Thursday 25 June 2015

Things I Got Rid Of To Become Happier

Things I Got Rid Of To Become Happier by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul

As some of you already know, during those last few years I went through a self-transformation Renaissance. This means I had to let go of some habits, which were not serving me or my growth and evolution. Some of them were dragging me backwards, while others were simply not needed. So getting rid of those habits was the conscious thing to do.

Many years prior, I had already let go of more shallow, ego-driven things such as losing interest in conflict, competing, comparing, and judging — myself or others. So this, one could say, is a second wave of detachment. 

1- Drugs

It wouldn’t be right if I am writing this article and do not mention drugs. After self-medicating for years using all sorts of chemicals and plants, I finally realised that I do not need drugs to be happy or cool or whatever.

Drugs, however, could be occasional tools for altering our states of consciousness and for expanding our perspective. But when it becomes a need, like the case with addictive drugs, this is when one should rethink their life’s priorities. Opiated Then Hatin’ It is a recent piece about the matter. My Correspondence With a 31-Year-Old Reader Before He Passed Away is another.

So, the number one thing I got rid of is the need to take drugs.

2- Saying the Word ‘Hate’

I am not exactly sure what had fuelled this new habit. I just simply realised that ‘hate’ is quite a heavy negative word and that it is usually overused.

Ever since childhood, “I hate people who do this”. “I hate that vegetable.” “I hate this, I hate that.” We hear and use the word so often that it sort of loses its original meaning. But when you think about it, it’s a whiny thing to say; it’s a childish emotion, which essentially stems from fear. Why let something outside of you take control and get you to the point of hating? There is no reason to be disempowered in such a way.

What I might ‘hate’ are child-molesters, animal-abusers, women-beaters, rapists and the likes. Though I do not go around stating it. Because, when you realise that in this dual universe darkness will always exist, you are freed from the need to hate it. You may not agree with it, but you accept its existence, making you less prone to reaching that ‘hate’ emotion.

The only way to deal with evil in this world is to accept it. That’s the only way to set yourself free from the darkness. Because, again, darkness will never vanish; for that’s how the cosmos is balanced.

We do not fight the darkness, we light a candle.

You see, words as man-made symbols have distinct frequencies, which have the ability to alter our consciousness and create our reality. Just like magic, hence “to spell”. ‘Hate’ happens to be a strong low-frequency word — and a passionately intense emotion — and I’m doing great by kicking it out of my vocabulary.

3- Watching T.V. and Following the News

This one is a major game-changer. You actually have time, clarity, and energy to do more constructive things. I don’t read or listen or watch the news now. What I do, however, is create my own headlines — my own reality. You know it’s called Mass Media and T.V Programming for a reason.

Checking my Facebook feeds to find who got killed where and what went wrong how eventually gets too much if one wants to live a conscious life. I had stopped watching T.V six years ago and that was one of the best decisions I have taken in my life. Unfortunately, social media is now starting to play the same role... propagating fear and negativity. Check Are You Addicted To The News? to know the reason behind this fact.

Well, thanks but no thanks. I don
’t deny such things exist in this dual world, but, I willingly choose to live away from all these low vibrations.

4- Cooking Every Day

When I went to Canada I was regaining my health after many years of poor diet and a toxic lifestyle. So I did care a lot about food since I had missed it — the taste, the smell, the variety, the colours, the natural feeling of hunger. Cooking became a new discovery and I fell in love with the creative part of it. 

However, after moving to the U.S later, I realised that I don’t need full meals every single day. Now a salad is a meal, an avocado is a meal, yoghurt with nuts and honey is also one. Naturally, I lost two waist sizes in a few months and I feel better than ever. You can read about it Here.

5- Trying to “Wake People Up”

Ah! When we open our eyes and see beyond all the illusions we’re surrounded by, we usually feel compelled, out of care, to open the eyes of others. But in reality, that’s not how it works. Everyone wakes at their own pace and that’s how it should be. Forcing it will never work. In fact, it can reverse the process and make people reject all notions of ‘awakening’.

Now, I don’t attempt to convince anyone with anything; neither do I attempt to change their minds. And what peace of mind have I gained.

The following quotes helped me overcome that compulsion to assume what’s best for others — despite remaining a challenge is some cases.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
― Rumi

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
― Lao Tzu

Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work -- Sacredly, Secretly, and Silently -- and those with
eyes to see and ears to hear, will respond.
― The Arcturians

6- Killing Insects

Teach your children that whenever a mosquito bites them or a fly lands on their food, they are only trying to feed and survive. This is the natural order of things in Life. There is nothing personal about it and there is no reason to freak out or to curse the insects.

This may seem a tad odd to some. But yeah, you read that right: No killing insects that I find at home, or anywhere else of course. When I have to, I catch and release them instead.

Living in a bungalow by the beach means the occasional visit from our cousins, the insects. I have written before on how a fly stuck in a room will always cooperate with us if we want to kick it out than if you want to kill it. Because it wants to live, it’s mere instinct. The same goes for other types of insects.

With that in mind, in those past several months I have given new lives to several moths, butterflies, spiders, ants, three mosquitoes, a bee among a few other species I never even knew existed. It sincerely is the last thing on my mind now is to reach for a repellent or a shoe
whenever I bump into an insect. Because all sentient beings deserve to live in freedom.

You can check my earlier pieces about ants Here, Here, and There. Others are about Reviving a Drowning Bee and Befriending a Flying Insect

7- Worrying and Overthinking

They do not work. They create problems that were never there and drain our energy. Truly, they are like the measles. Yet, most people either live in the past or in the future. Those who dwell on the past are depressed; those who overthink the future are anxious. Only a few are able to enjoy their Here and Now; only them find peace of mind.

That said, dropping the worrying and overthinking was a preliminary step towards my peace and happiness. It is of significance to note that this healthy not-giving-a-fuck attitude is not solely about being care-free, but rather it’s about prioritising the things one cares about.

8- Driving

Uhu. After 17 years of daily driving and traffic and parking, I dropped the car. In Toronto, I was using subways and street cars; here in Venice I use the bike and Uber; and whenever I visit Egypt, it’s walking, cabs, and Uber as well. So not only do I save money on gas and parking, and avoid all that headache, but I now run on fat instead of money, which keeps one healthy and free. 

Whenever I want to go somewhere far, Uber is always there. If I need more, renting a car now costs $15 per day, truthfully. 

9- Controlling the Non-variables

In the Tao Te Ching, the famous ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu spoke of Wu Wei, which literally translates into “non-doing” or “non-action”. Wu Wei is an important concept in Taoism/Daoism that describes a seemingly paradoxical state of spontaneity called “effortless action”; how one learns to not try. Because that is when what you seek and what seeks you find each other. That is when the fun begins. The principle is equally essential to Confucianism. 

Wu Wei doesn’t necessarily mean to do nothing, but rather the doing becomes non-reactive. The action stems from responding instead of reacting. Just like nature without forcing it, everything is eventually accomplished.

By not dominating, the Master leads.

You see, we can only control the variables in our lives, but that’s it. How the universe unfolds with its causes and effects is que sera sera. As mentioned in point 7, obsessing about that which is gone or that which we know nothing of cannot take us too far.

Now, I taught myself how to be flexible and allow things unfold rather than resist or interfere with them. I do so by trusting my inner intents. This means accepting that uncertainty and the unknown are fundamental parts of life. And life has never been greater.

The Significance of Letting Go is an earlier piece of mine about the matter. Letting Go of Getting Offended and Taking Things Personally is another. 


You probably expected a tenth point since that’s how list-articles usually look like in mainstream media, or almost everywhere else for that matter. Well, I’m rad like that and I choose to leave it empty.

Seriously, number 10 was left empty for you to add your own. Everyone of us has something(s) they know down deep inside they need to let go of. A memory, a habit, a relationship, whatever it is, there is no healing without letting go.

The thing is, it is only you who can let go. It is not someone else or outside factors; it is you who can set yourself free. For essentially, you are your own saviour as you are your own victim; the rest are mere excuses. Simply, because only you have that power. And you’re one decision away from changing any path that you’re on.

Despite all what was said, reckon that there is more to life than happiness. For it comes and goes and remains temporary. Happiness is a state of mind, hence trying to chase or seek it outside of oneself as a goal or destination rarely ever works. Conversely, truth, peace of mind, gratitude, empathy, and perhaps above all, love may then lead to happiness rather than the other way round.

Let go or be dragged.
— Zen Proverb

Things I Got Rid Of To Become Happier by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul
When we smile to life, it smiles back. Sometimes not right back,
but eventually it does.


My Journey Towards Self-Transcendence
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