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Originally published Feb 2015

Putting said book and movie totally aside (ahem), let’s focus on what Love really means.

From my perspective, everything in the entire universe is sourced and continually fueled from Love. And because we live in a multi-dimensional universe, Love is revealed through the many layers of vibrations (shades?), even into the densest of all vibrations/shades—physical form. There are many implications that result. Consider:

1. Thus, there are many levels of Love. It begins with the perfect unconditional Divine Love for all that is the highest vibration and the strongest power known.

2. From there through various lower vibrations, we can experience familial love, friendship love, romantic love, etc.

3. It also means that even the lesser forms of our emotions are just lower vibrations of Love. Let me explain with the emotion of fear. What do you fear? You might fear losing someone. Why? BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM! You might fear something bad happening to you. Why? BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOURSELF! Think of that! Every lesser form of emotion is simply a lower vibration of Love that got a little lost and maybe a little twisted and needs tweaking, needs upping into a higher form of Love. Fear just forgot that it is Love and needs to be reminded where it came from!

4. For your own transformation, then, you can use anything that comes your way as a teacher to help you transmute the lower frequency of whatever energy that is in your life into a higher vibration of Love. This always reminds me of this Rumi poem:

Even if you can’t yet see the Love, if you know it is there, you can work with what’s happening to shift into Love. So if you feel fear or anger, ask yourself, What about this feeling is coming from or pointing to Love? Maybe an injustice makes you feel anger, and you realize in asking yourself this question, What about this anger is coming from or pointing to Love?, that you’re angry because you love fairness and equality. So, what you can do, is rather than focus on the anger, shift it up a notch and focus on FEELING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE all the Love you have for fairness and equality. 5. So, even if a person or circumstance in your Life isn’t demonstrating perfect Divine Love, that Love is still present anyhow, no matter how absent it might seem. Even what most people would consider the worst of humanity and the worst circumstances in the world have Love in them—somewhere. Even if hatred appears to be what is most forthcoming from a person, group, or circumstance, and even if a LOT of people agree on that, Love is still there, even if only in a spark, even if totally hidden from your eyes, because Love is in every single atom and subatomic particle, everywhere. Without Love energy, nothing would exist. “Love makes the world go ‘round” is quite an accurate lyric. 6. What this does not mean is that we tolerate abuse or other acts of hatred that demean others or ourselves. (Okay, so maybe I’m bringing in a little social commentary on the book/movie which probably should be called 50 Shades of Domestic Violence—Hey, I’m a preacher by training—I can’t help myself!) It does mean we can refuse to get caught up in the drama of the hate, fear, or whatever is presenting, to pull us off our own center. We can stay in the Love that we know and we are and act from there to love others and ourselves in ways that bring not only personal healing and transformation but social healing and transformation. 7. By focusing on the Love in your body, you bring healing to this dense vibratory miracle of embodied soul living. Drawing hearts over your body even helps your Radiant Circuits. Here’s Donna Eden and daughters showing you how:

8. By focusing on the Love in the earth body, you can bring healing. Look at all these earth hearts! Picture hearts all over the earth!

LOVE is all there was in the beginning. It is all there is in the end. Love is all there ever is. Happy Valentine's Day!!


If you are so moved and are able, please consider supporting my writing by making a donation (PayPal Donate button in the footer) or buying one of my books. Thank you!

Monica McDowell is a dynamic speaker, author, and practitioner in alternative wellness and spirituality. Find her on Thought Catalog here. She is the author of The Oracle of Devor, The Girl with a Gift, Confessions of a Mystic Soccer Mom, You are Light (internationally published by 6th Books in over 14 countries) and My Karma Ran Over My Dogma, and has the distinction of being the first ordained minister in America granted civil rights by a federal ruling. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, and can be reached here.

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Excerpt from My Karma Ran Over My Dogma, Chapter: Reality is a Unity © 2007

My unusual experiences went beyond asking and getting immediate, specific answers. I began noticing a unity with events and my surroundings that went way beyond any previous experiences in my life. Once more, the first episode I had was when I was still working at the church. It was Ash Wednesday morning, February 28th, 2001. I was to preach that night for the church’s Ash Wednesday service. I had prepared a sermon based on a scripture passage about how catastrophes have within them the potential to help us open up all of our hearts to God and to one another. Just as I was about to email my finished sermon to the office administrator who was in an office down the hall from me, I was silently lamenting to God: No one is going to connect with my sermon. We don’t suffer social catastrophes of any kind in the Northwest, let alone one on the order that could open up any hearts. Why did I feel so strongly compelled to preach on this topic? This is completely irrelevant.

As the saying goes: be careful what you pray for…

For at the exact moment when I hit “send” to forward my email to the office administrator with sermon attached, the earth started to move. It moved and it moved some more and I looked out the window and saw the normally straight, statuesque evergreens dancing as though they were made out of rubber and the earth rolling in fluid waves like the sea. As I dove under my desk to wait out the earthquake, my first thought was, NEVER MIND, GOD! Forget my complaint! I decided an irrelevant sermon on catastrophe was much more desirable than a relevant one after all.

As I looked out from under the desk watching the trees continue their dance and the earth its rolling, I pleaded out loud with God over and over, “Save my children, oh God, please keep my children safe.” Then, in a matter of seconds it just stopped. The rolling, the shaking, the rumbling, it was all over. I ran out of my office and the church staff and I gathered for a quick prayer. I then sprinted outside, jumped in my green Volkswagen Beetle (license plate: HUMBUG), and drove the all of two blocks to the school and then pre-school to check on my kids. There was terror in my son’s eyes, but everyone, everything was fine.

Back at the ranch, I surveyed my office. Only one thing had fallen over—a picture that had been sitting on a picture stand. The picture was a calligraphied scripture verse, “Be Still and Know That I Am God.” Wow! Then it hit me. This verse comes from Psalm 46 that begins, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should quake, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.” It would be a good story for my sermon that night, Ash Wednesday, when we remember our physical mortality.

Church was full that night. The Nisqually Earthquake, as it was to be named, had shaken everyone on a lot of levels and spiritually they wanted reassurances. Preaching my already finished sermon on how “catastrophe can open our hearts to God and to one another,” and “God is the one we can rely on during a total crisis” was surreal. Twilight zone chills kept running up my spine. How could I have prepared a sermon so relevant to the day’s events without any conscious knowledge of what was going to happen?

Later that year, after everything had blown up when I’d filed complaints of sexual misconduct and was retaliated against by the senior minister for doing so, catastrophe hit again. Extraordinarily, for the second time in a few short months, I experienced a knowing that came from a profound interconnectedness.

By Labor Day of 2001, we moved into a house in Lake Forest Park, a suburb of Seattle, and settled our kids in their new elementary school situated just behind our house. I loved being able to walk them to school, past all the towering, stately Douglas Firs lined up like sentries along our street. After walking them to school every morning, I would then take my whistleblower survivor routine and walk to Starbucks and then on to Third Place Books. Many days I would meander through the bookstore to find a good read and spend the better part of the morning in an oversized leather armchair, sipping my chai latte, contemplating all the while. Nothing like good old-fashioned escapism when your life is falling apart.

The next Sunday, September 9th, early in the afternoon, I was sitting in our sunroom praying and reflecting on my ongoing travails, when suddenly I was overcome by “something.” An impression? A premonition? All I know is that I gasped and said out loud, “Oh no! There’s not just doom for the church, there’s doom for our country!” I immediately started praying, “Lord, have mercy on our country. Lord, have mercy on our country. Lord, have mercy on our country.” In fact, that is about all that came out of my mouth for the next hour as I went about household chores. But it gradually faded away and I totally forgot about it.

Later in the afternoon, my husband walked up to me rather jerkily and mechanically, like a robot, and declared in monotone, “I need to go to New Jersey. I need to fly out tomorrow.”

“Okay.” I replied casually, “If you must, you must.”

So, he went back to his office, booked a ticket online (a very expensive ticket), and started packing.

This did not strike me as unusual at all. Looking back I really don’t know why I didn’t question my husband’s strange behavior. Usually he planned his business trips well in advance in order to get good prices on tickets, and so I could pre-plan the kids’ and my schedules while he would be away. I guess it was because he sounded so certain that he had to fly, that I just shrugged my shoulders and went along with it.

I took him to the airport the next day, Monday, while the kids were in school and he called later that night to say he’d arrived safely.

The next morning I woke up hearing the phone ringing—early. Way too early for me. I slowly got out of bed, brushed my teeth, and went downstairs to find out who had called. I figured it was someone from the East Coast—probably one of my husband’s business associates who didn’t yet know that my husband was actually on the East Coast, and who had forgotten that we on the Pacific Coast are three hours earlier than our Atlantic cousins. I was fuming at whoever it was who had forgotten to check the time and their brain before trying to reach us at such an ungodly hour.

Just as I got downstairs the phone rang again. I picked up the remote phone and said mildly, “Hello?” successfully withholding my early morning, pre-chai grumps.

“Monica! I’ve been trying to reach you. Have you seen the news? Oh my God, there’s another one! I’m watching TV right now. Go downstairs and turn on the TV! Oh my God! A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center and now another one. Oh my God! Hurry! They think it’s a terrorist attack. I’m watching this live on TV!”

It was my husband. I ran down to the basement with the phone and turned on the TV. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Airplanes crashing into skyscrapers? It looked like a scene from a movie. Maybe a bad joke. Maybe a “War of the Worlds” error, but no, it was on all the channels we got with our antenna (about 5) and it was the top news agencies reporting. This was no joke. This was no movie. I immediately flashbacked to Sunday afternoon: “There’s not just doom for the church, there’s doom for our country. Lord, have mercy on our country.”

“Oh my God, I had a premonition on Sunday that there was doom for our country, but I completely forgot about it. Oh my God. I can’t believe it.”

“I’ve gotta go, Monica. I’ve got to make some more phone calls to reach some people here about meetings in light of this. I can’t believe this. I’ll call you later. I love you.”

“Love you, too. Bye.”

I sat shell-shocked for a minute or two, and then I checked the messages. My husband had left several, as had my mom. I called my mom and recounted my premonition. I also recalled while talking with my mom that my daughter had night terrors during the night after she had gone to bed. I finally let her crawl into bed with me, because she just wouldn’t settle down. She kept stirring, moaning, muttering, and waking up. I had never known her to do this before. Perhaps she was on some level having a sleeping premonition as well.

As you know, the rest of the week was a bit hellish. Airports were shut down; the stock markets plummeted. In fact, this is why I believe my husband had automatedly declared on Sunday afternoon that he was flying to New Jersey the next day. On some level he too had known. With the stock markets’ nose-dive, the family business went upside down, and the banks it had loans from were all in New Jersey. If my husband had been in Seattle when the World Trade Centers were attacked, he never would have made it to New Jersey with all the airports closed, and we would have lost everything.

But because he was already in New Jersey the very evening before the morning of 9/11, he could arrange face-to-face meetings with business partners and bank personnel to salvage what he could. It was a divinely appointed flight he took on 9/10. He was able to salvage enough to keep us afloat for quite a while. It was a miracle of protection. Even so, things would still be crashing down around us for a long time to come.

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first published in August 2010

This is the time of a Great Undoing. And this scares many people to their core, so much so that denial, adamant pushing ahead, forcing things to be as they've always been, pushing to do things as they've always been done, can produce crazed, anxious patterns that end up crashing and burning in the end. Understanding that times of Great Undoings are necessary and beneficial can go a long way to helping you ease through tough times with grace and peace. Collectively, we have gotten ourselves into many knotted up patterns that are not sustainable for the human family as well as the plant and animal families, let alone all of the other interdependent eco-systems on earth. We know this. We KNOW this, yes? But what do we do with the seemingly insurmountable number of things that need to be fixed in order to be sustainable and functional?

I've found that understanding how to heal huge systemic problems is much easier when there is a simple metaphor that can be used to grasp the nuance, the symbolic message, from the macro to the micro. So here's one for you: What do you do when you find your favorite shoes have somehow sprouted large entangled knots in their shoelaces seemingly overnight? If your shoes are going to continue to be functional to you, you are going to have to do the work of a Great Undoing. Of course, you can sit and ask forever "How did this happen?" "How did all of these problems/knots come to be?" Asking this may be useful for the future in order to prevent future Big Knots, but sitting and fretting just uses up time you could be using to start the Great Undoing. You may be tempted to just cut the laces off and buy new ones. But we can't really do that with humanity and planet earth. Throw it away and start over? Nope, not an option. We are here. The planet is here. Denying the Big Knots isn't going to work.

For the present time and the present situation, the only thing that's going to work is simply doing the work of untying the knots. Untying Big Knots can be slow going, frustrating work. I've found that it takes a lot of patience and focus. Tracking each curve of lace through every twist and turn and gradually untangling the stuckness. Being the expert knot-untier of the family, which probably goes with being "the mom", I've also found that once I've worked on a knot for a certain period of time, all-at-once the knot completely untangles the rest of the way easily and effortlessly. It's like the knot simply "dissolves."

This is the potential benefit of a Great Undoing. By tracking where and how our own energy is knotted up and begin the untying process, we can free up an amazing amount of energy that allows us to be in greater alignment with the Flow of Love-purpose in the divine unfolding of the universe. The greatest benefit to the Universe is for you to look within (first) and see where there is stuckness and begin to untangle, dissolve, and free your energy in that area. Then you will see clearly and passionately where you can be an instrument of divine benefit to healing the world.

The steps?

1. Set your intention to find where you are knotted (blocked) in your own life so that you can set yourself free.

2. Focus your attention on the knots/blocks looking at it from all sorts of angles, to find the source or core of it. It is usually a fear-based emotion attached to a limiting belief.

3. Affirm and feel your loving compassion for yourself in this area.

4. Take a tiny step of action to demonstrate your new unlimited belief and unfettered love about yourself and the world.

When we heal ourselves, we automatically help to heal the world. If you have any questions, have any comments, or want more info, let me know!

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