“Wow, there’s beauty here.”

“Wow, there’s beauty here.” November 28, 2022

Andrew Lang Unmasking the Inner Critic
Josephine Baran/Unsplash

“Wow, there’s beauty here.”

It’s a simple phrase, but it’s led to a massive shift in my life.

As a person with a deep love for dark humor, it’s not difficult for me to flirt with some seriously curmudgeonly energy.

I often respond to life’s seeming chaos with a deadpan look and a happily dread-filled “nothing matters,” “this sucks,” or a good, solid “whatever.”

But it’s never my actual attitude toward pretty much anything. And that’s because I also have this phrase:

“Wow, there’s beauty here.”

A few years ago, in the midst of some relational and professional struggles, I was having a really hard time seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It was just day after day of the uncomfortable and unfamiliar Unknown.

And somewhere in there, I began to take long walks through a local park; it would help me relax my muscles and expand my perspective beyond the muck right in front of me. Before long, I started a practice of intentionally looking for things – mostly trees, let’s be honest – that I saw beauty in and thus the phrase was born in me: “Wow, there’s beauty here.”

Saying this helps me maintain a kind and open posture in the world, even as the dark humor seeps out of my pores. (For the most part, at least.)

It helps me stay balanced, recognizing the nonsense of life while centering the wonderful.

Try it out; let me know if the simplicity of it helps you as well.


My new book is now available!

Andrew Lang Unmasking the Inner Critic: Lessons for Living an Unconstricted Life

“In Unmasking the Inner Critic, Andrew Lang has created a beautiful and accessible guidebook to help you do the inner work central to the act of being human.”

—Brian D. McLaren, author, activist, and teacher with the Center for Action and Contemplation

Rooted in the teachings of mystics, saints, poets, and prophets, Unmasking the Inner Critic: Lessons for Living an Unconstricted Life offers guidance and support for how to move beyond some of our most challenging fears and negative inner narratives.

With an intuitive blend of reflection questions, contemplative practices, action prompts, and his own personal story, Andrew Lang shares the wisdom from secular poets and therapists—as well as from Christianity, Buddhism, and Sufism—that has grounded his workshops for almost a decade.

Discover how to:

  • do the work of inner excavation with spiritual practices that hold and embolden it,

  • dig deeper for a more authentic way of living and being who you truly are,

  • lay aside the masks that keep you from fully experiencing the world,

  • engage the inner life as the beginning of sustainable activism, and

  • live a healthier, more confident, and well-grounded life.

The perfect book for progressive Christians, secular seekers, and those who are deconstructing Christianity, Unmasking the Inner Critic helps us expand our spirituality beyond the institution of religion for our personal transformation and communal healing.

Get it on Amazon here.

About Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang is an educator in the Pacific Northwest, an alumnus of Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation, and author of Unmasking the Inner Critic: Lessons for Living an Unconstricted Life. Along with writing regularly, he facilitates workshops helping people to navigate their inner lives and explore their sense of identity and spirituality. You can read more about the author here.
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