Giveaway and Interview: Learning to Breathe by Priscilla Warner

Note: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha to receive free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!

The Winners:

In the past decade, I have read more than my fair share of self-help books.

Though I’ve enjoyed the ones with countless action steps and workbook sheets to change my life, I’ve felt the most moved and inspired by honest, personal stories of overcoming adversity.

That’s how I felt in reading Priscilla Warner’s brave book, Learning to Breathe—like I was seeing straight into the heart of someone else who’d had her fair share of personal struggles, and receiving the profound gift of her experiences and insights.

Priscilla Warner struggled with debilitating anxiety for most of her life, and formerly self-medicated with vodka, before a doctor prescribed Klonopin. After four decades of overwhelming panic attacks, Priscilla adopted the mantra, “Neurotic, Heal Thyself.”

In her memoir, Learning to Breathe, Priscilla chronicles her journey through various healing modalities—including meditation, chanting, and other lesser-known alternative treatments—and offers readers hope for peace and lasting change from the inside out.

Since I hold the utmost respect and admiration for Priscilla, I’m grateful that she took the time to answer some questions about her book and offered to provide two free copies for a giveaway.

The Giveaway

To enter to win 1 of 2 free copies of Learning to Breathe:

  • Leave a comment below
  • Tweet: RT @tinybuddha Book GIVEAWAY & Interview: Learning to Breathe

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still enter by completing the first step. You can enter until midnight PST on Friday, June 29th.

The Interview

1. In Learning to Breathe, you chronicled your experiences exploring a wide variety of healing techniques to overcome chronic anxiety—and you shared yourself honestly and vulnerably. As a fellow writer, I’m curious: Did you experience anxiety around the process of sharing these personal experiences?

Initially, I was concerned about exposing my family members to any pain, since examining my relationships with them was part of my healing process. But I tried to write the book with as much love as I could.

I was also worried that I’d come off as self-indulgent, but all of my teachers explained that healing from my own pain would make me more compassionate to the suffering of others. I try to build that awareness all the time now.

Hearing from readers who relate to my story is humbling and inspiring. I don’t feel touched as a reader unless a writer is 100% honest, and that’s what I strive to be.

2. Early in your book you mentioned that you once hid your anxiety in shame, and self-medicated with vodka. What’s helped you most in overcoming that shame?

Knowing that I am not alone is enormously helpful. Until I wrote this book, I didn’t realize that 6 million Americans suffer from a panic disorder, 40 million from an anxiety disorder.

When I was gulping down vodka in the ladies room of my office, before a big presentation, I felt alone, broken, scared, and ashamed. When I took Klonopin before stressful events, I felt weak. Now I have a toolkit of coping skills that make me feel empowered.

The therapists, healers, and teachers I met while I wrote this book shared their own vulnerability and frailties with me, which made me feel less alone. Opening my heart to readers, and hearing their reaction to my book, comforts me in ways I never could have imagined.

3. In the beginning of Learning to Breathe, you wrote that you wanted the brain of a monk—that some people create meth labs in their basement, but you wanted to create “a Klonopin lab in your head” to naturally alleviate your anxiety. How has the relief of meditation differed from the relief of medication?

I’m very grateful that medication exists, and I still use Klonopin occasionally. But practicing meditation is much more rewarding and empowering, because I can heal from a place deep inside of me. I feel grounded, safe, and secure when I meditate.

I love knowing that my breath is my best friend, because it always ran away with me in the past, when I hyperventilated during panic attacks. I love mixing up my meditation styles. It’s a creative decision to sit with an emotion, listen to music, walk, record videos, or simply breathe quietly.

4. Early on in your practice, you learned that you might become sad, depressed, and agitated after a couple of weeks of meditating—and that this would be normal. Why does this happen when we start meditating?

I don’t really know! The monk who taught me that, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, is now on retreat in the Himalayas, by himself, for an indefinite period of years, so I can’t ask him!

I did hear Krishna Das caution people that building a meditation practice is like working with explosives. “You have to go slowly,” he said, “Or else boom!”

I think that when our brains are at rest we receive information we might otherwise push away or ignore. Past experiences and painful thoughts enter the picture when our minds are clearer, so that can be very upsetting. We have to be careful when noticing new emotions surrounding those thoughts.

5. You also tried Somatic Experiencing therapy and worked with an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist. Which of the different treatments you tried had the most profound effect on you, and why?

With Somatic Experiencing, I sat on a therapist’s couch, learned how to ground myself, and then slowly called to mind stressful situations, moving back and forth, in my body and mind, between feeling grounded and frightened.

I could feel my body tingling as it released nervous energy and grew stronger. I slowed down the physical reactions to stress that used to terrify me.

Traumatic events often get frozen in our primitive brain. I had discussed many of those events previously, with friends and therapists, but hadn’t processed the physical sensations they stirred up deep inside me.

All the talking in the world was no substitute for feeling the pain lodged there. EMDR bilaterally stimulates the left and right sides of the brain, and releases the frozen memories, which get reprocessed.

I felt what I already knew on a deeper, more profound level when I did EMDR therapy. And once those difficult emotions and memories passed through me physically, they no longer held me in their grip.

6. When you spoke with a neurologist, he surprised you by referring to you as a trauma survivor. I suspect a lot of us who have traumas in our pasts might have that same response. Can you expand on what you learned about what constitutes trauma?

An emergency tracheotomy saved my life when I was a child. I learned how I’d buried the memory—yet stored it in my body—in the course of writing this book.

We all suffer experiences that make our hearts stop, pump faster, and feel broken. What one person considers traumatic is exciting for someone else. I learned not to judge what constitutes trauma.

An argument with a loved one, abusive behavior, war, financial stress—unfortunately there are countless ways to become traumatized. We have to acknowledge the pain, respect it, feel it, and process it in order to heal.

7. At one point you wrote that your panic had been with you for forever, and you couldn’t imagine letting go of it. Why did a part of you want to hold onto it, and what helped you overcome that?

Panic had become my exotic excuse for being unhappy. It also, oddly, made me feel very alive. It was a great distraction from the underlying sadness I’d felt as a child, for many reasons.

I became so busy worrying about panic attacks that I didn’t have to process or understand the pain I felt growing up in a family with a lot of mental illness.

When I healed, I felt more and more estranged from my past and the people I grew up loving. It’s sometimes painful to change and leave people behind. But ultimately I accepted my new, happier self, and became grateful for the calm that makes me a much healthier person on many levels—physical, spiritual and emotional.

8. When recounting your experience at a three-day retreat with Sharon Salzberg and Sylvia Boorstein, you wrote, “Perhaps my panic could become a friend, too, or at least a nodding acquaintance.” Have you made friends with your panic, and in what way?

When I heard Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche say that the panic he’d suffered as a child was his greatest teacher, I thought “He’s a monk. I’ll never feel that way.” But now I’m grateful for the condition I had, which led me to seek peace and find it.

We can’t choose the family we’re born into, or many of the circumstances we encounter in life, but we can choose how we relate to those circumstances, how we look at them and learn from them.

I’m sorry for the pain my body and brain have been through, but I am trying to treat myself with kindness and love now. Compassion is a practice I am happy to keep learning.

9. At the end of Learning to Breathe, you talked about the results of your MRI—and how you had tangible proof of your mental transformation. For readers who also want the brain of a monk—but might not have access to a brain scan—what are some signs that they are indeed making progress?

The Dalai Lama says that after a few weeks of meditation, we begin to “live with a sense of tranquil abiding.” I love that! Everything about me, including my speech pattern, slows down after I meditate.

My husband noticed that my temper is gone, for the most part. My meditation practice allows me to build a tiny observation deck outside of myself, where I can wait a beat before responding to the world.

Dr. Marcia Lucas, a psychologist, described perfectly what I’ve come to feel:

“When you practice mindfulness meditation, your brain gets better at making sense of incoming emotional information without jumping to conclusions, reacting out of old habits, or getting stuck in emotional dead-ends like worry or grudges. It does the right stuff with that information, helping you to wisely tell the difference between what’s happening in the moment and what’s your ‘old stuff.’”

10. What is your main message for other people who struggle with chronic anxiety?

Don’t be hard on yourself. Know that the world is full of people eager to help you get well and stay well. Know that life has ups and downs that we cannot control.

I love the words of Joseph Goldstein, a Buddhist teacher: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” I’m a surfer now. Waves knock me down occasionally, but I’ve learned skills that keep me from drowning.

Learn more about Learning to Breathe on Amazon.

FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Phil

    I need this book!

  • This book sounds amazing and I would love to own a copy. Anxiety is something that has been with me since I was very young, and I’m ready to manage it. I’m hoping this book will help inspire me to be happier.

  • Anna Sokolovskaya

    Would love to win a copy of the book!  Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Austine Da Whizchap

    Cool! Creative Concept and Thrilling Interview!

  • Paula

    this sounds like a wonderful and insightful book

  • What a wonderful interview. Thank you! x

  • How beautiful touching! I would totally read this book as I feel inspired just after reading the interview! Thanks for the chance to win the book! 🙂

  • “oddly, made me feel very alive.”   A fine interview and I can relate to her talking about anxiety making one feel alive… Thanks for sharing

  • Poonam

    would be an interesting read !

  • Marsha_Pelletier

    Sounds like just what I need!

  • Trish

    Your post struck such a strong note in me. I’ve been approaching and

    resisting many of the techniques that you mentioned in your blog post.

    Just in the past few weeks I’ve experienced days where I could

    actually breathe freely and in a relaxed manner. What a relief that

    there is possibility for change. I’d like to apply for your offer of

    one of the copies of Learning to Breathe.

    Thank you very much,


  • Mary

    I didn’t want the interview to end! I loved this:

    “I was also worried that I’d come off as self-indulgent, but all of my teachers explained that healing from my own pain would make me more compassionate to the suffering of others. I try to build that awareness all the time now.”
    It’s hard to understand that compassion starts with the self…an equally scary and comforting thought for me. My biggest struggle is probably giving myself the credit I deserve; I’ve been known to slip into self-hatred, self-destruction…and think in limiting ways about my abilities. So to know that changing the way I relate to myself will only build me into a more compassionate individual with the world…well. I guess I know where my focus should be; I guess I needn’t feel guilty about focusing on myself. Lessons, lessons, lessons. Oh how jumbled and confusing you can be; oh how helpful and surprising and rewarding, too.

  • HaleyMia

    “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”  <– new mantra!  This seems amazing, but would rlly love to win this book so I can give it to a friend who is rlly suffering from some debilitating anxiety right now…

  • GalFromAway

    I’ve been struggling with anxiety for years now, and am looking for a way to find balance again. This book would go along nicely with the naturopathic treatment I’m getting.

  • I always get so much out of these.  Thanks!  Would love to win the book because I need to get calm!!

  • MLC

    Forever trying to learn how to breathe. This book would benefit me greatly. Thanks for the interview!

  • Tielag

    Can’t wait to read this book!

  • BGO

    Learning To Breath looks like an excellent book and I look forward to reading it … would love to win it and refer clients to it.  Thank you for your work! 

  • Donna

     The subject matter ties in with the journey I am on at this time.  I am looking forward to reading this book – Thank you.

  • Looks like a fantastic read and a timely one for me! I would love to win a copy! Thank you for sharing!

  • Sounds like an excellent book and I would love to read it!

  • Sundancebleu

    Wow, thank you for this!  As an anxiety sufferer myself, I really relate to what you have said here and hope to read your book very soon!

  • Thank you, sounds like a great summer read.

  • AustinOriginal

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. One of the most difficult things for people new to a path of self healing hears from me is that they need to try lots of things; that they will grow from each one, and probably outgrow each one at some point. They become so frustrated when they can’t find the quick fix, the one practitioner to solve everthing for them. I try to encourage them to follow their instincts and try what comes up next.

  • Je

    Perfect reminder for me, coming at the perfect time.

  • Klynn101

    I receive and read Tiny Buddha ever day and love it.  Thank you so much for your inspirational words of wisdom.   I hope I win one of the books.   

  • Patl

    Yes, I did enjoy this post.  I always welcome others experiences and what they did to work through them.  It can be such hard work yet sooooooooo worth it when you get to the other side of it.   I have tried different modalities myself and am always open to learning about  any that I haven’t tried or haven’t heard of.  Forever evolving!!!!!!!!!!  🙂


  • Sb

    Panic as a friend. It’s a brave idea…SB

  • Lplato42

    I have also tried many different therapies to deal with my anxiety/depression, Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia. After 40 years I finally figured out that it’s easier to embrace the hardships and work with them rather than fighting against them all of the time. Thank you for writing about your experiences. I believe they will be helpful to many anxiety sufferers who feel there is no way out. 

  • Maggie

    Thank you for this. I just started to try to meditate ad I found the part of feeling sad coming up out of the practice when
    You started. I’ll have to be
    Mindful of this ow. Thank u!

  • KT

    Interesting insight on medication. I have never quite heard “I’m sorry for the pain my body and brain have been through”. Definitely struck a deep chord with me, and made me realize it is real and deep and feeling emotional is ok. 

  • Divine timing. Thank you! {{ ☼ }}

  • This is beautiful, Priscilla [and Lori]. Thanks so much. I, too, have been delving into pranayama and other means of recovering my breath. Fear, anxiety and anticipation have long affected my breathing, feeling like knots beneath my sternum. The realization is that I have or had been stopping my breath there. Meditation overcomes that. Medication does, as well, but the effects are too far-reaching into other areas of the body.

    Fritz Perls, MD, the psychiatrist and founder of Gestalt therapy said, “Fear is excitement without the breath.” It’s a revelatory thought.

    I look forward to purchasing and reading this book. Site bookmarked. Thanks again.

    ~ Mark

  • Bobbyeo

     Looking forward to this book  Thank you ! Breathing ,Meditation helps to calm …

  • NinaC

    Fascinating interview

  • Jo

    How it amazes me that I always thought breathing was something my body just knew how to do to survive! I now have seen how often I hold my breath, forget to breathe, forget to pause and just be. I need this reminded that we must truly breathe to survive.

  • Drplaniden

    “Learning To Breath” is so needed by all people.  At this time, it will be so read, over and over, in this family – until we all ‘get it’.  It’s that important in today’s stressful world.

  • I have struggled with anxiety & depression all of my life.  I have been on anti-depressants during twice and have vowed never to do so again.  I tried using alcohol to make relax and have more fun in life, obviously that didn’t work.   Through years of trial and error, I have come up with life plan that works for me.  It incorporates, daily meditation, herbal and vitamin supplements, an SAD lamp during the winter and regular exercise.

  • Ronriko

    A wonderful Q&A session.  I am a writer exploring what ¨Life Review¨ is all about and how to process what we bring back for ¨review¨ and Pricilla´s comments about meditation give me lot´s of insight about meditation as a healing modality.  I would love to learn more from her work.  I can´t receive printed material where I live in Mexico but I can download e-books.  I will check to see if available.  Ron

  • Jill Koelling

    I’m dealing with anxiety as well and trying different types of therapy!  I’m so glad to have heard about Tiny Buddha from a friend and to have this post today is wonderful!  Thank you for sharing!!!  Mindfulness is so important and probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried in my life!  If only I were eight and learning this instead of 45!  Ha!  This is a wonderful reminder that I’m not the only one and there are so many resources and tools available.  Thank you again!

  • Chiefoosab

    If I get anymore calm I will be dead.

  • Cheryl Harris

    I’m intrigued, and will have to look into this book. thanks so much for sharing!

  • Kelly

    I must read this book! 🙂

  • Beachteachmx

    I just started meditating daily again after many years of “sleeping”. Deep feelings are coming up through my breathing. Thanks for sharing your experience. Cannot wait to read your book.

  • Mloza

    I recently was in charge of our weekly prayer group & I chose breathing as our theme for the week. It really is something when you realize how such a simple act as breathing affects us in so many ways. Sometimes I forget to breathe and I am always so grateful for these reminders. Thank you for sharing your story. Someday I hope to take a really deep breath and share mine too:) Blessings to all!

  • Thank you for always helping us remember that Life is a glorious study of Life and self, as well as a continuous source of sumptuous rewards – small and large. <3

  • Dlp11494

    It’s so good to know that I am not alone.  Glad I saw this.

  • I like Goldstein’s line about surfing through the waves too. When “drowning” is the alternative, you’ve shed some light on a huge wake-up call there.

  • janet

    Thank you for the interview!

  • Charlikerr

    ~ Beautiful ♥ Love yourself and then you know how to love others ♥

  • really interesting interview and book.

  • Lrbaumgarten

    As someone who struggles with chronic anxiety, I truly appreciate this post! 

  • this book, i neeeeeeeed it

  • Dave

    Glad I have Tiny Buddha in my G+ Circles and got to see a post about this interview! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rebecca

    Looks like a great book!

  • Kikyoas2

    I don’t usually read, but I would love to read this to gain wisdom, insight, and happiness.

  • gc

    I relate completely to your journey.

  • Linda

    I am excited to read this book.  I definitely need some tools to help manage anxiety.  Thank you!

  • Debra

    I am so grateful for this blog. I enjoyed reading this portion and have taken some advice to heart. I have a long path to walk ,but I have my good shoes on and ready.

  • AWESOME.  Been following the tinybuddha for some time now.  Retweeting as well!!!

  • Fran Malone HTP

    We each think our anxiety is peculiar to us – and in reality – anxiety is common and more suffer from panic attacks than less.  Thank you for the insight into this book.  

    Being a Healing Touch Practitioner I recommend meditation and journal writing to get it out of the head and before the eyes for a look see from a different perspective.  That is much like what a breath does for you.  

    Your story will deepen my silent meditative time.

    Thank you,

    Fran Malone, HTP

  • Love Tiny Buddha…great article

  • I would LOVE to add this to my collection 😉 goodluck to me

  • One Blunt Needle

    I would truly enjoy to read and experience this book.  Thank you for the opportunity. 🙂

  • lisa

    Super, want to get my hands on the book

  • Donna

    I’d love to read this- really resonates! Great interview!

  • Rainbowmoon

    I would love to get this book. Life is and always be an inside job.

  • Allison

    What a great interview! I can relate to Priscilla on several levels, as I also grew up in a family with a lot of mental illness, suffered a stressful physical illness when I was young, and am prone to anxiety. I can’t wait to read her book!

  • Sienna

    This book looks fantastic.

  • Looking forward to reading this….thanks for the opportunity to win a copy

  • Laurenorlina

    I would love to read this book – sounds like a remarkable journey to healing and inner peace. 

  • Ginger

    As a young woman coming into my own, who also struggles with anxiety, panic, and looming stress as a result of PTSD, I’ve found meditation and (literally) learning to breath as two lifesafers in my calmness “toolkit”. It’s funny how breathing is second nature and yet I have to stop what I’m doing notice if I am holding my breath or if I am breathing thoroughly and if my body is clenched or relaxed. I heard and adopted this mantra a year ago from Jon Kabat-Zinn, and am an avid surfer. I may fall off my board at times, but I’m forever learning to get back up and find balance on my board.

  • Sugarpencil

    Do you think that story can also help with emotional processing? That through mindfulness, in essence rewriting our emotional responses to things, we can give ourself a more relistic life story rather than be caught up in a cycle of reacting to things…

  • Rosembowie

    sometimes you daily emails are just what i need to hear!

    would love to win a copy of the book! anxiety has caused some major issues in my life and i finally have turned to counseling recently

  • Maryamcmanus

    I have read Priscilla’s book and continue to use it as a reference book. It is dog eared, underlined and well loved. I would love to win a copy to give to a friend of mine who started experiencing panic attacks again after not having them for several years.

  • Freddiechavira

    Last week I was designated to take my mom to and back from knee surgery safely. I was in for a surprise. After the surgery the nurse came up to me and told me she’d have to explain my mother’s post-surgery medication and therapy since she was still under. What I didn’t expect was to see a list 5 items long consisting of the meds she was already taking. And at the top of this list were two for anxiety and panic attacks. I thought ‘there has to be a better way’. Maybe this book can provide just that awakening.

  • Girl11eleven

    I was lucky enough to see her speak, but still have not been able to get the book. It would be a get time in my life o read it.

  • MB

    I just got off the phone with my best friend who said she is having a “nervous breakdown”, described her panic attacks and anxiety, and told me she has been prescribed Klonopin.  She is afraid to take the medication, but she said she will because she trusts her doctor.  She is a very spiritual person, she meditates regularly, but she is lonely and stressed out beyond her capacity to cope.  I hope the medication helps.  She is a strong person who is open to alternative healing resources; maybe this book would be of help.

  • Misty

    I know that I could benefit fom meditating but find it hard to stick to it. I could use some guidance on that.

  • What a brave memoir. I’d like to read it.

  • I would love to win and read this book!!

    As a learning Buddhist with a BA in Psychology who has experienced depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I am completely fascinated by Priscilla Warner’s words. Sounds inspiring!!

  • Adida Shahab

    I would love to receive this book.  Conscious and mindful breathing!

  • Every single time I read Tiny Buddha, it really seems like each post is made for me. Much like Priscilla, I have experienced a lot of personal struggles – close friend and family death, anxiety (where I was prescribed Xanax, Ativan and Clonazepam at all different times), addiction and working through childhood baggage. I have always felt that aside from all the negatives, I have always had something in myself to work harder and harder and that nothing was going to stop me from obtaining my goals, no matter how long it took. 

    In the last year, I have had more growth than I could have imagined. I also thought that I really knew myself, but to surprise, I learned more and I am continuing to learn more. However, at this moment, I am stuck in another personal development road block. Reading this post inspired me – much like Priscilla, hearing personal stories from others inspire me to start really working within myself. 

    I would really love to receive a copy of her book – even if I don’t win, I am going to purchase it. Thanks for always being a Tiny Buddha on my shoulder.

  • Gail

    thank you for your willingness to be so vulnerable and honest.  Be great if we could each be a little more that way!

  • Renee G

    Would love to read this. I’m always trying to learn how to make myself happy from the inside out.

  • Renee G


  • So relevant.  A wonderful book of healing for a lot of people, I bet.  Thank you so much for the giveaway!  🙂

  • Lorma

    Wow….amazing and inspiring!!!

  • Jennifer

    I WILL win one of these books eventually…. 😉

  • Christeysouth

    I have just acquired my own little mantra for my racing thoughts and anxiety…”just breathe”. That being said, I would love a copy of your book. I’m beginning and learning to take small steps into a bigger place, a calmer space. I believe your book will help me do just that, and more.

  • Clara Boza

    Priscilla, it’s encouraging to know that you made it through your ‘dark night of the soul’ and emerged better and wiser. I have a family member who suffers irregular anxiety attacks, and I’ve suggested that he explore meditation as a mode of support. I look forward to sharing a copy of your book with him.

    p.s. Tweeted this evening re the book & giveaway.

  • Jay

    I just found this website a couple of days ago, and ive already subscribed to your email updates and read your posts everyday 🙂 keep it up!

  • Roland Cummins

    I’m a Spiritual Healer out of WA. who teaches a Health Thy Self Workshop. I could not agree with you more on how important it is to acknowledge that breath of life. When lecturing to my students on the subject of conscience breath. I often refer to the name of that 1995 movie called Waiting To Exhale which was a mellow drama movie about African American women learning to free themselves for anxiety. So it bottom line it doesn’t matter how you connect with your inhaling and exhaling conscience breath meditation, Tia Chi, Yoga etc. Just do it as the Nike  slogan suggest.  

  • Susanstar2005

    i would like to win this book. I can identify with the anxiety & the use of klonapin, the hold
    ding of my breath , the tightness in my jaw & neck & shoulders

  • Compumom

    I would love to read this.  My husband suffers from this and has self medicated in the past, almost broke up our marriage.  He has found tapping helps, as does meditation.  

  • this is absolutely breathtaking how words can sometimes truly save you and change your life.

  • Fluttery_joy

    This couldn’t come at a better time for me! Thank you.

  • Wonderful words, would love to read more from her. 

  • Kiki Bear

    This was an intriguing interview, and I’d be curious to read more of her experiences with anxiety.  I look forward to reading the Daily Buddha e-mail newsletter every day because I like to hear different takes on coping with depression and anxiety, because most of the self help type books I have read largely center on common sense that I could have deduced myself but without the details I can relate to.  As a scientifically-oriented person, I enjoy seeing details that support the suggested techniques for improving one’s well-being, so this one certainly appealed to me.

  • sister

    Learning to Breathe hits on all the things I have come to believe in and endeavor to practise daily. I so wish my sister would do the same. She suffers from anxiety and alcoholism and feels the world owes her as she is “broken”. I wish she would read this book and learn to turn the negatives into positives and live her life again. She gave up 20 years ago, is burdened with many perscriptions and now physical limitations.

    Oh for her to see the beauty and peace in the world. How can I get her to read this book? Unless I were to read it to her I do not know how to get this inspiuring message to someone who so needs it.  Thank-you Priscilla for sharing your experiences.

  • Jo-Hannah

    Thanking You for it!

  • Thank you.

    you have been a great motivation, thank you.

  • eema

    thoughtful interview, waves of emotion, waves of pain, becoming a good surfer is important!

  • jemrah

    I need this book – my life definitely needs calming!

  • Kdestrellaa

    After dealing with several life changes I have been resisting change, resisting growing up, just resisting, resisting, resisting. It created quite a bit of anxiety within me.  A friend has suggested mediation and I am new to the practice, but already benefiting. I want to continue the surf, ride the waves of my life and gain some control. This is inspiring!

  • I can’t wait to read this 🙂

  • Carolyn Iyer

    Loved reading her ‘simple’ approach to coping with, and ultimately, triumphing over a condition which can be so insidious and paralyzing. Excellent interview. Can’t wait to read this book.

  • Azherbldy

    This story sounds identical to mine….minus the prescription drugs….I am sure I need to read this book.  I will.

  • Octaviadulenty

    This is truly inspirational. Breathing never felt so good.

  • Matthew Depasquale

    Sounds like a beautiful book!

  • Jreagan2007

    awesome. something liek this could help me.

  • I’m new to this website but i’ve found it very helpful

  • DCC703

    My therapist is constantly asking me “did you remember to breathe”?  My answer is always NO.  I’m not sure why it’s so hard, but I know that the more help I can get the better.  I always find it so helpful and brave when people can share their stories like this…Thanks.

  • Vinterkveld

    I love waking up to read all these inspiring posts. A book like this I would really appreciate, thanks a lot all the people of Tiny Buddha!

  • Ashley Olibas

    This seems like just the book for my anxiety!! I actually never knew what it was… I just have these repeated feelings, I have M.S as well, since my diagnosis in 2008 I have thought that that was just a part of it. However, being the self- help junkie I am, believing more and more in myself, and my ability to heal myself. I hope to read this book! And give it away, like I do so many. Breathe… just Breathe <3

  • Bigdelta6

    Would be very interested in reading this book! Will probably buy if i don’t win it.

  • countryK

    I once turned to medication to soothe my anxiety. While it helped for a while, it numbed me. I am now on the journey to soothe myself through self-awareness and meditation. This book would be helpful on my journey.

  • Donna Bush

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I am looking for an alternative to my first reaction to any negative emotion which is to eat everything in the house, whether I like it or not! I have read so much about Buddhism and yet still have not begun practising meditation.

  • Jennie

    Thank you for the post! I found the interview very insightful – useful in helping one overcome anxiety, but also helpful in learning how to overcome whatever traumatic experiences keep us stuck, keep us from being unhealthy/unhappy, from being the best of our potential self. I love how the author points out that our circumstances are not always within our control, but we can choose how we relate to these experiences, how we look at them and what we learn from them. I find it fascinating that her brain scans actually changed! I look forward to reading her book!

  • Sounds like a great book! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Kelliceleste

    I’m excited to read this – I’ve been wanting to really “master” meditation (though I know there is no such thing) to help me cope with constantly being anxious…it’ll be nice to read and learn from someone else’s experiences!

  • JenP

    I can relate to self medicating and also to using depression/anxiety as an excuse to remain unhappy. Sometimes it is easier to stick with the familiar, however toxic it may be. I am very interested in reading this book.

  • Kat

    I just found out a friend of a friend suffers from panic attacks. It would be excellent to win this book and give it to them to help them through it. It can be very debilitating. Thank you for sharing about the book, and all your writing Lori! 

  • Lbugg7

    I went through a traumatic event almost two years ago, it has taken me this long to start being happy again and feeling I deserve it, it was a hard road but emdr and meditation really helped, this book sounds great!

  • annieturtle

    Some of the information you shared in this post was so helpful to me. Thank you so much for sharing – I will try to start a regular meditation practice, I had no diea it could help so much.

  • Swati



    I have read this post and the interview quite sometime back,
    but was just hesitating to leave a comment.


    I know what she means by “anxiety”, for four years from
    2007-2011 in my last job, I lived a pressure cooker existence, working 70 hours
    a week, taking care of home and family and trying to keep up the façade that
    “everything was alright” when nothing actually was. I became a neurotic, lost
    hair, my skin became coarse and dry, I couldn’t even focus for half an hour to
    read a book outside my work, I became extremely irritable and would often break
    down into allergies of different kinds. One day I just decided enough was
    enough and quit my job. The stress level was so high that for six months even
    after I had quit, I found it difficult to sleep peacefully and would often wake
    up suddenly in the middle of the night with my heart racing and my body full of


    I started rebuilding my life slowly and steadily. I enrolled
    myself for a course, my second MBA. I took charge of my home and family,
    started spending more time with my parents, husband, daughter and dog. I
    gardened, swam, sewed, baked and in general savored my life and all that it is
    composed of.


    Today after more than a year, I still have a long way to go
    but I know the journey as begun and I just have to keep moving forward to get
    there some day.


    I have heard of a lot of benefits of meditation but never
    practiced it. After reading Priscilla’s interview, I am definite that I want to
    learn and practice mediation. And whether I get your “giveaway” copy or not, I am
    definitely going to get a copy of “ Learning to breathe”. Thanks Lori for
    letting me know about the book.



  • Very interested to read more…

  • Jeet

    Priscilla has inspired me since I came to know about her Faith Club initiative. I would LOVE to get this book.

  • Lrjetgirl

    I have enjoyed reading your inspirational messages. One to learn to surf the waves that may otherwise drown you. I have had my share of life altering experiences. I am always searching for ways to learn how cope from the recprcusions of my decisions. I would love to read more…

  • David

    I will no doubt require a magnifying glass to read print, but I’ll do It.

  • Joecoolisbest

    sounds like a great book with information that I could really use ~ thanks for sharing !

  • Bon…

    This is going on my list of must reads!  I, as so many others, have searched for methods of healing through meditation, etc but still haven’t found the ‘right fit’. I hope that it will be within the pages of this book. After losing my son 6 years ago, I have reflected much on my life and the healing and acceptance that I must come to in order to move forward. Thank you for always sharing such amazing stories of inspiration and truths. I never miss a post!

  • Steph Marks

    So pleased to hear about this book. It seems to fit where I am in life at this moment in time.

  • Pam Kibble

    How thankful I am that you shared your story and even more thankful that I fluked coming across it today when I felt as though I would never find an answer to my on-going anxiety that has so crippled my life. Had decided today that I needed to surrender rather than fighting everything in my life

  • OldYeller

    Thanks for this! Sounds like a great book. Really enjoy your blog.

  • Kris

    What a perfect opportunity to explore my meditation journeywhich I have recently begun. As a young (very busy & self employed) Mummy I often neglect myself and my spiritual needs. I would love any tool that helps me re-focus on this which in turn brings about amuch happier and adjusted person, thankyou!

  • David Frank Gomes

    JUst looking at the beautiful Cover makes me want to read this book. As always, Thank You Tiny Buddha for such a wonderful community to hang out in


    Thank you for sharing this. I NEED this book!

  • Brandon

    I will have to pick this book up. Just moved to the top of my list of must buy’s.

  • Mima Michellemary

    I definitely think that reading someone’s personal story can sometimes be more helpful then any self-help book. I’ve been down the self help path and recently read a first person account of a similar situation to my own and I connected with it in a much more intense way, continued to read and got more out of that little book, then therapy and all self-help books combined. I believe it’s because when people put their own personal truth out there for the world, it connects us all in some way. Suddenly, your own issues aren’t so unique and overwhelming. When the world’s problems weigh us down, we often feel isolated and that actually increases anxiety and depression. This particular book seems very compelling and honest and I really respect the author for being so honest and also being willing to share her experiences. It’s interesting because in writing the book, and as a reader reading the book, we all learn something about ourselves and heal:-)

  • Kelly

    Wow! That interview touched on many things that relate to my life experience. I have always had social anxiety and therefore drank heavily to alleviate it. I began taking Xanax and klonopin at age 24 and ended up abusing both for 5 years. My anxiety and panic got worse even though I was taking more and more medication. Less than a year ago I quit both alcohol and klonopin cold turkey. I spent the first few months in my own personal hell. I couldn’t muster up the courage to go into the store and face a clerk to buy something. I experienced a grand mal (sp?) seizure and terrible shakes. Once I detoxed, I started to seek out new ways to handle my anxiety. I meditated on and off and am still working on that one. I also went to a therapist for EMDR and found good results. I didn’t have time to move as far along as I would have liked but am now able to drive on highways and roads that I haven’t been able to in years. I am now finishing a 2 month volunteer experience at an organic farm a few states away. It has been a tough process getting well but definitely worth it. It hear of someone else with similar problems that has found solutions.

  • My wife has overcome PA’s — it was a long journey. This will definately be a good read…..

  • I very much enjoyed this interview. I would like to explore the book as a means of learning to meditate. I have always been afraid to try.

  • What a beautiful interview. Thank you. 

  • Lois

    Often the comments say a posting was ‘perfect timing’ or ‘I needed this today.’  That’s how I felt reading the interview and will definitely purchase this book.  I love Tiny Buddha and faithfully read the postings.

  • Bradtappel

    This sounds like a great book! Looking forward to winning it or going to buy it. Breathe in, breathe out…..

  • jamesgummer

    Wow, I’m excited to read this book. I’d buy it right, but I’ll wait and see if I win. 🙂

  • Brynerin

    This is exactly the type of book that doesn’t stay in my possession.  This is one of those that I read and pass along to someone who needs it and will do the same.  🙂

  • Sharee

    I’d Like to buy it anyway:)  Awareness…

  • Rain Song

    Thank you for this post!

    I believe that anxiety, depression, or any mood/mental ‘disorder’ really comes down to our personal affirmations and belief about our Self. If we have lived with anxiety or depression for sometime, we begin to believe that is what we are. We become its physical manifestation. While it is important to admit and accept the ‘problem’ it is just as important to know that we have truly chosen to ‘be’ the problem. Just as we choose to be sad, we can choose to be happy.I have suffered from acute anxiety and have even been labeled bipolar in the past. I have gone through years of therapy and medication. But I have found that by surrendering my entire self (to God, the Universe, etc.) and accepting what is, I am able to move forward. I believe it is the power of surrender that carries a vibration that says, ‘I trust the process of Life.’ Now, I may have days when my emotions seem out of control, but they are few and far between.It’s so important, as the author mentions, to know that we are not alone. There are others out their still suffering. And there are plenty of resources, just like this book, that can help us heal and move forward on our journey.Love and Light to All.

  • Lisacrooke7275

    I need this book, much sadness has entered my life in the last two years and my anxiety is getting worse.

  • Brent Oh

    Good post. Thanks.

  • Guest

    I like how she says, “I love knowing that my breath is my best friend, because it always ran
    away with me in the past, when I hyperventilated during panic attacks.” Since I experienced my first panic attack recently and coming off my anxiety meds, I have not made my breath my friend. Instead, I feel myself breathing very heavily, trying to catch a deep breath. I asked my yoga teacher about how I could calm my anxiety and breath in yoga and she said “you’re trying to hard”. Sometimes, we do just need to let it go. Surrender and accept to it.

  • ChiropracticCoaches

    I do appreciate this article. And as can I see you also have a book. Where can i get one? And is there any scheduled book signing?

  • ChiropracticConsultant

    I do appreciate this article. And as can I see you also have a book. Where can i get one? And is there any scheduled book signing?