Today’s Word: ‘Mantra’ as in… a sound, a word, a phrase that the more you repeat it – the more you speak it out of you, the further into you it goes.
I have a friend who struggles with panic attacks. They arrive unannounced and uninvited and take her right off the ranch, out of her peace and comfort and right into the parking lot. Literally. She tells me about the time she was in a grocery store with a cart full of groceries when out of the blue, right there in front of the yogurt, a panic overwhelmed her. For a moment she didn’t know what to do; her focus became narrow, her breath became shallow and she was unable to move. What to do? Stay? Run? Yell? She left her groceries in the cart and made her way to the exit. Along the way she remembered what she had done the last time this happened.
Trust the mantra.
She repeated the phrase that she had come to trust. And the more she spoke it, the more it spoke to her. In this case, the phrase she used was from the ancient book of Isaiah. Halfway to her car she reached into her purse and pulled out a tiny slip of paper on which was written these words:
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear. I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
She repeated the first five words over and over again:
“Don’t panic. I am with you.”
Isaiah delivered these God-breathed words centuries ago. They breathed new life back into my friend in the parking lot of the grocery store. Today they can breathe into us.
When you find a word or phrase that speaks to you, take it with you into the day and repeat it slowly. While you’re doing other things, speak them, listen to them, and even chew on them and let them breathe life back into you when you’re in a panic.