So Sheryl Sandberg has launched the ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign. The idea is that boys who assert themselves are called ‘leaders’, while girls who do the same are dismissed as ‘bossy’. Quit telling a girl, any girl, that she’s ‘bossy’ and she will no longer be afraid to speak out in class. Thus, or so the reasoning goes, she will become a great world leader.
I can’t really relate to this.
Unlike Sandberg, I was never called bossy as a kid (or as an adult). That’s not my style, even when I am the boss. But I don’t think that anybody who knows me well would say I have a problem speaking out or declaring a passionate point of view.
In the tradition of highly creative kids in small towns all over the world, I didn’t fit in at the best of times. I was sensitive and dreamy and in my head. I read obsessively. I answered questions about Spot and Jane in reading group and then sat at my desk with my Agatha Christie novel and pondered good and evil.
The bullies found me early.
In first grade, it was an oversized, older kid named Phil. In fourth and fifth grades, it was the equally oversized Ross, who introduced some confusion into the matter when he asked me to go with him. That was our version of what was once known as going steady. A boy would send you a note that said WILL YOU GO WITH ME CHECK YES OR NO. Where boys and girls were actually going when they were going with each other was maybe not so glamorous — the Mac’s convenience store on the corner was a popular hangout for the wild ones, born too soon for Starbucks, with their swagger and rebel cries and ability to throw back shots of blue Slushie — but that seemed more or less beside the point.
From sixth grade on, my bullies were girls, the kind who didn’t look or seem like bullies at all. They were bright, socially sophisticated, popular with kids and liked by grown-ups. They made my day-to-day life so miserable I eventually begged my parents to transfer me to another school. The fact that they were sweet, middle-class white girls didn’t change the fact that they were (at least to me) domineering and mean; if anything, it helped them get away with it. click here
If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light. — Lady Gaga
In a recent post on Positively Positive, Danielle LaPorte asks an excellent series of questions:
“Escaping? From what? Your Pain? Or your Power?”
She makes the point that
“Continually staring down your demons can be an act of avoidance all its own.”
Shadow work – at least as I understand it – isn’t about staring down your demons so much as giving them a name, a nod of recognition, and a place at the table that is otherwise known as your psyche. The very act of putting your attention on something – on bringing it out of your unconscious and into your conscious – transmutes it. It releases new energy.
Reclaiming some lost aspect of yourself gives you a bigger, deeper range of colors from which to create the day-to-day responses to your life.
There’s a gorgeous quote from Rilke:
“How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses, who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” click here
“You’re still going to get criticized, so you might as well do whatever the fuck you want.” — Kathleen Hanna
Shame researcher and bestselling author Brene Brown writes about her sense of panic when she realized that her TEDxHouston talk was going viral. The “quick and global spread” of her work exposed her to the less-than-charming side of Internet culture. Comments like:
How can she talk about worthiness when she clearly needs to lose 15 pounds?
Less research. More Botox!
She may believe that she’s enough, but by the look of that chest, she could use some more.
If I looked like Brene Brown, I’d embrace imperfection too.
Keep in mind that Brene Brown wasn’t trying to make a living off her looks. She doesn’t act or model. She wasn’t even claiming to be pretty.
She’s a freaking shame researcher. (Researchers — and writers, for that matter — are not exactly known for The Sexy.) click here
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