"You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.'"
There I was, sitting on the floor on bolsters with all my classmates, confused, books and paper scattered around me as I was waiting for the next class on schedule to begin. I was in the midst of my intense weekend yoga teacher training, a busy time for me in life. I was working a full time job, studying yoga teacher training on the weekends, I was just in the middle of a BIG separation but also in the middle of a brand new, extremely special relationship. I felt as though everything was happening all at once and that by keeping myself this busy; I can deny some of the painful things that were happening to me at that time.
Suddenly these two ‘foreign’ people walk into class, so slowly, so elegantly. A smile brightens up Anders face as he introduces himself, and then lightens up even more when he looks aside to Magdi and says: “And this is my... LOVE, Magdi.”
That was a profound moment for me… “This is my LOVE.” Not partner, not girl-friend, not wife, not friend… No labels, simply: “This is my love.” It really touched me.
As both Anders and Magdi continued giving us the different teachings of yoga and life, I could not help but observe the admiration they had for one another, the respect. The truthfulness. I remember Anders saying that: “Magdi walks her talk.”
It’s quite difficult to describe in words what I loved about Magdi, but if I try to narrow it down, I feel that what I loved about her most was how direct and truthful she was. She was not seeking for any approval, she said what she thought, and even more; what she knew to be truth. She never concerned herself with what we would possibly like to hear. It is irrelevant to her. In today’s society, unfortunately, this is rare. It may even come across as rude. I remember a classmate saying to me that she almost got hurt 'by Magdi', mainly because she was not used to this direct form of conversation and sharing. But after some thought she realised it wasn’t really Magdi that hurt her feelings, it was because what Magdi said was so true and made my classmate see things as they were and not as she pretended them to be for a very long period of her life.
Magdi also mentioned that it is our choice how we react to what others say or do. This is deep... That it is OUR CHOICE, how WE REACT to what others say. I will give you an example: 10 people make plans to go out for dinner. One person is really tired and has had an intense week. He calls everyone to apologise and says that he can’t join. 6 people respond, wish him well, and hope that he gets some rest. The others take it to heart and REACT with anger, disappointment, frustration, etc.
On one hand, this teaching can be very liberating and when we offend others we can remind ourselves that it is not about what we said but rather about how they reacted to what we said.
However when we are the ones to be offended... well, you get the point here...
Another one of the teachings was on healing and letting go, and boy in that time did I need to learn to let go (which I thought that I already have). I had an anger that consumed my body both physically and mentally. I thought I had control over the mental part of the pain by simply storing my anger somewhere in my body and just denying it.
The first practice was painful; it was becoming aware and accepting that awareness is a precondition to heal. “If you are not aware of cause and effect, you can't heal”, she said. Immediately, I noticed that by me denying all the pain, I was actually holding on to it all. I could not forgive – and that what was causing me so much pain.
Don’t be fooled here! Becoming aware and mindful is not some magical remedy or cure. Your troubles and pain will not automatically and easily disappear. But it is where you begin the journey of healing. Being nervous and upset, angry and frightful, hurt and even lost, is part of the natural process of suffering. Even being overwhelmed by puzzling emotions is a normal part of the journey. Pain is inevitable. But suffering is a choice! If you judge yourself against some impossible ideal of how you think you “should” be feeling and acting as you encounter the pain, you’ll only add to your suffering.
As Magdi guided us through the meditation, I listened to my thoughts with mindful awareness. I realised that my thoughts are momentary ideas, all impermanent. I realized that just because I have a thought (that I completely made up, by the way) doesn’t mean that I have to believe it. That is where the healing began for me. I started to release my mind of some of its more toxic patterns. I started to observe my mind with mindfulness and an open heart hoping for freedom. As I meditated I felt the tears run down my face. I felt the pain of my own closed heart and wondered HOW (not IF) I could forgive, and that was an enormous step forward for me. Instead of denying, I observed where the pain is coming from, I experienced it, I learnt from it, I opened my heart – and finally – I LET GO! I remember that moment so vividly.
I realized in that moment that to forgive does not mean that I need to ignore the misdemeanors of another. I understood that with an open heart and with love, forgiveness is a way for ME to move on.
Magdi made me listen to my most painful stories, she gave me the courage and confidence to face the pain with love. Both forgiveness and compassion surface spontaneously with the opening of the heart.
In accepting the stories of our life, the painful ones, the pleasured ones, the journey and all the lessons that come with it - we can begin to create for ourselves a much deeper and greater identity in which our heart holds all within a space of boundless compassion.
The light in me is beginning to see the light in me again. I bow to the process, and am sure this reeducation is only beginning.
I can’t wait to be in Magdi’s presence again.
It all makes sense now: “And this is my… love, Magdi.”
Magdi will be offering four workshops and we highly recommend booking for all, as they are interconnected:
1st workshop on Friday 17th November (The ethics of being a yogi/yogini) focuses on becoming aware of the value of our judgments, our outlook on ourselves, on others and life itself. This is probably an old programed pattern and the way we perceive our world. This will of course be our reality/truths. If these thought patterns are negative, they will debilitate you on all levels of you.
2nd workshop on Saturday 18th November (How you can heal yourself) is to give you simple tools to heal your language, but accept that awareness is a precondition to heal. If you are not aware of cause and effect, you can't heal. The healing meditation is short but very powerful and can be used anytime you wish, when wanting to transform or heal old feelings or pain.
3rd workshop on Friday 1st December (Recapture your power as a female) is about our journey on earth as females and how we have been programmed to see ourselves, how we have accepted to value ourselves from a male's perspective. This is strongly ingrained in our DNA. Magdi will guide a healing and cleansing meditation that also can be repeated at home.
4th workshop on Saturday 2nd December (Get to know your chakras) is about a specific energy body, our Chakras and how imbalance can affect us in our every day lives, the importance of cleaning our Chakras, just as we clean ourselves physically by taking a shower. Together we will meditate to balance each Chakra individually and program new healthy and loving invocations for becoming more of our true selves.
We are truly blessed having her visiting Australia, as her workshops were sold out last time and all those who met her left inspired and touched.
About Magdalena Potipa: "I have dedicated the past 30 years to teaching in matters and questions concerning spirituality and guidance."
Magdi Potipa is a well renowned holistic therapist, Shiatsu and Reiki Master. She has a background in clinical psychotherapy but felt that talking wasn't enough to heal on all levels. Over the past 30 years she has developed her own method to heal body, mind and spirit.