TRICIA LEWIS & ME: RECOVERY HAPPY HOUR PODCAST “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”

Thanks to Tricia Lewis for featuring me on her very cool PODCAST, Recovery Happy Hour. Tricia was emotionally and physically addicted to alcohol and took her last drink in November of 2016. As she says, “a life without booze is so much better than I ever imagined.” 

TRICIA’S OPENING TO THE RECOVERY HAPPY HOUR EPISODE

“How often do you get the chance to talk with someone who has almost 35 years of sobriety?? What an episode to end the year on!

On Episode 118, we’re talking with Gigi Langer, PhD. Her recovery began with a 12 Step program but the healing came with tons of other modalities over the last few decades. This is an episode jam packed with resources, so make sure you check out the show notes for links! Also, I talked about our “sliding doors” moments in today’s introduction, and how one decision to quit drinking can change the outcome of your life in ways beyond your comprehension.

TO LISTEN TO ME ON RECOVERY HAPPY HOUR, JUST CLICK HERE

https://recoveryhappyhour.libsyn.com/118-its-a-wonderful-life-gigi?fbclid=IwAR2vVPfUsClXXlVcWifpo-2wP8lKqSncrN9ko7Rd8VM4bcgjdrvBqbzFTPM

A BIG ANNIVERSARY!

I’m so grateful to announce that on January 11th, I celebrated 35 years of continuous sobriety. What a gift! But I’ve had to work for it through meetings, reading, service, and praying & meditating. The biggest contributors, however, have been my sponsors who helped me work the 12 steps, and my female “posse” of recovering women who have stuck by me through think and thin. In addition to these wonderful influences, I’ve had lots of help from therapists, mastermind partners, Unity church, energy workers, and doctors. The biggest “thank you” of all goes to my Higher Power, who has restored me to my true spiritual self.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.9 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS!

DO YOU HAVE FEELINGS THAT JUST CARRY YOU AWAY AND COLOR YOUR WHOLE WORLD GRAY? Don’t worry! Such feelings are often created by fearful thoughts that aren’t even true.

SO, HERE’S THE TRUTH: We don’t have the means to make people and things exactly as we want them. We just aren’t that powerful.

For example, we live in the wreckage of our future (“Its going to be awful!”) or we create “unenforceable rules” (“This should (or should not happen”). Often, we try to change the past by thinking how it “could have” been better.

Such thoughts are driven by the fear-driven belief that, if we just think long and hard enough, we can protect ourselves (and our loved ones) from pain and harm.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: We can find peace of mind and contentment in the midst of our fearful feelings and thoughts. Why? BECAUSE WE CAN CHOOSE WHAT FILLS OUR MIND.

HOW? Meditation, walks outside, stretching, yoga, prayer, reading or watching inspiring books/movies, 12-step work, spiritual practices, energy work, and thought-correction can all soothe our most difficult feelings. Good healthy friends or counselors really help too.

When we get still and listen to our inner wisdom (or that of another), we receive the comfort of ACCEPTANCE (non-attachment to specific outcomes). Further, we find ways to address those problems that still bother us—IF they are still bothering us (quite often, they’ve shrunken down to nothing!).

NEXT TIME YOUR FEELINGS are having a hissy fit, stand apart from them for a moment to recognize they’re mostly a result of inaccurate and disturbing thoughts. Then, ask yourself, “What healthy actions can I take to soothe my mind and body?” And then, do that!

PLEASE SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS OF SOOTHING UPSET FEELINGS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. THANKS!!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

REVIEW by Karen Casey, best-selling author of Each Day a New Beginning (Hazelden) “Even though I have been in recovery for more than 4 decades, and didn’t think another self-help book would make it to my treasured list, I was wrong. This book is a winner.”

Mistaken Identity, The Sacred Journey from Addiction to Awakening by Paul Noiles

I just finished reading an advance copy of Paul Noiles’ amazing book, and it’s AWESOME!

I met Paul on social media and loved his expressive and honest writing. After discovering we shared recovery from addiction,  we started reading one another’s blogs and posts. When Paul mentioned he was writing a book, I jumped at the chance to encourage another writer to take on such a great challenge.

My Review of Mistaken Identity

Soon, Paul sent me a manuscript which was full of heart and wisdom; but, like so many early drafts of brilliant books, it needed editing and tightening. My good friend (and the editor of my book) Anita LeBlanc (at TheWriteWord.com) worked on Paul’s manuscript, and I’m so happy to see that it’s finally ready for prime time!

I’ve read several books about addiction, but this one is much much more than that! Although Paul tells his story of recovery beautifully, the book’s greatest gift is how it leads us to discover the light of our true being.

Noiles believes that addiction is caused by deep emotional pain that creates an unlovable “mistaken identity.” Through recovery, gifted mentors, meditation, and a variety of spiritual practices, we grow into our “true identity” to be a beacon of love in this world.

Paul’s use of experts, research, personal stories, and transformative practices make for a fascinating read about addiction, rebirth, and joyful living. I highly recommend it!

An Excerpt: Ego vs. Love

Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from Mistaken Identity. I love it because it depicts the choice we can make between ego (fear, self-centeredness, dishonesty, resentment) and love (soul, peace, compassion, care).

As you probably know by now, my constant goal is to reduce ego’s influence and increase love’s influence in every aspect of  life. Paul’s book offers such inspiration and guidance for our spiritual journey to the best center of our selves.

“Ego seeks to serve itself. Soul seeks to serve others.

Ego seeks outward recognition. Soul seeks inner authenticity.

Ego sees life as a competition. Soul sees life as a gift.

Ego seeks to preserve self. Soul seeks to preserve others.

Ego looks outward. Soul looks inward.

Ego feels lack. Soul feels abundance.

Ego is mortal. Soul is eternal.

Ego is drawn to lust. Soul is drawn to love.

Ego seeks wisdom. Soul is wisdom.

Ego enjoys the prize. Soul enjoys the process.

Ego is the cause to pain. Soul is the cause of healing.

Ego rejects God [Spirit]. Soul embraces God [Spirit].

Ego is me. Soul is we.”

From Mistaken Identity, The Sacred Journey from Addiction to Awakening, by Paul Noiles.

PAUL NOILES is a unique teacher who believes all addictions are about the pain of not liking and knowing our innate truth and our solution – an awakening of consciousness. He writes with depth, uncomplicated clarity, courage, vulnerability, and honesty rarely seen in the world today. His raw, intimate sharing of his experiences restores hope for many in the grips of addiction. Paul is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition.

Paul Noiles, Recovery Coach – Awakening Coach, Consciousness Author, and Motivational Speaker   C:   306 880 0816 E-mail:   noiles.paul@gmail.com Website: www.paulnoiles.com

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. 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.

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.


Sober Friends: Essential for Women’s Recovery!

Ann Arbor Women's Group logo

The relapse rate for women after substance-abuse treatment is way too high; some experts estimate 22-40% .

One of the best ways to maintain freedom from drugs and alcohol is to find SOBER friends .

Why New Sober Friends?

If she’s anything like I was 34 years ago, a newly sober woman has only a few friends, usually a male partner and a few female drinking (or drugging) buddies. Since these people likely will continue “partying,” she needs new healthy friends to hang out with. Also, she may have limited funds, making it difficult to pursue healthy, fun activities.

To fill this need, a group of us formed a non-profit corporation, the Ann Arbor Women’s Group (A2WG), to connect sober women through fun and informative events, workshops, and retreats. We sponsor low-cost monthly events in Southeast Michigan with ample scholarships and transportation.

A2WG’s Miraculous Beginning

Our founder noticed that newly sober women had no idea what to do with their weekends, so she asked them to join her at women’s professional basketball games. Afterwards, they’d go out for coffee and pie. Thus, the vision was born.

In 2006 we offered our first three-day retreat on the shores of Lake Huron, and many participants attended for only a fraction of the cost.

Later that year, while standing in line to buy a speaker tape at the AA International Women’s Conference in Detroit, our founder shared her vision with the young woman behind her who replied, “You’ve got to meet my mom! She’s gonna love this!”

Up they went in an elevator to the mother’s hotel room in the glass-tubed Renaissance Center. Upon hearing the idea, the mother asked for a proposal and soon sent us our first grant. This same foundation (along with many community and private donors) has supported our programs for almost 14 years. Amazing!

How We Operate

We have a nine-person Board of Directors and one part-time employee in charge of communications, social media, website, event coordination, and fundraising campaigns. Each board member works with our employee to organize one or two monthly events and to keep our organization running smoothly.

Many of our events are sobriety-enhancing workshops (e.g., meditation, journaling, staying sober during the holidays). Others are fun social activities (e.g., hiking, movie, horseback riding, family lake picnic, ziplining). We offer transportation to all our events for the many women who need it.

Our premier yearly event, a three-day retreat on the shores of beautiful Lake Huron, is facilitated by a professional recovery retreat leader. To maximize access, fully one-third of the 60 women attend on a scholarship, paying only a small fee. At these retreats, women forge lasting sober friendships and gain valuable tools to strengthen their sobriety.

One of our most expensive, but vital, services is providing childcare for two 12-step weekly meetings. We hire Red-Cross-certified child-care workers who offer parents a safe place for their children while attending recovery meetings (or some of our other events) .

Since our primary sponsor covers only a portion of our expenses, we work quite hard to raise money through grant-writing, bake-sales, Giving Tuesday, and our many generous donors. Finally, we engage in a yearly fundraising comedy show for the entire community.

In case you’re wondering, we honor the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Traditions by remaining unaffiliated with any particular AA meeting or structure. Our non-profit corporation is operated the same way a club rents out space for meetings, but is separate from AA. This independence allows us to raise money, receive grants, and perform other fiscal transactions.

You Could Do This Too!

If you want to help early-recovery women find new sober friends, here are a few ways to begin.

Keep it simple by organizing a movie night, hike, or some other low-cost, fun activity. Then offer similar events every month or so.

Advertise by sharing flyers and making “non-AA related announcements” at meetings. (You don’t want anyone to feel excluded; so it’s not “by invitation only.” )

-Have people register by calling the organizer. Get their emails and start a mailing list.

-As you get a core group of reliable volunteers, you might appoint a Treasurer and create a bank account.

-When your group is ready, offer a one-day local retreat to learn how to manage logistics, food, and other tasks. We usually present a recovery-topic in the morning, have lunch, and then lead a fun activity like drumming, yoga, or meditation in the afternoon.

-If you wish, you could offer a weekend retreat (Friday evening through Sunday noon) at a beautiful location. Select a qualified leader from one of your groups. Offer 90-minute sessions Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, with a fun “No-Talent Show” on Saturday night. Conduct a healing ritual on Sunday morning, and have people share what they’ve gained from the retreat. And, voila! You’ve done it!

-If you want to register as a non-profit organization, you’ll need to form a Board of Directors, create by-laws, and apply to the IRS. This will enable you to do fundraising to sponsor scholarships for those in need.

Get Started Now!

With Covid-19 inhibiting face-to-face events, you have some time to begin planning activities to help women find sober friends. Perhaps forward this article to some women willing to work on this idea. Then meet at a coffee shop to decide which events you’ll plan for this spring or summer.

If your group turns out to be “higher-powered,” as is ours, you’ll be amazed by the joy you’ll receive from this service activity.

I’m SO grateful for the privilege of watching women who started out feeling disconnected and afraid grow into confident, productive mothers, citizens, and employees. It is a true gift!

To learn more about the Ann Arbor Women’s Group, check out our website at a2womensgroup.org. Maybe even make a donation while you’re there! We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. 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.

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.