The yoga teacher graciously began her yoga class with a hacking cough followed by the statement “Don’t worry, I’m not sick. I just have allergies.” Occasionally, I will hear the statement “Why do sick people come to work? They should stay at home so they don’t get others sick.” The yogi and the concerned coworker – wherever they work – echo our nation’s fear of germs.
Joseph Lister (ever hear of Listerine?) was the English medical doctor who warned his colleagues about germs killing patients. In the mid-1800s, MDs routinely wore their outer clothing as an indicator of how great a doctor they were. The more blood, vomit, feces and other human residue that was on the coat, the better the doctor. Lister asked his American colleagues to go the opposite direction: clean hands, clothes, surgical instruments and diagnostic tools. His efforts were more common sense than anti-germs.
If the yoga teacher’s clothes were covered in blood and vomit, I might be concerned about being in her presence. Otherwise, I will rely on my natural immunity to learn to adapt to a word full of germs – some friendly, some not.
Health is within you. You create it through quality of nerve flow enhanced by your lifestyle (sleep, diet, exercise, mental stress). Just as you overcame your fear of the invisible boogieman as a child, overcome your fear of invisible germs. You are the source of strength of weakness.