"How many times have you felt yourself shrink? How many times have you made yourself small enough to fit into some role that you wanted no part of? How many times have you kept your mouth shut when you wanted to scream loudly, or handed over your power to someone who didn't have your best interests at heart? How many time have you succumbed to an impulsive or addictive behavior rather than making a clear-minded choice?"
Most of us know of Debbie Ford as the supremely competent, confident, elegant, multitalented woman with the ability to transform an audience with her words and presence.
What we may not know about her is that she was once a scrawny 'Scaredy Cat' little kid (actual nickname from her dad) who has gone through drug abuse, divorce, betrayal, bad business partners and a whole lot more. Oh, and cancer since 2001, which she hasn't really talked about much until right now.
Several times, the extent to which Debbie shared stories that one would normally not recount in public surprised me. From the ill-advised romance with the European count, to the very personal details of her relationships, business mistakes, workaholism, and near-fatal disease, it's all here.
And therein lies the true value of this book. Like many other excellent self-help books, it has useful exercises designed to change your thinking and behavior. But let's face it - you're probably never going to do those exercises. So what's going to stay with you from this book are the *stories* -- from Debbie and her workshop students.
The stories are potentially transformative, because when you hear about another woman's story of rediscovering her beauty, power, strength and courage out of an initially hopeless situation, you just might see yourself in her. And that just could be the elixir for you to snap out of your uninspiring job, loveless marriage or other slump - or just to live a little more joyfully each day.
I really liked Part II of the book containing the seven 'codes' for "moving from your head to your heart": Divine Guidance, Surrender, Emotional Freedom, Heartful Compassion, Loving Heart, Inspired Vision, and Supreme Beauty. There are several lifetimes' worth of wisdom and healing in those chapters.
This is no ordinary book. This is a work of searing honesty that can only come from someone who has looked rehab, divorce, betrayal and even death directly in the eye and come to appreciate life for the miracle that it is. Get it for yourself or a woman you love. Courage, the single quality that enables everything else in life, is a gift of everlasting value.
-- Ali Binazir MD MPhil, author of 'The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible', the highest-rated dating book on Amazon (4.9/5.0 stars)