We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!
Please enjoy this excerpt from “Simply Be More” by Clare Langan.
There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE hard copy:
- Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
- Email us at KOMWriting@gmail.com with the Subject: Simply Be More giveaway entry
The winner will be randomly selected on 1/9/23 and announced on our website and social media. *
Simply Be More is a collection of beautiful, inspiring and soothing sketches using animals and nature to illustrate time-preserved wisdom.
Life isn’t determined by where we have come from; it is where we are going that is important. Clare Langan has lived it – and rather than talked about it, has written it and now drawn it, too.
Sketches & descriptions:
Simply Be More would not have come into existence without kindness.
It was an act of kindness from a master hypnotist named David Knight that led me to being coached entirely for free by Chad E Cooper.
It was an act of kindness to myself which allowed me to sit down every single day for 100 consecutive days and download my thoughts into a simple sketch. Every day I allowed myself to indulge in this act of self-care – kindness to oneself.
It was the kindness of Devra Jacobs at Dancing World Group who told me to contact John Hunt Publishing “because I believe there is something in this.” They saw something in it and sent a book contract…but it does not stop there.
In my work as a flautist, I perform all around the world on cruise liners. In part of my headline show I talk about “Simply Be More” and share some of the sketches. After each concert people come up to me and share their thoughts and stories. People listen to each other’s stories with great kindness, empathy and love.
I feel that this book was gifted in me by God/The Source/The divine, whatever terminology works for you. It has shown me that I can simply be more in all that I am and in all that I do. It has; however, been the greatest challenge of my life as I have wanted to quit so many things since I wrote the book but that small voice in me says constantly ‘How can you write a book called ‘Simply Be More’ and be less?’
In 2021 I was asked to run a non-profit that provides interactive music sessions for people with dementia; Lost Chord UK. Everything in me cried out ‘You can’t do this, you’re just a flute player’…then I remembered I can simply be more and just have to let the light shine out.
Each of us has a playlist within ourselves – those key pieces of music that we hear a snippet of and we are transported back in the music Tardis to the first time we heard it. Maybe it was the piece we had our first dance to with the love of our life. Maybe it was the carol we sang at school. Well, these key pieces unlock memories and so with part of the profits from the sale of “Simply Be More” postcards will be printed for musicians to take to care home concerts and community concerts. There people can jot down their key pieces to capture and recreate memories. For someone living with dementia this can be the key to regaining speech and for a person to be able to reconnect with their loved one who no longer knows their name. It is a priceless gift. The postcard itself will be designed with a brilliant artist who now has memory loss – spending time (our most precious commodity). Creating this will be so important to him and will inspire people as the gentleman in question was a volunteer for Lost Chord at all our concerts for over a decade but now he is volunteering in a different way. He truly knows how to Simply Be More.
Early on in my sketching journey to becoming a published author I created a kindness image which shows how my heart had been sewn up by kindness.
Choosing images from the book for this article made me revisit my work. I don’t know if this is something authors do, but for me it was an almost out of body experience.
I have decided to share some with you that really resonate in the kindness field to me. When we are kind, we are being our best selves and letting our light shine. We get behind the veil and allow others to be their best selves in turn. It is a chain reaction.
I chose this one as I firmly believe that it is important to treat ourselves! Simply be more kind to yourself. It is also the favourite image of a lady called Andrea who I have only recently come into contact with through my Lost Chord work but she is so kind and inspires me to be a better version of myself.
When I allow myself to be reshaped by the potter of kindness, I become something extraordinary and am re-imagined.
I don’t know about you, but I find that the hardest time to be kind is when I have felt that someone has been unkind to me. When I manage to act with kindness, I then become more like the lotus; that flower of great beauty that grows out of muddy waters.
There is something rather wonderful about saying to yourself I am going to stop for tea and make a beautiful pot of tea and serve it in my favourite mug with perhaps a little cake or biscuit treat. I used to think that doing this was only for when I had company, but now I try to weave it into my life; I deserve to be kind to myself and the kinder I am to myself, the more I fill up my own jug from which I can serve others.
My cat is a master in self-care and self-kindness. He knows just what he needs and listens to his body and will not be swayed from his course of self-love…well maybe he will if food is involved!
Being kind is all about letting your light shine. I believe we are all born kind but the world can pollute us if we let it. The pollution is from fear, disappointment, jealousy, bitterness. Kindness can wash this all away and allow our flame to burn brighter and brighter with every action…with every kind word.
Kindness is a muscle that needs strengthening. We are essentially very sophisticated computers that we can program to focus on different things. Focus on kindness and you will see more kindness. Focus on misery and you will surely find it in abundance.
It has been at the lowest points of my life that I have experienced the most kindness. The destination is always worth the journey although at times it does not feel like that. I look back and see how every act of kindness is helping me be the best I can be.
One of the hardest things during COVID was not being able to hug anyone. This physical act of kindness literally brings hearts next to each other…maybe that is why they are so meaningful.
This is the most important sketch in the book. When I am kind to myself and let all my gifts shine through, that is when I am truly being myself. We all are full of possibilities and gifts…all we must do is allow our light to shine and trust ourselves, love ourselves, build a relationship with ourselves and as a great priest friend said to me many years ago “Do not give a moment’s thought to what other people might think.”
I pushed writing this article to the back of my mind and realize now that it was a self-limiting belief that the book wasn’t about kindness and how on earth can I write an article; but I realize now that the essence of this book is kindness. I shall leave the last word to my art teacher at school, Mr Phil Barrett, who wrote the following in my sixth form leaving wishes – “I still say you should never have given up art.” How kind and wise he was…he sowed a seed of kindness in me so that 30 years later, when I was called to do something I hadn’t done since a child for 100 consecutive days, I chose art…all because of the kindness of a teacher.
* By entering this contest, you give consent to Kind Over Matter to use your name for promotional purposes on our website and on all social media.