In acting training we are taught to know our motivation. We don't just walk across the stage without a reason. We don't sit or stand "just because." There is a motivation, an impetus to what we do usually backed by something we want or want to get from the other person in the scene. This is to create a believable and organic performance. So in life it goes without saying that everything we do has a specific motivation as well. We say something with a specific tone, we sit or stand or leave the room because we are experiencing an emotional response to something or wanting something. The key is to apply this to our spiritual practice and look at what motivates us.
Are we motivated by love or fear?
A wonderful practice I learned from my teacher, Rev. Jennifer Hadley, is to make a list at the end of your day of 10 things you did that day. Then ask yourself, what was your motivation? Were you trying to get something from someone else? Why did you use that particular tone, was it to control or manipulate? Was your motivation based on lack or fear? Or was your motivation to inspire? Were you coming from a place of overflow desiring to share the love that you are? Evaluating your motivations is a powerful practice that can illuminate how often we are subconsciously motivated by the ego or fear. From that point of awareness may we then begin to choose again, and again, and again…in each moment.