Airplanes, Turbulance, and a Mantra of Reassurance

One thing I get nervous about, is flying in turbulence.

I know exactly when it started. We were heading into the Seattle airport. Beginning our last 30 minutes of descent. And that’s when the turbulence started.

Up and down we bobbed, like a fishing float crossing jet ski waves.

We were strapped in the last row of the airplane. And it wasn’t long before the odor of the 2 back bathrooms was wafting up the aisle. Getting stronger as time slowly marched forward.

Now two sensory items were combining to make me feel nauseous and sick.

My daughter, a tween at the time and was having the time of her life. “Mom, this is just like a roller coaster. I hope it never stops.”

Meanwhile, I was clutching the arm rests, trying not to panic, and appear calm. No need to frighten her.

My daughter got her wish. The air induced roller coaster stopped only when all the wheels were on the ground.

Let’s just say, I didn’t kiss the ground when we landed, but I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling, even as we were collecting our luggage.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
How I developed my flying mantra.

 

About a month later, I found myself on a plane again.

I had forgotten about our last plane ride. But my body had not.

Our plane took off and almost instantly, as the plane was straining and shaking and we climbed into the sky, I got a full blown panic attack.

Presto!

I was shaking inside, sweating through all my clothes, and feeling like I was going to spin into about a billion little pieces of tissue and cells.

I couldn’t think. I couldn’t focus. I could barely breathe.

I kept telling myself to calm down. But I couldn’t.

At the time I didn’t make the connection that I was reacting to our last flight.

I sat there paralyzed. Afraid to move. Even though it was an almost turbulence free flight.

Eventually I realized I was repeating Psalm 23 to myself.

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes . . ..”

It did not stop the panic attack, but it reassured me and helped focus me.

Over and over I repeated it, until we coasted up and stopped at the gate.

And even though we were in the air for about a 90-minute flight, my panic attack did not abate until I had been on the ground for a while.

When I got to the hotel, I called my husband and told him there was no way I was getting back on the plane. I was coming home by bus. Even if it took me two days of non-stop driving.

Calmly he talked to me. Listened. Told me to wait a few days to buy a bus ticket. Who knew, maybe I would change my mind. I reassured him I would not.

The night before I was to fly, he told me that I had to face my fears. Get back on the plane, or I would avoid flying.

I so wanted to buy a bus ticket, but I got back on the plane.

Going home was better. Well, a little better.

And each flight has gotten better.

But one thing is still the same. The moment I get nervous on a plane, or when turbulence starts rocking the plane, I automatically start reciting Psalm 23.

It’s been over a decade and a half since that bad bumpy plane ride over the Cascade mountain range, and yet Psalm 23 is my flying mantra. Never anything else. No variety here. Same is good when it is working.

And believe me, it has helped me through some not so fun turbulence.

But I am also getting more used to turbulence. Now I can read in mild turbulence, if my book is interesting enough, and if I lift my feet of the floor so I don’t feel it so much.

But anytime I need calming. Soothing. Reassurance that I am not alone on that plane, I start reciting the 23rd Psalm. And always it comforts me.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

What’s your mantra?

 

For me, Psalm 23 and flying go together like ocean and beach. Flip flops and shorts. Chocolate and raisins.

What is one of your fears? And how do you calm and reassure yourself?

What do you tell yourself? Remind yourself? Say to quiet the voices or static noise in your head.

Sometimes we need a mantra not just for our fears, but to answer the critics and accusers.

The voices reminding you of your failures. Criticizing your looks.  Comparing you to others to shame you.

At these times you need to remember your mantra, which may be different and depend on the circumstances. A mantra that will remind yourself of the truth and whose you are.

Because we all need reassurance. We all need calming.

And if you don’t have a mantra. Or multiple mantras. Get yourself some.

For awhile I was reminding myself that I was beloved. That there is no condemnation with Jesus. That my worth was not dependent on what I did or did not do.

Sometimes something as simple as reminding myself to breathe and rest a minute can change the present.

Or when my son is talking, and I am busy and trying to listen and do something else, reminding myself to stop and listen, can change the outcome of our conversation.

A mantra can calm you. Reassure you. Encourage you. Recharge you. Remind you. Excite you. And more.

What do you need to remind yourself of today when turbulence rocks your attitude, soul, or day?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What is one of your personal mantras?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraMay link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Shedding the Wallflower

When I tell my children I was shy and painfully unsure of myself during my childhood and early adult years, they question if I am being truthful. The story sounds made up, to them. But it is true.

I spent most of my first twenty some years quietly looking around, unsure of myself and the world. I preferred to watch people, instead of participate; listen to people, instead of talk.

I tried to avoid situations where I needed to talk in front of others and where I felt under the spotlight. I hated being asked something I wasn’t sure of. When asked a question, my mind usually went blank, then churned like a slot machine circling madly to land on the correct answer. Didn’t all questions have a right and wrong answer? I was terribly afraid of choosing the wrong one,

With this established track record of silence, who knows why during my last half-year of graduate school I listened to my friend who recommended that I pursue a job as an English instructor.

Now why it never dawned on me as I was typing my resume, calling English department Deans, or interviewing, that being a teacher required one to stand in front of a class and talk, I am not entirely sure.

Getting dressed for my first night of teaching at a local college I was scared out of my wits. I wasn’t sure I would have any sweat still left inside of me by the time I arrived.

Remembering the vote of confidence from my friend, I grabbed my notes, and out the door I headed. “You can do this,” she had assured.

Talk about an adrenalin surge. Intense nervousness. A cracking voice. Sensations of nausea. Feelings of being an alien on exhibit. I experienced it all within the first 10 minutes of entering the classroom. Being an evening class, I still had another 100 minutes.

To find out what happened, please continue reading this post, Shedding the Wallflower – Made For Brave Sisterhood, at Crystal Twaddell where I am guest posting.

We were made to be brave. And sometimes that means stepping out and doing the unexpected. #worth and identity #personal growth

What I Wish An Older Woman Had Told My Younger Self

Like most things do, it slowly snuck up on me.

There were a few warning signs, but I am not that observant.

I had noticed I wanted and needed more naps to stay alert, but I was just thinking naps were one of my best friends.

I had noticed I had less energy, but after all I am no spring chicken. I also reasoned I was also doing more. And I could still do hard things, like hike 14 miles on the continental divide in less than 7 hours.

I had noticed I seemed to be shedding a bit more hair. But I reasoned it was spring, and I usually shed more every spring.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.2 weeks later I was getting my hair cut. At the end of the session my stylist pulled his stool up and sat down to face me.

“I am a little worried,” he said. “You are shedding more hair than normal. If I were you, I would get this checked out by a doctor. My mom was shedding lots of hair and it turned out to be her thyroid.”

I was now sitting up and listening.

I saw my doctor two days later. She ran some blood tests and it turned out my thyroid was fine, but I was low on iron. Very low. And yes, hair loss can be one of the symptoms of low iron. I was suffering from anemia, caused by low iron levels. Low energy, hair loss, and being sleepy and some of the symptoms.

Every few years I get blood work done, but because my doctor had never checked my iron, so it had slipped by unnoticed.

Thankfully, 4 months of taking a high dose of iron had my iron levels back on track. I noticed I had more energy and don’t need to take naps anymore.

Ladies, sometimes we are so busy taking care of everyone else, that we forget self-care—taking care of ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves, or we can’t take care of others.

I know life is busy. And getting to the doctor can seem like another chore in a long line of to-do’s, but we need to make it a priority. We need to buckle down and not let things slowly slide until we are having real big problems. 9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.

Here is what I wish an older woman had told my younger self:

 

1. Get baseline tests in your 30’s, but especially by your 40’s. Test your thyroid, vitamin D, iron, and hormones. Get a lipid profile to check cholesterol. Get pap smears. Don’t forget skin checks for moles and skin cancer.  Test for diabetes. Get your vision checked. Get a mammogram. Schedule regular dental check-ups. Don’t forget to have your blood pressure and heart health checked.

Also talk to your doctor about other tests you may need.

The goal is to see what your numbers are when you are healthy and feeling good. Then when you recheck later, you will know how far your levels have dropped or risen and you can take action before things get so low you are exhibiting many of the symptoms of something.

Some of these tests may cost a little out of pocket money, but remember they are to determine your baseline when healthy. For example, you want a baseline of your hormones before you enter menopause.

2. Address your mental health. Emotional and psychological issues creep back to the surface if they are ignored and not dealt with. This means we have to deal with past loses, abuse, trauma, unhealthy relationships, and more, or they will eventually affect our current life and patterns of acting and thinking.

This may mean talking to a close friend, seeing a therapist, seeking out a psychologist’s help. Several times in my life I have benefited from seeing psychologists. Both individually, as a couple, and as a family. They provide a new perspective and help us better understand our self and others. They can help us find new ways of dealing with patterns and obstacles we have given up on ever changing.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.3. Study yourself. Discover who you are and what brings you joy and sadness. Learn your faults and good traits. Are you a people pleaser, perfectionist, an optimist, encourager, problem solver, an introvert or night owl? We are better able to change for the better when we are aware of what we need to change. And likewise, we appreciate our wonderful and unique self if we know what we are good at and enjoy.

4. Exercise. I know it is hard. But walk a little. Dance in the kitchen. Garden. Do squats while the pasta is boiling. Run up the stairs. The goal is to move. And to move in different ways.

5. Form meaningful relationships. Make friendship a priority. Friends to do things with. Friends to share good and bad with. Friends that will listen to you and help when hard times hit.

6. Learn about menopause long before it hits. Read about it. Talk to older women. Discuss the symptoms and treatments. Find out all you can so you are prepared. It’s kinda like childbirth. Everyone’s experience is a little different, but there are enough commonalities that overlap that you won’t be the only one going through what you are experiencing.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.7. Engage in self-care. All the above is taking care of yourself. Now add a few other ways to care for yourself and nurture your soul. Like quiet time each day. Drinking your favorite tea. Reading. Calling a friend. Sleeping on your favorite sheets. Painting. A girl’s night out. Playing the flute. (As we are all different, your self-care will look different than other women’s self-care.)

8. Learn to love yourself. Realize your worth. Whose you are. And how valuable you are. Deal with your insecurities and critical voice. Replace lies with His truth. For when we are less hard on our self, we are less hard on those around us. And we are better able to love and care for others in the way they require or need.

9. Set boundaries. On your time, emotions, and life. Don’t let yourself get worn out by doing too much or by not saying no. Refuse to feel responsible for things you are not responsible for. Practice self-control.  Remember to control what you can and leave the rest in God’s control.

When we take care of our bodies physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are doing ourselves a favor, and those around us a favor. We will have more energy. Feel better. Enjoy life more. And be better at loving and serving those around us.

Let’s commit to doing this.

I’ll take care of myself.

You take care of yourself.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What do you wish your younger self had known ?

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.