Coming Into a Spiritual life
Celine Koropchak is the author of "One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection," a collection of writings she previously published on her blog, The Tovarysh Connection. Celine offers readers gentle reminders of our capacity for spiritual connection, reassuring messages that are at once illuminating and grounding.
I first came across Celine’s blog several years ago, and was drawn to help her publish her work as a book. Together with my colleague Lillian Ann Slugocki, we edited and formatted her manuscript as both an e-book and a soft cover edition in 2013.
A former medical projects manager at Duke University, Celine transformed her life over the past several years when she retired from that long-held position to devote more time to her writing and to running her blueberry farm in Oxford, NC, The Phantom Phoenix Farm, supplying pesticide-free berries to local corporate and university cafeterias. As more people discover her book, she has received requests to speak and teach in the Raleigh-Durham area and has also been a repeat guest on the program EverydayAngels at Blog Talk Radio.
I recently talked to Celine about how her life has transformed in the last few years.
DEBORAH: I’m interested in women like myself who are coming into new phases of our lives and new identities in the world as we get older. Tell us more about the major shifts that led to you becoming more immersed in your two main pursuits at the moment: your blueberry farm and your spiritual writings.
CELINE: I always wanted to live on a farm ever since I was a child. And I also seemed to be able to put words on paper in a way that touched people’s hearts. So I think the seeds for this transformation were always there and I suspect that is the case for most of us. We all have our inner passions that we would like to pursue.
For me, it was becoming aware of the opportunities and synchronicities provided to me. The land came up for sale and I just received a small inheritance, enough to get me started. I’d also been doing some work on other farms. So that gave me an idea of what it would be like to develop my own farm business.
The spiritual writings developed over time also. Though for that I had a more direct vocation to share my writings in a blog format and then in a book. I had a great aching in my heart to write down the messages I received. But even with the book, it was the synchronous occurrences. For example, meeting you and beginning our working relationship. Occurrences like this lit up the path for me to take.
Why did both of these turning points occur when they did? The short answer is that it was the right time. As my life progressed, I became more aware of my intuition and began to trust it more.
They say that as women reach the age of menopause they begin to feel freer to pursue their own dreams after years of caring for others. Life has seasoned us and we have learned that we can bounce back should we not reach the outcome we envisioned. And honestly, if you want to put this in a spiritual context, I do believe a shift is now occurring, that is transferring the keys of spiritual power and leadership from the masculine to the feminine.
DEBORAH: As you become more comfortable going public with your spiritual work, what are you noticing about the way other people interact with you? What kinds of things are you learning about the people who are drawn to your presentations and classes?
CELINE: As someone with a scientific background, I was nervous about my peers discovering the spiritual work that I did. Science leans so much on the analytical side of the brain. But what I discovered was that many of my peers also had a spiritual/creative side and they were much more accepting than I thought they might be. They didn’t seem surprised. Having worked so closely with me I know they saw me as a grounded person with common sense. But I guess my spiritual side also came across in my daily interactions with them.
What happened was that more and more co-workers would want to talk with me about their own experiences which they couldn’t explain. Not only was I mentoring co-workers in a professional capacity, but I began to mentor some in a more spiritual capacity.
The truth is that there are so many people out there who are searching and many of the experiences they are having are not explained well by organized religion. It’s no longer so much about dogma as it is about experiential occurrences. The mystical arms of many religions better address this, but most people are completely unaware of this.
These are the people who come to take my classes. They already know about prayer and many are very involved with their individual churches. What they are looking for are the tools to use in their daily lives. They are being shown by their experiences that there is more ‘out there’ than what is seen by the visible eye. And they need to know that these experiences are normal, that everyone can have them and that is does not mean that they are crazy.