There was a great South Park episode where a group of superheros (named the Super Best Friends) unites to fight a cult led by magician David Blaine. The superheroes included Buddha, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, Lao Tzu, and a couple of other heavy hitters. They were predictably unstoppable.
The Shadow Effect is written by three people who I think of in the same terms as the Super Best Friends–three authors at the top of their fields who have joined forces to write a book about how we can make ourselves better. And in my head, Deepak Chopra is the one with the Super Freeze Breath.
Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, and Debbie Ford. Between them, they’ve written a lot of books. Call it spirituality, new age, self improvement, personal development, enlightenment, philosophy–I personally look at their collective writing as a bunch of opportunities to get better and improve our lives. Beyond that, I haven’t labeled it.
The premise of The Shadow Effect
The full title is:
The Shadow Effect: Illuminating The Hidden Power Of Your True Self.
In my experience, most self-help books are trying to get us to see things in a new way. To change our perspective or shift our paradigm. The Shadow Effect is no different, but it goes about it in a way that I found quite interesting, if not entirely new.
So how does one go about “Illuminating The Hidden Power Of [Their] True Self?” By coming to terms with what they authors call The Shadow.
In many ways, over many pages, the authors are essentially saying that we’re made of good and evil, dark and light, yin and yang, negatives and positives. We each have things about ourselves that we don’t like. Limitations that we’re ashamed of. Regrets that we can’t let go of. Actions and thoughts that are beneath us.
Those are all The Shadow. Each author writes a segment of the book about what we can gain by facing The Shadow, and that is the most interesting part of the book for me. The application.
The authors encourage us to explore and even embrace our limitations. Rather than pretending they don’t exist or hoping that they’ll just go away if we ignore them, acknowledging our weaknesses and flaws can be what makes us “whole.” If they simmer for too long, they’ll become much more destructive when they eventually emerge.
When I read a book, I try as hard as I can to read with an open mind, sentence by sentence, looking for things that are true for me. If I can learn something from a book, I want to read it, regardless of the subject matter. If there is a song that can move me, I want to hear it, regardless of the genre.
And with every page of The Shadow Effect, there was something that made sense to me.
I read a few self-improvement books a year. And then I sit on them and think about them. What I don’t do is start writing reviews right away that say “This changed my life!” Books like The Shadow Effect are intended to bring about profound changes in the way the reader thinks and lives.
However, those changes don’t happen fast and without the reader’s commitment they may never happen at all.
So today, that’s where I stand. This book is full of wonderful ideas that make a lot of sense to me. The majority of it is entirely plausible. The application of its principles and suggestions could very well change my life for the better.
I’ll have to spend some time working on it before I can sign off on it as effective. But I can highly recommend it as a good starting point for someone trying to figure out how to make emotional peace with themselves.
What do you think? Any hardcore Chopra, Williamson, or Ford fans out there? Is it just a bunch of new age nonsense?Anyone else going to give The Shadow Effect a try with me?
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