Title: Return to the Light Within: How I Woke Up, Rediscovered Who I Am, and Found Happiness.
Author: Dmitria Burby
In Return to the Light Within, Dmitria Burby shares with the reader her personal journey of self-awakening and reconnection to her inner light and spirit.
Ms. Burby writes with a friendly, personable tone and the reader feels immediately drawn into her confidence by the chatty, conversationalist style that has a slight air of self-deprecation. It’s a clever tactic, ensuring those that may be skeptical are engaged and reassured from the beginning.
The chapters are neatly structured and, notwithstanding the informal tone, they concisely deal with the area that the heading signposts. Concepts are clearly explained using simple, effective language, although the inclusion of complementary, basic meditation techniques would have been beneficial.
The chapters “Who Am I” and “Finding Purpose” are universally relatable, and, despite the simplicity of the questions, are thought-provoking enough for the reader to reflect upon and consider application in their own life as they move through the book.
Ms. Burby’s story is a familiar one, a feeling of overwhelming unfulfillment despite financial/domestic security, leading to a journey of spiritual awakening and a shedding of old anxieties. In this respect, the book is interesting. It takes courage and conviction to leave the high-level, corporate world, and combined with Ms. Burby’s thirst for self-knowledge, it makes for some inspiring writing that has a seam of sharp intelligence running through it.
However, more substance at this early stage could have been included to differentiate it from other self-discovery memoirs. Although information is imparted regarding Ms. Burby’s background and familial life, additional anecdotal detail, both trivial and emotional, would have been helpful in giving the reader a fully developed picture of the author. At times, it’s a touch vague, and there are a few leaps of faith that could stretch credulity or empathy for the cynical reader.
In Chapter 6, “Shamanic Intervention,” her process of enlightenment moves up a level as she meets with a Shamanic healer and, a few weeks later, takes part in a healing ceremony where she has a divinely channeled experience. This is intriguing and lays bare her vulnerabilities in some unflinching and highly subjective passages.
If a reader harbors natural doubt or confidence in their ability to connect with their inner spirit to the same extent that Ms. Burby has managed, there is certainly food for individual contemplation, and elements of Return to the Light Within can definitely be tailored to personal circumstance. The recurring dream/vision of the funeral pyre is quite powerful, and the raw honesty with which Ms. Burby shares this and her other expansive experiences make for a fascinating read.
Indeed, as she begins to discover her “lightness of soul” and uses it to heal both herself and others, the sense of joy and almost childlike wonder contained in these chapters are infectious and lifts from the page as she shares her spiritual growth with the reader.
Return to the Light Within is nicely presented and reads with genuine enthusiasm, which is both comforting and motivational. For those readers either at a similar crossroads in their own lives or who have already embarked on their own journey of self-awakening, this encouraging little book will certainly be of valuable assistance and guidance.
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