Thirty years ago, I used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe my frayed nerves. After I quit drinking, I found I had a serious thinking problem! Over time, I discovered effective tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings to find peace, wisdom, and hope–no matter what is going on in my life!
Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” I’ve resigned my post and now live happily with my wonderful husband, Peter, and my cat, Murphy. Although I haven’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, I do occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels.
I hold a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford University. As a professor at Eastern Michigan University, I won several awards for teaching, and (as Georgea M. Langer) co-authored books and articles for educators.
GiGi's personal story is captured in her latest book 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection & "Love More Now"
This book began as a memoir chronicling my three short marriages, career as a professional horseback rider, and adventures hitchhiking across the north of Spain–all before I turned 38. My wise (4th!) husband suggested that instead, I 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.
The book shares what I’ve learned from my training in psychology and over 30 years applying tools from recovery programs, cognitive therapy, energy work, and a variety of spiritual and scientific teachings.
Published 50 Ways to Worry Less Now
Stanford University, Stanford, California. PhD, Psychological Studies in Education; EdS, Evaluation; MA, Psychology
Graduate Faculty Teaching Award, Eastern Michigan University (EMU)
Distinguished Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, EMU Alumni Association
Distinguished Faculty Member, Michigan Association of Governing Boards
Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Eastern Michigan University
Writing Award, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
Co-Authored 5 books and hundreds of articles for teachers and tea
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Leaders Of Long Term Recovery in Pennsylvania
We combine proven recovery principles with new, innovative techniques to provide one of the most effective programs for young men in the country.
Discussions on addiction and recovery. We interview clinicians/researchers, legislators, and individuals that include a variety of means to recovery. Joe Van Wie is a father, husband, filmmaker, and reformed media consultant in recovery.Fellowship House
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Joe Van Wie 0:04
Hello and thanks again for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe van wie G. Today's guest is Gigi Langer. Second time Gigi is on the show. She just released her new book. Love more now. Gigi also published 50 ways to worry less now. And that was our first episode. We discussed her book and what brought about a second book. Gigi holds a PhD from Stanford University and psychology. She also has an undergrad in psychology studies in education. And her Master's is in psychology. Also from Stanford graduate faculty teaching award she holds an Eastern Michigan University Distinguished Faculty Teaching Excellence Award at CMU Alumni Association, also a distinguished faculty member, Michigan sociation of governing boards, junior faculty teaching award at AMU. Writing award American Association of Colleges, teacher education she co authored five books, and hundreds of articles for teachers and teacher educators, educators. Also in the field of psychology. Gigi has a new book today we're going to discuss some other things but I'll read your work quote. Love more now. Karen Casey, give it a review. Karen Casey's best selling author. Each day a new beginning. popular book in the recovery community. It's daily meditations for women. The first published by Hazleton Karen Casey PhD says Gigi Langer has hit another home run. Love more now is a kind, gentle guide for her readers, and how to improve their lives by opening their hearts. All those souls that wandered their way through our honest and very intimate self disclosure. Gigi shows how her own life has changed by daring to face her past to have a kinder, more loving presence. The real beauty of this book is the clear, loving direction as she explains how to change your present. pretty flattering review, Gigi and I became friends over the last year or so when I started the podcasts. And I always enjoyed talking to her and going to her vice several my adventures but this book tackles distinct problems. They resound with you. It's not very broad. It has very distinct exercises to tackle chronic worry and stress, perfectionism and why this shows up in your life, dysfunctional relationships and exercises to reveal more about the alcoholism and addiction. Chronic Pain concerned about loved ones. Let's see what we talked about today. And let's meet Gigi, Langer.
Dr Gigi Langer 3:22
We say a little prayer. Yeah, absolutely. Okay, cuz I have my little angel here. She's always here for the
Joe Van Wie 3:34
it's a good way to start. You can fire out of prayer.
Dr Gigi Langer 3:39
God, thank you for bringing us here. And thanks for helping Joe and me connect and for whatever we say here being of help to others. Amen.
Joe Van Wie 3:52
Thank you, Gigi. Gigi, I have to mention, you know, you know, I'm pretty secular guy. Right. And I have a lot of friends that are Catholic, and have been sober 3040 years, you know, practicing Catholics. And they always grabbed my hands after meeting one gentleman that I'm friends with. He's almost 80 years old. And he grabbed my hands after an outdoor meeting in the park and started praying with me and I haven't prayed in years or especially publicly. And I was really uncomfortable at first but I thought what am I doing this one of my friends, this is what he wants to do. So we prayed. But I gotta say, the first year of my recovery why I'm mentioning that is like to say atheist or agnostics I was friends with. I didn't believe in God. But for a year I prayed every day. And I wasn't praying for faith to Washington. I was praying. What I realized what happened was the prayer was an interruption to the thought pattern of saying now Coholic my resentments, my rumination, a life that never happened or should have happened for me. And I would interrupt it with prayers in the beginning of the day and at night, which most, you know, older fellowships or recovery community suggest. And I was using the prayer St. Francis. It was my favorite prayer. I don't know that anecdote, just kind of washed right in. I want to catch up Gigi, welcome.
Dr Gigi Langer 5:27
I think there's no no problem with prayer is, I think we get hung up about, you know, who would want that. But certainly the idea that there's the power greater than ourselves than our fear based self power, some power within us even. And that's part of why as a second book I wrote because it's, it's about the true self, you know, the guiding light of truth and goodness that we have within us. But anyway, so you know, saying a little word, no matter if we use the word of God or not, it's always been good. Not a bad idea. Yeah, I
Joe Van Wie 6:07
think secular people could get hung up, especially a new type of atheist maybe entering recovery of what the script is, and especially terms like God's will, which is traditional, not only in Christianity, Judaism, but you see it arrive, you know, 80 years ago in Alcoholics Anonymous. But unlike the way I grew up, like God's will, God's intent was mysterious. What is this creator up to outside of just given us a Bronze Age writings of A is real specific, God's will is get rid of resentment, so you can connect with people you can be of help, again, in this purpose rises from this, just thought, I had nothing to lose to say the prayer of St. Francis, because I knew I wasn't the man, that in that prayer, you're petitioning to be a person who seeks to understand others before I need it to be understood. I had tremendous anxiety, I felt so misunderstood, I felt disconnected. And the more I thought about it, the more painful and uncomfortable it became that prayer let you look in a different direction. I seek maybe I'm maybe this pain is coming. Because I'm not listening to others. Maybe I lost the ability. There's so much noise in my head. I can't connect. And then fair helped me a lot. It really did. Just saying that script every day.
Dr Gigi Langer 7:33
Yeah. I like what you said about interrupting the thought. Because our thinking, I mean, that's, you know, that's what I'm all about are thinking wack. And even after I quit drinking, my thinking was whacked. It was full of self centered fear and wanting to control and self condemnation and criticizing others and resentments and victimhood. You know, all this, these old scripts that are running like a broken record in our while we're using and then we stopped using and there they are still with us. So your idea of interrupting that negative flow with something positive, whether it be a prayer or meditate, I mean, meditation does the same thing, right? Stop the show on the negative talking, let's focus on something else. That's a great benefit. You know, affirmations are wonderful that way to let me just not, not listen to what my head's habitually telling me. And even asked to see it differently from that part of myself. That's wiser in goodness.
Joe Van Wie 8:39
Yeah. And last time you were on, we were catching up a little bit you were on and you you told your story of entering recovery and how that got wrapped up for you. And also, it's, it's kind of overlapped with this series education, into psychology. And from the statute of Stanford, and later on, in long term recovery, produce this book, and we covered that, worry less now. We ended that that podcast with the expectation the new books are going to arrive and it has told me
Dr Gigi Langer 9:20
Yeah, it's called loves more now. And it's facing life's challenges with an open heart. And so to avoid all this, higher power, God, blah, blah, blah, issue. It's sort of like how about if we think about opening our hearts to a source of goodness, and wisdom and love, which is within us. And so I call it the true self or loving energy coming into us. But the whole point is that we have access to good, loving energy coming into a problem. That's the worst verbalize the negative script, the guilt? And so on? Block? You know, I'm glad you meant to the prayer you did because they talked making a channel as eyepiece. Yeah. So if we think of a person as being a channel of love, well, you know if, if we've got a close up heart, full of resentment and anger, that very little love can get through the towel to come into us or out to the other. So that's the metaphor I started using. What closes our hearts? How do we open our hearts suddenly face different life's challenges and not let them make us bitter and angry and keep our hearts open?
Joe Van Wie 10:45
Well, that's, that's a lot because these are these are big ideas. And from the first time I read your, your original book, to read it, and see such an approachable entry to worrying less now what anxiety is, and using the term whispered lies. For anyone who didn't hear that podcast, whispered lies is a great way to just consolidate all of the stories, we kind of tell ourselves beautiful trauma, addiction, that begin a story, rumination, resentment, that always ends with me there being a victim, or an unrecognized hero, the life that's not happening the life that only happens in my head. This exercises you had in that book were powerful. And I read I read a lot of books throughout the years because I'm drawn to it for the help and to see yours, the distinction of yours in that first book. And that's what I want to get to in this new book. The distinction was it's really tools. It wasn't just ideas, here's, here's exercises, almost in the sense of smart recovery. Here's a cognitive exercise. But I was just overwhelmed with how easy it is to approach. Here's because of the language you use. It's this language of love. And you really unpack it, I wanted to know how you impacted in this book. You're saying we have to come and start from a place of openness. How would you define that? What what is scary about being open? Why is it so hard for a person to begin at that place?
Dr Gigi Langer 12:21
Yeah, because we, I think most of us at least recovering people, and probably a lot of other people start with a pretty closed down heart. In other words, I've not opened myself up to my true self, the power of my true self, I survived in my dysfunctional family that I grew up in, or whatever was going on whatever trauma, I started creating an event itself a fake ID, this is who Fiji is, she gets good grades she the boys like her and above, above above. So all of that is based on pretense, right? Yeah. And some sort of lies, if I don't achieve Well, in school, people don't love me, if I don't do this, I'll be rejected, blah, blah. So in a way, all of that closest our hearts because we're pretending to be somebody that we're not really and we're covering up who we really are, because, at least in the case of addiction, my behavior was so grossing me out. And I had so much shame and so much baggage that I thought what was inside of me, was a bunch of gunk and awful stuff. So I wanted to not get in touch with. In other words, my survival came in closing my heart in pretending to be someone else. And yeah, so it was like you wanted to say something?
Joe Van Wie 13:52
Yeah, it's a powerful shortcut. I mean, you know, my, my ego probably was far more sophisticated. If I could speculate like looking back at myself, anytime I've done inventories or confrontations of this idea of who I am. It comes from a feeling ego was far more sophisticated and useful to me before I felt I hadn't developed I could develop a personality yet from distress, the scenario I was raised in, and I'm not, I'm not judging that but it seems like the ego seemed more reliable than me feeling I had a real personality because I had so many different sets of friends. The egos entertaining. I could switch gears. It doesn't have to be authentic, it's pliable. It doesn't have to rely on integrity or moral compass. And it can be really charming and playful. I didn't feel like I had a fully formed person out like a personality that could go through storms, that I could just pretend them something else to deal with it. And by the time addiction Who entered my life? Man? That was? That was a really good answer to this problem. Yeah. And I found a lot of that I related to that. And the first book, what would you say? Is, is distinctly different. And making this venture now we the first book you confront fear, the anxiety, the worries, what? What is the bounds of the title? Love? What is the journey in the book now on the idea of love?
Dr Gigi Langer 15:33
Well, love is a great substitute word for God. Yeah. And it's the force of goodness. And if I'm living as if it doesn't exist, or I can't, I have to rely on outside things. You know, romantic love for us.
Joe Van Wie 15:56
Dr Gigi Langer 16:05
So it's finding that solid, this is the goodness of who I am. And then some beliefs who I was created to be. And that got covered up by a lot of my scripts, whispered lies, behavior, shame, etc. So the point of love more now is to uncover it. You know, I think one, maybe one reason we're being here, we're here in this life is to remove the barriers to receiving love, and giving love. You know, my love mechanism was completely broken in the addiction. I mean, love was all about getting, getting getting getting. And when we come to this more authentic capital L, whoa, isn't that? Okay? I've got something solid to count on. That, my wisdom in here, because I've worked at uncovering and removing the blockages. That is, to me the work, the spiritual work, or the work of recovery, or the work of any kind of happiness, and what fears AM, and crazy thinking is keeping me from being in touch with my best self, the truth, goodness within me.
Joe Van Wie 17:31
Yeah. What are some of the feedback say, I know you put the book out there to test and you're part of a large recovery group. When you when you have a book that can approach these things, it kind of takes its own dynamics in different populations of recovery, early recovery, middle recovery, long term recovery. Have you started to get a feel of different people feedback on this, the approach you took in this book?
Dr Gigi Langer 18:07
No, in terms of where people are in their recovery journey, I now I got sober 1986. So the only game in town was the 12 step. Sure. My cultural recovery culture, I do not buy anything, believe that's the only way to go. I do believe that, that system, and many others help us remove the blockages to finding a good true source of wisdom and in love and happiness. So even with my first book, I didn't suggest that people in early recovery rated, I think both of my books are much more helpful for people who who are working on step six and seven and 10 times and think,
Joe Van Wie 18:55
wow, that's interesting. I don't remember you saying that. And I couldn't remember. That's why I asked the question. And wow, that's sometimes you need specially in this complex world, maybe a little more time to flush out the complexities of new ideals. And that's why I like the title of your new book is loves it an ideal that needs some time. What is it going to mean to you? What is it giving more is being having the guts to be heard again, in a relationship or something of that nature? But wow, that's interesting. So someone who's already cleared the deck probably have initial resentments and fears that were just, you know, in total flames from active addiction that gets kind of quelled extinguished, the complexity of life and its relationships start to rise up again. This is a good book to couple managing these relationships with it. Would that be fair as a summary of our assessment?
Dr Gigi Langer 19:56
Yeah, exactly. You know, in the abs, Ernie Larson wrote that book Stage Two recovery and stage two relationships and what he meant by stage two work well, you've gotten that first layer out. Now you got the everyday living stuff relating to people. And he, you know, he had these, he had workaholism in there. And I had like these in the book too, and what the whispers whispered lies are that go with them. But so much of our removing the blockages to love, and being able to give and receive love, is looking at those old patterns we formed in our families, or like for me, perfectionism, you know, I got good grades, so everybody likes me. But then, you know, after I got my PhD, it didn't, you know, still a bundle of nerves that didn't solve what problems I was trying to solve by being smart. So these survival strategies, you know, the workaholism, the perfectionism the people pleasing, no, I'm nobody else, people don't love me. The six of them, but anyway, they all are ways of those, they're fake IDs, right? I'm a person who always helps everyone. I'm a people pleaser, if people don't like, and I think those are quite a few of the things people start running into. Because if you're in a relationship, and you find that you're a workaholic, or a people pleaser, or caring caretaker, you're gonna play that role to the hilt, and it's gonna get some people. Well, yeah.
Joe Van Wie 21:40
You know, I always thought of how layered your story is hurt your personal story, okay, here you are. At an Ivy League school, you get a PhD. Beyond that. You write highly technical books, books that are on concepts and theories of the mind. And that, that's got to be hard to parse. In your early recovery, sitting in a 12 step meeting, where it's peer to peer, a we're all, you know, equal here. And too, did you have hard times maybe restraining yourself from being an educator in the room while you were asking and needing help? Or maybe even some, like counselling? I never even considered that. When we talk. Was that ever hard to sit in a lay kind of a meeting? You're there for yourself? You're hearing issues? Did you ever have to combat that thinking, Oh, I could help here, let me
Dr Gigi Langer 22:42
Oh, because cuz that's you. As much as I'm grateful that I, you know, made it through Stanford and got the PhD, I never was enamored of super smart people. Yeah, as a matter of fact, I have a little bit of an aversion towards people who act like they know it all. It's a long story about my mother. But the point is, so I had a kind of a healthy skepticism about, I mean, I even call it pilot higher and deeper, you know, PhD. And I don't go by Doctor, you know, it allowed me into a wonderful career. But just as I was entering that career, I was at the same time, in my third marriage, sleeping around with strangers. And that had me so humbled that when I went in there, and my psychologist that suggested that I go to 12 step meetings, said, you know, well, I know some meetings that have, you know, professors, and, you know, psychiatrists, and so on, you could go to a meeting with these professional people. And I guess, it wasn't close by and I love regular people. I don't want to be PhD. But our regular person, well, it shows.
Joe Van Wie 24:09
So, in our first discussions and us meeting and having a report, you know, your books is service because here Here you are, what could perceivably be? Okay, highly educated, highly technical. And then you wrote a book that isn't a vanity quest. It's not for me, it's a tool to access and help people. I don't know it's just something I noticed because you know, you're on a podcast with no at all that always has to restrain himself. So thanks for not burdening me. But I'm serious and it's a compliment. I'm not. I don't want to it's not. Total flattery. flattery. I'm being serious. That's, that's, that's a superpower. To have that much of, you know, in depth education and know how to talk to everyone in the room, and not only more importantly not to tell them how to understand something that's really powerful to have an awareness. But most books skip the hard work, which you put into really comprehensive and easily accomplished exercises that can change your life, and how you can view a relationship. And here's the test of changing how is this relationship change? Does it change because of your perception? Did I change it? Or is the relationship just toxic? Is this harmful for you? And you haven't noticed or you? So that's kudos? Gigi? You know, I don't I don't want to be in your company without ever mentioning that. The these are real tools. They're not just read it, put it down there books that you could lift. My friend always says chop wood and carry water.
Dr Gigi Langer 26:03
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, it's all God's fault. No, I mean, I didn't plan to write a book like that. Thought. One day on that airplane 20 years into sobriety, after being with my mom, who I'd never really, you know, allowed roughly, you know, feelings toward and it was so harmonious. And I loved her so much right from my true heart open. And I thought, man, there's got to be a way to share some of this stuff with regular people. Yeah, that was the idea for the first book.
Joe Van Wie 26:36
Yeah, it helped me I was two years sober. Then, when I read it, and just coming out of COVID. My wife and I were isolated a newborn in the house, your book helped me tremendously. And I just started the podcast, it was a couple dozen shows in. And it was a, I don't know, a unique set of circumstances and social media that put us together, which was like, wow. So yeah. Have you been talking about the book as of recent and doing Q and A's? Yeah. What does that look like? What was your first q&a? And up to this book? What's What's that experience like to sit in?
Dr Gigi Langer 27:23
Well, when you're seeing q&a, I'm not sure you don't, because most of what I'm doing is virtual. Okay, so it'll be a podcast, kind of a q&a with the podcast person. Yeah. However, I just did a really neat thing with some gals, who have a spirituality group in a Episcopal Church in Virginia. And they, you know, have my book and have me on, and that one was a little more of a q&a, where, you know, I talked a little bit about the big picture of the book, and then they asked questions. I think the question most people ask us, Well, how do I open my heart? Yeah, how do I? How do I do that? Which is, you know, a really important question, right?
Joe Van Wie 28:19
Yeah. How do you begin? How do you answer it? I mean, there could be variations. What What? What do you how do you find yourself answering that question? Without someone reading your book?
Dr Gigi Langer 28:34
How to answer that I offered in the first book, which is all those tools are about screaming love, and healing and goodness into us. You know, So meditation is obvious. You know, we learn to just experience something other than just start crazy thinking. And pretty soon as we get down in there, maybe we experienced something that feels kind of freeing and open. Certainly, therapy help, because a lot of those blockages, I mean, I couldn't really have handled the trauma of sexual touching when I was young, on my own, I needed. And thank God, we have things like EMDR these days, because I had some energy techniques in my book, but I didn't. I hadn't known about EMDR, which is like the best of talk therapies and best energy, energy, some of that. Yeah. So some of those things that are closing our hearts do require, I think, some intensive work to heal them. And at the same time, I don't think that's a prerequisite I think, all the time. We need to be meeting with people who've had similar challenges and talking with them, working some kind of a program that's helping us face what we're afraid of, and Learn how to deal with life without numbing ourselves. Yeah. But you know, praying, meditating, all the 50 tools are ways of reframing the negativity into more positive. So law of attraction, all of those things. In the second book, what I did was more specific examples. So it wasn't, here's a technique. And here's exactly how you use this. And here's a little research. Here's a story about a person who's become a caretaker for her mother. And she's the only one and she's pissed off their sister because her sister's not doing enough. And then how did she go through the process of opening her heart? And becoming not resentful? And so on? So I did, you know, a lot with inventory. Really? Yeah. Because when I boiled it down to what's the simplified inventory of these six aspects from, you know, the workaholism and protectionism and blah, blah, blah? And then also get the, you know, what am I afraid of? What am I resentful of? Where have I been self centered, etc. Am I crazy, though, so that, that second second part of the book is like, Okay, here's the process, first refrain from doing anything, until you get your head screwed on straight. And then reflect. And that is reflect on my part, what is it about me? What is about my background? What is it about? You know, what's my trigger here? How can I own this, so that I can feel like I have some power in healing it, you know, with help. And then we get to the release phase, where, in this person, she been caretaker in her home, she was the oldest. And so she was pissed off at her sister from chipping in, but she never asked her sister to chip in. And she, so you know, she, she did some of those things like seeing what she loved about her sister, imagining that in her mind, seeing the goodness in her sister. You know, even forgiveness work is really a lot about the same stuff, regardless of how you frame it. Whether it's a God thing or not, it's letting go of feeling awful towards someone or about someone right? And given them a break. And a big concept us is that you have the same beautiful center of divine spark in you, as I do. Right? Wait, we each all have that. So when I choose to stop being pissed off at you, I can choose to look at that beautiful, true self that you have. That is your essence. Maybe you weren't able to be operating out of it at the time. But I can see that I don't have to hate I can just like the behavior but I don't have to hate the you have you the true you. And then people ask me, Well, wait a minute, what about boundaries? Am I open my heart? People don't walk all over me?
Joe Van Wie 33:21
Yeah, that's tough. I bet you feel that a lot. Because, you know, it's a common topic. It's a common topic for people. You know, if I had to pick a pattern of people I hear getting scared, and I'm not talking about people. Like, I always have to hedge this. Okay, if you're the victim of severe trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, I'm at no point trying to describe to embrace your persecutor. What I think what I'm trying to say, I don't see people really flourish in an idea of recovery. If they're not open to the idea of forgiveness. And the idea use you describe the idea and the task of forgiveness is letting go that a broken person broke you. And you've gone in every direction for justice or retribution or you buried it and this pain is only been treated by addiction. What do you have to lose? Like let's look for forgiveness, almost tactically. Like Like, do you want to be in this pain? Try try this work from this book, your book, The exercises. I find it very useful. I just had a discussion before we got on here a kicking around resentment for about three weeks. And I am talking to my my sponsor mentor, is yeah, you're past step 10. Call me back when you're right. You're gonna have to write this one. And here's your book. Your books have really good pick got way to do an inventory. It's say he got used to classic inventories in context to people maybe not recovery listening. It's it's the real transformative work in any recovery community be Alcoholics Anonymous Narcotics Anonymous, smart recovery as a way to confront these relationships, Dharma and refuge recovery, have inventories. GGS book, books describe these these inventories to really delve in. It's a real simple approach, it puts pen to paper. And it involves you connected with another human being that's going to be non judgmental of this whole process. And I think it's a refreshing approach. And it puts novelty back in something that keeps us alive. An idea of Yeah. So thank you. That was really interesting, especially that example you used, I mean, here's something most of us are going to confront if your parents are alive, that you never consider a plan for, like, unless you're really, you know, healthy. It's just the day arrives, and someone needs to be cared for. And it's hard. And it's never a good time. And especially if they're siblings, we're going to start, you know, putting stars on the board who's doing what? To talk about it, like, how does someone talk about it? Like that's, that's really hard stuff that that's a really, that, that's a very helpful example to use.
Dr Gigi Langer 36:34
Oh, thanks. Thank you.
Joe Van Wie 36:37
So what, what else has been going on in your life besides writing? Like, how do you take a break and step down after books complete, like BC just doing the peak podcast? That takes that's a whole, that's a whole dynamic process from Writing, Publishing? And then, you know, PR going out speaking of the book doing the PR? How does this how do you come down? How are these different phases different? Like, how do you feel? What's the tone in your mind from writing, then you go to the book, there's an accomplishment, the books complete, but there's got to be an energy and a vibe to go out there and share this with people?
Dr Gigi Langer 37:23
It's a great question. Because while you're in the process of creating, it's exciting, you know, I have editors, people in the energy of Creation, polishing it and making it better, and then having people read it and give feedback and polishing it again. You know, I love doing things like that. So I was very absorbed, I was never exhausted or resentful about the time. And then I finished it, you know, early February, and launched it. And then I start sort of staying in the same schedule of doing things, except doing more of a, you know, marketing. And, and I love doing podcasts because I get to meet people that Q is so great. And it's really not about selling the book. It's about connecting and talking about recovery, and how do we all get better. But I have to tell you, about three or four weeks ago, I started having this hissy fit about I was in the habit of what do I need to do next? What should I be doing now? And that was great lie really got old. And I started having a resentment toward that. And it's, you know, it's another layer of healing for me. Yeah. And just at that time this I love unity churches. I've never been a Unitarian, but I'm talking about unity. What's your nature is this this unity of Naples? Okay, but it's a there unity churches everywhere and they're very recovery friendly. Anyway, this one I'm doing it online, but it's it's a Lenten thing. And she has daily meditation. So that has been your worst sort of fasting against the negative talk and feasting, the security of God or love taking care of them, taking care of everything and everything's fine. So and then I went to a retreat this last weekend, which was really helpful to go another little layer deeper. So I've been writing this for around and then today was another little layer so it's interesting you asked I I really think that my own will I was exerting my own will to take care of GG is fierce thing I had to do to If I get my workout in twice a week, if I get to my meetings that I wish is good self care, but it's the motivator. Yeah, the motivator was coming from, you know, if you don't do this, no one will take care of you. And that is not a motivator I can live with anymore. I'm hitting a bottom with it.
Joe Van Wie 40:21
Yeah, that's, that's high end. Recovery. And your books help with the complexities and problems that are hard to talk about maybe in your average meeting, in the sense, I got 20 years, and I'm having problems and their luck, that will be you know, from early recovery. Wow, that's a great problem, pal. But they're, they're real. I relapsed after 14 years from not taking care of myself, and when they piled up, and a lot of that was tight schedule, not being fulfilled about things, you're spreading recovery, love and peace GGO I was doing politics, often, it was often the same thing, the same Mojo, that engine that woke up in early sobriety that kept this regiment which increased into a rigid kind of approach to I got to achieve things. It could get you sick, it could get you real sick and you lose what you've been talking this whole podcast about. What is love gonna be like, you know, most recovery communities tell you that you have a code when you're done with the their steps or their programming that they shared the same one refuge Dharma a love and tolerance is your code. That's not a cheap line. What's that gonna mean? I don't think it's, you know, love didn't bound me to the tracks of, you know, success in America, I was like, just take it easy, Joe, you're only here for a little bit. Maybe you're ignoring what's important. And for me, I've, I'm starting to see that experience in myself the last 12 months as well. Of what I think's important because it's a it's a noble quest. But my approach to it can isolate my relationships. It could cause me anxiety, and then your whispered lies, to take the Whisper lies that I that affect me, and I saw them the first time I went through the book was, that's how they start, they come from a righteous motive or good motive, and it starts whispering, if they like they call it a whisper. Until they begin.
Dr Gigi Langer 42:40
Yeah. Some, you know, I always refer to that part of the third step prayer for people in step programs, relieves me of the bondage of self, that I made better do thy will. Okay, so I believe, you know, the will, the reason we're here is to be as loving as we can, to ourselves to one another. So if my heart is closed, then I'm less able to do that. And because I'm praying to be relieved of the bondage of self, I am being shown how I am finding myself up with these old survival patterns. And by the grace of God, you know, or love it. It's a pretty gentle process. Like right now I know, I'm in the process of letting something go. I felt like I'm mashing the piece like it was before. I do have an upset. So my power, which I also know, is part of the healing. Yeah. So I feel more accepting and trusting of the process. Because I know that's what I've been seeking. Yeah, I want my heart to be open. I don't want I do want to have the barriers of self centered fear, self centered motivation. Yeah, I want that to be released. You know, so maybe that's all we're here for us to get those blockages. Yeah, out of the way.
Joe Van Wie 44:07
I don't think there's anything more interesting because, you know, any quest for enlightenment, you know, if you go back to an idea of who the Buddha was, or a Christ finding, you know, this ability to totally relinquish shelf, so what, what replaced his self was self even there, itself this way. It's like almost looking into a pond, psychologically, and seeing the reflection of your face and thinking that the reflections you it's like, the brain tricks us into thinking there's a really elaborate self love doesn't come in through my personality, or what I manufactured or it's something it's a hard problem to describe. And I've been meditating in lines of what you just said. I had a medical scare I shared with you a little while ago. And I'm an anxious guy. I've already buried myself four times three hours into not knowing what the medical problem is. I tell all my friends, I've had cancer and AIDS once I found out, I knew what they were, I just kept them on my head. Now you got this, you got these two things. Third grade just a quiet survivor of all these viruses and illnesses for 40 years of my head. But I was listening to meditation, I thought you would find interesting because it's in your verbiage and how you practice things, and one of the ways was a lot of pain. And I'm meditating just for 10 minutes. And the meditations asked me if there's discomfort, you know, Breathe it out. Now your knee you find most movement comes from pain or discomfort, even if there's a motive to go to somewhere else in the room, but you start to move, pay close attention to that, like what is it that my back's or I gotta move it or adjust in the chair, zero in on it and don't move, you know, take a risk in this meditation and you could really explore that a lot of the pain is being produced by the resistance to acknowledge it like I'm I'm clenching. And you're calling it an open and vulnerable heart in the same context physically. When I open up to the experience, what is the sensation of pressure he? itchiness move. And if I explore it, it's a lot of it gets diminished by letting it be observed. And it's a it was a good exercise to open my heart. It's okay to get hurt. Do you want to lose your guts like over that? Like, I don't know. I'm 45 I got two kids. I want more love. I don't want to be afraid of being vulnerable. It I see it as weakness. Now I feel like I'm healthy enough to see that as weakness. Being vulnerable is powerful. It's a superpower.
Dr Gigi Langer 47:09
Yeah, yeah, it sure is. And that means given up control. I did want to mention, you know, you know, Karen, who Karen Casey is, she wrote each day a new beginning, which was the first Women's Medical daily meditation book for women, published by Hazelden for women in recovery. Okay, so I saw that about 10 times, but anyway, you know, in the 80s, that's what we grew up on. So it's about women in recovery. And so she's been a big, big star in Hazelden, and so on. And I've listened to her talk several times and gotten to know her. But anyway, there's three pillars in her. Her spiritual study is A Course in Miracles. So people find different spiritual studies that work for them. But that is mine and has been since the 80s. You just went Uh huh. As an Al Anon, working Al Anon, is, I think, so essential. For what you and I have been talking about these bigger issue, you know, that Al Anon is so helpful with them. So I learned from Karen Casey, those three pillars, you know, she works, alcohol, Elena. And, of course, a miracle has her spiritual study.
Joe Van Wie 48:35
So it's funny, I mentioned that I haven't read it, but I have it on my shelf, because it was given to me about three months ago, from a woman I'm close friends with, she's been sober 30 years. And she's, she's a pillar in our backyard of a recovery community in Pennsylvania. And she got sober in the 80s. And they're her pillars. And you said that I'm like, wow, that's yeah, I gotta look into that, because I need I need more approaches. I'm in a part of my life, I have no experience in being a father, a better husband, a better partner at work. So it's, you know, these aren't the problems of early addiction, extinguish the fires, the chaos. That can't be enough. If you're going to take a real adventure of love. You have to keep making yourself vulnerable. And it's just a natural course of me. I could speaking for myself and getting to know you. My heart just wants to it's saying I'll make you safe. I'll make you safe again. We can close it. It doesn't do anything but cause more pain.
Dr Gigi Langer 49:45
Yeah, yeah. True. And if you're in recovery and not numbing ourselves, it will become obvious. And we will want to them, you know, relinquish that piece of software or self centeredness or whatever it is, so that we can open our hearts more and you know, some good, it's okay. You know, it's all okay.
Joe Van Wie 50:09
Yeah, it's counterintuitive for me. That's why I need community community makes me feel support, I realized what's going on with me, if I'm having issues. I'm like, oh, that's what I'm doing. I'm afraid of closing down, I'm relying on my my ego or inflated idea of my personality. I'm like, I've had too much pain, I've caused too many pain that I manufactured even for myself. I'm lucky to have good people around me, such as yourself, to talk about these things.
Dr Gigi Langer 50:40
That's really important. Gigi, I was gonna say, sorry, before we add one last thing about course, in miracles, it's easiest to start with Marianne Williamson book, a return to love. That is the best introduction to A Course in Miracles, it's very understandable. Whereas the text of A Course in Miracles is, rather, it's best to study it in a group, because it doesn't make obvious sense right away. So that's my tip. Marianne Williamson first.
Joe Van Wie 51:16
Books are always my favorite tips. And if a spiritual awakening, if 50% of the most like the engine, the work to a spiritual awakening is reading, we got to fit we, we got to easy break out of addiction, because I just tell some guys, you know, it might require some reading and writing and what your entire life changes. I don't know. It's sounds like an easy prescriptions to get started. So I can drive people to find your book on your website, which will be linked here. And they could also find both books on Amazon as well.
Dr Gigi Langer 51:50
Right? Right. Yeah. Yeah, I'll put them in the show notes like you usually do. Oh,
Joe Van Wie 51:56
he's always GG. Is there anything I should have asked you that maybe I didn't cover?
Dr Gigi Langer 52:08
I think one thing that can make people maybe not want to commit to recovery, or even therapy is they're afraid this bad stuff all inside of them is going to come out all at once in a big, gushing flow and overwhelm them and drive them crazy. And my experience from the experience of many, many others is that it comes out in a very manageable flow only as much as we can handle at a time when we have people around us and in our working in trusting some kind of a higher power, that the healing is regulated has never been overwhelming.
Joe Van Wie 52:49
That's great advice. That's a great advice that that could help someone that's hesitating to go in a direction. GT was great catching up with you again. And I'll be talking to you soon. I'll be I'll be waiting for the third book. I might have you come back on and maybe next show. Let's do an exercise. We'll do an exercise. That'd be cool. I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better to find us on all better.fm 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 https://otter.ai