Poetry Dowsing Week Four: Uncovering A Sense of Balance

Poetry Dowsing Week Four: Uncovering A Sense of Balance


This is a weekly exercise for a 12 week program for creative exploration and self care. A new exercise will be posted each week for the duration of the program. All post titles are matched up to the chapter names in Julia Cameron’s book “Finding Water”, which is our source text. Please read Poetry Dowsing: A Path to Your Creative Well for more information.

Week Four Intentions

Our focus this week is on maintaining a sense of balance. It is all too easy to lose balance when we juggle priorities and wear so many hats. During the next seven days it will be important to gently course correct yourself when you feel your balance shifting.

A personal note about balance

I tend to rush headlong into most ‘great ideas’ that I have. Sometimes I’m not very good at pacing myself. I have a hard time saying “no”, which leads me to over-commit. On the surface, these things I agree to don’t look like too much, but when put together they can weigh me down.

This fall, I spent some time hiking around National Trust sites in North Wales. I carefully loaded my backpack with all of the things I thought I might need in order to enjoy the day. Any experienced backpacker knows that choices are important. It’s not only about the space available, but the weight of the pack that makes a difference.

I am not an experienced backpacker!

There were the important things, like my diabetic testing kit, glucose tablets, food and drink. I knew I would want a pen and a small notebook, this is a staple for me as a writer. But what about that sketchbook? Pencils? Coloured pencils, too? I said yes to everything and I felt it keenly the day after my hike. I learned quickly how to balance needs and wants for these outings.

This journey to my creative well is similar. I need to be able to say “no” to some things, to balance what I need to care for myself as an artist while not forgetting other important people or things in my life. Sometimes all I need to re-focus on that is a little bit of breathing room and some space to think or re-connect to what is important to me. This week I intend to find that space and put it to use.

This week’s dowsing exercise

This week’s exercise is one of quiet contemplation. Find a space that speaks to your heart and makes you feel calm inside. For me, this is often by the sea or in the forest. It could be your own back garden or even an urban space like a church or library. The important part of the space is that you choose it and you feel like it is a place where you can connect with your thoughts. If you are unable to travel for this outing, consider using meditation or finding a spot in your home that speaks to your inner sense of calm.

Spend a half hour in your chosen spot with a notebook or sketchbook and let yourself soak in the space. You may wish to sketch your surroundings or to write words or impressions that come to you. This is a pause in your every day life and a moment to reconnect to yourself. We are searching for a sense of harmony and balance within. This is not a time to be overly ambitious, it is a time for gentle consideration of yourself.

When things feel out of balance this week or chaotic, think back on your chosen spot or review your sketches and notes. Course correct yourself, if necessary, keeping in mind that we all need a nudge now and then to stay on our chosen paths.

This week’s quote:

“Greater happiness comes with simplicity than with complexity.” –Buddha


Important reminders

  • This process centers on recovery and self care in regard to your creative self. Be gentle!
  • Make adjustments as needed, you know yourself best and your positive mental health is paramount.
  • Commit to using your basic tools of Morning Pages, Artist Dates and Walks.
  • Sharing is not mandatory, but we’d love to share the journey with you! Tag all posts regarding these exercises as #PoetryDowsing so we can support you within the Twitter community.