My parents desperately wanted a boy but I was never to fulfil my father’s dream of having a son, despite becoming a tom-boy.
This had a huge impact on me: I felt that I was different from other girls and I did not believe that I would blossom into a fulfilled woman. Life was lonely, an uphill struggle in a world void of love, fun or purpose. Through these beliefs I had been shrinking away.
However, in 1988 I experienced my first rebirthing - a conscious breathing session - which gave me a profound mental and physical relaxation with inner peace that I had never previously experienced. (my first rebirther was Nanda Perrera). Over the next sessions I began to unravel the layers of limits I had imposed on myself. It was as if the light had been switched on - my own thoughts are the source of my experiences - thought is creative. Working with the breath allowed me to release at cellular level the unconscious decisions that I had made in my past. At last I could begin to accept and appreciate the wonder of being a woman. In the spring 1989 this incredible transformation prompted me to train as a rebirther with Diana Roberts in London. In 1990 I went to America for 6 months to train with Bob and Mallie Mandel and Sondra Ray.
Returning from a New Year’s Eve party in 1999 my companion - a very direct man- declared, "you are not a dancer! You have no routines" he said. At first I felt criticised and angry with him, then I felt the resignation - he was right, I would never dance as well as him anyway: he is Caribbean & I am European.
Prior to the Landmark Forum training I took in December 1998, I would have justified myself, and would have felt righteous about how wrong this man was. However at the Landmark Forum training I experienced and witnessed how blaming anyone kills any possibility for communication, transformation and love, and I really became committed to not blaming. So I asked myself: "What is my experience of dancing really like?". I had to admit that my friend was right - I had no routine and I had never been able to dance with a partner - most of my dancing had been a loner self-expression style. There was time at dancing parties I felt lonely and sad because of this, but I had pretended that it was just fine.
I looked further back to when I was about eight or nine when my older sister taught a few of us a dance routine for a Christmas-show. I remember her repeatedly telling me that I had no sense of rhythm. I felt hurt, embarrassed and ashamed. This must have stayed with me, as I grew up to believe that I could not dance! . Whenever I had wanted to learn how to dance my mind would go blank and my body would be uncoordinated. By not blaming my New Year�s friend I had given myself the space to explore within, and extract the reason, which had been hidden under the carpet since my childhood.
Once I understood the deep-rooted reason for my inability to dance, it became blatantly clear why I had always lacked true commitment to dancing. I would normally begin a class with a way out clause that would say "if it gets too difficult I will quit" - not believing that I could do it anyway. I would pretend, "partner dancing is just not for me" - but I used to enjoy watching salsa dancing!!! I loved the sensuous moving and the way women looked so sexy and feminine.
Having seen all the above I took on the commitment to learn how to dance salsa. I went to friendly classes between two to four times a week. Sometimes I would cry with frustration on my way home and other times I would be elated to see that I could dance with a partner. It felt such a victory. After a while I took the plunge to regularly attend a salsa club. It was very daunting at first, but it soon became easier and friendlier and I can now dance with a compatible partner in the sensuous salsa style that I previously could only watch and admire.
While learning salsa, I kept on going to my conscious connected breathing sessions. I continued to unravel and release the old self-imposed limitations, and moved on to supportive ones. "I am enough", "I can dance". At the same time I lost twenty-five pounds in weight, becoming my ideal weight. Since going to salsa and being slim,dressing up to go out is exciting and fun - it used to be such a struggle. Dancing salsa with a compatible partner is such a joy - it is an opportunity for being playful and light-hearted, having each dance being an adventure.
Both rebirthing and salsa dancing have given me great support on my journey to seeing myself as a confident, attractive and fulfilled woman. I have broken down my self-imposed barriers and have become so committed to dancing that last year I started tango, ballet and contemporary dance. Discovering dancing has given me great satisfaction. I am passionate about dancing in a way I did not know I could be - with a passion for living life to the full!
Dancing has added a new perspective to my work with the breath. Rebirthing / Breathwork is a powerful tool for transformation whatever the issue you wish to resolve. My faith and continual inspiration provide a powerful support for my clients to discover their passion and to have the courage and commitment of being themselves. Dancing with life.
by Béatrice Garoche