Daddy’s Baby Girl

In the fall of 2008, Richard and I agreed to foster a puppy for Paws With a Cause service dog program. The agreement was, we would raise her for the first year, learn how to train her and give her back so she could be a service dog for someone with a  specific type of physical or emotional need. If she didn’t fit into the program, she may go on to be another type of service dog: arson sniffer or DEA canine investigator. The next group of puppies, Labrador Retrievers, were to be released to foster homes in January 2009. We were going to be welcoming a female named Cricket.

We had to wrestle with the thought of falling in love with a puppy then being required to surrender it back at the end of a year. Richard and I both deeply bonded with pets all our lives. This was going to be tough, but a privilege to be part of providing a canine helper for someone living with a disability. We agreed it was worth the heartache to be part of the work they do.

My initial though was, “Well, she is a Lab. They are so “plain”. It will be easier to give her back than other types of dogs would be.” Clearly, I had never encountered a Lab before. There is nothing “plain” about Cricket.

When we went to pick her up, there was a group of us who were excited about meeting our temporary canine family members. The trainer pairing people with puppies mentioned there was one puppy who pouted and went to sit in the corner after she received her inoculations. Guess who we got? We were taking home the drama queen of the litter.

This little bundle of Labrador charm completely captivated Richard.  We took her on agreeing he would have to be the primary care giver for her. I had no extra energy to deal with anything, let alone a puppy. We were constantly juggling the insanity of addiction.

The first night she was home, Richard slept with her, “breaking all the rules”. She had diarrhea all night. He let her sleep with him in the spare room. He had such a tender heart.

Initially, both of us took her to puppy training every week. After several weeks, it was just me. Richard was the one who just loved her. That is not what we agreed to, it was just how it played out. She was “Daddy’s Baby Girl”. She bonded with him. He bonded with her. I was the task master who  had to provide the training and discipline necessary for her to become a service dog. This was not what I signed up for, yet knew it probably would turn out this way. Acceptance is key. We commited to this and follow through was important.

Cricket developed a hormonal imbalance after she was spayed. She would need to take medication to keep her from urinating in her sleep. This disqualified her from the “service dog” program. We received a phone call asking if we wanted to keep her as a pet. After having her for 10 months at that point, the decision was easy. We loved her. Richard was totally “taken” by her. She was now our pet.

Cricket tolerated me. I was the one who disciplined her. Richard was the center of her universe. She displayed all of her charm toward him. All of her affection was directed at him. Because of Richard’s physical disabilities, I had to be the one responsible for walking Cricket.

This dog is incapable of being calm on a walk. She pulls with the strength of Iron Man. If she is allowed to run freely, she eats every poisonous substance along the way. If she cannot run free, she acts as if she is being tortured. Walking her is not fun. She is a challenge every step of the way. She use to turn and look at me with contempt because she couldn’t get away from me. Acceptance, once again, is key.

Several years later when Richard was dying, she was by his side every moment. This purely loving creature was committed to being everything he needed. When he was at Trillium Woods, the hospice facility, she was completely beside herself.  I would come home to let the dogs out and she was obviously looking for him. She could smell him on me yet couldn’t be with him. It was heartbreaking.

I took a pillow from home for Richard to rest on at Trillium Woods. One of the doctors suggested when I take that pillow home after Richard passed, I could let the dogs sniff the pillow. There is a theory about a scent of death that lingers on an object after one passes. Dogs can pick up on that scent and it helps them process the loss of someone they love. Smelling death allows them to release the hope a loved one will return.

After Richard passed, I brought the pillow home and put it on the mattress in the spare room. Both dogs gravitated toward the pillow, sniffed it and laid next to it. Much to my surprise, they both got up relatively soon, within minutes and  went about their day. They knew he wasn’t coming back.

At that moment, Cricket started the process of bonding with me. She knew Richard was gone and I was all she had left.  All her charms turned toward me. If she wasn’t as sweet as she is, I would feel resentful. As it is, Cricket is so purely loving, I just enjoy what she offers and remember how hard it must be for her to not have her “Daddy” around anymore. Today, she sleeps snuggled up to me all night long. We comfort each other.

There are moments, I sense she misses Richard. After all, she was Daddy’s baby girl. She looks at me with those deeply loving, brown eyes asking me to love her like he did. I can’t help but look past all of the years she “tolerated” me and embrace the gift she offers of pure love now. I am all she has. She is so innocent and dependent on me. How can I help but love her as her Daddy did?

When I look at her, I see Richard. I see the creature who loved him while he was making choices that were unlovable. She was the one who could love him during the years I had to pull back emotionally from him because of betrayal and deception. I see the canine companion who offered him comfort during the last year of his life when I couldn’t be with him.

Cricket is still hard to walk. I have tried every collar on the market to keep her safe from pulling. The difference now is when she turns to look at me, she has such love in her rascally eyes, not contempt. She works it, and it works.

Now, she is Mommy’s baby girl.

Thanks for stopping by.

Let’s make this a great year!







My Kind of Town


Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up in St. Joseph, MI, Chicago was close enough geographically to enjoy long day trips and far enough away for weekend getaways.

Some of my favorite memories of Chicago were made with my best friend. She and I have been friends since junior high. Exactly how many years ago that was isn’t necessary to know for this story. Suffice it to say, we know what a disco ball looks like on a Friday and Saturday night.

As young adults, we used to enjoy girls weekends away in Chicago. I remember taking the train in together talking about life, love and frustrations. These days we go there to enjoy the bustle, sights and sounds of the city and to visit her delightful son who lives downtown.

We are opposite in so many ways. She is model thin, literally. Professional model is on her full resume. While l lived in Paris, she came to visit me for a week or so. We ate similarly and participated in the same physical activities. She lost weight and I gained weight.

She is an accomplished high-end interior design professional. When I say high-end, I mean multi-million dollar projects. I struggle to know if the curtains in my dining area match the wall covering. Her personal space is meticulously contemporary. My space is…ummm…eclectic.

When it comes to life experiences, we are very different. She has two very accomplished adult offspring. My experience with parenting has been with four outstanding step children. For a period of time I was a Licensed Minister. She would be content never stepping foot into a church ever again.

Musically, give me a sappy love song and I am happy. She wants more upbeat dancing music. She prefers a thick, rich beer. Give me a pale ale. She is a cat person. I am a dog person. The list is long.

What is profoundly rich about our friendship is our differences. We do not judge each other because we are different. It actually makes us laugh at times and makes us better together all the time. We know each other really well yet we continue to learn about the other as we learn about ourselves.

This friend is priceless to me. When we share our struggles or victories, we view them through the eyes of the other. We remember the things important to us aren’t necessarily mutual and that doesn’t matter. Primary importance is “seeing” the other. Whether it’s entering into pain or excitement, our focus is meeting there and bringing both of our strengths together offering support, encouragement and courage.

Who are you journeying with through life? Are you with people who celebrate the uniqueness of you or do they try to get you to conform to their preconceived idea of who you should be. Worse yet, are there people who are trying to make you into them?

Treasured friends do not ever make us feel insecure about who we are. They encourage us to be an ever evolving better self. Best friends know only you can find your true self and they do not want you to settle for less.

May you be and find the type of friend who joyfully embraces the differences.

If you have not experienced this type of friendship, consider how you can be and find an exemplary friend who will purely love at every stage of the emerging self.

Thanks for stopping by.

Let’s make it a great year.





Hiding in Plain Sight


This sculpture is displayed in Meijer Gardens. Whether I am enjoying the gardens alone, with a friend or facilitating a contemplative retreat, this sculpture and I often spend time together. It reminds me to gently notice if I am trying to be invisible by projecting a false self.

Within each of us is a desire to connect with others in and through the creation we share. All too often, internalized critical beliefs try to pull us away from the enriching experience of knowing others and being known. Some of these coercive messages are fueled by rejection, betrayal, pride and insecurities. The common denominator is usually the destruction caused by judgment though comparison.

Think about that for a moment. If life was free from comparison, how could we ever feel, “not good enough”?  Rejection would turn into a matter of opinion, not lack of value. Betrayal would reflect the choices of the one who betrays, not the worth of the betrayed. Pride would be an indicator of living out of a false self, since absence of comparison could assume equal value. Insecurity would not be fed by measuring up to a predetermined standard. We would be free to enjoy the uniqueness embedded in each of us.

Where might you be allowing comparison to steal life from you? Where could you be hiding your real self? Are you withholding from yourself the joy of living out of your uniqueness because of potential judgment from another?

If you are hiding, allow yourself to imagine what it would be like to feel and believe you do not have to hide. Meditate on being completely free from internal shame and guilt. Who wouldn’t want that kind of peace, joy and contentment?

It is naive to think we will not be judged by others. However, it is empowering to know we can stop ourselves from competing with anyone through comparison. In so doing, we have energy to find our own uniqueness, embrace it and live unencumbered daily.

May you consider the dynamic treasure deposited in you from your Creator. May you fully embrace the wonder of living as an incomparable masterpiece. It is from your true identity, compared to none, you will be equipped to embrace every piece of reality you encounter. When we choose to live in reality, hiding is unnecessary.

As always, thanks for stopping by. If you know someone who might like to visit my blog, please invite them to check it out!

Let’s make this a great year!



Resurrecting Larko


As many of you know, the last two years of my life have been filled with many challenges. After being together for 17 years, my Richard passed away in April of 2016. For over a year, his quality of life diminished with every passing week due to ALS, degenerative bone disease, and finally cancer.

Though his physical body was being attacked by fatal illness, his mind became more clear than ever before in his life. Richard suffered from severe chronic pain for decades. In and through his battle with pain, he became hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol. Apart from the insidious nature of addiction, Richard was truly a remarkable man. He was loving, intelligent, funny, nurturing, supportive, faith filled and the best kind of life companion.

In and through our time together, our relationship changed dramatically due to the destructive nature of addiction. One component never changed. We loved each other. For any relationship to survive the trauma of deceit, betrayal, manipulation and blame shifting, love must be central. We learned to define love as, “Choosing to do what is best for the other, even if it is not what I want.” Love can be very painful.

Our last year together, Richard was dying and it was by far the best year of our relationship. In and though the fire of life, we both learned how to love purely. Richard wanted me to write a book about our life together and tell the good, the bad and the ugly. He said, “If people don’t know the bad and the ugly, they will never know just how good the good is.” He was so wise and became selflessly courageous.

In this blog, I will be sharing excerpts of our story. Our purpose for exposing all the pain we experienced, is to help others who may be going though similar challenges. It took the process of losing his life for Richard to enjoy the freedom he fought so hard to find. His greatest desire was to be a catalyst for others to never give up fighting for what is right and to experience the freedom Divine Love longs to provide.

Shortly before he passed away, Richard told me it would soon be time for me to go find Jeanie Larko again. Being Jean Root had taken its toll on me. Since his passing, my journey of grief has been horribly painful on so many levels. Without a death, there cannot be a resurrection. Through the trauma Richard and I experienced, parts of me died, so the rest of me could survive through the insanity of loving someone caught in the grip of addiction.

The last several months I have been pressing into resurrecting Larko. I am still me, just different because much of what was, is no more. Reclaiming the lost parts of me has been painful, yet liberating. Resurrection can make us better than we ever were before.  It requires us to grieve so we are able to leave behind what has died. Relinquishing what is no more, frees us to embrace what is available now.

So, starting today, the name of my blog is changed to Resurrecting Larko. It is my hope for you to find comfort, if you are grieving, knowing the One with resurrection power walks with you in your grief.

Thanks for stopping by. Please come again. You never know what you will find here. 🙂

Let’s make this a great year!

Necessary Roughness


Other than my office and house, the place I visit most often is Planet Fitness. Most of the staff know me and frequently shout, “Jean”, as I walk in the door. Yes, I feel like Norm Peterson walking into Cheers.

I enjoy working out, if I can choose my favorite type of exercise. Walking is marvelous. It is my favorite space to mentally process information rolling around in my brain, connect with the Creator through nature, and bond with my puppies. When I go to the gym, hopping onto the elliptical is my “go to” for a solid cardiac workout. Listening to music, a podcast or reading a book makes the time fly by.

The problem is after doing these favorites repetitively for years, they become less effective for weight loss and management. Our bodies get accustomed to certain exercises, and unless we keep our physique guessing what muscles we will work next, we can stall. Sigh, this is me all too often.

A few months ago, I started working with a trainer at the gym. This early 20 something, dear hearted, gentleman was once again the voice of reason. He kindly reminded me I need to get off the elliptical and change things up every day I workout if I want to lose extra baggage. He also respectfully suggested I need to stretch before and after working out.

Inside me was a determined voice declaring, “Young man, I do not want to believe you. I like what I am doing now. Just tell me how to make what I am currently enjoying get the results I am looking for.” Somehow what came out of my mouth was something like, “Denial does not fix anything. Ok, tell me what I need to do differently.” Who said that? Oh yes, the voice of reason. Welcome back. Reality is a horrible thing to waste.

After several weeks and noticeable weight loss, my trainer with a huge smile and his youthful, ridiculously muscular body approached me while I was working out saying, “How are you liking the new routine?” I responded through breathlessness and sweat, “I HATE it!” Then I smiled and said, “But, it’s working.”

I can still jump on the elliptical once or twice a week. Interestingly, I enjoy it even more now. It feels like a day off of working out. Stepping into reality often changes our perspective.

Our bodies are our transporters. As pilots of our earthly vehicles, it is useful to create a  logical checklist to monitor our physical condition and provide proper maintenance to avoid a stall. Emotion will often cloud signs and symptoms of potential breakdowns. We only get one body, after all. If we stall and crash, the damage may be irreparable.

So, let’s determine together how to prevent and recognize a stall as it applies to our individual transporters. There are times we want to believe what we have always done will get us where we want to go. Denial is driven by emotion. Truth is steady.

As a first step, I encourage you to consider if changes in your physical activity might increase your quality of life. We will look at other areas in the days and weeks to come.

Thanks for stopping by.

May we soar as never before in 2017!

Recovering From a Stall

img_7182Most of us know what it is like to have a bad dream. Ever have a nightmare you know is a dream and you try to wake yourself up but can’t?  It can stir emotion so intense, the upheaval is felt long after we wake up.

There are experiences in life so surreal they feel like a dream. Sometimes really good moments we longingly attempt to cling to even after they pass. Traumatic events may seem surreal, unfolding in what feels like painfully slow motion. Waking up from real life experiences, especially those involving trauma, can create mental shifts resulting in unsteadiness. Often, with or without our awareness, we move to a place of internal turmoil resulting in loss of direction and focus.

Over the last few months, I have been learning about jet aviation from a dear friend who spent several decades flying big jets all over the world. As I was learning how pilots keep airplanes in the sky, it occurred to me life management is similar. Avoiding a “stall” is foundational. If an aircraft stays in a stall, it falls. If we get caught in a stall, our quality of life dramatically decreases. Inaction in both scenarios means destruction. As the “pilot” of our lives, we must tend to essential areas of life to stay balanced and on course. If we find ourselves in a stall, knowing how to recover is extremely important.

In aviation, a stall means the smooth air flow over and across the wing gets disturbed. The airplane will fall out of the sky unless the situation is corrected.  The “angle of attack” has been exceeded. The angle of attack is a small operating margin that must be maintained to avoid a stall. Staying airborne depends on the proper angle made by the leading edge of the wing and the relative wind (air) that it meets. The correction is the same on all airplanes: You need to lower the nose to get some speed back and get the wings level.

In order for a flight to be successful, several components must be available and fully operational. The aircraft must be mechanically sound with necessary updated equipment for safety. Proper training for the crew is needed to assimilate new developments in the industry. Flight plans must be accurately followed yet modified when unforeseen factors emerge . Regulating speed while considering external variables, like wind and weather, must be managed with expertise throughout the flight. Developing, maintaining and committing to routine checklists allows the crew to enjoy the ride confident all is in order. Being aware of potential hazards also keeps the crew centered on maintaining that small operating margin ensuring a smooth and safe flight.

As individuals, we must identify our “angle of attack” to avoid a stall and to recover from a stall. It is in that zone we enjoy life to the fullest. In order to completely engage in life, we must tend to and manage various details of our journey.  This includes: understanding what our physical body needs (the mechanical integrity of the aircraft),  lifelong learning (keeping up with new developments within the industry), determining goals (flight plan), maintaining rhythm (regulating proper speed), monitoring external forces influencing decisions (wind speed and direction), choosing healthy relationships (dependable competent crew) and knowing how and where to keep our proper focal point (wing flaps, ailerons and rudders to point the nose accurately).

Many times in life it becomes necessary to intentionally review where we spend our energy. In 2017, I invite you to join me and together we can look at how to achieve a well established “angle of attack” to avoid a stall. Then, if on our journey we find ourselves in a stall, we will have everything in place to recover from the stall.

Here are some areas we will explore together:

1. Taking care of our physical body

2. Careers: Including paid or unpaid

3. Resources: Including but not limited to finances

4. Family and Social Interaction: Determining how to step in and out of relationships

5. Life long learning

6. Embracing Spirituality

7. Leisure Activity: Identify a list of interests to pursue for recharging

Riding the Waves of Grief and Change

One thing I can always count on, is change.  I don’t always like change. Although it is often hard and scary, embracing change is how we grow. This weekend I have grown. It has been lonely, beautiful, frustrating, hopeful and filled with waves of grief strong enough to stop me mid-thought, reducing me to tears, regardless of location. Some of those were big, ugly cry, tears.

Six months ago today, Richard transitioned out of this world and into eternity. Sometimes it feels like 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 hours or 6 years.

Just about every year, during October, Richard and I would pack up the dogs and provisions for the day and drive up north to see the various shades of red, orange, green and yellow the leaves offered before falling to the ground. Fall has always been my favorite time of the year.

A year ago, knowing it would probably be our last autumn together, Richard wanted to go up north to see the colors with me one more time. His energy was very limited at that time so the typical 12 hour road trip was out of the question. We were just going to go as far as his body would allow.

In those days, he would sleep between 12-15 hours a day. It’s just how his body worked. ALS  and chronic pain would steal so much of his energy there was only a short time each day to engage in life. It would take a couple of hours for him to get out the door with the waking up process, tube feeding, medications, and getting dressed. Though I was there to help with those things, he wanted to do as much as he could on his own.

I remember watching him make his way down the wheelchair ramp, legs twisted from the crumbling bones in his ankles, knees and spine. Rarely would he let me take him down the ramp in his wheelchair. Knowing the chair was awkward and heavy for me to lift it in and out of the car, he didn’t want to have to use it any more than was necessary. As I helped him into the car, he apologized for the late start, thanked me, smiled, and laughed at his struggle to get his legs in the car.

We set out on a beautiful fall day with blue sky and white billowy clouds. The trip would include him singing made up songs to make me laugh, eating Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins, drinking diet Pepsi and drooling. As usual, we talked about life, death, dying and gratitude for what remained. It was going to be a great day according to him, regardless of how he felt. We enjoyed our familiar favorite valleys and high scenic overlooks to view the colors.  Richard fought the then common excruciating headaches during part of the trip. Still he didn’t complain, just said he needed to close his eyes for a while. Because of a late start, we only made it as far as Ludington for the sunset. It was beautiful.

Yesterday, I loaded up the dogs along with some necessities and set out for the annual color tour, on my own. It was really hard, I just knew I had to go. I pushed past my grief, loneliness and uncertain future to embrace the annual color tour alone. I did not wish Richard back with me. Thinking of watching him in pain again is beyond what I can bear.

Part way through the trip, I discovered why I needed to go this year. Richard lovingly pushed past his pain and weakness so I could enjoy the colors last year. He didn’t want me to miss out and knew I wouldn’t go without him.  So now, I cannot and will not, allow grief to keep me from embracing life even if it’s lonely and hard.

Sixteen of our 17 years together were really hard relationally. After many years of competing with his addiction, I had to let go of him. My heart just couldn’t take it anymore. I never stopped loving him. Once I love someone, I don’t know how to stop even if the relationship changes.

Eventually, Richard fought to come out of hiding in he dark world of addiction and learned to choose life in reality. Much like how the dying leaves show their most stunning beauty at the end of their life, Richard came alive while he was dying. In that final year, the year his body was fading away, he was able to live out of the best of who he was created to be. He learned how to love and give his all to others. Holding on to everyday he could, he tried to make my life better.

Today, I am struggling with the heartbreak of the many lonely years I spent with him while he was caught up in addiction AND the loss of him after only one short year of him being “fully present” with me in our very unique relationship at the end of his life.

I have no regrets. Loving is risky but worth it. He was worth it. I got to know, first hand, miracles happen and change can be good even though it can be hard and scary.

May you embrace change even when it is challenging and filled with uncertainty. Without change, we cannot grow. If we stop growing, we die.

It’s a great day!

Ouch, that hurt!

Relationships are often baffling, some more than others. Family, friends, co-workers, usually the ones with the most meaning to us and with whom we cherish the most are the hardest. They carry the power to bring exuberant joy, deep sorrow, belly laughs, ultimate betrayal, fulness of life, perplexing confusion, deeply satisfying emotional connection and utter frustration.

When we risk loving, especially when we are committed to a relationship, one thing is guaranteed, we will get hurt and we will hurt those we love. Most of the time we don’t mean to hurt each other, not if the path of love is followed. It just happens. Different agendas, miscommunication, assumptions, unrealistic expectations and perceptions are often part of creating conflict.

So, if pain is inevitable, how do some relationships survive when so many fail? There are many factors involved. A relationship is only as strong as the people in them are willing to invest in the good of the other. When both people are strong and confident within themselves, conflict resolution is much more probable and the relationship will keep growing. A truly solid relationship thrives on resolution through open and honest communication. That type of transparency takes guts and a level of trustworthiness not easy to find. Listening, hearing and considering each other results in a win/win resolution.

When one or both people is/are stuck in a self-centered cycle, blame or avoidance is often used to deflect personal responsibility squelching intimacy. The best that happens is one side has to acquiesce creating a win/lose conclusion. Relationships die when one side typically loses and the other typically wins. The degree to which this happens, often leads to the deterioration of the relationship until very little substance is left. If we do not consider the needs of the other, how can mutual love or relationship survive?

The healthiest relationships are those where hurts are communicated so resolution can be embraced. This is where things like misunderstandings, selfishness, insecurities, agendas and misinformations are washed away with the strength of mutual vulnerability, commitment and transforming love. This process is seldom easy, just worth it.

May you embrace the way of Love, having the courage to be vulnerable enough with those you care about to pursue conflict resolution as much as it is up to you and may you find those strong enough to choose the same.

It’s still a great day!

Good Grief!


Going to doctors appointments alone is nothing new for me. It is something I have always had to maneuver though on my own. Certainly wasn’t my preference, just reality.

As I was driving away from an appointment with my endocrinologist today, I began to tear up, then cry, then sob. For so many years, Richard was the first and often only one I would call after an appointment to share what ever news I received. He would celebrate the victories with me and encourage me when results were scary. Today, the profound void consumed me.

Waves of grief are truly unpredictable. Today the news from the doctor was good. I am grateful. Had it been alarmingly negative, I would have tried to reach out to someone for support. Every so often, my new normal hits me hard. I recover, make adjustments and move forward. It isn’t easy.

People call me strong. I don’t feel strong. I feel very fragile. Having learned staying stuck destroys me and doesn’t change truth, I focus on what I need to do to move through difficult situations and circumstances. Waiting on the other side are new possibilities, unknown opportunities and sacred experiences. No matter how alone I feel, I chose to remember Divine Love is with me, I am blessed beyond what I deserve in more ways than I can count and what ever I am going through, someone has it worse and I will get to the other side.

Finding joy in life remembering with gratitude all the times Richard was here to support me and celebrate with me.

It’s a great day!


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!