The Shadow Effect book cover
Photo: Courtesy of HarperOne
Whether you want to believe it or not, you have a dark side. When you start to ignore it or push it aside, it begins to make decisions for you and strips you of your conscious choices. Maybe for you it's the foods you eat or the mean words you speak, but it's there. In The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self, co-authors Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson shed light on your shadow issues to help you deal with them with compassion, instead of fear.
The story of the human being and the human psyche has been examined, studied, and written about since the beginning of our existence. Although it's been researched and dissected by brilliant thinkers, explored and explained by the greatest intellects of all time, most of us are still living in the dark, perplexed by the behavior of our friends, our family members, our idols, and—more often than not—ourselves. Disappointed by the condition of our own lives, we forge ahead each day hoping that our darker impulses and bad behaviors will miraculously disappear.

Hurt time and again by the flaws that we can't seem to shake free of, we silently pray that we will find the courage to give up our procrastination, our overspending, our chocolate, our resentments, or our sharp tongues. Yet we continue to succumb to our lower impulses, sabotage our own desires, and neglect our future. In an attempt to hide our discontent, we put on a happy face, muster our best "everything is fine" look, and continue acting out in ways that undermine our self-esteem and defeat our best-laid plans.

Debbie Ford
Photo: Courtesy of Debbie Ford
In the course of raising our children, chasing success, and struggling to put enough away for vacation or retirement, answers to the very questions that will help us grow elude us. Our deeper yearning for self-understanding gets buried beneath the daily news, family issues, a health crisis, or a common cold. An indignant neighbor, a disgruntled ex, or a child who has lost their way will literally suck the hours out of our days and the money out of our bank accounts while twisting our minds into believing that we can't and won't ever have everything we want. Sometimes, we even forget that we ever wanted anything different from what we have. The repetitiveness of our toxic memory can lure us into years of accepting more of the same and wasting away in a mediocre existence that fails to meet even our own expectations.

Unfortunately, this method of survival strips us of the ability to live the life that we were meant to live. The emotional pain that surfaces as part of everyday life has us wish away our past and become resigned about our future. If we feel we have been deceived or conned or that we have acted out of character, we become victims of the past and hopeless about what's to come. Cynical and skeptical, we fall prey to judgment, opting to point our finger at others rather than look inside ourselves for the answers to our woes. The robotic nature of our egocentric self rises up to help us overcome our feelings of insecurity and shame by protesting our innocence and proclaiming our differences. We think that if only we could just get that one person or thing to change, we would feel better. We believe that if we handle the one issue that we keep complaining about or get that one thing that we've been striving for, we will be happy.

More Excerpts from The Shadow Effect
Introduction by Debbie Ford
The Shadow by Deepak Chopra
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

More from The Shadow Effect

How the shadow can affect your life
Can you identify the shadow working in your life? Take the quiz!
Find out more about the 6-week breakthrough plan

Copyright © 2010 by Deepak Chopra and Rita Chopra Family Trust, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. Reprinted by permission of HarperOne.


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