Tag Archives: Gotham Chopra

Forget New Year, New You! 2016 Intent: Take Small Steps to Make Lasting Change

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It’s January 8 and I am already way behind the New Year.

I have been eating a buttermilk biscuit for breakfast almost daily, and have worked out only once. (I did go for a 5 mile walk with friends.) I’m still tracking down addresses for our holiday (now New Year’s) card. I have an application sitting on my desk that I have had 6 months to complete, and that is due Jan 15th, and I will probably submit Jan 13th. (A day earlier than the deadline, because I have to teach and travel Jan 14th so that’s how long I can procrastinate). It took me a week to find Maria Kondo’s de-cluttering book in my stuffed drawers to lend to my sister-in-law.

I have so much to do for Intent, our company,  … like even posting my first intent for 2016 on our new Iphone app. Those who read my book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, may wonder, “oh dear, she still didn’t get her act together.” What a hypocritical writer!

But, I have to admit that this year, I am truly feeling a bit more grounded, more in control, more honest with my intents for 2016. While surfing the net, which I seem to have plenty of time to do, or opening up email newsletters from wellness blogs, headlines like New Year New You keep popping up.

Lose weight, stop eating sugar, find your dream job, feel your best, be the perfect mom.

Come on, who are we kidding!?

I’m not changing who I am this year. And, if I set resolutions (even 2 weeks late), I am only setting myself up for failure and disappointment. Lets admit it now, I will do my best to eat better, to cook more at home, to exercise regularly, to lose weight, to support my friends and family, to spend less money, to make more money, to grow my company, to promote my book, to meditate daily, to read more, etc! And I will make progress on some of these and totally fail at others.

My resolution is to give myself a break, to take one step at a time, to strive for change to lead a healthier, happier, more connected and more purposeful life. (My definition of Living with Intent.) And when I waver from the path – that messy journey – I will take a deep breath, indulge in my messiness for a while, and then reaffirm why I want to make changes.

My intents for 2016 are simple: Continue reading

Living With Intent: My Brother, Gotham Chopra. And My (Somewhat) Biased Review of Kobe Bryant’s Muse

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I have a memory of a family lunch at a famous seafood restaurant in Boston. I was 14 years old and my brother, Gotham, was 11. After ordering our food, members of the Boston Celtics basketball team marched through the entrance, scattering themselves among tables near us. Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, Robert Parish – they were all there. Gotham stopped breathing. Not because he had choked on a piece of swordfish – but because he could not contain his excitement. His eyes went wide with disbelief. He literally could not speak.

My father was appalled. “These are just kids who can throw a ball in a hoop,” he chastised Gotham. “Doctors, scientists, humanitarians, these are the heroes you should be worshipping!” Gotham ignored my dad. He was in a sacred place, and nothing could take away his joy. The fact was my brother’s Religion was Sports, and these were his gods. Continue reading

Announcing The Year of Intent : Use Intent.com to Reach Your Goals in 2014

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We’ve been bringing it up over the past several weeks but today the Intent team is excited to officially announce 2014 as THE YEAR OF INTENT. From here on out Intent.com and the blog will be used to support our community in achieving their goals. Intent itself will be striving to do it’s part as a brand and a conscious company to make a world a better place. We think that an essential part of that is by helping our community utilize the power of intent not just as part of a meditation or yoga practice, but in every aspect of their lives.

How? 

What do you want to accomplish in 2014? Mallika Chopra intends to write and publish her book Living With Intent. Gotham Chopra intends to launch The Religion of Sports  – a multimedia cross-platform project to answer why do you care so much about a thing you have no control over? Megan (Intent Blog editor) intends to finish her first screen play. MeLissa (Intent.com community moderator) intends to take her writing and acting career to the next level.

Whether you are trying to do something big like write a book or start a business or something more personal like intend to be a more patient person, we want you to come up with one major intent for 2014. Sign up (it’s totally free!) on Intent.com and post it in our Year of Intent category. We’ll be recruiting others with big projects to do the same. Then we’re going to support each other. Throughout the year you’ll update that intent with your progress (worksheets to help you keep track of your progress will be available soon!). Tell us about the major milestones you hit, or if you hit a snag and need help getting back in the saddle. We’ve enabled users on Intent.com to be able to post hot links and YouTube videos for multi-media projects. The blog will also be a tool for support (more on that below).

If you are unsure of how to set your intent or even what it is, read this post to help you get started.

Why

The idea of intent isn’t limited to meditation or a yoga space. We are trying to show that it’s a principal that can be applied to your every day life to make your life more fulfilling and help you achieve the things your soul most desires. We want to show you and the world how to do that and prove that intents aren’t something you state and then leave for the ether. The Year of Intent is going to help people create real change in their lives and the world by encouraging them to complete their heart projects. So we are inviting you to be part of that movement by adding your intent and going on this journey with us.

Okay, sounds good, but it also sounds like a lot of work. What’s in it for me besides some feel good stuff? 

We’re glad you asked. There are actually quite a few incentives for you to participate in Year of Intent. Let’s start with a basic few.

  • Quantifiable support: Intent.com is an active and growing community. Its members are also very active. As you update your intent you’ll have the community behind you – and the numbers are right there for you to show investors, publishers, agents, etc. So if you’re writing a book, as Mallika is doing, as you update your intent your support will grow. Chapter by chapter and and by the end of the manuscript you can go to publishers and say “I’ve been tracking my progress on Intent.com and I already have X amount of people in seeing this become a reality.” (Our newsletter mailing list alone has 30K, so that X can be quite impressive). For those pursuing creative intents having a measurable audience is a definite help when it comes to finding partners and companies to help distribute or officially launch your work and Intent.com can be the place where you grow that invested audience.
  • Collaborations: MeLissa and Megan will be monitoring the community and the intents daily. As you update your intents they will recommend users who are working on similar projects. So if you update your intent to say that you have hit a snag, there could very well be another member of the community who is working on something similar or has expertise in the field that you need and you can be connected. Not only does it foster the supportive vibe we want in the community but it also enhances your personal projects and could create lasting partnerships.
  • Accountability and inspiration: Everyone knows that a little pressure can be invaluable when you’re trying to reach a goal. Setting your Intent.com and creating an audience creates an accountability to keep up with your intent, whether its creative or personal (or both). We also encourage you to support others’ intents to make them accountable, and to draw inspiration from those around you also pursuing their goals.

I still don’t get what you mean by “update my intent.” Don’t I just make it and affirm it when it’s done? 

Year of Intent is about big goals, even if they are personal in nature. We want you to create an intent that is going to take work to complete. We’ve created worksheets and other tools to help you break your “big” intent down into smaller milestone goals. As you reach a milestone, you’ll update your intent with your progress. With the hot link and YouTube features you can actually show that progress as well to those who have supported you and also to show new members of the community or to your intent what you’ve been up to. By creating smaller goals to achieve it not only makes you accountable (see above!) but it helps make reaching your big intent more manageable, and you get encouragement along the way to help push you forward!

This is all happening on Intent.com. What about the blog though?

The blog is going to be Intent headquarters from here on out. We’ll still have great inspirational articles but they are going to be catered to supporting you and reaching your intents. There will be tips on setting your intents, how to keep the motivation going, useful habits for getting yourself out of a rut, etc. We will also increase the “From Intent.com” posts. Right now those happen once a week but we’ll start posting more frequently about inspiring intents that we see that we think the community should know about or that we thought are particularly inspiring.

Most excitingly though, we’ll be using the blog to help showcase updated intents and reward supporters with exclusive content from the intents they support. For example, Mallika is writing her book Living With Intent. One of her smaller goals is to finish a certain amount of chapters by the end of the first quarter. When she reaches that goal we will post a preview or sneak peak of what she’s been working on so you can actually see the work you’re supporting! So you’ll see it here on Intent Blog before it’s officially published anywhere else! This will happen with projects and intents all across the website. As more people sign up and start posting their intents we’ll post info about submitting to the blog as a featured Year of Intent participant. (Featured users will also go in our Intent newsletter as well. Add that to the incentives pile).

As Intent reaches out to more partners to help support the project – both companies that support healthy and wellness lifestyles as well as non-profit organizations we hope to spotlight – there will also be blogs about their intents, causes and goals for the year. They will sponsor content that helps inspire you in your pursuits and also give context to the work they are doing themselves to help make the world a better place.

This sounds great, but I’m not planning to write a book or start any massive projects in 2014. Why should I use Intent.com? 

Intent.com and Year of Intent is going to be useful for everyone. Even if you aren’t taking on a big creative or professional project, we encourage you to set some sort of goal for yourself in the coming year and set that intent. It can be something personal like wanting to get healthier or overcome an obstacle you see in your life. Those are just as important and valuable to our mission. Setting intents is about growing as a person and that means something different for every individual. Let’s say you have the following intent: “I intend to become a more open person in 2014.” Fantastic. How are you going to get there? Are you going to try and be more social? Are you going to join a new book club? Perhaps you’ll try meeting friends on MeetUps.com or go on more dates. Maybe you’ll offer forgiveness or an apology to someone you’ve been holding a grudge against for years. These are your smaller goals towards meeting your overall intent and the things that the community wants to support you in doing.

Support. This entire project will only work with support. Whether you have a project or not you can still support others who are blazing that trail (and who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to start your project). Add a supportive comment. Link them to a resource you think might help with their Intent. Share the intent with others. We believe that by joining the community and getting active you open yourself up and become a more conscious, mindful person.

More questions, comments, concerns?

Tell us in the comments below! Or email support@intent.com and we’ll be glad to advise the best we can!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Help us make 2014 a great your for Intent, for you, and this wonderful community.

Best of Intent 2013: The Hangouts from The Science of Survival to Coping with Bullying

The creation of The Chopra Well – the Chopra YouTube channel – has allowed us to do many awesome things, but one of them that means the most to us is having been able to host several Google+ hangouts with inspiring people around the world. We did one for the launch of The Chopra Well last year, but in 2013 we tried to step it up a notch. In April the Chopras hosted a hangout series called “Aspire to Inspire” which covered an array of topics each day of the week. Mallika also stepped in to host a hangout on Mindfulness as part of another series. What we found was that these hangouts enabled us to have in-depth serious conversations with experts and people with first hand experiences to enlighten ourselves and our audience about the world around us and the capacity for the human race to do great things.

As we wind down on 2013 and reflect on the year we’ve had, some of these conversations really stuck out. If you missed them the first time around or simply want to revisit them we’ve reposted a few of them below.

1. The Science of Survival – Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra

Deepak and Sanjiv discuss the physical, mental and emotional process of surviving a trauma or deep loss. Paralympic snowboarder and activist Amy Purdy and pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton who had her arm bitten off by a shark at age 13 join in to share their stories of loss and overcoming these significant challenges.

2. How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life – Mallika Chopra

Mallika and a knowledgeable panel of experts look at the role of intention and other mindfulness practices in living a more meaningful and healthy life. The discussion will help answer questions about how to turn goals and aspirations into reality; understanding the difference between an intention and a goal; and the relationship between intention and other practices that lead to mindfulness such as meditation, prayer, service, and yoga.

3. Coping and Surviving Bullying – Gotham Chopra

Gotham Chopra is joined by poet Shane Koyczan, whose video for “To This Day” went viral due to it’s honest, heartbreaking prose about the lifetime effects of bullying. Other guests include: Martin Shervington who will offer insight from his experience in psychology and life coaching, Margot Leitman – a comedian who just released her first book “Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase,” and Kevin Epling, the National Co-Director and Michigan representative for Bully Police USA.

4. Supporting our Veterans Overseas and When They Come Home – Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra is joined by Levi Newman, Rob Schware, and Rick Collins to discuss veterans and PTSD. Newman is a veteran with over 10 years of service and a writer for Veterans United and the Huffington Post. Schware is founder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, which helps soldiers returning from duty transition back to civilian life and provides resources to deal with PTSD and other mental disorders that occur after time in the field. Collins is the founder of Vet360, a charity that gives Veterans upon their return home a 30 day program to help educate, counsel and prepare them for civilian life.

5. Coping with Loss – Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra hosts a discussion on “Coping with Loss.” She is joined by Todd Hartley, CEO of WireBuzz who lost both of his grandparents at the same time; Chelsea Roff, who has been featured on CNN and the Hallmark channel with her story of coping with a mother who has alcohol induced dementia; and Laurel Lewis who practices as a hospice nurse and also runs Death & Dying Dinner events in Southern California. (You may remember Laurel from 30 Days of Intent!)

Which of the hangouts were your favorites? Tell us in the comments below!

Deepak Chopra Gives Out Advice in NYC for OWN

“Spiritual advice has more impact when it’s given to real people who have real questions.” That’s how Gotham Chopra introduces Help Desk – the special airing on OWN this Sunday (September 22) at 12pm local time.

The episode revolves around spiritual experts setting up shop in populated areas and offering their advice to anyone who needs it. For the first half Deepak Chopra answers questions in Madison Square Park in New York City. Though Deepak receives and tries to answer thousands of questions every day via social media, now you can see him in action, giving real advice to real people in the moment. He answers heartfelt questions about relationships, health, spirituality, and personal transformation. Watch a first look below:

Rev. Ed Bacon and author of 8 Habits of Love takes the hot seat for the second half of the show – answering questions in the middle of Venice Beach, CA. In this touching clip Ed gives advice to a man who has lost his wife, job and his home but is still trying to keep a positive attitude. He asks the reverend if he’ll ever be able to find his center again:

You can see more behind the scenes and sneak peaks of Help Desk at Oprah.com/HelpDesk. Don’t forget to tune in and watch Sunday, September 22, at noon ET/PT!

A Very Happy Birthday to Mallika Chopra, Intent Founder!

It’s July 24 and a very special day… We at Intent would like to wish our founder, mentor, and friend Mallika Chopra a very happy birthday!

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Mallika is a mother, a mentor, an author, a meditation teacher, an entrepreneur and so much more. She has touched the lives of many around the world, both those she has met in person and those who have connected with her through her writing and classes. For those of us who know her personally, Mallika’s creativity, thoughtfulness, and vibrant spirit are truly an inspiration. We all feel blessed to know and work with her, and we wish her the happiest of birthdays!

It has been a busy and fulfilling year. Mallika worked with her brother, Gotham, and dad, Deepak, on the inspiring Chopra Well YouTube channel, produced her own show on the channel entitled “Perfectly Imperfect Parents,” and continued building the Intent platform. We applaud her for all her brilliant work!

Thank you for everything, Mallika. We wish you a beautiful day, an inspired year, and a delicious birthday cake – because you totally deserve all of it!

Mallika Chopra: Birth Order, Identity and Raising Multicultural Kids

By Mallika Chopra

My husband and I are both first-borns. We expect that we get what we want in our families, even in our lives.

I don’t think we realized how ingrained this was for both of us until a few years ago when we were deciding where to go for dinner. We were with my younger brother, Gotham, his wife, Candice (who is a younger sibling), and Sumant’s younger brother, Hemant. Sumant and I told everyone that we would be going to one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Santa Monica. I can’t remember who, but one of the younger siblings tentatively made a suggestion that we try something else. Sumant and I both looked at them confused. We were going to go to the restaurant we had chosen.

Even though we were all in our 30’s at this point, we assumed that everyone did what we wanted. This episode opened up a conversation at dinner where our younger siblings shared a bit of their resentment about us assuming they would always have to follow us. Sumant and I were completely surprised – we had never even though about this before. (And note for dinner, we tried one of their suggestions. Admittedly, it was good food and fun.)

How we form our identities is such a complex web of the family we were born into, birth order, parental figures, where we live, socioeconomic and racial factors, etc. There are too many to think about actually. I know that as a girl, I had a very different experience from my brother, Gotham, growing up as a child of “Deepak Chopra.” Gotham explored father/son relationships in his documentary, Decoding Deepak, and I realized my experience was so different from his.

As a parent, however, I want to make sure I am nurturing my two daughters’ identities fully. I realize from the beginning I have thought of my two girls differently – I feel Tara, my elder daughter, is my best friend, and Leela is my baby. Is it fair to them
to even make that distinction? I know I treat them very differently, putting more pressure on Tara and letting Leela get away with a lot more.

I am also very aware of my daughters’ identity as Americans and Indians. I was taught from my parents (who were young immigrants in the US) not to assimilate to American culture, rather to be proud of our culture and heritage. While my friends played soccer on Saturday mornings, I did classical Indian dance. While kids in school did etiquette classes, we spent time with our Indian community.

My husband and I put a lot of effort in making sure our girls are connected to family and our Indian culture, but we also want our girls to feel like they belong to their local community. (They’ve play Saturday morning soccer, but I didn’t force either etiquette classes or Indian dance on them!) While I grew up in a town in Boston that had a total of five Asian families (I think), my girls are growing up in a much more multicultural, global world. Perhaps they won’t face the same exclusion I did from  mainstream American culture while I was growing up. Am I burdening them with my own issues in shaping their sense of identity?

Meditation was an important part of giving me confidence when I was young to feel secure in my identity. It gave me the experience of going beyond the labels and insecurities about questioning who I was to feeling a sense of boundlessness, creativity, silence, and expansiveness. As a child, meditating with my parents gave me security and a sense of connection to them. I now try to do the same with my kids – both learned simple techniques when they were five-years-old, and I encourage them to join me for meditation.

In this episode of “Perfectly Imperfect Parents” on The Chopra Well, Dr. Cara Natterson, Dani Modisett and I share some of our thoughts and our own experiences grappling with identity for ourselves and our kids. I really loved watching this one and hope you do too. Most importantly, I would love your thoughts in the comments here or on the video, as this is such an interesting topic for me!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more conscious parenting tips every Thursday!

 

Related Articles:

Decoding Deepak: Q&A with Gotham Chopra

Why Kids (and Parents!) Need to Do Community Service

How to Teach Our Kids About the Perils of Lying

Should Parents Allow Their Kids on Social Media?

Is Religion the Secret to Happiness?

What if we measured our country’s “Gross National Happiness” instead of “Gross National Product”? Perhaps the fact that we don’t – that we measure the country’s success and well-being in economic terms – shows where our priorities lie. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra discusses what it means to be happy and what factors contribute to and detract from our overall happiness.

Would universal healthcare increase your happiness? What about being surrounded by beautiful scenery and warm weather? One surprising factor may actually be faith. There is evidence to suggest that happiness may be positively correlated with religiosity, which isn’t hard to believe given the sense of belonging and community ties many people experience as part of their faith traditions.

But if you aren’t interested in suddenly converting to a religious practice for the sake of happiness, there are still ways for you to increase your overall well-being. Try laughing yoga, meditation, or dance. Get active! Play a game, get out in nature, spend time with friends. If discontentment runs deep then spend some focused time and energy on uncovering the deeper issues and moving toward greater fulfillment. Spend as much energy on happiness as you would spend on, say, landing a great job or saving up to buy a house. Because what is more important than being happy, other than perhaps being enlightened? And after all, who’s to say Buddha wasn’t happy?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak Chopra’s book, The Ultimate Happiness Prescription!

Superheroes: Do We Have a New God in Town?

Who do you pray to when you’re in a jam? Superman, of course! In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra discusses the spiritual side to superheroes, from Hercules to Jesus to the Marvel gang.

Even if we don’t all regularly pray to Wonder Woman or Batman, there is no denying the beloved place these heroes occupy in our collective imagination. As far back as ancient Greece, we have legends of larger than life warriors and leaders. Figures like Agamemnon and Achilles, if true to the tales, would have been giants among men. Superheroes in the flesh.

When times get rough, it’s comforting to think a hero with super-human powers might rush to our assistance. We appeal to higher powers through prayer, visualization, and affirmation, hoping that even if we aren’t powerful enough to right every wrong, perhaps there’s a force out there that is. Deepak Chopra might remind us that we actually have much more control over our environment and circumstances than we’d imagine. And perhaps we should begin acknowledging the superhero aspects within ourselves – the heroes and heroines of the everyday.

But, Superman, if you’re out there and reading this, we won’t put you out of a job. You can come save the day anytime you want.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well, and check out Gotham and Deepak’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes!

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