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Bold Moves Toward Happiness

A client recently did something that absolutely delighted me! I am happy to pass on this story now.

For privacy and all that, let’s say this client’s name is “Elizabeth”. Elizabeth sought out my support in early 2020 with a very odd dermatological condition causing severe itching. She was getting absolutely no help from her conventional doctors.

Elizabeth was a delightful woman. She lived about an hour and a half east of Raleigh in one of those little, tiny one stop light towns in the middle of nowhere that you may miss if you blink when you are on your way to the coast. To be honest, I don’t even know if her town has a stop light at all. I do know that she felt her options for obtaining healthy food was very limited where she lived. Each time she came to Raleigh for an appointment with me, her sister and a large cooler would come along, too. When they left my office, the two would visit Whole Foods, Costco, and other stores in the area to stock up on the organic foods they just didn’t have access to where they lived.

When we started working together, she was 70 years old. Aside from this odd skin issues, she was in great shape and good health. She was treated with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, and I offered her dietary and lifestyle suggestions. I am happy to say Elizabeth was wonderfully compliant and as a result, she responded quickly. The skin issues completely cleared up as well as several other concerns she originally had. Eventually, her appointments decreased in frequency, and she was on a maintenance schedule of every few months.

During our time together, I had the opportunity to learn about Elizabeth and her life. She lived with her sister in a house that had been in her family for generations. I recall stories Elizabeth told me of how her grandmother used to live there and how her father built the back porch. She also shared that her brother owned a house right across the street. Although retired, she was still mighty busy with caring for the house, tending to her garden and being with all her family that still lived in or near that tiny town. She offered me some excellent gardening tips and we shared our frustrations with the gluttonous ground hogs we each tried to humanely keep away from our gardens.

Elizabeth seemed very comfortable in her little, tiny one (or none) stop light town in the middle of rural eastern North Carolina. She seemed comfortable in the house she shared with her sister that had been in their family for generations. She seemed comfortable with her routine of traveling to Raleigh to grocery shop. Yes, at age 71 now, she seemed very comfortable with her life.

Which is why I was so surprised to hear the news...

When I arrived at my clinic early Monday morning, I listened to messages left over the weekend. One of these messages caught me by surprise. The message said…

“Hello, I am calling on behalf of Elizabeth…. She won’t be able to attend her appointment this Wednesday because she has moved…

…to Montana.”


I called Elizabeth to find out what was going on because this news just seemed so unlike her. Was she okay? Did something unexpected happen? When I tried her number, I only heard the sound one hears when a number is disconnected or no longer in service.

I sent Elizabeth an email. I shared with her the message I received and asked if everything was okay. After all, a sudden move seemed so uncharacteristic of Elizabeth. I would have been surprised if she moved across the street, so I certainly was challenged in wrapping my brain around the idea she would move across the country. Why would Elizabeth move? She seemed so…comfortable.

Elizabeth quickly responded.

She shared with me that just two weeks earlier, she and her sister were discussing the passing of their mother and father in 2018. It was that discussion that crystalized the realization there was no need to stay in that small town their family had lived in for generations. She and her sister decided that Montana had two qualities they both loved- rivers and mountains.

They decided to go for it!

Within two weeks they packed everything, had movers pick up all their belongings, put their house on the market, found a place in Montana to rent, packed their car… and left. She and her sister left that house they had known since they were kids. They left that small rural town in the middle of nowhere in eastern North Carolina. They traded their world of familiarity and comfort for a fresh new life filled with wild rivers running through towering mountains under a big Montana sky. They completely changed their lives because they wanted to. They changed it all because they could.

In her email Elizabeth said, and I quote…

“At my age l am going to do what makes me happy.”

Yes, you are.

I am so very proud and inspired by you Elizabeth!!!

You and Elizabeth

What makes you so different than Elizabeth?

Possibly not much.

I suspect we all dream of something… I suspect we all have visions of a life we would like to live. I suspect within each of us is a secret hope, a reckless and daring dream, and an unfulfilled desire. I suspect all these dreams, visions, and hopes are safely stored just below the threshold of what we all consider to be “realistic” and “possible”. Perhaps these dreams are kept neatly stacked in a corner of our being with the hopes that “someday” we just may actually stumble upon them again. Perhaps these hopes and desires have been immediately discarded into our mental Trash Folder because we have quickly convinced ourselves that they most certainly are only fleeting fantasies that will never, ever become real.

Humm…. Does that resonate with you at all?

To be honest… I hope so.

I suspect that if it does, this means you are… indeed, a living and breathing human being. And if that is true… then congratulations! I guess we are in this together!

So if we all have an internal world of dreams and desires, how then do some of these dreams become reality?

What enabled Elizabeth to leave her comfortable one stop light small town she knew all her life? How did she break out of the comfortable world she knew and step into a foreign reality only seen within her dreams and daring aspirations?

How did she do it?

I suspect there is one main ingredient in her recipe to make a dream become a reality

the courage to act.

What makes you so different than Elizabeth?

Possibly not much.

You have dreams, just like Elizabeth has dreams.

You have courage within you, just like Elizabeth has courage within her.

Elizabeth put her courage into action.

I imagine the process of selling her house, packing up all of her belongings and hauling it across the United States, finding a place to live, unpacking, and getting comfortable with a strange new environment was scary. I imagine it was even a little bit terrifying...

And she did it anyway… because she wanted to.

The realization came to her that time is passing by and if she wanted something, she needed to make it happen. And so she did.

She had the courage to act.

What makes you so different than Elizabeth?

Possibly not much.

Article by Quinn Akira Takei, Doctor of Oriental Medicine(NM), Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and Holistic Health & Wellness Coach. The Center: Natural Health Specialists, 8404 Six Forks Road, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27615. (919) 848-0200.

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