The Lowdown on Happiness: a Manifesto from a Non-Lunatic. ~ Anne Clendening

Via elephant journal
on May 14, 2012
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A manifesto.

I’ve always wanted to write one of these. I don’t know what stopped me. Maybe I thought they were just for lunatics. This is going to be fun.

1. There Is No Such Thing As A Mistake.

There is absolutely zero point in regret. If you hurt yourself in any way, or hurt someone else, that might be an exception. But there’s not much you can do about most of the other stuff, right? I’m talking about the bad decisions after one margarita too many, the time you cut bangs, the pointless relationships and the poetry you wrote in the wake of their failure, and everything in between.

Grow up. I didn’t finish college, I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff, and maybe I ate too much chocolate yesterday. So what? I love my life. No one can tell me what’s right for me. I already know anyway. And if you can’t get over yourself and your crappy life choices, don’t worry, ten million Hindus and I believe you’ll have thousands of lives to make things right.

2. Music Can Save Your Soul.

Uploaded by hannsiggieradtala

I’m talking about that music you go to that speaks to you like nothing else, the music you listen to when you just need to feel like yourself. For me it’s Pink Floyd, probably because it’s the most exquisite art rock ever created. It’s above  us all. If I could open my consciousness up, hop on that acid bus and be inspired like that, I’d be the most prolific, beautiful writer in the world. Perfect example why the 70s ruled… for the music, that is, not the LSD… but it may have helped.


3. The Power Of Words Is Real.

I believe in mantra, out loud, in Sanskrit. Why? Because it’s been a devotional healing tool for, oh, I don’t know, over five thousand years? Try it. If it’s good enough for The Beatles, it’s good enough for you. There’s even an app called imantra. The Vedic literature tells us when you chant His Holy Name, Lord Krishna is dancing on your tongue. I might be just a white girl from West L.A., but I’m going for Enlightenment with a capital E, Baby. I’m going all the way.

 4. Being A Decent Person Is Important.

Don’t walk around being a sh*thead to people. William Shakespeare: “Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.”  Think about that, bitchy girls. Be sweet. Everyone deserves dignity, so stop judging the homeless guy asking for change on the freeway off ramp. He’s your brother in this life.

The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali, Book One, Verse 33

“By cultivating attitudes of happiness toward the friendly, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard for the wicked, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness.”

5. Be Good To Yourself.

Don’t call yourself fat, ugly or stupid. Why bother creating any more suffering for yourself in this life than we already have? Negative thoughts go way further than anything else, by the way. This is a scientific fact. And if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, go ahead and eat some chocolate cake for breakfast, call in sick to work and go to the beach. Trust me, it will feel awesome.

uploaded by dayglow76

Read “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass. Published in 1971 by a the Harvard psychologist, it’s the psychedelic bible for the spiritual counterculture movement on how to be a proper hippie. You know how people are always bragging about how “The Fountainhead” changed their life? This book just might rocket you into a whole different dimension.

“The dance goes from realizing that you’re separate (which is the awakening) to then trying to find your way back into the totality of which you are not only a part, but which you are.”

~ Ram Dass

So smile, because you’re reading this, and chances are you’re spending some idle time reading stuff on the internet, maybe feeling like a lazy slob, not getting anything done but maybe that’s what makes you happy. Let the gays get married, let people smoke pot, let The Church Of Satan do what they want. Let everyone be free. Stop wasting time and be happy.

And if you have a dog, tell him you love him, give him a big hug and lots of love and take him out on a long walk. Right now. Get some sun. Frolic. That’s what I’m going to do.

Anne Clendening was born and raised in L.A. and spent most of her youth at the beach, dreaming of becoming a Charlie’s Angel one day. A yoga teacher, a writer and kind of a dark little hippie, Annie is especially inspired by the poets and the writers who lived it up in San Francisco and Paris in the 60′s, Pink Floyd and anything chocolate. She writes about her life at If you’re not easily offended, her darker thoughts can be read at Oh, and she endlessly adores her hot Aussie boyfriend. 

Like “I’m not ‘spiritual’ I just practice being a good person.” on Facebook.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta


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10 Responses to “The Lowdown on Happiness: a Manifesto from a Non-Lunatic. ~ Anne Clendening”

  1. […] Source content_fixup(); ←Older post     Newer post → […]

  2. Love this Anne.

    As someone who was in college in San Francisco during the late sixties, this all sounds pretty familiar to me.

    Bob W. Associate Publisher
    facebook, twitter, linkedIn
    Yoga Demystified, Gita in a Nutshell

  3. Mat says:

    "So smile, because you’re reading this, and chances are you’re spending some idle time reading stuff on the internet, maybe feeling like a lazy slob, not getting anything done but maybe that’s what makes you happy. Stop wasting time and be happy." er – Anne – here you strat out hoping (optatively) the reader is cool about "wasting time" – you know – not to get too hung about stuff – which thankfully I am – but then there is this massive mood swing when you create an imperative mood with the "Stop wasting time" thing. Because it doesn't feel explicitly ironic it is Very. Confusing.

  4. Little Orphan says:

    Thank you so much Bob! San Francisco – my favorite city. I should've been there with you, but my time there was in the early 90's. I love L.A., but there's just something about that city, the fog, the sound of the cable car and the doormen whistling for taxis… suddenly I feel the need to raed some Herb Caen. Thanks again, and now we've bonded.

  5. Little Orphan says:

    Yes, I see your reasoning. What I was trying to get across is, stop wasting time being miserable. Hmmm… I guess that doesn't quite come across? Hope you enjoyed the message, though. Thanks for reading!

  6. Evolving Yogi says:

    This is great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Little Orphan says:

    Thank you Evolving Yogi! It was fun to write!

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