My Covid Vaccine Experience

Initially, I had misgivings about the Covid vaccine. Usually, I don’t get the recommended yearly flu and pneumonia vaccines. However, I am grateful that I was given all my childhood shots and that I had the polio vaccine as a child. I am not an anti-vaxxer but I do think there are many shots that are unnecessary. That being said, I’ve had serious illnesses and operations in my life and believe that antibiotics and other medical interventions have saved my life several times. When my children were growing up, they had their required shots although I thought long and hard about agreeing to any extra voluntary inoculations.

I think a strong immune system bolstered by nutritious food, adequate sleep, plenty of exercise, supplemental vitamins and minerals, a positive home life, and the opportunity to be outdoors, is our most fundamental building block towards physical health. But accidents happen and pandemics occur and they are certainly not under our individual control.

When Covid came along, I quickly began to isolate myself, used masks when I encountered anyone not in my bubble, and maintained social distancing. I rarely went to stores, never ate out, or went to events. When my bubble members went back to schools and jobs, I only saw them occasionally and outdoors, masked, and socially distanced. That meant that I did not see some family members for a long, long time. I utilized social media, technology, and video chatting as a way to interact and converse with the people I cared about. As the newer Covid variants came into being, I isolated even more strictly. My big weekly outing was to take my recyclables and trash to the town dump.

I read all I could about the vaccines being developed and worried about the rapid approvals of several companies’ products. I didn’t want to be a guinea pig, was concerned about the quality of ingredients and the integrity of the companies producing the vaccines, and feared the idea of choice being taken away by governmental decree. Yet, I also wanted to be able to hug my grandchildren, travel, and conduct my own business again in person. Furthermore, I wanted to believe that humanity could actually come together and produce a vaccine that would help others to avoid severe chronic conditions as a result of this pandemic or, in the worst case, die. Despite the extreme divisiveness that our country has experienced in terms of politics these last years, I think our commonalities supersede our differences.

I watched as some friends espoused the evils of the health industry and “brainwashing” and others were in lock step agreement with each and every new announcement, sometimes conflicting, that came from the CDC. For a long while, I didn’t have to make a decision about whether to receive the vaccine because I was not in one of the cohorts that were eligible. When I finally was, I had to face my fears and hopes quickly.

With the advent of 65 years + being added to the groups that could get a vaccine, I had to make a decision. It seemed to be a scramble to even get an appointment. The state’s website crashed almost immediately upon the moment of opening up to my cohort and stayed crashed for a long time. Despite all that, the drive to come out of my extreme isolation and interact with family, friends, and clients overcame my reluctance. With the concerted effort of my son and daughter-in-law, who work remotely at home, I was able to obtain a timed appointment at a large vaccination facility about an hour from my home. I was apprehensive about driving there, negotiating the process, and essentially surviving the whole experience. It didn’t help that there was a storm predicted for that day with a wintry mix.

I realized that I had truly become hermit like. I was afraid to go out into the wider world. I had become somewhat infantilized, needing the comfort of home and hearth, scared to emerge into a wider environment. This was totally unlike my normally independent and adventurous self. During isolation, my world had become exceedingly small and I was apprehensive to experience the bigger picture.

I had to gird my loins to get in the car and drive in the wintry mix to an unknown destination. My hands and feet were ice cold, not from the outside temperature but from my fear. I had done all I knew to do to mitigate the feeling of anxiety but still it was there. Part of the distress was having to be utterly alone in this journey. I had to drum up the feeling of courage that had been buried deep under the months of isolation.

The vaccination site was well organized from the signage on the highway though parking and following directives in terms of registration; the vaccination process itself; and setting up the follow up vaccine. I emerged from the building knowing I had an hour’s drive at commuting time in rotten weather but I felt surprisingly victorious! My world had opened up! I rediscovered my ability to interact with others outside of my hermit like existence. I was, again, an adult not only in age but also in spirit.

The next day, I had a slight headache and my inoculated arm was somewhat sore. Those were things I could easily offset. By far, the greatest gift about this whole experience was the fact I was opening up to possibilities. I had regained a sense of self that somehow had been lost during all those months of isolation. My future was not small and curtailed. I could dream, again, about new adventures and journeys. While I might need to wait to play out some of these dreams, I now had the courage and determination to make these possibilities become real. My world had enlarged.

Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2021 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

The Courage Required for Transformation

Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore. Anonymous

Often we only think of transformation in terms of the end result. That’s when we celebrate and reflect on how far we’ve come! We enjoy and feel pride in ourselves for arriving at the new place, whether it’s a new job, new relationship, new understanding, or new version of ourselves. We know that we have put in hours of work, revision, research, and contemplation getting to know ourselves and/or others so that we are able to move forward into the next best thing. The journey has traversed a multitude of potential barriers in the form of challenges, obstacles, and less than stellar encounters. Yet we prevailed and have been transformed!

What we may forget about in the act of jubilation, is the starting point of any change. In facing a major makeover in our lives, we often face a great deal of fear. It can present as an underlying sense of discomfort and anxiety or a debilitating fear. We are embarking on a shift from a familiar situation and taking a leap into what is unknown and unsure. It takes courage, sometimes large amounts of courage, to change and face what may feel like insurmountable odds.

Humans are creatures of habit. Habits are how we learn to function in society. Some habits are simply automatic like breathing; others are necessary for survival like eating and drinking regularly, having a physical shelter where we can sleep safely, or wearing clothing to protect us from the elements. Other habits include how we interact with others, what our habitual mindset is, what emotions are most available to us, or how we treat ourselves. These last patterns are often the result of constant verbal, emotional, or physical reinforcement received at the hands of our parents or guardians. These patterns become locked in and we move about our lives with these habitual patterns running in the background influencing everything we do, say, or believe.

When we are no longer content or able to remain functioning from the background behavioral and emotional patterns, that is when we look for a way out – a way out of where we are in the present moment. Perhaps it has become unbearably difficult to stay in the same job, home, relationship, or, even, be the same person. Perhaps we will die – either quickly or slowly – if we don’t make a switch. Maybe we are so bored that to face another day like yesterday and the previous days without a change is unfathomable. We can be running away from a painful past or moving forward to an idealized future. Regardless of our motivation, we are looking for a course correction.

In order to transform, we must be willing to shed our skins, like snakes, so that the new skin can begin to emerge. During the shedding and before the new skin has fully formed, we are vulnerable. We don’t have the comfort of the old habits to maintain us and, yet, we also don’t have the new future pattern firmly in place. This is where fear comes in.

How do we know that what we envision will work? What if the vision is a moving target? What if we “fail”? How do we trust what we’ve never actually experienced before? Will we have to leave everything and everyone we’ve known in the past behind? Will anyone love us when we have changed? Will we recognize and like ourselves in the future?

Our very identity is at stake. We may have an image or dream to guide us but there is the moment of leaving behind what was and standing at the precipice, before we reach for what will be. We are by ourselves at this moment. It is our decision alone to go forward, stay still, or go back. Leaving the familiar awful for the mysterious unknown. This takes courage, enormous courage.

Sometimes we don’t have the courage required for transformation. In the end, we want to stay as we are with no alteration in our habits. A former friend of mine found that when he was standing on the precipice of transformation, he was not willing to let go. His decision was to maintain the habitual belief that he was not lovable and didn’t deserve to be in a romantic relationship. He was unwilling to change his “story”. Painful as this was to observe, my friend made his choice and turned back from the ledge and walked back to his old way of being. The familiar patterns held a siren song for him from which he couldn’t break free.

In my own life, it has taken enormous courage to make a later life career change to become an energy medicine practitioner. To do so, I had to surmount the fear of financial ruin, the fear of ridicule by family and friends, and the fear that I would fail. Energy medicine is on the cutting edge of health practices and has not been widely respected in the western world. I had to buck the prevalent trend in western medical theories and beliefs. There were days of almost paralyzing fear that I was embarking on a fool hardy course. But in the end, I had to move forward into this new career. Despite the anxiety, I had to step out from the precipice to continue to grow as a person. I found the courage to stride forward into the mysterious unknown and transform.

© 2017 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

 

Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and wingWave©Coach. She also teaches Stretch, Energy Body Tune-up, and Jazz Dance classes and workshops. For more information email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.