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Tag Archives: loving

4 Ways To Develop A Happiness Habit


“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed,
from the domination of outward conditions.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson

A habit is something we do again and again until it becomes almost second nature. We can develop bad habits as well as good habits. When we have a habit that is not serving us or the people around us, we usually try to take steps to release it. If it is a good habit, such as meditating every morning, getting our daily exercise, and eating food that keeps us strong and healthy, we feel energized and experience a variety of other positive benefits as well.

What if we were in the habit of being happy? What if our go-to state was happiness? I believe that happiness is a state of mind that we achieve through practice and repetition. It is a choice we make in each moment. I admit this is a pretty far-reaching goal, but it is possible to develop a “happiness habit” so that even when we are thrown off course and feeling stressed, we can learn to live each feeling in the moment, take action when necessary, and return to a place of well-being: happiness.

In my book The Practice, I define my personal happiness this way:

For me, happiness is knowing that I am strong, capable, confident, secure, loving, and compassionate; it is knowing that within me is everything I need to handle whatever life sends my way, and that not only will I be okay, I will thrive.

Here are some ways I have found for uncovering the happiness within each of us:

  1. Invite gratitude into the moment.
    Feeling thankful brings happiness. When we are able to know what we feel grateful for, it becomes our conditioned response when times are tough. Life is difficult; that is a given. But if you can consistently shift your perception from what you don’t have to what you do have, you will be stretching your gratitude muscle. Make a list of all that you are grateful for in your life and hang it in a place where you will see it often!
  2. Challenge yourself to do your best.
    When we do our best, we naturally feel a sense of accomplishment. We feel happy with our effort —maybe not the outcome, but at least the effort. If you approach your daily tasks and interactions with the intention to give it your best effort, your sense of self-worth will reflect that. What is your best? This changes each moment.
  3. Be aware of your daily actions.
    Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Being aware of each action and paying attention to the choices you are making is how to start shifting from “This is always happening to me” to a place of power and responsibility. When we live this way, we are happy. We take actions that benefit others, including ourselves!
  4. Be Present.
    Focus your attention on the here and now. This is our number-one biggest challenge in life! Focusing on yesterday’s worries and tomorrow’s concerns can keep us from developing a fresh and happy outlook moment by moment. These worrisome thoughts are actually a habit in and of themselves! So, this is truly a practice: Whenever you find your mind wandering to unproductive thoughts, notice that you have left the present moment, and be vigilant to bring your mind back. I use my Sacred Mantra, my breath, and affirmations to train my mind to be in the moment. If my mind starts to worry or if anxiety is rising, these tools help me create a new pathway in the mind. And that is how a happiness habit develops!

Abraham Lincoln said: “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” We can make up our minds right now to choose to be happy, strong, and loving. Develop a happiness habit today: Choose to honor each moment, become aware, take actions, and consistently be fully alive in every moment of the day.


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

Living Life From The Inside Out


“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
—Swami Vivekananda

I spent the first quarter of my life living from the “outside in.” In other words, I was searching for things outside myself—such as success, wealth, validation, and possessions— to make me feel whole and complete. I grew up in an alcoholic household, feeling disconnected from others, feeling alone and uncertain, and unaware that I was already complete.

By age 21 I had attained all the success society tells us we need to “have made it.” But for seven years, I also suffered from the eating disorder bulimia. In 1984, I woke up and said, “I can’t live this way anymore,” so I checked myself into treatment. During my six-week stay, I learned that to feel complete, I simply needed to start living my life from the “inside out.” Through therapy, meditation, yoga, reading for inspiration, and other mindfulness practices, I discovered that by living life first from within myself—learning to accept and love myself—I could then go out into the world to make it complete, rather than the other way around.

Albert Einstein once wrote, “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Don’t you just love this? Albert Einstein’s wisdom here teaches that each of us, individually and collectively, completes the universe. Forgetting that we are already whole leads us to think we must take from the universe, that what is outside of us is what we need. However, it truly is just the opposite: We must give to the world from the whole of our being so that we can all achieve the success of life well lived, as an integral part of humanity and what lies beyond.

How do we begin living from the inside out? The first step is “wake up and sit”; go within through a daily practice of meditation and get in touch with the part of ourselves that knows on a very deep level that we are connected to one another and that we are strong, courageous, secure, and loving.

This is our true source of happiness, that feeling of completeness we yearn for, which we can share with the world through our words, actions, and deeds. We are complete. We are enough. There is nothing we need to take from the universe. It gives to us freely when we realize that the source of everything we need is already within.

I set the intention on a daily basis to live my life from the inside out. I sit with myself every morning and connect with me before I go connect with others. This is our preparation for whatever may come our way during the day. We cannot control anything in the external world, but we can control how we will respond and which choices we will make to thrive! What can I suggest to you for living your best life in mind, body, and spirit? Find your practice and practice it—with your whole being!


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

The Life Lesson A Butterfly Can Teach Us


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~Author Unknown

With the arrival of spring just a week away, I can feel nature’s miracles and the new life that is ahead for so many beings on this magnificent planet of ours. I spent some time reading on my patio last week here in South Florida, and I witnessed one breathtaking example: the butterfly.

Butterflies are simply gorgeous. To be in their presence is an honor. For me, they symbolize hope, strength, and love. Like all things in nature, the butterfly has many lessons to share with us. Let’s take a look at one that really stands out: the importance of being who we are.

Imagine the grand metamorphosis of the butterfly. Let’s relate the stages of this experience to the various aspects of our lives: first the tiny egg of potential, then the tireless caterpillar working toward that potential, then the chrysalis allowing that potential to take shape, and finally the butterfly who realizes that potential and takes flight.

The butterfly teaches us that it is not possible to go from egg to butterfly without the stages in between. And in our lives we cannot go from birth to death without the journey. So like the caterpillar, we must do the work. George Carlin once joked, “The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” This is so true! We often admire the beauty of the butterfly and rarely think about what it went through to get where it is! So it is for all of us that we must have a grand ideal for our lives and walk the path, putting one foot in front of the other.

Many people ask me, “How do I know what my life purpose is?” My answer is this: we sit with ourselves in silence and just listen. In this sitting, we place our attention within on the breath and drop our attention into our heart. By spending time each day listening to our heart’s whisperings, our life’s work takes shape, and we begin the journey—strong, loving, and connected within.

I founded the non-profit Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life as a result of my meditation practice. About eight years ago, I heard my heart say, “You are meant to bring love and peace to every being in the world.” Just how could I say no?

I promise that as you spend time with you every day, you will come to know exactly what you came to this life to do. Like the butterfly, you will experience the magnificence of being who you are!


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.