Regulars and Shorts

Coach Jeannette: Flu Shot or Not?

By Jeannette Maw

The best decision for you depends entirely on what you believe.
by Jeannette Maw
If you work for a major employer, have watched the news or read the newspaper in the last couple months, you've probably been encouraged to get your flu shot by now.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season starts in October and ends as late as May, so the best timing for the influenza vaccine is October and November. Between 5% and 20% of the population will be affected by the virus, and the CDC says the vaccine is proven to be 70% effective in preventing the flu.

So why am I not in line for my shot?

It's a different reason than why I hesitated to accept this topic assignment, which would have been "don't think about what you don't want to experience." It's a different reason than my acupuncturist would give, which is "there's a better way to maintain health."

The reason I'm not signing up to have chemically killed influenza virus injected directly into my bloodstream is because my belief system on this topic is #1 – don't mess with nature, and #2 – don't mess with success.

When I take any action that's not in alignment with what I believe, I'm inviting trouble.

If I believe it takes hard work to succeed and yet I don't work hard, I'm resisting success. If I believe there are no good men left and I start dating, I'm not likely to hook up with a good guy. And if I believe my body knows best yet I turn it over to the whims of modern medicine, I'm rolling the dice.

Conflicting Beliefs

Which is why I experienced a dilemma years ago working at the bank, when my manager announced flu shots were mandatory for all.

Normally, I believed you do as the boss says. (Undoubtedly ingrained from childhood, where I was well-trained to "do as told" as a daughter and student.) But I had also come to believe pharmaceutical companies push drugs that don't benefit us as much as they like us to think. And I surely didn't believe my body needed dead viruses floating in it to stay healthy.

I also figured it wasn't my employer's business whether I got a flu shot or not. It was my personal health choice, or at least I thought it should be.

By then it was two beliefs against one, so I refused the shot.

While my manager was perturbed I didn't follow instruction, I had the smug satisfaction of perfect health season after season.

Even so, I don't invest time convincing others to avoid flu shots. Because many people access confidence and peace of mind by being vaccinated. And from a law of attraction perspective, that's what matters: finding your way to a good vibration. Peace of mind, confidence, positive expectation … however we get there is up to us. For some, that means getting a flu shot. For others, that means skipping it.

Honor your belief

After mentioning to my boyfriend I'm writing about flu shots, he launches into a tribute about what a wonderful technological advance for modern medicine, how it's saved many lives and how much he appreciates his employer offering them for free.

While I'm amazed that we've discovered yet another topic on which we don't see eye to eye, he continues with a story about how he almost died from the flu a couple years ago. Ever since then he's received an annual vaccination and hasn't been sick since.

Not surprisingly, he also strongly encourages his staff to get their flu shots.

Momentarily I forget I'm not invested in what someone else believes. With my lunch growing cold, I find myself explaining to my errant lover that it isn't so much the shot that makes a difference, but rather his belief that it will. He interrupts and asks about that sickness I had last year.

What sickness?

"Wasn't it the flu?" he asks.

Yeah, it was not the flu. I don't even remember being sick. "Was that your other girlfriend?" I ask, "because I haven't been sick in years."

He reminds me I had an irritating cough that lasted several weeks. "Remember, you were always muting your line because you couldn't stop coughing?" Okay, now I remember. It was a cough, though; definitely not the flu.

He's a smart guy, so he leaves that one alone.

I want to get back to my burrito, so I wrap the conversation up succinctly. I ask if he knows anyone who got the flu after getting the shot. He conveniently doesn't, but I do. I tell him there isn't necessarily a right or wrong position on flu shots. It helps some, doesn't help others. It's not as cut and dried as he likes to think.

I add it's not so much what we believe as it is that we act in accordance with our beliefs that matters.

For example: He gets a shot and feels protected – good for him. (And I'm nice enough to not plant beliefs about the dangers of vaccinations, thank you very much.) Someone else gets a shot who has mixed beliefs (which would have been me if my manager had his way), is taking a gamble. Another who feels good about not receiving the vaccination is on a good path to avoid it.

The trouble starts when we don't act in accordance with our beliefs.

This is why when some law of attraction newcomers learn it isn't the diet or the exercise that matters (rather our thoughts about the diet and exercise that make the difference), they excitedly give up the diet and exercise they loathe. But changing the action before changing the long-held core belief can lead to trouble.

Or when someone reads we can attract money simply by changing our vibration – it's true, but part of our vibration is our belief. So if we give up the second job and start a spending spree trusting VISA to handle it, we create a challenge if we haven't adjusted our deeply held belief about how money operates in our life.

You can feel the difference between wanting to believe something and really believing it, right?

Yes, so can the Universe (or whatever you name the powers that be).

Where the power is

A longtime friend of mine makes fun of anyone who takes medication. He holds disdain for those who rely on a "magic pill" instead of using the absolute power of their mind to heal.

Which I understand. And yet, sometimes we best access our power through an outside avenue we've been trained to more easily believe in or rely on. If you can eliminate the headache by taking the aspirin, amen! There's no reason to make it hard on ourselves, after all.

It's true that our power lies within, but some of us access it better by using an outside source to tap into it – like drugs, doctors and flu shots. Who cares? What matters is that we use our power – to thrive, to create, to live as we choose.

And accessing that power  depends on knowing and respecting your beliefs. If you find a personal belief that you'd rather not hold, you can use your power to change it.

As I write this, the daily Abraham quote (from the Yahoo Group at AbeQuotes) pops up in email:

"We wonder how you ever decide what is right or wrong for you, what is appropriate or inappropriate, when there are so many different opinions and voices trying to get your attention and trying to get you to follow …And the more you step out into this very diverse and expansive physical experience, the more you bump up against the great variety of ideas that other people have about the way you should live… What we want you to do is to discover that you have within you a Guidance System that lets you know, in any moment, what you're doing with your vibration. You can literally feel, once you have listened for it a little bit, whether you are a vibrational match to your Core Energy or whether you are not."

This season, for the good of everyone, find your own "feel good" about flu shots or whatever other topic is on your mind and go!

Jeannette Maw is an attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City. Free LOA resources are available at

This article was originally published on October 31, 2007.