Today we’re traveling to Michigan to chat with Gigi Langer. She and I discuss how marriage, hitchhiking, meditation, chocolate, and Kermit the Frog fit into Gigi’s past and present life. Get comfy as this one is wide open with raw truth and authenticity.
Tell us a bit about you.
I was born west of Chicago (Oakbrook/Hinsdale), went to college at University of Colorado, got married, and taught Spanish and French near Denver. In 1973 I divorced my first husband and had a series of adventures with my second husband in Brazil, Hawaii, and Germany. After dissolving that marriage, I spent four years at Stanford completing a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education. I got through it only by getting high every night. In 1982, I settled in Michigan with my third husband and began my 25-year stint teaching in Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education.
By 1984, I was deeply unhappy and escalated my use of marijuana and alcohol. After one particularly embarrassing episode, I went to a psychologist to find out why I couldn’t be happy. That began a long road of recovery, therapy, and a variety of other healing experiences. After 25 years, I retired and began writing “Worry Less Now” where I explain practical tools I discovered to help me heal.
I’m now 33 years clean and sober and just celebrated 30 years of happy marriage with Peter, my fourth husband. PS: I don’t have any children because I couldn’t stay married long enough! Maybe this book counts!!
In which genre do you write?
How many published books do you have?
I’m the co-author of five books aimed at teacher education and improvement. This is my first personal non-fiction book.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
My latest book began as a memoir chronicling my three short marriages, career as a professional horseback rider, and adventures hitchhiking across the north of Spain–all before I turned 38. My wise fourth husband suggested that, instead, I write a self-help book with “all those helpful things you say when you counsel people on the phone.” At that point, Worry Less Now was born. Throughout the six-year writing journey, the right people showed up at just the right time to make the book interesting, practical, attractive, and clear.
What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?
I meditate before I write so I can get the inspiration and clarity to flow.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
It’s full of inspiring vision boards, notes and gifts from friends, family pictures, a comfy chair & desk, and some of my favorite stuffed animals.
What are you currently reading?
JoJo Moyes is so much fun– light and entertaining. I’m reading her series of three books about caring for a man she fell in love with and her adventures afterward.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
As a person in recovery, I attend 12-step meetings and support women in sobriety. I love spending time playing with my cat, Murphy, and joking around with Peter, my husband of 30 years. I also play golf very nonchalantly, and occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels.
Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?
When I’m working through a tough time in my life, I write a lot in my journal to get honest with myself about my feelings and the thoughts that underlie them. In 2008, I took all my journals on a trip and typed up every section I thought might fit into a memoir or article. Much of that material appears (heavily edited) in Worry Less Now.
If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?
I love Kermit the frog; he captures the essential vulnerability of life. And he makes us laugh about it!
What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?
Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” concert on Netflix. I find her songwriting so inspiring and real, but it’s her sincere, sassy and slightly gawky personality that endears her to me. I often work out to her music and find it totally energizing.
Gigi and I met online about 2 years ago. It has been a pleasure being connected online. Thank you Gigi for being a part of MTA! Much love to you! – Camilla
Where to find the book.
“50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection” by Gigi Langer, PhD (Possum Hill Press, 2018)
Order your own PERSONALIZED SIGNED COPY for $13.45 (10% off, including tax and free shipping) at https://GigiLanger.com/buy (Discount not available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or other e-book vendors.)
The AUDIOBOOK version has been released through Audible.
It has 5 stars on Amazon and wonderful reviews in publishing journals. Readers say it’s very practical, honest, and inspiring, and that it has helped them immensely.
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 book 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.
“Langer’s homing in on all the aspects of negative self-talk and worry add breadth to her advice and make it a powerful tool for readers.” – Library Journal
“Langer speaks from hard-won experience in her valuable, heartfelt manual on curbing excessive worrying. Langer’s frank and empathetic tone will comfort readers, as will the practical steps she teaches.” – Publishers Weekly (BookLife)
“Plenty of books advocate countering negative thinking; but too few actually provide step-by-step measures on how to do so. The pleasure of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now lies in its examples, specific exercises, and injections of how the author used various routines to find her way out of negativity. Highly recommended for anyone who worries too much, lives too hard a life, and searches for a better way.” – Midwest Book Review
“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.” -Karen Casey, best-selling author of Each Day a New Beginning (Hazelden)
“Gigi Langer’s honesty will blow you away! It is beautifully written; filled with humor and authenticity. I can recommend Langer’s fresh, honest tutorial on growing into your true, healthy self.” -Al Anon member
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