Just because someone happens to be a meditation guru, founder of an online community called Intent.com, and the daughter of Deepak Chopra doesn’t mean she doesn’t ever get anxious, overwhelmed, or majorly distracted by a mind beleaguered by a dozen uncontrollable thoughts.
And that’s exactly what Mallika Chopra candidly shared during the recent “Mind, Body & Soul” salon in Los Angeles, hosted by Visionary Women, a nonprofit organization with the mission of elevating the status of women.
In fact, she explained that many years ago, she was so stressed out she went to her famously zen father for help. (Random fact: According to Chopra, while the rest of the world goes to her dad for advice, their family runs to her mother.)
After the panic in his eyes dissipated (perhaps his daughter appeared uncharacteristically frazzled), Deepak asked her ten life-changing questions:
- Are you sleeping well?
- Are you moving?
- Are you eating healthy?
- Do you have healthy relationships?
- Do you enjoy what you do?
- Are you financially stable?
- Do you feel intellectually stimulated?
- Do you laugh and have fun?
- Are you spiritually connected?
- Do you have a sense of purpose?
The father-daughter duo decided that, together, these various elements would make up what came to be known as the “Balance Wheel.”
Thanks to this short yet profound exercise, Chopra was able to break down the aspects of life she needed to focus on, ask herself what it is that she really wanted, and then set the intention to make change. She quickly realized she wasn’t feeling intellectually stimulated nor having enough fun, so she ended up forming a book club with her friends to fulfill both gaps. It was her tangible way of shifting away from imbalance.
“The first step to leading a balanced life is to know where you are. So checking in, authentically and honestly, about where you are struggling, surviving, or thriving with these basic questions can help you think of practical ways to make ‘microintents,’ or small changes that can have big impact,” Chopra tells Organic Authority.
“If you realize you are not rested, you can create a new bedtime routine that may help—drink an herbal tea, choose a soothing aromatherapy oil, or keep your cell phone out of your bedroom. If you are feeling socially disconnected, pick up the phone and call an old friend. Or if you realize you are not spiritually connected, go to a meditation class or a quiet walk on the beach.” Whatever it is, do whatever works for you.
What Is an Intention, Anyway? And What Is a Microintent?
Deepak Chopra says it best. He writes on his namesake website, “An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create.” In other words, it is the fuel that manifests your goals.
Intentions are very personal, so there aren’t any right or wrong or better or worse intentions. With that said, here are a few elucidating examples:
“I intend to forgive others.”
“I intend to experience a positive cash flow magically and joyfully.”
“I intend to open my heart as much as possible to feel my spouse’s magnificent love.”
Meditation is a great way to foster your intentions, as is writing them down every day.
Microintents are exactly what they sound like: a small intention you can set for a single day or even moment. Chopra suggests asking yourself, “What is the one thing I'm going to do today to create balance?”
In her book, “Living With Intent,” Chopra offers another example, this time of setting a microintent when going through a nerve-wracking moment. She writes, “One day a potential investor for Intent.com pulled out, and I had to inform the other backers. I decided, My intent is to remain centered in the midst of chaos. Setting a microintent like this is a great way to dip your toes into the big-picture intent process, and it can help you power through a difficult time.”
Ultimately, we can collectively breathe a sigh of relief knowing we don't need to be Chopra-level insightful to enjoy that elusive balance we all seek. Just remember: Only you can determine the best intention for yourself.
And whether your life is lacking in a few ways or contains huge, gaping holes, don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you don’t have your shit together. “Feeling overwhelmed is natural," Chopra says, "but by breaking down your wellness into manageable pieces, you can bring about more health, peace and purpose in your life."
Time to steer the Balance Wheel.
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