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The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams Paperback – June 1, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

We know the shadow by many names: alter ego, lower self, the dark twin, repressed self, id. Carl Jung once said that the shadow "is the person you would rather not be." But even if you choose to hide your dark side, it will still cast a shadow, according to author Debbie Ford. Rather than reject the seemingly undesirable parts of ourselves, Ford offers advice on how to confront our shadows. Only by owning every aspect of yourself can you achieve harmony and "let your own light shine," she explains. "The purpose of doing shadow work, is to become whole. To end our suffering. To stop hiding ourselves from ourselves. Once we do this we can stop hiding ourselves from the rest of the world."

As threatening as shadow work may seem, it is often very effective in creating transformation. Ford's step-by-step guidebook is modeled on a highly successful course she developed about embracing the shadow. Ultimately, she helps readers illuminate the gifts and strengths that lie within the shadows. Although this works sound vague, clouded in dark metaphors, Ford manages to make it clear and specific. She has the writing gifts of a successful seminar leader--inspirational, trustworthy, and able to convey murky material with grace and ease. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Everyone possesses the entire range of human traits and emotionsA"the saintly and the cynical, the divine and the diabolical, the courageous and the cowardly"Acontends Ford, a faculty member of California's Chopra Center for Well-Being. The problem, as Ford (and Freud) define it, is that in growing up, people suppress those behaviors, thoughts, feelings and characteristics that are unacceptable within their particular environments. But rather than daily sessions on the couch, Ford advocates re-imagining and reclaiming lost aspects of self, urging readers to "unconceal" and embrace those traits buried in their "shadow," in order to find their "gift." She offers exercises designed to bring such traits to the surface, including directed self-questioning; listing one's characteristics for closer examination of positives and negatives; and "discharging toxic emotions" physically. Her advice is often drawn from anecdotes of experiences with friends and in workshops that she has taught or attended, and from her own struggles with various aspects of her personality. What some will see as disarming simple methodology may seem shallow to those with a more analytical bent. But even those not looking for the "Resistant Rita," "Lovegirl Laurie," "My-way Marvin" or "Competent Ken" locked inside them may find him or her in spite of themselves.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573227358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573227353
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Debbie Ford was an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal transformation. She was the bestselling author of nine books -- The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, Spiritual Divorce, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life, Why Good People Do Bad Things, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, The Shadow Effect, and Courage. A transformational coach, speaker and teacher for more than 20 years, Debbie was the creator of the renowned Shadow Process Workshop, the executive producer of The Shadow Effect transformational documentary and founder of The Ford Institute for Transformational Training, the world-renowned personal and professional training organization. A pioneering force in incorporating the study and integration of the shadow into modern psychological and spiritual practices, Debbie Ford's books have sold over 1 million copies, are translated into 32 languages, and are used in institutions of learning worldwide. For more information, visit www.debbieford.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is a story in Native American history of an Indian chief who one night talking to his tribe tells them there are two dogs inside his mind. One a white dog who is good and courageous, the other a black dog who is vengeful and spiteful.He tells the tribe the dogs are fighting to the death. A brave, not able to wait for the end of the story asks "Which one of them will win." The chief responds "The one I feed."
This book tells us how to feed the white dog. I loved the book. I would also highly recommend the book An Encounter With A Prophet.
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Format: Paperback
Our psychologists and many popular self-help movements have seem absolutely determined to make us permanent victims of our past. We are the way we are because of mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, did so and so or did not do so and so, causing us to be the way we are today. This philosophy of blaming others for our own shortcomings has created a whole society of victims. And all of these victims have been going around "confronting" everyone they know for making them the way they are.
Thank God for a refreshing breath of common sense! We are the way we are because we get something out of being the way we are. If we want to change we need to first accept responsibility for being the way we are and then determine what we get out of being that way. This is Debbie Ford's message. Using Ford's techniques along with those suggested by Lewis in his book An Encounter With A Prophet, you will be able to stop being a victim of your past and your present. I strongly recommend both books for those wishing to attain some real lasting peace of mind.
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Here's an unpleasant thought, for those of us who try so hard to be nice, spiritual, kind -- we have a dark side, too. Holding on to (hiding) our dark side is what keeps us from moving forward and making significant changes in our lives. Can't: get rid of the excess weight, stop ruining good relationships, getting into bad ones? You just might want to take a look at this book, find that dark side and use it to set you free.
One way to spot the dark side, according to Debbie Ford, in her excellent book, is to pay attention to our over-reactions. If you find yourself getting all worked up when someone accuses you of being something you just KNOW you're not, Ford tells us that that reaction means you're right on top of some important information.
You could go into psychotherapy to try and work it out. Or you could just get this book, and start embracing the darker side. You won't fall apart -- read it, do the exercises. This is a book you can read and follow alone, but it's also an excellent book to work on, or discuss, with a good friend or two.
Don't pass this one by, unless you're perfect!
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By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of self-help books and this is by far the best I've ever read. It's not a book for everyone. Many people are not ready to look at themselves with total honesty. But, as the author explains, "What you can't be with, won't let you be." The things you deny about yourself will keep popping-up in your life, until you finally understand and accept them. As the author say so well "Because when we judge ourselves we automatically judge others. And what we do to others, we also do to ourselves. The world is a mirror of our internal selves. When we can accept ourselves, we automatically accept and forgive others."
The fascinating thing is, usually people that we dislike, are actually mirroring a quality that we are denying about ourselves. We have nearly every positive and negative quality there is, but through painful experiences, we come to deny certain parts of ourselves. We are unaware of how greatly this affects our life, and our interaction with other people.
We are also unaware of how wonderful life can be when we free ourselves. As she says "What you don't own, owns you." and "What you resist, persists." I can't do this book justice in this short review, but if you are ready to look at yourself with total honesty, and really change your life for the better, buy this book!
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Format: Paperback
Although I have heard, from probably a dozen differnet sources, "we are all mirrors of each other" and "what we dislike in another is what we have to work on in ourselves", this book was a giant AHA! and I knew that I had finally "gotten it"! Debbie Ford doesn't have to rely on psychology "jargon" - her clear and simple, unvarnished examples and directions are perfect tools to get you where you want to be in your life. If you take her words to heart, I guarantee your view of yourself will change, and you'll never look at your fellow humans in quite the same way, either. Empowerment!
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Format: Paperback
THE DARK SIDE OF THE LIGHT CHASERS is written with such brutal honesty that if you are not ready to change your life than don't bother with the book. Why? Because it would probably put you off, and that would be a shame because this is an extraordinary book that will surely alter your life as it did mine. Ms. Ford teaches us to deal with our inner demons or shadows as they are called in the book Shadow work as Ms. Ford refers to is the on going process of depolarizing, and balancing to heal the split between the conscious sense of self and the all else we are or could be. We learn that `Dark' doesn't mean only negative, it refers to something out of the light of our conscious awareness.
We know our shadow by many names, dark side, alter ego, the dark twin, the repressed self. I always told myself that I was crazy, I'm not worthy of the nice things that I have, and worst of all I felt unloved. Believe me when I say the hardest thing in the world to do is to look deep inside yourself honestly and for me it all came out in anger, learning to own the anger and then dealing with it so I could change that pattern in myself. When we do that our whole way of thinking changes for the better.
THE DARK SIDE OF THE LIGHT CHASERS is a wonderful self-help book and will show you how to be a whole person if you really want it.
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