Just one time

Just this one time. And that’s all. But promise me to never do it again.

I got up and listened to my own self. I later then met two wise men. One told me to listen to my heart and do what I need to do. He said that we are meant to do what we want and what makes us happy. Lets call this guy Lee

The other man told me that our “self” is a very dangerous soul and we should be very careful with it. We should not give into anything it wants. And we should not self indulge into whatever it tells us too. Lets call this guy Bob.

I was confused but I really liked what the wise man said about giving in to what I want or maybe even need. Made the most sense. At least when you just want to do what you want to do.  Lee then told me that  of course there is what is illegal and that I cannot do. Like robing a bank. I cannot do that. But apart from that, just listen to you heart and do as you desire.

Bob told me that desire can be dangerous and that I may end up in a real rut if I’m not cautious with that I do. Also told me that life is about discipline and not desire. We did not make it to where we are by giving in to each and every desire. All the greats have amazing discipline that differs them from the rest.

Lee told me I must experience life in its fullest and do what makes me happy. He used the cliche ” You’ll never know if you never try”. Happiness was a step away. All I had to was approach it and then I’d be very happy.

Bob warned me and said, here’s what’s going to happen. I stopped him right there and told him “Bob, stop spreading your negativity. I don’t want to be a part of it”.

Lee then took my hand and told me to go ahead. And I did. I didn’t feel one bit guilty, cause I was doing what I was meant to do. I was then hooked. I couldn’t let go. And when I did let go, I would suffer in a lot of painful ways till I gave in again. Thank God that it was triathlon that I got hooked too. Imagine if it was something else!! I then looked at Lee’s life and took a took good like at what he had to offer people around him and not just me. He hung with a bad crowd. Was always secretive and you could not really tell what he was up too. He seemed very shiny and wise though. But as I looked closer, he wasn’t happy and preyed on people like me. He simply got his fun out of that.

Lee was very open about everything he’d do. He was shiny in a way where people would immediately feel comfortable towards him. Lee told me that giving into desire can either be the best thing you do for yourself or the worse. He said that everyday we give into alcohol, entertainment, drugs, pornography etc and the outcome is usually bad. All it takes is one time. Just one little time to try  it. Just to say that I’ve done it. We usually think that it leads to happiness. But that is not happiness and that is not a calling. That is an empty soul telling us it needs saving and a moral compass that can lead it. All it takes is one try.

I asked what was that he wanted to tell me when I stopped him. He looked at me and said, “The one thing  that you try once. That desire deep down inside you know is going to cost you ( just like how expensive triathlon is ) either turns out to be an addiction that will lead to your destruction ( destruction of you health, wealth, happiness, family and friends) or it will be a nasty recreational habit that you can’t get rid of. Do not try it just once. Don’t ever try it and feed your soul the goodness it’s looking for”

I’ve written about Bob one other time too. 

How they digged their own graves

There he was. Smoking his way to the grave. A pretty good way to go if, if you ask me. If you enjoy it. Until you’re almost at the grave and then you really don’t wanna go. It’s not that you just don’t want to go anymore, cause who does? It’s what happens to you before you go. He was detoriating slowly. Deteriorate here means die slowly and painfully without you having any control over it and no amount of painkillers can stop it, but maybe deteriorate it even more ( make it slower ) which is bad news really. You’re just staying alive to be punished. Maybe that will make it easier after you’ve died already.

I asked him after his second diagnosis of confirmed cancer if it was from all the smoking, but he was quick to reply “NO”. I’ve been smoking all my life, can’t be it. If it was, it would have killed me a long time ago. But his premature aging and wrinkly cheeks were signs that this was coming sooner or later. Bless him.

This other guy I knew was convinced that he’s healthy and that his oversized gut was genetic and that it runs in the family. After a stroke he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol ( heart disease) and high blood pressure. He was later served the same food he always ate and refused to make any dietary changes or take medication because he was healthy and the stroke was just an incident that had occurred and was unavoidable. The next stroke he had numbed half his face leaving him partially blind and they had to amputate one of his legs due to poor blood circulation. He wished the stroke took him all the way to the grave instead of the emergency room.

What did these 2 stubborn but loving men ( to their families ) have in common ?

Well for one they became a damn burden to their loved ones and society as  a whole. They were living on the concept that if we have all done this for a long time then it’s perfectly fine. Their loved ones now had to take special care of them.

I like how the word “special” can mean the exact opposite depending on context. You’re a special boy, can mean you are mentally retarded ( literally and/or figuratively) and it can mean you’re wonderful ( Extraordinary). Their kind of “special” treatment led to others being handicapped by serving them in “special ways” no one had the pleasure of doing.

What does this teach me though?

It teaches me to look past culture and society. It teaches me that cultural habits can be very damaging if done long enough and it can damage myself and others around me in the long run. It teaches me that to deteriorate through cultural habits is bad. It teaches me to have an open mind when someone tries to teach me or even tell me something new and not be dogmatic about it. It teaches me also to be bare the pain of seeing dogmatic and stubborn loved ones dig a hole while I can’t do a single thing about it. That’s always the hardest part.

Good news for the diabetic dude though. The next stroke took him. Not sure if it was good or bad news for his loved ones. Maybe a little bit of both. A sort of a mixed feeling.
God rest their souls, and ours too while I’m at prayer mode.Amen.

How I soul create 

As I walk towards the gazing sun with my backpack and tent, I stare at the sun and hope that like in the movies, I’ll hear a voice telling me “H A D Y….Y O U  A  R E   T H E   C H O S E N   O N E” . But instead I taste the salt that’s coming out of me only, and hear silence.

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My eyes hurt now. I haven’t worn sunglasses for over a year, but I’ve never stared at the sun for that long before. I take my cell phone out and start browsing topics I find interesting. I want to be a writer. So I started this blog, in the hope of it taking me somewhere. I already feel better. I wanted to swim in the ocean, so I walked back to my car with disappointment that I will not get to hear my calling in the desert. I drove to the nearest ocean and took off all of the heavy hiking equipment I had on, boots, prescription glasses and just dived right in. It wasn’t really a dive, I had to walk towards the shallow water first and it stayed shallow for quite some time, I was almost going to turn back disappointed but the water eventually had covered me from head to toe. More salty flavor, but this time it wasn’t coming out my body. I guess it was a good idea to replenish my salt stocks.

I didn’t expect the ocean to tell me anything, but I felt liberated. Isn’t that what we’re looking for?. Why did I want to hear my calling from the sun, wearing hard shell pants, a fleece pullover, a hard shell jacket, warm socks, insulated boots, and high gaiters in the midst of summer?  Is that the way that I want to remember my calling? I want liberty, freedom and justice for all. Ok, that’s a little over the top but freedom will do for now. Until my next post.

I was wearing myself down, doing things I didn’t enjoy even the idea, just so maybe I could find out if it was good for me or if I wanted to do that. People go through heaps of trouble and stress to look for what they’re calling is and don’t realize that it can be easier than buying a plane ticket to Ghana for a spiritual hiking trip. I have written about finding our callings previously but this post is an even a shorter cut to that. Makes any sense?

After that ocean swim I decided to mostly  do want I want (having a family prevents you from a 100% freedom but i’ll settle for  75-85%) and in regards to soul searching, I’ve found a cheaper and more efficient alternative to the Ghana trip. And probably safer too.Here’s what I do and my soul has been expanding since.

Stopped stressing about my soul. I stopped looking for meaning outside of my interests. If I don’t enjoy wearing high gaiters, then I decided I’m not going to do something I don’t enjoy to supposedly feel spiritual. I stopped overthinking what I love to do and did more of things I like and enjoy. Like this post right here.

  1. You will not feel awesome everyday. I don’t want to post everyday but I feel better when I do. I don’t want to workout everyday but I feel awesome after I do. The same goes with self love , work, teaching. You are not going to be happy waking everyday to do what you love, you will not love it everyday but you’ll definitely feel better after doing it, and that’s love. It’s messed up. Mood follows action.
  2. Take up a prova. Prova is the Italian word for “attempt”. I once thought I wanted to be a graphic designer because I like cartoons and I have a vivid imagination, so I attempted to take up a graphic design course  and dropped it 20 minutes later ( and I didn’t even get the full deposit back ). It just wasn’t for me. The seat I had to sit in, the boring software. I liked the idea of it but the reality was that it wasn’t my thing. So try things that you think you may like and see how it feels.
  3. Stop soul searching. And start creating. I started looking up classes I wanna take, courses and some I thought were fun, turned out to be a total disappointment of what I had in mind. I started creating content. Youtube, blogs, pictures and anything I could do to create. Then things and people come searching for you. Some want your help, your advice and some want to make a fool out of you. It’s all good.
  4. Create challenges. If there are things I feel good about after doing, then I try to challenge myself to do it everyday for a period of time and try and make a habit out of it. Every time I break that challenge, it’s harder to get back on, but I don’t dwell for too long, just maybe lose sleep for a day or two but then get back right at it.
  5. It’ll take time. Progress takes time, but when I stick I feel better a 100% of the time. Hang on to your happiness and good habits, you’ll be a better whole person for it. And as much as I hate to say this but patience is a virtue when it comes to soul creating. You don’t create in a week or a month. I think 5 years is a good time period to see where I have come. So don’t lose hope and stick stick stick. You fall off the wagon, fine. Cry for a day or two, make your life and everyone else’s a living hell then get back on it and feel better. Others will too.

I follow these simple guidelines for a period of time and I almost always feel better.On to creating some more soul. If you read this and felt like creating a soul for yourself. Let me know how it goes.

 

My first step to self love

She told me she would stay with me forever. I believed her. I took advantage of that and thought she wont go anywhere. She left me 3 months later for someone who showed her he cared by buying her a handbag. A handbag I couldn’t afford.

I was miserable and alone. I needed the companion of a female friend and 3 male friends. It was just easier having male friends so I always needed 3 as a minimum. I accomplished the male friends part and now needed the female part to be a complete person again.

I then found someone who told me would stay with me forever. She was there but never present. The oddest thing was I began to feel even lonelier. I got paranoid about where she would be. Where was my soul mate? Why wasn’t I getting text messages, pictures, constant updates about her whereabouts. Why? I was gladly telling her every move I was making, every bite I was taking, and then sent her a flirt song which was a Youtube link to “Every breath you take” by Police. Sting was only thing on my mind at the time.

After being neglected by my soulmate, my friends slowly began to creep away due to me talking all and only about how my soulmate isn’t behaving like the person she should be. I was left with one friend who I could to talk about this only, and he told me “maybe she’s acting like that because she really isn’t the one you’re suppose to spend the rest of your life with..maybe?”. I stopped talking to him as well. I could not stand the negativity.

I was alone again with my thoughts. Paranoid, depressed and alone. A pretty scary combo. I began reading up on soul mates, love and what’s required or how it should be. I may have understood all of this the wrong way if it was going to keep getting me depressed. It turns out that the other person should be as excited as me. And that the reason she may have stopped talking to me was because I was too clingy, insecure, and was acting like a lost puppy. And the reasons my male friends were avoided me was because she was all I would talk about.

I then dwelled in my own sadness, depression and solitude. I cried some, slept some, ate some. Then decided to make a big decision and tell her “it’s over”. Even though it felt like it was already over. It just needed to be said. I read articles, watched Youtube videos to inspire me to break up. When I did, I cried some more but this time it was tears in the inside, I’m usually very dry when it comes to real tears. I started to feel better. I was beginning to feel “whole”. With time I was becoming a person of my own. I got out of the sad bubble and started seeing people again, walked, exercised and did things I remembered I loved. 3 months of that and I enjoyed my company. I loved me.

MY first steps to self love, were to dwell in sadness, cry on the inside, be comfortable with that and then look beyond all that and start living a little more.I hope this post goes out there and helps a person in solitude. A person who is new in a country maybe, a person who’s suffering a ridiculous and abusive relationship ( remember the rule: THEY SHOULD BE EXCITED AS YOU ARE TO BE WITH YOU ), someone having a hard time making friends or someone feeling a little lost in this fast paced world we live in.

It’s okay. It’s fine. You’re okay. Be sad, it’s normal, be alone, and then love yourself. Do things you loved as a teenager/child, find new hobbies, read about something that may get you excited, learn a new language, get in touch with an old friend or worse case scenario contact me and I may or may not be happy to help, if not then just find someone worthy of your time. Someone who’s excited to talk to you. We have so many options available now, that’s its easy to get lost in at all. Find one or two things that may excite you and just do it already you loner.

Do you have this sleeping problem as well?

I woke up at 6am and started my day. Drank water, exercised, prayed, read, and went to work. I left the house and it was absolutely hot, I hated myself. The sun was bothering me, the cars were getting too close to me and the traffic lights seemed to be making a practical joke out of me.

I slept at 12 am and woke up at 6 am. Pretty good right? Every time I get 5-6 hours of sleep, I end up making the worse decisions and get annoyed at uncontrollable things like the sun. I don’t function with coffee and/or tea, that’s not the way I roll. If I did have any then I’d be anxiously annoyed at all of the above. I also realize that I don’t handle conflicts well when I don’t get enough sleep. For instance, a student asks me a question in class and I get annoyed. Why are you going off-topic? I also become a little melodramatic, If I hear two people in the teacher’s room whisper I feel like shouting at loud “You’re talking about me aren’t you?, Just admit it. Aren’t you? Huh?”

Today I had 9 hours of sleep and I left home and stared at the sun for a couple of seconds, and smiled. The traffic jam seemed enjoyable and I used the time to calmly listen to podcasts. The traffic lights opened up its arms to me and said ” You have smiled upon us and for that, we give you the green lights”. I go to work and look at paper work and say “that’s it”.

I think most if not 99% of society is under slept due to distractions or in my case because when I come back from work at 9:15 pm I don’t feel like going right to bed. I wanna have a conversation,I wanna read and maybe also write a little. So I end up doing a little of all 3 and hate myself in the process. But last night I slept at 10 and woke and did a little of all 3 and loved myself for it and it’s just 10 am. I can even nap a little too.

I end this with a quote: ” Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you need less sleep, if they do, then walk away and never look back”

BEAUTY..how do you define it?

I looked at her and saw an image that was surreal.

How can I attain it? It was very beautiful, but maybe that’s why it’s in a magazine?

I searched for a very long time but couldn’t find that perfect smile, and the teeth and oh!! those eyes. Maybe somewhere in Europe?

I later ended up seeing a shrink, and her first line of action is to reassure me and that it’s normal and more common than I think. After all, all we really have access to are the numerous threads on forums and we see that they’re far from alone in this area as well. It’s not something that’s discussed in Cosmo and Vogue, but it’s a line of thought that’s alive and well in the psyches of thousands of women and men.

We then spoke about breaking down the flimsy definition of attraction that our culture propagates. Because our culture is obsessed with image, we define beauty only as what is apparent to the camera’s eye. It’s skin-deep, or less than skin-deep if you consider the amount of makeup, airbrushing, and photoshopping that is involved in creating a magazine photo. We carry this definition of beauty into our intimate relationships and assess our partners through this lens. We may consciously say, “I don’t expect him/her to look like a magazine photo,” but we nevertheless define attraction by the superficial criteria that we’ve absorbed since birth. How can we do otherwise? Cultural conditioning runs deep and it’s only with a great deal of awareness that we can re-wire these habitual ways of seeing.
So if attraction isn’t based on physical appearance, what is it about? It’s about “essence”. It’s about the person you see when all pretenses fade away. It’s about the light that emanates from his eyes or the radiance of her smile. It’s about seeing soul instead of personality, the sustaining beauty of true nature instead of the fleeting beauty of a pretty face. It’s about what draws you to your partner, what connects you, what makes you say “yes” to him or her and no to everyone else. It’s about that place that feels like home, when you can sit next to each other immersed in engaging conversation or content in comfortable silence. I want to start eliminating words such as “attraction” or “chemistry” from my vocabulary – both buzzwords and anxiety-spikes – and instead ask, “What draws me to my partner?” Let’s understand attraction like a magnetic pull instead of in terms of superficial beauty. For we’ve all known people who appear typically beautiful but as soon as they open their mouth, the spell is broken and their true, toad-like nature is revealed. And we’ve known the opposite scenario as well: the person our culture defines as physically unattractive but whose essence radiates such love, warmth, clarity, and goodness that they’re transformed into the fabled prince or princess.

I’d like to think of myself as a toad who won the heart of a princess.

Boo yah!

Funny Toad

Another death post…and the comfort of it.

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So when you die, will they cry for you?

Here’s an example: “what if your best friend died. and you had to…”
These are usually the examples that I give my students and they absolutely hate it. I tend to enjoy these examples because it makes you think in the worse case scenarios and how to deal with them. No, I don’t only look at the negative side of life or the dark side, but I strongly believe that the most difficult parts of our lives are the most defining moments. So when I tell somebody, “when/If  your loved one dies, how would you react?” I expect a very raw and heartfelt reply.

I expect language to come singing out of their soul, and it has happened a lot of the time. Now, most of the time I get the usual ” let’s not talk about such bad things” but really think about it. Death is defining and really makes you think and think deep.

I believe that something beautiful awaits me after death, and I have faith and I think that the more I welcome it, the better quality of life I have, I don’t welcome it in the sense that I cross the highway without looking. NO. I am a pretty sensible guy, most of the time at least and I am cautious and I do care about my health ( those of you regular readers should know this by now ).

I’d love to reach my near death and smile with a high :D…because I’ll want to meet God and because I’d want to meet him then I’m pretty sure he’ll want to meet me too. But we all hate death and death is such a hard thing, I don’t wanna die just yet, but I’ll want to be ready for it, so hope all this mental prep work helps.

To those non believers and to those who feel like what I wrote above is nonsense, well I hope you feel what I’m feeling right and that’s all I can say but I have a little something for you as well ;).A beautiful poem I came across by Chief Tecumseh that I’d like to share with you. Read till the very end.

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Happy reading.

How to disappoint the people in your life

I’ll start with my boss. He asks me to go and measure a door so we can make a wrought iron door for our new customers or something like that. “Hady, you remember how it’s done, right?”. “Pfft, mm yeah ha ha ha of course”. So, on the way there I start making phone calls left and right for someone to explain to me how to take proper measurements but no one helped or actually no one had a clue how to. So I called my boss and asked him, “just double checking here, but we start from the corner right?”. I took the measurements the best way that I could and went back to the office, he measured them, priced them and called the customer to tell him how much it would cost. He agreed, right away. He later found out that I took the measurements wrong and we priced him around a 100 dinars less so he had to call back and give him the news.

This other time, my friend asked me to pick him up because he didn’t have a car and he had a meeting to attend to, his meeting was at 6. I get off work at 5:15 and it takes me half an hour to get to his place and another half an hour to reach his meeting. I agreed anyways, this guy’s company is so much fun, you can’t blame me. I get off work and it’s rush hour. I reach his place around 5:45, and he’s standing out there, with a long face, as a long as a horse’s. He wasn’t very pleasant to talk to that day.

This other time, I wanted to take my wife out to a fancy restaurant, I just felt like she’d deserved it since I’ve been always working and this was a good way to reward her, so I told her this week, I’m taking you somewhere nice ;). I then checked my bank account and I had just enough for one meal at that fancy restaurant so it was either we go there and she orders while I sit there, smile and compliment the way she looks, the way she eats and the way she holds her cutlery or we eat sandwiches at home and maybe make some banana smoothies. We ended up staying home and having banana smoothies, cause we didn’t have bread at the time and no one felt like getting bread, actually no one wanted sandwiches either.

I once asked a girl to marry me and she said “yes”.  After that happened I was so unsure that I stopped taking her calls, messages and was always “busy”. She then later met me and asked me If i was sure about what I asked. I said “pfft, yes?!, come on babe, seriously?” . I then dodged just enough phone calls to not seem like I wasn’t a 100% sure. I was ok with her knowing that I was in the 50/50. Long story short, she stopped taking my calls after that and I think she later moved to South East Asia to pursue her dreams of being free?! Something between those lines.

After so many more disappointing situations, I began to think about why these things happen to me?  And I now always analyze every favor and every thing asked of me. Can I do it? Sometimes I just shout out a straight ‘NO, sorry cant and then a few seconds later “oh, wait, I guess I’m free and yea I guess I can”. Or I tell them  “I’ll do it but I can’t promise that I”follow through” . I have said “NO” so many times since I’ve slightly come back to my senses and I have disappointed way less friends and family members. Next time someone asks you to marry you, take a second to think about it!