The Antithesis of the Online Experience


It’s the mantra as well as the title of the magazine edited by Anne Alexander. It’s a role that fits her perfectly, as Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni noted in a recent interview. It also strikes a chord with so many of us as the mindset of digital minimalism gains traction.

“The field of mindfulness is one that is growing and proving to be a very important factor that many people are looking for in their hectic lives these days,” Husni writes. “And Anne is a firm believer in the brand’s signature mantra: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life. She believes the mind is a valuable resource that people are starting to realize needs protecting from the everyday stress and reflections of the past and the future that they’re often forced to think about. And she feels that Mindful is the voice of this emerging mindfulness community and the place to go for insight, information, and inspiration to help us all live more mindfully.”

Alexander has a long history in publishing, working for Rodale’s Prevention brand and the National Geographic Society. And she believes the convergence of mindfulness and print media is the perfect place to build a community of like-minded agents for change.

“I think the ‘why now’ is because we’re experiencing a tremendous confluence of events, and stress is epidemic and mindfulness is one of those things that can help people distress,” Alexander tells Husni. “The instantaneous payoff is that mindfulness can help relieve stress, but over a longer period of time mindfulness is so important because we’re all involved with multitasking and our attention is being eviscerated by all of the technology that we have. So, our attention is constantly being drawn from our devices to all of the things that pull it away, so mindfulness is a way to bring our attention back, to enable us to regroup and to focus.”

This focus is a key element of print media, this uninterrupted, distraction-free experience of reading something offline. And it taps into something inherently human.

“I think that the human mind is such a valuable property that mindfulness enables us to reclaim that beauty and whether or not we want to develop that in some artificial way; I’m sure there are other ways to artificially stimulate ourselves, but I think that mindfulness is something that is inherently human,” Alexander continues.

Of course, she understands the online experience is important too, giving the brand exposure and reach as well as helping empower people to make a change. But it’s in print that the most important engagement occurs.

“It’s the best of slow media, if you will, because it helps people to focus, to slow down, to savor the moment,” Alexander says. “In some ways our articles are old-fashioned, almost artisanal compositions. We have art directors and editors who really focus on the nuance of what we’re trying to say. I think that’s one of the reasons that readers are responding to it.”

She believes at heart that the content she and her team creates delivers an experience that goes far beyond the words and how they are presented.

“I believe that when content is done well, you are delivering an experience to people. When you have the beauty of combining visuals, you’re always creating an experience. To me, that’s the beauty of the work,” she says.

In a world where our attentions are increasingly split, the idea of Mindful in print makes beautiful sense. We wish them continued success with this beautiful magazine.