“I’m trying to meditate one day but urgent thoughts keep intruding. Don’t forget to take cupcakes to school! I have to prepare for my presentation for the wellness conference! Is that lunch with the other moms tomorrow or next week? My to-do list is stampeding through my mind, trampling any chance of tranquility. I feel overwhelmed, yes, but there’s more: I feel…guilty. Guilty that I’m taking on too much, guilty that I’m not doing anything well, guilty that I’m giving short shrift to my kids, my husband, my job. And what about you, Mallika? a quiet voice asks. How are you shortchanging yourself?”
Living with Intent is a chronicle of Mallika Chopra’s search to find more meaning, joy, and balance in life. She hopes that by telling her story, she can inspire others with her own successes (and failures) as well as share some of the wisdom she has gathered from friends, experts, and family along the way—people like her dad, Deepak, as well as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Weil, and Dan Siegel. She also provides a practical road map for how we can all move from thought to action to outcome. Each chapter is devoted to one step on her journey and another piece of her INTENT action plan: Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture, and Take Action. Chopra’s insights and advice will help us all come closer to fully living the lives we truly intend.
In this self-help memoir, Chopra (100 Promises To My Baby) chronicles her year-long exploration of intent namely, the intention to live a more meaningful life. Intent here also refers to her website (intent.com) and blog (intentblog.com), and as an acronym for "incubate, notice, trust, express, nurture, and take action," the stages of her journey. She devotes a chapter with reflections and practices to the lessons of each step, along with a "cheat sheet," journal pages, and graphic organizers. She also includes words of wisdom from famous healers including Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and Deepak Chopra (her father). Despite Chopra's family fame, she comes across as a relatable working mom, forever pulled in several directions at once and feeling "guilty about giving something short shrift." Readers will probably welcome the news that even she struggles to integrate meditation, healthy eating, and regular exercise into her routines. The underlying question plaguing her is also familiar: how to balance personal desires against family and cultural pressure to "fulfill larger-than-life intents." There's nothing groundbreaking in Chopra's memoir, but it's enjoyable all the same.