How to Live Happily Now from Now On
by Dennis Sullivan
Here’s a very simple formula to be a happy person: Let go of the unhappy stuff. What unhappy stuff, you ask? It’s that dark, old, ugly junk hiding there in the depths of the subconscious mind. It pops up and pops off to rule and ruin your day and your life—that’s the unhappy stuff. Let’s drill down on it a little more. Unhappy stuff is stuff that isn’t happy. Isn’t pleasant. Isn’t comfortable. Stuff that’s frightening. Stuff that’s frustrating. Stuff that makes you feel bad. Stuff that makes you sad. Stuff that makes you mad. Stuff that keeps you confused. Stuff that keeps you anxious and uncertain of tomorrow. You know. AGFLAP. That’s the unhappy stuff.
Where does all that ugly junk come from anyway?
It comes from ego. Ego is the unhappy feelings generator. Do you find yourself asking, “What am I supposed to do with that information?” Glad you ask. For best results, for happiest results, make your releasing constant. That’s what you are supposed to do. That is, if you want to live happily now and from now on. Make your releasing constant. You recognize that last sentence as the 4th of the Six Steps. Maybe you already are releasing continually and being continually happier and lighter: The Sixth Step. “Uh…not so much.” That thought is crossing some minds right now. Not to worry. You’re not alone.
Your constant companion, the ego, has a major goal. Its goal is to be the release prevention squad. That ego wants no part in you releasing it out of existence. The ego wants no part in you being continually happier and lighter. Ego doesn’t want that. Ego opposes it all over your life. As you’ve noticed. The ego prefers continual misery and suffering—the unhappy stuff. Please remember that. Remember that, so when you feel overcome with those unhappy feelings you don’t have to beat yourself down about it. And please no hating or disapproving of the ego, no matter its sinister machinations. Hating or raging at the ego plays right into its hands. Those hate feelings belong to the ego. So when you point them at ego, you’ve given ego a nice victory lap.
You may wonder, “If I shouldn’t blast that ego with both barrels, what am I supposed do?” Love the ego. I love you ego. That’s your best move. Can’t do it, you say? It’s because you might be harboring a storehouse of hate (strong word, makes us cringe, but if it isn’t love, its hate to whatever degree). So begin by dropping the non love feelings about the ego, as well as anyone or anything that pops up on your radar screen when you are letting go of disapproval. Then, when that ego is quacking away and getting you crazy, say, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Just as hate energizes ego. Love de-energizes ego. That ol’ ego employs countless tools to keep you locked up in its maximum insecurity jail. Distractions of all kinds. Escapes. It throws the book at you. Anything to keep you from releasing constantly. Favorite ego tools are thoughts such as, “It’s hard to remember to do it. I release, but it’s hard to remember to do it all the time.” How about you flip that around. Say, “It’s easy to do it all the time.” Still not convinced? Fake it ‘til you make it. Act like you can, and by and by you can.
Some among us might have thoughts like these: “It’s really not necessary to release constantly.” Or, “It’s impossible.” Or, “I use releasing when I get the blues, but I don’t think I need to do it all the time.” (That last assertion reminds us of the old quip, “It worked so well, I quit doing it.”) Here’s something for you to chew on: All that “can’t do” stuff is not you talking. You are not that ego. However, if you allow it, the ego will use you for its mouthpiece. Have you ever blurted out some words and then said to yourself, “Wow. Where did that come from?” Anything negative spewing out of someone’s mouth is ego on full display. Lester wasn’t tricking with us. He wasn’t exhorting us to release constantly knowing it’s not possible. A typical Lesterism could be, “Why say you can’t do it? Why not say, you can do it? Why not say it is possible?” Yes. It’s a decision.
Step Two: Decide you can do it. An ongoing intention to release constantly is what you need. And despite what that ego says, you won’t float away if you release constantly. However, your un-ease, your anxiety, your AGFLAP-driven torment—that unhappy stuff—will float away. Here’s the key phrase, “Use all for releasing.” Watch that statement fire-up the ego and get it hissing and hollering with all its can’t do’s. That’s what it does when a good idea, something helpful, maybe even life-changing comes along. Block it out with loads of can’t do noise. That’s ego’s tactic. Ego raises its voice, “How can you use all for releasing?! You can’t do that. It’s not possible.”
Every day, all day, the world comes at you with feelings. Good feelings, maybe not so good, and all the feelings in between. Feelings constantly wash over you. Thus, Lester says, “Release constantly.” Makes sense doesn’t it? We might not notice all these constant feelings. We might have become “immune” to them. We might take them for granted as just part of our life. Perhaps we’re sleepwalking, unaware of what’s going on in us or around us. Or worst of all, we take all of those feelings to be our own, rather than intrusive, ego-generated garbage.
Ego argues: “You can’t release constantly. There’s just too much going on in your life. You’re just too busy. You don’t have time.” Ego wants you to forget that you possess a fantastic tool that immediately reduces the ego to complete ineffectiveness when it’s used. The tool is called approval, control, safety. Releasing isn’t psychoanalysis. It isn’t a concentration technique.
It takes zero thought.
All it takes is immediately seeing any and all feelings as wanting approval, wanting control, or wanting safety. And immediately upon seeing them let go of wanting approval, wanting control, or wanting safety.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Very elegantly simple. And quick.
You’re annoyed, you’re aggravated, you’re rushed, you’re irritated, you’re scared, you’re stressed—all these feelings all day every day. Use all for releasing. As they come at you, see each feeling as wanting approval, wanting control, or wanting safety, and immediately let go of wanting approval, wanting control, or wanting safety. It takes a mere split second. It’s immediate. Just let it go. No thinking about it or mulling it over.
Just let it go. Just let it go and feel happier and lighter. And good feelings too…same procedure.
Let go of the good feelings and allow them to get even better. You are the owner. That crusty old ego isn’t the owner, no matter how much trickery it employs. You’re the owner. You must take responsibility for everything you experience including that ego racket. It’s your choice. You decide to be happy or unhappy. Make your releasing constant. Use all for releasing. Release continually and be the happiness that you seek. Ego wants to rob you of the treasure waiting for you right behind its noise.
Take over. Be in charge. Release on the fly all during your day and night. Release constantly. Develop your determination. You must want imperturbability more than you want approval, want control, or want to be safe. You recognize Step One of the Six Steps. How do you develop the determination to release constantly? Momentum.
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