Book Interview with Julie Potiker “SNAP! From Chaos to Calm”

Julie PotikerJulie Potiker is a mindfulness expert who helps others bring more peace and wellness into their lives through her Mindful Methods for Life program offerings. Her new book is “SNAP! From Chaos to Calm.”

A former attorney, Julie is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and founder of the Balanced Mind Meditation Center in La Jolla, California. She began her in-depth study of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She was trained by Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer, and UCSD as a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. She went on to study with Rick Hanson, becoming a graduate of his Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course. Julie also completed Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester.

During COVID-19 shelter-in-place, Julie graduated from David Treleaven’s Advanced Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Course. Additionally, she completed teacher training for the Mindful Self-Compassion Adaptation for Healthcare Communities and the Mindful Self-Compassion short course for teaching online during the pandemic. Since then she has added David Kessler’s Grief Educator Training to her extensive certifications. She holds a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from George Washington University.

Julie’s first book, “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos,” is now available on audiobook. Her work has been featured by The Oprah Magazine, Costco Connection, AARP, AP News, NBC, CBS, Fox, The CW, and many more. For more information, visit

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The Title of Your Book

SNAP! From Chaos to Calm

Why did you write the book?

I’m a Mindful Self Compassion teacher and I’ve been teaching Mindful Self-Compassion since 2014. I wrote this book because I created a system I call SNAP to help people quickly and easily calm their nervous system when they are feeling difficult emotions, and I wanted to get it out into the world.

What was your biggest surprise or aha moment when writing your book?

How well this system works to help people calm down and feel better, no matter what emotion they are experiencing, by starting with a simple thing anyone can do under almost any circumstance. In SNAP, the “S” stands for “Soothing touch.” Placing your hands lovingly over your heart, your belly, your face, or wherever you feel stress, releases oxytocin and endorphins in your system. The “N” stands for “Name the emotion.” Naming what you are feeling further calms down your system and gives your pre-frontal cortex time to come online so you can make a more skillful response.

The “A“ stands for “Ask” and “Act.” First ask yourself “What do I need to hear right now?” and say it to yourself. Then ask “What do I need to do right now?” and do what you can in the moment to help shift your mood. I recommend you make a list of things that bring you joy, and I have a list of about 25 mindful methods I share in the book. The “P” stands for “Praise,” and that can be anything from patting yourself on the back for lovingly taking control of yourself, to praising your teachers or thanking your deity.

Who is your ideal audience for the book?

Anyone experiencing any kind of suffering, which of course is all of us, and who wants to learn how to rewire their brain for happiness and resilience. Any time you feel happy for whatever reason, if you let that happiness fill you for a couple of breaths, you enrich and absorb it, creating new neural pathways in your brain.

Tell us, how do you deal with fear?

By practicing SNAP and other forms of mindfulness and meditation. As primates, we are hardwired to worry and ruminate. But we need to be able to reset after perceived danger to get back to our baseline, which is a calm state, often called the tend-and-befriend state.

This allows the cortisol and adrenaline that helped us react to danger to dissipate. If we stay in the danger zone, the cortisol and adrenaline that kicks in to help us fight, flight, or freeze can wear us down and make us sick. I created SNAP to help people give their brain a much-needed break from this kind of stress.

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Tell us, how do you deal with rejection?

Rejection is part of the human experience. Having a mindful self-compassion practice enables me to be kind to myself when I feel rejection, rather than letting my inner critic take the ball and run with it. We’ve all got those voices in our heads that speak to us in ways that can be really harsh.

Those voices are our inner critics. If we spoke to others the way we sometimes speak to ourselves, we would be lucky to have any friends! In the book I share a writing exercise to gently but forcefully send your inner critic packing.

Tell us two concepts or ideas you want the reader to takeaway?

We have more power than we realize over how we feel. We have power and control over our mind, over our soul, and our bodies that we often leave on the table. People don’t realize when they’re feeling bad that they could actually take control over themselves and feel better. I want all of us to be able to manage ourselves better and show up better so that we can have a more compassionate world.

Name one of the biggest challenges you have faced writing your book and how did you overcome it?

I had a lot of hassles with the publisher getting the book to press that stretched over many months. Managing my disappointment over those repeated delays gave me ample opportunity to use SNAP!

What’s a personal self-talk, mantra, affirmation, or self-belief that contributes to your success?

Whatever unfolds, I will be there to meet it. I also practice Loving Kindness meditation ( This form of meditation invites you to expand your ability to have compassion for yourself and others, and opens the doorway to the possibility of being mindfully calm, clear, and loving in an otherwise chaotic world. I have over I have over a dozen versions of loving kindness meditations on you can find and try on Insight Timer ( and the Balanced Mind with Julie Potiker podcast (

How can people contact you?

Mindful Methods For Life

3-4 Keywords or Tags, separated by commas,  you want associated with your book?

Self-compassion, resilience, personal growth, empowerment









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