Agapi Stassinopoulos. This is a name that carries a powerful light of inspiration and unending optimism. Stassinopoulos is a well-known motivational speaker and the author of Unbinding the Heart: Greek Wisdom, A Dose of Generosity, and Unconditional Love.
While there is much more to her name, she is steadfastly focused on inspiring people to build an inner life.
“You have to solidify the relationship with yourself… and something bigger than yourself -- your life force,” she says.
When it comes to addictions, Stassinopoulos feels that we all are addicted to something in our lives.
“Some people have severe addictions that we call ‘substance abuse.’ Some don’t feel good or have sad thoughts or find themselves in bad relationships. Others end up being workaholics and have to be doing something constantly. When we reach for something to distract us from ourselves, it shows we don’t really know how to be in ourselves. We’ve received no education on this. We must build a world where we feel comfortable with ourselves and at peace with ourselves.”
Stassinopoulos’ new book, Wake Up to the Joy of You talks about this struggle - the struggle with the ordinary things of daily life that can cause stress and impact us negatively rather than give us an experience of “grace.”
The book releases on December 27th, 2016 and shows readers how to connect with self and listen to their intuition. The idea of connection sounds great in theory, but we asked Stassinopoulos how it works in practice for those who are in the middle of what seems like a catastrophic brawl with their insides.
“The key is that we are willing to do a lot of forgiveness with ourselves,” she says.
“We all come here to do the same work: to get to know ourselves. So much of our society puts stigma and judgment on people who have addictions. But we must remember that there’s so much support in the world today. We can also ask for help from the Spirit within, who is breathing and sustaining us... and digesting us. We have to surrender to it and embrace ourselves.
Spirit is a term that Stassinopoulos uses to talk about what others might call “divine force,” “life force,” “Universe” or “God.” But aside from this large concept of “Spirit,” she’s quite literal when she conveys to people that they are not alone.
“We have 3200 billion cells. It’s lying to ourselves to believe we’re alone.”
A tell-it-like-it-is person, Stassinopoulos is very clear and even emphatic about embracing the true self.
“It’s the inner light that gets the darkness.”
When asked about her personal inner-life building process, Stassinopoulos told RecoveryView.com:
“I started acting. Acting is an examination of characters. Each has psychological complications. Take Joan of Arc or the Greek Goddesses for instance. These characters are filled with emotion, turmoil, ambition and pain. Drama contains the kaleidoscope of human life, which is everything, it’s the gamut of human emotions. That’s why I love theater, you cathart all these emotions.”
So what would you recommend for the rest of us?
“Everyone must find monologues, must act. Express yourself!”
Anything we can do besides acting?
“Archetypes are deep in our understanding of psychology,” she says as she describes how certain characters from ancient writings represent universal patterns in human nature.
“ [Carl] Jung and [Joseph] Campbell talked about archetypes and it was through reading and writing about them that I started to realize how different forces work within us. Some are destructive while others are positive forces. When you expose yourself to these things, you also become aware of other aspects too -- like the strategy of Athena and the love of Aphrodite.”
To learn more about archetypes, seek out Stassinopoulos’ one-woman play called Conversations with the Goddesses which featured on PBS or even read her first book, Unbinding the Heart.
“In that book, I wrote my life story and I was transparent. It’s about how I let go and started to express myself in a much more free way. I gave myself permission to open up and trust. Unbinding the Heart, very clearly describes how I found my calling and my voice, while letting go of my angst,” says Agapi.
In closing, Agapi’s offered some words of advice to our readers:
“Go be yourself. We are all lovers. We have love inside ourselves... but then we judge it. We have to unwind that part of ourselves and say ‘I want to be loved!’ And if you want to find love, then go love. If we are always waiting for the outside, we shut out the incredible force that inside of us.”
Visit Agapi’s website or social media pages for more information on how to start your journey toward building an inner life… your journey toward LOVE! There you will find meditations, blogs, and other inspirational tidbits. To pre-order her book, Wake Up To The Joy of You, click here.