Debbie Ford – WOMAN of ACTION™ *Tribute



A Celebration of Women™

is inspired to Celebrate the Life of one of our world’s greatest minds, mother, award winning author, an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal transformation, a humanitarian, a philanthropist and a WOMAN.  

Today, we send our love in remembrance of this awakened feminine soul.




Debbie Ford

In Memoriam…

1955 – 2013

Debbie Ford died at home in San Diego on February 17th, 2013.

“In trying to express only those aspects of ourselves that we believe will guarantee us the acceptance of others, we suppress some of our most valuable features and sentence ourselves to a life of reenacting the same drama with the same outworn script,” Ford says.

“Reclaiming the parts of ourselves that we have relegated to the shadow is the most reliable path to actualizing our human potential. Once befriended, our shadow becomes a divine map that reconnects us to the life we were meant to live and the people we were meant to be.”


A Message from Debbie Ford

The evolution of one’s own soul is a process …

DEBBIE FORD GOD GIVESIt’s not a quick fix. It’s not a five day workshop. It’s a lifetime process where we let go, discover and then allow for futures to come into existence. Through connecting to our soul, to our collective heart, we can become congruent with our deepest values and our life mission. We can then allow for the realities which are always available to us to unfold. As we all have heard, love is the answer. Indeed it is, but it’s not just the loving of our good self, of our good qualities. True love is embracing our dark impulses, our imperfections, our mistakes and our heartache. That is when one reconnects and experiences the love that is truly the answer.

It is my mission day after day to find new ways to inspire others to go on this lifelong journey to clean up their past, to forgive themselves for their flaws and shortcomings, to make peace with their humanity, to open up to their divinity and allow themselves to be guided by a power greater than themselves.

Congruence, integration, responsibility and integrity are the values that I stand for that each of us can reclaim as part of this process. Within ourselves, there are voices that provide us with all the answers that we need to heal our deepest wounds, to transcend our limitations, to overcome our obstacles or challenges, and to see where our soul is longing to go. Training people to go beyond their minds for direction in order to connect with these voices within is at the core of everything I teach.

Understanding the relationship between one’s inner world, where these voices and this wisdom reside, and the outer world is the thing that radically altered my life. Understanding this relationship is one of the things that distinguishes me from other teachers, as do my awe and respect for both the inner and the outer, the ego created and the soul inspired, the human and the divine, the false self and the true self. It is the return to wholeness and the integration of all we are that has inspired and woken me up every morning for the last 20 years.”

About the Speaker

DEBBIE FORD TIMELINEDebbie loved to engage with the audience, invite them to discover the source of their discontent and resignation, and reconnect with their greatest dreams. Her comfort and unparalleled capacity to be transparent, vulnerable and authentic encourages and inspired her audience to be the same.

This process was magical to witness.

The palpable experience of freedom emerged by the end of her talks. A light came on in people’s eyes, a light which comes from opening to something outside one’s own mind, a light of connection to a deeper knowing.

To the observer, the process and the power Debbie unleashed in her audiences by tapping into their internal wisdom was awesome.

It is a process of moving from the mind to the heart. When Debbie led people literally out of our minds, they stepped into a consciousness level of authentic truth where they were able to see outside the limited perspective of reality as it is right now. Instead, people saw beyond and through the eyes of the whole.

About the Teacher

Debbie’s quick wit, her ability to stand strong in the presence of human pain and suffering, her true belief that we are all encoded with the ability to serve and be our greatest admirer gained her the support of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, from Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson to Neale Donald Walsch and Andrew Harvey.

Debbie was never willing to settle for anyone being less than what is possible for themselves.

Debbie offered straight, honest talk and feedback which always made a difference in the lives of others. She had an uncanny and unique ability to see beyond the mask and the false personas that we all wear and because of this, she earned the right to be known as one of our greatest teachers.

About the Trainer


What is so terrifying?

shadowTo be present to someone who is willing to speak the truth, someone who is willing to acknowledge that we all have the tendency to lie, betray, cheat and inflate ourselves. We also have the ability to have impeccable integrity, to be faithful, to be courageous and to be an expression of the divine. Debbie’s laser eye and her courageous voice have popped millions out of denial and terrified the weak of heart.

Early in her career, Debbie realized that one of her gifts was to bring large groups of people through the transformational process. Participants came from around the world where her books are translated into over 20 languages. She was a proven master at enrolling people in excellence, impeccability, integrity, risk, powerful choices, responsibility, cleaning up the past and letting go, forgiving, and ultimately in caring for themselves like they are the most precious people on the planet.

After experiencing the power and effectiveness of the personal transformation her work delivers, Debbie founded The Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching to support the highest expression of those people who want to make a difference in the world. She mentored hundreds of highly trained professionals in innovative coaching models, tools, techniques and processes to support others in healing their hearts, clarifying their goals, creating lives beyond the limitations of their old beliefs and behaviors, and embracing and integrating their whole selves. Her legacy lives on through The Ford Institute and the work that these professionals carry on today.

About the Media

Debbie has been featured on Oprah, Larry King LIVE!, Good Morning America, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and Fox News.

Debbie also hosted a weekly radio program on

About the Philanthropist

debbie JLMC-logoDebbie, her son Beau Bressler and her community of transformation coaches committed to building the first “Children’s Academy for the Collective Heart” in rural Uganda.

Based on the contributions of hundreds of people from around the world in partnership with The Just Like My Child Foundation, the first school was built, and began educating students in the Spring of 2009.

heartlogoNow, after just five short years, The Collective Heart has raised over $350,000, and provided the resources and provisions for six primary schools to be built in two African nations – 5 schools in Uganda and 1 in Kenya–that will empower thousands of children over the next 20 years with the life-long gift of an education.

To experience Debbie’s legacy and to allow her wisdom and light to empower your life please join us at The Ford Institute.

Shadow Psychology

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious, or (2) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not recognize in itself.

Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow (especially in people with low self-esteem).

Contrary to a Freudian conceptualization of shadow, therefore, the Jungian shadow often refers to all that lies outside the light of consciousness, and may be positive or negative. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.

shadowHeaders2According to Jung, the shadow, in being ‘instinctive and irrational‘, is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.

Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized “The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object–if it has one–or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.”

These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.

From one perspective, ‘the shadow…is roughly equivalent to the whole of the Freudian unconscious’; and Jung himself considered that ‘the result of the Freudian method of elucidation is a minute elaboration of man’s shadow-side unexampled in any previous age’.

breakthrough_flyer1“In a recent interview with Beliefnet, she described the shadow as “the parts of ourselves that we hide, deny, or suppress. There are parts of ourselves that we are unaware of or we’re in denial of or the parts of ourselves that we don’t like, that we feel ashamed of or embarrassed by, that we suppress. We spend our time, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly, hiding them.”

Ford explains that the shadow exists within all of us.

It is a part of us and yet we spend most of our lives running from it. Our shadow makes itself known every day. It is the reason we get furious over a friend showing up ten minutes late, yell at our parents or kids when they have done nothing wrong, and sabotage our own success at the worst possible time. Until we are able to embrace our dualistic nature, we will continue to hurt ourselves and those closest to us and we will continue to fall short of our potential, she says. But far from being scary, embracing the shadow holds the key to great joy, inspiration, and success.”

Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”; so that for some, it may be, ‘the dark side of his being, his sinister shadow…represents the true spirit of life as against the arid scholar’.


The shadow may appear in dreams and visions in various forms, and typically ‘appears as a person of the same sex as that of the dreamer’. The shadow’s appearance and role depend greatly on the living experience of the individual, because much of the shadow develops in the individual’s mind rather than simply being inherited in the collective unconscious. Nevertheless some Jungians maintain that ‘The shadow contains, besides the personal shadow, the shadow of society … fed by the neglected and repressed collective values’.

Interactions with the shadow in dreams may shed light on one’s state of mind.

mindA conversation with the shadow may indicate that one is concerned with conflicting desires or intentions. Identification with a despised figure may mean that one has an unacknowledged difference from the character; a difference which could point to a rejection of the illuminating qualities of ego-consciousness.

These examples refer to just two of many possible roles that the shadow may adopt, and are not general guides to interpretation.

Also, it can be difficult to identify characters in dreams — “all the contents are blurred and merge into one another … ‘contamination’ of unconscious contents” — so that a character who seems at first to be a shadow might represent some other complex instead.

Jung also made the suggestion of there being more than one layer making up the shadow. The top layers contain the meaningful flow and manifestations of direct personal experiences. These are made unconscious in the individual by such things as the change of attention from one thing to another, simple forgetfulness, or a repression. Underneath these idiosyncratic layers, however, are the archetypes which form the psychic contents of all human experiences. Jung described this deeper layer as “a psychic activity which goes on independently of the conscious mind and is not dependent even on the upper layers of the unconscious—untouched, and perhaps untouchable—by personal experience” (Campbell, 1971). This bottom layer of the shadow is also what Jung referred to as the collective unconscious.

Encounter with the shadow

The encounter with the shadow plays a central part in the process of individuation. Jung considered that ‘the course of individuation…exhibits a certain formal regularity. Its signposts and milestones are various archetypal symbols’ marking its stages; and of these ‘the first stage leads to the experience of the SHADOW‘.

If ‘the breakdown of the persona constitutes the typical Jungian moment both in therapy and in development’, it is this which opens the road to the shadow within, coming about when ‘Beneath the surface a person is suffering from a deadly boredom that makes everything seem meaningless and empty … as if the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time’.

Jung considered as a perennial danger in life that ‘the more consciousness gains in clarity, the more monarchic becomes its content…the king constantly needs the renewal that begins with a descent into his own darkness‘ — his shadow – which the ‘dissolution of the persona‘ sets in motion.

DEBBIE shadowprocesspage“The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself” and represents “a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well”.

If and when ‘an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in others — such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions — … a painful and lengthy work of self-education“.

The dissolution of the persona and the launch of the individuation process also brings with it ‘the danger of falling victim to the shadow … the black shadow which everybody carries with him, the inferior and therefore hidden aspect of the personality’ — of a merger with the shadow.

Merger with the shadow

According to Jung, the shadow sometimes overwhelms a person’s actions; for example, when the conscious mind is shocked, confused, or paralyzed by indecision. ‘A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light and falling into his own traps … living below his own level’: hence, in terms of the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ‘it must be Jekyll, the conscious personality, who integrates the shadow … and not vice versa. Otherwise the conscious becomes the slave of the autonomous shadow’.

Individuation inevitably raises that very possibility. As the process continues, and ‘the libido leaves the bright upper world … sinks back into its own depths…below, in the shadows of the unconscious’, so too what comes to the forefront is ‘what was hidden under the mask of conventional adaptation: the shadow’, with the result that ‘ego and shadow are no longer divided but are brought together in an — admittedly precarious — unity’.

The impact of such ‘confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective…tenebrositas, chaos, melancholia’. Consequently (as Jung knew from personal experience) ‘in this time of descent — one, three, seven years, more or less — genuine courage and strength are required’, with no certainty of emergence. Nevertheless Jung remained of the opinion that while ‘no one should deny the danger of the descent … every descent is followed by an ascent …enantiodromia’; and assimilation of — rather than possession by — the shadow becomes at last a real possibility.

Assimilation of the shadow

Enantiodromia launches ‘a different perspective. We begin to travel [up] through the healing spirals…straight up’.

POSITIVEHere the struggle is to retain awareness of the shadow, but not identification with it. ‘Non-identification demands considerable moral effort…prevents a descent into that darkness’; but though ‘the conscious mind is liable to be submerged at any moment in the unconscious… understanding acts like a life-saver. It integrates the unconscious’ – reincorporates the shadow into the personality, producing a stronger, wider consciousness than before.

‘Assimilation of the shadow gives a man body, so to speak’, and provides thereby a launching-pad for further individuation. ‘The integration of the shadow, or the realisation of the personal unconscious, marks the first stage of the analytic process…without it a recognition of anima and animus is impossible’.

Conversely, ‘to the degree to which the shadow is recognized and integrated, the problem of the anima, i.e., of relationship, is constellated’, and becomes the centre of the individuation quest.

Nevertheless, Jungians warn that ‘acknowledgement of the shadow must be a continuous process throughout one’s life’; and even after the focus of individuation has moved on to the animus/anima, ‘the later stages of shadow integration’ will continue to take place – the grim ‘process of washing one’s dirty linen in private’, accepting one’s shadow. – Wiki, Shadow Psychology

4910_c1Debbie Ford is an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal transformation. She is the best-selling author of eight 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, and The Shadow Effect.

A transformation coach, speaker, and teacher for more than 20 years, Debbie is the creator of the renowned Shadow Process Workshop, the executive producer of The Shadow Effect transformation documentary, and founder of The Ford Institute, the world-renowned personal and professional training organization. Visit:

The bestselling author of self-help book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers has died in San Diego. The 1998 book, which was a New York Times bestseller, aimed to help readers overcome their darker side. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers spawned a self-help enterprise for Ford, who went on to write nine books in total in her lifetime.

In the book, which includes practical exercises, Ford claimed that by denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. READ MORE

About the Author

4905_c1Debbie Ford was an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal transformation. She was the best-selling author of nine books.

Debbie’s first three books, THE DARK SIDE OF THE LIGHT CHASERS, SPIRITUAL DIVORCE and THE SECRET OF THE SHADOW, are still known as groundbreaking, pioneering work in emotional and spiritual education. They take the reader on amazing journeys into the internal world, laying out the blueprint of the human psyche. They are honest, straightforward and practical.

Her next two books, THE RIGHT QUESTIONS and THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE, birthed out of her innovative and unique coaching training programs, guide people and give them an outer map to follow to reach their goals, to overcome their limitations, and to make choices that empower and lead them forward.

In her sixth book WHY GOOD PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS, which her publisher called her tour-de-force, Debbie used her 15 years as a writer, teacher, coach and speaker to pull together and expose the greatest human tragedy, the internal split that happens for each and every human as they develop and get socialized into a world of conflicts and polarities. Her seventh book THE 21-DAY CONSCIOUSNESS CLEANSE provided a map for an incredible personal journey to transform consciousness and unlock purpose, meaning, and passion in our lives.

Debbie’s eighth book, which she co-wrote with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson – THE SHADOW EFFECT – was published on May 4, 2010.

debbie courage bookDebbie’s ninth book COURAGE: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence, her most personal, powerful and potent work, she wrote about how she found the courage, confidence and strength to become one of the worlds’ foremost thought leaders even in the face of her own life challenges and she shared a proven process and guiding principles for overcoming insecurity and fear and unlocking the enormous courage that resides deep within.

Debbie’s books are used by universities, teachers, lawyers, mediators, and therapists around the world to support others in a true healing of the heart.

Debbie Ford was 57.

A family spokeswoman says Ford died Sunday in her home after a long battle with cancer.

“Debbie Ford inspired, comforted, and fueled me to continue growing and aligning myself with my life purpose. I am forever grateful to her for sharing her compassionate wisdom in the ways she has.” – Alanis Morissette, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter

A Tribute to Debbie Ford – Humanitarian and Author

Here’s Oprah’s tribute to Debbie and info about the re-airing of her Super Soul Sunday interview with Debbie. With feedback and input from Arielle Ford and her family, Vivian Glyck, founder of Just Like My Child Foundation produced this video tribute for Debbie Ford.

Debbie’s wishes were to continue her legacy of supporting “Girl Power” – part of her foundation’s work in Africa with the Just Like My Child Foundation.

See behind the scenes with Debbie, her son Beau, brand new footage from Africa and rare photos of Debbie with her family, friends and the results of her humanitarian work.

Debbie Ford passed away this past Sunday after a decade-long battle with cancer.

Stay tuned – The OWN network with be re-airing Oprah’s interview with Debbie from last year on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013. Check your local listings for details.

To learn more about Debbie’s foundation, please visit


BOOKS: Debbie’s Library

Debbie Ford on Twitter

Remembering Debbie Ford – HERE

A Celebration of Women™

offers this Tribute with gratitude and love for the life altering work this powerhouse gave our world during her tireless years of educating, inspiring and motivating.




Brava Debbie!



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