The Art of Calm

Spiritual Exercises for the Anxious Soul

Roger Hutchison

Apr/2023, 224 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640656321



As anxiety grows as a mental health concern, a practical guide for using art to manage stress.

Honest stories of the author’s descent into fear and anxiety, a diagnosis of mental illness, and how he found his way back to a place of stability and health inform this inspiring guidebook for those struggling with anxiety, fear, and panic. Told with vulnerability and compassion, the author’s story and the practices he provides will inspire and encourage readers who face a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Reflection questions, journaling prompts, and practices will help readers lead a more grounded and centered life.

Hutchison found photography as a daily practice during his recovery helped him to slow down, see the world through from new perspectives, get out in nature, and live more contemplatively. The exercises and reflections included at the end of each chapter encourage readers to try out a variety of creative practices to find their way to a more centered and peaceful life. Practices range from photography, art, music, and meditation to cooking and hiking and help the reader reset their outlook, and find themselves again amidst inner and outer turmoil. Hutchison's guiding voice will show readers they are not alone. 

ROGER HUTCHISON is the Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston. An artist who paints with children in a variety of contexts, he is the author of several books including Jesus: God Among Us and The Painting Table. Roger serves on the Forma Board of Directors and is a member of the National Association of Grieving Children. He lives with his family outside of Houston, Texas.

"Christian readers who have been struggling with the demands and harshness of the world will find Hutchison’s calm, self-effacing tone extremely refreshing. A compassionate, helpful, faith-oriented series of meditations on finding peace in a tumultuous world."Kirkus Reviews

"Exceptionally well written, exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly', The Art of Calm will be of special value for readers with an interest in a Christian approach to therapy and relaxation." Midwest Book Review

The Art of Calm is about developing a practice, exploring strategies and finding sources of solace. It’s equal parts workbook, self-help guide, memoir and prayer book.”—Houston Chronicle

“Exceptionally well written, exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly' presentation, The Art of Calm will be of special value for readers with an interest in a Christian approach to therapy and relaxation in dealing with the inevitable stresses and strains of daily life in these troubled times.”—Wisconsin Bookwatch

"In The Art of Calm, Roger is refreshingly honest. Although he’s a tremendous artist and illustrator, he refuses to paint a perfect picture of life. Instead, he reminds his readers, we are not alone. He’s vulnerable and real. He doesn’t write as a mental health expert, but as a friend who has found a way through the mess, and learned how to experience calm."
—Traci Rhoades, author of Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost

“What a beautiful blend of personal memoir and effective guidance! This resource reflects the warm spirit of Roger Hutchison, and it generates the same hope and light that his ministry has brought to others. Thank you, Roger, for your courage and your spirit. Your journey, indeed your art, brings calm to the world!”
—The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler, Dean, The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, GA

Important Message from the Author
How to Use This Book

1. Crash

2. Rescue

3. Fear

4. Hunger

5. Anxiety

6. Stretch

7. Remember

8. Marked

9. Anger

10. Toxic

11. Fallow

12. Walk

13. See

14. Listen

15. Grow

16. Truth

17. Holy

18. Strong

19. Home

20. Forgive

21. Friend

22. Prayer

23. Hope

24. Heal

25. Giving

26. Color

27. Awe

28. Ritual

29. Purpose

30. Connection

31. Beginning

Conclusion. The Art of Calm

Recipe for Charlie Browns
List of Mental Health Resources
List of Children’s Books

Click For a Book Preview



  • Mental health
  • panic attack
  • self-help
  • guided journal
  • art therapy
  • wellness
  • psychology

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