Hi! We’re Stephen and Jane. Aka My Five Acres.
We’re passionate about having an adventurous life, ’cause why have a boring one?
Instead of shrinking into the box created for us by society, we choose to expand—our minds, our hearts, and our lives—every single day.
Meditation and yoga have helped us recognize what thrills us and what makes us miserable. They have helped us find the courage to pursue our own happiness. They help us to keep growing, learning, changing, and most of all—adventuring.
We started My Five Acres to inspire you…
We want to help you chase your own adventure, no matter what it is, no matter how crazy. What do you want out of life? We want to help you get that!
How will we do that?
- We share everything we’ve learned right here on My Five Acres.
- We teach Adventure Yoga workshops around the world.
Hang out with us for a while and here’s what you’ll get:
- Inspiration to grab life by the scruff of the neck and OWN it
- A kick in the butt when you’re procrastinating or losing focus
- Skills to deal with all the crap that gets in your way
- The three Cs: courage, clarity, and confidence
- A community of kick-ass people who can bolster you when things get tough
This life-changing stuff isn’t easy, folks.
It’s freaking hard work and it’s definitely not for everybody. If you don’t ache for something MORE from life with every fiber of your being, then go back to Buzzfeed and chill. My Five Acres can’t do anything for you.
For everyone else, keep reading!
Adventure Yoga: Adventure Begins at OM
Adventure Begins at OM is our catchphrase, our life philosophy, and our very own hashtag. It sums up everything we hold dear in life. So what the heck does it mean?
Let’s start with adventure…
An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity
To us, adventure is the opposite of “normal”. It’s taking the path less travelled and, just like the definition says, striving for something unusual and exciting out of life. Your adventure won’t be the same as ours, and ours won’t be the same as anyone else’s.
And yeah, adventure can be hazardous—especially to boredom, complacency, and mediocrity.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho
Our sense of adventure has led us around the world, to the most incredible experiences, and to a fantastic community of like-minded friends. But it’s not just about travel.
In fact, it doesn’t have to involve travel at all.
Adventure is about shaking up your life and following what’s in your heart, instead of following the path dictated to you by your friends, family, and culture.
Remember when we said that having an adventurous life isn’t easy?
To really go for it in life, you need to know exactly what you want, you need to an endless well of courage, and you need the confidence to go out on a limb and stay there.
Where are you going to find all that?
The good news is you already have everything you need—it’s deep inside of you.
Which brings us to…
A mystic syllable, considered the most sacred mantra. It appears at the beginning and end of most Sanskrit recitations, prayers, and texts.
Om marks the beginning of our yoga practice and the truth is, yoga has helped both of us find:
- The clarity to discover our innermost desires
- The courage to face our fears
- The confidence to work for our dreams
No joke. No bullshit.
“How the hell can stretching do all that?” you might ask. While yoga may seem like a physical practice designed to make you fit and healthy, it is far more than that.
“Words cannot convey the value of yoga—it has to be experienced.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga is a practice of slowing down, of making space for yourself, of listening to yourself, and learning how to skillfully navigate the world. The practice of questioning the world—everything you take for granted, everything your family expects of you, everything you read on the internet, everything your yoga teacher tells you—lets you bring more of YOU into your life.
(Are you questioning what you just read? Are you skeptical about yoga’s power to create change? Awesome. You are definitely in the right place. Don’t believe us. We want you to see it for yourself.)
That’s why we say Adventure Begins at OM. Adventure starts deep inside you. Yoga helps you discover what it is you want to do or be, and with work, you can wield your inner power to achieve that dream.
In our Adventure Yoga workshops, Stephen teaches you to listen FOR your heart and to listen TO it. He’ll focus on increasing your confidence and strength so you have the courage to take the next step towards your adventure—whatever it is that you want out of life.
Are you still with us?
Our last 20 years in three minutes or less.
On our first weekend mini-break back in 1994, we went camping on the astonishingly beautiful Saltspring Island. We haven’t stopped getting out into the world since.
In 1997, we took off from Vancouver for a backpacking trip around Europe. During that trip, we saw way too many churches, slept in the world’s worst hostels, and then we broke up. Instead of coming home when we ran out of money, we moved to London, fought a lot, and then we got married.
Stephen’s job was to babysit rock bands; meanwhile, Jane was playing in her own 60s-inspired rock band, The Lollies. When we could find the time, we travelled, visiting every country in Western Europe.
After getting sick of London’s pubs and the terminally dull weather, we took an eye-opening 6-month trip through Morrocco, Egypt, and the Middle East before moving to LA. In LA, Jane accidentally got sucked into the Hellmouth of corporate America while Stephen discovered his calling as a yoga teacher.
Seven years later, the US had chewed us up and spit us out (in other words, our visa expired). That’s when we decided it would be a smart idea to cycle around the world. And it was.
Those 18 months, 22 countries, and 16,000 km of pedalling were awesome, breath-taking, mind-altering, holy-smoking, staggering, shocking and utterly life-changing.
As you might expect, we learned a metric fuckton of stuff, from the terminally practical to the absolutely whimsical.
If you’re an adventure-seeker, we want to share everything we’ve learned with you (and to learn from you in return).
If you can handle some discomfort on the path to a more adventurous life…
If you’re ready to face the challenges of breaking a new path…
If you are driven to expand outside of the box society wants you to be in…
You’re in the right place.
We’ll give you a hand staying on track through the hard times and keep you focused during the amazing times.
“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” – Baruch Spinoza
Yes, it takes courage. Yes, it takes putting up with your parents asking you when you’ll get a real job. And yes, your friends might be jealous or resentful or just plain think you’re weird.
Adventure is not for everyone. The world doesn’t make it easy to live weird: family and friends don’t get it, employers are confused by it, and banks, governments and other red-tape-loving officials actively discourage it.
The status quo says we SHOULD work in a neon-lit office, have 2.5 kids and two cars in the garage. Above all, we shouldn’t make waves.
We’d rather face these daily challenges than be comfortably numb.
If you would, too, then let’s go make your life excellent!
What the heck does My Five Acres mean?
There’s a finite amount of land in the world. If you divided it equally between all the people on earth, we’d each get about five acres (two hectares) to supply all of our food, clothing, houses, electricity… everything. Right now, in the Western world, we each use almost 5 times that. My Five Acres is a reminder to tread lightly, whether we’re across the globe or right at home.
11 things you might already know about us.
- We are both Canadian.
- We’re both British.
- Some people think we’re crazy, but we’re not.
- Stephen teaches yoga around the world.
- Jane is a very good writer.
- We’re vegan (about 98% of the time).
- We don’t do the same things as everyone else.
- Stephen loves coffee. And beer.
- Jane loves chocolate—the darker the better.
- We rode our bicycles around the world (almost).
- We’re passionate about minimizing our impact on the planet.
And 22 things you probably don’t know.
- Stephen is a politics junkie. He probably knows more about the politicians in your country than you do.
- Jane was in a 60s-inspired girl group called The Lollies.
- We’ve met most of our idols—and usually been disappointed.
- Jane cries during almost every movie and TV show. Commercials sometimes too.
- We climbed the fence at Glastonbury in 1998. Mud city.
- Stephen was arrested in London. Jane had to pick him up from the police station at 4am.
- Jane hates almost all music from the 70s. Hates it.
- Jane would love to see So You Think You Can Dance live.
- Stephen loves Miley Cyrus. Jane does not.
- With our friend Kris (under pseudonyms) we started an awesome zine called Slampiece.
- Stephen crashed Jane’s car in 1997. The insurance money funded our 1998 trip around Europe.
- Jane can’t go inside a pet store. It’s too sad.
- The first record Stephen owned was the Muppet Movie Soundtrack. He won it at church.
- Once we didn’t pay for our train ticket and had to run through Liverpool Street station to escape the guards.
- Jane’s favourite book is A Room with a View.
- Jane has seen Clueless at least 20 times.
- The first concert Jane went to was Platinum Blonde, a Canadian 80s hair band.
- Stephen’s was Crowded House with Richard Thompson.
- Jane once played bass on stage with Neil Finn.
- We’ve been married for 15 years.
- Stephen bites his nails. All the freaking time.
- We watch Elf every Christmas. Smiling’s our favourite!
OK, that’s the whole shebang. If you made it this far, you’re probably looking for something awesome from life. Yay you!
Come like us over on Facebook where we’ll get started awesomeing all over the place. ♥
Happy adventures, Stephen & Jane