A lightweight self-help book about living the life you want.
“Intents,” writes Chopra, daughter of Deepak, are expressions of who we aspire to be…[and] are a way of defining what we want and asking the universe or God for help.” Her book, written mainly in the present tense, focuses on her own recent period of resolve to live “with intent.” Finding an acronym in the word “intent,” Chopra divides her work into six sections: Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture and Take Action. She presents herself as a stereotypically harried, suburban soccer mom, prone to guilt, stress and self-image issues. The story she shares is her own attempt to redefine her priorities, and she herself becomes one of those priorities. Indeed, the author is the center of this book, and her presence often overshadows the advice given. Chopra takes readers on a wide-ranging tour of intent-related concepts, beginning with meditation, a practice which, in many ways, is foundational to intentional living. She also discusses the importance of putting intents into words, expressing them and sharing them with others. She espouses the practice of nurture, but it’s less the nurturing of others than the nurturing of self. Indeed, though Chopra pays lip service to asking, “How can I serve?” she comes off as self-absorbed. In one instance, a family friend is diagnosed with cancer. The author’s common reaction is, “If this happened to one of us, how would we handle it?” On a trip to India to visit aging relatives, she wallowed in their fawning nurture. Upon arriving home, she was overwhelmed with stress by her first conversation with her family: “Later, while lying in bed, I try to figure out why I felt so instantly tense, and I realize their stories triggered that all-too familiar toxic cocktail of guilt and worry.”
Chopra is the main character in her own minimelodrama.