Facebook Friends: An Author’s Treasure

facebook worry less nowI’m currently in the Facebook penalty box. Have been for almost a week. It’s the second time this month. And, guess what?!  I’m miserable because I miss connecting with my Facebook friends.

I’m the last person I ever thought would become enamored of an electronic “friendship” site.

Up until a year ago, I had used Facebook solely to connect with people I already knew. Now I spend hours every day communicating with many hundreds of like-minded people. And I love it!

Why such a change? As many of you know, eight months ago I published a self-help book to help others overcome negative thinking. It has received positive reviews and won an Indie Excellence award. But, that’s not enough to guarantee sales. A year ago, I began to learn about websites, social media, and other ways to reach people who might buy the book.

Since several marketing blogs suggested making LOTS of Facebook friends, I used my personal account to join about 15 Facebook groups related to recovery, positive thinking, mental health, and spirituality. Whenever I wrote a blog entry, I posted it in these groups. If someone commented or liked it, I sent them a friend request. After a while, I invited them to like my Gigi Langer Author page. And, voila! Suddenly, I had a few thousand friends and followers.

Here’s my big surprise: My Facebook feed, although full of strangers, became a constant stream of loving, positive, caring messages. No more political rants or disparaging remarks.

It was wonderful. But then it wasn’t.

A couple of weeks ago,  I had apparently issued too many friend invitations, so I was shut out for three days. Then this week, they gave me another time-out for posting in too many FB groups in one day. UGH!

So, why am I suffering? Because, I miss my digital friends! After one year, I find I truly care about so many of them. We pray for one another, send encouraging notes, and celebrate our victories during life’s ups and downs. We’ve shared some surprisingly honest, inspiring exchanges.

I had no idea that we could connect at the heart-level through this much-maligned medium. 

Apparently, Mr. Rogers knew it all along; he used TV to do the same thing. According to the recent movie “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” he often asked his TV audience to spend an entire minute silently thinking about people who had helped them in any way at all—a teacher, friend, grocer, server, relative, mentor, and so on. As the second-hand moves, each of us feels our heart expanding. Soon, we’re immersed in loving connection with others. By the end, everyone’s smiling.

That’s the same way I feel about many of my Facebook friends — connected at the heart. Thank you, Facebook!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer
From me to you!

Gigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award. Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites. Langer holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford.

 

Why “Figuring It Out” Drains Our Energy

Whenever I’ve had a really busy, full day, I find myself without enthusiasm for “getting things done” the next day. Case in point:  last weekend I entertained on Friday, and then rested all day Saturday (I read a novel–lovely!). And even after resting, I have to say, getting back to work was a bit of a struggle. I was baffled.

Trying to Figure It Out
Often my first defense against something I don’t like is to try to figure it out. In this case, I kept wondering why I was feeling this way. Okay, it’s true, I am getting older. And marketing a book with FB conversations, weekly blog posts, monthly newsletters, ads, podcast interviews, and workshops makes for a pretty busy life. My husband’s ongoing back pain also weighs on my mind. And, I’m on a new medication. So, there’s that (-:

“Why?” Is Not A Spiritual Question
Recently I heard someone say that “Why?” is not a spiritual question. That caught my attention: perhaps my “figuring it out” is just “playing God”–trying to control things I have no control over. In a word, it’s worrying–something I know a LOT about!

So, when I notice my disturbed state of mind, I pick myself up like a hurting little child and give myself some loving care. This usually involves more meetings with loving friends, meditation, fun times with my husband, prayer, exercise, and rest—yes, rest (in spite of the committee in my head telling me I have so much to get done). As I use these tools and wait, often I get just the direction I need.

Meditation to The Rescue!
This summer, I ran into a FB video about overcoming worry by Kelly Hine. I was curious to hear what she said ; I had just written a book about it, after all. So, I did what I rarely do: put in my headphones and clicked on her video.

Kelly is beautiful inside and out; you can just feel it in her presence and words. As an Aussie, her accent is lovely; but it’s her talks and meditations on “heart-centered awareness” that have helped me through this challenging summer.

I felt so drawn to Kelly’s energy that I immediately subscribed to her Soul Space group (www.bodyandsoulretreats.com/gl2202) for a mere $20 a month. Some of you know how tight I am with money, so I must have had a really strong nudge from my gut—yes, my heart-center–to do this. One of the best decisions I’ve made!

I get free access to all of Kelly’s prior videos, talks, and meditations along with her weekly videos and monthly Sunday live mini-retreats. Also, I can pitch her a question at any time, and she’ll post a short little video about it. Amazing! Although I’m tempted, I’m not quite ready to pop for one of her Bali retreats– yes, you read that right: on the South Pacific island of Bali!!

Connecting with Energy 
Today I selected Kelly’s meditation about connecting with an unlimited source of energy. After each 20-30 minute session, Kelly asks us to write in our journal, as at that point we’re very receptive to messages from our heart-center. I wrote, “I have sufficient energy to accomplish all that God leads me to do.”

Well, that sure takes the pressure off! No more trying to figure out how to get more energy so I can accomplish all those oh-so-important things on my “to-do list” (and, yes, it’s pretty darn long!).

Suddenly, I could feel myself let go and trust the universe again. I knew that all is well, regardless of how things look on the outside. That everything is in perfect order. That I have access to unerring direction in my mind and actions. And, for the rest of the week that’s been true. Ahhh . . .Relief!

Your Ideas, Please: What are your favorite ways to connect with your own source of power and energy? I’d love to hear them. Please share your ideas in the Comments. Thanks!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer
From me to you!

Gigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award. Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.

Langer holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she has published several books for teachers and school administrators.

Happiness: Inside or Outside?

worry less now“Many of us mistakenly think happiness comes from outside ourselves. For example, when other people shower us with love, we’re happy. When the boss compliments our work, we’re happy. On the other hand, relying on our inner wisdom to tell us we’re worthy and believing we are worthy are untapped skills for most of us. It’s really only a simple change in perspective. It’s looking within, not without, for knowledge of our worth. There’s no mystery to it. We can do it. “ from A Life of My Own by Karen Casey

Karen Casey is one of my favorite writers. When I got sober, her daily meditation book, Each Day a New Beginning (published by Hazelden), saved my life by putting healthy, hopeful thoughts into my mind. And, did I ever need it!

I had grown up totally unaware of the pure goodness that I had inside me. It was covered up by sadness, feeling less than others, guilt for my crazy home-life, and shame.

Since I was unaware of my true worth, I tried to imitate others who seemed happy. I copied their “outsides,” hoping I could fix my “insides.”

I pretended to be to be smart, well-mannered, friendly, and happy–I was willing to do anything for love and acceptance. For a while, getting high grades and being a “good girl” did the trick. Then I moved on to obsessing about boyfriends and early sexual adventures–those few minutes of bliss certainly softened my awful feelings.

I was constantly seeking something outside of me to fill up the empty hole of insecurity gnawing inside me. But none of it really worked; it left me frustrated, alone, and enraged (even tho’ it took years to admit it). Finally, I discovered booze and marijuana as my “go to” method of erasing the pain of life. What a wonderful numbness it gave me.

But, eventually, even that didn’t work. My failed relationships and divorces piled up at the same rate as the degrees I earned. I became so frustrated, I finally sought help. And that’s when I realized how broken I was. 

When I walked through the doors of my first 12-step meeting, the people there saw and responded to the goodness inside me. They believed I was already worthy of love. Although I couldn’t really believe it, I clung desperately to it. I followed their suggestions, found a sponsor who loved and guided me, and awoke to the divine spark of love within and surrounding me.

Happiness comes from connecting with the divine spark within each of us. 

I have no need to imitate other peoples’ outsides because I’m so full of love and peace inside. And, when a newcomer walks through the door, I can see their true worth–just waiting to be uncovered and discovered by them.

PS For more about low self-esteem, creating an invented self, the impostor syndrome, and finding self-worth, click here.

Worry Less Now bookGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award. Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.   Langer holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she has published several books for teachers and school administrators.

 

 

STRESS and SELF-CARE: WORRY LESS NOW (Podcast Part 2)

teacher worry stressWhat’s the best 4-letter acronym for taking good care of yourself? Find the answer here as Ellen Ronald-Keene interviews me about workplace stress and self-care.

Click here  to listen to “Self-Care for Teachers” Podcast (Season 4, episodes 4 & 5 ) “Ways to Worry Less”   

Here’s what Ellen wrote to introduce the podcast:

“Listen to part 2 of my interview with Gigi Langer, an author, speaker, teacher, and educator of pre-service teachers.
Gigi has a really powerful story about her journey with fear, worry and substance abuse, which she shares in her wonderful book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity and Connection.
This is a 2-part episode because Gigi and I had so much to talk about. This episode is part 2 of the interview where Gigi shares some of the excellent techniques in her book, including the best acronym I’ve ever heard, and some fantastic book suggestions too.
Find episode here at www.selfcareforteachers.com.au/podcast and connect with Gigi at her website www.gigilanger.com and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/worrylessnow/

 

worry less nowGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, winner of the 2018 Indie Excellence Award. Available through Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book sites.

Langer holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford. As Georgea M. Langer, she has published several books for teachers and school administrators.