Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘Tom Rapsas’

Spiritual Wisdom in A Light-Hearted, Entertaining Fable: Thaddeus Squirrel #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


thaddeus_squirrel_frontHow does passion lead to purpose? In Tom Rapsas’ new book, Thaddeus Squirrel: A Spiritual Fable, the main character realizes that working day and night foraging for acorns, more than he would ever need, is meaningless to him. He ends up running away from his tribe of squirrels as he’s not accepted for his difference of opinion. On his journey, he is gravely injured by a dog, then cared for by a group of chipmunks who have wisdom to share.

The chipmunk who saved his life, Sol, is a sage old guy who starts offering Thaddeus new questions to peruse and new ideas to consider… ultimately, that his life has meaning, and it’s up to him to find that meaning within himself.

Sol says, “I’m going to do more than tell you about the meaning of life. I’ll show you how to find it, first-hand… the meaning for you may be different than the meaning for me.” It takes time, but Thaddeus begins to learn to look within himself to find the spark of light, of wisdom, that is within us all.

Some of the wisdom Thaddeus learns:

“The things we love to do, are the things we are meant to do.”

“Your purpose almost never involves you alone, there will be others involved too.”

“Knowledge feeds the mind. Wisdom feeds the mind and every part of your being.”

          “Heaven is here now…Hell is here too. You choose your destination by how you live your life, the path you choose.”

While this book is written for a YA audience, I think readers of any age will be entertained by the story and inspired by the message and wisdom imparted in the book. For instance, how do you know when your inner voice is coming from intuition or from fear? “When it’s your intuition, you’ll know it in both your head and your heart.”

You can buy this book for your older children to read themselves or for you to read to your younger children. It will open up many topics for discussion, in a light-hearted way, that can help them find their true nature and passion in this life.

THANKS TO AUTHOR TOM RAPSAS FOR THE INTERVIEW:

Who do you see as the audience for this book?

I first started writing this book as a fairy-tale for my 5-year old daughter, but ended up working on it, off and on, for over 10 years. As the years went by, the content and ideas within the book got deeper—to the point where the audience became teens and young adults. (My daughter is 17 now.) I think the book is a good introduction to spirituality for the 13-22 age group, though I believe its core messages are something that people of all ages can relate to.

Why did you choose chipmunks as teachers for the squirrel?

I think it relates to my own spiritual upbringing. I was raised as a strict Catholic and it was not until I was in my late-20s that I began to study the teachings and wisdom found in other religions and faiths. I thought that was important for Thaddeus’s quest—that he find answers outside of his own narrow upbringing, from a source (chipmunks) he hadn’t considered as being on the same social or spiritual level.

What message(s) would you like readers to take away from the book?

The key message is that we’re all here for a purpose—and our first and primary goal in life is to uncover that purpose. We need to take small steps each day toward that end and it’s a journey that never ends. Our learning is never complete. As Thaddeus discovers at the end of the book, he’s got to stop observing and take action. When we are stagnant we do not learn, but when we expose ourselves to other ideas and philosophies, growth happens.

Can you explain further how to separate the voice of our ego vs. inner wisdom as Thaddeus Squirrel learns?

In the book, I talk of the ego as the big obstacle we must get around by any means necessary. The ego is often our public self, the face we show to the world. It often over-thinks, is ruled by emotional swings and places too much importance on the trivial. But ultimately, the ego is shallow. Deep within us is “the watcher,” our true self, and it is this inner part of our being where true wisdom resides—if we choose to open ourselves up to it.

What is the “Law of Connections” that Thaddeus Squirrel is taught?

It’s an idea I’ve had for many years and it relates to how I personally view God. I don’t see God as a being in the traditional sense, but as more of a force-of-nature that turns the gears of life, putting us in the places we need to be, helping us meet the people we’re supposed to meet. The Law is the mechanism that helps us make these connections to people and places, that puts us where we need to be. It’s the force behind coincidences and connects us with our destiny in this life.

How does your main character realize his “true self” and reach his “full potential?”

Honestly, by the end of the book, he has not realized his true self or full potential. The first step for Thaddeus is to get moving, to get him on the path to fulfilling his purpose. He has started on that path, but it’s really a first step. As you know having read the book, Becca, it’s a set-up for a sequel. The spiritual education of Thaddeus Squirrel has just begun.

Thaddeus Squirrel: A Spiritual Fable is available now at Amazon.com. Tom Rapsas is a writer at the faith site Patheos where he has written the Wake Up Call column since 2013. He is also the author of the book Life Tweets, Inspirational & Spiritual Insights That Can Change Your Life.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 

 

 

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Everyone has a spiritual story to tell. What’s yours?


With self-publishing so available to all, you can share your story and inspire the world…

The Inner Way

The Storyteller by Breean Cox The Storyteller by Breean Cox

Are you familiar with StoryCorps? It’s a nonprofit group that records people telling stories about a key moment in their lives. Over the years, they’ve collected almost 50,000 stories that can be accessed online and at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. You may have heard one of their broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition where they air Friday mornings.

It got me thinking that we all have a story to tell about ourselves, especially as it relates to our spirituality. We all have taken a unique path to get where we are today—and just like those who tell their stories on StoryCorps, chances are there was a key moment or moments in your life that shaped your own personal religious and spiritual beliefs.

Here’s my abbreviated spiritual story:

I was raised in a strict Catholic household and forced to go to…

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Life Tips from The Law of Success


I’m so inspired by this review of The Law of Success by Tom Rapsas, that I’d like to share it here for all those looking for a motivational read. Tom Rapsas, is the author of Life Tweets, and Spirituality blogger (Wake Up Call) and .

9 Life Tips from a Tiny Book that’s Spiritual Dynamite.

He is the wisest who seeks God. He is the most successful who has found God. ~Yogananda, The Law of Success

It measures a little over 5 inches by 3 ½ inches and is only 39 pages long. You can comfortably read it in about an hour. Yet it’s jam-packed with wisdom and a true Wake Up Call for anyone who has wondered off the spiritual path. It’s The Law of Success, Using the Power of Spirit to Create Health, Prosperity and Happiness by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Perhaps best know for introducing millions of westerners to meditation through his Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda penned many books during his lifetime. But for me, The Law of Success is his masterwork because it so concisely sums up what living an active, engaged spiritual life is all about.

Yogandada uses what might best be called the KISS approach (Keep It Simple Silly). And for me his book serves as a guide book to daily living. I pick it up whenever I feel off-kilter and feel the need to get my life back on track. It makes me realize that success is not measured by material wealth, while reminding me of the vital role God plays in the process.

What follows are passages that mean the most to me, strung together as a loose narrative. If you find these compelling, I’d suggest you pick the book up as this only skims the surface. It will be a few dollars well spent.

9 Life Tips from The Law of Success.

  • Success is not rightly measured by the worldly standards of wealth, prestige and power…success is measured by the yardstick of happiness.
  • Your work can be called a “success” only when in some way it serves your fellowman.
  • Develop the powers that God gave you—unlimited powers that flow from the innermost forces of your being.
  • Before deciding any important matter, sit in silence, asking the Father for His blessing. Then behind your power is God’s power; behind your will, His will.
  • When the consciousness is kept on God, you will have no fears; every obstacle will then be overcome by courage and faith.
  • When you do your part and rely on God to do His, you will find that mysterious forces come to your aid and that your constructive wishes soon materialize.
  • Along with positive thinking, you should use will power and continuous activity in order to be successful.
  • Always be sure, within the calm region of your inner Self, that what you want is right for you to have, and in accord with God’s purposes.
  • In order to be happy one should have good health, a well-balanced mind, a prosperous life, the right work, a thankful heart, and, above all, wisdom or knowledge of God.

WHEN YOU NEED TO BE INSPIRED…


Life Tweets, Inspirational & Spiritual Insights That Will Change Your Life — Tom Rapsas has compiled his favorite inspirational quotes and provided his own take on each one of them, offering added insight on how to apply each gem of wisdom in our lives. One of my favorites that I opened to at random is “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” Tom’s explanation on why it’s best to let your love flow without restrictions — to see it returned with the same energy — gives you another reason to forgive and forget.

This is a wonderful book to read when you’re a little off or if you just want to start your day with a bit of inspiration. I found the quotes all so wonderful, and the explanations so wise, that I read the entire collection of 200 quotes in 3 sittings. But I know I’ll go back over and over again to pick a page at random, to be uplifted, to help me see the “bigger picture.”

One of Tom’s Life Tweets is “Your answers lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.” We should all take advantage of his suggestions to use quiet introspection, prayer or meditation to our day. However, I’ll include reading, especially reading that inspires you to make your life the best that it can be, like this book.

I was so intrigued by his collection of wise sayings, I asked Tom to share a little more insight with us:

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

TOM: For over a decade, I collected spiritual and inspirational quotes, putting them in odd notebooks that would eventually make their way to my attic where they collected dust. When Twitter came along, it seemed like the perfect way to share my collected quotes with others, so I began to tweet one or two of them a day.

After awhile, one of the things I realized was that the 140-character limit of Twitter was limiting. I wasn’t able to expand on what the quotes meant to me, what insights could be gleaned from them — so I began writing what eventually became Life Tweets. From the almost 1,000 quotes I had tweeted through mid-2011, I chose my 200 favorites and wrote brief passages about each one, explaining their meaning to me and how they might also help guide and inspire others.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

TOM: I believe that the right words literally have the power to change our perspective on life and the path we take moving forward. So I’m hoping at least some of these quotes and insights will have an impact on the life of those who read them and help change their life for the better.

Some of the insights really demand some contemplation. So ideally the reader will consume them in small doses, no more than a few at a time. This will give the reader the ability to let their meaning really sink in. I’m planting the seeds and from there it’s up to the people who read the book to take the next step.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration?

TOM: I primarily find it in the writings of other spiritual writers, my all-time favorites are Thomas Moore, Napolean Hill, John Templeton, Ralph Trine and Ralph Waldo Emerson. But there are too many others to name, including some recent books I’ve read by Ram Dass, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Mirabai Starr (and yes, Becca Chopra!)

I also find inspiration when my brain is at rest. This happens during and after my morning runs, which really seem to have a calming, centering effect on me. And, I love the beach, any beach, which definitely has a restorative and energizing effect on my soul.

But I’ve found inspiration in places as diverse as a jam-packed bus commuting to New York City, playing with one of our nine cats, or sitting in a chair on a small plot of land at the side of my house where the breeze brings the shrubbery to life.

Q. What is the best thing anyone has said about your book?

TOM: I’ve had a few people tell me that they start their mornings by reading a Life Tweet or two to get their day off to a good start. I think that’s perfect. I personally try to start each day with a little inspirational reading, I just think it puts you in a good place for the day ahead. So I’m glad people are able to find this same kind of inspiration through Life Tweets.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries

www.thechakras.org

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