Plenty of new publications at the 2023 L.A. Times Festival of Books introduced self-help books with innovative methods for managing anxiety. But for Gretchen Reininga-Yates, anxiety isn't just a problem. It's a problem that people are addicted to.
Her book “Are YOU Breathing?” adopts an incredibly unique method for mapping out the tangled knot of negative emotions that people experience and how it connects to all sorts of repetitive, self-destructive behavior. It was exhibited during the festival with the help of ReadersMagnet, a book marketing and self-publishing company.
The book's centerpiece is the use of several shocking art pieces that represent negative emotions at different parts. On the cover, for instance, is the War Dog. It's a deliberately shocking image that represents the addiction to anger, fear, and rage triggered by anxiety and, in turn, links to even more addictive behaviors.
Meanwhile, the other pages present tranquil, open images (such as a blank, white picture frame) to represent a sort of peaceful emptiness. Other pictures also represent a sort of portal to realms of happiness, companionship, and other uplifting feelings.
The book's title refers to the main breathing exercise that readers will be doing as they use these images. Reininga-Yates has done a lot of in-depth work on meditative practices such as Kundalini, Vipassana, and other forms, which formed the book's underlying basis.
The images were the product of a collaboration between the author and well-known comic book artist Michael Ploog. Together, they used the book's main idea to help people breathe during periods of extreme anxiety and break them free from cycles of addiction.
“Are YOU Breathing?”
Author | Gretchen Reininga-Yates
Published date | September 6, 2022
Publisher | ReadersMagnet LLC
Genre | Self-Help
Gretchen Reininga-Yates lives on a small island in the Puget Sound and has done in-depth work in meditations including Vipassana; Kundalini; Transcendental; Dynamic and others focused on breathing whether in motion or sitting. Her work focuses on the cadence of breathing as a means to manage one's emotions with breath and discover the fabulous freedom from anxiety-driven cravings.
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