Author: D. Michael Ferrare

ISBN: 13 978-1-58982-770-7: 10 1-58982-770-8

Publisher: Millennial Mind Publisher (An Imprint of American Book Publishing)

What does it mean to become a person and furthermore, why even bother? According to D. Michael Ferrare author of Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes from my Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium it was his transformation from a self-centered and self-indulgent human being to one who became self-oriented and compassionate that made him a person realizing that life is not all about win-lose situations or a continuous challenge to our worthiness as a person. It is rather behaving in a way that is more helpful and less hurtful to ourselves and others. And It is with this in mind that Ferrare provides his readers with an array of tools required for ascertaining and overcoming hurdles to change that will lead us to become a full person where we are capable of vast growth, able to achieve loving and flourishing relationships, and a healthy soul that will direct us towards others.

The structure of the book is crafted in the form of short chapters spread over 226-pages providing readers with an impressive flotilla of well-reasoned and good common sense techniques that elucidate and demonstrate what it takes to become a full person. Although much of the material is not exactly something that hasn't been regurgitated in thousands of other self-help books, nonetheless, I have to give the author a great deal of credit in his unique presentation of his material as he explores various issues with impressive lucidity that provides something beneficial for everyone.

For instance, you probably have not given much thought to the process of achieving a healthy relationship with someone wherein maintaining a healthy psychic distance comes into play. Ferrare's definition of psychic distance is “holding the relationship in your mind as being made up of two separate individuals with equally important needs who are interacting with best intentions for each other and for themselves.” Another concept Ferrare advocates and which continually resurfaces throughout the book is that of wisdom and altitude, which he considers to be more important than compassion and victimhood. For Ferrare, wisdom is being the result of thoughtfully reflecting a painful experience, working through it, moving on beyond the emotions, and finally learning and applying the lesson. To accomplish this you need to see the experience with altitude, which he defines as the ability to view a situation from a higher perspective, one that is different from your self-interested point of view.

To exemplify how these notions can be applicable in practice, considerable ink is devoted to examining relationships with one's partner. It is here where Ferrare provides his readers with several helpful directives including the ability to improve dialogue with your partner concerning a variety of matters as intimacy and your spiritual and religious beliefs and needs, while at the same time stressing the need to be a compassionate witness for your partner's feelings.

A sampling of other themes discussed that will inevitably help us become a full person include giving unconditional love, mastering the act of forgiving, learning to discern the ego's desire from heart's desire, searching for your calling, what it means to develop the ability to discern healthy fear from irrational fear, moving beyond the limited thinking of having to “go it alone,” viewing life and death with altitude, keeping hope in motion as acceptance despite how others feel, developing the ability to consciously shift your awareness from tasks to people and back again if needed and again with altitude, living with a learning orientation to life, appreciating the environment of love that surrounds you, seeing and accepting gifts, and developing your discernment while simultaneously practicing awareness of your judgments. Also included is an Index of Affirmations that are linked to specific chapters in the book where these first appear.

Walking The Unmarked Path: Notes from my Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium is an impressively written book that covers important and sometimes complex subject matters, yet nevertheless retains a down-to-earth readability. Ferrare's persuasive, thoughtful, compassionate and honest approach provides us with many useful tips and strategies that could actually work and moreover, even engage the self-help averse reader.

Click To Read Norm's Interview With D. Michael Ferrare

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