HOW AND WHY I PRAY–A LOT!

worry less now prayBefore I got sober, I didn’t pray, unless you count uttering in desperation, “Help me!”  Even though I I didn’t know what it meant, I memorized the Lord’s prayer, just to fit in at my best friend’s church. I had no idea that connecting regularly with a Higher Power could solve my troubles and fears.

Six Reasons to Pray

These days, I pray a lot. Here’s why it helps, according to my favorite author, Karen Casey.

“(1) Prayer promises relief when we are anxious.

(2) Prayer connects us with our Higher Power when we feel isolated and full of fear.

(3) Prayer frees our minds from the obsession to plan other people’s lives.

(4) Prayer helps us take action when we feel compelled to change the circumstances of our lives.

(5) Prayer becomes a wonderful resource to draw on when living through our painful moments.

(6) And prayer gives us the willingness to accept God’s solution for every problem that plagues  us.” (from Karen Casey’s A Life of My Own)

My friends say that praying is asking, and meditation is listening to the God of our understanding. So, in addition to prayer, I meditate to gain all the wise direction I can get! (I also attend meetings, do service work, and read inspiring spiritual texts to keep myself balanced and stress-free).

Prayer and Meditation

In the past few years, I’ve stepped up my prayer and meditation because of one of the scariest challenges of my life: writing and publishing a very revealing self-help book. I often say, “God made me do it” because I found myself running up the stairs with enthusiasm to write. And I found just the right people to help me publish it.

Last February, I released the paperback and e-book of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection. Recently, several people have requested an audio version of the book. As soon as I decided to record it, I was filled with fear and resistance. It just seemed like too  much work!

The Prayer of Jabez

That’s when I remembered The Prayer of Jabez, a small book my sister-in-law sent me several years ago. The prayer comes from this Bible verse: “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one.’ And God granted his request.” (1 Chronicles 4:10, NIV)

I’ve adapted it to the following four steps. (If you use the prayer, feel free to substitute your own word for “God.”)

1) God’s blessings. I ask for God’s blessings and thank Him for the good things I already have.

2) Expansion of territory. I ask that God enlarge the number of people who benefit from my words and actions.

3) The presence of God’s hand. I ask for God’s power and guidance to serve the many new people reading and listening to my words.

4) Protection from harm. I ask God to protect me from negative thinking and selfish motives–that I remain open to do His will, not my own.

It’s just the right prayer to overcome my fears about making an audio book. I’ve read several articles on how to do this, and it requires quite a bit of equipment, patience, and time. But, I know it will do the most good if I record it in my own voice. So, here we go. . . Let’s call in all that power and courage!

A Request for Your Good Thoughts and Prayer

I plan to start on December 1st. Please wish me luck in this endeavor, as I continue to pray for blessings, increased readership, power to serve my new readers, and protection from fear and doubt. Thanks to all of you for your support, and thank You, God, for this adventure!

Worry Less Now by Gigi LangerGigi Langer is the author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection. 5 Stars on Amazon and winner of the Indie Excellence Award. Get 20% off here with promo code 20lessnow. (No discount at Amazon or e-books)

Worry Less Now bookGigi had a long career teaching and writing in education. She holds a PhD from Stanford University in Psychological Studies in Education, and has been clean and sober for 32 years.

GRATITUDE FOR MY ELECTRONIC FRIENDS!

gratitude worry less nowI’m hoping you’re finding many things in your life that evoke gratitude. It’s the key to happiness and it’s so simple–to focus on what we have rather than on what we lack. It’s like flipping a switch. “Ooops, I’m seeing the negative; I switch my focus to goodness.”

This year, my heart fills with gratitude for so many people and things. First, my dear, kind, fun, husband, Peter. We’ve had 29 wonderful years together.

Next, my family: brother, sisters, and their spouses, children, and grandchildren. Always loving and supportive of my life adventures.

I cherish the dear friends who’ve shared my childhood, school-years, adulthood, and especially my 32 years of recovery. You all are my best cheerleaders!

Some say that such family & friends function as “God in skin.” They stream love into our lives and we do the same for them.

I always thought these “angels” needed to be physically present in my life. But this year, I discovered thousands of “electronic” angels–my website and FB friends who react with such enthusiasm and appreciation to the words I write.

Ironically, I made these heart-connections purely “by accident.” While publishing my latest book (50 Ways to Worry Less Now), I found most marketing experts suggested using social media.

So I began to post articles on spirituality and recovery in FB groups. Soon, I had many followers whose insightful comments and compliments encouraged me to continue.

As the numbers grew, I saw my FB feed fill up with uplifting posts. Reading my new friends’ words became one of the joys of my life. 

So, this Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of my electronic and in-person friends for sharing your blessings of loving connection so generously. Thank you for enriching my life greatly!

PS: Want to support my FB author page? Just click  here  and click “like” below the book photo.

Worry Less Now bookGigi Langer is a former “Queen of Worry” who  holds an MA in Psychology and PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is a popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, and lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

worry less nowGIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE AND INSPIRATION
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How to Beat Pre-Holiday Stress

worry less now stressA lot of friends are saying their energy has deserted them, perhaps due to the shorter days and Daylight Savings in the U.S. And yet, there’s SO much to get done before the holidays.

And,  by the way, how can Thanksgiving be only one week away?? At this time of the year, we too easily fall prey to pre-holiday stress.

The thought “There’s too much to do!” puts us into a tailspin of worry. Then more negative thoughts follow, for example, “How can I get everyone to get along?” and “I’ll never find the right gifts!”  As the worries mount, our problem solving abilities fly out the window, leaving us even more tense and upset.

How can you overcome your own pre-holiday stress? Over many years of working with my own worries, I’ve discovered four life strategies to help you access wisdom and peace, even when the pressure mounts. They’re explained in Chapter 1 of my award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity and Connection.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFERS for “Worry Less Now:” 20% off with promo code 20LESSNOW or get 50% off your 2nd copy from 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving 11/22 through midnight Monday 11/26. Click here for both offers. [Also available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and e-book vendors.]

You may have pre-holiday stress around questions such as, “Which events are most essential for me and my family?” “Whom should I invite and when?” “How will I handle the shopping and mailing?” The best answers to such questions come from using these four strategies and their associated tools.

1. Get Honest. First, I need to  admit to myself that I’m a little rattled.  Years ago, my worries flew under the radar, unacknowledged.  I knew I was tense, but didn’t want to face it, so I used drugs, alcohol, overwork, or sex to avoid my feelings. Those are all dead-ends that stop growth in its tracks.

I gain self-honesty most easily when I can share my struggles with healthy friends. Journal writing helps too; when my fears are out on page, they don’t seem insurmountable. But I don’t stop there and wallow in my fears; I move on!

2. Claim Positive Power. When I admit that stress has taken me over, I turn to a power greater than my fearful thinking. I no longer have to motivate myself with fearful thoughts. Instead, my best guidance comes from a higher, wiser place.

You may be thinking, “Oh, man, here we go with that higher power stuff.” Power and wisdom come from many sources, and it’s up to you to find your own. You might use terms such as courage, God, universal truth, soul, providence, true self, angels—it doesn’t matter, as long as proves to be stronger than your fear. (For more, see “When Willpower Just Isn’t Enough”)

The trick is to trust that a powerful part of you is wise enough to handle the unknown challenges that arise around the holidays. To access this higher self, try praying, meditating, or immerse yourself in nature, beauty, or uplifting reading.

3. Choose Your Future. If you’re thinking your holiday challenges are just too much, it’s time to create assertive images of how you want to feel and act. For example, if you’re anticipating conflict and drama during Thanksgiving dinner, you might imagine the scene, and affirm, “I am civil to the others, and I can take a break or leave at any time.”

The responsibility for your own peace of mind rests squarely with you, regardless of other people’s behavior. So, as you anticipate thorny issues, continuously visualize how YOU want to be in those situations. But, just stating a desire isn’t sufficient; you’ll need to use specific practices to keep your mind on a positive track.

4. Use Growth Practices. I don’t know about you, but my mind goes first to the worst-case scenario (it’s trying to help me survive by anticipating bad things). That’s why I need powerful tools to change my thinking.

I love the image of my worries being “dissolved” in this affirmation by J. Sig Paulson of Unity. When I’m stressed out or in the grip of fear, I repeat it over and over. [As you read it, feel free to substitute your own word for “God.”]

“The activity of God is the only power at work in my mind, heart, and life. All false beliefs, all negative appearances are dissolved right now by the loving, forgiving action of God. I am whole, strong, and free as God created me to be.”

I also recommend connecting daily with your inner wisdom by meditating, talking with supportive friends, and walking outdoors. Your own tools for achieving peace of mind might differ, but they will always lower the volume of your worries and resentments so you can offer caring actions, thoughts, and words.

When doubts and pre-holiday stress threaten your happiness, these four strategies will allow you to make great decisions for yourself and your family:  1) Honesty: “Here’s what’s going on inside me.” 2) Power: “I claim courage and intuitive direction.” 3) Choices: “This is how I want to be, and I’m going for it!” 4) Growth Practices: “I’m actively connecting with loving power to dissolve my fears and gain wise direction.”

worry , recovery, sanity

Gigi Langer, PhD.  Based on her work in psychology and personal experience in therapy, recovery, and a variety of spiritual teachings, Gigi is a sought-after speaker, retreat leader, and award-winning writer and professor.  She co-authored five books for educators before releasing 50 Ways to Worry Less Now in early 2018.

Don’t Let Fear Sabotage Your Dream

worry less nowDo you have a dream or goal,  but you just can’t get yourself to pursue it? Every time you think about working on it, you find tons of reasons to put it off, or tell yourself you just can’t do it.

In short, you sabotage your dream in spite of your passion for it. It’s a horrible feeling: you’re inspired to do something but too afraid to actually do it.

I’ve been there.  In 2011, I suddenly had a desire to write a book to help people overcome negative thinking. As I wove together my personal stories, techniques, and exercises, I hit more than a few blocks. Fortunately, I was able to complete a first draft with support from other authors and an energy therapist.

After an editor and some other readers suggested major changes to my first draft, fear almost sabotaged my dream by whispering, What if the changes ruin it? How could I possibly do that much rewriting?  Would it ever be “good enough?” What will happen when I share so many personal details about me and my family?

Recently, I ran across a journal entry from that time in 2015. My writing had come to a halt and I was seeking a way forward.

Providence Moves

W.H. Murray wrote, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”

Providence moved when I found four questions that freed me up to pursue my dream (the questions may be from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield). Here are the answers I wrote to those questions.

What painful ideas are keeping me from finishing my book?

– I’ll miss out on lots of fun

– I hate the idea of marketing after I finish

– It might not be good enough

– I dread the publishing process

What pleasure can be gained from finishing it?

– Doing what I’m probably here for: teaching kindness and love

– Finding out that the ideas I’ve presented have helped others

– Holding it in my hands, beautiful and complete!

– Knowing that I accomplished this monumental task

What will it cost me if I do not do this?

– I’ll feel embarassed because a lot of people know about it

– I would let down the part of me that’s inspiring me to do this

– Ego would have a victory

– I would feel self-hatred and shame

– I would continue to be jealous of other successful authors

Why is completing my book so important?

– I want others to be able to use the many concepts, tools, and actions I’ve learned so they can be free of worry/fear, and be more loving, happy, and content

– It shares who I am with readers so they can see my difficult times and be inspired to grow past theirs

– It is a useful resource-book–a compendium of many helpful tools

– I want to show myself that I can do this really challenging thing

Worry Less Now by Gigi LangerThe answers to these questions proved to be very powerful motivators. Within a year, I had completed chapters 5-7, and by 2017 I had an advance copy ready for reviewers. Then in February 2018, I released the completed book,

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great reviews and the national award “50 Ways to Worry Less Now” won. It just goes to show that fear can NOT sabotage our dreams when we have enough tools to break through it!

For specific tools to overcome negativity and worry, check out my book “50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection.” 

worry less nowGigi Langer is the former “Queen of Worry” who  holds an MA in Psychology and PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She is a popular speaker who has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, and lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.