Author & Speaker, Unbinding the Heart
Posted on: March 18, 2012 | Go to profile
An inspiring teacher, Agapi conducts seminars worldwide that empower men and women to recognize their individual gifts and create the lives they want. After earning her Master’s in Psychology, Agapi discovered her passion while her younger sister was completing research for a book on Greek mythology. Her love for the gods and goddesses ignited, Agapi went on to write two books of her own—Conversations with the Goddesses and Gods and Goddesses in Love—as well as create a one-woman show and a PBS special. She also co-produced and co-hosted a documentary called “Quest for the Gods,” shot on location in Greece. Agapi has been invited to speak at various international events and global conferences and has spoken about health and well-being for The Spirit of Women organization, which represents hundreds of hospitals around the country.
Q: If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
A: My most recent book, Unbinding the Heart, is about what would your life would be like if you were to share your story and know that it matters? I wrote this book to encourage one another to share our stories, and in sharing, realize that we are not alone and be able to unbind our hearts.
ON Cooking & Food
Q: If you love to cook, can you share a favorite recipe?
A: I just recently shared my mother’s Spanakopita recipe with Martha Stewart on her show. You can see the recipe and video on how to make it in this link.
Q: What are the top 3 things that you do to stay healthy?
A: I do yoga and cardio. I meditate. I eat more clean and organic foods and have less alcohol and sugar.
Q: In your opinion, what are the top values that make up a meaningful relationship?
A: Mutual support and respect, common values and I always say in terms of intimate relationships, the most successful relationships I know are a ménage-trois between partners: between you, me and God. When each person brings 100% to the relationship, then you have an uplifting partnership, but if you look for someone to fill the holes inside, the relationship is doomed. Of course, there is nothing more impactful than the ability to have fun, joy and creativity together with another human being. These are the best ingredients for a successful relationship.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson your mother taught you?
A: As we are so busy looking for things in our lives, we have to be sure not to miss the moment and remember that life can bring us the most fulfilling experience in each present moment and with each opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life.
ON Giving Back
Q: Can you share with us an experience of giving that was extremely rewarding or transformational?
A: My mother Elli had an amazing gift of being generous and able to nourish people with food. Whether they came as friends, for a meeting or even the FedEx man to drop something off, she would feed them. There is something about sharing food that made people relax and connect. Her connection with people in the moment, whether she was at the bank, the supermarket, a restaurant or a meeting, she would connect with people. For me, I learned from her not only to be generous to charities but the importance of giving of ourselves fully in each moment.
ON Taking Risk
Q: How do you overcome feelings of insecurity, fear or discomfort when deciding to take a risk?
A: I reach out to a spirit that knows no fear and is expansive. I play this game with myself where I imagine the year 3005, where none of this really matters and I shift my perspective to the bigger picture. If a part of me still gets nervous and I get butterflies in my stomach, I acknowledge it but I don’t give it energy, because I believe we are bigger than our feelings and as my mother used to say, “We need to connect with our Giant Self.”
Q: If you had the opportunity to give advice to your younger self at say the age 13, what would you say?
A: My darling Agapi,
As impossible and difficult as things will seem to you at times as you are growing up, as insecure and wobbily as you might feel, even if it seems that others possess something you don’t, remember that everyone, completely everyone, goes through similar experiences and that it’s all grist for the mill of your soul’s opening and purging so that you will find your own strength and creative spark and that you are a dynamic co-creator with the universe. As dark as life can sometimes seem to you, persevere, call on the light, know the light, find the light, because that is your guiding star. You are never alone. Even when you think you are at your loneliest times, I am with you. Divine spirit is with you. Learn to direct yourself, bypass your doubts and fears and have a glorious time on this earth. Dance, sing and be merry.
I love you,
Q: Life is full of setbacks. Can you share an experience of one, and how you were able to bounce back?
A: I was developing a project on the story of Maria Callas. Me and my Greek partner had hired a famous Italian director who ended up taking our money and never delivering. After months of planning and developing the idea, he then moved forward to create his own film on the story of Callas. I have a whole chapter in my book where I talk about how I moped for a while, felt betrayed, angry and pretty much devastated until I took matters into my own hands and let go and started to move forward on my own. The lesson was that even when we think that people know a lot more than us in any business project or deal, we must always listen to our intuition and follow our truth, and not give our power over to someone because we think, “They know more than I do.”
Q: Who has been your greatest mentor(s)?
A: My spiritual teacher, John Rodger, who helped me throughout my life to follow my truth, find the doors that would open when other doors were closed and remember what really matters.
Q: It’s hard to focus on the “big picture” sometimes because we can get caught in the weeds of work and life. When does visioning come clearest or easiest for you? Or what inspires your vision?
A: There is nothing more inspiring than summoning up your energy and gifts to serve others. To make the life of someone else a little happier and a little more purposeful is what keeps me going.
Q: Who is a leader that you have great respect for and why?
A: My mother overcame great adversities and fought the Nazis through the Red Cross in the Second World War, lived through a difficult marriage and managed to give her two daughters the best education to live a purposeful and authentic life.
Q: Please share with us the story of how your professional journey began and has brought you to where you are today.
A: My journey started at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where I started acting. After years of trying to get cast in the right role and not getting anywhere, I ended up performing in a New York bus, in a spontaneous moment for the passenger next to me. The experience changed my perception from waiting for people to hire me to casting myself in the leading role of my life and into my own one woman show, which led to writing my first book Conversations with the Goddesses, turning it into a PBS special, writing a second and then my third book, called Unbinding the Heart, which shares the wisdoms of my mother and my life’s journey.