Understood

Ep.8 | Mallika Chopra: how to make true intentions, meditation tips, finding your calling

August 29, 2020 Mitch Wallis
Understood
Ep.8 | Mallika Chopra: how to make true intentions, meditation tips, finding your calling
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Understood
Ep.8 | Mallika Chopra: how to make true intentions, meditation tips, finding your calling
Aug 29, 2020
Mitch Wallis

In this episode of Understood with Mitch Wallis we cover:
- what it was like to grow up having a worldwide spiritual guru as a parent
- Mallika shares incredibly beautiful insights around the power of gratitude and what setting an intent really means (beyond just what we may have read in books like The Secret).
- We discuss the usually messy and sometimes dark journey of figuring out who we really are and what we really want
- Mallika gives some invaluable advice and perspectives on parenting, and of course, meditation.

About Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra is one of the most prolific meditation teachers in the world. She has spoken at TedXSan Diego and TedXBerkeley, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, Wisdom 2.0, Women’s Conferences around the United States, and the Parliament of World Religions. She has been featured in Time Magazine’s Special Issue on Mindfulness, as well as Women’s Health, Oprah.com, Mind Body Green, and Huffington Post. She has worked with companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, LinkedIn and Google. Mallika has published several books – including her most recent project called 'Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More' where she empowers 8-12 year old kids to learn how to deal with stress, sleep better, build self-confidence, and manage the anxiety so many of them face today. She also wrote the book 'Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy'. A lot of people would be familiar with her father Deepak Chopra – a.k.a. male Oprah Winfrey. He is essentially the face of self-help globally and a large reason why meditation is mainstream in today’s Western world.

- Note: This episode was recorded in 2018 -

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Understood with Mitch Wallis we cover:
- what it was like to grow up having a worldwide spiritual guru as a parent
- Mallika shares incredibly beautiful insights around the power of gratitude and what setting an intent really means (beyond just what we may have read in books like The Secret).
- We discuss the usually messy and sometimes dark journey of figuring out who we really are and what we really want
- Mallika gives some invaluable advice and perspectives on parenting, and of course, meditation.

About Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra is one of the most prolific meditation teachers in the world. She has spoken at TedXSan Diego and TedXBerkeley, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, Wisdom 2.0, Women’s Conferences around the United States, and the Parliament of World Religions. She has been featured in Time Magazine’s Special Issue on Mindfulness, as well as Women’s Health, Oprah.com, Mind Body Green, and Huffington Post. She has worked with companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, LinkedIn and Google. Mallika has published several books – including her most recent project called 'Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement and More' where she empowers 8-12 year old kids to learn how to deal with stress, sleep better, build self-confidence, and manage the anxiety so many of them face today. She also wrote the book 'Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy'. A lot of people would be familiar with her father Deepak Chopra – a.k.a. male Oprah Winfrey. He is essentially the face of self-help globally and a large reason why meditation is mainstream in today’s Western world.

- Note: This episode was recorded in 2018 -

- SUBSCRIBE, RATE & REVIEW THE SHOW  -
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/02aqR5aly0A7ZSiktQrA2X
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/understood/id1522620849/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb35WjXg5PZG6ZfbNm1AaRA/

- Hotline phone number is -
+61419689311

- Website -
www.mitchwallis.com

- Find me on social media -
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mitch.wallis/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mitchwallism...
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchwallis/
TikTok: @mitch.wallis

- INTRO SONG CREDITS - 
What Happens Now - Fransancisco

Mitch Wallis:

What's up you beautiful animals. Welcome back to another episode of understood the psychology podcast helping you make sense of your mind so that you feel less alone and improve your mental health. I am Mitch Wallis, your host, and I am stoked to be back with you. This episode is another guest episode. It was recorded in 2018. So it was a it's an older one that I'm repurposing. Before we get into the new guests. Just wanted to get these over here, because they are gold. And the most golden thing is that we get to hear from someone who is truly amazing today. Her name is Malika Chopra. You may have heard of her. She's the author of several meditation books, and has taught meditation to 1000s of people. She's a TEDx speaker, and has worked as a consultant on the topic of balance and productivity at companies like Coke, Disney, LinkedIn, and Google writings have been featured on publications like time.com, woman, women's health, oprah.com, mindbodygreen, huffpost, you name it. She has a BA from Brown University, an MBA from Kellogg Business School, and a master's degree in psychology from the teachers college at Columbia University, which is the same as me. For those that are familiar with spirituality, meditation or alternative medicine at all, if you don't know Malaika, you will definitely know her father. He's one of the most prominent figures in alternative medicine to have ever lived, he could arguably be said to be the person, or at least one of the influential figures that brought meditation to the Western world. He's a clinical doctor, and Professor of Family Medicine, and Public Health at the University of California. But you'll inevitably know him from one of his 90 books. And that is the man Deepak Chopra. He, I mean, I've grown up knowing about him, my mum used to, in her early 20s, having me as a young child, used to parent me, according to his teachings. So it's, it's quite an honour to know, a family like this. Time magazine described Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century. But Malaika has an identity that is truly truly worthy of living outside the shadow of her father. And you will hear as to why that's the case in this interview. Not only is she an incredibly intelligent and driven woman, she's a dear friend of mine, and someone who's had my back from day one. And I talk a little bit about how the impact of just her energy changed my life forever when doing a meditation with her set off a stream of events that would ultimately lead to me doing what I do today. So I hope you enjoy. And I look forward to seeing you back here soon for episode of q&a. But for now, he's Malika welcome Mallika Chopra to the podcast. How are you?

Mallika Chopra:

Mitch? I'm so proud of everything you're doing, as you know, and I love that you took a leap of faith and are creating a movement that is really important and impactful for our world. So congratulations.

Mitch Wallis:

Thank you. And I don't know if many of the people listening today will know our relationship and how I came to meet you but you are definitely someone that has shaped not only my career, but my personal life in a quite a profound way. And I learned the power of a Chopra. Not the hard way, but I guess the most profound way possible. And I thought I was unintentionally trying to create a reality that that I wanted. But, you know, we'll get later on in this episode into the power of intent. But I didn't know how strong an intention can be until I was in a room meditating with you. And obviously, at Columbia University, where we met, and I remember vividly like it was yesterday, you asked us to shut our eyes, we were in the classroom. And you said, Can everyone reflect on one simple concept? And that is the words Who am I? Yeah. And it struck a chord so deep, not on a non conscious level, not on any thought that I had. But it it. It struck something in the universe, I guess that made me consider, what am I doing with my life, and who am I here to serve, which is I know, something that that you talk a lot about. It was only a couple of weeks later that I had the biggest mental breakdown of my entire life. And I thought at the time that it was rock bottom, and that, that bottom, potentially lead to an edge that I would never come back from. But it was actually the breaking of me that I had been waiting my entire life to have and didn't know about it. And now that I'm in the other side, can reflect back and say, I don't even remember what it was like to not know who I was. And so I'd like to thank you for that. And just let you know, how petrifying it was in an attempt to try and answer that. Have, have you yourself. Gone as deep as that into that question that you asked Who am I?

Mallika Chopra:

So I think first of all, I had no idea that that had that effect on you. And I think it's very significant that you had that experience, because the work that you're doing right now, you may not know the effect that you're having on other people. And that's why it's a very personal journey for everyone to explore that question of who am I because no one else can answer it for you. And when you start to embrace that, and share that in the way that you're doing, it can be so transformational on a personal social and global level and heart on my sleeve is such a great example of that. So again, I just want to, you know, say that, that question you needed to hear at that time and the right time, and you were ready to embrace it, you may have not been ready a year earlier, or five years earlier. And so that was part of your journey. Yeah, in terms of my my journey and my story. You know, I have been very blessed in my life to have mental and physical health without some of the challenges that you shared with me from your story. My family, though, has had some of those in, you know, our, our inner core. So that question of who am I comes up over and over again, I actually was guided to ask that question when I was about nine or 10 years old. So as a young kid, and I have found that in the various decades of my life, that question changes and transforms. And the other two questions that we add to that is, What do I want? And how can I serve. And that also has evolved in many different ways, at different stages in my life. So I'm excited to see that you have kind of embraced that early on. I asked that in my teens, I asked it in my 20s you've heard me speak of my story of having similar to you the dream job travelling around the world, access to celebrities and musicians when I launched MTV in India and then having an experience where I realised I wasn't following the path that I was meant to follow, and not knowing what would come in the future. And so that's happened to me several times in my life in my career. And for me, the way that I go back to exploring that question of who am i is returning To my meditation practice and embracing silence and uncertainty and seeing what comes out of it.

Mitch Wallis:

Hmm. Yeah, it's a it's something that you don't even know the answer that you're really looking for until it finds you. I think it's sort of a question that's like, what is my purpose here? And that's something that I know a lot of people who have mental health challenges struggle with a lot, particularly people who feel depressed is, what is this meaning that I'm trying to make from my life? And how can the world help to provide me the resources and the insight for me to go and realise that you said that someone was asking you a question from about the age of nine to think about things like that? Who was that?

Mallika Chopra:

Yes, so my father is the well known author, Deepak Chopra. And my brother and I learned how to meditate when we were nine years old, when my parents learned how to meditate. And basically my brother and I were the guinea pigs for all of my dad's various experiments and different techniques that he would try. And one of the things he would have us do is after our meditation, really think about who we are, we're what we wanted, how we could serve and what we were grateful for. And he would guide us when he'd ask us what you want for we would often say material things like tickets to the Celtics, where we grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, trip to Hawaii, material things and he listened. And then he'd asked us, okay, but what about asking for the qualities in your life that will make you happy, healthy, connected and have purpose? So what about asking for love, connection, inspiration. And so I talked a lot about intention. And we really grew up guided by my father and a lot of other teachers that we had access to, to think about the worlds that we wanted to create for ourselves, for our families and our communities

Mitch Wallis:

is there's so much there that I want to dig into, but I do want to just unpack a little bit. You said, you know, your dad asked you this at nine years old, and I've been fortunate enough to not only meet you meet Deepak, and it was actually I remember, when you said, you know, your last name was Chopra. And I never really put the two together. And you came and sat next to me in class at university. And you said, Oh, Mitch, you mentioned that you had an idea around how mental health and technology can be brought together. You know, I said, Yeah, I do. And, you know, you said, Well, what does that look like? And can you explain it more? And I gave you a bit of description, and you said, Wow, I think my dad would find that really interesting. And I'm like, Who's this lady pitching her dad on this business meeting? And like, why would Why would you be interested in anything to do with this? And I said, like, would I know him? Is he anyone of note? And you go, well, his name's Deepak and I go, I almost fell off my chair. I'm thinking to myself, excuse me. And I was like, holy shit. Yeah, I mean, like, I'll take a meeting with with the back if it's going. And Trudy word, you know, a couple days later, I was always in front of him talking about how, you know, we can use new ways of thinking and new ways of using technology to change the way we see mental health and managing our emotions in the modern age. And that was, that was an incredibly pivotal moment for me again, because it showed me the power of intention, in that, you know, your father was someone who I grew up reading about and following his practices, never in a million years did I think I will be in front of him until, you know, I took the calling to, to face my own fears and, and to show up in how I was being called to lead. Now. What I found interesting was when you started to tell me a bit about your dad and how he wasn't always this meditating guru, chilled out guy that has taken over the Western world with his philosophies. Tell me a bit about his, his earlier days.

Mallika Chopra:

Yeah, so you know, my parents came to the US when they were about 21 and 22 years old, they had just got married. And my dad came to do his residency here in the US at that time, they were recruiting many doctors to come here. So they arrived in this country with $8 in their pockets, and just a good education and hard work. And he worked 24 seven, day and night in, you know, a pretty violent and busy hospital. And frankly, he was a really stressed out and miserable person. So he drank a lot to just go to sleep, when he had freedom, he smoked incessantly. He was just not a happy person. And so my early memories of childhood are my brother and I at home with my mom, whenever he was around, really wasn't the greatest atmosphere. And then around in his mid 30s, is when he discovered meditation. And his first meditation was really transformational. So he stopped drinking, he stopped smoking, and over the next 10 years or so really had this transformation in terms of his professional life, and sharing knowledge. But for us, as kids, it was truly transformational, because suddenly, he was happier, he was more present, he felt more purpose, my parents relationship was better. My brother and I, you know, we're very fortunate to learn how to meditate and think about these deeper questions as young kids. So we really witnessed this transformation on a very personal level, and which is one of the reasons that at this stage of my life, as a mom with two girls, and having had a variety of careers, I feel so fortunate to be able to continue to share in my own way, the messages that and lessons that my father learned and passed on to us, and now we can pass on to others. Well,

Mitch Wallis:

you certainly do have two amazing daughters Leila and Tara, who I've been fortunate enough as well to, to meet. And I think, you know, when I, when I talk to you, I see how passionate you are about being a mother and being a parent, it means so much to you. And from from all accounts, you're doing an amazing job. But it's interesting, reflecting back on on your childhood and sort of feeling this, this lack of connection with someone that you wanted to connect with so much. What did that feel like for you?

Mallika Chopra:

You know, I think in our early days, and we know that the early days of childhood are very transformational. But in our early days, I was very lucky also that my mom was very present and an anchoring force for us. So in many ways, I think we didn't even it wasn't really a factor that my dad wasn't around. But when he did when he found his answers in his own way, asking those questions, who am I, you know, my mom had nurtured the family to be there for him. And his personality was such that he always wanted to share. So that's why, you know, not only our family became part of it, but then my extended family, the Indian community, all of Boston, it really grew organically from there. That being said, You know, I think, and, you know, because you've been doing a lot of research, more research on this, but often, having one anchor in your life can be really a saving grace. And so my brother and I were very fortunate that, you know, early on we had that even as my dad was going through his own journey,

Mitch Wallis:

and and what type of qualities if you don't mind me sort of double clicking into because this is really interesting stuff. What type of qualities do you think your mom had that allowed you to feel that that security and that attachment and and what have you adopted from that with your own parenting today?

Mallika Chopra:

I think it's a sense of her own knowingness and security in who she was. So I've talked a lot about this, in my own exploration of finding purpose in my life. You know, my mom was always a mom, like, and she had never had the excuse of being anything else. She never tried to justify it. She really knew, in her essence, how she could serve. And so as I've gone through my own journey, and I think it's something that's more relevant to my generation of women, also where we have so much opportunity, on the career front and on the relationship front, and there's always this struggle, and feeling that I'm not doing good enough in some sphere or the other. What I've learned from my mother is that internally, if you really anchor yourself and for me, it's through meditation, with that sense of knowingness of who I am, then in the different roles you play in life, you know, you can really be more full and present with them. So I think what she had was presents and as you know, our guide in our life, Next year, her, she was a guide for my dad and his life. That sense of presence has stayed with all of us and I think been very grounding and healing.

Mitch Wallis:

Amazing, I think, you know, this sort of addresses the the hot not to use the pun, to directly but the heart of what we're trying to do with this movement, and particularly with this podcast is reveal the underlying realness that's been taken out of life, through a number of reasons, blame it on social media, blame it on a cultural issue. But there is a universal humanity in the joys and the pain that we all feel that sort of been had a veneer put over it. And we've bought into a lot of stories that aren't necessarily true. And we've dismissed a lot of stories that have held value in the past. And I think the story you hold and particularly describing your relationship with your dad, is the complete paradox, which paints the picture of the actual reality in that the person who is now synonymous with presence, the person who is now the worldwide leader, in positive mental health, emotional stability, was once a person that was not present for his own daughter, or was letting his career run away from him. And I think that's really, really, really important to highlight, which is even the best of the best, no matter the amount of stories, no matter the amount of PR that surrounds them, are all human. and nine times out of 10. That gift is also their curse. And they and they've often been driven to that point through pain. And so there's a lot of people who are probably listening to this right now, feeling like they can't be their authentic selves, because it's not good enough. But I guarantee you, if someone like him and someone like you can lead so authentically, from a place of humility, and humble and humble background, then literally any single person receiving this story right now can do the same.

Mallika Chopra:

And I think another important aspect is the sense of one empathy for people who are going through their own journey as the other people who love them, as well as the sense of forgiveness on all sides. And, you know, really living in that present moment of kind of walking the path with where people are, and being present, when, you know, they're ready to be open.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah, empathy, and empathy. And forgiveness is hard. I think, particularly in the heat of the moment. If someone has sort of been not doing well, for a long time, supporting them can be incredibly exhausting. And then there's a sense of guilt, which sort of kicks in after that. How do you deal with that? with a sense of deep, deep forgiveness? And when, when it's when it's hard to do? So?

Mallika Chopra:

I think, for me, it's not about intellectualising it but it is about connecting again, with Who am I and what do I want in my life, because we can hold on to grievances get offended, be hurt, but it hurts us, right? So the more that we and for me, that's why I'm such a big believer in the practice of meditation. Because we can go down a black rabbit hole of constantly thinking and triggering the hurt. But if we go back to just a practice, which anchors us in our soul in that connection to something that is bigger than ourselves, I think the empathy and all the actions of forgiveness, etc, have come more naturally, not intellectually.

Mitch Wallis:

What's the practice that that you would do every day outside of meditation and some of the more mainstream things that people wouldn't expect?

Mallika Chopra:

So first of all, I would say, I would not sacrifice the meditation. So but people can do a meditation that is short and simple. So I often guide people in a very simple I am meditation. So just sitting comfortably closing your eyes and mentally repeating the words I am, I am and when your attention drifts away from the words to gently come back to those words so our mind is always going to wander. It's very natural and normal. But this kind of meditation just helps anchor you back with a primordial sound that's healing. So try it for two minutes, three minutes. And over time, I think people become more comfortable with the uncertainty that often. And for some people, the fear that comes with that feeling of, you know, just an endless quiet space. And I think you can maybe talk more about this in terms of the experiences that you've gone through. But that's why we add the words I am, because that provides some sort of anchor, as well. So one, I would strongly recommend meditation. But beyond that, I think a gratitude exercise is very powerful, something that I do with my kids, and I recommend that people do with both on their personal journey, but even in their families and communities. Because gratitude, you know, even in the worst of situations. And in the most depressing of situations, I hope that people can sometimes grasp onto one thing that they're grateful for, it may not be something in their own life, but maybe it's something in their community, maybe it's something about the planet, maybe it's just being grateful for the sun No, or air or water that you can access. And so I think what gratitude does is it connects you to something larger.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah, gratitude is super powerful. And I think, used used in conjunction with with this strong intention. She just happens, I don't know how to put that in any other way other than it really does move. And I want to explore this with you, because you have literally written the book on intent. You have a book that has gone worldwide, and there would be no one in the world better to talk about how how a single thought or, or, or a, or a belief, a deep belief, I think you call it your you are your deepest desire, how that can manifest in different ways. And I'd like to hear your perspective on it. Because this word and this concept has been drowned out a little bit by concepts like the secret and positive thinking where people just think I want a Ferrari and it should be on my doorstep the next day. And you know, other groups, particularly males, unless you can actualize It and Prove it. It's hard to live by. But I know in my life intent has, has created opportunities that there is just no possible way I could have done through sheer action on a human level. But they are way too close to what I've always wanted for it to be a complete mistake. And so you've developed a model that enables people to rationalise it a bit more. Can you talk about that?

Mallika Chopra:

Sure. So I'm going to share a phrase that I share in many of my talks and my book. So it's something that my dad guided my brother and I to say after meditations, and I know we are speaking, particularly on mental health. And I've had feedback on this from people who have been physically emotionally abused as well that sometimes this phrase feels uncomfortable. So I just want to say that before I share the phrase, and then we can dig deeper into it, but the phrase comes from the Course of Miracles, then it says I'm responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience and set the goals I will achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me, I asked for and received, as I have asked. Now, again, in context of what we're talking about. You know, this can hit a lot of hot buttons. But what I think it can help people do is in any situation that you may find yourself to hopefully find that one choice that you can make and feel empowered by so the choice may be just to take another breath, right? So take kind of the feel empowered in a choice that you can make. And the way that this leads to intention is, you know, intentions are like seeds that we plant in our soul. Often when we plant that seed, we have no idea how it's going to blossom into a beautiful flower or tree. an intent is very different from a goal which you kind of described in the examples of getting a Ferrari and the intent really represents the seeds of our soul goals. often come from our mind and our more kind of physical, but intense really represent those deepest desires of who we aspire to be, and how we can serve ourselves and the planet. So I want to stress that intense really come from that deep, quiet place, often, by the way, a scary and uncertain place, where we have to be really honest and authentic about what we want in our life. And, you know, in my experience, that has often been a yearning for love or connection, for help, or a sense of purpose. And so, you know, sometimes and I write a lot about this, in my book is, you know, we plant the seed deep down in the ground, like in dirt and darkness. And so we have to sometimes go to that place to really be authentic and honest about what we want. So in my model, for intent, I did it around the acronym i n t, e, n, t, for the word intent, I is for incubation, which really represents almost that process that sometimes we need time, we need darkness and uncertainty, and maybe sometimes fear to be really honest and authentic about our desires. For me, meditation, again, is a great practice to become more comfortable in that space. And then after that, the end is for notice, which is noticing the people the places the circumstances that you may come across. Because again, sometimes you're unsure. So your example is a perfect one. Whereas when we had that first conversation, and you know, I was intrigued by your background in technology, and you had no idea where this was going, it manifested into something that, you know, you kind of took advantage of having that conversation. And likewise, from my side, you know, it blossomed into something wonderful. T is for trust, which is trusting your intuition. He is for expressing what you want. And that is a huge step. Because for so many people, they're really scared to express what they want. And is for nurturing, which is letting go of guilt, asking for help nurturing relationships, and then T is for taking action, which is at the right time, setting SMART goals. But when you set goals in this process, it becomes much more effective, easier and less scary to really set the goals to achieve them.

Mitch Wallis:

Great summary, awesome summary, I think, particularly relevant to people who have a low self worth asking for what you want can be something that doesn't sit very well. And I guess you alluded to this at the start, which is it can be triggering for people to own their life and their desires. there's a there's a sort of pervasive feeling of I'm not good enough, even if I wanted it, I don't deserve it, which is often never rooted in any type of reality or, or justification. Nonetheless, it's still as powerful as if it were true. And I also want to pick up on the fact that, you know, action is key here, it's not as simple as waiting for life to happen. clearly stating and believing that you are worthy of receiving and then taking even the tiniest step forward every day to go and getting that is such a is such a huge part of getting well and staying well.

Mallika Chopra:

Well, no one is stressful, so that sometimes it can feel really overwhelming and scary to take that leap or to say or admit what you want. And so I recommend for many people just to think about micro intense think about what you want in the next hour. You know, think about what you want just for today. So don't even make it like kind of something massive, but set an intent for what you want to just kind of feel in the next hour. half day, one day take baby steps.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah. What What is it that you want Malaika I'm gonna put you on the spot. And like, I know that you probably get asked this question a million times, but you know, really in your heart, whether it be your kids or your husband, your dad, what is your deepest desire.

Mallika Chopra:

So you know, I am now I just turned 47 and I feel very fortunate that you know, I've had you know, I've had so many gifts in my life and I've had success in In my career My husband has as well. And we have, you know, a wonderful, wonderful families. So I am really at a stage where I honestly have no idea what I want, right now I want peace, and I want happiness, and I want to serve. And you and I have talked to Atlanta actually, about some of the business activities I've been in. And I've actually let go of those. So you'll be happy to hear about that as well. But I've also let go of some of the things that I felt were, like holding me back, and responsibilities that just kind of were creating stress for me. So I've taken six, eight months to actually let go of a lot of stuff. So I'm actually in a place where I have no idea what the future holds. And it's a really uncertain, but also exciting time for me. And I'm in a place where I'm actually actively saying no, to many things, because I really want to get back in that incubation phase of really thinking about what's next. So ultimately, what do I want, I want health and happiness for my family. And I want to serve?

Mitch Wallis:

Well, it's refreshing to hear someone who leads in this space to say, I don't fucking know, I don't know what I want, necessarily. And that's, that's what I love about you is that it's always been real and authentic. Again, going back to the point of this podcast is you talk about, it's often a relief to meet your heroes and mentors, and realise that they're just like us. And I've heard you reference an example of the UNICEF CEO, and you sort of felt like you're both just complete messes, being messy with each other. And you're like, Wait a second, you leave one of the biggest humanitarian organisations in the world?

Mallika Chopra:

Absolutely. So you know, and I think I know that really intimately, because I know the mythology that surrounds my father. And, you know, I grew up around very big, well known celebrities, but also had an intimate look at their suffering. And so I think sometimes you never really know and especially in this world that we live on, of social media and the material, you never know, the deeper story that people are going through. So just that empathy and understanding and having intimacy with your own kind of struggles actually often helps you connect and understand other people's as well.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah, it's so it's so awesome, just to see how normal, you do keep it coming from, you know, one of the one of the biggest, spiritually inclined, well known families in the world, and I've been out with you and your family on numerous occasions where we're grabbing sushi at the restaurant, and you're like, you know, what be anyone like, you know, it's just, everything is so normal. And going back to you touched on earlier, he launched MTV in India. And that wasn't like an irregular thing that could have gone on for a long time, because it is very aligned with your personality, your brother is highly involved in the NBA, you know, things that you wouldn't expect. Can you talk a little bit about those experiences? Well, I

Mallika Chopra:

think that's one of the lessons I learned from my parents, frankly, is, you know, each of us is very unique. We have different ambitions, different interests. And my brother, and I probably had some pressure to be successful because of, you know, my dad and our kind of just background and access to people. And both of us struggled for many years to kind of figure out what we wanted to do. I mean, we had good jobs, but it wasn't what we were passionate about. And I like to actually use my brother these days as a great example of someone who always was obsessed and loved sports. And, you know, he, he did a lot of documentaries and was a war journalist for many years, and then gave that up as he became a father and realise, you know, he had to have more of a safe lifestyle. And in the last five years has really kind of created a new space in sports documentaries, and is literally working with the most famous athletes not only in the US, but around the world, and has just launched a company around religion of sports with Tom Brady from the Patriots and Michael Strahan and has created really a new industry of around what he loves. But what my parents did do is support my brother in one, our messy journey, the subtitle of my book, so the book is living with intent, but the subtitle is my somewhat messy journey to purpose, peace and joy. And so I think it's being supportive of the message. See journey and realising that we go through some phases where we feel really aligned and passionate and excited about what we're doing. And then we're kind of like, lost again, until we figure it out again. So that's very much part of my family's journey.

Mitch Wallis:

I'm a living example that you don't have to have your shit together and have it all figured out for good things to happen. It's just, it's such a striking story of how you can just be who you are. And then the people around you let that happen. And as you say, that's when you really start to come to the fore and the flower does sprout. Speaking of flowers, who's the coolest flower you've ever met? Who's the realest person where you just like, Damn, you just live more authentically than anyone I've ever met?

Mallika Chopra:

Gosh, would it? That's an interesting question, because I've met a lot of really interesting people. But I think ultimately, I get most inspired by kids. And, you know, I, I know intimately, obviously, my kids, my nephew, you know, I find joy, the most joy in those members of my family that I truly love with kind of no limitation, no boundaries. And that's really where I find it.

Mitch Wallis:

So it's not Emma Thurman?

Mallika Chopra:

No, she's wonderful. Her father is a great professor and thinker. But no, no celebrities that I know well.

Mitch Wallis:

And on that children have been a huge part of your life, and even now in your professional life, with your new book that's just come out called just breathe, which is really a meditation book for kids. And I know it's a project you've wanted to do for a long time to switch into a space where, you know, your daughters could pick something up and be like, wow, this, this is what mom really does. How does that feel?

Mallika Chopra:

I'm so excited about this book. So the book is called just breathe meditation, mindfulness movement, and more. And I really wrote it for eight to 12 year olds, to empower kids directly with the tools to transform their lives, frankly. And what I love about this book is actually I had no agenda, writing it, it just was an opportunity that someone asked me to do, and I decided to go for it. And it's probably will be for me right now, the most kind of powerful gift I feel I can give to my kids and their friends in our community. Because meditation was such a gift that I received at that age.

Mitch Wallis:

Awesome. And for, for parents, wanting to get their kids into it was the sort of one piece of advice. So one tip you could you could give from the book.

Mallika Chopra:

Well, the book is written for kids. So my advice to parents is, don't force your kids to meditate. Instead, find a practice for yourself, and lead by example, not words, and then let your kids figure it out for themselves.

Mitch Wallis:

And for the parents. In order to to lead by example, the easiest way to get into meditation, is it through an app or through one of your meditations, where would you suggest people start?

Mallika Chopra:

So I think there are some amazing apps now for parents to learn meditation. So I don't know what's in Australia specifically. But most things, you know, headspace, obviously, is popular. I have a few meditations on an unplugged meditation app, so you can go for that. The Chopra centre. So my father and Oprah Winfrey, every three to four months offer a 20 day meditation challenge, which is free online. So you know, you can figure that out from jabra.com. And one of the things I'm hearing from a lot of the people that are interviewing me for my book is because it's written for children. It's so simple, that a lot of adults are actually finding it as a great way to figure out some meditations for themselves.

Mitch Wallis:

That's awesome. What have your kids said when they've meditated? What's their experience?

Mallika Chopra:

So my kids, I and I said this right at the beginning is I don't force my kids to meditate. I have my practice. They learned how to meditate when they were about six. And so they their journey of meditation also is something that we lead by example. These days. We're staying at my parents house in New York and their apartment and it's so sweet because my Nephew meditates everyday with my mom. And you know, the other day just walked in, you know, I was kind of flustered and bringing in food. And I saw he was quietly meditating. He's 10. So I think the kids, they're helping me promote the book. So my nephew and my 14 year old Lila helped me do some videos. And they, when I wrote the book, I actually sat down with the three of them, my two daughters and my nephew and asked them, What are the things you guys think kids are struggling with? And you're struggling with? And so the book really was outlined around there. comments. So test anxiety, stress, social media, not sleeping, things like that.

Mitch Wallis:

Awesome. And just before we go, I want to ask you, for people out there who are feeling lost, particularly those who feel like they can't be seen for who they are. What would be your advice to help people sort of come back home and and ground into who they may one day realise,

Mallika Chopra:

I think it's being self a forgiving, of knowing that it's okay. Actually, self forgiving is not the word, it's being okay with knowing that sometimes, you may not know what you want. And also other people often don't know what they want. And that's totally fine. That's part of the journey. But I would encourage people to when they need help, seek out help. And you know, if it's not someone in your community, I know that what you're doing, Mitch is really important. There's always someone there who is willing to listen, and so to find that inner strength to say, you know what, at some point, if I need help, let me reach out and seek it.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah, yeah, we we talk about how to my slave a lot about finding the one ear, so, you know, it doesn't 1000 people on Facebook don't need to understand you. Even though it would be nice. Sometimes our parents don't need to understand us, even our closest friends, but there will be someone I know that from the deepest part of my soul that there is someone who will say, No, I get you, I understand you. And I think that's the start of every single transformation and healing and growth has to come once there is this catharsis of acceptance when you get permission from someone else, just to be

Mallika Chopra:

absolutely and again, the work and the community that is being built around what you're doing is very important. And you know, it's beginning with one person's experiences story, like your one experience, just look at what's come out of that.

Mitch Wallis:

Yeah, very humbling and incredibly fulfilling work. Mallika, Chopra, thank you so much for spending your time with us today.

Mallika Chopra:

Thank you much love to everyone.