You are Light
You are Light: 8 Words Reveal Your Truest Self
by Monica McDowell
Winchester, UK: O-Books, 2010
Reviewed by Catherine Grytting
To eliminate darkness, you can reflect light, or you can be light. Reverend Monica McDowell accomplishes both with her slim, well-written book, You Are Light. It magnifies seven qualities of soul by focusing on one word for each facet. “Just as white light is refracted into the seven spectral colors of the rainbow, so too, these seven words flesh out what it means to be Light in living form” (1).
McDowell dedicates one chapter to each dimension of soul. Every chapter begins, “I heard the Divine say, ‘Tell the people: You are’ …” (3), followed by the naming and expansion of the word for that chapter. The messages are “a result of … a steady stream of words flowing into [McDowell’s] brain, coming from … Spirit” (116). Every account sparkles with wisdom and blessing.
Following each extemporaneous description of each aspect of soul, McDowell provides a workbook section with exercises that “help you seek the Light within and wait for answers that will be given to you” (8). Questions open the mind and heart. Meditations anchor the teachings and facilitate transformative healing. Affirmations generate positive, life-giving energy. McDowell reveals the Divine through examples drawn from various cultures and across faith traditions. Each chapter ends with a short list for further study. The references name scholarly citations and theoretical works alongside poetry, mystical writings, self-help manuals, and other resources.
Written for those interested in spirituality and healing, McDowell’s book speaks to the issues of spiritual direction as it suggests lectio divina, centering prayer, chanting, and additional practices that help the reader “consciously live … life from this sacred place” (1) of spiritual awareness. Readers can enjoy the book from cover to cover or randomly by chapter. The workbook sections support individual reflection and group discussion. Spiritual directors might explore this book for their own growth in addition to suggesting it as a resource for spiritual directees.
A spiritual director, ordained minister, and healer, McDowell “compiled the words for this book, because the dawning of one’s Truest Self requires a new scripture, if you will—something to draw the soul upward and forward as it integrates Light into the here and now” (2). The scriptural portion of each chapter reaches beyond mind to touch the soul. Then the workbook exercises wrap body, mind, and emotions in an embrace that integrates our earthly aspects with the divine dimension of soul.
As I savored the book, at least one meditation in each chapter provided deep healing that cleared space for expanded awareness of the Divine in my life. You Are Light shines like a rainbow bridge to the world beyond our world.
Dr. Catherine Grytting is a spiritual director, healer, teacher, musician, artist, and writer. She offers classes in energy healing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA.