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Tag Archives: TEDx

How Does Your Garden Grow?


“The man who has planted a garden feels he has done something for the good of the whole world.”
—Charles Dudley Warner

Can you tell that I love flowers, gardens, trees…and our magnificent Mother Earth in general?! Writing my blog last week about roses put me in the mood for gardening. After all, this is the perfect season for it! My daughter, Michelle Maros, Creative Director and Editor in Chief of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, is actually obsessed with flowers and gardens. I think she could literally spend all day in a field of flowers and accomplish everything she set out to do . . . and be!

Gardens of all kinds have a way of lifting our spirits and getting us in touch with Nature. My dear friends Janie and Duncan grow their own fruits and vegetables. They say there’s something deeply satisfying about picking a ripe vegetable from one of their plants or a few sprigs of an herb to use that day in the kitchen. When they invite me for dinner, I can honestly say that the veggies, fruits, and herbs handpicked from their garden—and cooked with love—taste better!

I live in South Florida, and it is not uncommon for neighbors to share the citrus fruit, avocados, and mangos that grow abundantly on their trees when nature is feeling generous and conditions are just right. Many trees here can become so fruitful that we have more than we know what to do with! For years, my neighbor had an avocado tree that offered bushels of fruit year after year, until sadly one year it died after a lifetime of giving.

Only recently has technology advanced to the point where we can enjoy a piece of fruit from another part of the world or get fruits and vegetables that are out of season in our area, all year long at the grocery store. While this is amazing and certainly deserving of our gratitude, there is something incredibly fulfilling and important about eating locally grown produce. Buying local supports farmers in your area, the produce generally does not need to be sprayed with preserving agents, much of it is grown organically or with minimal pesticides, and it makes its way from the farm to your table in record time!

As a child, I ate watermelon only in the summer, so today, I rarely eat it any of the other months of the year, even though I can. There is something special about waiting for the local season of a fruit and vegetable and enjoying it for that brief moment in time. I feel more grateful for these amazing fruits and vegetables, and I’m practicing patience and acceptance, knowing that there are things in life we can’t always have when we want them.

Not all of us have the time to grow a garden in our yard, and let’s face it: not all of us have green thumbs! Sadly, I don’t have a garden, so I am incredibly grateful for farmers markets! For me, going to a farmers market is such a cool experience. Maybe the next time you are preparing for your weekly shop, you’ll want to consider making a trip to your local farmers market for your fresh produce. Checking out what’s available can be a joy. You find items like homemade jams, local honey, fresh milk, interesting condiments . . . . and more. Sometimes I feel like a kid—a day at the farmers market can feel like a day at the amusement park.

I recently had the privilege to be on the TEDx stage in Boca Raton with Farmer Jay (www.farmerjay.com). Farmer Jay’s message is to “Take back our local food.” He is all for growing our own food or buying fresh produce from our local farmers markets. To watch his TEDx talk, click here. And, if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch my talk, “Is this seat taken? The Power of sitting with Yourself”click here.


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.

Is This Seat Taken?


A Look Back at My TEDxBocaRaton 2015 Talk

A month and a half ago, I had the amazing privilege to speak at TEDxBocaRaton 2015. My talk is entitled “Is This Seat Taken? The Power of Sitting with Yourself.” I have spoken a lot over these past ten years, but never before did I have to memorize a speech! The times I have given graduation speeches or honorary speeches, I partially read and partially spoke “off the cuff.” When I give a workshop or seminar, I look over the bulleted outline I prepared, but then I just speak from my heart, never really knowing what I am going to say until I say it. I love being in the moment with the audience and feeling their energy. It feels very natural and organic.

But, for the TEDx talk, I was told to write a speech and then memorize it—no notes allowed, and I could not go over in time. So this wasn’t a matter of getting up there on stage and saying whatever came to my mind, even if I was following an outline. If I didn’t know exactly how long my talk was, I might have ended up there on stage all night! Just ask my daughter, Michelle Maros. She tells me, “Mom, too long!”

So, the reality was, I had to put a lot of careful, single-focused thought into what I wanted to share in the time that was allotted to me. Then, I had to memorize it! Thanks to my thirty-year daily practice and my ability to focus my attention, learning and memorizing my speech became a doable and actually fun task. I cleared my schedule two weeks before the talk, engaged a dear friend for support and coaching, and spent quiet, uninterrupted time with my talk. This is a moment in my life I will never forget. I am so happy with the end result and the whole process.

This talk was in an outside amphitheater, and the weather was humid and in the mid eighties. The threat of a rainstorm had passed, and the breezy air was a great backdrop. As I waited for my turn to speak later in the evening (9:15 p.m. to be exact!), I marveled at all the other incredible presenters, each of whom had a unique, important message to share with the world. I am honored to have been in such great company.

The video from the talk just became available last week, and if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch it, I would love for you to do so and let me know what you think. And if you love it, please share it with all you know.

Here’s the video:

In the meantime, I have chosen the following excerpt to “give you a taste”:

5-15-2015-seat-takenThere is something we are driven to do and contributions we wish to make in the world, and learning to direct our minds can help us to accomplish our important tasks with meaning.

Viktor E. Frankl wrote, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

It is truly a testament to the power of the human mind that Frankl was able to find internal freedom while living in a Nazi concentration camp where every aspect of his external world was out of his control. Isn’t it incredible that this one simple act is all it takes to start finding that space, that freedom?


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.