To recap, Phyllis was working stressful 12-hour days with two-hour commutes each way. She wasn’t eating right. Her doctor told her she had a choice: be hospitalized or see an endocrinologist. She learned her A1C level was 10.2, putting her at high risk for serious complications…
Peace, Quiet, and Nature
Phyllis realized she had to do something differently. She knew she had to get away from food being such a comfort to offset the stress she was under.
She faced the stress first by giving a month’s notice and stepping away from her stressful job and commute.
She says now she was so sick back then, she couldn’t even think. Her body felt bad. Besides the diabetes, she had blood pressure issues, a heart murmur, and thyroid issues (Hashimoto’s, another autoimmune disease). Her memory declined.
After leaving her job, she says she stayed at her beautiful country home “like it was a retreat center.” Her husband supported her financially for the first time.
Exposure to nature and to quiet helped her begin to heal. She was able to move past the mental stupor and start listening to her intuition.
Getting Support, Practicing Movement, Changing Her Diet
She received support from her friends and participated in a women’s movement group, practiced tai chi and yoga, and later went to Curves. She was willing to move and began to build muscle tone. Still overweight, though, her weight peaked at 296 in 2006.
During this time, Phyllis was taking a large amount of insulin. (She learned later that insulin helps the body pack on weight.) She followed the diet that was recommended by a nutritionist as well as listening to the fitness teachers at Curves.
Phyllis was able to not work at a full-time job for a couple of years. She sold some property for income and also worked part-time doing home health care for seniors, some of whom were diabetics. She started practicing movement with those who were willing and able.
Moving with Trance Dance
Backtracking to 1997, Phyllis walked into Niaspace in Austin, where Wilbert Alix was creating what would become trance dance.
She says Cajuns are not happy unless their feet are moving. Dance and music are a big part of the culture. She felt drawn toward trance dance.
In trance dance, the participants dance while wearing blindfolds. Literally, the dancers dance like no one is watching. The blindfolds, sounds, rhythms, breathwork, and facilitation create a portal into a shamanic world in which dancers connect with their inner voices.
During her first dance, Phyllis says her feet were stuck to the same place on the floor, but her whole body was otherwise moving. She later perceived that it was difficult for her to trust people. Even with everyone wearing blindfolds, she feared being made a fool.
Trance dance helped Phyllis become more aware of emotional patterns in her life and literally move through them. She later trained to be a facilitator in trance dance.
Doing trance dance further opened Phyllis to her own intuitions. After she left her stressful job at the end of 2003 and was able to think again, she realized that she needed to watch the pH levels of the foods she ate and eat a more alkaline diet by consuming more fruits and vegetables and less refined foods and sugar. (Click here for a book on the topic and here for pH testing paper.)
In 2006, Phyllis said she was still not feeling very strong. She had an intention to attend Wilbert Alix’s trance dance retreat in Hawaii, but she didn’t tell anyone. She was at a trance dance and was seeking confirmation that she should make the trip.
The facilitator played a song uncharacteristic for him, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by the Hawaiian singer Iz.
Phyllis took that as her sign! A month-long lucrative contract job fell right into her lap that paid her way to Hawaii, as if the universe was steering her to the right path.
Next: Part 3.