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It was Mallika Chopra’s launch for her new lovely book, Living With Intent. I started it last night on the train and it has now taken the top spot on my night stand, a big deal considering her father’s new book 13th Disciple is three books deeper in the stack.
It was Mallika’s stories that intrigued me last night, the memoir style of the book, and the path to living a life of I.N.T.E.N.T. (incubate, notice, trust, express, take action) that sealed it.
Her dilemma before writing the book struck me: this question of purpose and fulfilling your destiny. One might assume with a dad like Deepak, finding passion would be pretty easy with what we might imagine: everything at your fingertips. But perhaps the opposite is true, trying to fill shoes and leave your own legacy may be a huge weight in itself, no doubt.
Mallika described the tug of guilt we all feel when we spend too much time with our loved ones and away from our work, or it’s opposite. She is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, but more importantly she’s a mom. And although I haven’t gotten that far just yet, Mallika alluded to a few conversations with spiritual teachers (described in the book) that allow her to settle into her true purpose for now: soccer mom.
It made me think: Oh no! Have I misled my tribe? Am I pushing them to seek something beyond what they are?
I went to bed with this thought in my mind, and this is where the apology comes in … or perhaps just some clarification.
I heard a calling. I heard it for years underneath all sorts of crap. I couldn’t make it out for a long time, but I yearned to decipher the message. I knew deep down that my life was to make a larger impact than my own limited beliefs would allow me to see.
It took several years, but as I got quieter and listened more closely, I heard the call.
Then the fear set in. But how?!
That also took several years: unraveling the fear from the truth.
My truth was to tell my story, to share my gifts and get out there in this world using my talents to leave a more compassionate planet.
That’s likely not your exact truth.
However, there are parts to all of our paths that are similar.
If your truth is soccer mom, I applaud that. Spread joy and love and compassion and be the best damn soccer mom you can be. And if you know that to be true, celebrate it.
What I want to clarify is the deception of ego. If that’s not your truth, then soccer mom can be really safe. Just like teacher was for me. No less noble, but safe.
We all need to get quiet and listen for our own truth.
One of my favorite quotes:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” -MLK
Regardless of your purpose, I know this to be true: you will never find it outside of you. Believe me, I tried for a decade or more. It is within. Beneath, perhaps, all sorts of negative programming, but it’s there.
We must begin with the incubation and notice the call, and then trust that “the intent has within it the mechanisms of its own fulfillment, as a seed has within it everything it needs to become a tree, a flower, a piece of fruit. Intent is a seed in consciousness, or spirit, and you have the power to bring it into reality.”
Express it, nurture it, and take action!
I leave you with this: Have you heard a call, what is it telling you?