DOES YOUR ATTITUDE NEED HEALING?

attitude healing worry less now gigi langer

This book about healing my attitude appeared at a low point in my life, and I am so grateful it did! Having moved to Michigan after grad school to marry my 3rd husband, I had no access to my favorite drug, marijuana.

Since my husband travelled for work, I started sneaking out to bars to pick up men and get high. Just in time, my grad school mentor, Jane Stallings, sent me this book: Love is Letting Go of Fear, by the founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing, Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. Filled with shame, I desperately grabbed onto it and began repeating the ideas, hoping that something could restore me to sanity.

To my astonishment, it did! Within a year, I began therapy, and soon entered recovery. I haven’t had a drink or drug for 37 years; and—miracle of miracles— I’ve been happily married to my 4th husband for 33 years! Doing the work to clean up our own negative attitude is totally worth it!

How Does It Work?

Attitudinal Healing provides support groups for people facing issues such as stress, aging, loneliness, divorce, chronic and life-threatening illness, care-giving of loved ones, bereavement, unemployment, or marriage and parenting problems.

The groups support inner growth, and help members adopt new ways to solve problems and relate to others. By applying the 12 Principles of Attitudinal Healing, one gains new attitudes so they can live in the present moment knowing that, no matter their life circumstances, they can choose to experience either peace or conflict, love or fear.

Principles of Attitudinal Healing

The Principles are not dogma. Spiritual in nature, they are nonsectarian and are offered only as tools for healing one’s attitude. The first Principle is the key: The Essence of Our Being Is Love, as it unites and flows through all the others.

  1. The essence of our being is love.
  2. Health is inner peace. Healing is letting go of fear.
  3. Giving and receiving are the same.
  4. We can let go of the past and of the future.
  5. Now is the only time there is, and each instant is for giving.
  6. We can learn to love ourselves and others by forgiving rather than judging.
  7. We can become love finders rather than fault finders.
  8. We can choose and direct ourselves to be peaceful inside regardless of what is happening outside.
  9. We are students and teachers to each other.
  10. We can focus on the whole of life rather than the fragments.
  11. Since love is eternal, death need not be viewed as fearful.
  12. We can always perceive ourselves and others as either extending love, or fearful and calling for love.

Where Have We See These ideas?

If you’ve you’re familiar with A Course in Miracles, or Twelve-Step programs, you might recognize some common attitudes or beliefs. for example, the importance of giving as a portal to receiving love. The following ideas might also resonate with your experiences.

  • We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
  • Healing and happiness are achieved by letting go of fear.
  • We grow so we can help others grow.
  • Letting go of resentments and criticism are keys to happiness.
  • Peace of mind is merely a choice, independent of external circumstances.
  • Now is the only moment we have, so we avoid living in the future or past.

In my experience, we come to live these truths through regular spiritual practice with love-based Christianity, Buddhism, or other wisdom traditions. I also attended the Attitudinal Healing Facilitator Training, and gained an even deeper understanding of how to apply the principles to live a worry-free life.

The point is to become a love-based person rather than a fear-based person, to give rather than take, and to care about others rather than criticize them. In short, we learn how to treat others as we wish they would treat us. Pretty simple, aye?

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Which of these ideas do you find appealing? Which ones are confusing to you? Just email glanger2202@gmail.com and I will read your thoughts with care & reply.

In my next book (coming out in fall, 2022), I’ll be clarifying many of these ideas and sharing how to apply them to our lives. As writing a new book is such a challenge, I’ll be using many of the ideas stated here to keep a positive attitude. Stay tuned!

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.

worry less now gigi langer

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to correct the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted, personally signed Paperback with free Workbook PDF HERE)

Awakening to Your True Self

(An excerpt from my new book, due in September)

Gigi langer worry less now

At any moment, especially when we’re quiet (or when our hearts are breaking), we can receive such glimmers of truth shining into our being, reassuring us that we are whole and safe in this life. I am so thankful for discovering the strength of my true self in a world where my heart sometimes beats to the blinding force of fear.

Who is your true self? It’s the you who knows intuitively the next right thing to do, has healthy friends to consult, can feel the pain of life and heal it, and who brings love and service to those you encounter.

How do we grow away from our fearful self and into our true self? For the past 30 years, I’ve joined with many inspired mentors to apply the teachings of the Twelve Steps and A Course in Miracles (ACIM) to every aspect of my life. My experience, and that of millions of others, suggests that we can claim our true heart and life by:

  • Opening our hearts. We are here to move away from a life dominated by fear, defenses, and criticism toward a life of love, acceptance, and compassion.
  • Connecting our hearts. As we experience our internal state tipping from love to fear, we join with others to give and receive inspiration and care.

Following these two paths has healed my most troubling problems: codependency, sexual abuse, chronic pain, divorce, worry about loved ones, perfectionism, and job stress. Now I enjoy peace of mind and serenity, no matter my circumstances. I hope awakening to your true self will bring you similar benefits.

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer, PhD has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work. She’s written several books for educators, and is a sought-after speaker and workshop leader.  Gigi holds a doctorate in Psychology in Education,  and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford.

WORRY LESS NOW GIGI LANGER

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to correct the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted, personally signed Paperback with free Workbook PDF HERE)

10 Ways to Be Positive, Like Snoopy!

Happiness Worry Less Now

Want to Be Positive, Like Snoopy and Charlie Brown???

Get over your negative habits so you can be a happy, positive force in your family, work, and world.  Here are some simple ways:

  1. Change “I can’t . . .” to → “Up until now I couldn’t . . .”
  2. Change “I always . . .“ to → “In the past I used to . . .”
  3. Don’t read email first thing in the morning. Instead, meditate, read inspiring words, journal, or pray. (One of my favorites is below.)
  4. Avoid criticism and gossip. Instead look for what’s strong, positive & good about a person or situation.
  5. Resist saying or thinking: “You should.” and “He should (or ought)”. Instead admit that you may not know best & even if you did, it’s not your job to change others.
  6. Avoid excessive drinking or drugging that’s harming your relationships, health, or safety. Instead, get into a recovery program or therapy.
  7. Be a considerate listener. When listening to another, don’t think of what you’ll say next & then respond with your own story or advice. Instead, listen with all of your mind & heart. Try to understand what the person is saying by asking for clarification, e.g., “ You mentioned (…). Tell me more about that. What was that like for you?” Listen & then probe for more detail. Talk less. Listen more.
  8. Offer smiles & random acts of kindness to neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers. You’ll feel great and so will they!
  9. Use the Loving-Kindness Practice often. Buddhists call this practice metta; it calms your mind, opens your heart to goodness and love, and helps you know the positive power within your true self. The practice also asks for the healing of your fears, worries, and negative thinking so you can serve others’ growth.

a. Read the words aloud, pause, and then read them again.

May I be at peace. May my heart remain open.

May I awaken to the light of my own true nature.

May I be healed. May I be a source of healing for all beings.

b. With one or more of your loved ones in mind, say the prayer again changing I to you: “May you be at peace. May your heart . . .

c. Next, change you to we: “May we be at peace . . .

d. Now, think of a person who is causing you worry, frustration, or pain. Use the “May you . . .” version of the prayer for this person.

Whenever you want to change a negative thought to a positive one, repeat the phrases of loving-kindness and notice how you begin to respond differently:  Patient, kind, and positive!

10. For more ideas about becoming more positive, see my award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & e-book vendors) and the blog on this site.

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer
From me to you!

Gigi Langer, PhD has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work. She’s written several books for educators, and is a sought-after speaker and workshop leader.  Gigi holds a doctorate in Psychology in Education,  and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford.

FIRST LOOK AT MY NEW BOOK, DUE THIS FALL!

You might have heard I’m writing a follow-up to 50 Ways to Worry Less Now. I am so pleased with how it’s coming along, as I’ve completed 4 of the 5 chapters.
* In late May I plan to send it to beta readers for feedback. If you wish to be an advance reader, please email glanger2202@gmail.com. * In the next months, I’ll be sharing short excerpts with you. (Feel free to provide feedback on this snippet on self-limiting patterns.) Thanks for joining the team!

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2: What Patterns Close Our Heart?
 If you’re on a growth path, chances are you’ve discovered some patterns that are bumping up against your dreams of happy relationships, success, or health. For many of us, these patterns have to do with control (referred to as “self-centered fear” in Twelve-Step programs).

The Illusion of Control
In our families of origin, it was all about staying safe, so we formed habits that kept us out of the family chaos. Some children become the high achievers. Others take care of everyone else. Still others get lost in the shuffle, hiding in the corners. Some may deflect tension and conflict with humor or distraction.

All these coping strategies rely on the illusion of control as in the whispered lie: If I do this, I will be safe. And, for many of us, these coping strategies worked pretty well in school, work, and play. But they eventually turn out to be deadly, especially to our relationships.

When we run into life challenges that seem to get worse no matter what we do, it may be spirit’s way of saying it’s time relinquish our old patterns. If we’re awake and connected with healthy advisors and friends, we can unlearn the habits that no longer serve us or our loved ones. 

Gigi’s Old Patterns
In Stage II Recovery, Earnie Larsen outlines six common patterns that sabotage our happiness because they rely on controlling people, places, and things. When I first read the list, I identified as a perfectionist, workaholic, people pleaser, and tap dancer.
-As a perfectionist, I completed an advanced degree at Stanford, but my whispered lies had me in knots of fear of failing which led to drug abuse and promiscuity.
-As a workaholic, I ignored my family and partner by spending all my time studying or working, thus the failed romantic relationships.
-As a people pleaser, I had no idea how to know or state my needs with my loved ones; I was terrified of conflict and just went along, pretending that everything was fine. No wonder I had three failed marriages.
-My tap dancer pattern had me traveling all over the world, leaving a relationship whenever I got bored, and frequently changing jobs and degree programs. I think the first time I didn’t try to skate past a commitment was with my sobriety. 

Inventory: Six Harmful Patterns
Here I list the six patterns with their associated whispered lies. You may immediately relate to some of them. But don’t worry, with help you can change them. 

The Caretaker. Caretakers feel responsible for the happiness of others; and they try to rescue people, often to the detriment of their own self-care. “I can’t be happy if everyone else isn’t okay. I can’t let anyone down; I must make things better.”

The Martyr: Martyrs believe life is a struggle and they’re the victim of an unfair world. They don’t believe they deserve fun or pleasure. “Life will never work out for me. I always lose out, no matter what I do. I can’t handle life.”

The Perfectionist. Perfectionists can’t stand making mistakes, have a low tolerance for unpredictability, and are often critical of others’ incompetence. “Everything has to be perfect for me to be okay. I can fix this if I work hard enough. I hate failure.”

The People Pleaser. People pleasers need to keep everyone else happy; so, they put their own needs last. They have trouble saying no, can’t handle conflict, and often feel hurt. They have little confidence in their own opinions. “For me to be safe, everyone must like me. I can’t object to my (friend’s/partner’s) mean words. I can’t say what I think because people will hate me.”

The Workaholic. Workaholics put the completion of tasks ahead of their relationships. They feel guilty when not working and never feel they have accomplished enough. “I must get it all done, or my life will fall apart. I can’t take time for others; there’s just too much to do.”

The Tap Dancer. Tap dancers constantly test the limits, avoid commitment, and often skirt around the truth. They always have an escape plan in case things don’t work out to their liking. “No one can pin me down; escape is my only security. I bet I can get away with this. I never could commit to recovery or therapy.”

Healing Harmful Patterns
If you can identify with any of these patterns, it’s important to recognize that each one has its strengths. For example, once you let go of needing to please everyone, you still have the gracious social skills you cultivated earlier in your life. It’s just a matter of removing the cutting side of the whispered lies with loving practices that open your heart to yourself and others.

The Twelve Steps, combined with therapy and spiritual practices, have healed these patterns in me. These days, I’m rarely caught in this loop of over-control. It is a lovely way to live!
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.

worry less now gigi langer

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to correct the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful growth tools. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted, personally signed Paperback with free Workbook PDF HERE)