Last year, I stumbled upon the blog, the_tovarysh_connection (pronounced, the toe-vahsh connection). I was struck by its simple language that resonated deeply within me. As I continued to read the posts, I became convinced that there was some deep spiritual presence at work in these words. At the time, the author was not named, and I found the whole blog a little mysterious, yet powerful. Occasionally I commented on one of the posts.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I learned that the author was a woman named Celine Koropchak, when she finally added a short bio with a photo to the site. My connection with her strengthened as she also began commenting on my blog posts. A classic internet friendship was beginning.
Soon Celine contacted me to let me know that she was planning to collect a year’s worth of her weekly writings into a book, and would I consider contributing a quote. I wrote back and asked her if I could please write the book’s introduction. When Celine asked for help in publishing an e-book edition, I brought in creative partners, writer Lillian Ann Slugocki and designer Jennifer Dopazo, who created the beautiful cover. Lillian developed an elegant, stylized format for the manuscript that became the blueprint for editing the book. We ended up titling it, One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection.
Fast forward to the present. After formatting One With all of Thee for a soft-cover edition, I continue to work with Celine on marketing and promotion. I’m watching as she is slowly but surely becoming a full-fledged book author, embracing her role as scribe of the messages she’s been receiving from her special friends, her “Tovarysh,” for nearly her whole life. And slowly but surely, word of the book is getting around, and people are beginning to notice this scientist/blueberry farmer/book author who has some important messages to share with the world.
Here’s our most recent conversation:
Deborah Oster Pannell: So you’ve decided to retire from your day job and commit yourself more fully to promoting One With All of Thee. How is that transition going?
Celine Koropchak: I have never been happier. I feel as if I am living the life that I am supposed to be living and I feel such joy every day. This retirement for me has been a transition, absolutely. No longer do I have the day-to-day contact with people in the office and there is a part of that which I miss. But what I do have is more time to meditate, write, farm and share the words that I’ve been given. That’s not to say that I know exactly what I’m doing, because I don’t. The farming part I do, though that has its own rhythm. and challenges. But as far as putting myself out there and being the face of these words, in that I am forging a new path. I ask for help every day and can see my life slowly moving in another direction (or maybe not so slowly). A friend told me recently, when I was confessing that I was nervous, that the path that I’m on has taken a curve so that I can no longer see where I’ve been and am not sure what lies ahead. And that is what makes me nervous. I’ve never published a book before. I’ve never lived my life with such faith before. Someone recently commented on how courageous I am to do this. And I smiled and thought to myself, they must not hear my knees knocking together as I continue on this path.
DOP: You recently gave your first public presentation as the author of One With All of Thee. What was it like taking this show on the road?
CK: I was so very nervous about this presentation, even though I knew the group would be kind and receptive. I opened it by saying ‘My name is Celine Koropchak,and I channel’ as if I were in an AA meeting. Because, as I told them, I’ve never stated that in a public forum before. And I have been channeling for over 25 years. I was nervous because I am used to scientific presentations which are scripted and the only free-flowing portion is in the question and answer period. This presentation was exactly the opposite, and even though I wanted to plan out what I was going to say, I knew it had to be free-flowing. There were moments of sheer terror when I wasn’t sure what would come next. But the audience saw none of that, much to my surprise. What they saw was the joy I felt in being able to be the voice of these messages and honestly, despite the nerves, I did have fun. And I’m grateful that it was the joy and the fun that they saw rather than the nerves.
DOP: In branding, I often talk about the notion of “finding your tribe.” Who is your tribe? Who do you feel your book is speaking to, and how would you like to connect with them?
CK: This is not yet clear to me because I’m not sure exactly where this book fits. What calls to me are the voices of people who need comfort because I find these words so very comforting. Many of these messages are out there in other books, in other venues, so I know that people have heard these ideas before. The difference for me is in the voice in which they are stated. And it is in that voice that people will find comfort. I feel drawn to those who are in need of help and guidance who have not found it in any other venue. At the same time, the messages, as they continue to come are becoming more expansive and are giving more knowledge every week. It is almost like the first book is a primer for what is to follow. So I think these messages, especially the most recent ones, will also appeal to those who have already studied in these realms. So to answer your question, I’m not quite sure yet and am hoping that it will become more apparent in the days to come.
DOP: When I first began reading your blog, I was struck by the very down-to-earth quality of your writing, and the immediate relationship I felt not only to the words, but the wisdom contained in them. I find this kind of practical expression of spirituality very refreshing and exciting. How do you see your relationship to spirituality?
CK: What is that quote, ‘We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path’. That is how I see myself and all of us here on this physical plane. We are first and foremost spiritual beings with great insight and power to create our worlds. Yet, so many of us have not yet awakened to that truth about ourselves. For me, spirituality is not something we dabble in, it is a part of who we are. And so, for you to see this as a practical expression of spirituality is to see that this is a way of being, every moment of your day. Understanding your place, your true place in the world and out into infinity, allows you to bring in knowledge that is there for the taking. And it is best utilized when you combine that wisdom with compassion. For to me, the two have to go together or it doesn’t work and you are not being true to yourself.
DOP: At your recent presentation, one participant asked you to give her a better understanding of who you are. We know that you are a scientist by training. We also know that you are a blueberry farmer. And now, you have become a writer, although you hesitate to call yourself the author. Understanding that you are in a transitional place, have you thought more about how to answer this question?
CK: The problem with this question is that any label I put on myself then places me in a box. We do it all the time, tell me what you do and then I will have a better sense of who you are. Instead of telling you what I do, perhaps you should just see how I live my life. And what I hope you will see is that as a farmer, a scientist, a writer, I still incorporate my spiritual beliefs and practices in all of these areas. Honestly, I am just like everyone else. I question myself and my capabilities, I worry about what just happened or is about to happen, I often do things that I regret. But what I strive for is to minimize the worry, trust the process and have faith that following ‘my bliss’ as Joseph Campbell used to say, will put me in the exact spot I need to be at the perfect moment. I try to live in gratitude and be present in every moment, sometimes more successfully than others. I am leader, I am follower, I am teacher, I am student and I am moving forward on this path, no matter how often my knees knock together. For I made a promise a long time ago and intend to keep it because I know I will always have help along the way.
DOP: What’s it like having a relationship with beings from another plane? Are they guiding your moves now with regard to the book?
CK: Why don’t I ask you that same question, Deborah, for you also have a relationship with beings from another plane. We all do. For each of us it is probably a little different because we are all at different parts of the same path. And we all have different gifts which make our relationships with these divine beings more individualized. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, we all get messages, we all receive guidance and we all have our unique gifts that in our hands will help to change the world. It is having the courage, the faith, to trust in these relationships, these gifts in order to move ourselves forward.
As far as guidance for me for the book, what I get is more about timing rather than specifics. I am using my intuition to help us move forward. I am trusting the relationships that I’ve formed, with you as my agent and others as they appear in my life, to help move these words out into a larger forum. I watch for synchronicities and follow them. And I know that as long as we all trust our instincts and allow the rhythm to move us forward we will get this book and its message out.
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