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Tag Archives: patience

8 Ideas For Random Acts Of Kindness Day


“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
—Maya Angelou

Kindness comes from a place deep within, a place that shines our inner light outward and brightens someone else’s path. I believe we are all in this world to assist each other; to be of service; to bring more joy, love, and meaning to our lives; and to move along our paths with intention and mindfulness.

Let’s mix it up a bit today with Random Acts of Kindness Day, and instead of “randomly” doing something that is compassionate or thoughtful, we make it a point to approach all of our acts of kindness with purpose and meaning! Here are some ideas:

  1. Use the “magic” words. When spoken with gratitude, the words “please” and “thank you” can go a long way in making someone really feel appreciated. Use these words often throughout your day and watch how others brighten up.
  2. At the store, let someone waiting in line behind you take your place at the checkout register or maybe help someone with lots of shopping bags to the car. There are plenty of opportunities, so set this intention, keep your eyes open, and be ready to give others a helping hand.
  3. Prepare and share lunch with one of your coworkers or friends, making a special effort to prepare something you will both enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a surprise. Giving a heads-up that you would like to share a special lunch is a really kind idea!
  4. Listen with focused attention during your conversations with others, offering thoughtful words of encouragement, praise, or feedback. Sometimes, no words are needed, but giving your complete attention and just being a sounding board is one of the kindest things you can do.
  5. Notice what stands out about someone and offer a heartfelt compliment if it comes naturally. There’s no need to force a sincere compliment! So, if something strikes you as special, don’t be shy about sharing your observation.
  6. Be generous with your smiles. A smile is a gift you can give again and again to as many people as you encounter throughout the day. You may even find the gift of smiles returned to you!
  7. Do a chore that is usually someone else’s responsibility in your household or at your place of work. If it’s a really big job, lend a helping hand. Doing things together makes difficult tasks a breeze!
  8. Practice patience and compassion throughout the day if you encounter people who you find “annoying” or frankly are not so kind! We know intimately that when someone cannot take the time to be polite, there is usually something difficult going on in their lives. So don’t take their rudeness personally and try to be understanding.

When we really pay attention and stay in the present moment, we will see that there are many opportunities throughout our daily lives to be kind to others, to treat them with gentleness, sincerity, patience, and benevolence.

When this is what we put out there into the world, we will experience more kindness in our own lives from others as well as from ourselves. I love the following quote by Amelia Earhart, and it is the perfect one for our day of kindness . . . and every day!

“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”


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.

When Your Sacred Mantra Becomes A Sacred Friend


“’We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

My God and My All. These are the prayer words of St. Francis of Assisi, and I have been turning to them for comfort and support for more than twenty years. These words are my Sacred Mantra. As I explain in my book The Practice and here on my website, the Sacred Mantra is “a word, phrase, verse, or prayer with a long history of use that is hallowed or considered holy by the tradition or culture from which it originated, which you have personally chosen for your use.”

I have been using my Sacred Mantra for so long now that I consider it my sacred friend. I have experienced and enjoyed the many benefits of having this tool—this friend—by my side and in my heart. My Sacred Mantra helps me put my stress in perspective, quiets down my mental chatter, helps me to gain clarity of thought, and brings me back to the present moment when my mind wanders to the past or future!

When I discuss the Sacred Mantra in my workshops, I often talk about using it during times of uncertainty, fear, worry, and stress. In the beginning, it takes a lot of practice to train the mind to turn toward the mantra rather than to the worrisome or agitating thoughts that do not get us anywhere. I always say, “If worrying worked, then keep doing it.” But we know it doesn’t. What does work is the Sacred Mantra.

When the mind becomes accustomed to turning to the mantra, we move more easily throughout our day with more patience, compassion, strength, and love. It is as if a good friend is holding our hand and showing us the way!

The Sacred Mantra keeps us present in the moment, giving us an opportunity to really be aware of our actions and interactions with others. It gives us greater control over how we respond to life—because, frankly, that is where we really are in control. Think of this tool as a “thought interceptor”; when your mind starts down a negative, fearful path, start repeating your Sacred Mantra silently to yourself to bring your mind back to the moment, back to the place of reality and choice.

When you use your Sacred Mantra day after day, it becomes rooted within—a part of your being. So not only does it help me during times of worry and stress, it also comes to me in times of joy. One of these occasions, as I describe in my book, was my daughter’s graduation from college. I felt such incredible happiness to see her reach this amazing accomplishment in her life, and suddenly, there was my Sacred Mantra, like a chorus resounding within me! My smile could not have been brighter.

This simple phrase, the deep meaning it holds, and its power are transformational. Mahatma Gandhi called his mantra, Rama, Rama, Rama, “his staff of life.” I urge you to consider choosing a Sacred Mantra for your use and experience the many benefits of this beautiful friend firsthand.


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.

4 Steps for Cultivating Patience


“I just don’t have time to wait in line at the post office.” “Every time I’m in a hurry, I get stuck at every single red light; life just isn’t fair!” “I wish when I ask my partner or kids to do something they would do it right away.” Does this sound familiar?

We all would love to have more patience, but what is it exactly and how do we do it? Just why does it sometimes seem to be so difficult to practice? Patience is being willing or able to suppress restlessness or annoyance when faced with delay. It is keeping a clear head when confronted by opposition or difficulty.

This being said, when we’re restless or annoyed, it’s very difficult—actually impossible—to have a peaceful mind and to be in the moment, enjoying our life. And, for me, living my life in the moment, enjoying everything that life has to offer, is my highest ideal. So for me, being patient, learning to be patient, and practicing patience are absolutely key! With this in mind, I offer you these four steps that I have found invaluable for cultivating patience:

1. Don’t waste your precious moments.
When we feel impatient, our minds get so caught up in how things and other people should be that we take away our power to be present to life as it is. We simply don’t have the ability to respond to events and others with a clear mind in a loving manner. In other words, we are losing our precious moments to stress and circumstances that are completely out of our control!
My advice to you: Keep in mind that every moment of your life is precious. Give up the “should” for yourself and others, breathe, and return to the calm place inside where you have a deep knowing that everything is as it should be.

2. Go easy with your expectations.
Some days there are plenty of opportunities to lose our patience. This is especially true when our expectations of others, situations, and even ourselves are not being met. “Expectation is the root of all heartache,” says William Shakespeare, and I think he is on to something. We could easily say here that expectation leads to our impatience of life the way it is and takes away our ability to feel happiness and security—this is heartache!
My advice to you: Release the expectation that everything will go as planned or that people will do what you expect them to do.

3. Widen your perspective.
Sometimes in a moment of frustration, we forget that we can stop, take a step back, breathe deeply, and tap into our inner source of understanding and compassion where we are better able to see the truth of a situation. When we regularly practice being patient, we uncover a new level of awareness that allows us to see more possibilities than the ones we have become accustomed to. Our perspective widens; we truly become more open and receptive in all areas of our life.
My advice to you: Be willing to look at frustrating situations from a higher perspective. Stop and try to see the situation from another point of view.

4. Make a subtle shift in language.

As we become more mindful through a regular spiritual practice such as The Practice, our expectations start to become preferences and anticipation becomes choice. It is simply a matter of changing our vocabulary. This subtle shift in language reduces the sense of entitlement the mind often gets hooked on. Instead of taking the position that “We want or need this to happen,” we take the position of preference: “We prefer this or that.” If we end up with what we prefer, we are grateful. And if we don’t, well, that’s okay too. In acceptance lies peace and deep meaning.
My advice to you: Make an intention to begin letting go of your expectations and replacing them with preferences.

I know that patience can often be an elusive feeling; it truly is something that comes and goes, which is why I continue to practice it daily. I find it so important to go easy on myself when I lose my patience, knowing that I am human—not perfect. What has helped me greatly for over twenty years is this comforting prayer by St. Teresa of Avila.

As always, please share your thoughts with me, as I wait here so patiently.


Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you;
All things pass away,
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things;
He who has God
finds he lacks nothing,
God alone suffices.
—St. Teresa of Avila


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.

7 Tips for Slowing Down


We have everything we need to live our most magnificent lives. The door to inner peace and happiness is wide open, but life moves so fast that we often don’t realize we are sliding right past this door . . . right past our own life. We can get so caught up in our to-do lists that, if we are not careful, we will be too busy to live our own lives!

I believe that slowing down is not the speed by which we move, but an action of being more mindful to improve the quality of life—to be more confident, accepting, and better able to deal with life’s challenges and opportunities.

There is no better symbol for a slow pace than the turtle. The turtle moves carefully and purposely and naturally tucks its head and limbs within when faced with challenges. It does not need to learn the importance of this; it just knows. When it is ready, it comes back out to face the world.

Slowing down the pace and accessing your inner awareness is when you begin to know for yourself what is important and how to go back into the world and live with intention. Here are 7 tips for slowing down:

1. Start your day as early as your life will allow and spend some time connecting with yourself through meditation. In meditation, you slow down the rush of your thoughts, and with gentleness and honesty, you move closer to your feelings and your inner Truth, connecting with your source of love, peace, confidence, trust, and security.

2. Make an intentional plan for your day, including a spiritual routine, such as The Practice. Avoid a to-do list that includes more than you can do. Leave breathing room for unexpected delays and complications. Also, leave room for your relationships. Do not crowd your schedule so much that if a family member or friend needs you, it becomes a source of anxiety or stress.

3. Take time for a good breakfast and allow time for all three meals. Choose foods and beverages that will nourish and fortify your body—and your spirit.

4. If you feel yourself starting to rush, getting stressed out, or becoming anxious or afraid, remember to breathe deeply and go within for a few moments. Turning to your Sacred Mantra during such times will bring you right back to the moment, giving you some space and clarity to make your next choice.

5. Practice Focused Attention by choosing certain instances in your day when you will do only one thing at a time, no matter how trivial the task. Give each person with whom you interact throughout the day your full attention—including yourself! Try this out: when you are talking on the phone, sit down without the television on or the newspaper in hand, and really be present to the person on the other end. This feels very rewarding!

6. Reduce the time you watch television or use electronic devices. Give yourself some time to do some reading for inspiration or spend some quiet time alone, take a bath or nap, or call a family member or friend you’ve been thinking about.

7. When your day has come to an end, reflect back, accepting what is, putting it all to rest, and then peacefully go off to sleep.

American poet Mary Oliver said, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” When we slow down the rush of our thoughts, we can answer this question for ourselves. The Practice gives us an opportunity to structure our day in such a way that these tips above start to become second nature. We truly start to become aware of how we are spending our time and ask ourselves, “Is this how I would choose to spend my day?”

Do you feel like life is rushing by? What do you do to slow down? What are the benefits you notice in your life when you do slow down just a bit? I’d love to hear from you.


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.