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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 83 “I don’t really like Barbies,” the mother replied. I could see that she was treading lightly. “What don’t you like about them?” my daughter asked. “I don’t like their legs,” my friend an- swered. “They’re too long.” She had deli- cately tried to put in concrete terms the ideological essence of her objection. My daughter considered that for a moment. “But you like me, right?” Georgia was four or five at the time, and her question seemed silly at first. Then I realized that she was working through the unfamiliar business of liking and disliking someone because of how they look—her legs, after all, were short. Was that likable or not? These friends moved away two years ago and recently returned for a visit. The Barbie ban had been lifted, exempted as a one-time payoff for a tooth filling, then obliterated entirely by the overwhelming force of pent- up desire. The mother was circumspect about the early years and her intentions. By banning the Barbie she had been trying to prevent in her daughter a recurrence of her own adolescent self-loathing. It wasn’t about her daughter at age four, but age fourteen. Wouldn’t it be simple if banning a doll could directly prevent adolescent self- loathing; if that were all it took to guar- antee that our teens would be happy and self-assured; if with such a simple act they could bypass the lifelong debility of self-criticism and bound into unshakable equanimity? How ironic that for the sake of liberating our daughters from the inju- ry of self-loathing, we ourselves introduce the insult of persistently dualistic views. In a few years, I’ll probably have a dif- ferent perspective on this. My daughter will no longer view herself so guilelessly. Perhaps by then I’ll accept my middle-age paunch, my flab, my waddling neck, and my hips. Perhaps by then I can teach her something worthwhile about the delusion of self-image; the trap of egocentric think- ing; the twin torments of like and dislike; the penitentiary of good and bad. Perhaps by then I will have mastered the dharma of Barbie. Until then, I’ll reach under the bed and manage the inventory. ♦ “INow Have the Life of My Dreams..” “When I first heard of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing I was a counselor in a community mental health center working with people afflicted by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Being on the verge of complete burnout with overwork had led me to explore alternative modalities of healing, as much for myself as for my clients. “I knew from the moment I picked up Barbara’s book Hands of Light® that I had to attend the school. Almost immediately after enrolling, major changes began occurring in my life. “My clients, many with whom I had been working for years, also began to improve, in some cases dramatically. And my own personal healing has been profound. “The school, with its wonderful teachers, set me on a journey of self-discovery and movement toward wholeness. In 2000 I gave up my job, and I now have a thriving healing practice in which I use my skills as a counselor, along with hands-on healing. “I now know what it is to be ‘embodied.’ “I speak from my entire being when I say that I love all that I have created in my life. It is the life of my dreams, and I can thank Barbara...and myself...for this extraordinary gift.” —Madeleine Conger, Louisiana, 2002 BBSH ® Graduate www.barbarabrennan.com • 1-800-924-2564 500 NE Spanish River Boulevard, Suite 108, Boca Raton, FL 33431 ® BARBARA BRENNAN SCHOOL OF HE ALING ® Like Madeleine, you too have the opportunity to learn directly from Barbara Brennan on the four-year training program that can transform your life and bring the higher levels of awareness into everyday normality. The Barbara Brennan School of Healing isn’t just about learning to heal—it’s also about creating the life you want. Visit our web site to order a free copy of our remarkable DVD, Becoming a Healer. Jill Ansell Tibetan Reflections Original Paintings • Giclee Prints Handmade Frames • Mirrors www.dakinivision.com