Debbie Ford dives right in without the usual introductory material found in most books and begins Chapter 1 with a challenge to the imagination:
“Imagine that you knew at birth that you were a master, that you were powerful beyond measure, that you possessed enormous gifts, and that all it would take to deliver your gifts to the world was your desire. Imagine that you came into this world with your heart filled with the healing power of love and that your only desire was to bestow that love onto all those around you. Imagine that you had the innate ability to create and have all that you want and all that you need. Is it possible that at some point in your life you knew that there was no one else in the world like you? And that in ever fiber of your being you knew that you not only possessed the light of the world, but that you were the light of the world? Is it possible that at one time you knew who you were at the deepest level and you rejoiced in your gifts? Take a moment now, and see if you can remember that time when you knew the truth of who you really are.”
And, so begins The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story, Debbie Ford’s follow-up to her New York Times #1 bestseller The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.
Ford, before sharing the life-altering tools outlined within the pages of this book, steps out of her own comfort zone by revealing her own story – the pains, the struggles, the disappointments, the failures, the useless (and sometimes destructive) coping mechanisms that she used to attempt the journey through this thing called “life". By her willingness to admit her own shortcomings “warts-and-all,” she makes herself more “human", thus making the rest of the book, and her suggestions for finding our true selves again, more believable, acceptable, and seemingly attainable.
Each chapter begins with a “Contemplation” then expands on the concept set out in the chapter’s title, and wraps up with a few “Healing Action Steps” to help you apply the insights on the aspects of your own life’s story that you have learned within the chapter’s focus. Ford concludes the book with a final contemplation meant to help you continue your journey with a new understanding of your own story and use your gifts to their full potential.
Although reading this book may stir some long-buried or uncomfortable feelings at first, you should also find the desire to begin living the life you'd rather be living. Ford has written from the viewpoint of someone who has “been-there-done-that,” yet utilizes her formal training and experience as a consultant and teacher with The Chopra Center for Well Being to inspire each reader toward his or her own personal growth and authentic self. And, once the last page is turned, you just may find yourself feeling “real” again.