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Tag Archives: well-being

10 Lessons Learned From Women In History


March is National Women’s History Month in the United States, so in honor of the many magnificent women who came before us, I present these 10 lessons for our personal reflection today:

  1. Moment by moment, wherever we are is where we need to be. We learn this comforting lesson from Spanish mystic, philosopher, and saint, Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582). She assures us, “Trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.”
  2. American social reformer and feminist Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) said, “Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputations . . . can never effect a reform.” The lesson here is that to make change, we must take action despite what others may think of us.
  3. We learn the truth that there is strength in faith from brave women such as African-American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman (1820–1913), whose unwavering faith is displayed in these beautiful words: “I said to de Lord, ‘I’m goin’ to hold steady on to you, an’ I know you’ll see me through.”
  4. Physicist and chemist Marie Curie (1867–1934) tells us: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Her legacy leaves us with this message: Confidence and perseverance, despite difficulties, are keys to attainment.
  5. An everyday task can be a noble task. No one knew this better than American author, political activist, and lecturer Helen Keller (1880–1968), who is quoted as saying, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they are great and noble.”
  6. Roman Catholic missionary Mother Teresa (1910–1997) dedicated her life to selfless service. Her suggestion that “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” reminds us that every little bit counts.
  7. African-American Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks (1913–2005) teaches us that fear arises from uncertainty with these words: “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
  8. Peace can be found in simplicity is an important lesson learned from the incredible woman and peace activist who called herself Peace Pilgrim (1908–1981). She said, “The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”
  9. “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides,” said former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013). I believe she is suggesting to us that it is a good idea to have an awareness of where we stand on an issue.
  10. We have greatness within. Thank you to diarist Anne Frank (1929–1945), a young victim of the Holocaust, who left behind such incredible wisdom for one so young. She said, “Everyone has inside him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

Thank you to these beautiful souls and to every woman who has made differences great and small. You are showing us the way. I honor 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.

3 Ways to Be Inspired by Words of Wisdom


“We read to know we are not alone.”
—C.S. Lewis

Reading for inspiration is one of my most sacred and fun pastimes. The masters, mystics, saints, and teachers of the past have much wisdom to share with us. Through their experiences, they help us make sense of our world in ways we might not otherwise notice. They support us in our own struggles and decision-making when it comes to living life as we truly wish to live it.

Although this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart—and is, in fact, an essential part of my daily practice—it is not often that I focus on this much-loved activity when I speak about The Practice. Today, I would like to take the opportunity to share with you three ways to be inspired by the words of the wise men and women in our lives, both past and present.

  1. Study with the Masters
    One of the activities I write about in my book The Practice is called Studying with the Masters. I suggest choosing a book from the recommended reading list for The Practice—or another that you find inspirational—and start a process of copying down a paragraph (or even a single sentence) that has particular meaning to you. Then, in your journal or notebook, begin writing your thoughts on the passage. When you do this daily, you essentially become a student of that wise person, and the lessons learned will be carried within you throughout your daily life.
  2. Learn from Today’s Teachers
    There are many notable teachers today who have great insight to share on living with purpose, meaning, and well-being. Many have gone through hardships and express how they overcame life’s challenges in their stories. Others provide written guides for making the changes we wish to see in our lives. On occasion, they visit our hometowns to offer seminars and workshops. These books and presentations are wonderful avenues for exploring your inner world and transforming your outer world.

    Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life hosts amazing teachers who share their stories and teachings here at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Just last night, we had the rare privilege to be with, learn from, and be inspired by the first Western woman to become a Buddhist nun, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. She has been one of my most profound teachers for the past fifteen years, and I am blessed to call her my friend. If you are looking for a book to begin studying with a master, I highly recommend her most recent book Into the Heart of Life.
  3. Listen for the Words of Everyday Wisdom
    Another source of wisdom are the words people share with us. It may seem so commonplace that we sometimes fail to notice it! From small children to the elderly, everyone has a unique perspective on life—a different way of looking at things and approaching the world. Start to listen carefully to what people say, really be in the moment with Focused Attention, and notice when they say something that touches you deeply.

The world has many incredible sources of wisdom—from ancient times to the present day. Immerse yourself in reading—and listening—for inspiration every day. This beautiful practice of “Studying with the Masters” truly begins to transform you from the inside out! It is your class in Life!


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.