Everyone has been experiencing the ill effects of disruptive politics. Thinking of the present situation in terms of a partisan divide doesn’t go far enough–there has been a wholesale loss of trust. Hope for a better future is defeated on a daily basis. Faith in the democratic system is perhaps at an all-time low. This malaise isn’t about issues and parties. It’s about how we view bad events and react to them.
Society presses the argument that problems arise “out there,” usually caused by other people, and getting immersed in private emotion is a suitable response. The cycle of event-response never ends, and it rarely solves anything. But we are all addicted to it. Not only do outside events capture our attention, but also there is the rush of feeling angry or elated, victorious or defeated.
The world’s wisdom traditions say very little about politics, but they have much to say about getting entangled in the drama, beginning with the teaching that matters the most: the drama never ends. Once you get enmeshed in external events that trigger strong emotions, you have joined the drama either as participant or spectator. Therefore, reality “out there” is the level of the unending problems life brings our way. By becoming stuck in it, people sacrifice their only path to finding a solution, which is to base their sense of self “in here.” If you don’t want to be affected with malaise, stop ingesting the next dose of poison.
When you lose hope, trust, and faith, nobody did it to you. However much you are tempted to demonize somebody else, everything “out there” is aimed at one and only one thing: keeping the drama going at full boil. How you respond is your responsibility, and this turns out to be the opening that sets you free of the drama. Dramas are built out of plot lines, and when you start to look inward, it becomes clear that every plot line, down to the smallest detail, is self-created. Continue reading
We’ve all had those days that just don’t want to go our way. The moments that seem to be “all wrong” and that if we could have total control over the Universe then we could fix it, because we know what’s best right? Acceptance is a term that I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with. Sometimes it’s easier than others to accept that things can’t go our way or that everything happens for a reason. Other moments may have us wanting to throw in the towel and call it quits, as the overwhelming sense of “this is wrong” is too much for our inner control freak to bear.
It’s human, it’s normal, it’s unavoidable, but that doesn’t make it any easier some days. I’ve had a few experiences in the last year that have been torn right out of my tightly closed hands. They were things I did not want to let go of and could not get myself to accept. I’ve read the books and listened to the podcasts that teach on surrender, letting go and letting God, moving with the flow of the Universe… and yet I couldn’t get the mindset to stick when the moment arose. This left me feeling hopeless and defeated. What was the secret trick I needed to discover to turn off the need to control and accept things all have a Divine Purpose? Continue reading
Maybe you’ve just found yourself with a spare five minutes to your name. Celebrate, because it doesn’t happen every day. If you’re like us, maybe your first instinct was to seek out a forgotten task you could use to fill those five minutes. I mean, if we’ve got the time, might as well be productive, right? Before you rush off, we want to submit the idea that perhaps you just take those five minutes to rest. Perhaps you take those five minutes and just enjoy each of the 300 seconds as they come.
We intend to enjoy the break.
Why? Here are 3 parts of you that could use it: Continue reading
We put plenty of focus on how to find and stay happy. We celebrate happiness and it’s understandable that we would want to stay in a place of joy and goodness, but that isn’t the only emotion that will come across our place over the course of a lifetime. Part of the gift of being alive is the gift of being able to feel both the highs and the lows- to know disappointment means that we at one time hoped so big. To feel loss means we first had. To struggle means we know what it means to feel content and ease, and while we do not wish to spend any more time than we have to at the bottom of despair, we want to honor those feelings just as much as we would the ones that feel positive. Those emotions are real and indicate important information about what matters to us.
Our intent is to let ourselves feel our disappointment.
You too? Here are 3 things to help: Continue reading
Savoring small moments doesn’t start and stop with an encouraging needlepoint pillow on your couch. It starts with intentional steps to slow down and capture something that might otherwise easily go unnoticed. It’s the extra time you got to stay cuddled up at home because it was raining outside. It’s the way your kids laugh when you know they’re doing something that’s going to get them in trouble. It’s the last minute coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while who wants to share good news. In some mindsets, they are distractions, obstacles, agenda items. In a world of mindfulness and awareness, they are moments, pauses, gifts.
We intend to savor the little moments.
You too? Here are 3 things to help: Continue reading
Our intent is to stay honest. That means we first have to get honest. Then we have to remain there. For so many of us, we have trouble even determining what is honest for us:
honest about our feelings
honest about what we’re good at
honest about what we’ve accomplished
But it’s hard to go somewhere new when we aren’t honest about our where we are or the state that we’re in. This is a moment to pause and get honest with yourself and then stay in that space when it comes to everyone and everything else.
Getting honest. You too? Here are 3 things to help you get there: Continue reading
Empathy is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”
The action of understanding is an interesting sentence. It reminds us that it is an act, it is a choice. It’s not a thing you should consider yourself exempt from. It’s not that some people are empathetic and some people aren’t. It means that, for the most part, empathy is a trait you can choose to develop. Today our intent is to practice empathy.
And why does it matter at all? Continue reading
Getting back into the swing of things can be tough. If you’re anything like us, you’re tired, you miss your routine, you probably developed a habit for eating sugar every 45 minutes or so… In an effort to live lives of intent, we want to make sure we’re focused and acting with purpose. This means we want to face our time wasters head on. So what are the things that are intentionally or unknowingly taking all your time or providing distractions? Are you trying to escape or are you getting sucked in? Our intent is to identify the time wasters. You too? Here are 3 places to check yourself: Continue reading
“Waste not, want not.” Today we’re focused on shopping mindfully so that our expenses don’t go wild this holiday season. Whether it’s food, gifts or household items that just need replacing, we want to make sure we are connected to how and why we spend our money.
You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading
Last night, around 9:30pm (LA time) when it was clear Trump would win, I sat in bed with my girls as they both cried. They are 14 and 12 and completely engaged in politics and the world. They were hurt, scared, confused. How could this happen? What will happen to women, immigrants, Muslims? Are we going to move? It took everything in me to assure them it will be ok. We have checks and balances in this country. I ended up just going to bed with them, and skipping the remaining results. This morning, we woke up to tears once again knowing this is our reality.
But we made a commitment, before getting ready for school, that we will not to engage in the hysteria. We are going to keep the tvs off. We are keeping our schedules today. We are not talking about moving. We are focusing on family, friends, school, work.
And as the reality of this new world settles (which truly affects the whole world), we will do our part to stand up. We will strive to be more compassionate and understanding, but also strong and bold about living every day with intent and purpose.
Mallika Chopra, Founder of Intent.com