I was born and raised in a small enchanting hamlet in southern France with my younger brother. My parents weren't wealthy but lived with the generosity of giving that we expect of those who have a lot. Throughout my childhood, people who needed help for one reason or another would come to live with us, sometimes for long periods. My parents had strong personalities and abundant personal power.
They believe one should never sacrifice their principles for personal gain or want to be liked by others. They encouraged me to cultivate being an individualist. They demonstrated that personal power is not just for oneself; it is the fuel the heart uses to make a difference in the world. They instilled these values in me from a very young age.
I can describe myself as a child through a story from when I was about six. I was at a small gathering of mothers and children. The mothers asked the kids if they liked school and why. Each child took a turn to describe why they loved school. When my turn came to answer, I declared that I did not like school. When they asked me why, I said, "School is making me forget what I already know." I never enjoyed learning by going to school. My curiosity and ways of learning have always been very organic, and my inclination from a young age was always artistic. I studied modern dance and loved choreographing dances and teaching my peers at school during recess. I studied theater and joined a theater group as a teen. From a young age, I was an avid reader. By age 7, I was writing comments about the motivations of characters in stories, always trying to figure out what was happening in them. By the age of 14, I was writing poetry. I had a book of poems published when I was 18 years old.
My adventurous spirit brought me to the USA when I was in my twenties. My life was changed forever when I decided to do a three-month dance intensive workshop with a teacher, Joy Berta, in the Bay Area. She was a professional classical dancer who developed her teaching through her experience and understanding of the relationship between the body, dance, energies, and emotions. At the end of the seminar, she told me I needed to teach. I was stunned and responded: teach what? She replied: I have taught you the alphabet of a language to access the specific wisdom that lives in your body. When you walk into a room, trust your body to reveal the essence of your teachings.
My natural curiosity overrode my confusion and perplexity, and I asked 12 people to volunteer to participate in my first in-person workshop. I walked into the room, not knowing what to do; my mind was blank. And then what my teacher had predicted is precisely what happened. There began a fantastic adventure of discoveries and teachings spanning over thirty years. This journey has been the path to developing my work and philosophy.
Even as a child, I had a passion and a drive to discover, understand and express my humanity, my uniqueness, and my gifts, combined with the same desire to understand other human beings, to connect with them, always seeking depth and meaning in all relationships and a deep desire to lead people to feel honored to be a human being. Looking back at all my years of teaching thousands of people, I feel immensely grateful for their trust in me. Because of that trust and their courage, I have been able to give of myself deeply and live a meaningful and purposeful life. I have been able to witness time and time again what is miraculous in human beings – to face the darkness in ourselves and others and to transform that darkness into light.