Photo: Courtesy of Debbie Ford
This book was born out of a desire to illuminate the many life-altering gifts of the shadow. In the following pages, each of us will approach the subject from our own unique perspective as teachers. Our intention is to provide a comprehensive, multi-lens understanding of how the shadow was born within us, how it functions in our lives, and most important, what we can do to discover the gifts of our true nature. We promise that after reading this book you will never think of your shadow self in the same way again.
In Part I, Deepak Chopra gives us a comprehensive overview of our dualistic nature and offers a prescription to return us to wholeness. A mind/body pioneer, Chopra has transformed millions of lives with his teachings. His holistic approach to the divisive nature of the shadow is both grounding and illuminating.
In Part II, I draw upon nearly ﬁfteen years of teaching and leading The Shadow Process around the world to offer an accessible yet in-depth examination of the birth of the shadow, the role of the shadow in our everyday lives, and how we can reclaim the power and brilliance of our authentic nature.
In Part III, Marianne Williamson touches our hearts and minds with a provocative exploration of the connection between the shadow and the soul. A renowned international spiritual teacher, Marianne takes our hand and guides us through the bumpy terrain of the battle between love and fear.
Each of us comes with years of experience and a sincere hope that we can illuminate the shadow once and for all. For if we do not counter the force of the shadow and integrate its wisdom, it has the potential to continue to wreak havoc on our lives and our world. When we fail to admit to our vulnerabilities and recognize our bad behaviors, we will inevitably sabotage ourselves when we are on the verge of some personal or professional breakthrough. Then the shadow wins. When we act out of disproportionate anger in speaking to our children, the shadow wins. When we deceive our loved ones, the shadow wins. When we refuse to accept our true nature, the shadow wins. If we do not bring the light of our highest self to the darkness of our human impulses, the shadow wins. Until we accept all of who we are, the shadow effect will have the power to impede our happiness. If left unacknowledged, the shadow will stop us from being whole, prevent us from achieving our best-laid plans, and leave us living half a life. It is our hope in writing this book that we will bring the shadow into the light. There has never been a better time to create a new lexicon, to illuminate the shadow, and to ﬁnally understand what's been so difﬁcult to see and hard to explain.
Shadow work, as described in this book, is more than a psychological process or an intellectual banter. It is a prescriptive solution to problems unsolved. It is a life-altering journey that goes beyond any psychological theory because it deems the dark side as a human issue, a spiritual issue that all of us must resolve in this lifetime if we are to live a fully self-expressed life. We will ﬁnally understand why we are no better and no worse than anyone else regardless of our color, our background, our sexual orientation, our genetic makeup, or our past. There is no one in the world who doesn't have a shadow, and when taken seriously and understood, the shadow can birth a new reality that will alter the way we feel about ourselves, the way we parent our children, the way we treat our partners, the way we interact with our community members, and the way we engage with other nations.
I believe that the shadow is one of the greatest gifts available to us. Carl Jung called it a "sparring partner"; it is the opponent within us that exposes our ﬂaws and sharpens our skills. It is the teacher, the trainer, and the guide that supports us in uncovering our true magniﬁcence. The shadow is not a problem to be solved or an enemy to be conquered but a fertile ﬁeld to be cultivated. When we dig our hands into its rich soil, we will discover the potent seeds of the people we most desire to be. It is our sincere hope that you take this journey, for we know what's waiting inside.
More Excerpts from The Shadow Effect
The Shadow by Deepak Chopra
Making Peace with Ourselves, Others and the World by Debbie Ford
Only Light Can Cast Out Darkness by Marianne Williamson
The Shadow Effect: A 6-Week Breakthrough Plan
Debbie Ford will guide you through a six-week breakthrough plan to help you understand your mysterious shadow, how it affects the key areas of your life and what it has to teach you about yourself so that you can finally create the life you've always wanted.
Debbie Ford is the New York Times best-selling author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and The Secret of the Shadow. Her other national best-selling books include The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, The Right Questions, Spiritual Divorce and The Best Year of Your Life. She collaborated with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson for their book, The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self (HarperOne). She is the founder of the Ford Institute for Transformational Training. Visit her online at DebbieFord.com.
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Find out more about the 6-week breakthrough plan