08 Jul Christina Stevens featured in Living Now
Here’s a woman making a difference in so many ways, and above all, she finds joy in the human experience and knows that everything in life is sourced in love.
Sydney-born Christina Stevens is an award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, environmental strategist, and inspirational speaker. She speaks at UN conferences on topics from youth empowerment to expanding consciousness, and travels the world sharing the love she believes it takes to live a fulfilling life.
Christina left the advertising world to follow her dream of helping others achieve the happiness they are searching for.
Currently in Australia to launch the memoir: LOVE: The Saint and the Seeker, she shared some of the lessons she has learned on her adventures throughout the world.
Your book, LOVE: The Saint and the Seeker, was 20 years in the making. That’s a long time. Why do you think that was?
LOVE is a memoir about an adventure I took in l993. It began metaphysically, when Mother Teresa came to me in a dream and told me to go to India to film her. The journey took three weeks and yet it covers eons. It’s the story about how I responded to that call. I am not Catholic and knew very little about the saint-to-be, yet she taught me how the power of love can transform your life. And I learned about the capacity of the soul to impact our path. When I left Mother Teresa she gave me a ring and said: “When you write, wear this ring and God will write through you.”No pressure! Add to that, I had always been a very private person. Although I grew up in the theatre, and could easily step into a character on stage, I have always been shy and not overly confident in my skin. I was not ready to step up and say, “This is who I am. And this is what I believe.”
At first I wrote the actual story—this happened and then that happened, bam bam bam. Immediately I was offered a publishing contract. But I had to turn it down because the story was incomplete. Not until I was willing to open myself up and put my heart and soul on the page, could it be published. God wasn’t in there yet. You see in the time I spent with Mother Teresa, she blessed me with so much, and her gift of the ring acknowledged that writing my story was my service. This was what I had to offer another human being. It was a huge responsibility. I realised I wasn’t simply writing a story—I was creating alchemy. I had to not only learn life lessons, I had to understand them and then illustrate them. I had to share childhood traumas, not to purge for myself, but for the reader to recall their own traumas and see them for what they really were.I had to disclose things that people who have known me forever, family members even, who thought they were close to me, didn’t know.
There are so many profound moments in your beautiful book. Is there a stand out?
There was one moment when something strikingly profound occurred. Mother Teresa had come to me in a dream and, I believed, had called me to India to film her. I found it very hard to let go of that dream, but each time I brought it up to her in person, she would say no. I could not film her. She had said no to kings and no to countries and she could not say yes to me. In her eyes, it was forbidden. Then, during our third private meeting, when I had literally let go of asking her, she changed her mind and said yes, I could film her message to the world. It was a true moment of energy exchange. And a truly powerful lesson for me in breaking down barriers and dissolving walls. We connected on a deeply spiritual and energetic level and she showed me how something, which had appeared so rigid and fixed, could move. I learned how to mesh with another human being and shift the rules. I no longer felt separated and alone in the world. And I felt how the power of love can change the course of a life.
You talk a lot about living a spiritual life in a non-spiritual world. How do you achieve this?
I say in my book in my book, “There is no time like the present, to be present.”I focus. I live mindfully. I do my best to live moment to moment with the awareness that I am in the NOW moment. I learned to do that when I began to fly. When I did aerobatics in the sky, OMG, Iwould have crashed and burned if I hadn’t been completely focussed on everything in the cockpit…and yet, I had to be completely aware at the same time, that I was flying in a big sky, where there were other planes. It’s about being focussed on what you are doing, even if it is drinking a cup of coffee. Do it completely and yet, at the same time have the awareness of also being outside you, watching you drink your coffee. It’s an exercise you can do any place, any time, while taking a shower, sitting in a bus or walking down the street. Be there, in that moment, and if you fall out of it and your mind starts to wander to the future or the past, stop and check yourself. Doing that will help you take yourself back to the present. With this expanded awareness you will be. It’s like almost living in a meditative state. Fully aware. Being rather than doing.
What is your definition of success and what benchmarks do you set yourself?
To me, success is living your dream. I am not sure I set benchmarks. I prefer to not make firm and fast plans, because the universe always seems to come through with a better plan. Overall I do my best to stay ‘in the loving’. We have got to be vigilant about that. So I do have a benchmark on where I don’t want to be, and what I don’t want to be putting out in the world. I check myself every time I don’t feel good about something or I have had an uncomfortable exchange with someone. It puts your energy into an unclean detrimental space. So I pay attention to set it right, within me, at the very least. We can’t be wandering around the world with messy, angry, unhappy, untidy energy. This is where disease, conflict, wars, everything that is not loving, is born, in our energy. I don’t want to be responsible for bringing anything less than loving into this world.
How do you believe we can move forward as human beings and create a sustainable future together for us all?
Our earth is the jewel of our solar system. We have not yet discovered our quality of life anywhere else in the universe. So we must take care of our home. As long as we continue to unconsciously consume, having more children than the earth can sustain, moving on fossil fuel, our resources are finite. Everything on earth is alive and everything is connected. We must love ourselves first if we are to take care of each other and the planet. I have created the Magnificent 7 Principles of Love. Those seven principles go from loving and respecting yourself, to loving and taking care of each other and the planet, to living a mindful and compassionate life, to finding your passion, your soul inspiration and to never letting go of your unique dream. It comes down to our taking responsibility for our own life—and when we do, the world will shift and we will all move into a new plateau on earth, living authentically, as one world.
You speak regularly at the United Nations. What do you talk about to the world’s leaders?
I am an advisor—it depends on the subject matter and to whom I am speaking that day. For example, I was invited to give the opening address on World Energy Day. The room was filled with ambassadors and ministers from all the member nations. They had come to report on the resources, initiatives and infrastructure in their country. I figured I didn’t need to discuss renewable energy or sustainable practices, because this was their focus. Yet I realised there was a topic I could address, that nobody else would. So I opened saying, “I am here today to welcome you and to begin by addressing your personal energy and how you, a decision maker in the world, can change the world—and it begins with yourenergy”. I went further by talking about when they step up to the negotiating table that their energy can transform an issue from a win/ lose to a win/win. Many of these leaders had had interactions with Mother Teresa. So I told the story of my exchange with her, when together we turned a no into a yes. I like to encourage unity, because at the UN now, it’s no longer business as usual. There is so much innovation and transformation occurring in the world and we are all so entwined in each other’s actions, so closely connected, we have only one choice, and that is to act as one global community.
I always end my talks with this quote from my book: “I am you. You are me. We are one.”
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