This is what I got to experience because I finally got the nerve to get on a plane after 30 years of no flying.
If I had not gotten on six planes during the last two weeks, I would have missed these falls, my son’s wedding, meeting amazing people in Brazil, sampling new foods and learning so many new things about this joyous culture.
A bit of history is in order. I stopped flying more than 30 years ago after witnessing several airplanes crash as a journalist.
The one attempt I made to fly during that time was thwarted because the panic attacks I experienced for weeks prior to the scheduled departure had me in a full sweat with heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, and symptoms that were so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. We took a five-day train ride instead to travel to California.
From that time until this April 2017, trips were complicated by the fact that I believed I could not fly. I missed my father-in-law’s funeral. My husband flew without me. Trips were planned around my phobia. No overseas trips and we needed many more days for either driving or taking a train. Thank God, I had an understanding husband. But I did offend several other family members for my seemingly insensitive nature and not coming to visit them.
Fear was preventing me from fully living!
So What Changed–
For one thing, the last five years have been about changing my life—both physically, emotionally and spiritually. I started with yoga, then meditation, nutrition, and mindset.
- Yoga has so many benefits for people who have irrational fears. It is a mind/body/breath practice. When you tune into all three at the same time, you enter the present moment. By entering the present moment, you stop worrying about the past and the future. Yoga also teaches you to control your breath. Long exhales and deep inhales calm your nervous system down.
- Meditation is about listening rather than praying to a higher source. When you listen, amazing things happen. First, you start to realize most of your thoughts and worries are not real. They are artificial constructs of your monkey mind. The monkey switches from thing to thing. It yanks your emotions around. When you control your mind, your emotions get under control.
- Nutrition- there is a growing body of evidence that blood sugar spikes can lead to panic attacks. During the past two years, I have learned to control my blood sugar by dramatically reducing the carbs, sugars and processed foods in my diet. By switching to a primarily whole food, organic, non-GMO diet, my energy level has leveled off, which means my blood sugar levels are staying stable throughout the day. Using vitamins, herbs and essential oils, I have calmed my nervous system down.
- The mindset change is much easier when you have many tools in the toolbox. With all of these practices in my arsenal, I was able to more easily face challenges with a clearer mind, an open heart and a great deal of faith in Universal Angels.