Sailing on the Winds of Change

Early last spring, after experiencing a boat-load of challenges, I was planning to write an article entitled “Sailing on the Winds of Change”. At the time, I had no idea of just how far those winds would take me…

Having been out to sea for quite a while, I have not had a chance to write that article. But now that I can see land in the distance, it’s time to share the story of the journey thus far – a personal story of struggle, surrender, faith and adventure.

After months of working 7 days a week, we launched our “purposeful tea” company in October of last year. It was both a physical and a financial drain, but we are still in business, and my dream of empowering people to take charge of their health is taking shape. A big hurdle that stopped us almost dead, is the cost of workers’ comp in the State of California – 4 times the national average! So, we decided to do it all sans-employees.

At the beginning of this year, Jessie, my office manager of nearly six years, decided to move too far away to stay on at One River, and we were faced with the challenges of new hires. In a matter of 3 months, I wrote SEVEN termination checks! (Mostly due to personal/family commitments taking priority – as they should.)

I started to question why I was working so hard, and why it was such a struggle for me to continue to do what I thought was important. So, daily, I would open my arms to the heavens and say “I’m open. I am willing to let go of everything I have created. Just let me know what I am supposed to do.”

In March, I got a case of poison oak that went into my lymphatic system! That was the last straw. I felt that I was being rejected/ejected from California. I suddenly realized that I only like it here 3 months of the year, and those 3 months are marred by poison oak. I started looking in to moving to Belize or Panama, still asking for guidance.

Hawai’i was suggested by my husband and other family members, and although I had put aside the thought of ever moving back there, I decided to check the real estate market. On the real estate map, I zoomed in to my favorite area, the Hamakua Coast, clicked on the first property that attracted me, and WHOAH! It was the 14 acres I used to own!

My heart was pounding! I immediately emailed two agents over there, and it was already in escrow. Well, that made me realize how much I have missed living there! I have been working this hard to make it okay to live here, and it has taken time away from the reason I moved back here – grandchildren.

Within days, I received an email from Hawaiian Airlines saying that I needed to have activity on my account or I would lose the miles I have had for years, and had no time to use. We decided to go with open hearts and minds to see how it felt, and I booked a short trip to the Big Island the following weekend.

The night before we left, I cried. I could feel my heart being pulled back, and I already knew I needed to return. I cried because I knew I needed to let go of the dreams we had that had given us the drive to build our home and our businesses. The dreams of our grandchildren playing in our house, which we designed with them in mind. Adventures at the river, harvesting herbs and food from the garden, and the older kids learning to run the tractor.

The trip was magical! Our first stop was my old house/office in downtown Hilo, which is now Kilauea Kreations. While visiting the proprietors, the husband told Ty, three times, “If the wife’s happy, I’m happy.” And when we got to the cottage we rented, the host told us “You guys need to move here, we need you here.”

We looked all around to see how we felt. We started listing the things that were important to us: 1) Easy access to Hilo, but not in the city, 2) In a community, walking distance to some amenities, 3) Rural with farmable land, 4) Running water – a stream or river, 5) Ocean view, etc.

On day 2, we found it! Eight miles north of Hilo on the Hamakua Coast, on the edge of an old plantation village, walking distance to a little market/shave ice place. We went back several times.

On Day 3, we went to the farmers’ market near my old house. I ran in to an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in eight years. He said, “I was just talking about you a few weeks ago. There’s a young MD in downtown Hilo who is opening an integrative health center. She was saying she needs a really good acupuncturist, and I told her about you.” He handed me her card, and said “You need to get in touch with her.” Later, he told Ty, “You need to bring that girl back here. This island needs her.”

On Day 4, we went back to the property, set our intention and asked for blessings, then caught our flight home.

Fast forward a couple months:

We bought the land, and in the process found out that the old plantation hospital and clinic used to be on the top portion, from the 1920’s to 1962. It served all the plantations on the southern Hamakua Coast. We met our neighbor, who grew up there and his mother and father worked in the clinic. We went to the plantation museum and found pictures and newspapers. We explored the property and found a waterfall, lots of bananas, mango and avocado.

I met with Dr. Mitchell and I really like her. She is working on getting the major insurers there to cover integrative healthcare as a pilot program. We have a meeting with them to present our arguments mid-August. I’m not sure what my role will be in the clinic, and I am staying open to all possibilities. I will most likely teach more and treat less. I plan to create a retreat-style medical qi gong training, and hope to teach acupuncture students again.

As for the Purposeful Teas, we plan to have local farmers grow herbs for us (many Chinese herbs grow well in Hawai’i), and we may open a Purposeful Tea Shop in downtown Hilo. We will still have an online presence, and hopefully distributors on the mainland.

I don’t know our timeline yet, but we are moving forward with faith and a sense of wonder!

REQUEST FOR TESTIMONIALS: If any of you would like to help us succeed in convincing insurance companies to cover acupuncture and herbs, please send me your testimonials!