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Mindful : December 2014
December 2014 mindful 57 5 Ways to Bring Mindfulness Home It’s not all about you It’s hard not to take things personally when someone speaks to you in a rude or unkind way, but often these behaviors are com- ing from a place of discomfor t within the other person. When you can take their action as a message that the other person is having a difficult time rather than as a personal attack, you can begin to relate to him/her differently. Doing this can open you both up, releas- ing defenses and leading toward communicating and connecting in a different way. Have an attitude of curiosity Close family mem- bers often see each other as having a fixed identity and assume they know how the other is going to act in any given moment. By doing this you become closed to seeing each other as you really are in moment—it pre- vents you from hav- ing the ability to see the change that’s happening as those around you grow. We’re constantly changing and evolving, especially in small, subtle ways, so rather than assuming you know the other person completely, see if instead, it’s possi- ble to be open and have an at titude of curiosity. See what’s new. You do have time Balancing all of life’s demands can be stressful and time-consuming. It can often feel like there isn’t enough time to really connect with your family—it can even feel like another chore on your to-do list. See if you can slow down enough to find small moments in each day to make a con- nection with each other—from saying “good morning” to your children in a loving way or doing something thoughtful, there are so many small moments ripe for connection. Keep in touch with loved ones Families need to be in touch with each other, literally. Not ever yone is “ touchy-feely,” but touch can be soothing and com- municate both a feeling and a sense of connection that words alone cannot convey. From a gentle hand on a shoulder to lingering in a hug a bit longer, see if you can reach out and touch your loved ones a little more. Really listen We often con- fuse hearing for listening. Hearing is just perceiving the sounds around you. You can hear someone while typing a text on the phone. Listening is the intentional choice to fully pay attention to the other person—from the tone and tex- ture of their voice to their emotional state and body lan- guage. Nex t time you ask your loved ones how their day was, make sure to really listen. Take in what they’re saying without projecting what you feel or expect onto their words. Remember how you feel when someone is actually listening. Offer that to others. 12345 Connecting with your family is crucial to everyone’s well-being. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make the effort.