05/16/2012 08:25 am ET Updated Jul 16, 2012

Disarming Distractions, Returning to Soul

The mind translates our experience as product of the good or bad, the beautiful or ugly, a transmission depending upon the GPS we choose. The fact is there is a secret power within us that is flawless (see archives, "What to Do While Searching for Your Soul's Misplaced GPS"). Connected to universal intelligence, this mysterious guidance turns out to be the breeding ground of confidence, well-being, and that joy that comes when that which is best within comes out to play, creating a better world. As Matisyahu puts it: "In this maze you can lose your way..." He also shows us a return to soul through his music:

Such is the zenith of the creative breakthrough. This is the place where we find the dance of life, and it finds us! In this zone beyond thought, we lay down our burdens, making way for a fountainhead of guidance for what's needed in the moment. The trick is discovering and making daily visits via meditation, creative activity, dream work, nature, and whatever lights your fire. The choice is to make a regular practice, whether you are a believer or not, that life has more to offer.

The good is always with us, attempting to live through us, but we get in the way. How? We doubt, we deny our own intuition and instincts, override wisdom from doubt that comes when we are caught in the traffic jam of distraction. It was not always this way. I defy you to recall a toddler who did not find joy in the spontaneous, who worried about making mistakes in expressing himself. No, such blockage begins around the time the child enters school. Here, the spirit of his little creative imaginings and expressions get snuffed out before he masters his first multiplication tables. The soul of said child may long to bring the spirit of life into form, but the fear of failing is quickly incorporated into his little psyche. Before you know it, what could bring joy and connection is relegated to the trash can. Life is never the same. (More on what transpires in the soul of the artist in weeks to come.) For now, suffice it to say we must learn a way of releasing our fears of imperfection and disappointing others if we are ever to employ the Law of Creation on the behalf of ourselves in service to what is greater than self-doubt.

True surrender. True surrender to The Law of Creation (one of the four cornerstones described in The Love Project: Coming Home), requires cultivating self-trust and respect for what lives through us beyond the ego. Nobody develops this skill set and attitude without sincere intention and hard work. Nor does anybody bother until they have run out of answers by doing the "same old" which only brings more of the "same old." We do this by knee-jerk, heading for our "go to" fixes that never work for long. We only end up where we started, still asleep, still frustrated. Breaking this self-defeating habit is nothing less than a spiritual practice.

This is why the attempt is called "practice." Taking it on means the ego fails again and again and must get accustomed to taking a back seat as needed. Turning over, giving over to that which lives in the stillness, beyond the mosquitos called "noise and anxiety," is one of the most difficult challenges of a lifetime. Partly what gets in our way is over-reaching, over-functioning.

Take, for instance, the license plate in front of me while waiting for a red light to turn green. It read: "Think Big." Maybe. What about "... For everything, a season, and a purpose under heaven..." It behooves us to discern which train of thought transports us best to the destination we have chosen. My own license plate reads simply "Thank You." It is my message all the way around.

What do you choose? What message do you create through how you move through life? How fast are you running to arrive? Or, is Alice's rabbit alive in you, whispering, "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. No time to stop, or say hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late."

Late for what? Perhaps we are right on schedule for returning to what lives beyond our little plans, our to-do list. How clear is your vision for what you most want? Our faith is forged in the fire of our deepest private conflicts.

One of the most prevalent is doubt over whether to trust or not. Not only trust for others, but beginning with trust for Wisdom within, buried beneath the chatter. Here is where the inner terrorists are busy at work, the egoic attempt to distract us from what might put "him" out of business. Be informed, however, that the soul's wisdom does not speak in linear ways. It does not bother with the world's language but returns us to the realm of imagery, creative imagination, and the felt-sense of things. Here is where the goodies wait for us to find them.

What are the universal message and prescription that live in the land of creative spirit? The injunction and practice go something like this, which I will share in the form of today's Love Letter on the subject. This prescription works if you work it, mess around with it on a daily basis, slowly. This is crucial. I suggest a 21-day reread every day, three times a day with a simple sentence jotted down afterward, for what arises from your belly. Date it. Watch what opens. Enjoy.

Relax. Take heart. Return. Feel your heart beating, bringing you what you need. Trust your heart. Let life move through you, releasing the poison from your system, all your oughts. Forgive yourself for being human. Breathe. Let go. Refuel.

I come to you in the stillness. I live in the beyond the beyond. I have been here since before time. Beyond your busy mind, I am. What monkey mind says is so important is not. What you are looking for can only be found within. Here is the honey that most deeply satisfies what ails you, even if wordless, invisible, beyond imagery.

Witness what troubles you, but do not follow it into the darkness. Witness what troubles those you care for as they struggle with their anxiety. But do not follow them into their darkness. You will only lose your way. Love does not mean solving other people's problems. Love is born through witnessing what is greater than turmoil, where all is well. Love sees rightly, where fear causes you to overreach beyond your game. Leave what is not your business alone. Sitting in the space beyond distractions brings grace's song that all is well, and "all manner of things is well." Do not doubt it. This is the land of the free and the brave, the home of universal heart where all are welcome, and none remain the orphan.

A life of turmoil is an unconnected life. Earth may seem the great orphanage, where suffering ensues whenever you are myopic to the treasure that abounds around and through you. True, it is not the gold the world seeks. This does not matter. Your treasure lives and breathes through what brings you joy, what renews your spirit, and feeds your soul. Let the rest go.

Do not worry so much about what seems missing. Out of the holes, it is possible to find the whole. Stay steady. Trust your process. Love wounds come as a deeper call home to who you really are. Hear the call of the beloved through them.

Rest your exhausted mind. Give over your worries to that which is beyond your limited understanding. Breathe deeply. Know that there is only good, despite the present appearances of what persists to test you. Fear not what you do not understand. Your answer will come in unexpected forms, but it will come. Everything in its own good time.

In the meantime, turn what troubles your heart over to creation. Visit a place of beauty. Perhaps a walk along the water, or a drive through the desert, a hike through the woods or park, a trip to a gallery, or concert, or meadow. Notice what uplifts you most. Maybe it is the toddler by the stream, enchanted by reflections of the sun, or unleashed pugs racing along the path in pure delight at the doggy park. Or maybe it is the row of red, yellow, and orange tulips planted on the fourth floor of that overhead apartment building. The fact that someone has taken the time to seed beauty where there was none.

For this is why we are here, isn't it? To envision and seed beauty within the heart, marry it to creative imagination, birth it through the sweat and labor pains of returning focus to that fertile ground that lives beyond the beyond of distraction, guiding you home to your soul made manifest in the world. Step by step is good enough. Take heart, the beloved lives through yours.

Be the Love,


For more by Dr. Cara Barker, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.