Keep a notepad handy because the lessons are hidden in the text and hard to find later.
Yogita Ridgley’s memoir is a reflection on “loving your authentic self” as much as it is a biography of her solo travels that allowed that inner journey.
Ridgley reflects on her earlier years where she was caught in a demanding life that devalued her and had lowered her self-esteem despite having a loving family. On the realisation that she needed time apart from that existence, Ridgley began travelling the globe solo, progressively growing from a frightened woman on her own to a more confident and self-aware individual.
It’s not until the last quarter of the book that she really hones in on the crux of her spiritual and emotional journey however. It’s here that she tells us of the Bhagavad Gita Hindu scripture’s message that “Detachment doesn’t mean you do not own anything or have anything, but instead detachment is that nothing owns you.” This is the key learning for Ridgley and any reader seeking the same, and it is her solo travels that allowed her to break free from her attachments and assume control of her life.
The book, although less than 150 pages, is dense with text. Thick paragraphs, few lists and no images make for an interesting read, but it’s a poor resource when it comes to flicking through to return to some of the teachings. There are lots of useful ideas for personal growth within the tome, but it is not a resource you can simply pick up for a quick reference. There is no table of contents or index referencing the lessons either. The book looks and reads like a novella that just happens to contain some useful information.
Ridgley’s writing style is engaging and the book is an easy read but it is a memoir, not the self-development guide book that it purports to be. Keep a notepad handy as you’re reading; you may want to jot down any thoughts you would like to refer back to later or, if you want to start breaking free from your own attachments, dare to dog-ear the pages and scribble in the book to highlight relevant teachings.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Self-published
Released: December 2019
RRP: $34.95 paperback, $9.95 eBook