Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life

Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life

by Priscilla Warner
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Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner

By the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller, The Faith Club, Learning to Breathe was launched on the Today show to brilliant reviews.

Priscilla Warner has had a great life: a supportive husband, a flourishing marriage, two loving sons, and a bestselling book, The Faith Club. Despite all her good fortune and success, she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they leave her unable to breathe. She’s tried self-medicating—in high school, with a hidden flask of vodka—and later, with prescription medications—daily doses of Klonopin with a dark chocolate chaser. After forty years of hyperventilating, and an overwhelming panic attack that’s the ultimate wake-up call, Warner’s mantra becomes “Neurotic, Heal Thyself.” A spirited New Yorker, she sets out to find her inner Tibetan monk by meditating every day, aiming to rewire her brain and her body and mend her frayed nerves. On this winding path from panic to peace, with its hairpin emotional curves and breathtaking drops, she also delves into a wide range of spiritual and alternative health practices, some serious, and some . . . not so much.

Written with lively wit and humor, Learning to Breathe is a serious attempt to heal from a painful condition. It’s also a life raft of compassion and hope for people similarly adrift or secretly fearful, as well as an entertaining and inspiring guidebook for anyone facing daily challenges large and small, anyone who is also longing for a sense of peace, self-acceptance, and understanding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439181089
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 692,969
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Priscilla Warner grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and worked for many years as an advertising art director in Boston and New York. She lives with her family outside of New York City. Visit her at PriscillaWarnerbooks.com.

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Learning to Breathe 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warner's presentation of her yearlong quest was at times verbose, and at other times, too limited. (Example of verbose would be the entire section dealing with her Judaism. Example of limited would be her childhood, which is where her anxiety attacks started.) I wanted to connect with her. I wanted to care about her in the same way that her husband and numerous friends did--but it never happened. She never made me "feel" for her or her struggles. (And don't get me wrong here, I do have empathy for her childhood and completely understand the anxiety attacks.) Instead, I found myself thinking: "must be nice to have money and connections". Seriously, those thoughts shouldn't pop into my mind when reading a memoir. I've read numerous memoirs. Some of the most notable have been The Glass Castle, Loud in the House of Myself, The Memory Palace, to name just a few. Oh, and absolutely loved Eat Pray Love. Those books made me feel (sad, happy, whatever) and left me with insightful tidbits and applicable insights. Warner never accomplished that.
hfineisen More than 1 year ago
I'd become just another unhappy person on the planet...leading a life of quiet desperation." Priscilla Warner and her yearlong quest to bring calm to her life is handbook of heavy hitters in the "peace" genre. Warner wishes to find her "inner monk" and consults Sylvia Boorstein, Pema Chodrom, the Dalai Lama, and Sharon Salzberg among others to learn how to quell her anxiety. This is a great reference for exploring different techniques for anyone interested in meditation or various types of therapy. Warner is straight forward and bare, dealing with her own issues as well as her mother's Alzheimer's. If you want something more in depth, skip straight to those she consults as she lists a great bibliography. But for times when you need a hint, a push or a pick me up, this is a gem. "My mother has Alzheimer's, my dog is dying, and I am happy, I thought to myself. Life is wonderful." May we all find the wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book at a pivotal moment in my struggle with panic disorder, and it was the first time that I felt like I related to someone with a similar ailment.  Reading the book was one of the biggest sighs of relief that I had taken in a long, long time.  I would definitely recommend this one.
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