In this book Linda uses the analogy of a bag to reflect on the nature, quantity, and quality of the mental baggage that she carries, including the inherited ideas and values that she has been socialised into over the course of her life. As she unpacks her “bag” for the reader, she explains why she has decided to leave some ideas and values behind while keeping or updating others. The purpose of this book is to inspire others to do similarly. The title of this book, Did you pack your bag?, implies taking individual responsibility for our mental baggage. In other words, did you pack or select the various beliefs and assumptions that you hold in your mind, or did someone else?
Linda’s key message: “Know who you are,” is elegantly woven into her writing, teaching, parenting, and performing. It is her sincere hope that all who read this book are encouraged to choose to improve their lives in some way.
Daniela Franca Joffe’s review of Linda Vargas’ ‘Did you pack your bag? A checklist for mental baggage’:
"For many years, even in my happiest moments, I felt weighed down by the world and by life. I thought that feeling was simply part of who I was: part of being an empath, part of having gone through certain things. This book helped me see that the weight I was carrying was not permanent, intrinsic, or necessary. It was my own mental baggage, accumulated over the course of my life—and, like physical baggage, it could be emptied out, its toxic contents identified and discarded. Rather than allowing old triggers to cause me repeated suffering, I could do something as simple yet radical as choosing to feel good instead of bad. I could own that process. This revelation of a book—part memoir, part guide—has been an indispensable catalyst and companion for my journey of letting go. I am a different person because of it."
Jack Whitehead’s review of Linda Vargas’ ‘Did you pack your bag? A checklist for mental baggage’:
Linda Vargas has written an important and engaging book which in Linda’s words is:
For young people and those who take care of them. May you be inspired to repack your mental baggage in order to find greater self-worth and self-acceptance, and greater empathy for others.
The book is in three parts with a field guide to travelling light; the bags within our bags; how I unpacked my mental baggage and became myself with reflections on becoming a dancer, on becoming a teacher, a checklist for mental baggage and additional resources. I particularly like the metaphor of unpacking our mental baggage and repacking the baggage in becoming ourselves. The bags within our bags include childhood, culture, religion, gender and sexuality, race, education, media and adult.
The reason this book captivated my imagination was through Linda Vargas’ willingness to communicate her meanings and processes within a narrative of how Linda, unpacked and repacked her own mental baggage in becoming herself. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all those young and older persons who are seeking to live as loving and productive life as possible.
I lived most of my early life unaware of the numerous human “programs” that I had unintentionally assimilated into my thinking. Now, having spent a great deal of time working through the effects of living unconsciously, I feel compelled to help others become more aware of their own beliefs and choices.
\In the intimacy of the human mind, we are all free to think what we choose. However, when our thinking and choices become hazardous to ourselves or to others, they tend to evoke fear. I have learned that fear is simply blocked energy that keeps me stuck in a limited perception of the world. When I recognise this, I am better able to reevaluate my fear and find ways to release it. To do so, I need to understand its origins and reflect on its lessons. I have learned that, even if my circumstances feel like a form of imprisonment, my awareness is always my choice.
The repressed energy of negative programming does not feel good, so choosing to release it and replace it with an improved alternative has become my priority. I have found that choosing to change is easier than waiting for life to force me to change. Each time I make this choice, I release an upgraded version of myself. It is my sincere hope that all who read this book are encouraged to choose to improve their lives in some way.
May the personal understandings shared in this book provide a basic guide to greater self-knowledge, self-worth, and self-acceptance, and may this in turn inspire collective freedom and peace.