Preparedness and Spontaneity – Finding the Balance

“If you want the whole thing, the gods will (1)

This morning I heard an amazing podcast by the fabulous Elle Luna.  She is an artist living what some might call a “dream life” of creativity and promise.  Her story though, was one of both amazing happenstance and quiet preparation.


Elle tells a story of a recurring dream, vivid, complete and repeating every night for months.  In it she finds herself over and over again in a simply clean room, filled with peace.  What astounds me about the story is not the dream itself – it’s the fact she attends to the nudge (and a friend’s suggestion) to actually find the room.

How did she know it was real?  How would one go about such a task?

It got me thinking about all the times this has happened in my own life. The urge to leave a job, move away, embark on a new venture.  Create a new path and take risks.  Sometimes those paths have seemed overwhelmingly right and clear.  Sometimes, more murky and confusing.

But what I also hear in Elle’s story is a time of preparation.  Even though it might not have been conscious, those paths were not spontaneous.  Often, her life and the Universe was conspiring at every moment to give her the tools she’d need to attempt those new situations and tasks.  What was crucial is that, sometimes without even knowing why, she grabbed the tools and took the risks of preparation as well as action.

I believe today that both are necessary.  The acceptance that sometimes this fallow time of waiting is not so shallow and empty.  That even in those moments we are being prepared for Work that might seem more “exciting” on the outside to others.  Learning to attend to those motions is crucial to finding the balance of effective faithfulness in the world, and becoming our true selves.

Want to hear Elle’s whole story?  You can find it here

I also recommend The Unmistakable Creative Podcast for many of their insights and stories.  This is one of my favorite podcasts!




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