“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

NEHA

Teacher, Consultant, Coach
Neha thought.jpg

I began my own journey into spiritual philosophy in 2007, when I wrote my Master’s thesis on Indian philosophy as an alternative to Human Rights discourse, with a case study on the Darfur Conflict. It was life-changing: exploring the wisdom of the ancients, and how it provided incredible answer to modern day challenges. Since then I have studied Vedantic thought, yoga philosophy and mystic wisdom from around the world and across time. I have used spiritual philosophy in both my work and my life, developing unique and deep approaches to change-making that have had remarkable results.

 

In 2005, I moved to tiny town of Yei in South Sudan, just after the signing of a peace agreement that ended 50 years of civil war. Working with grassroots communities, I began to understand the beauty of isolated village life, the resources of societies who were categorised as living 'below the poverty line' and the power of traditional ways of thinking, being and doing. It was this experience that stirred something in me: the desire to understand the world more deeply, and to engage with it more meaningfully.

 

Since then I've worked in peacebuilding and social transformation in various countries in the Horn of Africa and have collaborated with a broad array of change actors, from grassroots and civic activists, to Heads of State and government. I have also written, lectured and presented extensively on conflict and peacebuilding, and real political and military systems in the region.

 

In 2010, I had the privilege of serving the African Union High Level Panel for Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) led by former President Thabo Mbeki. During my four-year tenure, I was at the centre of diplomacy and mediation efforts in and between Sudan and South Sudan. During this time I worked with rebel movements, military and political leaders, government officials and diplomats from around the world. It was an incredible experience in which I saw firsthand the levers of power. But it left me feeling disconnected from ordinary people and cynical about whether meaningful change could be made at that level. 

I next took up the Directorship of Justice Africa, a small and dynamic NGO that I had previously served in South Sudan. We began an ambitious peace programme, with the aim of organising an internal peace process and transforming the South Sudanese mindset from external saviourism to internal momentum and capacities for peace. During these years I worked closely with Church leaders in South Sudan and the region and experienced up close, the power and primacy of spirituality in peacemaking. The theme of 'All Power is Within' had already awoken in me.  

Simultaneously, in 2015, I started to teach a course twice a year in yoga philosophy at a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Zanzibar. Over the years I taught 15 cohorts of students, and saw the complete transformation of their lives as a result of the programme. It was incredibly eye-opening. I realised how the programme transformed students consciousness - they became more connected to who they really were and began to live in alignment with their authentic selves. As a result their impact in the world was exponential. 

 

Towards the end of 2020, after six years as Director or Justice Africa, I left the organisation to consult on issues I was passionate about. As I supported different projects and initiatives through the intense and transformative period of 2020-2021, I began returning - this time more consciously - to the spiritual philosophy framework for life and work I had begun to form in nearly 15 years prior... and Spolosophy was born.