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The Dark Side Of The Light Chasers [Paperback]

Deborah Ford
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002
Debbie Ford believes that we each hold within us a trace of every human characteristic that exists, the capacity for every human emotion. We are born with the ability to express this entire spectrum of characteristics. But, Ford points out, our families and our society send us strong messages about which ones are good and bad. So when certain impulses arise, we deny them instead of confronting them, giving them a healthy voice, then letting them go. It is to these feelings that Ford turns our attention, these parts of our selves that don't fit the personae we have created for the rest of the world. She shows us the effects of living in the dark, of keeping all our supposedly unsavory impulses under wraps. We find ourselves disproportionately frustrated and angry at the selfishness of friends, the laziness of colleagues, the arrogance of siblings. When we are unable to reconcile similar impulses in ourselves, Ford explains, we waste our own energy judging others instead of empathizing. But most important, we deny ourselves the power and freedom of living authentically. Through the stories and exercises in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford shows us not only how to recognize our hidden emotions, but also how to find the gifts they offer us. The very impulses we most fear may be the key to what is lacking in our lives.

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Product Description

From Amazon

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 modelled 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 sounds 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most of us set out on the path to personal growth because at some point the burden of our pain becomes too much to bear. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invitation to be a Whole Human Being! July 17 2002
The message here is clear. Reclaim your power and creativity by actively embracing the sides of yourself you deny or dislike. Rather than waste time and energy condemning others, look at yourself for possible faults you may be finding in those around you. In this context, being a whole person is more important than being a "good" person. Being "spiritual" means being fully human, warts and all!
Many examples are given throughout of how judging others negatively is in fact a mirror for one's own perceived negative personality traits. Positive qualities are also often projected onto others and we can reclaim these too. By accepting the whole truth about ourselves we can move forward with a greater sense of self-worth and more love to give to others.
"Do you really want inner peace?" asks Debbie Ford, "If you do its yours. Surrender. Stop fighting. Stop defending. Stop pretending. Stop denying. Stop lying to yourself". Overall this is a powerful read in the territory of the "Conversations With God" books by Neale Donald Walsch who contributes an introduction here. As with many books of this nature, the challenge is to consistently LIVE these ideas!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness Comes to Light March 18 2004
This book has genuinely helped me continue to bring out my greatest attributes from within, as well as learn to honor all aspects of myself. Ironically, I discovered this book from the Afterword of another book 'Individual Power' where the author shared how much this book helped her. What a wonderful gift this brought to me!
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers helped me learn how to embrace those aspects within that I did not 'own' but viewed as 'wrong.' Through this wonderful book, I was able to discover the good behind the so-called 'bad'. I was able to free myself of false limiting beliefs, and I am deeply grateful for the contribution this book has had on my life.
I highly recommend this book as another wonderful and powerful tool if you want to own and embrace all aspects of yourself so you can soar in your life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a brilliant, brilliant book! April 24 2004
By A Customer
I thought I was happy, I thought I was mature. I was looking for another challenge in life, so I picked up this book to see if there was anything useful. Whoa! This book made me realize that I have a whole other side to myself that I was not aware of. It made me understand what really being whole as a person is all about. I cannot say enough about this book! Thanks to this book, I feel I can really see the positive and negative sides of myself. I am using it to figure out how to get rid of the clutter in my life and embrace the simple beauty of it all. Another book that is really helping me now is "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. It is another one of these terrific books that looks at these things with a focus on our relationships with other people. Both of these books are highly, highly recommended!!! Good luck to you all!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tom L.
Actually 3 stars is generous. 2 to 2 and half is about all it deserves. The exercises are ok. The overall message that we need to embrace all sides of ourselves and learn from every part of us, good and bad is fine, but Ford's anecdotes,such as the one about "Jennifer" and her stalker, just don't ring true.
If a total stranger followed me for months on end including to Hawaii half-way around the world, there is no way in holy hell I would be content with merely acknowledging my own capacity for evil and saying "hello" to the stalker to get rid of him or her.
If anything, some stalkers would be ENCOURAGED by the one they stalk saying "hello." And if all my so-called friend could offer in the way of advice and support is "just own your own evil" - I think i'd soon drop that person as a friend.
Likewise with the Morgan story - she admitted how much she hated her mother and all her stomach cancer magically disappeared.
Are we as readers given any evidence whatsoever that any of these things ever happened ? NO!!! could they have been cnojured up by a self-styled self-help guru just to sell books ? YES!!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tape does not include visualizations... Jan. 3 2005
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
Having enjoyed the book over and over I finally purchased the tape version so that our book club could listen to Debbie lead the visualizations included at the end of each chapter. Unfortunately the tape only includes the material up to the homework and does not include the visualizations. It is still wonderful to hear Debbie's voice read the material but future customers should be aware of this limitation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
When are we average people going to stop letting self-help gurus like this author cheat us out of our hard-earned money? I read the book with somewhat low expectations, and I was not disappointed!
Maybe I'm completely out of touch with the rest of the world (i.e. California), but I hear one more Self-help Guru telling me that if I follow her psychological diet of nutritious nuggets I will shed the cumbersome load of stagnant mental sludge. She has some nice ideas but they are neither original or practical. I hear a hundred other psychoanalytical prophets speaking through her words. Just another psychological diet book for us mentally unfit savages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lasting Changes Nov. 29 2001
The philosophies shared in this book are significant. Unlike many of the theories written in other self-helps, Debbie provides the reader with tools that seem to make true lasting changes. I took the time to do the exercises and I believe I find myself on a brighter path of consciousness and contentment. I also highly recommend "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life" by Taro Gold. Excellent.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this read.
Love this read. Forward thinking. Debbie doesn't teach how to change the dark, yucky pieces we feel in ourselves. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Full Circle
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read all year for me
Having a voracious appetite for spiritual awakening books - this one came at the perfect time for my development. Read more
Published 11 months ago by jimbob
5.0 out of 5 stars One Excellent Book
I thought I had finished writing my own book. I believed I had said all I have learned. Then I picked up Debbie Ford's book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Read more
Published on June 19 2003 by Barbara Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Highly recommendable to all. Very helpful, inspiring, & life changing.
Published on March 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!!
Attention self help addicts! When you read this book by Debbie Ford you will come to a point where you will lay the book in your lap & say to yourself, "I think I'm... Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you know who you are?
This book will tell you -- you are everything! You are much more than you ever imagined! If you want to be happy, read this book -- not because it will give you a temporary feeling... Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2002 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uplifting Look at the Dark Side
In Debbie Ford's book THE DARK SIDE OF THE LIGHT CHASERS: RECLAIMING YOUR POWER, CREATIVITY, BRILLIANCE, AND DREAMS, the author explores what she calls the "shadow" or the "dark... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Picks up where Shakti Gawain left off
Picks up off where Shakti Gawain left of in Living in the Light --- written 15 years ago! Both books are artfully written to lead the reader on a journey to embrace the self --... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2002
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