by Béatrice Garoche
My parents desesperately 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 happy woman. Life was lonely. 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 the time – 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.
In the past, I would have justified myself, and would have felt righteous about how wrong this man was. However I knew by then how blaming anyone kills any possibility for communication, transformation and love, and I was committed not to blame him. So I asked myself: “What is my experience of dancing really like?”. I had to admit that he 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.
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. “Never mind” 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 of this 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 good 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. Before rebirthing I did not know that I had this longing for dancing. Rebirthing has opened the doors for me to discover how passionate I am and how much I love to feel alive.
Dancing has added a new perspective to my work with the breath. Rebirthing, life and breath coaching is a powerful tool for transformation whatever the issue you wish to resolve. My faith in what this work can do, and my continual inspiration provide a powerful support for my clients to discover their own passion and to have the courage and commitment of being themselves.
Thank you for reading me.
Dancing with life.
Edited article published in Breathe Magazine