Sunday, July 5, 2015

Living with Intent by Mallika Chopra; review


Mallika Chopra is the Founder and CEO of Intent.com, a website where people can share their intentional living with the world. Struggling with living intentionally herself, she decided to explore intentional living and started this book, Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy.

Like any busy mother having anxiety with balancing work, marriage, friendships, children, health, and spirituality, Mallika Chopra was searching for ways to find more balance in her life. She had previously written works based on things that she was struggling with so why should intentional living be any different?

She's definitely her father's daughter in some ways, but I found her writing a breath of fresh air and very different from her father, the famed proponent of meditation, Deepak Chopra. Mallika doesn't try to stay away from being his daughter in her book, and quotes him, and little anecdotes of growing up with him as her father, are interspersed throughout the book. I also actually appreciated that she used her connections via her father to get more information for this book from people like Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Andrew Weil, because, why not? These are people who are some of the foremost thinkers in the world on living healthy, intentional, mindful lives.

I found this book to be part workbook, part instructional guide, part autobiography, and part investigative research into intentional living. I'm honestly only halfway through it and I have found it invaluable and relatable.

The chapters of the book follow the acronym of INTENT, after chapter one which is a quasi introductory/purpose chapter.
I-Incubate
N-Notice
T-Trust
E-Express
N-Nurture
T-Take Action

And finally, chapter 8, Living with Intent. The end of the book has an afterward by her father, a cheat sheet, workbook style pages for My Intents, and a few other accompaniments to the idea of Intent.

Already, I would put this book in my top 5 for the year and I'm literally only halfway through it!

Now that I'm finished with the book (I wrote the above paragraph when the thoughts on the first half were fresh in my mind and HAD to get them down). I still love this book. I loved that she didn't shy away from her concerns with raising children in a more American world from her upbringing. As someone mixed, I've definitely struggled with finding my place among my father's White family, and my mother's Hispanic and Native American world. I love that she also vocalizes that, yeah, she knows she's been privileged in a lot of ways but that she also does not have to follow in her famous father's footsteps in order to matter! I think a lot of us feel like in order to make a difference, we have to do something big and bold. 

Things I'm implementing because of this book? Setting intentions in my life. I've always just said "I'll do that eventually" without actually putting more thought into it than that and getting mad about it later when I didn't do ANY of it. 

I'm using a notebook I had sitting empty that I had started journaling in and didn't do much with to write down times I've done meditation, and how I felt before and afterwards. I'm also using it to jot down intentions for my life. And likely, some of it will appear on here. 

This will be a book I hold on to, reread (especially the guidance sections at the end of each chapter), and recommend to others. 

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