When life feels out of balance or lacking in meaning, Mallika Chopra advises asking yourself the two questions her father taught her to ask: Who am I? And what do I want? “It’s the first step toward reconnecting with your authentic self and trusting your intuition,” says Chopra, author of Living with Intent. “This is what I call the incubation phase.”
At first your answers may be labels (mid-level manager, mom-in-chief, wife) and goals (validation, a promotion, homemade family dinners.) But keep on asking and listening to the answers that come up.
And most importantly, “pay attention to the person who is listening,” Chopra says. This may sound like a mind-bender, but when you actually do it, you’ll understand that this will help you go deeper and put you in touch “with that presence that we all have, the quiet, anchored place that is our soul,” Chopra adds.
The result: You’ve just meditated (and congratulations if this is the first time!) Do this regularly, i.e., commune with your soul, and the answers to your questions will evolve and bring to light what you were too overwhelmed or maybe scared to acknowledge but always felt deep inside. Along with this new self-understanding, your confidence will grow, and you’ll know what you need to next do, Chopra says.
Finding your groove
Ideally, you should commit to a regular practice of listening to yourself think. But if you gradually slack off and even stop, don’t sweat it. “I fall off the path all the time,” Chopra admits, laughing. “It’s like exercise—you do it until you feel great and then pick it up again when you don’t.”