I wouldn’t call myself Houdini, but I have been able to find the solace of listening to the voice within among a world of distractions.

As an artist it’s easy to find stimuli, but to find inspiration in a quiet place is a key component to the creative process.

Below are some ways that have helped me.

1. Go someplace new.

A change in scenery often clears my mind of the familiar frustrations of my present location. I caught myself uttery annoyed by the ad playing every 5 minutes at the bookstore the other day. Not only was it loud, but it was the same sound bite and contained a scream I can still hear in my head. I gave myself permission to leave and laughed my way to the car.

2. Turn-off or tune-in to the noise.

Music, medicine for the soul, has amazing properties to heal, inspire and bring joy. Even so, I clear the ear intake once in a while by turning off the music. The concerted effort to turn off the tunes while walking, driving or cooking heightens my focus on the task at hand. Being aware of the quiet brings a new sensation and can either clear the inner noise or help me actually face the inner noise and find a solution.

3. Cut the crap.

Fasting is a way I clear controlling desires that can bring disorder to my soul. You are what you eat. That can be food or other things. You are what you see, you are what you do, feel and sense and think about. Clearing the senses may entail cutting out certain foods or certain activities for a said amount of time.

Even though removing a desired item from your life for a short season may immediately heighten the awareness of the lack of it, eventually you may discover new things you enjoy. A paradigm shift most often follows.

4. Find some water.

I keep a blanket in my car and from time to time will frequent a park with an area of water to sit or lay down and relax. Camera on hand, I capture the dance of the sun off the water, like diamonds popping. There’s a dock I frequent to lie on my back and catch the odd displacement of motion created by viewing the rolling water to my side as I remain still.

Fountains are located in many places, just waiting to be noticed. I have pulled over while driving on occasions to sit and observe the way it rains. One of my favorite personal videos is a handful of colorful leaves slowly floating on the green surface of a small pond at a local cemetery.

5. Markers and crayons.

Keeping journals is a good way to release pent up thoughts and relieve stress. Expressing in color and scribbles helps me express emotions that cannot always be expressed in words. By keeping bound pages from a music dictionary in my purse along with a handful of markers and crayons, I am always able to access this creative flow. Sitting in a coffee shop, in the park, waiting for the IRS to answer the line while on hold… I can pull out this book, begin scribbling colors and see what shapes and thoughts transform. Nobody has to see the pages, the reward is well worth the investment. And, an interesting collection of works may transpire.

And a bonus point:

6. Close your eyes and whistle.

It’s hard not to laugh or to take yourself or life too serious when you do this. In most cases the tune you are attempting will not be right the first time and repeating attempts adds humour to the situation. Take a picture of yourself while you do it and look at the picture. This can be entertaining as well.

Whatever the business or confusion is, having peace in the storm can be as simple as a decision. If even for small moments, learning to find secret acts of delight will help bring new perspectives to decisions and responses.

How do you escape the chaos?

Sarah Hascher

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Sarah Hascher is a native yankee, but wears her southern charm like a necklace. She designs, creates and moves like the waves.

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