Article first published as Book Review: 'Agapanthus Rising' by Roxana Bowgen on Blogcritics.
October 23, 2014
New Book Explores How Life’s Problems and Paradoxes Lead to Growth
Roxana Bowgen has had a life full of diversity, and it has resulted in a number of paradoxes in her life. She was raised in Peru, grew up in Beverly Hills, lives in Connecticut, and has traveled the world. She has traded stocks and organized volunteer missions to Third World countries. She grew up Catholic, has been interested in Judaism and Buddhism, and been a speaker for the Methodist Church. In other words, she has never failed—even when at times she feared—to reinvent herself. And for that reason, she compares herself in this book to the Agapanthus flower, which is able to bloom wherever it is planted with just a little nurturing. Rather than complain or wither when she has found herself in a difficult situation, Roxana has only dug her roots deeper, and soon after, she has bloomed and shown her true, brilliant colors.
In her new book, Agapanthus Rising, Roxana now tells the exciting, sometimes dangerous, often moving, and always inspiring story of her adventurous life’s journey. While sections of this book read like a memoir, as a whole, Agapanthus Rising is a call to the reader to be all he or she can be. Roxana uses her own stories and experiences as a jumping off place into self-exploration for the reader. Throughout, she encourages people to expand their horizons, take reasonable risks, and live life to the fullest. And while I believe she has done many amazing things with her life, she would be the first to say anyone could do what she has done. Speaking of herself and her family, she states:
“We are common people. There is nothing special about us. But sometimes, we need someone else’s example to find the courage to do something. If we can do it, you can too. I read somewhere that ‘You may be the only Bible someone sees today.’ I thought a lot about that and realized that we can motivate, encourage, and inspire people more by what we do than what we say.”
Inspiration fills every page of this book. Whether it’s Roxana walking into the United Nations building, uninvited, and having lunch with an ambassador as part of her job search, or traveling down the Amazon to bring needed supplies to villagers in remote locations, or even finding a work-around solution to airport security and immigration issues, Roxana makes it clear that whatever she can do, we can do, and once we discover the seed inside ourselves and help it to grow, we can also plant seeds in others, inspiring them to bloom as we have.
Readers will find a lot of variety in Roxana’s stories, along with plenty of adventure and a great deal of food for thought. I can’t share everything here, but some of my favorite sections included Roxana’s discussion of her religious and spiritual beliefs, such as her interest in the possibility that Jesus’ lost years were spent in India, how she grew up with Jewish landlords who were like family to her, and her visit to Israel.
I was also inspired by the generosity of Roxana’s spirit—she is a true missionary, having been involved in non-profit and charitable organizations long before she decided to found her own organization, Volunteers On Call, Inc., which has done a great deal of good for people worldwide. Roxana has truly taken Jesus’ words to heart to treat everyone as her brother and sister and to clothe and feed—and even to educate—them.
Readers should also be prepared to be challenged beyond their comfort zones. Roxana has her say on everything from reincarnation to quantum physics, and she connects each topic to how we can use it to live a more soulful life. Roxana appreciates all the talents God has given her, and she realizes that those who have much also have much expected from them. She continually asks herself whether she is using her talents to their highest and best potential, and she concludes that “there is always room for improvement. I have been given much and there is much more that I can give. We all can.”
Roxana is giving enormously just by writing Agapanthus Rising. It is a true gift because it offers her readers the opportunity for self-exploration and self-discovery, and beyond that, part of the proceeds from its sales will be donated to the ongoing work of Volunteers On Call, Inc.
You may not agree with Roxana on every point, and you may not want to travel the world to serve others, but I guarantee that if you read this book, you will find that your horizons enlarge at least a little—and probably a lot. You will see the world as a bit bigger than you realized and with many more possibilities for happiness and fulfillment than perhaps you have allowed into your daily routine for some time. I encourage everyone to read Agapanthus Rising and discover new ways to bloom.
For more information about Roxana Bowgen and Agapanthus Rising, visit www.AgapanthusRising.com.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and Award-Winning Author of Arthur’s Legacy
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