What’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.
“Welcome back to school!!” everyone claims. But, what about the many teachers who dread another year of stress and exhaustion?
According to a 2017 surveyby the American Federation of Teachers, 61% of teachers are stressed out, and 58% say their mental health is not good.
If you’ve been a teacher or know one, you’re painfully aware of the dangers of their work. Teacher stress takes a big toll on health, relationships, and performance, often leading to burnout and leaving the classroom.
Ellen interviewed me this summer about how the ideas in my book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection could be applied to teachers. Since I had been a middle school teacher, and worked in teacher education for 25 years, Ellen and I had a fascinating conversation.
She just released the first of a two-part podcast. Check it out here on iTunes or on Google (Our interview is Season 04, episodes 4 & 5).
Pass it on to your teacher friends, too.
Thank you, Ellen, for this opportunity to participate in your great work!!
How do you explain serendipity–those amazing coincidences that happen out of the blue; and looking back, you realize it was absolutely perfect? As much as we try to explain such events, logic defies it.
Some say serendipity is a type of coincidence where “God remains anonymous.” My sister calls it providence. Whether we call it God, true self, higher self, wisdom, spirit, or the universe, it’s tough to describe the source of such unerring guidance. (Click herefor more about sources of positive power.)
An Angel? Really??
Kasey Claytor’s The Light of Graceoffers an intriguing portrait of how serendipity might work. A newly minted angel named Grace is given four humans from different historic eras to guide. Throughout their lives, she watches over them lovingly and helps when necessary.
For example, she enters their thoughts when they pray, meditate, or savor a scene of beauty. At such moments, they often receive an uncanny insight leading to greater fulfillment and happiness.
But, Angel Grace offers other help beyond merely influencing thoughts. For example, she comes to Earth temporarily as a priest named Father Timothy (this is very unusual behavior for an angel, but she finds it necessary). Garth, one of the men under Grace’s care, is instantly drawn to this priest who inspires him when his path is temporarily blocked. After Father Timothy disappears, Grace continues to guide Garth as he becomes one of the great spiritual teachers of his time.
A Life-Changing Moment of Serendipity
Perhaps you’ve experienced the hand of serendipity as I did when I first saw Jane Stallings. As I listened to her speech at Stanford, her combination of charisma and intellect captivated me. I knew I wanted to work with her, and I soon got the opportunity. For the next years, Jane’s influence on my life was angelic.
At that time, I spent every evening at a local bar. This seemed like normal behavior to me; but not to Jane, as she often phoned at night about some work detail, only to find me less than coherent. One day, Jane looked me in the eye and gently suggested that there was something unsettled in me. Underneath those words, I heard, “There’s a part of you that’s broken, and it shows.”
Jane’s comments pierced my illusion that attracting men, earning good grades, and being well liked were hiding my pain. As I grew under her influence, I was inspired to become an educational researcher, professor, and author. But, Jane’s biggest gift was introducing me to A Course in Miracles —a spiritual teaching that opened my heart and mind to recover from alcoholism and my past wounds.
Since that time, I’ve received other serendipitous guidance. For example, running into my future husband at a meeting I only rarely attended; friends suggesting just the right editor, typesetter, and proofreader for my book; the perfect therapist at just the right time. Too many to list.
Looking back at my own human journey, l can see the mark of serendipity’s perfect order–perhaps lovingly orchestrated by the hand of my own Angel Grace. But, who really knows?
What are some of your most important serendipitous moments? I’d love to read about them!
Have you ever worked to fulfill a dream, only to have it stall? Suddenly, the specter of procrastination sets in. No progress. Just an abandoned to-do list, mocking you from its lonely spot on your desk.
Ever since I took a week off, however, my dream’s been stalled because I’ve resisted doing more “marketing”—a word I still haven’t embraced. But, as they say, “If you wrote it, you gotta promote it!”
Perhaps I was just tired after all the effort of the past year. So, I waited, rested, and practiced self-care by praying, exercising, writing in my journal, meeting with growth partners, and working on some projects with my husband, Peter.
During this time, I discovered a bonus: While procrastinating one one thing, you can get a shitload of other stuff done! Since I didn’t want to do the “big things” on my list, I did the little ones I’d been putting off. For example, that foot doctor appointment (check!) , a call to my neighbor (check!), and the book I’ve been wanting to read (check!). That all felt pretty good. But I still wasn’t working on marketing.
Here’s the practice that turned things around: the daily use of David-Ji’s meditation “Manifesting All You Desire” (on Insight Timer). As I followed his guiding words, the golden energy of my “agni” chakra dissolved all resistance, and I reclaimed my commitment to my dream: to encourage others’ happiness and growth.
Now I’m ready to go back into action by creating more ads, making a video, recording an audio-book, and scheduling more speaking engagements. Rather than seeing these actions as marketing, I now see them as connecting in care and love with others. Now, that, I can go for!
Even when we’re stuck, growth practices like these can help us gain courage and resolve our challenges in perfect order. Isn’t that great to know? Rock on!