Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow...have you seen yours?

It's Groundhog Day! Yep, Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, signifying another 6 weeks of winter. And what a relief that is! Relief, you say? Yes, as I typed this blog post, I mistakenly typed 6 months of winter. So, I pass my relief on to you. You can read the article from The Evening Sun.

What is a shadow? Have you ever stopped to think about it? When light gets blocked by something solid, a shadow is formed. If light is blocked altogether, it's called darkness.

We have heard of a person having a dark side, a hidden shadow. Just what does that mean? Debbie Ford has done extensive "shadow" work and has written a couple of books to help us with that, The Secret of the Shadow, and Dark Side of the Light Chasers. You can see Debbie's bibliography at

When I have tried to suppress the unwanted side of myself, I've have become the unfortunate victim of my own character, and that has had many ways of manifesting in eruptions, or embarrassments, or dozens of other ways.

I remember when I was a department supervisor at a printer that I had worked at that excuses ran rampant amongst various departments. As a cog in the business wheel, other departments directly affected the workload in my department and our ability to get the job done on time. I remember my frustration getting so bad that, at one point, when I went home I sat on my computer one evening and came up with a deck of "Excuse Cards". I printed it on heavier card stock and made it into a deck of cards which read things like "Theresa said it's OK", "Gery says Don't Worry", etc. etc. All the same things that brought us to a stall in our meetings but never got us closer to getting the job done. I was actually quite proud of my work and I brought the cards to an associate from another department and we had us a good laugh. I did not know that he had kept some cards and during our meeting that day he began to "play" the cards one by one in front of the excuse makers. After the meeting I was called into the office for a lecture.

My dark side needed an outlet, but why did it blow up in my face? I have learned much since that event, and although I don't handle things perfectly, I found that I could use the shadow to my benefit.

These 2 books, The Secret of the Shadow, and Dark Side of the Light Chasers, have been a tremendous help in allowing me to not only see my dark side, but to allow it to make me a complete person. With your shadow properly channeled, and we all have a shadow, you are one powerful human being. If you are looking to be your best, I highly recommend a book or two from Debbie Ford. I think you will like her openness and honesty by highlighting her own missteps and those of others. Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow, but I bet he doesn't have to deal with a dark side.

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