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One day, a few years ago, Mallika Chopra described to me how she learned to meditate from her father, Deepak. I was expecting her to describe soulful silence, but that only made her laugh. No, she told me, when we were kids, my brother and I used to just sit around and close our eyes and make wishes. He wished for Celtics tickets.

At the time I found her hilarious; now I realize this is one of the many reasons why she is such a relatable expert in her field. Mallika is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and author of several books including this month’s Just Breathe which teaches kids how to meditate. Her wisdom stems from an incredible background: Mallika has launched non-profits with big impact (like the Heal the World Foundation) and entrepreneurial endeavors (; she has worked with MTV India and as a health ambassador for Pepsi; shared ideas on balance and purpose at companies such as Disney, LinkedIn and Google; and she founded of The Chopra Well on YouTube (site of our show Perfectly Imperfect Parents along with our friend, the comedian Dani Modisette). Oh, and she is also one of my best friends.

Mal, you will be proud to know that I am now meditating daily, in part thanks to Just Breathe. This book may be written with kids in mind, but every one of its lessons speaks to adults as well. Thank you for all of your wisdom, like this...   


 "Blow Those Butterflies Away" excerpted from Just Breathe

Do you ever get butterflies in your stomach? It’s that fluttery, dizzying feeling inside you. Perhaps you feel them fly around the morning before the first day of school? Or when you are heading to a new summer camp where you don’t know anyone. Or when your coach has just told you that after the next time-out, you are going to have to play those last few seconds of a tied game.

You feel your breath and heartbeat getting faster as you are both excited and nervous. But those butterflies just won’t go away, no matter what.

Here’s something you can do to help get that feeling to leave your stomach. You may want to try it a few times at home so when you need to do it in a nervous situation, you know how.

Time Needed: Less than a minute

Location: Anywhere


Notice where the butterflies are most crazy. Maybe they are making your head light. Or you feel them in your arms and head. Or your heart. Or your stomach. Or all over!

Choose one area and actually think of colorful butterflies. Blue. Red. Yellow. Purple. Beautiful, colorful butterflies!

Now, take a deep breath through your nose.

Pause. And get ready to blow them away.

Then, BLOW those butterflies away by pushing your breath out from your mouth.

Try it again.

Find the butterflies.

Breathe in deep.

Pause and get ready to really blow them away.

Push your breath out from your mouth and imagine those beautiful, colorful butterflies flying far away!