July 8, 2020
HPW’s Inspiring Women series profiles remarkable Greek-American professional women whose stories of success inspire and encourage us to achieve our own career goals and aspirations.
Author, Inspirational Speaker & Thrive Global Facilitator
AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS 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 from her life’s adventures and experiences. In her new book, Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, she takes readers on a journey and inspires them to let go of what doesn’t work and instead create the lives they really want. Agapi 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 PBS specials. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, a company founded by her sister, Arianna Huffington, to help change the way we work and live. Agapi has spoken and conducted meditations at many organizations and companies including L’Oreal, Accenture, SAP, LinkedIn, Pandora, Google, Nike, Weight Watchers, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Global Citizen Company, Museum of Modern Art, ABC Carpet & Home, Women’s Health Magazine, Paul Mitchell, NYU, Gympass, and Hearst Communications amongst many others. She brings home the importance of self-care, practicing gratitude, generosity and self-love to enhance performance and productivity so we can experience happiness and fulfillment. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles and was born and raised in Athens.
Contributor: Frederica Bolgouras
What is your passion?
My passion has always been about expressing my creativity and bringing out joy through creative expression. I started as an actress and then I moved to write books on Greek mythology and did many performances with the Greek goddess based on my book, Conversations with the Goddesses. Bringing the culture of my country to the people in this country was such a joy for me. Then I moved on to write my story and share my wisdom and all the amazing values my mother taught my sister Arianna and me. And now I keep on sharing with people tips and strategies on how they can connect back to their heart, their spirit, and their authenticity, and live a life that is fulfilling and gratifying as they share their gifts with others.
What motivated you to move into your profession?
Always as a little girl, it gave me great joy to perform and see people smile and be happy and move them with the art of acting. That’s why I decided to go to the Royal Academy of Arts to start acting and learn the craft. But then my path changed, and I got involved with psychology because I wanted to understand human nature and human behavior.
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My mother, Ellie Stassinopoulos, was always my greatest inspiration of how she lived fearlessly, and her generosity and ways of interacting with people in a heartfelt caring way has been a profound influence in my life. My sister, Arianna, has also been a big inspiration as I saw her create, and innovate, and always bringing her wisdom and her gifts in the world, helping so many others find a voice and expression. Her example of not giving up and always having a vision of what she wanted to contribute has been a great influence in my life. And my spiritual teacher, John Rodger, who taught me that keeping an open heart and a loving consciousness to ourselves and to others is the most important thing in life.
Tell me about a few of your most proud accomplishments?
I am very proud of the fact that I have been able to use my life’s challenges to overcome and return to a place of strength and confidence, and then sharing everything I learned by writing my books, Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love and Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life. And finding the way to communicate with people I learned to be more free, more loving, more caring, and sharing in my life. That was a passion of mine to share all of that, and I am so proud that I am able to reach so many with my message.
Was there anything you would have done differently?
I think when I look back at my life, I would have been more loving and compassionate with myself, and also really shared with people how I was feeling during my hard times and ask for support. Now I feel much freer to accept all parts of myself and give them all a voice and not suppress my true feelings or judge them but give them a place to express and ask for support. That is one of the great keys of living a connected life.
What advice would you give to professional Hellenic-American Women today in their careers?
Don’t let anything stop you from living your dream or from going after what you want. Remember the Greek spirit is mighty and that fire in your heart and in your belly must always be lit. Don’t cave in, and don’t give over to discouragement and pessimism. Always share your amazing hearts and remember we Greeks are givers and have the most generous hearts. That is our treasure. Never feel that you are not enough, or you are lacking in anything because you are not.
Are you involved with the Greek community?
I love the Greek community and any chance to speak Greek and interact with my Greek American friends.
Given the COVID pandemic, how are you handling the stress this has caused and which wellness and coping exercises and mechanisms would you recommend?
As I am working with my sister, Arianna Huffington, and her company, Thrive Global, we have been doing a lot of seminars and bringing keys of mental health to many companies. I share a lot of practices like guided meditations and making time for yourself a priority to make sure that we move daily, we meditate, we pray, and exercise the ability to find our resilience to go deeper into ourselves, our spirit, and our souls. Especially to honor the human part of us that is challenged with the changes by getting good sleep, by sharing with friends via Facetime, Zoom, and making sure that we don’t shut down our hearts and our spirits. I recommend that everybody check in with Thrive global https://thriveglobal.com/ where we have so many keys and inspirational writings for people to find daily support. I also recommend that people download my 33 guided meditations that are very soothing and comforting for different themes in our lives https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Meditations-Audiobook/B07CNSP5XH?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=820S5S4EAAF9PCAKCQG9 If people want to get a few of them for free, please send me an email at email@example.com and I will forward you a few of them as my gift. Wishing you all well and stay positive, uplifted and kind to yourself and others as we go through this difficult time on our planet. Together we can overcome anything, and we can find our joy even in the midst of all that is going on. Remember to live in expanded gratitude about everything, and that no matter our ethnicity, religion, background, economics status, we are all one race, and we have a responsibility to be there for each other in our hearts and in our actions.
Who has inspired you in your career? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org