This post is the fifth in a series. Check out Spanda – moving from disconnection to connection, Tamas and Rajas – the seed of inspiration sprouts, Purifying your physical body and Purifying your Energetic Body first.
While in this post I am talking to business owners, entrepreneurs and those with a plan to go into business, none of these thoughts or ideas are specific to these areas. Each of the concepts I mention can be applied to anyone!
There are three parts that make up our mind:
First, Manas is the lower mind, through which the mind interacts with the external world and takes in sensory impressions and data. It is our sensory, processing mind. And of course what one person sees will be different from another.
The second part of our mind is called chitta, our memory. Chitta has the ability to colour all of our current and future thoughts. The mind can only handle so much information so it distorts, deletes and generalises based on our past conditioning which gives a warped perception of what is real and unreal.
So how do we know if it’s real or unreal?
The answer: Correct knowledge. Hard facts. Statistics. Not just what you think or what people have said.
Remember that people and businesses buy followers online. They curate their image. They can look successful on the outside and be the exact opposite on the inside. The old adage, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover,” rings truer than ever.
Seeking correct knowledge doesn’t stop once you’re an established business. I’m always seeking feedback from my clients, customers and staff. And not just from the people I know will give me the ‘good’ feedback, I’m looking for honest, constructive feedback from a large cross section of people.
Having correct knowledge is how you will stay in alignment with your clients and customers. It ensures your thinking is aligned with them as well as the industry and future trends.
In business (and life) we must recognise that just because it didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it won’t work now and vice versa. Be flexible with your strategy, approach and practices. Your business (and you!) is a living being, constantly growing and evolving. It’s not fixed. Always update your marketing, systems and procedures. Re-innovate. Don’t get trapped in the past, in your memory.
The third part of our mind is ahamkara, the ego. The ego isn’t a good or bad thing! It simply is. It is the part of your mind that says, “I am”.
Acknowledge your ego but know your business is not about you. It’s about them – your clients and customers. It’s about being of service. Good communication is the key, whether you’re business to business or business to consumer. It’s not about what you want. Be open and receptive to everything, collect ideas from customers and staff, but remember the final decision lies with you. Trust in yourself, but don’t let the ego come out on top.
In times where I have let my ego take over and make decisions I have always fallen short. When I have left a state of being of service or when I have twisted ‘the greater good’ to serve my own personal benefit my work has failed.
It is when I am in true alignment and being of service that I stay in flow. For me, being in alignment means serving my higher purpose and being my highest self. It means I am not grasping or striving. It means I am living in the flow, not battling against the current.
Of course, failure is one of our greatest teachers and will always be there. Moving into a clear mind will help us to see this and learn the lessons we were meant to learn without taking it personally.
The unclouded mind
The unclouded mind is the holy grail for entrepreneurs. To reach the state of the buddhi mind or unclouded mind means we have moved into the fourth kosha, vijnanamaya kosha (the power of discernment).
Being in the buddhi mind means we can see the real from the unreal. Our thoughts are no longer coloured by our past conditioning. We can tap into divine wisdom, insight and intuition. We have trust in our decisions when they come from this place. This is where original thought exists. Like I said, the holy grail for entrepreneurs!
- Edit what ‘comes in’. To facilitate a clear mind you have to carefully censor what is coming in. What you watch and listen to. What you read. Who you talk to. Think of this editing process like you are decluttering the mind. This allows space for original thought.
- Morning meditation/stillness/quietness. Cultivate a daily practice. If silence makes you uncomfortable try relaxation music.
- Journaling. Use soul prompts (eg. My heart feels… I’m inspired by… I am grateful because…) or just try a stream of consciousness, words straight from your head onto paper, no editing allowed.
- Dharana (concentration) is one of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s yoga sutras. To practice dharana concentrate on a single point of focus (eg. a lotus flower, a candle flame, a symbol, whatever resonates with you) till you lose yourself within it.
- Spend time in nature. Dig your bare feet in the sand of the beach, take a walk along a bubbling stream or simply earth yourself in the lush green grass.