Making peace with yourself



It’s been a while since I’ve been able to have a quiet chat with you. I know we’ve all been busy, trying to get on with our lives and making the most of what we’ve got. That’s all anyone could ever ask.
I need to constantly remind myself that life is not a competition regardless of what anyone says. I often feel the weight of trying to constantly ‘improve myself’, be a better person, increase my facebook stats, get more likes, look at everyone else as a potential threat and constantly push, push and push... (whatever it is I’m pushing).
I’ve come to understand that’s not how it has to be, we don’t have to fight against anything, especially ourselves.
How often have felt at war with yourself? Reprimanding yourself for something you did (or didn’t do) and you replay self destructive messages over and over in your head, messages you’d picked up from your parents, teachers, TV  or any other major influence in your life.
It seems the last thing society wants (and that includes you) is to be at peace with yourself.
Businesses will fail, the economy will collapse, the government will fall and anarchy will reign if even one person starts to find inner peace and love themselves for who they are.
‘You are enough’ is a message that resonates deep in our soul, yet our outward existence relies on us feeling inadequate.  Feeling inadequate keeps the wheels of society turning.
But I think that is an illusion.
Will the world stop turning because you finally made peace with your upbringing? Forgave all the people in your life who you felt did you wrong or simply stopped whinging about the price of canned tomatoes?
Life goes on regardless, we can choose to flow with it or fight against it and cause ourselves and others even more pain. The world can only be a better place when we stop fighting.
And when we find we’re in the flow, we can create things, not from fear, but from our real creative centre.
A place of love.
Remind yourself - You are enough.

The most important thing for a kid to know


 
There was a thing on Facebook years ago where a mother had posted that we mollycoddle kids too much and parents are too soft. She went onto say its OK to give a good smack every now and then and tough love was needed instead of this ‘new age’ parenting style. Of course her post went viral and it seemed that everyone agreed with her and only a sprinkling were brave enough to express a more compassionate view.
I’m not about to judge anyone’s parents skills, style or techniques and I’m certainly not in a position to tell you want you should do, however there’s one thing that all kids need and that’s for you to let them know that you love them.

Whether you’re into the tough love method, the new agey one or somewhere in between, still hug your kids often and tell them that they’re loved and needed and that they’re safe. That is so important to reduce the risk of your kids turning out broken and mangled. There are enough of us out there already and the world doesn’t need any more.
Tell your kids you love them and hug them.
Don’t withhold love just because you think it’s been too soft. Do what you have to do to discipline them but never forget to tell them they are loved.
 
 
 
Being You is Enough and other Important Stuff (Big Sky Publishing) is in all good book shops in Australia and online at Booktopia
 

Celebrating difference



 
I was lucky enough to go to a culturally diverse school and one which also had lots of students with disabilities including a couple of paralympians. It was common to see people of all ethnic backgrounds sharing lunch on the quadrangle; Sri Lankan’s with Vietnamese, Chinese students hanging out with Bosnian kids and us Anglo Saxon kids just wanted to hang out with all of them because they were more interesting than we were.  There were also skinheads, punks, surfie dudes, nerds, regular kids, kids struggling with gender issues, gay kids and roaming packs of girls stopping every five minutes to touch up their makeup and pout in a mirror.
I grew up seeing difference as normal.
Mixing with people of all cultures, genders, persuasions, and interests was what I thought society was like as a whole. So when I ended up changing schools and moving to a regional area where it was just mainly white kids I couldn’t believe how ‘difference’ was frowned upon and how people were picked on and bullied just because they may have their hair shorter than everyone else. (yes I was the one with the hair shorter than everyone else)

I soon realised that most kids grow up in a similar environment and it can be very tough if you’ve either got an obvious difference or feel different on the inside, to be comfortable in your own skin.
Everyone is different and for me it’s about giving people the courage and support to stand tall in their difference and not feel belittled or made to feel out of place because of it. Our differences bring us together and help us understand each other.

When a child is able to feel comfortable in how they look, how they think, and how they feel on the inside, then we give them permission to be their true selves and the rewards for them and society as a whole are enormous.
Life is not about staying stuck in our own world of sameness it’s about expanding outwards, growing, learning, exploring and embracing.

 


Being You is Enough and other Important Stuff (Big Sky Publishing) is in all good book shops in Australia and online at Booktopia

 
 


About Josh Langley
Writer, illustrator, daydreamer
After failing high school twice and spending a ridiculous amount of time being unemployed, Josh went onto create a successful career as an award winning radio creative writer spanning 20 years. He’s published four books, draws the Frog and the Well cartoons and writes for many magazines and blogs.


 

Turning Inside Out - released August 2016



Are you prepared to Turn inside Out?

Preorder now by emailing josh@outsidecreative.com.au

Where to purchase Dying to Know




Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes
Buy Paperback

*** Dying to Know is now available direct in the US*****

1. order at your local bookshop.
2. order at Target Online.
3. order from the distributor Casemate IPM

 
 
 Ride shotgun with author and award-winning copywriter Josh Langley as he battles his inner-cynic and subjects himself to a barrage of strange and creepy adventures as a result of his lifelong obsession with the afterlife.

Determined to find out what happens when we die but realising it’s unlikely that an obliging ghost is going to jump out in front of him with the verdict, Josh designs his own unique “afterlife investigation plan’’ and sets off on an extraordinary journey in a quest for answers to the question we all secretly want to know.

Things get a little weird and spooky as he visits crematoriums, experiments with out-of-body experiences, attempts past-life regressions, conjures up dead people, converses with his long dead grandmother and is scared witless on a terrifying ghost hunt, to name a few.

Explore the paranormal from the safety of your armchair with Dying to Know a humorous and moving travelogue like nothing else before it.
Join Josh as he searches for answers to the question that has plagued him for years, and reaches his final, and somewhat surprising, thought-provoking conclusion.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes
Buy Paperback

*** Dying to Know is now available direct in the US*****

1. order at your local bookshop.
2. order at Target Online.
3. order from the distributor Casemate IPM


READERS COMMENTS:

"I read your book…….and it makes you stop and think about life, love, death and everything. I wonder if you were the Egyptian god Isis in a past life!!!!! Wow it certainly has given me something to think about. I may even be able to talk to Chris when he’s gone, who knows? I’ll pass it on to Chris now to read. Interesting to see what he thinks. I look forward to the next book." Marie from Perth


"Finished DTK 10.30am. Feel such deep connection to your journey & want to talk more on this. Will need time as much to discuss. My experiences have taken me to the same Q&As. I graduated last year from N Dame (Counselling). Did my head in. My training prior was all from the R brain & paranormal. I'm pleased to reconnect. I cried. Thank you." - Joan from Perth.
 
"I read your book Dying to Know…….and it makes you stop and think about life, love, death and everything. I wonder if you were the Egyptian god Isis in a past life!!!!! Wow it certainly has given me something to think about" - Marie
"it's devouring my whole day today! You’re so f**king funny!"- Jules
“Great read, honest and aware. Everyone should grab a copy!” – Melanie
 
"I cried, laughed, contemplated and felt you were right there next to them telling me your story”. Anon

“I downloaded your book and just finished reading it. Thumbs up! I really enjoyed it. You can be proud of yourself - what an amazing journey you took smile emoticon” – Michelle
 
“What an amazing unputdownable book Dying to Know is, I have almost finished it but I don’t want it to end. I think you have been very brave in your adventures and facing your fear and 'doing it anyway'. Once again brilliant book.” – Gwen
 
“I just wanted to say what a fantastic writer you are. I simply couldn't put it down until the last page was read”.- Andy
 
“Just finished reading it, really enjoyed it. It has made me question my own limited experiences and definitely want to read and experience more myself”. – Niki
“What a read I couldn't put it down. And now Darryl is going to have a go (he's not a book reader so this will be good!) I loved the book and loved the conclusion. I'm happy you found what you needed! ps I too believe in life after death”– Naomi
 
“I finished the book yesterday Josh, I loved every bit of it! It sounds like you had a wonderful journey and has inspired me to return to my psychic studies! I wish I could have come along to the ghost hunt” – Krystelle

 
 *** Dying to Know is now available direct in the US*****

1. order at your local bookshop.
2. order at Target Online.
3. order from the distributor Casemate IPM

Read the Amazon reviews

 
Dying to Know - Is there life after deathDying to Know - Is there life after death by Josh Langley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews



Read all Amazon Reviews

#beingyouisenough promotional tour

 
This week turned out to be a fairly big one as the promotional train took off for the #beingyouisenough tour with The South Western Times doing a small feature on the book.
 

 
 
I also created about a million new neural networks in my brain by giving a special #beingyouisenough talk to 6 different classes at Donnybrook Primary School. I’ve presented and given talks to adults before but talking to a bunch of grade 2s to 4s was a very different kettle of fish and I found I loved every minute of it. We discussed different topics from the book and then did an exercise where the kids had to use their imagination to draw what makes them happy and there was an unusual reoccurring theme of bananas!
 
Most random question I was asked “Can people follow you on Facebook and Instagram?” (from an 8 year old) 
 
 
Most insightful observations from the students: ‘I’m nearly as tall at you are!’

 
 The experience will get me 'school ready' for the Margaret River Young Readers festival.
 

Also last week I had the privilege of presenting 10 year old Isabella Crean, the Redgum Book Club Young Writers award at St Pauls Primary School in Perth. During the assembly I made a quick speech in which I made reference to my penchant for daydreaming as a kid and young Isabella thought that was the best thing to hear as it meant she wasn’t the only one doing it!  

 
 
 
 

Taming your creative muse



Gabriel de Cool, The Muse (1895)
She’s fleeting, she dictates her own terms and she can leave you a blubbering mess if you miss her calling.
She’s ephemeral, a reluctant paradox, a butterfly resting gently on your open hand.
She’s the muse, the idea that arrives unexpectedly, the inspiration that hits you while in the shower and she always comes when you’re least prepared.
How can you tame such a wild goddess of imagination, a mythical dragon of ideas and seductive temptress of expression?
You don’t.
For centuries we’ve always thought we could tame the muse, keep her chained up in the corner and then prod her with a stick whenever we need an idea or inspiration. However we all know that by doing that we kill the very thing we revere.  We see it from the boardroom to the schoolroom where new ideas and inspiration are forced into being and then boxed up and compartmentalised so they fit in with society’s dull and grey expectations. However Ideas need to be like wild cowboys roving the plains, kicking up dust and causing trouble for the pedestrian mentality.
So what’s the best way to ‘tame your muse’ without actually taming her?
You get to know her. Like a curious child watching a bug crawl across a  flower, you study her every move and you get to know the sounds of her imminent arrival, know what situations best lure her in and make her feel most comfortable. She is a guest, a venerated one that deserves your undivided expectation. This is where the paradox comes in, you can’t invite her as she’ll most probably never turn up for the date, but you can be ready for when she drops by unexpectedly with a bottle of wine, ready for a good chat.
Sometimes though you may feel abandoned by your muse, where it’s like you’ve been sitting by the letterbox waiting for a letter from a loved one that is well overdue and as times goes on you give up hope believing she’s gone forever. It’s similar to writers block where new writers stress and fret thinking they’ll never write another line, whereas the old wordsmiths get up, walk away and do something else because they know the muse will always return, she always does. 
When she does return you make her feel as comfortable as possible and this is what I’ve found works for me.
Be open
Being open means being open to all possibilities. It’s an infinite universe out there full of magic and mystery and as soon as you say “I know it all” or assume you know how it all works then you shut the door on your muse by saying “I don’t need you”. Opinions and judgements are best left for red wine fuelled dinner parties and arguments with the mother in law.
Open heart
Kindness to yourself and others is the cornerstone of being receptive to inspiration. If you’re spending your time getting angry at people, complaining, shouting at the TV and forming suburban vigilante mobs you’ll just get echoes of your own righteousness going around your head. The beauty of creativity will be reduced to designing bigger prisons to hold all the people you hate. Open your heart, know that you are protected in some strange way you can’t explain and don’t be afraid to say nice things, to make people feel better not worse.
Have space
A life full of ‘doing things, places to go and people to see’ is a life void of precious down time. It’s critical to your soul and your muse that you make time for reflection and contemplation and also lay your heart open to the universe and acknowledge the bigger mystery. I’ve found that by deliberately creating a lifestyle where I have the time and space to ‘create and ponder’ the rewards are rich and plentiful.
It includes, creating more physical space by de cluttering your home and just filling it with things you love and that inspire you. Also create more time by cutting hours at work or changing jobs to one you really like. Do you really need the TV to keep you company?  You may have noticed that ideas come when you’re doing things like washing dishes, walking the dog, having a shower, but not very often watching TV, which tends to dull the senses and render us zombie like.
Give thanks
A ‘thankyou’ is the alchemy of the universe. By giving thanks for what you have turns any negative energy into something magical that is pregnant with possibilities.
Have a pen and note book handy (or an iPhone)
Yep, you never know when she’s going to whisper in your ear, so make sure you have way of recording it either with an old fashion notepad and pen or tap it into your iPhone, and then email it home like I do.

Show that you're ready... just show up.

Just starting writing or painting or any project, is like sending a smoke signal to your muse inviting her to come and play. Many times I've sat at the computer and just started to type and more often than not, ideas start to flow and I find myself no longer staring at a blank screen. Even if I write just rubbish, then it's something. I can always delete it.

And keep showing up.....
 
Go well and go gently on your journey with your muse, but unfortunately it’ll be on her terms however that’s OK you were just planting flowers anyway.