I have traveled from a very young age and always loved the thrill of flying. I remember my first take off, and the feeling in my stomach as the plane lifted into the sky. I loved looking out the window and seeing the trees, ocean, and houses getting smaller and smaller. It was like the best amusement park ride I could imagine—until it wasn’t.
When fear shrouded my life, it came on in full force. It wasn’t discriminating. It affected every part of daily life. I could feel it in the smallest ways, like anxiety over even the least bit of lateness or rage-filled overreactions to tiny social slights. The fear showed up in big ways, too, like flying. Flying became this anxiety-inducing activity that left me terrified for the duration of the flight.
Fortunately for me, my love of travel outweighed my fear of flying. This motivated me to figure it out, because being frightened for up to eight hours on a flight was just not an option. The self care ritual I came up with is a combination of mantras and visualization.
The night before the flight, I spent time envisioning the destination and breathing into the happiness it brought up for me. It was in this place of happiness and excitement that I created the mantras for my flight. Then, it was time for mantras.
Before getting on the plane:
- This aircraft is a safe and solid vehicle in great mechanical shape.
- The pilots are talented experts who make safety their number one priority.
- The attendants are cheerful and comforting.
- The people I sit with will be kind and accommodating.
Getting on the plane:
- I bless this plane to take me to my destination safely. (I’ll make the sign of the cross on the right side of the door as I enter.)
On the plane in-flight:
- I can see my destination. I have arrived safely. I am protected.
Once we have landed:
- Thank you for safe travel. Thank you for love and protection.
The most wonderful thing about practicing mantra is that it really works. Sure, in the beginning it feels a bit clumsy, but when you stick with it soon it becomes second nature. It can be the most comforting of tools. It drove the fear away in my life, so much so that now I use it more as a way to bless my travel rather than an aid to ward off panic. Try it in your own life to see how effective it is. After all, what is the alternative? To go through life terrified? That’s no choice at all.
Image via the Telegraph.