The doctor is in! Dr. Deepika Chopra is the OPTIMISM DOCTOR®, a visual imagery and media expert, as well as the founder of Things Are Looking Up™. She specializes in what she has coined, "evidence-based manifestation," which enables her clients, including couples and corporations, as well as parents, to cultivate their own sense of lasting happiness, resiliency, optimism and success. In this current climate, her method is a welcome respite and antidote to our internal qualms.
With the current state of the world it is safe to say that we are in an unprecedented time. You’re in the business of helping people, how are you still encouraging people to embrace happiness and remain optimistic?
I think two of the most important things I am encouraging right now is the power of human resource and the power of using tools and skills we already possess… like our perspective and breath. Our perspective is our most powerful tool… it can either leave us feeling entirely helpless or entirely empowered. It’s a tool that we can tap into, it is not always easy but, it’s a muscle and skill really worth exercising, it is one of those tools that has the ability to actually change the way you live. In the start I was using perspective and small language shifts like saying I was SAFE at home instead of STUCK at home. I’ve been encouraging my clients to sharpen their natural resource of breath and using it to cultivate more resiliency and help with the increasing anxiety we are all feeling. Also, helping to inspire clients to build more self-compassion for themselves, lean into the not so great feelings like stress and anxiety, and maybe even find a way to reframe those feelings as ways in which their body and mind are signaling them to seek out support or self-care rather than to feel guilt or shame for experiencing the feeling. I’m also really all about encouraging people to find more ways to meaningfully connect with others even when we are physically distancing whether that’s through virtual hangs, drive by hellos, or zoom dance parties …oh yeah and just to add way more joy wherever possible. If it feels good and it’s not hurting you or anyone else DO MORE OF IT, you deserve it!
With all that you have to put out there to help others including your peers, community, and family, where are you getting inspiration from and how are you taking care these days?
I’m pulling SO MUCH inspiration from my 3-year old son. I have been able to witness how resilient he is and I’m in awe of it, it’s beyond inspiring to see how our kids are taking this tough time in stride and finding ways to thrive and remain happy. To be honest, I’m not always taking care of myself these days. Like so many working parents, I am finding it so hard to find the time to do a quarter of the things I know would be so beneficial for me to do. I mean some days it’s 4 pm and I haven’t even showered or eaten. I think this time has been branded by a lot of people as “the big slow down” but for so many of us it’s been quite the opposite. Both my husband and I work from home and also care for our son—making sure he’s healthy, cooking, cleaning, laundry, endless dishes, homeschooling, working etc…. it’s near impossible and so I am definitely having a tough time. I don’t really believe in the word “balance.” I think that word conjures up a lot of pressure and sometimes is an ideal that doesn’t seem plausible — I believe in a different “B” word…boundaries. I’m trying (sometimes I’m better at it than other times) to create more boundaries and take tiny moments here or there, like a minute or two to breathe, dance, shake it out, smile, hug and kiss my husband and child and create a “don’t bother me while I’m in the shower” type of vibe…ha!
Your Things Are Looking Up™ Deck can be considered an accessory, where is the most unusual place you have stashed your deck?
I usually keep a deck near my bedside and a deck on my office table, but one of the most inspiring and exciting things that has been a surprising bonus for me since creating the TALU deck has been hearing about the unique ways in which users of the deck ritualize the cards into their personal lives. I love how I’ve been influenced by some of their feedback to use the deck in the car, with kids on a drive, or while traveling (when we used to), or with their partner when the day is done. I also have loved hearing about how teams and companies have been using the deck to start or end each of their Zoom calls during the pandemic as a way to build resilience, create a greater sense of togetherness, and increase positive mood during this very trying time.
You typically work from an office but now must be doing a lot of Zooming and teleconferencing, do you have a daily look?
It started with getting dressed (the first couple times) as I normally would have if I was leading a workshop or doing a talk. It felt so good to “get ready” but that quickly shifted towards a top I thought was nice with sweats or pajamas and like, socks on the bottom. Then it transitioned to full-on sweats or a comfortable cute summer dress (because now it’s warm) and somewhere in between. I was putting on makeup every so often but not anymore. Now it’s just sweats, or whatever comfortable thing I’m wearing during the day, and not really making an effort to make it different for a Zoom call 🙂
Since becoming a mom, how has your style evolved?
I’ve always leaned towards comfort and neutrals— I’m a true lover of good quality basics, outfit repeating, stripes, and the rare pop of color or print. But for the most part, I’ve always gravitated towards classic and comfort…I love the color black. Since becoming a mom, I have given up on heels, embraced more color, and truly leaned into my natural desire to wear sneakers all the time. When my son was younger, I would sometimes carry a quick change of clothes for the both of us. Now, a lot of my style is literally dictated by my son, he used to not allow me to wear my hair up. I can now, but, he literally will tell me what to wear sometimes and I’ll find myself in a Duke basketball shirt or a colorful dress that I would have never worn just because he said so!
What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on (jewelry, accessories…etc.)?
I have always worn the very same jewelry and am the type of person that never takes off my pieces … for sentiments sake and for convenience. I have my necklaces and my bracelets that I never take off. I’ve worn my OM pendant since I was 17, my Mangalsutra (it’s a HINDU religious necklace that symbolizes marriage and my husband [who’s not Indian] placed it on me during our wedding ceremony), since 2015, the gold chain my parents got for my son when he was born, and my Celine “J” pendant that my husband bought me last Christmas. I am a sucker for heirlooms, rituals and tradition… I love accessories but I rarely change them up— I’ve been known to carry the same handbag for a couple years before I even think of switching it up. But that does not mean that I don’t like collecting them!!