You may or may not know I review self-help books for the Montreal Gazette. A side-effect is that I can get a little unbearable when someone has a problem -- I'm always recommending booksand self-help strategies. Can't sleep? Leave one foot dangling outside the covers or dab a little lavender oil under your nose!
Anyway, all this to say I am reading a self-help book now that is actually having an impact on my fiction. It's called The Shadow Effect and it's co-authored by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. It is based a lot on C.J. Jung's theory of the shadow self -- that we all have a dark side we must acknowledge and integrate into who we are. I find this super-interesting, both personally and professionally.
Here's a line I read last night that got me thinking about the protagonist in my new story: "if we knew that selfishness, hatred, greed and intolerance have an important message to deliver -- we would heed their presence in our life, like a trusted friend knocking at the door." So far (and I'm nearly ten chapters in), my protagonist is mostly wonderful (sweet and kind and smart)... but now I'm thinking I've got to let her shadow self come knocking at the door.
How are you and your shadow self doing? For someone like me, who makes a point of being upbeat and friendly, writing fiction is a good place for me to release some of that shadowy side. What do you do with yours?