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Tag Archives: trees

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.

Sitting With Mother Nature


“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in.”
—George Washington Carver

We are officially one month into the spring season! In many places, it is warming up, and getting outdoors after a cold winter feels great! Tomorrow is Earth Day, and what better way to honor our precious planet than to pay Mother Nature a visit? If today or tomorrow does not work, look at your schedule and put this special one-on-one time between you and nature on your calendar!

Here’s a great way to begin: Find a place outside where you are not likely to be disturbed or that is at least somewhat private. Bring a folding chair or a blanket and sit under or near a tree. Take a seat and align your head, neck, and back. Soften your face and forehead, and feel the earth beneath you. Feel this magnificent planet supporting you, and feel your whole being rooted with it . . . connected with her.

Now, take a few deep breaths and feel the fresh air opening your lungs and the clean oxygen circulating through your bloodstream, throughout your arms and legs—from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

Take a gentle look around you. Really look with Focus at the elements of nature: the sky, the clouds, the sun, the grass or soil, the trees, the birds, the flowers. Feel the wind. Notice and appreciate the beauty of the natural world, and experience the gift of being alive. Do this for a few minutes. When you are ready, close your eyes.

Now, just listen to the sounds of nature. If you hear people or cars, the birds singing or water rushing by in a creek, take them in and then let those sounds pass by the way you would a thought in your mind during meditation. Once you have taken them in, you can let them go by simply returning your focus to the natural world. Feel the air on your body, and breath in the fresh smells around you. Know that you are as important to this planet as the planet is to you.

Allow Mother Nature to speak to you in her whispers, calls, and shouts. Radhanath Swami said, “Mother Nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer.” So, with an open and receptive attitude, with no expectations or judgments, really tune in to the messages she wishes to share with you.

Sit this way for 5 minutes or so. (Set a gentle alarm if necessary.) When your time is up, open your eyes and feel the gratitude in your whole being for the beauty all around you. Thank Mother Nature for her great gift and your deep connectedness with her as you silently repeat your Sacred Mantra and go on with your day..

If our beautiful mother had a message for you, I would love for you to share below.


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.