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It Bloweth Where it Listeth

June 26, 2007

by Ann

Inspiration is by definition a good thing. It helps us to create, to grow, to enlighten, to uplift. Inspiration can come from any number of sources: music, art, literature, speech. Each of these potential sources has sacred and secular variants, but their power to inspire comes from their ability to move the participant, not their context. Because the people in an audience can have different tastes, they will be inspired by different things. Thus we have both Les Miserables and Especially for Mormons as sources of inspiration.

Sometimes, when I have been thinking about how to solve a problem, the answer will come when I’m not thinking about it at all, often when I’m in the shower. I think of this as inspiration, too, even though it isn’t necessarily the result of an outside source. Probably my subconscious mind has been working on building the connections between the pieces of the problem. When my mind is at rest but awake (its common state when I’m in the shower) my subsconscious ideas are able to push to the surface and eureka!

When I was more traditionally faithful than I am now, I experienced God-given inspiration on a fairly regular basis. Answers to prayers would emerge as full blown ideas or sentences; I always took these to be God-breathed. I am less likely to experience inspiration in such a way now, but I think it still comes. I am glad to take my inspiration from whatever source it derives. If I feel inspired or impressed to do or say something (or to NOT do or say something) I try to follow it. The vast majority of the time I don’t know if it’s the right thing or not, but I figure if my inspirations are mostly harmless, it’s best to trust my instincts.

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