we can all make decisions that over time will impact us in very positive, powerful ways.
We might decide to walk for 30 minutes, or read 10 pages in a thought-provoking book, or name 3 things we’re grateful for… daily.
I invite you to look to places in your life where you feel unhappy, and break it down really small. What is one small change you could make today? And after doing it repeatedly, day after day, do you think you’d be impacted in a very positive way? Absolutely, you would.
However… anything that is going to create a significant amount of change is going to take time, and for a long while you won’t observe any kind of change, at least nothing dramatic. You’re going to want immediate results, especially if you’re reconstructing an area in your life you’ve been very unhappy with. You’ll be very tempted to quit when you’re not quickly shown evidence that your new habits are ‘working’.
With these small daily habits, you’re going to need to practice trust, and patience, and consistency.
If you’d like to know more about creating daily habits that are so small and so easy, I would recommend grabbing the book called “The Slight Edge”. This is where I’ve been gleaning this amazing perspective!
Have You Let Things Slip? (Hey, It’s Okay.)
The reason I’m sharing all of this here is because I’m dreadfully aware of how much we’ve let our (collective) selves slip since mid-March. I can see the impact of time and poor decisions, and letting go of our routines… and I see the downward trajectory it’s created.
{This is ‘the slight edge’ at work, in a not-so-flattering way.}
If we’re going to make decisions anyway, then why not use the slight edge to our advantage?
If you’re one of our regular attendees, congratulations, you’re utilizing the slight edge and applying small, positive, daily habits! Depending on how long you’ve been practicing, you’re either starting to see small incremental changes, or you’ve been observing them on a larger scale for quite a while! I’m curious to hear what it is you do/think in order to continue with a regular yoga practice? What sorts of things do you say to yourself? Do you have an image in mind of your future self and it keeps you motivated?
When you want to say ‘no’, what makes you say ‘yes’ instead?
Well…. for the rest of us who might be slightly behind the daily-practice-of-yoga curve, we’ve got an amazing offer that you might like to consider….
Today, deciding to gift yourself a yoga pass that will get you through to the end of the year might seem sort of insignificant.
But, if you get this pass and you commit to a daily practice of movement, mindfulness & breath, imagine the results you’ll see on December 31st, 2020…. and imagine the new path you’ll be on as you move into the new year!I’m incredibly ecstatic for you, and the amazing results an opportunity like this could do for your wellbeing.

This pass will get you unlimited classes (both virtual and in-studio) and an added perk — you’ll have access to our Poser YOGA library of recorded classes! So there really won’t be a good enough reason for you not to practice every day!  (Except for all the excuses and resistances you’ll conjure up on a daily basis!)

A journey starts with a single step…

So Many Ways to Access Gratitude

I once had a friend say to me,
“Jenny…. have no expectations, and you’ll never be disappointed.”
This comment did not sit well with me.
It sounded so dull, so sad, so…. boring!
How can you look forward to things if you don’t have expectations???
Only recently have I come to understand this very sage, very wise advice.
It’s not really expectations that can harm us, but the attachment we have to certain outcomes, and the meaning we make of them, that can lead to disappointment.
Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but when I want something, or I’m hoping for a certain outcome, I can get pretty specific.
So specific in fact, that there’s very little room for anything BETTER to come my way.
What I mean is, when I decide for myself that I want something, I leave nothing left for the Universe to surprise me with.
My limited expectations leave nothing left to unlimited possibility.
I’ll use this simple example:
Let’s say I’ve painted a beautiful piece of artwork, and I’ve decided I want to sell it. For me, having someone appreciate my artwork enough to want to purchase it is already super exciting, so I timidly ask for $200. In my mind, $200 for a painting is amazing, and beyond what I think someone would be willing to pay.
And then, as the money is being exchanged, they say,
“I like it so much, I’ll give you $1000.”
Hmmm, maybe this isn’t the best example….?
Well… think of your dream job, or your dream home, or your dream relationship, or your dream anything… no matter how fantastic it is in your mind, it’s a limited picture. What if it could be… more?
What if your wildest dreams are beyond what your human mind could fathom??
In this case, not getting what you expected, works out for the better, because you ended up getting MORE than what you wanted.
More importantly, we need to talk about the pain we feel when we don’t get what we want.
Let’s say you have this amazing image/expectation in your mind, and it comes crashing down. You’ve set your expectations high, and you don’t get what you’ve been hoping for.
Likely, you feel disappointed, hurt, unworthy, let down, not good enough, etc.
What if…… NOT getting what you want is the BEST thing that could’ve happened to you?
What if the devastation of not getting what you want has created an opening to something you couldn’t have anticipated, had you gotten what you *thought* was best for you?
This week, I’ve been playing with this concept:
OBSTACLE vs OPPORTUNITY

If something looks like a road block, it’s also a redirection.
Definitely something unexpected, and…. possibly, the BEST thing that could’ve ever happened.
Think of the 90 degree turns in your life; the sharp corners where your direction was completely altered.
You were headed on one path, and everything changed.
You lost your job, a relationship ended, you had a health scare, a loved one passed away… all of these are painful experiences, and any one of them would tear you apart.
Over time, you have changed, because your path has changed.
You can be angry, and dwell on the ‘not getting’….

Or you can trade your expectation for appreciation.
Who are the important people in your life that are only there because you didn’t get what you’d originally intended?
What sorts of things are you doing in your life, that only came from your expectations not being met?
What can you appreciate because you didn’t get what you wanted?
That friend I spoke of at the beginning of this story, with the sage advice on how to avoid disappointment…
it was an ex-boyfriend.
Had that relationship worked out, absolutely none of the wonderful things in my present life would have come true.
I’m so thankful that I didn’t get what I thought I wanted.
What are you so thankful you DIDN’T get?

 

What are You Focusing On?

It seems ‘looking for the good’ in any moment is getting harder and harder.
Challenges just keep coming… and coming!
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
I sure am.There is a phenomenon of the human brain, called ‘stacking‘.

We all do it, and noticing when we’re doing it can be a very useful tool, especially when overwhelm is setting in.

What IS ‘stacking’??
It’s just what you might think it is.
It’s the mental collecting (or stacking) of thoughts: emotions, experiences, expectations, and outcomes.
And as the ‘stack’ gets larger, your emotional state is either higher, or lower… depending on if you’re stacking positive or negative thoughts.

When you’re on a roll and great things are coming at you left, right, and centre… this is positive stacking. You’re getting compliments, you’re feeling good, you’re feeling successful, you’re smiling ear to ear. Your energy is high. Maybe a promotion, or good luck, or a great hair day, or a new relationship, or beautiful weather, or you’re down a few pounds….
You know, those days when nothing can take you down?

Negative stacking is when you’re collecting and tabulating all the ‘bad’ in your life…. health issues, politics, COVID, misunderstandings, climate change, stressful relationships, financial distress, disappointments, online school, family responsibilities…
Ugh… it feels gross and heavy just listing them all in one place.

Look again at the top photo.

The heart wants to stack GOOD things.
The brain wants to stack BAD things.

The next time you’re feeling overloaded, catch yourself, and recognize exactly what you’re listing.
Notice if you’re predominantly stacking negatives.
Then, feel your feet in your shoes…
Take your awareness into you heart and into your belly…
Take a few deeps breaths….
On your inhales, think:
“I am grateful for…..”
As you exhale, list something you’re grateful for.

Do this several rounds.

There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
And the more you pay attention, the more there is to feel thankful for.
Stack your positives and you will very quickly change your emotional state.

Especially during these times, life can bring us down.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling down.
Everyone does, from time to time.
It’s on of the spectrum of normal, natural human emotions.Staying there, and living in the negative is when it’s troublesome.
Your quality of life is where you live emotionally.
Turn on your favourite music.
Take a hot bath.
Take a cold shower.
Go for a walk.
Cuddle with a pet.
Write in your journal.
Break a sweat.
Listen to a funny podcast.
Call a friend.The human spirit is resilient. YOU are resilient.
We need you.
Life can be hard. Life IS hard.And it’s also utterly and completely beautiful.

Our community is here for you. Our team is here for you.
I am here for you.
And you are so loved.

Jenny xo

Thoughts to Consider:
Energetically, what does it feel like in your body when you notice you’ve been living in the negative?
What are some things you do to pull yourself out of a state of overwhelm?
What are you grateful for?

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You xx

As I was addressing Ann’s class this morning, our last class before we temporarily close our physical doors, a few of you said “thank you”.

Wow. It’s such a simple phrase. And it has touched me very deeply. 😭

I’ve been so concerned with figuring out how to maintain our quality services. I’ve been focused on how to *not* disappoint our community.

It didn’t occur to me that my efforts are actually being seen. And appreciated.

Thank YOU. Your support and trust (and the support of our 5th Element community as well) means SO MUCH to me and my family.

I’m thankful I was able to speak to some of you in person before we make this transition. Your kindness feels like a beautiful gift and it’s given me an extra boost of strength and motivation.

These are tough times. And they’re also special times. We have a chance to rise above and make the best of an uncomfortable situation.

I think our resilience will surprise us.

Please continue to support local businesses as you can. We need each other more than ever.

Have a wonderful Sunday. 💜

Love to All, Jenny xx

Zombie Thriller Flash Mob – 6th Year! Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 in Port Angeles

This Thursday marks our 6th year surprising the crowds of Port Angeles, dressed as Zombies and dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller! If you’ve got the time, catch us at one of our venues…. and if you take photos or videos, please share them with us… we’d love to see them!!

Laurel Place Senior Living (1133 E Park Ave) – 1PM
Peninsula College (cafeteria) – 1:15PM
Nols-Port Angeles Branch – 1:30PM
Swain’s General Store – 1:45PM
Safeway (3rd Street location) – 2PM
Country Aire Natural Foods Market  (out front, under the canopy) – 2:30PM
Laurel Street Fountain – 2:45PM

Below are a few photos from last years’ Flash Mob!

Sher Cappa Is Back September 4th, 2019!

Yoga with Sher
with Sher Cappa
Wednesdays 2-3PM
PA location
Sher Cappa is back and her new class will begin September 4th!! This will be a specialized class, focusing on making safe modifications and accepting individual limitations, making accommodations for current physical abilities, and gradually (and safely!) improving on these abilities.
In order for Sher to offer individual assistance, this class will be limited to 10 students. We ask that you be especially mindful of holding a space for yourself in this class. If you cannot make it, please sign yourself off the roster, or let us know at the desk (360.452.6121)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness (FREE Info-Session at Poser YOGA)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness
with Mary Bailey & Candi Griffith
Thursday Aug 15th
7-8PM
Port Angeles location

We are so excited to be able to offer a space for these ladies to share their wealth of knowledge! These two women have many, many topics they are passionate about and we’d love to offer a FREE info-session once a month. We’ll give this first one a try and see what the response is!

We’ll launch with a conversation on DIGESTION.
-Supporting the Stomach and Spleen
-Keeping your Digestive Fire Burning
-The Root Cause of Acid Reflux and Heartburn (this will surprise most people)
Did we mention… IT’S FREE!!

Goat Yoga at Arcadia Farm, Sunday June 23, 2019!

Greetings all goat-lovin’ Yogis! We are very excited to prepare this event for you! We have nearly 60 attendees planning to join us this weekend! We’ve been told that there are 11 babies, ranging 2-3 months old, and 9 full grown sweeties, and they are all very friendly and eager to play! This is going to be a blaaaaast!!

 

The venue is located at 149 Blackbird Lane
Just a few minutes South on Black Diamond Road
600 block of Black Diamond Road; 1/4 mile after the Church on the first hill, turn Left on Blackbird Lane (at which point, please drive slowly)
Sunday June 23 | 12PM
Suggested Donation $5-$10
Proceeds go to Pennies for Quarters

Here is a message from our host, Gail:

Hi everyone! The goats and kids are super excited to meet all the yogis on Sunday! I’d like to remind everyone to please bring your own mat, plenty of water, and sunscreen & hats in case it’s sunny (there’s no shade in the pasture). Please drive slowly on Blackbird Lane (10 mph). We are inside the gate on the end. You can park anywhere on the circular drive that doesn’t block it. If it’s full, you can park along the lane outside.

Time to Practice at Home?

Have you ever practiced Yoga at home? Snowy weekends offer a perfect opportunity to get started! You’ll probably be surprised to see that you know more than you think you do, and you can personalize your practice to exactly what you want and need! Start in Child’s Pose. Then a few Cat/Cow. Back to Child’s Pose… to Down Dog, back to Child’s Pose…. repeat a few times. There you have it.

Here’s an article that suggests a few really great online options…
Click on the image below and check it out!

Send us your pics and show us your favourite posture!!