There is a Light That Never Dies

There could hardly be a light as bright as that of Pam Runnells. She was a woman radiant with life-force. Everything about her gleamed!  Her eyes, her heart, her spirit…illuminated everything and everyone around her! Those in her sphere were all like moths to the flame…drawn to the succulent radiance of her unique spirit. I know I was! I met Pam on a dance floor in Lufkin, TX, back in 1995. She and Mechelle Sieg teamed up to bring Nia to our small town community. They were pioneers! YES! Pioneers of Joy, pleasure, and community. These were the early days of Nia…the days of “Medicine Woman” and “Leap of Faith”…and these two soul mates  were on a mission to turn folks ON to fully living in, sensing, and loving their bodies. It was MAGIC that was created…in our own community…and in others as we caravanned near and far to experience more Nia with more people and communities! 

What I remember most of Pam is her voracity for life, devouring the richness of each moment, relishing in the pleasures of being in and loving her body and life. She loved to move…she was a magnet for community…she loved deeply…and she could throw a party like no other!  There was a book released in the mid-nineties, by Sark, called, “The Succulent Wild Woman”…and I’d say it is the perfect metaphor for describing Pam. She truly IS the epitome of “Succulent Wild Woman”…the mother of soaking in and relishing in the juice of life and living.

A poem, by Mary Ann Radmacher, shared at Pam’s Living Memorial Service, as a beautiful reflection of her and her life:

She danced.
She sang.
She took. She gave.
She loved.
She created.
She dissented.
She enlivened.
She saw. She grew.
She sweated. She changed.
She learned. She laughed.
She shed her skin.
She bled on the pages of her days.
She walked through walls.
She lived with intention.

There have been so many of us who have been touched by Pam’s ‘succulent’ magic! From her family and friends, to us Nians, who have trained with her, danced in sacred spaces throughout Texas, Arkansas, Portland, OR, and many spaces in between. Her light lives on through us…the people lucky enough to have encountered her enigmatic brilliance…people like Mechelle Sieg, Holly Curtis, Anita Stark, Randy Miller, Lori Donahoe, and many, many more! Her legacy lives on in me. She is wrapped in my Nia story that I have the pleasure of telling every time I present the Nia White Belt Training.  I am proud to be in her heritage and comforted to know that her spirit is always accessible through every ‘telling’…and in some way, I get to share a little bit of that magic from my time with Pam in Lufkin, with my trainees…the light and the life lives on.

Friends who would like to honor Pam through donations, may submit donations in her name to Potter’s House, 2703 N Drake St, Fayetteville, AR 72703 or The Breast Center, 55 W Sunbridge Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72703.

Online condolences may be made to the family at