What’s is like to live with intent? According to Mallika Chopra — mom, author, entrepreneur — living with intent comes “from our soul.” Her new book Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy outlines a “conscious journey to tap into the wisdom I grew up in.” Expect to find nuggets of knowledge from friends and family such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Weil, Dan Siegel, and dad Deepak Chopra, of course.
The Chopra home hadn't always been the hub of peace, calm, and meditation; in fact, as Chopra shares, it was only when her father stumbled upon a meditation center that things started to shift. Soon the whole family began to enjoy the benefits of inner stillness and focus. One of the great gifts of her childhood, Chopra says, was that she and her brother learned early on to ask for love, joy, and peace. And meditation is one avenue to create those states.
It was only fitting that Chopra’s book party at ABC Home last night opened with a meditation led by host Gabby Bernstein. With the intent to be cracked wide open the night unfolded.
“This book is years in the making,” Chopra shares. Here’s the gist of it:
I: incubate; tap into the silence
N: notice; notice the opportunities
T: trust your intuition; trust that the universe will take care of the details
E: express; take ownership
N: nurture; relationships; ask for help; let go of guilt
T: take action; movement; momentum
The acronym encapsulates the wisdom she’s gained along the way as the subtitle indicates: “My somewhat messy journey… it’s a winding path. It requires forgiveness, compassion, and action.” Her relationship with food, particularly chocolate chip cookies, is exemplary of this ongoing process. Noticing that her behavior was driven by sugar cravings (‘If there’s a parking spot directly in front of my favorite cookie shop, I’ll go get one,’ ‘I’ll drive around the block, maybe when I come back there’ll be a spot by the shop.’), Chopra knew she had face and address her emotional relationship with food.
“My relationship with food is complex,” as she describes it. Memories of her grandma making cakes and cookies come alive again every time she bites into a chocolate chip cookie. We all know that connection is nourishing; it becomes a shadow of itself, however, when we try to recreate those feelings with bandaid placeholders. Now Chopra’s realigned focus has informed her intent: She will still enjoy a cookie but (mostly) only if what she really wants is a cookie. “We don’t need to be perfect all the time,” Chopra says. “Ultimately, it’s all about joy.”
Moreover, it’s important to note that living with intent doesn’t necessarily equal grand accomplishments. There are ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day, Eckhart Tolle reminds us. The frequency holders, as he calls them, create love, joy, and peace every day when most of the world doesn’t even know about them. Yes, soccer moms, he’s talking about and to you. And Bernstein emphasizes that, “We all have opportunities to be a household saint in our own lives.”
It’s in her role as a mother that Chopra seems to blossom most. Unlike her celebrity father and preeminent grandfather, Chopra chooses to share her gifts on a smaller, more family-focused scale. “We all have different journeys,” she says, “and that’s okay.” How are you #LivingwithIntent?
We all have different journeys, and that’s okay. @MallikaChopra via @ColorsGratitude We all hve opportunities 2 b a household saint in our own lives. @GabbyBernstein via @ColorsGratitude We don’t need to be perfect all the time. Ultimately, it’s all about joy. @MallikaChopra via @ColorsGratitude