Gina Murdock: Your book, “Unbinding the Heart”, is full of delicious, heartfelt anecdotes about life and your personal life lessons. What has been your greatest life lesson so far?

Agapi Stassinopoulos: My greatest life lesson has been to not wait for the opportunities to come to me. I realize how important it is to be proactive and to create the opportunities myself. In my book, I have a whole chapter called “St. Joan On the Bus” where I tell the story of how after waiting for years to get the right acting parts and not getting them, I ended up spontaneously performing for one woman on a NYC bus. It then dawned on me that I didn’t have to wait for anyone to hire me, but it was up to me to share my gift unconditionally and create my own opportunities. Once I realized that, everything in my life started to open up.

GM: What does “Unbinding the Heart” mean to you?

agapi_bookAS: Unbinding the Heart means to really look at the areas in our lives where we withhold our own love from our self and others. We are all born with an open heart, but at some point as we are growing up, things happen in our lives where we start to shut down, like rejection, not fitting in, wanting approval, judgments, comparisons, and criticism of others. We start to feel not good enough and we withdraw our hearts energy and sensor our authentic expression, and that hurts!

Unbinding the Heart really means to bring awareness to those areas we have restricted in our hearts and start to let go, open up, and practice staying open no matter what happens or doesn’t happen.

GM: You have a gift for touching others with your expression, where does that come from?

AS: I think I have an awareness inside of me that we are all the same, that basically we are all part of that one heart. When I am with people, I feel there is a part of me that knows a part of them because we are beyond our personalities, our emotions, and our thoughts. In our heart, we are all the same and I think that belief makes me open up, reach out to others, and bring my own warmth and loving to them. I am very grateful that I have found a way to express what means so much to me, which is that caring for one another.

GM: Where do you draw your strength from?

AS: I draw strength from spirit, from the divine light. I draw strength from the love my sister and I have for each other, from my nieces, Christina and Isabella, and the true friendships I have in my life that are based in being real with each other and mutual love and support. I also draw strength from so many people that I meet through my speaking engagements and my life and when I feel the joy that gets ignited when kindred spirits are together. It gives me such hope that each one of us can contribute to make this world a better place.

GM: What inspires you?

AS:Seeing how many people in our world today are focused on doing good in this world for others, especially in the younger generation and how passionate they feel about making a difference. What inspires me is helping others to become more of who they are and to learn to become radically generous with each other.

GM: I love the chapter called, “Finding Your Voice”; its something so many of us struggle with, how was that process for you?

AS: I think that was one of the most pivotal moments in my life. A friend of mine helped me find my confidence by trusting the knowledge that I was not alone in writing my first book. She helped me wake up to the fact that I had a source of creativity that was my true creative nature and when I embraced it and asked for this presence in my life, I felt as if the dam of the Niagra Falls had burst and all sorts of wonderful things started to happen when I found my voice. It has been a process ever since and I am now a big advocate in the message that we are not alone and we all have ample creativity within us if we just trust it.

GM: Can you tell us about the expectation/disappointment cycle and how to get out of it?

AS: I must confess Gina that I still work that expectation/disappointment cycle all the time. I think it is part of the human nature and I think the most important thing is not to judge it. We are human and we do have expectations and a lot of our expectations are often not met. It is a process of learning how to be kind and compassionate and loving to ourselves when we don’t get the things we want when people, circumstances, and opportunities don’t match our expectations. I think the most important thing is how long do we stay in the disappointment. When my mother would see us wallowing in disappointment she would say, “change the channel.” So I replace the disappointment with a new direction of where I wanted to go and how I wanted to feel. Also, when something isn’t coming my way, I believe it was not meant for me. One of the most powerful sayings I have come across is by Imam ash-Shafi’I, “My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”

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