Get Vaccinated & Create a New Possibility

Endless Possibilities

I have refrained from writing and speaking about this topic thus far as it has become a very polarizing issue. I have had a very strong opinion in regards to the vaccine up to this point. I believe there are always two sides to every story. The goal of this blog post is from a non-dual standpoint, meaning that I don’t have to be right and you don’t have to be wrong and vice-versa.

 The only goal that I have is to create a possibility for our world to heal from this pandemic and create a new paradigm shift where we take a personal responsibility for our health on a whole new level. 

This is not to shame anyone. This is to heal our world one person at a time by coming together and using this extreme crisis that we are in as an opportunity to be united instead of polarized. 

If we don’t do this now, when? What is our next wake up call going to be? The time is now for a radical shift in taking personal responsibility for our health.

I worked for the pharmaceutical industry for seventeen years as a pharmaceutical sales representative. I sold what I call lifestyle drugs for the first four year such as Nexium and Crestor. They were both blockbuster drugs creating billions of dollars in sales. I then transitioned into the world of infectious diseases selling drugs for HIV and Hepatitis C. 

The pharmaceutical industry revolutionized the safety and efficacy of drugs that were used to treat these two diseases that were certain death sentences. I have even been called an angel by a patient who received the hepatitis C drug I sold at no cost to her. I shudder to think where our world would be without these amazing advancements. These drugs did come with its fair share of side effects, but the vast majority of patients deemed the risk well worth the potential reward. 

As of today, the cure rates for hepatitis C are almost one hundred percent with minimal side effects. It goes to show how fast the pharmaceutical industry can bring these drugs to market. If I or anyone I know ever contracted hepatitis C I would be extremely grateful for these miraculous drugs.

Now we are faced with a pandemic that doesn’t seem to want to go away. We are faced with some tough choices that impact our personal lives, families, community and world. Our nation was first polarized by a political campaign, followed by how to navigate a pandemic and now the issue is revolving around whether to get vaccinated or not. That seems to be the million dollar question.

Up to this point I have been a hold out on getting vaccinated. I have had a myriad of reasons for that. I will share those with you. I will also tell you by the time this blog post is released I will have had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Power of the Mind

Here are my original thoughts on why I waited as long as I have. I am a very healthy person dedicated to living a lifestyle that boosts my immune system every day. I believe in the power of the mind. I have a belief that my mind has the ability to upregulate my immune system. I simply tell my body every day not to allow any viruses into my body. During my prayer and meditation time I thank my immune system for keeping me healthy. I thank my Creator for the ability to be strong in mind, body and spirit. I meditate for about twenty to sixty minutes every day. During my meditation I focus on feelings of love, joy, peace, compassion, and worthiness and I do my best to stay in those emotions throughout my day, less than perfectly oftentimes I might add.

I was able to test the strength of my immune system and my ability to ward off COVID-19 without any outside agents when my daughter got COVID. She was couch surfing at my 700 square foot apartment at the time. It’s pretty hard to maintain a six foot distance in a one bedroom apartment. For the first day I tried to keep my distance and then I had a shift. My first thought was your my daughter and now more than ever you need a heartfelt hug. So I gave her a hug, deciding to live from a place of love rather than fear. 

After being in close contact with her during that time, I stayed in quarantine and got tested to make sure my theory proved correct. Not to my surprise, I tested negative. I thanked my immune system for doing it’s job. Our mind is a powerful tool and we aren’t using it to its full capacity by any stretch of the imagination.

Exercise is Medicine

My second line of defense is exercise. I strongly believe that exercise in moderation is medicine. It’s not only great for our body, it’s also great for our mind and spirit. In the past I have been a chronic over-trainer. I have learned over the years that over exercising can be as damaging to our immune system as being sedentary. Something as simple as walking can do wonders for our health and our immune system. I have learned to love walking not only for what it does for my physical health, but what it does for my mental and spiritual health. I do some form of exercise every day even if it’s ten to fifteen minutes of walking, stretching or a bodyweight workout.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine 

My third way I naturally build up my immune system is through nutrition. One of my core values is based on a Hippocrates quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I have adopted a vegan lifestyle for my greater good, the good of animals and for our environment. I am not saying everyone needs to adopt a vegan or even a vegetarian lifestyle, but I am saying that our world is slowly killing ourselves through processed foods. 

It breaks my heart to see the obesity epidemic ravishing our world with disease. According to the latest research about 90% of our world is overfat which puts people at significant risk for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and mortality from COVID.

Stress Wreaks Havoc On Our Immune System

Finally, it’s important to be up to speed with the news, but now allow our minds to be influenced by fear based media. I listen to a few experts such as Peter Attia, Phil Maffetone, Wim Hof and Joe Dispenza. I don’t believe sticking our head in the sand is the answer, but I do believe that fear and stress is the number one destroyer of our immune system. Studies show that about 75% of doctors visits are stress related and I can only imagine that will tread higher unless we do something about it. 

The point to say all of this is there are many things we can do to build up our own immune system naturally. It may sound like a lot, but it’s a choice we get to make if we want to live a life of vitality and optimal well-being. I don’t want to take my health for granted. I want to take care of it to the best of my ability. That means making an investment day in and day out in my health. But if we don’t have our health, what do we have?

“A man who has HEALTH has a thousand dreams, but a man without HEALTH has only one.” -Unknown

Small Changes = Big Results

I am a firm believer that small changes add up to big results. A day of optimal health may look like this. Spend five minutes in the morning doing deep breathing or meditation which can even be done while going on a twenty minute walk. For lunch, have a power salad chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Then before going to sleep at night write in a gratitude journal and get a full night’s rest. All of these little things can add up to huge health benefits and an immune system that is bolstered against the latest delta variant.

My vision is that we can have a radical shift in how we take care of our health moving forward.

For the Greater Good

That brings me to why I am choosing to get vaccinated. First it starts with social consciousness. I believe with all my heart that I am immune to COVID-19. I don’t feel like I need a vaccine to be free of this virus, but I also want to do what is right for the greater good of society. I want to do my part to protect others from this insidious virus.

I have wrestled with putting the vaccine into my body that is already very healthy. In the back of my mind there has been a concern about the unknown and the possibility of long-term side effects. I got a flu shot many years ago and it was the sickest I had felt in years running a low grade fever all winter along with body aches. I didn’t correlate the two at the time, but I am pretty sure that it was due to the flu shot. To be fair, I also had two kids that were 13 months apart under the age of two and I was a full time personal trainer running on about three to four hours of sleep navigating the brutal winter in Minnesota.

As I was expressing my concern to my business and life coach, Kimberly Dawson, she put the mirror up in my face so I could see my blind spots when she posed this thought-provoking question and I paraphrase. “If your mind can control keeping the virus out of your body, can’t your mind control any negative effect that the vaccine could have on you?” I had to really take a step back and think about that one.

As I thought about it, she was 100% correct. I was all high and mighty about not letting a virus into my body, but in the back of my mind, I had a fear of putting this vaccine into my body.

Talk about having to do a major change in thinking. It has been proven time and time again how powerful our beliefs are. The placebo and nocebo effects are powerful. I was operating under two different belief systems.

Our Beliefs Are Powerful

We are all familiar with the placebo effect. It’s a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment. The placebo effect is powerful and real.

On the flip side there is the nocebo effect. That is a situation in which a patient develops side effects or symptoms that can occur with a drug or other therapy just because the patient believes they may occur.

I was thinking about the power of the mind in one situation and being fear based in the other situation. My belief system led me to believe that the vaccine was going to do more harm than good to my already strong immune system and somehow putting this unknown into my body would throw it into a tailspin. If that is what I believe that is probably what will happen.

Here is my shift. I am choosing to get vaccinated because I believe it’s the best choice for our world to finally heal. I have added into my meditation visualizing that this vaccine is going to give me superpowers that will not only keep me virus free, but bolster an already strong immune system. I believe one hundred percent that I will not have any short or long term side effects.

Grateful For the Vaccine and Healthcare Workers

I am grateful for all of the work that has gone into producing this vaccine. I am grateful for the pharmaceutical industry that I was a part of for seventeen years. I am grateful for the nurse who will administer the vaccine and I am extremely grateful for all of the front line workers that put their lives at risk every single day. My deepest respect and sympathies go out to the families who have lost loved ones due to this virus.

This blog post is written with respect to all. I pray for the collective healing of our world. I hope we learn from this pandemic and come out the other side stronger physically, mentally and spiritually than we ever have. The way I have approached this pandemic is crisis is opportunity. We have an opportunity to change the trajectory of our personal health through this challenging situation. That is why my voice is to get the vaccine and take personal responsibility for our own health like we have never done before.

The wise words of Lao Tzu comes to mind as you may be contemplating what this looks like for you. 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” 

May we take that one step united as one holding each other’s hand healing our world together with love. That is my vision for our world. We will never get there with a me versus you attitude. We are all in this together.

Troy Ismir

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers



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