Title: Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy
Author: Mallika Chopra
ISBN: 9780804139854 (Print)
Run Time: 5 Hours, 34 Minutes
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Self-Help
Mallika Chopra, daughter of famed wellness expert Deepak Chopra, tried to put her father’s teachings into practice every day, living a mindful life with purpose and intent. But she found herself floundering over and over again, unable to balance the daily demands from her work and her family with her principles. This memoir is her journey towards living with intent from day to day.
I used to be one of those people who said smugly, “I don’t read self-help books.” The idea that I needed help from the maligned genre was laughable to me; I was doing just FINE. Then I turned 30, and a switch flipped in my head, and I realized that the notion that I don’t need help is laughable. The thought that I’ve got nothing left to learn, and there’s nothing for me to improve within myself is, quite frankly, stupid. I started branching out more in my reading, trying to figure out how I could be a better person, and that’s when I found Living with Intent.
Meditation is a thing I’ve been doing over the past year. I’ve come to rely on it more and more to calm my anxious brain, to help me deal with my stress levels, and so the idea of living with intent wasn’t new to me. My mind seems to be in constant chaos, so I liked the idea of being more mindful about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. I’m not great at it, so you can understand my immense relief when I started listening to this memoir on audio, and HEY, it turns out that the daughter of one of the most famous voices on meditation and mindfulness in the world? Also not great at living these principles.
Chopra is very easy to relate to in Living with Intent. She wants to be better, more mindful, but she has trouble actually making it happen in the face of all her responsibilities and commitments day to day. I could definitely sympathize with that, and it was interesting to see how she went about making a change. She is certainly privileged in some of the avenues she is able to take—a week-long retreat—but others are easy for anyone to put into practice. It’s not about doing exactly what Chopra did, or using her journey as a step-by-step to do list. It’s about being inspired by her journey and figuring out the lessons you can apply from hers to improve your own.
I listened to Living with Intent on audio, and it runs about 5 and a half hours unabridged. Chopra narrates it herself, and despite the fact I found her performance uneven, I really enjoyed this production. Listening to this as I was going about my day made me feel somehow more productive, that by putting it in my ears I had already taken my first step towards more mindfulness.
I don’t want to exaggerate and say that this book changed my life; it’s rare that a book has that kind of effect. But Living with Intent did make me engage in a lot of self-reflection and think not only about what I have to do, but how I do it. I like the day of starting each day with an intention, and it’s a change I’m absolutely going to make going forward.
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