Preparing for Spontaneity

Spontaneity is a powerful creative tool if it is preceded by careful planning and preparation.

Street Art photographed by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

Spontaneity is synonymous with freedom. It seems counterintuitive then that the ability to be spontaneous in a way that serves us, instead of hindering us, is made possible by discipline and forethought in the form of careful planning and preparation. Without these, spontaneity is nothing more than whimsical randomness, when it has the potential to be a powerful tool for creative experiences and output.

Being free-spirited and spontaneous, allowing our muse to guide us, is a truly beautiful experience that can result in some of our best creative work. There is a time, place, and a way to be spontaneous, however, if we want it to work for us, instead of against us. We must set ourselves up for success and this means laying the groundwork so that we give ourselves the space, setting, and permission to be spontaneous.

If we do the necessary preparatory work, if we take the time to develop our skills and abilities in a disciplined way, and if we set time aside wherein we are undistracted and unhindered by outside influences or responsibilities, we will find that it is like opening the floodgates for spontaneous creative output. Disciplined prep-work focuses our creativity and gives us freedom to be spontaneous in a positive, useful direction.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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