Taking a Leap of Faith (the Story of Brunelleschi’s Dome)

BY Lisa Condie        August 28, 2015

Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.”  D. H. Lawrence

In 1296, the good people of Florence, Italy, decided to up the status of their city by creating a church worthy of their new economic and cultural well being. Their vision was one of grandeur; to design a church that would be more useful, beautiful, powerful and honorable than any that had ever existed before. No small undertaking!

However, it wasn’t until 1418 that a new generation finally figured out how to execute a plan to cover the enormous hole in the roof of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore. For decades, through the pouring rain and blistering heat, the church floor had remained exposed to the elements. 

The reason being, no one had the knowledge of exactly how the dome could be constructed! While the Florentine’s goal was to build the largest cupola on earth, the science of the day had not yet reached the point of knowing how to do so. And yet, the building and expansion of the church had continued for over a century.

My favorite part of this story is not about the architecture or even the brilliance of Filippo Brunelleschi, who successfully masterminded the project of constructing the dome. My favorite part is the faith of the Florentine people. For generations, the building of their church continued with no solid assurance of how the massive project was to be completed. They simply believed that someone would come along equal to the task.

Before Italy gave birth to Michelangelo, Leonardo di Vinci, Galileo, or even Brunelleschi, it had produced a people who envisioned great things could and would be accomplished. And, because of their faith, Santa Maria del Fiore has one of the largest and most beautiful domes in the world.

By definition, a leap of faith is an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved. It is the essence of the human experience to push the boundaries of what is, and believe that there is something else, sight unseen, that could be!

We live in a time of information overload. Yet, neither GPS nor Google Maps can guarantee the outcome of a leap of faith. Life is risky business, and a bold and courageous life is even riskier! But, there’s good evidence in history to support that if you are willing to risk the leap, you will be rewarded for doing so. I look up and see that evidence every day in my life, when I walk by Brunelleschi’s dome!

Ready to take your own leap?

1. Visualize what you want, but don’t get stuck on how it looks: I think this is the key! New jobs, relationships, opportunities can show up in many different packages. Be open to all possibilities, but release exact expectations.

2. Realize you cannot fail: Worst case scenario, you learn a new lesson.

3. Think of the next best step: Rather than becoming overwhelmed with all that would have to happen to actualize the finished plan, take action today on the next best step.

4. Trust in yourself, your abilities, and your intuition: Once you truly embrace your own internal guidance, you become the captain of your destiny. Check in when making decisions, both large and small, and adjust your plan accordingly. Look for signs, coincidences and signals along the way that are offering direction.

5. Believe the universe is at work for you: Let go and enjoy the ride of life, fully embracing that the universe is working on your behalf.


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Lisa Condie

Lisa is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, now living in Florence, Italy. While raising two children, she enjoyed a career in the fitness industry that spanned 32 years. In August of 2012, she sold her home and most of what was in it, left her business, retired her aerobic shoes, said goodbye to friends and family and headed for Tuscany. Lisa owns Find Yourself In Tuscany, a luxury tour company, and is the author of I Found Myself In Tuscany, a memoir of her first three years in Italy. Featured on the Today Show, Lisa was named one of Huffington Post's '50 Over 50', a risk taker who had changed her life for the better. Lisa welcomes groups of women to Tuscany, serves as a travel expert and consultant. Daily and richly, Lisa lives a life that is beyond her wildest dreams! She is a seeker of joy and a believer in serendipity.

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