Eartha’s wisdom- Don’t Panic

Ah, Eartha’s wisdom was simple, yet profound. She didn’t need many words to make a point. She would often say, “Don’t Panic. It doesn’t change a thing, and only makes it difficult to see the options that may be in front of you.”


Mothers and daughters, Eartha Kitt, Kitt ShapiroEasier said than done, I know, but as a person who can be very anxious at times, wearing these words helps remind me to take a beat and breathe.

My mother taught me the importance of focusing on your breath, of course, very important for singing, but even more important for dealing with stressful moments in our lives.

Square breathing, a technique my mother used, and one I have passed along to my children, is a great tool.

Here’s how you do it: Start by breathing in through your nose to the count of 4; hold your breath for the count of 4; breathe out through your nose to the count of 4, and hold that out breath for the count of 4, before taking in a new breath and repeating the steps again. Focus on the breath and the count. Eyes open or closed, whichever is more comfortable.

I have found this exercise to be extremely helpful and calming, whether it’s done for 1 minute or 15. Give it a try. Teach it to your kids. It’s a wonderful way to prepare for sleep.

Take a beat. Take a breath. Don’t Panic. You got this!


Remember ~Treasure ~Love… Kitt


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Don't Panic self-help

My Don’t Panic self-help kit. 🙂

13 Response Comments

  • Vanessa  December 17, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    I shall not panic, and do this “square” breathing…thank you for sharing this!

  • Shar  December 17, 2017 at 10:20 PM

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. Will teach my 7-year-old son as well

  • Grace Al-Wazzan  December 21, 2017 at 12:55 AM

    I suffer from PTSD and daily panic attacks …. I will definitely try this breathing technique

  • Marsha  December 23, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    This is great advice. Lamaze taught 8 deep breaths a minute. It really works to center you.

  • Sherena singh  August 10, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    I find your story most interesting and a positiveNess of motivation…I like the “don’t panic” advice also..I will definitely try out the square breathing exercise and I’m sure my 6 year old son will love it because he’s always trying yoga

  • Andi Silver  March 23, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Thanks Kitt! I’m an employee wellness coordinator for a company in Philadelphia. Most of us are working remotely at this point and I’m gathering links to good words and wisdom which I hope to get permission to send out on a daily basis. I definitely plan to send this piece.

    • Kitt Shapiro  March 23, 2020 at 1:46 PM

      Thank you to all who are taking care of those in need at this difficult time. Stay safe. 🙏

  • Jacquelyn  May 9, 2020 at 10:22 AM

    Id just like to say I just tried it this exercise and it is very effective..thank you!!

  • Joan Williams-Stewart  July 29, 2020 at 5:28 PM

    Thank you for your internet site on Eartha Kitt. I found her fascinating and not enough information on her years before Harlem, nor on her marriage. Family is really key. THANKS for the quotes from your Mom.

  • Mitchell  August 20, 2020 at 10:19 PM

    Dear MS Shapiro, my friend and l, now retired, worked on the cosmetics and fragrance industry for nearly 40 years. We both thought we remember a perfume
    your mother made, but colleagues tell us we are mistaken, which, at our ages, is not impossible. Can you clarify this for us? Thanks.

    • joancarol1019  August 24, 2020 at 3:30 PM

      There was a perfume made by Flori Roberts that my mother did the ad campaign for, probably in the early to mid 1980s. I don’t remember the name of it, but that could be what you and your friend are thinking of. That’s all the light I can shed on it for you, my memory is going also. Kittxx

  • Sharon Collins  February 26, 2021 at 11:47 PM

    My dad was a big fan of your mother so my sister and I grew up loving Eartha Kitt . We got to see her in concert here in Minneapolis once and we have pictures of meeting her after the concert.

    So happy to find your site. Did not know you had this.
    thanks Kit

  • Katrina  April 14, 2021 at 1:44 PM

    My favorite song your mom sang was At Last”. I just wish I had heard it when I got married 53 years ago. It makes me love my husband more!
    I also loved the way your mom could purr like a cat and she had very expressive eyes. She was graceful and carried herself like a southern lady. Wish I could have met her. 😻


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