By: Diane Feen Contributing Writer
No one understands the pitfalls and purity of life better than Barb Schmidt. As the founder of “Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life” she is part sage, part cheerleader and a significant spiritual teacher.
She doesn’t live in a Buddhist Monastery like her mentors, The Dalai Lama and Thích Nhất Hạnh, she resides in tony Boca Raton. But her path has been strewn with obstacles and challenges like most people. The difference between Schmidt and most of us is that she has taken the human condition and examined it under a microscope to find a cure.
What does she cure? Ailments like sadness, confusion, alienation, doubt and a host of other common maladies that come with being a part of the human family.
We all come from different families, but we are more alike than different. Most of us suffer from similar quandaries like self-doubt, occasional anxiety and bouts of, “Am I doing what I am supposed to” or “Why is my life not making me happy?
The answer to these questions is the eternal quest for peace and happiness – something that is as elusive as a grain of sand hitting the pavement.
That is why Schmidt has spent the last 34 years on a journey to find peace and happiness – self-possession and understanding. So far, she has succeeded beautifully in imbibing the wealth of knowledge that her teachers (Depok Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Scott Peck, The Dalia Lama and others) have tossed her way.
She has also lovingly taken that knowledge and used it to enlighten others with her wisdom, compassion and spiritual savvy.
“I just came from a retreat with Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed and they talked about gaining clarity in your life. When you are unclear you waste time being caught up in the rat race of life.”
To help save us from the rat race of existence Schmidt started a non-profit organization (Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life), written a best- selling spiritual book (The Practice) taught meditation classes and workshops, and is currently offering a Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life Wellness Series at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
The first one in the series: “Shift Your Life: Planning and Making Changes” was a wake-up call to live joyfully by way of mediation and conscious living. “You are the only one who truly knows what is right for you. Other people’s opinions have their own energies – stay in alignment with your own truth.”
At each moment of the evening wise sayings were tossed from the stage by Schmidt as though they were coveted wedding bouquets. “Become aware of your thoughts. Everything starts in your mind and what you believe will be your reality.”
The antidote to the chattering mind and negative self-talk is mindfulness and mediation, said Schmidt.
The 140 women in attendance sat with rapt attention taking it all in quietly yet intently. There was a short guided meditation by Schmidt and then we were asked to write a letter to ourselves that began: “I am your clarity – and this is what I want you to know.” The letters purpose was to get in touch with our own inner guidance and greatness.
We also heard other pearls of wisdom that can shape (or take away) your joyfulness in life. “Lack of clarity can put the brakes on your journey to success and Doubt is the mother of all obstacles.”
We were asked to question every time we have self-doubt and to realize that our failings and frustrations were gateways to inner peace and joy.
There are no earthly words for the magnitude of Schmidt’s ability to impart wisdom as a way to inner peace. We are lucky to have someone like her in our midst.
The next workshop in the series is “The Power of Your Story” on Nov. 11. and “How to Stop Anxiety from Controlling Your Life” is on December 6th.
Workshops are offered through the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute in the Dawson Theater at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
To register go to the Boca Raton Regional Hospital events page or call 561-955-7227.