Priscilla Warner: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Priscilla Warner

Co-Author of The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding and Author of Learning to Breathe

Priscilla Warner grew up in New England, where she began her interfaith education at a Hebrew Day School and a Quaker high school. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Fine Arts and spent fifteen years as an advertising art director at various ad agencies in Boston and New York. She is the author and illustrator of several children's books and lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

With her co-authors Ranya Idliby and Suzanne Oliver, the authors of The Faith Club have appeared on NBC-TV’s “Today” Show, Al Jazeera International, “CNN Newsroom” on CNN-TV, and have been featured on the pages of USA Today, Guideposts, and Redbook Magazine.

Despite all her good fortune and success, Warner suffers from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they leave her unable to breathe which led her to write Learning 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. Warner tries spiritual chanting, meditative painting, immersion in a Jewish ritual bath, and quasi-hallucinogenic Ayurvedic oil treatments. She encounters mystical rabbis who teach her Kabbalistic lessons, attends silent retreats with compassionate Buddhist mentors, and gains insights from the spiritual leaders, healers, and therapists she meets. Meditating in malls instead of monasteries, Warner becomes a monk in a minivan and calms down long enough to examine her colorful, sometimes frightening family history in a new light, ultimately making peace with her past. And she receives corroboration that she's healing from a neuroscientist who scans her brain for signs of progress and change. Written with lively wit and humor, Warner's book 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.

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  • The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding

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