It was a cool autumn evening in the small Pennsylvania town where I went to high school. Almost all the shops in the tiny downtown district were closed for the night. I strolled by one that sold curios among other items. In the darkened store display window, a light caught my eye. An artistically shaped glass bottle housed a bluish liquid through which various sized doughy balls of blue floated leisurely to the top while others sank in slow motion from the top toward the bottom.
I stood mesmerized there in the quiet darkness, gazing at this mysterious object that was introduced to me as a lava lamp. It fascinated me. It soothed me. It reached me on a level I had not often felt where sensuality met spirituality. Watching a lava lamp created a mood of reflection, much as a campfire does.
This post will explore how we can create a mood for a variety of situations, some important and others not so much. Just know it can’t hurt to adopt the proper frame of mind to enrich our lives.
I’ve never used Barry White or Barry Manilow or Barry Gibb for that matter to set the mood for romance, but I have resorted to music on occasion. The classical Bolero, a solo jazzy Sting album, or even Neil Young’s Sleeps With Angels have awakened the feeling of love on occasion. Of course, it isn’t always agreed upon as to what lights the eye of a man or woman. Coo-cooing may make one woman respond while it will cause another to laugh derisively. Somehow, when the planets align, we know just what to do.
Sunsets, candlelight and city lights may each in their own time and place provide the perfect ambiance. For some, it’s the party atmosphere that sets them off. Mystery can get the engines revving for many while it does nothing for others. In any case, being authentic is probably what counts the most.
Putting people in a frame of mind to do their jobs starts with the employer creating an atmosphere of competence, peace, appreciation and proper pay for the work. Everything else is secondary.
From there, I think providing an environment conducive for work depends on the kind of work it is to a large degree. Music again comes to mind, especially for physical labor or tasks. If I’m washing dishes, I want some lively tunes to help create energy and enthusiasm. I think it’s great, too, for outside work. If I’m performing tasks at a desk, especially writing, silence is in order. I want no distractions. Yet, when I worked in an office, I liked having low-volume background music to help make the day pass pleasantly.
Heading out on a road trip requires three components to produce the suitable mood. First is the having the means (a reliable vehicle and ample money). Second is attitude by all making the trip, be it a couple, a family, friends or whoever else is riding along. Third is viable entertainment. Movies, video games, e-books, print books and…oh yeah…MUSIC! Forget about the kids and anyone else except you and maybe a companion of whatever ilk. You need road music. That’s going to mean different things to different people, but the key is the music makes you feel the excitement of hitting the road. Freedom is represented in the music. There’s probably a great song about the road from every decade. Born to Be Wild in the 60s, Ramblin’ Man in the 70s, On the Road Again in the 80s, Road Trippin’ in the 90s, and Another Travelin’ Song from this century are just a few samples of what music you can try for your road trip.
To get the most out of a hike, don’t do so while carrying a golf club. That’s a cheap way of introducing the joke by Mark Twain in which he said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” The point is that hiking should be done in a state of mindfulness. A healthy reverence for Mother Nature would also be a helpful state of mind. Hiking is clearly a physical activity, but it offers the opportunity to get a solid workout while opening oneself up to wonder. Whether you’re in a desert or a tropical forest, there are always amazing sights to see.
The Nature of Reality
Reality is largely how we comprehend it. One person’s tedium is another person’s exhilaration. Reality can be created and one way of doing that is to adjust your outlook or a small part of the world around you to cast a mood that colors your day just the way you want to shade it.