Back to Blog
"The 'deed in thought' is often underestimated. One imagines control of action is the chief accomplishment, and forgets that frequently lack of opportunity or fear of external laws are the motivations which make us so virtuous." - Hatha Yoga Pradipika Swami Svatmarama
One word: MOTIVE. We as human beings are creatures of reason; we tend to take action to create a specific outcome or avoid another. For example: I wake up an hour earlier, so that I can meditate, or I brush my teeth so that I avoid tooth decay. Sometimes we even involve others, I'll do this so that he/she will do that. Right? RIGHT!? We know we do it and it's ok, the point is to become aware of it; to notice when we are doing it and WHY.
The path of Karma Yoga requires that we take action for the sake of the action, not any other motive, and beyond that, that we RENOUNCE the fruits of that action- good or bad. How often do we take action in the moment simply because it FEELS (outside of the mind) like the 'right' thing to do- uninfluenced by societal standards, rules/beliefs we have learned, or a desire for some sort of outcome, intrinsic (too feel good about ourselves) or extrinsic (to have others tell us how good we are)? The answer lies in YOUR AWARENESS.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR MOTIVES; this is an exercise that my Teacher gave to us during our last training in LA: set aside a few moments at the end of the day to write down a list of things you did or didn't do in ONE COLUMN. In the second column, beside each action, write down the MOTIVE behind that action (i.e. to accomplish X; to avoid Y). My husband and I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and sharing at the end of our day. In our experience, it has been ILLUMINATING; we've grown to understand ourselves more deeply as well as found opportunities to understand one another more clearly.
May this serve your Highest Good and the Highest Good of all around you.
If this exercise serves to INSPIRE you or brings you any AHA's or QUESTIONS; I would LOVE to hear it! Please comment below. If you feel that someone you know could benefit from this message, PLEASE share with your community! Thank you thank you!