Leadership 101: The Neutral Mind, a Longterm Success Strategy
By Navraj Kaur aka Judith Nappo
Re-posted from Kundalini Yoga—Lakeside
In 2011 I chose to embark on a path in unchartered waters. Without the usual weighing of the pros and cons and without hesitancy, I enrolled in three Kundalini Yoga training programs. The decisions were made in the blink of an eye, seemingly outside the realm of time and space. I felt the gentle tug of effortlessly being led onto the path had been waiting for me my entire life. I made the travel arrangements and off I went: Breathwalk teacher training in Munich, KundalinI Yoga teacher training in Germany, and KundalinI Yoga medicine therapy training on Ibiza.
The months flew by, the knowledge was reaching me without confusion; I understood the concepts and the principles intuitively. To top it off, I began from day one to read and recite the chants in a language that I had never seen or heard before. Of course, it helped that the music was so beautiful it carried me to a space of peace and openness.
Over the course of 14 months I studied, researched, integrated, practiced, and taught a subject matter that had never entered my mind before. At the age of sixty-one I earned all three certifications—probably equivalent to a masters degree.
So how does my story fit into the title about the neutral mind? Well, in Kundalini Yoga we learn that humans have three functional minds. This is not a complex concept but something so simple that we are often not conscious of it. The positive and negative mind are similar to the image of having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, both giving us advice on what we should do or consider when making a decision.
The negative mind or devil shoulder is doing its evolutionary best to keep us safe and protect us. For the negative mind, anything new is seen as potentially dangerous. The down side of the negative mind is that if we get stuck there, personal growth and development hits a roadblock. The negative mind is based in fear. It's like when I'm planning a trip, my negative mind keeps me handcuffed to my laptop researching every possible hotel before it let's me decide on one that it finds appropriately clean!
The positive mind or angel shoulder encourages us to embrace life and try out things. So it jumps with enthusiasm at a new opportunity or a challenge, like a little kid in front of the candy store. The positive mind sees everything through rose-colored glasses and is based in trust. That's a nice thing, really, until only listening to the positive mind gets you into trouble because it is unrealistic. Like me thinking I can roller-blade without arm and knee protectors—the cuts and bruises proving that it was a big mistake.
The neutral mind then, is the most centered of all three and evaluates in a flash the information provided by the positive and negative minds. The neutral mind is associated with peace, stability, neutrality, non-judgment, stillness, and awareness. It makes decisions from a place of knowing, a space of wisdom.
Under normal everyday living conditions we hardly give the neutral mind a chance. Our positive or negative mind is in control. Every one of us knows those days where they have such a hold on us, we feel as if we're on a carousel and everything goes blurry.
On the other hand, I'm sure you have had a glimpse of the neutral mind at its best at sometime in your life. Can you recall a time when a decision you made or a path you followed just seemed so right that you didn't have to think about it? You knew deep inside it was the right thing for you. That's what happened to me in 2011. For most of us, something like this, happens a once in a lifetime.
That's what it's like when the neutral mind is doing its job. The wisdom shines through. It's the connection to heart, to right action, to intuition, to the reason for being, to expansiveness.
Wouldn't it be great if this was a regular occurrance—if every decision you made came from a place of right action and wisdom? Think about what that could mean for you as a leader. How making decisions from your neutral mind could positively affect your business, your personal life, your community.
So getting the positive and negative minds to do their job but not take over is a worthly goal. And cultivating and strengthening the neutral mind is a priority. That's where KundalinI Yoga meditation comes in.
This month, 3HO/KundalinI Yoga focuses on the three minds. Here's the link to Meditation for the Neutral Mind. For best initial results, practice the meditation for 40 days straight. This helps break negative habits and allows the brain to adjust. In fact, in a recent blog on the Psychology Today website, Dr. Rebecca Gladding explains the changes that occur in the brain due to meditation, changes that over time reinforce the neutral mind.
If you have questions or are interested in leadership coaching using the tools of KundalinI Yoga, I look forward to hearing from you.
Navraj Kaur aka Judith Nappo is passionate about the infinite potential to make the world a better place using the powerful tools of Kundalini Yoga and meditation. Currently she is challenging leaders to live above and beyond what they believe they are capable of. With a long career of business behind her, she took what she learned about leadership and combined it with Kundalini Yoga and meditation to offer a holistic perspective on leading through personal transformation. Originally from Hudson County New Jersey, she tells people she is a New York City girl. She has been living in the eastern part of Switzerland since 1984. www.appliedkundaliniyoga.com