“No, I am not sick.”

Every winter, we are forced to spend more time in enclosed spaces due to our warm-blooded nature and in an effort not to freeze to death. Our energies bring us into closer-than-usual contact with one another allowing those germs and viruses to be shared. Invariably, we pass around colds, fevers, stomach bugs, and other maladies. Most of us bounce back after a few days; some take longer to recuperate.

For the last couple of days, I have been telling myself, “No, I am not sick” despite my sore throat and tiredness. Reasoning that the plane from Los Angeles to Boston was “dry” and that I might be suffering from jet lag, I have tried to convince myself that my compromised physical state is not related to “being sick” but rather a holdover from traveling last week.

Drinking copious amounts of tea, eating healthful foods, taking vitamins and saunas, and getting plenty of sleep are all things I do anyhow. Their inclusion in the past couple of days is not a departure from “the norm.” The only real difference in my experience is what I’ve been saying to myself: “No, I am not sick.”

The thought of going to doctor and getting a throat culture was unappealing, though admittedly I did think for a short time that I had strep. Crawling into my bed and succumbing to the admission that I was “not feeling well” was equally unpalatable, though I almost found myself between the flannel sheets yesterday afternoon.

“No, I am not sick,” I told myself over and over.

This morning, when the get-out-of-bed-and-go-write alarm went off at 4:30, I thought, at first and before I could edit my assessment, “You’re still sick.” By the time I was fully awake, I had rewritten the thought-loop to read like this, “No, I am not sick.”

Two hours later, I can feel a tiny catch at the back of my throat when I swallow. But that’s it. No fever, no upset stomach. As of now, the back of my throat feels like I swallowed a sizable peach pit: stretched out and scratched up.

But I can say, “No, I am not sick.”

Because as of right now, I’m not.

I’m not sure if my mind-over-matter approach was successful or whether my sore throat was only going to last only 48 hours, regardless of my thought-loop.

Imagine though if it could be fully attributed to “positive thinking”? What else could be accomplished with the simple adoption of five words repeated?

What five words would you put together?


P.S. Here are a few new chants for today:

“A good yoga practice awaits.” (I skipped yesterday and can’t wait to be on my mat in less than an hour.)

“A great family outing awaits.” (We’re getting into the minivan to go to a medium-sized art museum for activities related to Chinese New Year.)


And, in reserve, just in case: “No, I am not sick.”

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