An Interview with Agapi Stassinopolous: The Joy of You
Agapi Stassinopolous, says there is and shares the path she has found in her new Book “Wake Up to the Joy of You – 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life”. Agapi is a best-selling author and speaker who inspires audiences around the world. In her previous book “Unbinding the Heart – A dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity and Unconditional Love” she shares the wisdom of her life’s adventures and experiences. Agapi Stassinopolous was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then moved on to receive her Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Her previous books on the Greek Archetypes, Gods and Goddesses in Love, and conversations with the Goddesses were turned into a PBS Special. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Go Global, a company founded by her sister, Ariana Huffington, to help change the way we work and live. She divided her time between New York and Los Angeles and was born and raised in Athens, Greece. You may find her at unbindingtheheart.com
Agapi Stassinopolous: What a beautiful introduction. My goodness, I had the chills. I am thrilled, and it is wonderful to be with you and all our listeners all over the world.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: So, let us share a little of your path with our listeners who are meeting you for the first time. How did you wake up to the “Joy of You?”
Agapi Stassinopolous: It is a process. It was a process, and it was a process of really going through what I call my underworld. You know, the Goddess Persephone, are you familiar with the myth? So, Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and went into the Underworld and lived in darkness for quite a while. She was innocent and playing in the fields when Hades kidnapped her, and her Mother, Demeter, just created havoc with Zeus because Zeus was in cahoots with Hades to kidnap Persephone. Finally, he was able to bring the daughter back because she threatened to bring famine to the earth. The Goddess Demeter was the Goddess of the Earth.
Why I say the myth to the listeners is to re-orient ourselves as we all go through the process of discovery by going into the underworld, and an underworld is a place where we feel we are devoid of light. We go into sadness, to separation and a feeling of abandonment, a feeling of not belonging, a feeling of separation, and a feeling of actually not fitting in anywhere and not knowing who we are and what is our purpose in life. Then, in my last book, “Unbinding the Heart,” I wrote the life story of what happened to me from that moment on when I woke up and had an epiphany. I literally had a spiritual experience called Hit by the Light. At 5:20 AM on one bright morning, the light came into my bedroom in a hotel. I had fallen asleep and was awakened by an inner and outer light, and I had an epiphany where I fell on my knees weeping as if something had hit me, saying I know, I know, I am a child of God. It was an extraordinary moment that shaped my life. It was a blessed moment, and it was a moment that led me to the unfoldment of my spiritual path. Sure enough, through a series of synchronicities, I met my Teacher, John Roger, who deceased two years ago, in Los Angeles at the Center there called Prana. It is actually in South L.A. It is a beautiful Ashram, and when I met my Teacher he hugged me, and he said: “Welcome home.”
So, I found my Teacher, and I found my path, but then I had many ebbs and flows and peaks and valleys of how then I found Agapi. I must say that why I wrote “Wake Up to the Joy of You” is because after all the years of writing books, of disappointments, of successes, and things not working out, there was a constant evolution. I returned to a place where my heart got unbound, my heart got opened, and I did a lot of inner work.
That is why I did 52 Chapters is because I wanted to give people little bites, nuggets, of saying: “OK, let us look at how you love yourself. Let us look at how you overcome disappointment, and let us look at how you deal with negative people in your life. Let us look at how do you handle your emotions? Let us look at what does it mean to do nothing and to enjoy that? How do you find your creativity? How do you live in gratitude?” Every single subject in this book is what I learned for myself from my life, from my Teachers and every single chapter. It is very human, it is very real.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: You talked about listening to that inner voice, the divine, to God as we understand God on a personal level. Why are so many people afraid to listen?
Agapi Stassinopolous: Well, that takes practice, and I think how you listen is in a way the allowing and sometimes when you go in, and people often say I go to meditate and I do not hear anything, or there is no-one there. It is not that there is no-one there, it is that the soul and the spirit are invisible and you have to sort of make a lot of room. Because we are so filled with judgments about ourselves, unconsciously and consciously we are always judging ourselves or judging each other. These judgments create darkness and the fear of not becoming something, not being someone, the fear is the worst thing we do as human beings because when we start to live in fear. Shakespeare said: “Our doubts become the obstacles in our lives that stop us from even attempting.” So, this is where companionship and friendship and community comes, and that is why spiritual Satsang with other spiritual beings. Let us open up the field, support groups, conversations, dinners where people say: “How are you feeling?” “What are you struggling with?” “What can I help you with?” and opening up the conversation. So, why I wrote the book is because whatever I went through, people are going through. Now people read my book and say: “Oh, my God, everything you said I relate to.” Of course, you relate to it because we are human beings and we all go through the same things.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: Your book is called “Wake Up to the Joy of You.” It is 52 meditations. Let us talk about meditation. People are rediscovering meditation and mindfulness today. Why do you think that is?
Agapi Stassinopolous: I think it is because there is a spiritual awakening happening on planet earth. The light is coming in stronger than ever, and that is partly why the darkness is being unearthed. The light comes in, and the darkness is unearthed and evoked, and you feel it all around you. I think people are longing more than at any time to reconnect, and because also media and the internet and because we have such access to seeing all these teachers and practices and it is everywhere. In the East, I think, people are more turning to spirituality. So now there is this merging and it is beautiful to see, but I also say to people watch out, because people can start meditating and going to India and coming back and saying I am a Teacher now.
I say, if you can breathe, you can meditate. It is as simple as that because meditation is really following the practice. It is like if you have legs, you can walk. If you can breathe you can meditate, because meditation is about following the breath, telling the mind that it is really about focusing the mind on the breath, and then allowing the mind to go through its disturbances and its “got to do, got to do”, and going beyond that to find the space beyond the mind that is quiet, that is present and that has a lot of connection with the source.
VICTOR FUHRMAN: Agapi, how can our listeners find out more about you?
Agapi Stassinopolous: OK. So, they go to my website: www.wakeuptothejoyofyou.com and there they will see more of my videos, more of my blogs, more of my books. They can order from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble. They can buy the book from any bookstore, and if you go to my website you can click, and it will take you straight to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and all the wonderful online communities. Then, they can also follow me on FaceBook at agapistassinopolous. I post a lot of my events, I post about my inspirational quotes, I interact with the people who send me comments, and they can follow me on Instagram under agape’s and on Twitter under AgapiSays.
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