Remembering Debbie Ford

After a long and arduous battle with cancer, the body of 57-year-old Debbie Ford surrendered to release her spirit and send it home. It is a huge loss to humanity, this feisty author and spiritual teacher whose work has changed millions of lives.

And yet, in my mind and heart, Debbie Ford will continue to live on. In the countless seminars and workshops she’s taught, in the messages she has immortalized through her books, and in the change she has inspired in many hearts. Arguably her most well-known book, The Shadow Effect, is a work of such profound truth that will continue to serve many generations to come. As long as there are human beings on this earthly journey there will be the shadow self, and people will search for ways to find the light so they can illumine their lives and shine their magnificence upon the world.

Which brings me to the truth of this piece: We are what we leave behind. Our spirit lives on in the significance of the work we perform in the world. It matters not whether you’re a doctor, teacher, carpenter, engineer, mom or architect.

Our contribution is sure to be of significance if we put our God-given gifts and talents to work. Not choosing to hide under the illusory security of a soul-numbing job just so you can pay the bills. Death is an urgent wake-up call to follow your dreams. And when you and I show up for that special assignment we’ve been given (think your unique gifts and talents and how they can serve the world) we’re fulfilling our soul’s destiny. That’s what Debbie Ford did and therefore her life’s work will continue to matter long after she’s gone. Debbie used the brokenness of her addiction to wake up from the dream of her inadequate self. In embracing her divine potential, she chose to create from a space of abundant self-belief and channeled what she came here to do.

That is all we’re ever called to do. Our purpose is inextricably intertwined with who we really are. If we fulfill it, we leave behind the gifts we came here to deliver. If we live from our limited self, we hide our light from the world. And when it is time to return home, regret will be our primary baggage.

What are you passionate about? What special gifts do you bring to this world? What are those activities that help you feel charged in a positive way? If you don’t have a dream for yourself, perhaps this is your wake-up call to find one.

Find a Dream Coach, or if you live in Chicagoland join me for a workshop on Finding Your Life Purpose on April 10, 2013.

The world needs your contribution. If you find this hard to believe, ponder this fact for a moment: Of the seven billion people on the planet, there’s only one of you.


  1. plaintain1 on June 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Do you believe things happen for a reason? Or that some books choose you?
    November last year, I was in a bookshop; a bookshop in a third world country that most times does not stock the latest books. I saw Debbie Ford’s book, browsed through it and decided that I would buy it. When I checked my purse, I didn’t not have enough cash and so I replaced it. I was intrigued by the title and topic and when I got home I Googled Ms Ford and realised that she had done a lot of work enabling people to help themselves to heal. Two weeks ago I returned to the bookshop, totally forgetting about this book until I got to the self-help section and there it was. Knowing that I had the money, without hesitation I bought this book. When I got home I began to read it and it just seemed uncannily appropriate to my needs – my fear of fear, of the dark etc – it ‘spoke’ to me. I Googled Ford to see if she had any new titles out and to my shock learnt that she had passed this year! I’m glad I came across this book even though I never heard of author until I came across her book in the book shop. It just goes to show as you say so perfectly, Debbie will continue to live on. A great article!

    • umagirish on June 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you so much for writing. I totally believe that books choose you–and just when you need them! I’ve had this happen many times so I know exactly what you mean. How awesome that Debbie’s book called out to you and served you. When the student is ready, the teacher appears!

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