"Worry Less Now" with Dr. Gigi Langer

March 15, 2022 Joe Van Wie / Dr. Gigi Langer Season 1 Episode 18
"Worry Less Now" with Dr. Gigi Langer
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

About Gigi

Gigi Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford University. As a professor, she won several awards for her teaching, and (as Georgea M. Langer) wrote four books for educators as well as hundreds of articles on professional growth.

As a person in recovery, Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, although she does occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels. Through speeches, retreats, and workshops, she helps thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work.

Gigi’s latest book began as a memoir chronicling her three short marriages, career as a professional horseback rider, and adventures hitchhiking across the north of Spain–all before she turned 38. Her wise husband suggested that instead, she write a self-help book with “all those helpful things you say when you counsel people on the phone.” At that point, Worry Less Now was born. Throughout the five-year writing journey, the right people showed up at just the right time to make the book interesting, practical, attractive, and clear.

Gigi’s book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity and Connection, was published by Possum Hill Press in February 2018.  Gigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse. Learn how she turned her life around by overcoming her negative thinking.  You’ll find over 50 practical techniques to worry less! 

Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Gigi knows her own truth and is thereby able to extend powerful hopefulness, wisdom, and insight into her own journey and spiritual connection.

Dawn C., Ypsilanti MI

Visit GiGi's website and books at,

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Joe Van Wie  0:01  
Hello, and thanks for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe family. Today's guest is Dr. Gigi lair. Gigi holds a PhD in psychological studies in education, and a master's in psychology both from Stanford University. As a professor, she won several awards for her teaching. And as Georgia M. Langer, she wrote four books for educators, as well as hundreds of articles on professional growth. As a person in recovery, Gigi hasn't had a drug or drink over 30 years. Although she does occasionally over indulge, and chocolate, and historical novels. Through speeches, retreats and workshops, she helps 1000s of people improve their lives at home, and at work. Gigi, his latest book began as a memoir, chronicling her three short marriages. career as a professional horseback rider, and adventures hitchhiking across the north of Spain. Of before she turned 38. Her wives husband suggested that instead she write a self help book. With all those helpful things you say when you counsel people on the phone at that point, worry less now was born throughout five year writing journey. Right people showed up at just the right time to make the book interesting, practical, attractive, and clear. GGS book 50 ways to worry less now reject negative thinking to find peace, clarity, and connection was published by possibly held press in February 2018. Gigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, substance abuse, and how she turned her life around by overcoming her negative thinking. You'll find over 50 practical techniques to worry less. That's from GE G's website. I am very interested to interview today. And it's been a real treat talking to Gigi, last couple of weeks on the phone to get to know her. We met online and I just finished her book and can't wait to speak to her about it. One short announcement from all better. I'd like to thank our first Patreon fan. And that is Chris refis in Washington DC, Chris as a Patreon fan now you will have this entire episode on video, the episode with DC therapist Matthew Quinn, thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the Show.

Well Hello, and thanks for coming. Gigi. I'm very excited to talk to you today and about your book that 50 ways to worry less now and a new project you're working on. So I want to thank you first of all for coming.

Dr Gigi Langer  4:26  
Thanks so much. I'm really glad to be here. And it's nice to be getting to know you even if it's kind of brief.

Joe Van Wie  4:33  
Or I'm getting a feeling that I know you better now I've read the book and it's great reading someone else's story and say yeah, that's me. It's I don't see distinctions of difference. I see distinction. Why I'm the same. So that was refreshing. Gigi, who are you? Where did you grow up? Tell me a little bit about that.

Dr Gigi Langer  4:59  
Oh, Yeah, I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. And it was, you know, it was an interesting place, it was country, and then it got developed, and it got kind of fancy, you know, so I got to grow up around people who had a lot of money, but we didn't necessarily. And we did rich people's things, but, you know, we didn't pay for them ourselves anyway. Of course, that was a culture in which drinking and partying was very big, my parents had, you know, parties a lot. And I remember trying to fall asleep with The Judy Garland getting louder and louder, and, you know, the Frank Sinatra and then of course, the people would leave. And there would be things crashing and loud words and, and really, really terrifying. So, I think, growing up as a highly sensitive person, were loud noises and bright lights, and I need quiet time and so on, which I didn't know when I was young. But later I found out was very helpful to know that there are a lot of people who are considered highly sensitive, maybe one out of five, according to one researcher. And so later discovering that because my whole family was very gregarious and outgoing, and so on, and I felt like a little alien, you know, with all of this stuff going on. So I think that launched me on this path of trying to figure out how to be happy, be accepted, be loved. So the first place I found it was getting good grades, you know, that was real black and white, you know, you do a and b, and you get C. Yeah, and that I could do and then I discovered boys, you know, and fell in love and always had the main man and then got married, thought the, you know, the picket fence, and the two children, my dream was going to happen. And that didn't turn out. So it might open talk, I describe the three different husbands I had and what went on with them. But it's kind of a too long of a story to tell here. But basically, every long term relationship or marriage, I had, by the time I was 35, maybe 36 was ending in a divorce me leaving. Yeah. You know, using alcohol and drugs to dull the pain of the disappointment of my life formula not working. And by this time, I was working on a PhD at Stanford, I didn't know what the hell I was doing there, I was under great stress and anxiety, because it was a tough program. And I, you know, I had that basic underlying lack of belief in myself. But I did finish it. And, and of course, then, you know, that was accomplished, and that didn't make me happy. And then, you know, came the third marriage. And that didn't work. But the good news about that was, I went running to a psychologist, because he had my third marriage, we within nine months, I was going out to bars and picking up strangers when he was traveling. Yeah. And I went to the psychologists, and I said, you know, here, I have this degree in one hand, and then I have this CD, little private life secret life over here, you know, and what is wrong with this picture? I couldn't handle the the dissonance between these. Yeah, late 80s. Yeah, late 80s. Yeah. So that was the beginning of hope. Where the psychologist said to me, Well, given your family history, and the genetics, you you are in the early stages of alcoholism. Yeah. Because I wasn't drinking every day. You know, I wasn't drinking during the day, although I was getting high, you know, whenever my work was finished, but anyway, so he had me do an interesting experiment, which was try having one drink. No more, no less every day. And watch what happens. Yeah, and as I did that experiment, it became very clear that sometimes I could have two drinks and stop. And other times I've had two drinks and then I'd find the man and the marijuana and go home with a stranger and drive home drunk and drugged up so that was

took me six months to prove to myself After I did, that I was an alcoholic because for me that meant if I put one substance in my body, I couldn't trust myself to take good care of myself or others. So I went to a meeting. I can't believe I did. Yep.

Joe Van Wie  10:22  
There's a lot there. I mean, when you were speaking of Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra, visions of my grandmother's house, how regal it would seem, but no one's playing that music at the end of the night when it could get ugly. But being around that, I liked reading in your book, this condition of which I don't know how to describe it in myself, ADHD, addiction, some trauma, noise, busyness, it makes me feel already seized up sometimes, or if I walk into a party, I thought it was always uncomfortable. But sometimes it's just too much. I get overstimulated. And it would, you know, it's just another earmark of why alcohol works so well for me. And I was reading that in your book and relating to it like I've never paid attention to that overstimulation would jarring to me. Like, I do, I relate to the idea of finding a sense of worth to how hard you worked. I mean, I addiction aside this achievement that you were just drawn to, and your studies which you were drawn to psychology, and, and being at one of the most premier schools to do that. And it still could not tell you, you were okay. Isn't that amazing? Like what really is that condition outside of was was alcohol relieving that to some degree?

Dr Gigi Langer  11:55  
Well, that was relieving the anxiety, because she'll probably mention this later. But there's a theme going through the book about these whispered lies that are less healthy self tells us that are not true. But they were useful in the past in terms of helping us through things. So in that case, it was the whispered lie, you know, if I achieve enough, I'll feel safe, I'll feel okay. People will like me, I'll be secure. And it's, it's a hell of a note when you get there and you look around, and it didn't work, that there's still the need for the alcohol and drugs, there's still the need to lower the anxiety and that hyper vigilance that goes with it. I think so many of us are experiencing, not only the hypersensitivity, but the anxiety that, you know, a lot of us, I think if people don't talk about it so much publicly about the whether they take medications or not, because that's not in the purview of our body, I have to say an awful lot of people I know with quality recovery are on an medication that helps with depression and anxiety.

Joe Van Wie  13:12  
I'm very glad you said that, because there's great relief in that coupled with many activities. But my solution isn't everyone's. And I a lot of my dear friends, I've seen people gripped with schizophrenia really achieved something adding steps after medication. And it'd be really reckless to tell anyone what to do with that. But you grew up in an A, that I got an earmark of beef in the 90s. People could say some wild things that meanings that were inappropriate. First, especially regarding that, I, I liked that you you explore the anxiety. And that's the first thing I related to when I'd say like, even read the classic of Bill's story, I see a guy that's riddled with PTSD, anxiety over achievement, to secure this, this this worth, this sense of low self esteem, abandonment. That's the story to me, alcohol seems trivial at this point. But what I want to really thank you for, you know, is your story ended in the 80s. And it was, it was still it's a different world. It's dramatically different than it is today of what women can voice. And I don't mean to put this on a pedestal, but your raw honesty of what women do. That is essentially the same effect of an addiction would take to a man to speak so openly. You know, I don't know if that could have happened 40 years ago, and you write this book and I'm reading it and it's nothing to me and I started to think like nothing to me to hear that from a woman I'm thinking 30 years ago you couldn't have it would you're so there's there's such a raw honesty that I think is so helpful and gets away from all that romantic horseshit, gender stuff. have this, you told a real story in this book? And it? It grabbed me? Have you heard? Like, do you do? Go ahead, Gigi?

Dr Gigi Langer  15:12  
Oh, I was gonna say that you're referring to chapter. I am so sorry, you may have to get that out. Anyway, you're referring partly to chapter five, where I talk about the layers of healing, and only after several years of recovery, getting down to the abuse that had happened. That chapter was so hard to write, I needed to go to actually energy work with the tapping and that and the Reiki and so on, and the cranial sacral to because that, even though I had worked through it so much to put it out publicly, and then I had to check with my family. Because yeah, I imagined my nice reading this book, you know? Yeah. So yeah, it was a hard one to write. And yet I, you know, I was guided to write it. And I did get the strength when I went for help to get the strength. So thank you for saying that. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  16:13  
It's, yeah, it's, it's, it touches me because I've been around, in and out for a while, and I know what the real pain is, and so to you, underneath and addiction, some serious harm, or, you know, the world hurts us in our my response is addiction. And I can't imagine who that won't touch to tell your real story, your real human story. That's, that's Recovery to me. And what I read and your program of these 50 ways, is the story of all of us leaving that that trauma, the pain, and you're just wrong honesty about where your addiction was, your you're studying for a PhD, going out at night. So some women, you know, we're from your generation would have been afraid to connect with each other that way, we know everyone's just winking at each other, you're telling a real story to help another person. It was breathtaking, because I, you know, I'm a man, I'm always reading man stories about how men get sober. And this had a profound effect on me of how I see women I know in recovery, too.

Dr Gigi Langer  17:18  
Thank you. Well, it's, you know, 35 years, I guess I started writing it when I was around 25 years sober. But yeah, you know, that all of that therapy, and all of those meetings and all of the work with a sponsor, and you know how it is in recovery, we, I do believe we're here to grow, to grow into being less selfish and more giving, and to take better care of ourselves and others. So the way the, for me the steps and the therapy and the energy work. That's the reason there are 50 ways in the book, because every time I ran into a problem, like, I hurt my back in my first year of recovery, and so I was lying on the floor at my meetings, because it was so sore. And, you know, that caused me someone mentioned something, I looked it up, it gave me a new spiritual little leg up to help me through that situation. And so I put that tool in the book. And it seemed like there were, you know, hardship after hardship, a joy and growth and love happily married to my fourth husband. What a gift Yeah. But also those challenging times where we we have to discover new tools, we we are prompted to cleanse ourselves of those whispered lies and the the old coping patterns of people pleasing and perfectionism and workaholism, just like you said, with Bill W, you know,

Joe Van Wie  18:57  
yeah. And congratulations, I was reading the book, it was 25, over 25 years now of marriage. Congrats. I wanted to get back to energy psychology. And that's how it was kind of written in the book and it caught my eye because I'm starting to read it. And to now finally, address, touch, Reiki energy, and it kind of goes into this law of attraction ideal. In that chapter I'm reading. And I was really excited to see a person with a PhD, Ivy League school, and you're sourcing some another gentleman, I forget the name off him. But seeing how profound This is in therapy, why are we Why isn't this a pursuit and a more mainstream kind of pursuit of the idea? That's, that's a tool I'm looking at because I just read up to that point. You've you're sober, you're going through decades of sobriety, multitude of problems in recovery that could be physical, emotional. And when I see these 50 ways, every one of them unpacks, almost in a different phase of your recovery, long term recovery, early recovery, that can be applied. I'm looking at something like this now, Reiki, my mind was always shut, I came into the program, kind of secular, afraid I was being sold something that was going to be just too hard to believe. And you're 50 ways unpack the tactical way. Even if you're unsure the here's four or five actions you can take to see if it works. And it's just so practical. It's a practical way to sleepwalk into an awakening. Like, if that's a paradox.

Dr Gigi Langer  20:48  
Beautiful. I'm gonna write that down.

Joe Van Wie  20:52  
Do you see a future in energy psychology that is opening up especially in the realm of addiction, ADHD and trauma have been applied more from your point of view?

Dr Gigi Langer  21:06  
Yeah. It's interesting, because I have a good friend who saw therapist at Stanford for their employees. And she, I regard her very, very highly. And I had an opportunity to sit with her. And we keep hearing about E M, D, R, this, I, E, M, D, R, E, disassociation ri something. Anyway, it's the research on it is huge, because they've been using the trauma people in the military. So they have all those hospitals doing research. So you, you know, it's not it's, it's there. It's hard research showing that it really does have a wonderful positive effect. So I asked her. And, you know, the way she described it, to me was like, it was the best of energy work, because of the eye desensitization doing something with the energy. And and she said it was the best of talk therapy? And because of combining it that way? I don't know exactly. I mean, there are stories about how it developed. All I know is that the research is very influential. And she told me that it was like the best combination of the two. And that is partly why it's so effective, and so quick. So that's, I haven't experienced it,

Joe Van Wie  22:42  
but I either have an interest. Yeah. I'm very interested in it. Just because of a the the fundamental idea that you know, your reality is created by like, we're interpreting like it's into this brain, but it's a dance of light, what's it reflecting off of, and now the source of therapy is going to be like movement, it's epic, makes me feel peculiar. I like it. I'm also interested in to the idea of what it's doing for REM sleep, like biohacking this ability to think you have REM sleep, where, you know, most intelligent research is saying that's where we cleanse our brains of these proteins that could cause mental health problems, for not getting enough sleep. And it's just so interesting. I spoke at a guest here, a couple of weeks back and she spoke about it, she's been using it with PTSD. And the results are just phenomenal. Of the results of people getting to the trauma, speaking of it safely and feeling like they're objective to their own memories that are something they just in any other scenario couldn't speak of openly. And she says you can it's immediate. It's within six or seven sessions, she seen results of people now being able to speak to their trauma. What it was wild.

Dr Gigi Langer  24:05  
Yeah, it is I, when I was writing, starting to write my book, you know, how when something's meant to be our Higher Power kinds of alliances, the steps in this perfect order. So you run into the right people at the right time with the right resource. And a former student of mine told me about her aunt who had written a book similar to what I wanted mine to be like, it was like a memoir, but it was practical. And it was she when I read her book, it was all about how she almost put herself out of business as a traditional therapist because she started using law of attraction and energy work. And so I went to a couple of sessions with her and that the person who taught me about the tapping and that I didn't necessarily have to have a specific order of tapping, but just the tapping and and the statements, which I Yeah, you know, I thank you for complimenting me on how practical the book is because I thought, you know why mentioned this tool if I'm not going to explain to someone exactly how to do it themselves and where to learn more about it. So, because I'm a former teacher, right, and I taught future teachers and so it's so it's Yeah, yeah, yeah. So,

Joe Van Wie  25:35  
my resources, what you expect, when you explain it, there's exercises right? At the end, it was just, it was like, okay. It's a real tool. It's a book you keep, it's a book you highlight that you could refer back to for different scenarios. Thank you.

Dr Gigi Langer  25:54  
I have some, some friends who are therapists, and they've used the book as a resource, because when you're trying to explain it express to someone like how to write an affirmation, rather than take 20 minutes of your therapy time to explain how to do it. You give them the book, say, read chapter four, it'll tell you exactly how to do this. So that's, I think, something very useful about it too, that you know, it's kind of a good helper.

Joe Van Wie  26:27  
Yeah, and the sources of of all these ideas being anchored through universal support, not only in measurements and observational studies and psychology. But people of the you know, even the last 30 years, we come to love for resources spirituality or 100 years from Emma Fox to Eckhart Tolle, Eckhart Tolle, and I'm reading these, and my mind is open to this stuff that was closed, and thank God for my addiction. It's given me a way life to, I don't always understand why it's working for me, I want some nuts and bolts or mice, the cynic in me waste wakes up. But how do I argue with my own experience that's creating a life that creates less chaos for people around me and myself, without me knowing why I believe it yet, I was desperate enough to try things, and your books, addressing things that these are the tools I want to keep, and I need to grow in, you're giving someone a path to leave almost spiritual kindergarten, you get a base in a 12 step community or another recovery community. But you're giving all these off ramps on a highway to say this is another exploration like, this is another way to solve the problem. It's very similar with the basic recovery truths, but try this exercise. And I think it's can be really useful for people with long term recovery.

Dr Gigi Langer  27:57  
Yeah, yeah. I've had a lot of, you know, people say, Well, should I read this book before I go to meetings and work the steps or after I actually wrote the book for the general public, because I wanted them to have access to all these tools that we had discovered in recovery. But because it's so recovery, friendly, and and derived from recovery experiences, it's really popular with people in recovery. I usually think that in early sobriety, it's best to stick with a sponsor and a specific program with lots of meetings to Okay. And if it's a 12 step program, I usually suggest that people have gotten through step six, you know, before they, yeah, Step seven, actually big. Because really, if you look at what the books about, it's about the whispered lies, which is the ego, which are the character defects that are saying, you know, I can't be loved if I do that, and that person's a jerk. And so until we kind of can see those things. That said, I have a friend who read an advanced copy. And he had kind of knew he had a drinking problem. He was an acquaintance, actually. And it 12 stepped him. He ended up getting sober after drinking after reading after drinking the book.

Joe Van Wie  29:25  
More ice with this book.

Dr Gigi Langer  29:28  
Yeah, and he's still sober. So that, you know, I don't know what to say about that. The order of things fulfilling we need to go somewhere. Yeah, yeah, we need to go somewhere for help, and not try to do it on our own with our old thinking. That's the key.

Joe Van Wie  29:46  
Did you if I could peel back a little bit, just out of my own curiosity. When you were drawn to psych graduate studies in psychology at that point, what were you studying? What was drawing your interests? You know, your life may have been chaotic then but what was intellectually stimulating? Like, what were you? Was it part intellect and part maybe your own spiritual journey to find answers? What was what was going on?

Dr Gigi Langer  30:15  
Shall we start? What was your favorite study? Question? Well, I originally loved literature, and I was a teacher of Spanish and French and middle school. So I was going to, you know, get that pay raise by doing a master's in comparative literature, then my marriage fell apart, I ended up finding another guy, you know, I sort of everything I, all my opportunities seem to come from falling guys around the world. So I ended up in Europe, and the only Master's they had there was in education and psychology. So I thought, well, you know, I was a teacher. And as a teacher, I was very interested in how do teachers get better? Because of course, we all know that fabulous teachers are wonderful and crummy teachers are not wonderful. And so I became intellectually intrigued with the question of how do you help teachers get better. And that led me to, you know, classes in that master's degree around research. And I discovered research on teaching effectiveness, it was just beginning in the 80s. And they were, you know, looking like teachers who did more of this had kids who had higher test scores, teachers who did less of this, like less direction giving and less disciplining had kids who had higher test scores. So I was intrigued with the fact that there was, but a very scientific way of going about this question of how do you get better at teaching? How do you help other people get better? So that's when I took the the research course and my masters, the guy said, Oh, I can tell you're really interested in this, you should go on for a doctorate. And I said, Oh, no, not me. And then at that time, I met another guy, you know, and he knew how to apply and coached me through it all and had been to Stanford. So yeah, it all kind of unfolded exactly as it was supposed to. And even though it feels so messy, in the middle of it, yeah, I was lucky that I had that curiosity. And actually, I ended up making my career in what I specialized in, in grad school was learning psychology, because in order to be a good teacher, you need to understand learning from a psychological point of view. And also, you know, a humanistic carrying point. But so that was how the psychology got it, there was not the clinical psychology of helping people with therapy, but the learning psychology, because that related to how to be a better teacher. So I ended up doing my dissertation on a very practical topic, which was, you know, if we, if teachers participated, these particular workshops versus this, and this do they get better. And I had, you know, hours of classroom observation, and it was a ton of work, I had a wonderful mentor who showed up just in time, and she was the one who ultimately became my spiritual mentor with A Course in Miracles too. So, you know, trust the path.

Joe Van Wie  33:37  
Yeah. All that, that work in training, does show in the presentation and form of your book, I glided through it three days, and then I have it highlighted as a resource to return to, because it was very interesting. This is the way I want to live this way, I want to solve my problems. From that point, I mean, studying effective teaching. And then, you know, decades later, when you knew you wanted to write this book, because you have a skill in presenting concepts and ideas of how to existentially rise above a problem. How can I look at myself softly and then eventually become non judgmental, this observation of what I'm calling? You know, when I always had these ideas, I'm a loser. I'm a scumbag. It's not a debt addiction. Addiction is just covering up what I really am. And that's a really, it's a nightmarish thing to believe about yourself. I'm reading your book. And it has this Zen quality. And like an Eastern, there's an objective observer of this idea. This Carl Jung kind of idea you were talking the shadow self without emitting to the shadow self. I like when you refer to this, because my curiosity seems to never end on this idea. There's always is a resource to me to look at myself objectively see the problem? And then like what washes into you? Right? You know, this is where forgiveness kind of grows. I could do that to myself, I'm going to do that to my resentments. Why is this just such a universal truth for people's brains like to, to, to untie that knot why I'm so uptight about life? What like, what is that?

Dr Gigi Langer  35:28  
You know, I think Bill Wu hit it on the head when he in the 12 and 12, when he talked about the instinct that drive us in step six. So if an if we are bodies, I mean, we're animals, right? We, at some level, we have that primate primary, primitive brain. And that brain kicks in quite often for survival. And even when we're feeling emotionally threatened, it kicks in the same way, whether we were physically threatened. So we're, you know, as they say, We're spiritual beings living in a human body, on a physical Earth, where things from our perception looks scary, because we think our body is being threatened. And this was where, for me, the spiritual teachings come in, especially with A Course in Miracles for me, were Yeah, but it's kind of a unit, I think it's a universal truth. To that there, all of us could say there is a part of us, that is the essential, well, like Deepak Chopra calls our true self, our best self, our highest self, or our higher power, or however we call it but, or a light, that there's, I think, the biggest revelation for me, because I felt the same way as you when I got way down deep in there, it was going to be a pile of shit. And I was going to discover I was horrible person. And what the spiritual teachings have shown me is that the when I dig down in there, the essence of it is a beautiful light. That is how I was originally created as a spirit. But I'm running around here on the physical plane in a body. And Marty keeps telling me, I'm threatened. And so I go back and forth between these two things, you know, and it can be a little confusing, but it's a choice for me about whether to listen to my scared body instinct, or whether to tune into my spiritual light. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  37:46  
so as I am seeing it in the way I'm kind of unpacking and myself what you whispered lies. These kind of evolved into more, but their basic fears, their fears that don't involve it's the way I'm interpreting the world. I think, you know, when addiction could allow me to make a narrative that the world may be this way or so. But these whispered lies, and connecting it to this hypersensitivity of stimulation, even prior to maybe an addiction. And I just feel the alcoholics I relate to I'm constantly overstimulated because I'm assessing threats, real or imagined. And when I was drunk, I felt bravado. I felt normal. I wasn't measuring threats constantly in the room. That almost sounds like generational trauma. I've heard Gabor Ma Tei say this trauma could stay in like you're down to the genes of this life of, you know, 10,000 years of violence got us to this point in history. Is there some kind of trauma that's just being carried on through us generational that allows us to think this way? Do you see it that way?

Dr Gigi Langer  39:04  
Oh, that's beyond my paygrade.

Joe Van Wie  39:09  
But it's easy for me to ask the question.

Dr Gigi Langer  39:13  
Yeah, yeah. I, I, you know, there, we have to let many mysteries be because I believe that my human perceptions that I'm stuck with here and I do have access to a spiritual realm, but it's a little hard for me to make sense of from my human brain. Yeah, you know, that that. That just makes the whole thing. There's just not many, I've heard someone say this fabulous statement. Why is not a spiritual question. For a deep thinker like you Joe, you'd love that. Why is not a spiritual question?

Joe Van Wie  40:03  
No, it's a child's question.

Dr Gigi Langer  40:08  
Because we as human beings, we want all this certainty, we want to know our bodies are gonna last forever. We want to know what we can do to stay safe. We want to, you know, because we think we think we're our bodies when we think when our bodies and we're going to end. And it it for me, it's been such a relief to discover that this light in us this truth, this goodness, in my in my sense of what's true, and I don't really know it, I feel like it does go on when the body ends. And that when we connect like you and I are, it's that part of us that's connecting. I mean, our brains are involved because we're intellectually curious that the connection is a whole different thing. It is.

Joe Van Wie  40:54  
And I almost ran out of time getting sober because I wanted to, I wanted to sobriety my approach to it to be intellectually sound, and it almost got me killed. I had to take a risk somewhere. And part of my risk evolved into your chapter quiet time. My wife's okay with that. But I need to be desensitized twice a day. So I know what's real. And what's real is exactly the like what you were saying. And my addiction, my body's real, I want to answer it's intellectual satisfaction. But when I'm having a quiet time, twice a day, and meditation, the same kind of procedures offer from your book. I know what's real to me. It's consciousness. it's love, it's connection. Fear doesn't let me connect. And my intellect is been polluted a lot of times with my own fears. And it doesn't, doesn't help me connect all the time. But it sure makes for good session to coffee.

Dr Gigi Langer  41:58  
Yes, it's the blessing and the curse of a curious intellect. You know, and I'm just so grateful that I was in so much pain. I mean, the using was trying to escape the pain. Once I got sober, I needed to find tools to escape the pain of, you know, physical illness or emotional healing, and so on, you know, so it was being an, you know, I really emphasize this in the book, we cannot do it alone, we need to join with at least a therapist or recovery coach, preferably a group of people who have licked the problem or trying to like, and can help us with give us, you know, their ideas of what worked for them, and we can try them and use them.

Joe Van Wie  42:51  
That's great advice. Thank you, Gigi. Gigi, what's next? I'm going to have this book accessible on the shelf. What are you up to now?

Dr Gigi Langer  43:03  
Well, I'm retired. And I have been since 2007. I had 25 years. Well, before that I was a teacher. But before that I was or after that I was a college professor of education and psychology. So I started writing then I had some friends, some mentors who were writing textbooks. And so we created a group and wrote several textbooks. And then I had a professional friend that we did workshops with teachers in helping them find ways to improve their own teaching. And that that partner and I, we wrote a few books too. So I knew how to write technical writing. When I retired, I had been attracted to, you know, I was writing these memories, I joined a work group, a writing group, and shared some of the things I'd written and then it just, you know, my higher power just tapped me on the shoulder and said, What if you could take all these tools you've learned, and put them in a way where other people could see how they work and how you discovered them and use them themselves. And that was the birth of the book. Because I had already done textbooks with a contract with a publisher. I kind of knew what was involved with the technical writing. It was a bit of a stretch for me to write those juicy personal stories that I included. But then I had a manuscript and and, you know, went through the whole process that any nonfiction writer goes through and getting something published if you don't get a contract with a publishing company. So I created my own publishing company and then I did contracts for the book design and a contract for the editing and the contract. because I had been a project manager of grants when I was at at Eastern Michigan University, so I had those skills. So that this has been out since 2008. Teen. And everybody says, What are you going to write another book? Yeah. And I was saying, oh, because I have run a couple of study groups with this book, where it's a group of 10 women. And we do it on Zoom. And we study one chapter a week. And they and they pay me for that time, because that's a course that I offer. I've only done it twice, but it's been really great. So and I do a lot of, you know, podcasts and blogs, and websites, and all the things you're supposed to do to get your book out to people and to connect. So this next one, all of a sudden, you know, people would ask, and I'd say no. And then one day, I said, Oh, yeah, I could do that. And I think it was in the second year of the pandemic that I thought, you know, I have these some pieces I've written already. Let's see if we can put them together and fill in the gaps. And so, yeah, we're, I'm hoping to have it out this summer.

Joe Van Wie  46:14  
Yeah, that's the working title. What are we what are we looking at? What entice me?

Dr Gigi Langer  46:19  
Well, yeah, I think it's going to be fear less now. And then, opening your heart to your best life. Yeah. So the theme is how the fears close down our hearts to ourselves, our higher power and others, and how we can open our hearts. And then how to get through really tough times with an open heart.

Joe Van Wie  46:48  
Yeah. Well, Jiji, your academic writing style is proficient in this book. And I could tell just by the sources, in your appendix is are pristine. But to watch it, I'll be reading and you're educating me. And I love your style of writing, because it reinforces Education Source. And then you open up to a beautiful narrative where I'm invited to get to know you, like, personally get to know you. That's a that's, that's a great style. That's a unique style. And this book was really just easy to read. I couldn't wait to get back home and read it. I highlighted it because I want to there's a couple of exercises I want to use. I want to put into practice. But I want to ask to I want to get you to commit now when this comes out in the summer, you're coming back.

Dr Gigi Langer  47:42  
Oh, yeah, I would love to. Absolutely. Yep. I'll let you know.

Joe Van Wie  47:49  
Thanks. Well, Gigi. I think this has been great. I'm really flattered. And I'm so happy you came to speak on 50 ways to worry less now. And I'm very excited to read your new book. So we'll be waiting. Anticipation. Is there anything you'd like to say to all better listeners before we wrap up?

Dr Gigi Langer  48:14  
Oh, it can get all better. We just need to give up our old ways of thinking and be open to new ways of thinking and believing and hanging with really healthy people. It can be done. Absolutely.

Joe Van Wie  48:33  
Gigi, you want a quick story. I wanted to say better where the name comes from her. Yes, please grandmother, Judy Garland. And they had cocktail hours at six all the time. That old kind of look of dressing up drinking. I came back from my first rehab of 16. And I walked into her house. She goes home. Oh my god, you were at that place? I said yes. I called her mom. Yes, I was. She goes well, are you all better? Oh,

Dr Gigi Langer  49:06  
beautiful. Oh, I love that.

Joe Van Wie  49:10  
She was a classy, classy.

Dr Gigi Langer  49:14  
Oh, how wonderful. I thank you so much for telling that story. But most I want I've never had a conversation on a podcast that was as good, intellectually intriguing. And then as, as complementary as you've been in very specific ways, which has been, you know, what every author hopes to hear. So, it I'm so grateful that my book matched your way of learning, you know, your your mind and how your mind works. So it really thank you for that. It's

Joe Van Wie  49:55  
Thank you. Thanks for being part of On my recovery, and my listeners will be sure to enjoy this and I'll give them access to your book. And we'll see you soon. It'll be on soon. So, Gigi, right. Best wishes.

Dr Gigi Langer  50:13  
Thank you same to you, Joe. I want to stay in touch.

Joe Van Wie  50:18  
Absolutely. Absolutely. Glad we found each other.

Dr Gigi Langer  50:24  
Yeah, me too

Joe Van Wie  50:36  
I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. You can find us on all or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober doesn't mean you're right.

Transcribed by

Who are ya
Whispered Lie
Using the Book