A Simple Life

zen

My Back-To-School Intent is to Keep It Simple.

For these last two weeks of summer, I have been in major organizing mode.

School supplies and uniforms, after-school activities, work strategy and planning, setting up speaking engagements and travel (which means coordination with my husband and mom!), cleaning closets, organizing finances, logistics galore of managing work, home, and getting my kids where they need to be from now through February!

I was laughing this morning as I read a Facebook post by my friend, Dani Modisett, author of Take My Spouse Please, about how her 2-day trip to NYC required a thesis of detailed instructions for her sitter. It’s so true! The only way for me to function sanely, while trying to work and professionally/intellectually keep growing, is to be super-organized and plan ahead.

I’ll admit my meditation practice these last two weeks has been sporadic, but when I am meditating one word seems to be popping up over and over again:

Simplicity.

I’m yearning more simplicity in my life.

My intent is to embrace more simplicity in my life.

Yesterday, as I was preparing for a group meditation, I decided to run with the idea of simplicity. As I teach and speak more, I am feeling pressure to keep things interesting by trying new things each session. Don’t get me wrong – evolution and deeper thinking is important to do both for myself and for others.

But I realized yesterday that with my meditation practice, simplicity works best. For me, that means repeating my mantra (a sound like I AM or SO HUM), and when my mind naturally wanders, to come back to my sound. I don’t need to do anything more. Its simple and it works. And, in our group meditation yesterday it was the right thing for me to do, and hopefully resonated with those who were there.

There are other areas where I can incorporate more simplicity in my life.

Food
I am often struggling to think of what to serve my family for dinner. We tend to order out a lot. But I can keep our meals simple and clean, and just need to plan our meals better. Predictability is ok as long as its healthy food.

Exercise
Walks on the beach and in our neighborhood, and a regular schedule with a trainer is great. No need to sign up for classes galore which I start with enthusiasm, then end up not going to and feeling guilty about!

Relationships
Focus on the close relationships I have.

Work
I have a clear path this year – developing the community on Intent.com and our new app, and sharing my book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy. Avoid, like I have in the past, getting distracted by the many other things that seem super exciting but that take up endless hours of time.

Activities
Try to keep kids activities and driving to a minimum.
Friends and Candice (my sister-in-law), please call me out when I waver from this! Remember, sleep is the most important factor for my growing girls!

Stuff
My family buys a lot of unnecessary stuff. Enough. I will consciously, mindfully, take a break from acquiring too many things that just add to the clutter in our home. Its clear why the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been such a sensation. Cleaning out my kid’s closets this summer helped us all feel so much more emotionally free! More uncluttering this Fall.

Meditation
Commit to meditating daily. Truly, this is the most anchoring practice I have in my toolkit.

September and the Back To School momentum truly feels like the new January in my house. We are all committed and exciting about the coming school year and all the growth that comes with it. But in our house, the intent is to keep it simple and fun!

What are your intents for Fall? I would love to hear what this month brings up for you. Please do share!!


Mallika Chopra is the author of Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy.

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