“A jolt for the soul, a thunderbolt of profound insight.”

“A jolt for the soul, a thunderbolt of profound insight.” January 4, 2024

This week I’m taking a break from my regular spiritual fare, to tell you a little about me and the story behind my new book, Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious. The first few paragraphs are adapted from the introduction.

I’m what you might call a regular guy. For virtually all my adult life, I’ve worked a nine to five job in an office. My wife and I have been married for 30 years, we have a house in the suburbs, and a daughter just out of college. I cherish our family vacations and my morning runs, as well as a hot cup of coffee in the morning and a pint of cold craft beer at night.

Yet, like many of you, I’m deeply curious about all things spiritual. My spiritual quest started in my twenties and has continued throughout my life. Raised Roman Catholic and force-fed religion during my youth, I had abandoned all religious or spiritual pursuits by the time I graduated high school. But all that changed when, a few years into my career in advertising, I began to wonder: Is there might be more to life than the daily cycle of work-home-sleep-repeat?

As I grappled with the mystery that is life, I didn’t quit my job and jump on a plane to India, join a cult, or sequester myself in a monastery. My nine-to-five routine continued. But beneath the surface, a shift began to take place beneath my “regular guy” persona. I began to read voraciously, everything from books on philosophy, Buddhism, and the Jesus teachings I grew up on, to the latest spirituality bestsellers. I began listening to religious and spirituality audiotapes and later podcasts.

Some of the things I heard or read failed to strike a chord—but a lot of what I learned resonated deeply within me. I eventually came to a realization: true wisdom, or what you might call “words to live by,” couldn’t be found in a single magical book or a particular religion or one enlightened spiritual teacher. True wisdom is found in many places and comes from many sources.

I started writing about my spiritual explorations back in 2010, penning stories for the online publications Elephant Journal and Contemplative Journal. In 2012, I began writing the weekly Wake Up Call column at Patheos.com, addressing topics related to spirituality in everyday life. Some of these stories stirred controversy among my diverse group of readers, as I wandered outside the lines and challenged some traditional religious beliefs. But many of my columns seemed to meet a real need for my fellow wisdom-seekers.

Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious features my top stories.

Over the years, I’ve written over 500 Wake Up Call columns. For the new book, I compiled my top 112 stories and sorted them into seven broad categories including Inspiration, Awareness, Character, Calling, Spiritual Practice, Inner Work, and Contemplation. (The links in this paragraph connect to stories included in the book.)

Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious includes fan favorites, several posts that were controversial, and many that are especially important or meaningful to me. Each one holds a message that I believe is worth repeating. And if you consider yourself spiritual but not religious like me, I think you’ll find meaning and value in each of them.

The book was released on January 1, 2024, and I’ve been blessed with several positive endorsements by some of the leading spiritual lights of our time. Here are a few:

“Tom Rapsas’s Wake Up Call is well written. You’ll enjoy it. And, from a “regular guy,” it gives you imaginative yet practical guidance for finding your way in life. The spiritual traditions all invite us to wake up because unconsciousness is our biggest problem. This book will stir you.” ~Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Eloquence of Silence

“Tom Rapsas helps us to wake up to the spiritual treasures within us and around us, and every page of his eminently practical book rings out with insight, inspiration, and instruction. Whatever path you’re on, whatever your soul yearns for, you’re sure to find spiritual sustenance in this banquet of offerings.” ~Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda and Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times

Wake Up Call is a jolt for the soul, a thunderbolt of profound insight, awareness and growth. In this collection of his favorite teachers and writings culled from his columns, Tom Rapsas writes from a place of such deep authenticity and curiosity, one can’t help but want to join him on the journey to self-discovery.” ~Karen Brailsford, author of Sacred Landscapes of the Soul

“Well written … a kind of Readers Digest of spiritual texts. The reader is introduced to a number of practices and reliable religious guides for deeper spiritual journeying.” ~Matthew Fox, author of Creation Spirituality

“For the spiritually curious, Wake Up Call is contemplative joy. Tom Rapsas questions the universe as a master, exploring the meaning of everyday happenings and providing insight he’s found in his journey. His “regular guy” humility is refreshing and provides a beautiful voice to walk us through these deep contemplations.  A wonderful read!!” ~Dana Drake, author of The Benevolent Universe: The Story of Your Unique Genius

Now through February 17, 2024, if you buy and write a Verified Purchase review of Wake Up Call at Amazon, I’ll mail you a free copy of one of my two previous books, the spiritual fable Thaddeus Squirrel, or my compilation of spiritual quotes, Life Tweets. Contact me at tomrapsas@gmail.com.

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