I remember the first time I ever put on the pharaoh costume. It was Halloween of 2014 and was my 2nd costume for a two-day halloween rave. This was actually only the second rave I had ever been to, but that night was the birth of something incredible. I had been introduced to deep house with Dusky, The Magician, and Duke Dumont, I learned how to shuffle, but the most important thing that happened was the start of the ongoing process of the cultivation of Pharaoh Maktuk; my devotion to manifesting the qualities of a pharaoh which have created a profound effect in my life. This is my first post, so I have a lot to share on where I came from and how this process started.
Throughout my life I have been spoiled miserably by my mom. Its one thing to spoil your kids, but when the extent to which you spoil them creates monumental entitlement issues and laziness then there is a problem. Not only was I spoiled, but I felt that I was brain washed and isolated from other kids. I grew up in Egypt between kindergarten and 4th grade, and lived 45 minutes from the American International School that I went to. This likely started creating my feelings of isolation. In 5th grade I moved to Vegas where I was bullied and did not fit in due to cultural differences, but mainly because of how brainwashed I was from my mom. I didn’t know Santa Claus didn’t exist until 6th grade and I came into middle school telling jokes about peanut butter from the Amanda Bynes show and asking other kids what their favorite Disney movies were. I lived in a house where reading wasn’t advised, but cartoons, disney, and all sorts of mindless stuff was always on. No wonder I got bullied and made fun of. Looking back on my adolescent years this is how I would describe the person I ended up becoming by time I graduated high school; emotionally needy, insecure, socially clueless, imbalanced, highly intelligent, pessimistic, and athletic. I had a lot of awful qualities, but there were some attractive ones as well. I took all AP classes, ran state in cross country, and regionals for track, developed a lot of close friends with kids I took similar classes with and my teammates, but I can’t deny that I was extremely out there, for a few years had no idea how to talk to people, was likely attention deficit, and deep down scared shitless.
Another Key thing to know about me, which shouldn’t be hard to figure out, is that I have always struggled tremendously with women. One of the main premises in Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins is that our destiny is shaped by the decisions we make which are influenced by our beliefs, our values, and what rules we have for those values. In high school a very sad addiction started. I became addicted to the attention of women. Any girl I had feelings for eventually ended up becoming an obsession. And due to my upbringing with the mom that fostered massive entitlement and didn’t know how to say no, how do you think I dealt with a girl saying “oh sorry Sherif, I just want to be friends.” Yeah, that didn’t end up working well for me. I would either dwell on it and start to ask myself questions like “why am I not good enough”, “why doesn’t she like me”, or “what do I have to change about myself in order for her to like me”. Not only would I ask myself these questions, but this ended up becoming all I ever talked about with my friends. Yes, I too wonder how I had many close friends at the time. I created a problem that didn’t even exist, and of course, it would continue manifesting and negatively affecting other parts of my life; creating social anxiety, a drinking problem, and a very large web of convoluted problems.
I didn’t start casually dating until I was 19. My beliefs towards women were already in place from high school. “Women are all evil, I’m not good enough for women, yet I need one in order to be happy.” I dated 2 girls that summer each for a month or two, but of course at any sign of rejection, or not getting my away I would likely blow up at them to try to get even emotionally. I know, what the fuck was wrong with me?
Fast forward a few years to where I was making pretty good money at poker, was in the year before my last of UNLV, had a good network of friends. I ended up meeting the one that got away. Lets call her Amber**. I’m now 21 and definitely not as clueless and unaware as I used to be, but still pretty young and stupid overall. The year I dated Amber was truly the happiest year of my life. I met her at a Japanese festival when she approached me offering some squid skewers. Ika Yaki is delicious, so I obviously bought some and chatted with her a little. She was impressed that I spoke Japanese and had actually just moved to the states a few months earlier from Japan to study nursing. Over the next 9 months she would become the best friend I’ve ever had. I had never felt that close to anyone before. We helped each other in our respective languages, studied, would karaoke one-on-one and serenade each other for hours to mention a few of the things I miss the most. Although I loved her and appreciated her more than anything in my life, hell, I turned up the opportunity to study abroad in Singapore for our relationship, we were doomed because I hadn’t created a good enough relationship with myself yet. I was dependent on her for my own happiness, and I was too destructive of a person to sustain any relationship at the time.
Since her I’ve dated a few other girls, but I hadn’t gotten into another serious relationship. I actually ended up dating a close friend for the majority of last year until I moved to LA, and now she’s one of my best friends, but it was more casual. I actually feel like that although I haven’t had a serious relationship since Amber, that a lot of my relationships have been better. I have learned to accept and enjoy the process of talking and getting to know different girls, whether it leads to a few dates, rejection and wondering why “they’re always busy”, being spoiled for a few months by a 21 year old Chinese girl with infinite money by collecting sugar daddies (this actually happened), a little playful banter with a random, getting a number from a girl who seems incredible but never commits to a first date, approaching a girl who then rolls her eyes and walks away before I can even open my mouth, or any of the other plethora of results I have encountered.
Although my relationships with women were greatly improving, had my relationship with myself improved at all? I was a successful poker player, but clearly had tremendous internal conflict. Until I graduated I greatly felt that I was wasting my time at UNLV, and actually wished I dropped out, but influenced by my mom, Amber, and my friends I chose to stay and graduate. While I was in school the games were still pretty good in Vegas let alone south Florida and LA where I wanted to move to, but I remained with the status quo. After I graduated, the games got tremendously tougher which made me more unhappy because I was aimlessly continuing with poker, unable to support my expensive life leaks outside of poker, and wondering what would happen in the future as the games got more difficult. Sadly, I feel that poker has died over the years. Yes people still make money at it, but the games have gotten so much more difficult that a lot of professionals including myself are either making less or not making money anymore. I’m sure I could still beat 2/5 games with game selection, but I’m sure that that wouldn’t make me happy with my issues outside of poker, binge drinking, strip club frequenting, binge eating extremely unhealthy bar foods while smoking hookah and drinking, etc, it was a vicious cycle. Looking back on it, I truly wish I was at a higher level of consciousness, so I could have actually made the most out of poker in its golden days. I got into it when I was 2011, and feel that that was time to save a decent amount before now. I do feel that all those problems have gone away, and that I could be more responsible with poker, but I feel that I am ready for the next chapter of my life.
For one reason or another I was never happy in the moment. I was always needing someone or something to make me happy. I needed to have a 2k session at 2/5 in order to feel happy and a $350 win wouldn’t make me content. Now I’ve learned that if I created the mentality of “as long as I’m playing well, or conscious of what I’m not doing well in order to learn for the next time”, any result would have left my happiness intact right? Assuming that was what was needed in order to make me happy, and I could commit to that mindset then I’m sure the results would follow. Instead of chasing monetary value I would always enjoy the process, or at least handle it in a way which allowed me to maintain an internally tranquil and productive state. With women, before I was always focused on the result instead of actually enjoying the chase itself. In each case haven’t I just learned to be present? Presence, as Eckhart Tolle more or less describes it, is the infinite capacity of intelligence within your consciousness, a value. What I enjoyed out of all the women I’ve ever talked to is their companionship, their connection, their engagement, all values. Why I’ve wanted money is so I could have freedom to travel, try new hobbies, rave, and go on fun dates, but the main values are freedom and adventure. I have always been chasing girls, money, overworking, or whatever means of numbing and feeling enough, instead of being consciously devoted to a higher level of standards and values for myself.
As assigned in Awakening The Giant Within, I wrote down my top 10 values a couple weeks ago. I rewrote them and would change them in an order in which I found most empowering.
- Presence: Any time I am aware, conscious, or use my mind as a tool instead of a debilitation. I am present when I am completely paying attention to the words people say, sounds I hear, tastes I explore, and living in the moment opposed to elsewhere in mind.
- Growth: I grow any time I observe my own thoughts and experiences In a constructive way, learning something or gaining joy out of something. I grow whenever I help someone else cultivate something themselves. I grow when I look back at a past form of myself and see that I have improved in different aspects or have lessened the gap between where I am and where I want to be.
- CANI (constant and never ending improvement) : I am committed towards this value when I am making small improvements in the following areas daily: spiritual, health, knowledge, work, relationships, writing etc
- Connection/Engagement: I am engaged or connected whenever I am authentic with others and act according to my own values. When I’m mindful of a gap between my desired interactions and behaviors according to my values I apologize or take accountability. Whenever I choose to avoid a certain social situation, not because this situation obstructs me from living by my values, but because I am anxious or afraid than I am disengaged
- Joy/Happiness: finding pleasure in the minute processes or with my own presence. Finding pleasure while facing adversity in a healthy way aligned with what I hope to achieve through CANI. Deriving meaning which empowers me or which can allow me to grow durings painful experiences.
- Gratitude: I practice gratitude whenever I acknowledge that what I currently have is enough. I practice gratitude whenever I act in accordance with my values to honor the people that I spend time with. I practice gratitude whenever I am successfully an alchemist. I lack gratitude when I complain. I lack gratitude when I deny what is.
- Freedom: I am free whenever I am my most authentic and vulnerable self. I am free whenever I do not allow the thoughts and feelings of others to influence my own. I am free whenever I do not allow external chaos to obstruct my internal synchronicity.
- Adventure: I am adventurous whenever I embrace the uncertain. I am adventurous whenever I choose to be creative instead of following the conventional route. I am adventurous whenever I present the authentic version of myself to someone new, eat something new, or go to a new city or country. I lack adventure whenever I nurture fear or disengage socially.
- Health: I am healthy whenever I am conscious of the food I take in and mindful of when I am eating them. I am healthy whenever I work out or am committed to CANI in terms of pushups/crunches/gym.
- Love: When I commit to my values I make myself sacred which makes me worthy of loving myself. When I love myself I am worthy of the love of others.
By changing myself and awakening the giant within, aren’t I manifesting Pharaoh Maktuk? These are the qualities that I want to live my life by. I haven’t been dating or anything for the last few months and am just healing my torn ACL prior to taking a CELTA course, but I feel that I am living my life and viewing the past in ways which allow me to be extremely happy and empower myself. Although I haven’t been working for months I have been extremely productive and have been devoted to eating healthy, doing pushups and calisthenics extensively every day, reading, and my own spiritual growth. I have been successful in the ongoing cultivation of Pharaoh, but I know the greatest struggle will be consistency. I now know though, that while living in a higher level of consciousness than I used to, why would I ever revert back?
Very nice to meet you all and hope to share all sorts of random lessons or experiences as I continue through life.