Catching Your Breath Study Guide by Steve Austin
​From the Foreword

"Steve Austin knows the wounds of hell about which he writes so movingly in this book. In the case of every wound he knows, Steve has turned that wound into a source of healing power. That is why he is one of the most mobilized, energized, walking witnesses of New Life I have ever known. Now, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for a hefty dose of New Life for yourself in his words."

-Rev. Ed Bacon,

author of 8 Habits of Love

"There are two things that make Steve Austin's voice unique and worth hearing. First, he's been through hell and come back with the kind of hopefulness that is as contagious as it is compelling. People are always better for having encountered such people. Second, he's candid. He says the thing that so many are thinking but are afraid to say, and shares the details of the story that others would hide--and he does all of that without being smug or self-aggrandizing. On the contrary, Steve's candor is tempered by a grace and compassion that makes it safe for others to be honest about what they're experiencing and to also encounter hope. In Catching Your Breath, Steve offers himself as a companion to those who feel like they are drowning, not as a lifeguard but as a coach saying 'Hey. You can swim!’''

Andre Henry

former Managing Editor

RELEVANT Media Group

​...uncomfortably honest, remarkably compassionate, and beautifully rough around the edges.

"My friend Steve understands more than most that we are messed up people living in a messed up world with other messed up people. He understands the human condition. He refuses to sugarcoat the depth of his own desperation and need. But he also understands that God meets our messed-up-ness with his mercy over and over and over again. He understands that God loves bad and broken people because bad and broken people are all that there are. He’s uncomfortably honest, remarkably compassionate, and beautifully rough around the edges. Thank you for your friendship, Steve. And thank you for this book. Page after page you reminded me that 'It is finished.'"

--Tullian Tchividjian, author of One-Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World and Jesus + Nothing = Everything

​...important and very meaningful...

"Catching Your Breath is like sitting with a very wise, accepting, and loving friend when your life feels like it is spinning out of control. This friend speaks a calm, nurturing, gracious care over you when you are unable to offer it to yourself. This reflection will speak especially to people who have come through and are now out, or almost out, or half-out, of conservative religious subcultures that have not managed to offer the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional resources that many of their people need. I find this an important and very meaningful book. Highly recommended."

Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee

Author, Still Christian  

President, American Academy of Religion

Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University

"What a beautiful gift this book is for those of us living in today’s world. Steve’s wholehearted vulnerability invites us to question the often-glorified and addictive pattern of chaos, constantly going, unhealthy striving, achieving to avoid pain, comparing, and the illusion of control. We get one sacred life and what we do with this time matters. For this reason, I am deeply grateful for Steve’s willingness to share his story as a reminder that we can’t always control what happens in life, but we can often control how we respond to others, events, and situations in life. It is in this subtle shift of control that Steve unpacks how we can ultimately move from chaos to calm along this sacred journey.”

​Holly K. Oxhandler, PhD, LMSW

Assistant Professor | Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development

Baylor University

Diana R. Garland School of Social Work

​...meets  you where you are.

"In his book, Catching Your Breath, Steve Austin meets you where you are. Austin immediately puts himself in your shoes, gently takes your hand, and from there, you're off. From the practical and relatable advice he gives, you can tell he's been there. I would highly recommend this book to a friend who's going through a tough time."

​Sarah Schuster, Mental Health Editor at The Mighty

“Steve Austin has done it again. Catching Your Breath is a truth-telling memoir about being truly human. In our “fake-it-till-you-make-it-world” of 24/7 shiny posts that fuel our perfectionism, Austin delivers courageous medicine: we are all broken - and more important, we are all beautiful, valuable, unique, and connected. Instead of hiding, Austin calls us all to the table and asks us to catch our breaths in order to be vulnerable—together. What a gift!”


“We live in suffocating times and the threatening hands of stress, anxiety, anger, busyness, and conflict are tightening around our throats. And it is just so hard to find our collective breath. We have been the casualties of this suffocation: individually, relationally, and communally. In Catching Your Breath, Steve Austin pours his heart and soul out in real and raw personal stories, sharing his own journey of being able to breathe again, sharing how he navigated through anxiety and chaos to peace and self-care. This book is absolutely essential right now for our well-being, to help us catch our breath and save our souls. And there is no better guy to guide you along the way.”

Brandon Andress

author of Learning to See Beauty in the Wreckage

Host of Outside the Walls podcast

"A Siberian elder once wrote, 'If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.'


A lot of us feel lost in life because we either don’t know or else can’t admit to our own story. As a result, life can hurt so much we find ourselves wondering if it’s worth it. We feel crippled, as if some kind of highly personalized Kryptonite is slowly destroying us. And there is, a Kryptonite that is emotionally powerful enough to seduce even the strongest willed into believing lies about themselves and others, lies that can cripple and destroy, lies that force us to hide behind gleaming smiles on the outside while inside we feel as if our life is going up in flames and no one else can even hear the fire alarm ringing.

Steve Austin understands that Kryptonite can only be conquered using the superpower of words––the words that we speak to others and the words that we speak to ourselves. In Catching Your Breath, he helps the reader learn to use words as a weapon to tell their own story, thus lancing the festering boil of anxiety and neutralizing the power of dark secrets. Most of all, he offers the reader a taste of wildly extravagant grace. If you are among the multitudes who need help to just survive the next 24 hours, this book will be a God-send."

Dr. Paula Champion Jones

Retired UMC pastor

"Catching Your Breath is a fearless work in which Austin demonstrates vulnerability and nakedness; showing us his scars so we can begin to be comfortable with our own. His story travels with us to places of deep pain, but his words of encouragement provide a ladder and light for the climb out. The book is a wonderful resource for anyone who has encountered brokenness inflicted by others or self. When you read it, you'll find yourself catching your breath often, and then pausing to breathe deep."

-Suzanne DeWitt Hall

Author of the Rumplepimple adventures and Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies

“In Catching Your Breath, Steve Austin has written a treatise for finding our center amidst the frantic pace of today’s world.

So many of us live lives that move too quickly; we are expected to keep up in order to succeed. What happens when going with the crowd is anathema to your personal goals in life? Steve Austin recounts experiences that many might relate to. Be still and know that Spirit exists within each of us. We just need to slow our lives down so our dreams can catch up.

I am honored to recommend this book to people who feel burnt out, used up and lifeless. Catching Your Breath can feed your creative spirit again, and provide fuel as you move, at your own pace, going forward.”

Rev. Andrea L. Stoeckel


Retired United Church of Christ minister

“Have you ever had the feeling that the air is too thick, that it is dense and not filling your lungs correctly? Does it feel like you’re drowning in a bottomless pool of water, your legs tiring from treading water? If you’re longing for someone to permit you to pause, be still, be silent, and catch your breath, then you ought to read Steve Austin’s latest book.

Catching Your Breath urges you to take stock of your life and shed some of that unwanted heaviness. Through personal narrative, plus his training as a life coach, Austin masterfully leads the reader through the seemingly overwhelming task of finding calm, making the transition achievable and maintainable. This book empowers the reader to approach their journey with acceptance, honesty, and patience while journeying toward the calm we all possess.

In Catching Your Breath, Austin invites you to slow down and rest, while simultaneously empowering you to reach out and grab life by both hands.”

Laura Cass

Mental health advocate and blogger

"Steve’s website says “underdogs welcome.” He means that! His life embodies grace and compassion for everyone. He was at rock bottom when he attempted suicide; and since that day, he’s softened and matured and grown and learned and has been sharing his story of messy grace the entire way. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or unsure of how to move forward, I recommend Catching Your Breath! Steve’s story is real, raw, and relatable.” 

J.J. Landis, author of Some Things You Keep
Catching Your Breath: The Sacred Journey from Chaos to Calm

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