Get Your Saturday Night Fever Strut Back

Get Your Saturday Night Fever Strut Back

 

When I was in my mid forties, I said to myself – Antonia, you need to move more to keep your body ticking over and feeling confident in your body.

The things I first tried were very much in the wheelhouse of what we do in the US – strive, push yourself, excel – go past your edge.

Into my teens, I did competitive gymnastics – nothing too high falutin, but I got used to practicing, practicing, practicing until I nailed a routine – and then fell down and got back up on the balance beam. The beam was my best and favorite apparatus.

This was my experience, what I was used to in movement – so thirty years later I sought out a similar experience without giving it a thought. Isn’t that what we tend to do – go with what we know? Yet midlife is a new song in the musical of our lives and we can’t use the same tunes. I wasn’t in tune with the movement.

My body and I were no longer intuitively in sync. We didn’t have that easy, unthinking understanding. There we miscommunications – umbrage was taken. I got the feeling my body wanted to stalk off in disgust. I was not on good terms with my body, and I couldn’t get my head around it.

Then I found yoga, little knowing how it was going to change all aspects of my life.

As I held my first downward facing dog, as I lifted into a high crescent lunge, as I held these poses and connected to my breath – I felt a deep release, a sense of calm and an opening up of space with profound receptivity. I surrendered to the feeling.

This is the amazing part about yoga. Instead of pounding away, you gain the expansiveness of the slow hatha that I enjoy and teach. You hold poses for a while, enabling you to gain strength in your body. You move, yes – but it’s not fast and furious, it’s slower and intentional. You feel the power of your breath and feel at home in your body – perhaps for the first time.

Before you know it – this translates into your body feeling strong and you feeling confident in your body.
The two of you are speaking the same language and are working as a team. Your mind comes back into a feeling of balance and harmony because as you connect to your body, ​
​you begin to understand who you are, those conversations with your body start to give you the confidence to feel your truth.


The next thing you know, you’re striding down the street – holding yourself differently because you feel strong and in tune with your body. You start to like yourself. Perhaps you are even on the verge of a Saturday Night Fever strut.

You’ve got your midlife body mojo.

With yoga, your body doesn’t feel pounded into submission – if feels fueled with strength and confidence. This is the gateway to the full on effect yoga has on your life.

 

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

Become friends with your body.

We’re very negative about your bodies, aren’t we – always finding fault. We don’t like this and we don’t like that. We’re too something and not enough something else.

We say things to ourselves like, “just look at that nose.”

So often these are messages we hear from our parents or from society – right. You know this and you realize it’s happening but still you look in the mirror and frown at your body or – even deeper – don’t want to look at your body at all.

Can you relate?

Midlife brings another layer of gloomy perception, as we watch our body changing. It’s all too easy to get caught up in this loop and feel more dejected and droopy so that you’re increasingly at sea.

It truly doesn’t have to be this way – your body is changing but it hasn’t given up on you.

This happened to me. In my mid forties I looked myself in the eye and said – Antonia, you need to find an activity to keep your body humming. Long walks are wonderful for body and soul, but it’s time to take charge of your midlife body and keep it ticking. At that point – that’s what I thought ‘take charge’ of my body meant. I learnt that my thinking needed to change too.

I tried this, that and the other. It was those push, push push, feel the burn forms of exercise we do in the west.

It wasn’t til I tried yoga that I realized what hadn’t been doing it for me.

Why is pounding your body the ultimate? Why is feeling the burn always the best?

In the west we think that our mind should control our body and that our body is under the power of our mind.

I started to see how wrongheaded this was.

It’s even been happening in yoga – all those tie-yourself-in-knots poses!

That might be why you haven’t considered yoga as a way to start feeling good in your body. It looks far too crazy.

Let’s be clear – that’s not traditional yoga. Traditional yoga is made to help you become friends with your body. Connect with yourself

As I began to move on the mat, I felt a space begin to open up. The slow pace, the way I held the pose, the way I began to become one with the pose helped me receive.

I heard my body. I understood what it was telling me. I tuned into its messages and how they varied from day to day. I began to have conversations with my body ‘oh hello legs, back is telling you that I should bend my knees in Downward Facing Dog today’. ‘My goodness arms, you’re positively fizzing.”

My body and I began to have a positive relationship. We started to understand each other. My body blossomed – perhaps because it was heard and appreciated.

When was the last time you appreciated your body?

It’s not something we’re taught so it doesn’t cross our mind. Let’s change that.

Yoga opened me up to my body’s voice because we got to know each other and value each other.

I realized my body had things to contribute and shouldn’t be shut out of the conversation or ignored or told to pipe down.

My body began to lose the resentment it had from being ignored and became an active partner in my well being.

My body changed and my mind did too.

To adapt an idea from my teacher Guru Singh – yoga is the feng shui of the body. It gets your body properly aligned and the energy flowing the right way. It’s how you feel at home in your body.

Are you ready to feel at home in your body – and your mind?
Let’s chat!

An old printing press gave me a frisson of history – how does that relate to yoga?

Something you might not know about me is that I spent decades as a Historian. I researched, digging into the past, putting puzzle pieces together to create a picture of what happened way back then. Sometimes the pieces were murky and sometimes there were holes in the puzzle but I loved creating a coherent picture. I’ve always been interested in how to connect to the post and in what we receive from days gone by. I love actually being able to touch it and get that frisson of History.

Back in the mid-nineties I went with my father to his native Hungary. I’d been there with him a number of times prior but this was the first time I’d visited since the change. It was also our last trip there.  We stayed in a little flat in Buda and I enjoyed going to the Farmers Market to get wonderful fresh fruit and veg. It was spring and the weather was lovely so we spent a lot of time outside walking and enjoying the city, chatting about the Hungary of dad’s childhood and Hungary then. We spent long, languid evenings with family friends I hadn’t seen in ages enjoying a leisurely dinner.

Dad and I were also avid museum-goers and liked nothing more than an afternoon spent at a museum followed by a brisk walk to shake out the cobwebs and then a pastry or two with tea or coffee, the better to chew over our experience. The museum visit that gave me an incredible pulse of History, right from back in the day, left us with a lot to discuss.

There was a printing press visible as we entered the next exhibition room. I went over to have a look at it – lingering, fascinated. The older lady sitting in the room spoke to my father animatedly in Hungarian for quite a while. Somehow she sensed its importance to me.

‘She said’, my father told me, ‘that this is the actual printing press the famous Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi used to print up his call to action poem Nemzeti Dal which he then declaimed on the steps of the Hungarian National Museum, sparking the 1848 Hungarian Revolution.’

‘What’s more’, dad continued, ‘it’s still working and she says she’d help you print some copies.’

I could hardly compute and then couldn’t believe my luck – or was it simply luck.

I put my hand on this old, heavy, massive printing press and through its chill I felt a shot of electricity charge into my body, giving a connection to the people who gathered clandestinely, risking their freedom to bring about a better world. The ink squelched, the large gears turned smoothly – finally the paper peeled off. I held the poem in my hand, the words strong and black, formed in exactly the same way as those women and men had done nearly a century and a half before. 

I always feel the pulse of history through my veins. It’s part of what attracts me to yoga. I love learning about yoga not just through today but also researching what yoga was and how people practiced it back through the centuries, seeing it through a different lens. It gives a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding and a way to gather yoga so it’s relevant to today that has infused my own practice and can enrich yours, giving a connection to yourself and your body so you can step forward into midlife with clarity and confidence and zest. 

Find a translation of Nemzeti Dal here
https://hungarytoday.hu/march-15th-sandor-petofis…/


Find a short digest for the 1848 revolutions that swept Europe here.
https://www.britannica.com/…/The-Revolutions-of-1848

Find a more in depth discussion here.
https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/the-revolutions-of-1848/

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training: 40 Day Kriya

I’m on day 34 of my latest 40 Day Kriya. It’s a profound and challenging practice, not just physically – each day feels different and emotions well up and sometimes even roil.

This is the third 40 Day Kriya I’ve done – the difference is, it’s part of my Kundalini yoga teacher training. I am learning and distilling from these experiences to create a modern approach to ancient yoga that will help you find your midlife mojo.

When you do a 40 Day Kriya, you do the same yoga practice each day – to uplift your energy. Kundalini yoga is about raising energy, so if you miss a day you should start again from the beginning as the you’ve lost the momentum.

Kundalini yoga is also about challenging you in this safe environment so that you feel more confident and capable when facing real life challenges. That’s a bit like when you were a child and read a scary book.

All of these 40 Day Kriyas give me something different, deepen my relationship with myself and help me grow – become a better version of myself. That’s not always easy. It’s a bit of a crazy ride – my relationship with my Kriya has varied wildly each day as I’m doing it.

The first enabled me to move through a difficult and stressful situation with grace and the faith that it would all work out. This is huge, as I’m not always the calmest person. I wrote a couple of blog post about it that you can see here:
https://bit.ly/KriyaMindBodyConnection
https://bit.ly/fluidityblog

The second one was what introduced me to the ‘moving meditation’ part of Kundalini yoga – the slow, strong, straightforward, repetitive movements. I love how this helps me move into that pause so the quiet is beautifully tangible and I can tune into my own voice and hear myself clearly. It makes meditation accessible.

This third one is a bit of poser. It’s definitely a stretch and a challenge. It’s a bit like when you go on holiday with a friend for the first time only to find out that the two of you aren’t brilliantly matched for travel. Overall, it’s a fine experience, you enjoyed each other and enjoyed the experience, yet you’re better off traveling with someone else, whose rhythms more match your own. There’s a feeling of a need to accommodate not a natural flow. There’s a lack of ease in the relationship.

The 40 Day Kriya is very rewarding and ultimately gives me great strength and confidence. I think when this is finished, I’ll do a variety of kriya’s for my daily practice rather than go straight into another 40 Day Kriya.

It’s not all a hard slog and challenge – I’ve just been enjoying a Kriya that has a meditation for joy. The exuberance is effervescent.

Stay tuned for more thoughts and insights as I continue my Kundalini teacher training.

What are you loving and what is challenging you at the moment? Tell me about it.

Check out my moving meditations in the Units part of my group
https://bit.ly/midlifeuplifted

What my Mum Taught Me about Using My Privilege

What my Mum Taught Me
about White Privilege

 

When I was about ten, my mother gave me a lesson in using my privilege. I didn’t know it at the time, but what she modeled has framed how I live my life.

It was about 1977 and my father and I drove to Kennedy Airport to collect my mother. The breeze from the open car windows was more of a hot breath than a cooling fan. I didn’t mind – that was normal back then – I was just excited to see mum. She’d been in London visiting her parents. We often went together, but this time it was a solo trip.

When we all finally reunited, the talk flowed – fast and bright, like a flock of parrots. On the drive home, mum told stories about the flight. It was a different time in the world, yet the same.

Speaking up with your privilege 

As a green card holder, mum had to go through immigration. ‘I was next in the queue,’ she said, ‘when I heard an immigration official giving an Indian woman the third degree. There the poor woman was, exhausted, with tired and grumpy young children clinging to her and this officious official was giving her a hard time.’ Something had to be done.

‘Excuse me,’ said mum in her English accent. ‘Why are you being so rude to this woman? She’s just had a long flight. Do you really want this to be her first impression of the United States?’

‘Well,’ mum continued, her voice becoming more indignant as she got further into her story, ‘then he wanted to hustle me through so I’d stop Making a Scene. I said to him, “It’s not me you should helping like this – it’s that poor woman and her children who look at the end of their tether”.’

At that point, the official wound in his neck and finished processing the South Asian family.

Shaping your children

My parents always stood up and were counted. They couldn’t stand bullying or mistreatment. Their race and background put them in a position where they could speak up and make a difference – and they did.

I was exposed to this all my childhood. I didn’t even really see it as anything unusual – it was just the normal warp and weave of my life. When you had it in your power and you saw something wrong you called it out, you just did. Without realizing, these actions of my parents made me into someone who also stands up.

How are you shaping your children? How, as a society, are we shaping our children? There are many ways to change the world a little bit at a time and many ways for us to educate ourselves and act. One way to change the world is to be aware of the messages you are sending your kids.

Yoga teaches us that we are all connected and it encourages us to stop seeing someone as ‘other’ and start noting our similarities as well as appreciate our differences. It will not surprise you to hear that my mum was the type of the person who genuinely reached out to everyone. She would get the cabbie’s whole life story by the end of the ride. After all, she would say, we’re all in the same bloody human predicament.

Find certainty in yourself, even when there isn’t certainty in the world

 

If you’re coming out of lockdown feeling stressed figuring out a whole new way of engaging with the outside world, yoga can give you conviction as you step into the new normal.

Yoga to Step Into the New Normal – $97 for a $232 value
🌼 We’ll have a private session together to give you individualized yoga strategies and coaching to support you right now. You’ll be able to tap into your clarity and confidence in interacting with this new world – today and in the future.

🎁 Bonus – Access to the Yoga to Recalibrate in Uncertain times online course that will help you when the overwhelm hits giving you yoga techniques on and off the mat to regain your equilibrium. You can dip into it any time suitable to you. This course can be taken as separate modules, or you can complete the course in an hour.

Yoga Gives Us Clarity Over Who We Are in Our Midlife Chapter

Yoga Gives Us Clarity
Over Who We Are

 

As we enter midlife, it often feels like there’s endings without beginnings. It’s a time where there is so much change – change for the bad. Yet why are we buying into that! Midlife can and should be a wonderful time. Time to dig into this assumption.

Yoga helped me make this journey – it led me to see midlife as an exciting new chapter.  Yoga can help you too through giving you clarity over who you are.

Yoga Gets You Strutting

It’s time to make friends with your changing body – no good will come of being at odds with it.  Being negative about our body is ingrained in us from an early ago – it’s time to break that habit.

The beauty of yoga is that it it not only gets your body humming, it creates that mind body connection so you begin to hear your body an understand it more. Maybe it’s the poses themselves, maybe it’s the linking of breath and movement, maybe it’s because yoga reduces stress and grounds you – whatever the reason, the magic of yoga is that it gets you and your body having a conversation.

You’ll start to feel more connected to your body and more confident in your own body. In fact, you might start strutting like I did – I got a full on Saturday Night Fever thing going!

Then Yoga Gives Us Clarity Over Who We Are

You’ll start to notice that the chatter you hear is relentless and not even your own voice, in fact – it’s drowning you out. Who are these voices so full of these rules and shoulds that you follow and do they have your best interests at heart.

As women, we tend to put ourselves last don’t we?

As we enter midlife, our youth orientated society tells us what we can and can’t wear, tells us we are invisible, past our prime!

What’s up with that?

(Check out my blog on style Dress Your Identity and why it’s even more important in midlife)

Yoga – on and off the mat – cuts through this noise so you are able to tune back into your own beat, your own rhythm – and see if it matches the drum you’ve been marching to. You’ll start to know know what you want to keep and what you want to jettison.

You’ll find yourself gaining clarity and confidence in who you want to be in midlife. You’ll begin to feel it’s an exciting new chapter, and yoga helps you get there.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com

Unsure how to gain clarity?
This lovely self authority meditation is a great place to start.

Want to go deeper? Check out these prompts and excercises

Confidence Navigating a Situation – Confidence in Yourself

Confidence Navigating a Situation – Confidence in Yourself

 



When you are supported stepping out of your comfort zone, it has the most amazing knock on effects. It goes so far beyond, helping you assess situations with confidence.  

Yoga helps you get the space and the quiet to separate out what the voices in your brain are saying. You can figure out which ones you want to dismiss as false narrators. That could be something like a parent’s voice saying ‘you’re useless, you can’t get anything right’.

This is how you can gain self confidence – scroll to the bottom for free breathwork to get you started.

 
Becoming Independent as a Child
 
My parents always wanted me to feel that I could navigate any situation and I learnt Independence a young age. When I was about 14, I started to visit family friends in France for half term. This was logistically fairly complicated, involving buying tickets for the train and the ferry, traveling across Paris by Metro to get another train out to Orleans where these friends lived. I did the trip many times, always looking forward to the warmth and enjoyment at the end of the journey.

Sizing up a Situation

One trip when I was about 16, I boarded the train at the Port of Boulogne to find it heaving – sardines doesn’t do it justice. I barely found a corner for my bag, sitting on it and standing through the several hours it took to get to Paris.
 
On the way back I was aghast to see the train was going to be equally crowded. What to do? I sized up the situation and went to sit in first class, paying the supplement with the credit card I had on my parent’s account. Still, I was trepidatious when I told my parents – but they gave me a big pat on the back.

Yoga Helps You Get that Confidence – it’s never too late

 

Yoga, self confidence
 
 
Yoga helps you get the space and the quiet to separate out what the voices in your brain are saying. You can figure out which ones you want to dismiss as false narrators. That could be something like a parent’s voice saying ‘you’re useless, you can’t get anything right’.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com
 

Curious how to do this – enjoy this pranayama / breathwork  Self Authority

Dig even deeper with these free exercises!

The Importance of Support in Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

The Importance of Support in Getting Out of Comfort Zone

 

Do you hesitate to take on new challenges because you’re absolutely convinced you’ll flat on your face? It’s always difficult to step out of your comfort zone and because of that you need support. Did you get that support when you were a child?

comfort zone, yoga, support

Were You Thrown in at the Deep End – without being taught to swim?

Perhaps you were thrown in at the deep end without being taught to swim. Talk about setting someone up for failure. This happened to someone I’ve coached. She was just expected to ‘get things’ when she was a child. Somehow it was considered normal by the adults in her life that she could just step up and do something new and scary with absolutely no guidance.

As a result, she felt like all she ever did was fail. It’s still really hard for her to put herself out there because in the back of her mind she still thinks there’s no way that she can actually succeed when stepping out of her comfort zone. She’s had to do a lot of work to realize that she’s not destined to fail and I’m very proud of the progress she’s made – and her success.

The Importance of Support – It Can Make All The Difference

I understand the importance of support, the feeling that someone has your back and to know that even if it doesn’t work out it’s not the end of the world. You can you make it work next time. This is because that’s exactly how my parents acted.

One time when my mother literally role played with me sticks out in my memory. I was about six years old and we were staying with my grandparents in London. Mum wanted me to call Paddington Station to ask about train times. This seemed far too scary for me and I baulked. Mum would never have made me call, but she suggested that we role play the call. Doing that made all the difference.

I realized it was not a difficult thing to do after all and I felt like I’d worked out the kinks during the rehearsal. The role playing gave me the confidence to go ahead and call Paddington. I got the information we needed!

If mom had said ‘just do it’ in an annoyed voice, I would bottled and felt small. As it was, that bit of support was all I needed – and I remember how it gave me such a boost to be able to step out of my comfort zone that way.

comfort zone, yoga, support

The Importance of Support – It’s Never Too Late

You can still get guidance and support, I can help and yoga can help. 

When you do a yoga practice, it’s the support you give your body and the support your body gives you that helps you out of your comfort zone.

Try this: getting out of your comfort zone is stepping back pushing and thrusting to get to a more difficult variation. Getting out of your comfort zone is going deeper into the pose and seeing what that tells you.

Want to work with me –  send me an email to chat about how I can help you.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com

Check out my free meditation – click here to get to it directly

 

Self Confidence – how we get it and how Yoga builds it

Self Confidence – how we get it and how Yoga builds it

click here
take me straight to the journaling prompts  pdf

Being Set Up For Success

 
My parents felt it paramount that they raise me to feel like I can always take care of myself. People tend to say I give off an aura of competence and that’s something I believe everyone can and should develop.  My mother would talk me through something I thought was a sticky wicket – sometimes even role playing with me. This gave me the confidence that I could do it. My parents built up my belief in my own ability to navigate any situation.
 
You should always feel you have the ability to change or navigate a situation. That doesn’t necessarily mean you know the answers or take charge, it doesn’t mean you know everything or even that you always make the best decisions. It’s about an innate sense of the ability to rely on yourself to see you through and do what’s best for you. It’s about believing in your own abilities.
 
So often people are brought up to be reliant and they don’t trust themselves. This is the crux of it – it’s that lack of trust in their own ability to look after themselves.
 
It keeps people – more women than men – in bad situations and impedes them living the life they should. Yet you can build up your self confidence.
 
Self Confidence

Yoga and Developing Self Confidence

 
The physical and mental aspects of yoga are just right to help expand self confidence

Physical

As your body gains strength you’ll find yourself striding out with more assurance in your body and more general confidence.
 
As you move through your practice, as you do your pranayama breath work, you’ll ground and feel more centered, calmer. This promotes your ability to trust in yourself.

Mental

When you are in a place of more calm, when you feel more grounded – you’ll find the space and quiet to cut through the noise and the mind’s chatter. 

You’ll start to see what has undermined your belief in yourself and where it came from. Maybe you were thrown in at the metaphorical  deep without being taught to swim, rather than being buttressed and coached – and this taught you that you were a failure. 

Yoga helps you see and embrace your competences and not doubt yourself. It will help you learn to size up a situation and know that you can rely on yourself to see it through.

Ready to give it a whirl – here are some journaling prompts – my gift to you.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com

click here
take me straight to the journaling prompts  pdf

I recommend you get the breath work too and then answer the questions again. What differences do you notice?

Epilogue: What Does Living a Self Confident Live Look Like – take a look at Isabella Bird Bishop

n 1836, when Isabella Bird Bishop was no more than five, she sneaked out of her sick bed where she had been told to stay in no uncertain terms. Isabella was desperate to see the bed of ranunculus that were in glorious bloom.  That’s what was important to her – the flowers
 
Isabella was born with an adventurous spirit and a quirky one. She marched to her own drum. Isabella travelled extensively all over the world, writing well-received books about her trips. She went on many literal journeys yet like so many of us, the course of the journey of her life was greatly influenced by her childhood. It was a life of high adventure and mundane duty. It was full of highs and lows. It was a life where Isabella was securely at the helm. We may not wish a life like hers – but surely we all wish for a life of such self confidence.
 
Childhood Shapes You
 
As a very young child, Isabella would ride in front of her father, encouraged to observe the world in front of her. He would point out what they saw and explain the things they passed. This gave Isabella an interest in observing what was going on in front of her and understanding it. She developed keen and accurate powers of observation and this, along with the way her words painted a picture gave Isabella’s books their lift and led her to be the first woman elected to the Royal Geographical Society.
 
Isabella’s father was a cleric and Isabella was brought up in an atmosphere of causes and service to the community. Her family was progressive and politically active as well as being very involved in good works for father’s parishes. Isabella was quick witted and spoke her own mind, which, unlike many Victorian parents, her parents did not quash. Six year old Isabella asked the local MP, “did you tell my father my sister was so pretty because you wanted his vote?” She obviously also had a keen understanding of human motivations and how the world worked.
 
Isabella Becomes an Adventurer – and balances this with home commitments
 
Isabella began her global explorations when she was in her early Twenties. On the advice of her doctor to take a sea voyage, Isabella set sail for Canada. It was that happenstance which set Isabella on a different road. She knew her own mind and she seized the opportunity, travelling around Canada and the US for ten months before returning to the UK and writing a book about her impressions and experiences. This set a pattern of travelling and writing about her adventures that she repeated throughout her life.
 
After this trip, Isabella travelled in the UK but it was years before she went abroad again. Isabella had summered in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland since childhood and continued to spend time there. Echoing her upbringing, she threw herself into helping the local crofters who were facing the potato famine and also aided Hebrides Islanders emigrating to Canada with their paperwork and by writing  about them to people she knew to ease their arrival. Isabella even made new wardrobes and eased the emigrating crofters on their way, making sure of a good landing. Being of service was woven into the fabric of Isabella’s life from childhood and it never wavered.
 
Yet Isabella grew restless, she felt the call of the open sea again. She had set up home with her sister and while busy and engaged she began chafing at the same old round of life. Isabella felt unfulfilled. She would leave the UK again and again.
 
Isabella wrote during her at the start of her next voyage – a journey to Australia: 
“At last I am in love, and the old sea-god has so stolen my heart and penetrated my soul that I seriously feel that hereafter, though I must be else- where in body, I shall be with him in spirit ! My two friends on board this ship have several times told me that I have imbibed the very spirit of the sea. It is to me like living in a new world, so free, so fresh, so vital, so careless, so unfettered, so full of interest that one grudges being asleep; and, instead of carrying cares and worries and thoughts of the morrow to bed with one to keep one awake, one falls asleep at once to wake to another day in which one knows that there can be nothing to annoy one no door-bells, no “please mems,” no dirt, no bills, no demands of any kind, no vain attempts to overtake all one knows one should do. Above all, no nervousness, and no conventionalities, no dressing. It sounds a hideously selfish life, but in the inevitably intimate association of people in all circumstances for months of almost entire isolation, human relations spring up and human interests and in some instances warm feelings of regard, which have a tendency to keep selfishness in a degree under.
 
 
In 1872, Isabella sailed for Australia and then Hawaii and the Continental US, returning to Britain in 1873. This set another pattern of Isabella returning home, writing about her adventures and doing her duty then setting off again to discover a different part of the world to visit and write about – Japan, Korea … . 
 
In between, Isabella nursed her beloved sister Henrietta as she was dying of Typhoid and later saw her husband through his last illness. She was always actively involved in her local British society, helping people and advocating for change – like she helped the Hebrides Island crofters emigrate.
 
Adventurousness but not Selfish
 
Isabella knew who she was and she was confident in her own mind. She stepped forward in life with this self confidence and certitude. Isabella managed this through a mixture of her upbringing and how she journeyed to her own understanding of who she was. This was a lifelong process of leavings and returns, of the familiar as well as the new and far-flung. Isabella had a strong start in being given self confidence, yet this is how Isabella evolved, and she had the self confidence to follow it.
 
Isabella always worried she was selfish because she was followed her own adventurous spirit. Yet she was always there, reliable, and had a strong sense of the importance of  being unfailing and steadfast.
 
What a great way to live a life of self confidence! Figuring out who you are and what has influenced you. Looking into what you want to keep and what is undermining – ridiculous expectation or an unreliable voice. Isabella made it look effortless to glide along confident in herself, yet to do this in a way that took into account those she loved.  She shows how it’s possible to be self confident, to follow who you and who you want to while at the same time, give thought for others.