Recap: Phyllis was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. She knew she had to break the pattern of seeking comfort in food to offset stress. She quit her job, immersed herself in nature and quiet, and began a healing journey that included movement, listening to her intuition, effective medication, dietary changes. She got off all her meds because she no longer needed them.
Health and the City
Phyllis says that living in Austin made changing her lifestyle easier, because in this health-oriented city, many others are also working hard on improving their health, and everyone is supportive. She found restaurants where she could eat healthy food.
Phyllis also said yes to working with a personal trainer in 2011. Her doctor wrote a prescription so that she was able to use the flexible spending account her employer offered to pay for training. She worked with Craig Johnson at New Horizons and says he made working out so much fun, they were laughing the whole time.
She also saw Elke Kniss, a medical professional and nutritionist who operates The Spring, an Austin wellness center. Elke helped Phyllis further refine her diet.
Going Home Again
Phyllis moved back to Lake Charles in 2013 to help her mother after her father died. She felt called to return to Lake Charles not only to help her mother but also “to get my people to move.”
She teaches tai chi and trance dance and takes frequent yoga classes. She still works in the insurance industry doing quality assurance work 20 hours a week, telecommuting from home. She also does mediation.
Phyllis was invited to facilitate a two-hour trance dance at the Luminosa Festival, in Trinity, Texas (near Houston). Billed as a dance, music, and family festival, it will take place April 30-May 3, 2015.
She said that her elderly mother has been extremely fearful about Phyllis’ healing path, especially getting off prescription drugs, and was unable to rejoice at how she had gained control of her health issues.
When people who’ve known her all her life have asked what she’s done to have gotten so healthy, Phyllis says she could see their eyes glaze over when she got to the third change she made.
Now she just tells them,
“‘I eat this way so I won’t have to put needles in my stomach,’ and I leave it at that.”
She doesn’t feel deprived. She eats lots of fruits and vegetables and local grass-fed meats and seafood that are part of traditional Cajun cuisine.
She makes Indian corn soup, a traditional food of the local Chitimacha tribe, which her family has long made. Phyllis, who doesn’t use a recipe, makes the soup’s base of bone broth with chicken bones, onions, garlic, and odds and ends of vegetable scraps. To that, she adds corn, cabbage, tomatoes, V-8, and lots of cayenne and sea salt. She drinks a cup of this nourishing, healing soup every single day.
Now weighing 185, Phyllis still measures her blood sugar first thing every morning and once or twice more during the day, and every time for the past several years it has been normal. She doesn’t need to take insulin any more.
A New Way of Life
At first, after being diagnosed with diabetes, moving away from stress and toward nature and quiet helped Phyllis unwind and be able to think again.
Movement in the form of tai chi, trance dance, and later working with a personal trainer helped her become more active.
Through trance dancing, she began to hear the messages from her intuition about changing to a healthier diet one change at a time.
The more she danced, the more the healing messages came through and the more quickly she moved toward regaining her health. Dance helped her believe anything was possible and incorporate major changes to her diet with joy.
She sought effective guides in various traditions, from western medicine and a personal trainer to alternative healing practitioners in acupuncture, nutrition, and family constellation work. The latter helped Phyllis release dysfunctional energies that had been holding her back.
“Clearing has to happen for the yesses to come in,” Phyllis says.
And that’s what it took one woman to rebuild her health, learn to change her diet and lifestyle joyfully, reverse her diabetes, and go home again, bringing inspiration and tools to her people.
“I am here to encourage people to change the patterns of their lives, if they want to,” she says.
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