Day 10 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and inspiration has taken a hike.

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last when inspiration simply desserts me and I’m left with a blank brain while facing the expanse of white which represents tonight’s blog post. I even opened up the emails from the hosts, hoping that something contained within would trigger my muse. But in the immortal words of Terri Clark…”Nope…still nothing!”

So what do you do when your inspiration is busted? Like Elsa in “Frozen”, do you just “let it go”? Leave writing a post for another day when your brain isn’t a dried up husk? Do you drag something from your archives? Or maybe, jot down a few pithy remarks and call it a night?

Me being me, and the sort who often shuts off the conscious mind to write, I just stare at the screen until my mind begins to blur, then allow my fingers to just write whatever comes to mind. I realize that could lead to a page full of nonsense, but who’s to say it couldn’t also lead to something rather poignant or profound…or even profoundly poignant? No sir! I am not afraid to let my subconscious mind run amok. And look, I already have three paragraphs!

Reading back, I’m reminded of how much I’m influenced by music. It is certainly a major part of my favorite pastime, or at least one of them. Sure, we could all dance to our own drummer but if there’s music, we’re more likely to be following the same beat and refraining from becoming a floor full of human bumper cars. (not that we don’t achieve this on occasion, especially when there are either a lot of beginners or a lot of drunks on the dance floor.)

I often think in song lyrics, or find that an entire song does a better job of explaining something than I am doing with my own words. Music grabs part of my brain so I can use the rest of it to focus on the problem at hand, reaching a solution far more quickly than if I’d tried to resolve it in silence.

Music definitely impacts our moods. People in many industries have figured that out, and will use it to lead us quietly to a particular action. Take retail. Stores have background music. Is it random, or do they have a playlist which is designed to encourage us to buy what they’re selling?

What do you hear in a restaurant? A casino? A grocery store? Could they be using music to subtly influence our choices?

Sure, these things sound ominous, but the advertising industry relies heavily on human psychology when they design their ad campaigns. Meanwhile, we can influence ourselves with our choice of music.

I have created several stations on Pandora. One is “Ambient Music” which I use when I meditate. There are several country stations which are used for anything from doing accounting work to working out. There’s a “Loggins and Messina” station which I use when I’m cooking, a jazz station, my “Blood, Sweat and Tears” station which plays a lot of Chicago and Santana as well, and feeds my need for great horn sections. Whatever I might be doing, there is only one station which suits that activity, so it will be the appropriate station or silence.

Music can make us remember or forget, laugh or cry.

It’s music which can set a mood or change it. It can command our attention, or just linger in the background almost unnoticed. “Almost” because while our conscious mind may be unaware, our subconscious hears and responds.

What would our lives be like without music?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for all of the music in my life.
2. I am grateful that I can find inspiration in the void.
3. I am grateful for my daughter’s unexpected but welcome decision to visit this weekend.
4. I am grateful for an increased workload.
5. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, work, play, family, love, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.