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Mindful : June 2017
PARTING THOUGHT Over time habits can become so ingrained that we star t to believe them, says author of The Here-and-Now Habit, Hugh Byrne. If you often lose your temper, you might tell yourself, “I’m an angry person.” If you smoke, you might say, “I can’t quit.” But internalizing habits only perpetuates the behav- ior and limits your ability to see a different possibility. The nex t time one of your habit-derived identities pops up, challenge it. Ask yourself, Is this really true? Is it true that “I’m an angry person” or “I don’t have the willpower to quit”? Or is this a belief or storyline I’ve developed that isn’t solid, is not “me,” and can be let go of? Elisha Goldstein reminds us that mindfulness helps build the resilience to resist giving in to urges that fos- ter unhealthy habits. Visualize the circum- stances that typically trig- ger an urge. Notice what thoughts and feelings arise in the body. See if you can identify where you feel that urge physically, but don’t engage it. Instead, relax See it, and believe it the body and tune in to your breathing, in and out. Staying with the breath, watch how the feeling grows, peaks, and eventu- ally falls away. In doing this you’re training your brain not to engage the craving and to recognize the urge as impermanent. Start off with this visual- ization, and then bring it into the rest of your life. ● Research shows that when we criticize ourselves, it actually short-circuits the brainpower we need to unwind old habits and adopt new ones. Criticism (self or external) causes the same fight-or-flight impulse, limiting access to the higher functions of the brain, like being able to see the bigger picture, explains life coach and mindful- ness instructor Carley Try compassion Hauck. “Criticism makes us feel more anxious, more depressed, and more afraid of failure.” If you regularly tell yourself you “can’t ” or that you’re not enough in some way, try using a more com- passionate and understand- ing tone instead. Once we can be compassionate in our thinking, we can figure out the next best step to take toward the change we want. Di you learn anything about yourself? What stoo out for you uring the retreat? REGISTER FOR SUMMER TEEN RETREATS ATTEND ADULT RETREATS SPONSOR A TEEN TO ATTEND iBme.info/try Do you inten to keep me itating at home? INWARD BOUND MINDFULNESS EDUCATION June 2017 mindful 33