Under The Influence

What has an effect on you? What shapes your view of yourself, the world and those around you? Whether or not we admit it, we are being influenced by something or someone all of the time.

Periodically, I like to take a inventory to evaluate what is fueling my thoughts and choices. The last couple of weeks I have been doing my own mental check up to understand what has influenced me, motivated me and inspired me. Probing into these insights may help me decide if some things need changing. After all, these controlling, stabilizing beliefs in me guide my thoughts and choices.

Ever think about what influences, motivates and inspires you? I invite you to consider it.

Last night, I had the privilege of leading about 15 of us through a contemplative retreat at Meijer Gardens. We considered these same concepts together. Using the following dictionary definitions, each of us considered how these abstract power punchers inside of us operate.


1 the influence of parents on their children:, impact; control, sway, hold, power, authority, mastery, domination, supremacy; guidance, direction; pressure.
2 a bad influence on young girls: example to, (role) model for, guide for, inspiration to.
3 political influence: power, authority, sway, leverage, weight, pull, standing, prestige, stature, rank; informal clout, muscle, teeth.


1 his motivation was financial: motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, inducement, incitement, spur, reason; informal carrot.
2 keep up the staff’s motivation: enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise; informal get-up-and-go.inspiration


1 her work is a real inspiration to others: guiding light, example, model, muse, motivation, encouragement, influence, spur, stimulus, lift, boost, incentive, impulse, catalyst.
2 his work lacks inspiration: creativity, inventiveness, innovation, ingenuity, genius, imagination, originality; artistry, insight, vision; finesse, flair.
3 she had a sudden inspiration: bright idea, revelation, flash; informal brainwave, brainstorm, eureka moment.

Influence seems to be something outside of us which tries to define us, put expectations on us, driving an agenda created by a person(s) or culture. Coming with some sort of requirement to achieve recognition or acceptance, an influence is as good as the source is pure.

Inspiration comes from within. Perhaps it is monitored by how well we stay connected with who we are in our true self. There is something intrinsically genuine about inspiration. It is birthed from a place within us connected with our unique purpose and personality. Often it revealed by a Divine decision.

Motivation seems to be birthed in the tension of the two. Are you motivated by an outside force or an internal revelation?

If you chose to consider these robust rallying  forces within you, a new perception and perspective about yourself and your life may emerge. Change is hard. Sometimes staying the same is harder.

Finding joy in life, going to the deep places within to explore the source of motivation fueling my choices.

May you experience inspired motivation each day being fully connected with your true self and your Creator.

It’s a great day!




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