The Otherness Factor
by Kathleen Hall & Bonner Hardegree

Collaborative Options LLC, 2014. ISBN 978-0-990-39041-1.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 04/15/2015

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Relationships

Reading The Otherness Factor is like having a conversation with the authors. In fact, written conversations are included in the format of this book. The focus is upon our becoming who we really are, stripping away the "oughts" and "shoulds" that family and society hand to us. We need to reach some maturity for this process to begin, and most of us will have had setbacks along the way.

The authors focus on the importance of intention and the web of connectivity to everything there is. They say, "Awareness, self knowledge and wholeness require we understand our existing guidance system...Many of us haven't paid much attention to why we think what we think or do what we do."

As in all learning experiences, comfort will only come with practice. This type of learning which is not necessarily intellectual, but instead a wisdom from the heart, and includes a struggle with ego or self-centeredness. It focuses on our knowing that we are complete without a need for someone else to complete us, while at the same time stressing that having good relationships mean accepting others as they are. A "we" is a container for an individual me and an individual you. Hall & Hardegree quote Marianne Williamson saying, "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

How we perceive the world depends upon evaluating the filters that exist within each of us. How could we not be different from others? As we mature we are able to discard old paradigms. When we realize that what we do and say affects others, we can become softer, kinder and more compassionate. We are always changing.

The Otherness Factor is for those who are curious, for those who, the authors say, "...are always arriving." At the end of each chapter, they include a practice or exercise which might help us reach wholeness. A thoughtful book for those who wish to grow and become all that they can be.

Kathleen Hall has had more than 30 years experience in human resource management, law & employee/labor relations. She is also a mystic, a poet & writer. Bonner Hardegree has been an entrepreneur, executive and community leader. He is interested in the cultures of indigenous people and their focus on stewardship, order, balance and harmony.

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