A SPIRITUAL SOLUTION

Today I gave a talk about “Ours Is A Spiritual Solution” at a luncheon with 480 recovering women from the Detroit area. That felt like a really big deal to me because 480 is a big crowd!

I was so worried it wouldn’t be “good enough,” so I prepared like crazy. I made notes and prayed my ass off that I would be able to say the right things.

But I knew my main job was to show up as spiritually fit as possuible. So, I went to more meetings than usual, prayed constantly, and meditated every day.

All week I asked my friends to pray for me, and last night I sent out a “Hail Mary” to my FaceBook friends, asking for prayers. The responses were so inspiring, and the prayers worked!’

Today was the big day, and when I arrived, I went into the handicapped bathroom stall, checked my notes, and said a prayer. Then, we all ate lunch. As dessert was being served, my sponsor and a friend joined me in that same bathroom stall to pray together. (That handicapped stall was starting to feel like my own private office!!).

When I got up to talk, I was amazed, as God did for me what I could not do for myself: I felt relaxed and enjoyed giving the talk; I even got a few laughs from the group. Afterward, I was so relieved that many people said it was inspiring.

Once again, God pulled the rabbit out of the hat, and showed us all that—no matter how big the challenge—ours IS a spiritual solution. Amen!

Once again, thanks to my friends for your prayers and encouragement!

PS. The committee made a recording and I’ll be sure to share the link tomorrow when they post it on RecoveredCast.com.

Gigi Langer is the author of award-winning 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, 4.8 stars on Amazon. Available in paperback, e-book, or audiobook. Purchase at https://GigiLanger.com/buy

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.

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.

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.

AND, 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, 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, PhD. Many years ago, I used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe my frayed nerves. When I quit drinking, I was left with only my fears and worries. Over time, I discovered effective tools from therapy, recovery pro­grams, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings.

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how I and others have defeated the faulty thinking leading to dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addiction, and worry about loved ones. It contains practical strategies with directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (48 reviews) (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

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.”

LISTENING: AN ART GUIDED BY THE HEART

talk at barbecue

In your relationships, are you really listening?

Do you try to understand the other person’s point before offering your own ideas?

Giving your complete attention to another person’s words offers him a treasure—a sincere gesture of care. Unfortunately, most of us respond to our loved ones either by telling stories about our own past or offering solutions.

Both types of responses prevent seeking to understand first, perhaps the most important of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Listening from the Heart

When in a conversation with someone, open your heart, empty your mind, and listen. If you notice yourself thinking about your own past, refocus your attention on what he is saying. If you’re tempted to suggest solutions, remind yourself that actively listening is your goal.

To show your intent to understand, briefly summarize what you think you heard. After that person’s reply, summarize again.

Listening in this way not only shows that you care—it also invites the person to clarify his own thoughts and feelings, often leading to helpful insights. Perhaps the initial “problem” is something else entirely.

For example, if a friend tells you she’s worried about losing her job because her boss constantly criticizes her, tune in, breathe, and resist the urge to tell your own tale about a bad boss. Then paraphrase her words: “It sounds like you get a lot of negative responses from him.” Your friend replies, “Well, it’s not really criticism. It’s just that he has such high expectations.” Then you summarize (without giving advice), “Hmmm, high expectations. Tell me more about those high expectations.”

Responding in these ways elicits her feelings and encourages more detail, allowing both of you to explore the problem before seeking positive ways to address it.

Try It Out!

 1.  Select a friend or coworker who’s easy to talk to, and plan a 15-minute conversation without interruption.

 2.  You may want to begin by explaining that you’re working on your listening skills and reassure the person you have only good intentions—to understand what they say.

 3.  Ask the person to begin talking about something happening in their life. Listen intently while resisting your urge to break in with your own experiences or solutions.

 4.  When the person stops, pause to see if they’ve finished talking and take a moment to prepare your response. Select the most important parts of what was said and summarize one of them in your own words—for example, “So, you said (fill in blank). Tell me more about that” or “You mentioned the word (fill in blank). What does that mean to you?” TIP: If you’re talking less, and they’re talking more, then you’re doing great!

 5.  If it seems acceptable to the other person, at the end of the conversation, ask how it felt to be listened to this way.

Make It A Habit

In your everyday interactions, make a conscious effort to listen carefully to others and paraphrase what you heard. Withhold your own thoughts and reactions until you fully comprehend the other person’s position or experience. You will be amazed by the good will you create (and what you learn about the other person!)

Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is an acclaimed teacher, author, and speaker who has helped thousands improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, although she does occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels. She lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Meet My Buddy, Harriet Hunter

Harriet Hunter and I met online through a FaceBook group for writers. We hit it off immediately and began to exchange e-mails and encourage one another.

You see, we were each about to launch our books. And we couldn’t stand the excitement! I offered to do an advance review of “Miracles of Recovery,” and my glowing words now appear on the back cover!

This book is a wonderful gift for anyone in recovery.

I read it every day.

If you’d like a sample, listen to the recording below as Harriet Hunter reads “The Gift of Faith.”

I know you’ll love her infectious enthusiasm for life.

To get more wonderful blogs and daily recordings, go to HarrietHunter.org and sign up!

One day, Harriet emailed me about a book fair she was attending about three hours from me. We decided to share a table to showcase our books. We had never met face-to-face until that weekend, and we became fast friends immediately!

Get to know Harriet through her wonderful website, HarrietHunter.org She’s a star!