Living with Intent: 6 Steps to Living a Healthier and Purposeful Life

In 2013, I approached my father with a confession. I told him I was generally exhausted, over caffeinated, and my sugar addiction was out of control. I realized I was overscheduled trying to balance my role as a wife, mom, and entrepreneur with Intent.com, my start-up social media company. I felt bloated and had a lot of body pain. I hadn’t been meditating or exercising much, and at night I was having trouble sleeping. My father looked shell shocked, and it took a few moments for him to transition from concerned father to Deepak Chopra, the person that thousands go to for health advice.                                                            

Yes, even a Chopra can find herself out of balance, unhealthy, and wondering if my daily actions have any meaning or purpose. In the weeks before I confessed to my father, I had set the intent to make changes to feel better, more energetic and happier in my days. I decided to recommit to meditation—which I had learned when I was nine—and to rediscover the many lessons that my parents had taught us. But, this was just the beginning of the journey, and thus, I turned to my father for help.

Rediscovering Balance

As we sat together, my father and I brainstormed an exercise that would help me think about the areas in my life that needed attention. We came up with the following Balance Wheel—thinking about whether I was struggling, surviving, or thriving in each area. 

 

 

The exercise helped me break down the areas I needed to focus on, ask myself what I wanted, and set the intents to make change.

So began my journey to live with more intent—the experience I share in my new book, Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy.

I did some thought-provoking activities, from going on a health retreat to visiting Amma, the hugging guru, and to find more meaning and purpose, I spent time with my grandparents in India, paid attention to my eating and internal dialogue in a way I have never done before, and discovered unexpected joy in my role as a soccer mom.

I also interviewed brilliant thinkers like Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Dan Siegel, and Caryl Stern, the President of the US Fund for UNICEF. In the book I share some of the laughter, frustration, and lessons I learned along the way.

Roadmap to Live with Intent

Through this process of self-discovery and re-discovering healthy balance in my life, I also developed a road map to live with INTENT:

  • INCUBATE: Quiet your mind to tap into your deepest intentions; see where this leads.
  • NOTICE: Become mindful of your thoughts and actions and pay attention to what they tell you about what gives you meaning and a sense of purpose—and look for signs that can point you toward your truth.
  • TRUST: Have confidence in your inner knowing—and in the messages the universe sends you—and allow that knowledge to guide you forward.
  • EXPRESS: Write down your intentions; say them out loud or share them with others to fully embrace them and help you move ahead in your journey.
  • NURTURE: Be gentle with yourself as you try to find your way. Intention isn’t always a straightforward path, just like life, and giving yourself opportunities to try—and fail—is often part of, and even crucial to, the process.
  • TAKE ACTION: Once you’ve identified an intent, or even multiple ones, don’t sit and wait for it to magically manifest; instead take the practical steps that can make each become a reality. It may be easiest to choose one intent first and set short-term goals to help you get started. 

More From Mallika

In my book, I share my personal stories, research, practical tips, and exercises for each of these six steps. I also feel truly honoreds and grateful to be able to share my ideas for the first time at the Spiritual Solutions Women’s Workshop on May 28-31 at the Chopra Center. What an honor it will be to share the stage with my father, Elizabeth Gilbert, and other amazing teachers. 

 

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About the Author
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Founder & CEO of Intent.com, Mallika Chopra “My intent is to connect with others by sharing and listening to each other’s stories.” Mallika learned about the power of intention at a young age from her father, Deepak Chopra. He then taught them to ask for love, hope, purpose, passion, inspiration and so many other positive qualities in their lives every day. Starting every day with an intent proved to be an anchoring device that led to connection, happiness and personal fulfillment. Mallika is mom to Tara and Leela and has written two books inspired by them — 100 Promises To My Baby and 100 Questions From My Child. Both books represent her intention to be a conscious parent. Mallika is amazed and...Read more