David Ditchfield is an artist, composer and author. In 2006, he was dragged under a speeding train in a freak accident. As the surgeons fought to save him, he had a profound Near-Death Experience. He later realized that he had acquired astonishing new abilities.
The first, an ability to create dramatic paintings of what he’d seen in the Afterlife. The second, the ability to compose classical music, despite being unable to read or write any musical notation. His debut symphony premiered at a sell-out orchestral concert to a standing ovation. He has since composed further classical works, also premiered at sell- out performances and continues to paint and compose in Cambridge, UK. His book, SHINE ON, which tells his remarkable story, is out now.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 053
Alex Ferrari 0:04
I'd like to welcome to the show, David Ditchfield. How you doing, David?
David Ditchfield 2:07
Hi! Good to be here Alex. Good to meet you as well.
Alex Ferrari 2:10
Yeah, absolutely. Pleasure to meet you as well, my friend, I'm excited to talk to you about your story. Because I have had I've had multiple near death experiences on the show before but yours is a unique, unique story. It's a special kind of story in that space. So before we get into your near death experience, what was your life like prior to your near death experience?
David Ditchfield 2:35
Well, I would describe it as basically like a lot of people who was a struggle, you know, I had, I left school with very little qualifications because I'm dyslexic. So it was a struggle for me to find work. So I was jumping around from day to day just picking up manual laboring work, you know, on construction sites and that kind of thing. And I wasn't actually that good at that kind of work, you know, so I wasn't really fitting I was I was at the square peg in the round hole. So it was a bit of a struggle. And yeah, I'd moved to London, I'd moved there because I figured you know that I might get some breaks, and I might sort of meet people and try and develop my life. But that never really happened. And in a sense, it was it was hard because I was hanging out with people who were successful working in the music industry and things like that, and in media, and I just wanted to be part of that, that whole sort of game, you know, but that they weren't letting me. I'm not letting me and but yeah, they were already established. And it really wasn't for me so. So that's where I was that basically.
Alex Ferrari 3:37
Now what, take me to the day that your your your the near death experience happened? How did it happen to you?
David Ditchfield 3:45
Yeah, well, I got to stay with my sister and her family who were out in Cambridge, and I was rather out in the countryside.
Alex Ferrari 3:54
And how old were you again?
David Ditchfield 3:56
Right. Okay, I was I was 40 What was I 40 46 46 at the time. Yeah. So yeah, so anyway, so I went out to Cambridge, and I was hanging out there for a while just to try and get my feet back on the ground. You know, because things were going bad. I was running out of money. You know, I was just about to lose my apartment and you know, it was that bad. So while I was there, I was I had met somebody I met this girl called Anna who we got on really well we got this connection and we were we just kind of hit it off and she said I want to come and stay with you for a few days. So we did do and then she had to get back to London. So I was seeing her off at the the rail station. And as she got onto the car, I was helping her on with the bags and stuff you know I gave her a hug last minute hug and goodbye. And the emergency buses went for the doors to close the automatic doors. And as they did my coat got trapped in the bottom part of my coat was like a three quarter note with dry coat you know and it wasn't going to come out it was like a sheepskin coat afford, this is not going to pull free. The engine started to rev up and I thought what can I was banging on the doors I screamed from Forever help me, I grew up calling the top of my voice, but nobody turned up, there was no guard on the platform or anything. And the engine started to rev up. And I just kind of figured this is it, I thought, I'm just gonna, I'm not gonna survive this, I thought I'm gonna die. This is a moment of death. And I stopped and decided to run alongside the train, the train pulled out a great speed, you know, I felt every gear shift. And then I lost my footing and I was dragged along the platform. And then before I knew I was pulled between the platform edge and the speeding train, and under the wheels. And I was tossed around basically like a rag doll, you know, just thrown literally from side to side, pillar to post and I was fully conscious throughout the whole of this. And it was just, yeah, it was a terrifying, terrifying experience. So I suddenly found myself thrown to the ground. And I was in between the tracks if you like, you know, so I just, it wasn't over yet. The train was still going on, it was a long train. So I thought, you know, I could get hit by part of the undercarriage, or have you you know, that would be it. So I just kept my face into the gravel kept my face in there. And it's interesting, because I had time to think it through in my own mind, even though it took only a matter of seconds for the whole episode. It felt like minutes, you know, it was it was like my mind, it's given me a chance to actually think it through a survivor. I went to fight or flight obviously, you know, and I decided to fight. And I remember thinking of double oh seven and all those movies, you know, Indiana Jones, what would they do now they'd stick their head right in the gravel. So that's what I did. And the train moved off. And I was there. I was lying there. I couldn't believe what survived I was alive. It was a terrific shock. And I just looked up at the sky. And I remember it was like a February day. It's a beautiful blue sky. And I just looked at the sky. And I thought, wow, look at that sky. I just felt so in touch with nature at that moment in time, because I've just been through such a few moments of absolute horror.
Alex Ferrari 7:13
So you were thrown. So you were thrown into the train. But did you when did you actually die?
David Ditchfield 7:20
Right, I got to the hospital. So yeah, I survived. I was fully alive. And then the guys, the paramedics arrived really quickly got me somehow that got me off that track and onto the trailer and into the ambulance. And then it was just when I got into the actual emergency department that my left arm had been severed. So I was losing like an awful lot of blood, lots of blood, you know, and they I can hear panic in their voices. I thought this isn't sounding good. You know, this is like, I could hear fear. And I thought you know, I wasn't sure I was going to even survive at that point. Then it was at that point that I actually left my body. I left I left all the trauma of the of the the pain that I was in and just the current that the tense atmosphere of that hospital to what appeared to be a very calm and dark and place. Nothing foreboding about this darkness, it just felt very comforting. And then I just kind of foot wet, what's what's going on, you know, it was literally that quick. And I just kind of got my bearings. I looked around and I remember just lifting my head and I was all I could see are these beautiful colors of orbs of light that was slowly pulsating all around me. And as I looked at these orbs, I just knew at this point, I just thought I'm dead I'm I've passed on this as a next stage. And I didn't fight it. I know that some people do when they have a near death experience because they've got so much to lift or they've got kids and stuff and but I mean, I didn't want to tie it. But yeah, but that's what I've just been through this is felt so beautiful that I just decided to go with it. And I then realized I was no longer laid on the hospital trolley. I kind of put my arms down I realized I was laid on what was like a huge slight rock it was like a medieval altar. And but it felt incredibly comfortable to lie on. So I just laid my head back. And I looked at my body to see how everything was looking. And I realized that I was no longer clothed, I was just covered in this blue sheet. It was like a satin silk sort of texture of material that was covering my body. And and there was last white lie that was just reflecting off the sheet. So I looked up and as I looked up there were like three grids of white light that were just closing in on me very intense, bright light. And I laid my head back and I looked into the light and I couldn't take my gaze away from the light because it was just it was just so calming and I felt You know, is that bright the normally you know, you would not be able to look with a human eye into it, but in this fear you could do in this realm, it was okay. And I felt healing energy was coming from this light. So I just kind of bathed in the light as it were, you know, and I was there for some time and I suddenly felt the presence of somebody hustled and somebody's just arrived at the scene as it was. So I lifted my head again and there there was there was this, there was this Well, an androgynous person, you know, neither male nor female stood at my feet. With this kind of very white blond hair and a skin that was like illuminating light, that light was just shut shining from within very, very bright. And this this person was just wearing like a very contemporary black T shirt, which was I remember the strictly at the time was expecting something more ethereal. You know, I say too many movies are big. And but I thought, no, you know, this is a very simple guy, simple t shirt. And this person was just smiling at me. And I said, I know you that I knew this face, you know, I felt this familiarity coming from this person, you know, sometimes you get, you might go to a party or having you meet somebody for the first time there you think, Hey, I feel like I've known you for years. Yeah, we just, you know, you connect with someone, you know, even if it's just as French. And it was like that. And I thought I'd known this person for the whole of my life and beyond. So anyhow, but I felt safe in in the presence of this person, I felt like this person was my keeper, you know, there was there was like, guarding me of guarding my soul and, and what have you. So I laid back and continued and then I felt that suddenly there was more people that arrived. And there was two more, there's two females inside of me, there was a girl to my right, who was wearing like a, again, a contemporary brand dress, and she was quite European looking. And with long brown hair than the girl to my left was, was more sort of, she was more like Native American or Brazilian or Asian Indian looking. And shoes, were wearing more of a traditional dress, it was like a sort of a creamy sort of textured, beautiful cloth. And they had their hands just slowly hovering over my body. And I felt the energy coming from their hands was just so intense, it was just like a beautiful vibration. And I felt that there were healing, you know, the trauma that the body had just been through. But not only that, because I looked, and everything was fixed, there was not even a single scratch, and my whole body was back in place. But they continue to heal me. And I figured that as time went on that basically, they weren't just healing my physical body, but they were healing on all the personal trauma that I've carried throughout my whole life that we all do, you know, the baggage, as we call it, they were peeling off all those layers, and taking them off one by one, and getting right down to the essence of my pure soul. And it was a it was a wonderful experience. It was it was like having like a very, like a, like a therapy session, you know, my whole life, just unveiled that it was but in a beautiful way, you know, in a physical sense. So yeah. And I, it was interesting, because I, I carried a lot of guilt and shame throughout my life, which I realized didn't belong to me anymore. I'd spent a lot of my time in the past, concerning myself with the past or the future, I was worried about the future where my life was going, because it was in such a mess. But it was also kind of haunted by all the mistakes I've made, or all the opportunities that I felt that I missed, and all those different things that a lot of us do. And suddenly all those are dispersed. I didn't belong to me anymore. Yeah. And it was just, I sort of thought this is great. I feel complete all at once, you know. And then I figured, well, my my family had arrived at the hospital just before this had happened before I left my body. And I thought they were pretty distraught. My mother was in tears, I remember at the time, and I thought they're going to be they're going to be looking over my, Over my dead body, literally, you know, so I was concerned, but not overly concerned. I didn't feel a sense of Oh, my goodness, am I my family. I just, I was very relaxed about it. So I tried to lean over the edge of the huge slight altar thing that I was on, and look down to hope to see them in hospital, but I didn't actually see them. But what I did see was this incredible site, it was just like, it was a waterfall of stars. It was like but it was very vast. It was like sort of the size of Niagara Falls if you'd like but instead of millions of tons of water cascading over it was just millions of beautiful sparkling stars that were just cascading over the over over the top. And I looked down and I just looked into what seemed like infinity you know, the more that my eyes adjusted I was looking further and further. It felt Light into one galaxy into another. And I was looking at, I could see all these beautiful sort of colors, you know, all these, in these galaxies that I'd never seen before. To me, space itself, I don't even looked at it, I looked up at the sky, you know, once it's once a once in a lifetime, but to me, it was stars against a black backdrop, all these colors were just so really powerful. So I pulled myself back over and I thought, Wow, I'm not in a small darkened space at all, I'm actually in the universe itself, you know. And I felt very at one with the universe, I suddenly felt that this is it all makes sense that we are all part of it, you know. And it was pretty much at that point that I had the most profound moments of the whole NDA, which was, I remember lying back and still bathing in all this kind of healing process, I was going through that, I felt a sensation of, I felt like my body was starting to almost vibrate, but in a very beautiful way. I thought what's going on, and I looked up and just ahead of the the initial being that I'd seen it was still stood there was a behind he or she was this a tunnel of white light that was closing in on me. And that tunnel of white light was was it was just, it was just so bright. And it was just it was that it was surrounded by flames of the light, all these beautiful powerful flames that were like slowly circulating around. And normally something like this, you'd be kind of like, oh my goodness, what's going on? This is so or inspiring that it could be frightening. But in this realm, there was no sense of fear, I just only felt absolute joy for Wow. And there's a lot of telepathy going on throughout this whole experience. And one of the biggest things I was told was, what I was looking at here was was the source of all creation, you know, this was God, this was not like God, as I was figured God would look like not other thought about it that much. But I thought that God would be like the guy on the ceiling of the Vatican in Rome, you know, with a long gray beard reaching out to Adam, but no, this was this huge tunnel of white light. And the energy coming off it as it got closer was just causing every single molecule in my body to vibrate with with love. And it was just so it was pretty much at that point, when I got this information that I came crashing back into my body, you know, and I remember, I was still smiling, you know, and I didn't come back into the hospital back into the, you know, the sort of, it seemed like, it seemed really noisy all at once, you know, they distorted the acoustics in that place was just too much to deal with. And, and suddenly it was fluorescent strip that was in my eyes. I was just ah, you know, I was.
Alex Ferrari 17:51
And that's it. So, why, first of all, in your NDE Did you have a life review?
David Ditchfield 17:58
I didn't have a life review. And I've since learned that some people do. I guess this isn't trying to say I asked because I was good guy, I'd never done anything. And of course I have we've all done harm to everybody without realizing it, maybe maybe but I didn't really need to go there. I guess I think that while I my big sort of lesson that I was learning on the side that the main person that I was doing any harm to was me, it was me I was beating myself up throughout the whole of my life. So instead of having a life review, I was having as I say, I was having this this kind of a session from from these beautiful angels that were disliked slowly taking away all the negative stuff, you know, that didn't belong to me, you know,
Alex Ferrari 18:47
All that stuff that you've been carrying around with you that we all carry around with us in one way shape, or form and different sizes. Some carry some of some of us that weight crushes us throughout our life and others just just pull it along and grind it along for most of your life. Why do you think you were slammed back? Why do you think that you they didn't just do you didn't just continue down the path.
David Ditchfield 19:11
I wondered that straightaway. That was the first thing. So it was like why means my body. I thought why they send it back. You know, I was I was quite happy.
Alex Ferrari 19:20
I was good. I was solid. I was solid. I needed to come back.
David Ditchfield 19:25
But you know what? It's interesting, because a lot of people say Oh, you missed it felt really disappointed, but I wasn't because I was just so full with all this beautiful energy and knowledge of love that I've just been given that. I thought right? That's the guy I was just about to be wheeled into theater at that point. So I knew I was gonna go and have a huge operation. But it was when I came random. So
Alex Ferrari 19:47
I mean to interrupt you but did you die physically at all during this point or not?
David Ditchfield 19:52
No, no, I didn't actually die physically. This this is something you know that obviously because it's called a near death experience. Sooner as some people figure that I know that some people do die, some people do. But it really, it's when you're at a point where you're very close to death, I was, you know, I was very close to it. So, but I didn't actually physically die now.
Alex Ferrari 20:14
Okay, so you're being wheeled back into the theater.
David Ditchfield 20:20
So they took me into theater and operated on me. And then it was like, when I came around after, but eight and a half hours, I think it was, and I remember I was in on my own, like, given me a room on my own, which is great. And I was just And now I've got this little machine is bleeping in the dark at 2am. And it was like a little art of duty thing. You know, it's like, okay, it was my friend, you know. And part of me was obviously sort of dealing with the trauma of what had happened, obviously, as you would do you just been under a train, you know, but the main part of me was thinking, wow, what about that? How am I going to tell the world about this? Because at that stage, I'd never even heard of a near death experience, you know, spirituality don't even come into my life. And so I thought, How am I going to tell the people the world about this, and I was really scared, I was gonna forget about the whole thing as well, you know, so. But I remember my sister came to visit me. And she said to me, like, she's so very quietly Look, is there anything I can get you that I can bring in for you tomorrow? And I said, Yeah, can you get me small Sketchpad at a five and a pencil, and she went, Okay. And so I was just, I thought, I've got to sketch out what I've seen, I thought, that's the best way I'm going to be able to tell people about this is I'm going to do some paintings, I'm going to, and I've never done anything like this before. But I thought this is the best way to put it across. I wanted to do big dramatic canvases, like the ones that you see in the Vatican in Rome, you know, all the big biblical scenes that the Renaissance paintings are done, you know, and which are very dramatic. So I thought that's the best way to put it across. So yeah, so I was sketching it out.
Alex Ferrari 22:05
But so the thing that's remarkable about your NDE is that you had no artistic skill, or, or did you have some artistic skill prior to the NDE.
David Ditchfield 22:17
But I could have done this whole thing. I mean, I, I was never encouraged. When I was younger, I really enjoyed drawing, but I'd never done anything at all, like the kind of paintings that I've I've been doing now. You know, nothing quite. Yeah, they were basically trying to wheel me straight out of school and onto the production line in the local factory. And that was it, you know, those like, You're not going anywhere, but you've got no qualifications, you know, so? Well, so no, so in answer to a question, No, I've never been doing anything like that at all artists can come into my life, you know, it was just basically, you know, living, capping hand picking or whatever work I could, and then go down to my local bar and spending whatever I'd earned my life.
Alex Ferrari 22:57
So then when you started to sketch Did you realize, wait a minute, this is not the way I was sketching prior to this, like you did you start recognizing that that there was something another talent there that wasn't there prior to your near death experience?
David Ditchfield 23:11
Yeah, that happened over the weeks because initially, the first sketch I did was so faint and weak, because I could hardly moved at that stage. The nurses were propping me up that I just had to do it just for my own peace of mind. So that was, that was pretty awful. I still got it. But you know, but as time went on, I started to do more sketches towards what I was going to do in this painting, if at some of the nurses used to come and sit on the edge of my, on the edge of the bed, while I would sketch them, you know, the studies, I thought, Wow, this, these are amazing, you know, so I knew there was a shift. I mean, I felt straight away that I was still attached to that other realm, I felt like I was the energy was still coming through. So I knew that I was being helped to get this across. And when I first started painting, once I was well enough, I got this big canvas. And it was leaning against the wall, and I was staring at it. And I was avoiding starting it. Because I thought I can't mess this up. This has got to be right in it. But you know what, as soon as I started painting it, the stuff that was going on onto that Canvas was just like I knew that it wasn't just me that was there was creating this page. And you know, I was I was being I was channeling stuff through I was being given a crash course on how to paint and how to apply colors had some skin tones, you know, come alive and what have you. So I was very excited right from the offer thought, wow, this is like, remarkable. This is going to be brilliant.
Alex Ferrari 24:34
Did you did you when you came back? I mean obviously prior to your NED or NDE, you you had a lot of the same issues that most of us have fears of life fear of living fear of taking chances, fear of, of what's going to happen tomorrow you said to yourself, you live mostly in the past and in the in the future, which is your memory and your imagination. You never really focused on where you were When you came back that a lot of that just wash away, did you finally understand that, like, I'm going to live my life to the fullest. I'm not going to be afraid. Have you lost that fear of life? Because so many of us have fear of just living of doing the right thing. I should be here. I shouldn't be there. I wish I would have happened that wish I would have bought apple at $3 you know all that kind of stuff.
David Ditchfield 25:24
Oh, yeah, I'm, I'm a very much completely changed person. I mean, you know, you don't come back superhuman. So of course, he's, you know, still got emotions, and some of them are negative, but they don't last. Like they used to. I mean, I mean, I tell you a story I did go through, because when I've come back, I was so charged with all this love. And while I was recovering in hospital and stuff, I felt positive about everything, you know, and it was been commented on by people around me, my loved ones, you know, my friends, we're going, you're a changed person, you know that one of them is saying you're animated. It's that animated. My mother said, you just glow. Every time we walk into this room, you're glowing. And this light, this light coming from you. And you're just, you're giving us so much love to everyone around you like the nurses and stuff. So it really was a huge shift. But yeah, there's but the story goes as, as when I came out, I had a big, there was a big legal case, honestly, because of the I've been under the train. So that couldn't be avoided. You know, it wasn't just like a car smashing. So they the British Rail police did a massive investigation. And when I'm going through that, I was just full of so much love that Oh, like I realized that I wasn't equipped to go into into the legal arena and not that crispy, you know that? That kind of I wasn't guarded. equipped for that, you know, I went through depression through that point. So yeah, so as I say, I'm not superhuman, but I knew that I gotta get out of it. I knew that that didn't belong to me that it was just a world that was just wrong. To me, it felt morally wrong and didn't fit. So I just had to, I want to have some therapy. Anyway, that gave me therapy at the hospital because they said you got to have some therapy after going and what you've just been through, you know, so. And I hardly even spoke about the accident. When I was having those therapy sessions. I was just talking about, you know, what I was dealing with here, you know, with the whole this whole legal stuff. So yeah.
Alex Ferrari 27:15
So you, you felt that you felt that when you came back, you were in such a blissful state of awareness of love in the universe and attach attachment to all of creation, if you will, that a lawsuit was just like, I this is not the energy I want to be involved with. This is really kind of more earthly stuff that is just pulling me down, the energy is pulling me down,
David Ditchfield 27:43
They've totally pulled me down. Because the whole thing was just insane. It was like this insane circus, you know, I thought I just couldn't get it. I thought this is just not this is not justice. This is like a completely injustice, the whole that way. It's all set up. Anyway, I won't go into that now. But I mean, but But ultimately, once I got through that, and come out the other side of it, then I thought, now I can just focus on my life and focus on what I learned from that other side. So I have carried that with me since and so yeah, you know, the main lesson I learned from the whole thing was, basically, that being in the present moment is the most important place to be you know, that living in the past is pointless. Yeah, it's done, though. It's it does exist, but it's out there somewhere else floating around in a bubble. So the ethos, and the future doesn't exist, you know, we often the future that we're thinking, if it's something that we're fearing, is often far worse than than the actual reality. So you know, because we cook up the stories, don't we? Oh, my goodness, this is going to happen, it's going to be the end, it's going to be terrible, then this is going to happen then. So we never kind of go. Okay, I think it's all worked out. I know. It's bad. But so yes, I'm a lot more grounded a lot more sort of holding myself in the present moment and thinking, You know what, yeah, there's this, that yeah, of course, there's the something has troubled us ahead of me. But if I look around myself, where I am now having now I'm saying my apartments, everything's fine, I'm okay. I'm not injured on that hurt. So let's just focus on the here and now. So yeah.
Alex Ferrari 29:12
And then not only are we able to bring back the artistic ability of being able to be a painter, and an artist, but you also brought back the ability to write music, which is is something that you never did prior.
David Ditchfield 29:27
No, I mean, I've thrashed out three chords on an electric guitar, you know, playing in a few sort of trashy punk bands or stuff like, like a lot of us do, you know, but that was it, you know, but I never had any classical training. So that was the big one. You know, I mean, I felt inspired to want to paint because was success and people were like, listening to me my whole story through the paintings. I felt driven to write some music, about, about what what it came about, actually, because I started going to I wanted to try Then the spiritualist church which was nearby when I was recovering, because I thought they're gonna have some answers about what happened here I could talk about it and they did they were great. They're gonna you have a near death experience, you know. And when I was there I mean I'm one arm was pretty banged up at the time was covered in all sorts of plastic and stuff you know and they said, You look pretty banged up there, you know, we do spiritual healing, if you'd like I said, Yeah, I would love let's give it a go. And some of the spiritual healers are clairvoyant. And I kept saying, Why am I single file in place across your test, I was getting no idea. Then one of them said, you're gonna write some music about your experience. That's what the my guides are telling me. I said, Okay, so I went home, and I got this old, cheap synthesizer that I there's up in the loft, and I got that down. And an All I got was a cassette recorder. And that was it. And I started writing what I thought was going to be a song, you know, I'm not going to write a classical piece for an orchestra. But it started to develop into something bigger than a song. And I thought this could be performed by an orchestra. So I've got that same sense of ambition, if you like to, to make this as big as I possibly could. And I by chance, I want to say by chance that a lot of synchronicity was happening throughout my whole life when I come out of hospital. One of those moments of synchronicity was I've met a cello player from the local orchestration, we've become friends. And she's she's quite spiritual as well. And she was chatting with me and she said, what you've been up to. So I said about this piece of music. And she laughed and said, maybe we could perform it as guy, maybe you could. I hang hung on to those words. And I thought, I'm going to finish this all off first, the whole thing off. And then, and then my brother helped me out, he said, Look, I've got, I've got some software that you can attach to your computers, and I've got an old computer I'm going to give you and then then when you you'll need a new keyboard, but when you play on a keyboard, it will then transpose it into into the laptop, and then it then you can print off the music, because you will need that for the orchestra. So that's how I did it. I started printing off the parts. And I took it along and the orchestra agree to perform it. And so yeah. The very first rehearsal was was was quite nerve wracking. But I still kept myself grounded. You know, I wasn't losing it. But and I but I do remember thinking, wow, I really am out of my depth here, you know, because orchestras are very, they're very lovely people, but they're very, also very highly educated, sort of middle class musicians, you know, and I thought, here's me, this working class guy, straight off the construction site, and I'm writing a symphony, I thought, I didn't even know what it was going to work on either.
Alex Ferrari 32:39
Because you never heard it played by an orchestra before. So you didn't even know if there was going to be. So what happened at that first rehearsal?
David Ditchfield 32:46
Well, you know, the conductor said to David, would you tell the orchestra about talking about your piece, and I was getting none. And I was trying to bottle out of that, but he said, No. And so once I started talking about it, I told the story, it was all about my near death experience. It's called the divine light. And I said what it was about and everyone was really keyed into it to the whole thing, you know, it helped them and then I stepped back. And then the, I remember the the conductor's baton coming down, and the opening chords were sanded, just as I'd heard it in my head from that little cheap synthesizer. And there it was. But it was like this incredible three dimensional sound. They were rehearsing in a church and the acoustics, beautiful. It was amazing. It was an amazing moment. Yeah. So
Alex Ferrari 33:28
So it's, I mean, I've had the pleasure in my life, to speak to a lot of high performing artists and writers and filmmakers, and actors and so on. So many times, when you are writing or when you're creating, you fall into this thing that is commonly known as the flow, where you don't even realize what's happening. It's just literally almost channeling through you to the point where when you're done, you look at what has just been created. You're like, who did that? Because I don't remember doing it, or I whoever wrote that, or whoever did that. That was not me. And and I've spoken to Oscar winners, and I mean, everybody you can imagine. And they all have similar moments. They don't do it every day. And it's not every day, like the second I start writing. It's a genius every single time I write, it's not that but there's moments that you tap into that. Is that what it was like doing? Is that what it's like doing your paintings as well as the music?
David Ditchfield 34:30
Absolutely, it is. Yeah, that's that's how it continues to be, you know? Yeah. Like you say, I'll get bad days when nothing's coming through. And then suddenly, something will happen that shouldn't Wow, that's it. And I literally turn I go, thank you, you know, because I know that I'm being helped and create that but but yeah, but as I always do say to people that you don't have to have a near death experience. You don't have to go into the train to reach this point that we've all got it within us, as you've just pointed out yourself. I mean, that's that is the reason why We all we're all drawn to watching great performers, you know, or even sportsmen, you know, I mean, if you think about the idea of watching tennis is bonkers you know, the two guys hitting the ball backwards and forwards. But when you go and what's tennis live, I went to Wimbledon one year, and it's amazing. And I sat there for hours. And I thought, wow, I was just transfixed on these guys, because they're doing the same thing. You know, they're channeling, they're not worried about, oh, my god, am I going to, you know, am I going to lose or win to a certain extent they are, but they go into the moment they allow themselves just to be present, you know? And that's why we that's why we like watching.
Alex Ferrari 35:36
Yeah, and I think there's, I think there's another thing that, that so many people always looking for, like, oh, I want to, what's that thing that's gonna make me stand out. And they try to be somebody else. But when you become who you are, that's what makes you stand out when you are authentic. That's what people are attracted to. So that's why people are attracted to your work. And people are attracted to other artists, every great filmmaker, every great actor, every great musician is authentic to who they are. And they might lose their way in their career. And we've seen that happens publicly sometimes. But when they are at that moment, you're transfixed because they're tapping into something that's so much larger than themselves. But that that authenticity is what so like when you're saying the tennis players, they are being who they are at the highest levels of their, their chosen sport. When you watch Tom Brady here in the States play football, who's a legend to image for arguably the best quarterback of all time. He's you're like, he's 44 Why is he playing football? How is he? How is he doing this? Like? The things like that? Or Beckham? You know, when he was when he was playing soccer? You just look at him like what? How are Pele? Pele back in football? Normal football, not American football. And you watch I mean, I've seen some videos and films of Pele like, I'm sorry, man, there's something running through him. There's like, how is how is he doing that?
David Ditchfield 37:11
Exactly! Yeah, I saw some footage on the TV the other night of Jimi Hendrix. And it's like, you know, it was like he's coming from another place. It's like, it's like, his fingers would just go on that guitar. Like it was just a part of him. You know, it wasn't him holding an instrument and tuning it anyway. So off he went. And I was just like, it was almost like, I could see that the energy of light going right through him. You know, it's just beautiful.
Alex Ferrari 37:34
It's when you can, when you're able to channel that kind of energy in anything you do. By the way, it could be a million different things. It doesn't have to be artistic, it could be business, it could be helping people. It could be you know, anything, when you're being authentic is what happens. And I think that's something that you've connected to. I wanted to ask you, do you meditate now? Or do you have you? Do you meditate?
David Ditchfield 37:57
Yeah, yeah, I meditate. Yeah, pretty much every day, actually. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 38:00
Did you meditate prior?
David Ditchfield 38:01
Alex Ferrari 38:02
you did, too. So you were meditator before and after the nde?
David Ditchfield 38:06
Oh, sorry, prior for your prior to our conversation.
Alex Ferrari 38:10
Prior to the nde
David Ditchfield 38:12
No, no, no, not at all. No, I was I was completely ungrounded. You know, as I say, I was non spiritual, I didn't, I didn't none of that I wish I had, you know, my life would have been a lot easier. You know, my form of trying to ground myself was literally going down to the, to the nearest bar and mixing with my friends and getting a beer inside me, you know, which, of course, as we all know, those those first few sips of beer or whatever, do make you feel grounded, and then they does work. But it's but it doesn't last than you know, then it turns per darling, but it's an adult learning.
Alex Ferrari 38:42
It's a dulling effect, you're trying to dull pain to try to, you know, unwind, and it's using chemicals to do it. Whereas in meditation, you're able to do it naturally. Now do you find because you had an NDEE is that the closest you can get to feeling that source energy when you meditate.
David Ditchfield 39:03
Spiritual healing is the closest I get to it. And I went back for the first time I said last week because there's a whole pound pandemic that they couldn't heal. So they started up and it was great going back and to me, I always say it's like being plugged into the mains, you know, but I feel that I'm close to that that energy that source and in fact the session that we have we finished and it's not just me, who noticed that the actual healers as well we're talking about it after we sit down for a few moments. And we don't talk and for about five minutes and then we start chatting I'll say wow, that was incredible you know, and then they say yeah, I could feel the they could feel the energy coming through them and then through their hands and into me so that's the closest I get to that source. You know, it's my way of going to church as well you know, I don't go to church but that's that's almost like my way way of connecting with with with that realm and connecting with God.
Alex Ferrari 39:54
It does matter and what part is meditation play in that in your in your spiritual journey now?
David Ditchfield 40:11
Well, it just as I say, It grounds me, it just helps her to switch off from the from the chaos and the noise of the world basically. And then it's just something I recommend for everyone to do. It's just really good just to, you know, you can do 20 minutes if you want to, but I tend to meditate for about an hour. I just feel so much I feel cleansed after the feel really good.
Alex Ferrari 40:33
Now, do you, you brought back this awareness of being present in the moment? What advice do you have, for people who are holding on to this fear holding on to the past, carrying resentments with them, all of this baggage that you were kind of cleared of in your NDE, and now you you've become a changed person, we're more in love comes off of you and things like that? What advice do you have for people who are in here? Hopefully, you don't have to get thrown underneath the train to get to this realization? Can you Is there a shortcut is your haxor without having to be thrown underneath the train?
David Ditchfield 41:14
Yeah, there is there is and that is to accept, as I said earlier, that, that the only reality is that the present moment in the past isn't a reality, it's a story. And it's a story that happened. The there's no point in going back on it. And then also the future is a story. And that's not reality, because it's not there yet, the present moment is the most important place to be. And it's just being in that once you let go of the past, in the present, you realize that that's giving feeding you with anxiety, yeah, it's feed is feeding the mind to start overthinking over cooking a situation or scenario. And if you just kind of remain in the presence, then then it's just it'll help you immensely. Be in touch with nature as well. That's why it's really important. Switch off the news, you know, what's the news? Especially at the moment? Yeah, we've got a lot going on. But you know, but just, just be careful, because you tend to realize that they sort of feed off kind of like the sort of anxiety issues as well, you know, it's, it's delivered with such anxiety. It's like, whoa, you know, I don't need to be told like that. I want to know what's happening, but do try and step back from it as well.
Alex Ferrari 42:30
How do you how how would you advise people to try to connect themselves to their higher self, to that, that inner strength, that inner light that that you are, it seems at least from speaking to you, you seemed a lot more connected than most people I speak to, to that inner inner strength of yours, there is almost a knowing that you have, and I understand that there's a knowing of, it's all going to work out? Okay. I'm on my path, things like that. What advice would you have?
David Ditchfield 43:03
Well, what I'd say is, the first one is, is to realize that we are all loved all of us. And that's what we don't realize, a lot of us don't give ourselves any self love. I wasn't I never loved myself before. And that was one of the first things I bought back with self love. And once you find that self love, then you start to find self worth, and self confidence. And you realize, you, as you beautifully pointed out, I'm exactly the same with you on this and that is authentic, be authentic to yourself, you know, because a lot of us don't do that a lot of us are acting throughout our lives with we're aspiring to be like other people around us, our peers who we think are doing better than us. And you know what, those people probably aren't doing that. Well, others as well as we assume again, it's a story. So just focus on your own strengths, whatever they may be, you know, I mean, a lot of us discovered this right? When the whole pandemic first happened. I remember when we had locked down over here in the UK, people were suddenly discovered zoom. And people were like, saying, hey, you know, I'm in touch with nature. We've been out with the kids, it's beautiful day, you know, the birds are singing, I've never heard them before. Hey, I've been baking bread for the first time in my life. I'm teaching kids on painting, all these things were coming out. But there you go. That's because people were being they weren't in an office environment or whatever they were at work they were home and being true to themselves and authentic. So you know, just try and be authentic to yourself.
Alex Ferrari 44:29
They got off the rat race. I mean, the pandemic has been obviously a horrible experience for the whole planet. But it has done some good in the world. I mean, yes, many, many deaths have happened and it's a horrible, horrible thing. But like you just said, it forced many in the west at least, to stop for the first time in their lives. They had nowhere to go. They had nothing to do all they could do is sit there and go. What do I really You want in life? Yeah, maybe in like, maybe I should start a garden, maybe I should bake some bread, maybe I should paint, maybe I should write that book I've always wanted, it kind of forced everybody to just reevaluate with again without being thrown on the train. Yeah. You don't advise that by the way,
David Ditchfield 45:21
You have to go through everything you need to go through an NDE and near death experience, you know, you can find all these all these things there. Because I also believe that we've all got our own guides, those, those angels, those guides that I talked about earlier, in my experience, there, they've been with me all my life, I just don't acknowledge that, you know, but I do know that they are there. And so I call upon them, I allow them to help me because they want to because the other thing to remember as well is, as I said, I felt like I was part of the universe when I was there, when I saw that waterfall and stars. And that's something I firmly believe that we all, we're all part of the universe, you know, the universe is dislike, constantly moving forward, you know, it's an energy force, it's moving, and it's a positive energy as rather than the universe actually wants us to recreate, you know, you know, it's just like, you look at nature, nature's that all the seasons change, all the birds migrate, or the animals, you know, and they start at the moment at my window, you know, there's like, sort of, they're all mating and, you know, and then touch with, with the universe and the energy of the universe. And we've kind of forgotten that as the human race. Because, you know, we've kind of got so immersed into societies, but just remember that we are part of that universe and the universe does want us to achieve and, and our lives to be successful for ourselves as long as we are authentic to ourselves, you know, and, of course, it's not all great. It's all good, you know, this is that we've been through the hugest challenges or can't believe from one at one huge challenge to another, mankind at the moment, but you know, what this, you know, I do ultimately believe that, you know, there's gonna be a huge spiritual awakening is going to come from this, I've got an enormous amount of faith in this next generation, when you see young people being interviewed on the TV, you know, even these poor kids are coming out of war torn Ukraine, you know, that that's the the insight that they've got is remarkable. So I've kind of got faith that of all challenges, you know, the will be an awakening, there will be some grace will come out of this darkness.
Alex Ferrari 47:22
I do. I do agree with him, because we are going through I mean, I in my lifetime, I think you and I are of similar similar vintages. So I mean, in our in our lifetimes, we've never seen I mean, everything pretty much stayed. You know? Yes, there's been a lot of changes, the internet showed up and all of that and everything, but I, I would read about war, I would read about pandemics, I would read it and you know, I remember, like, oh, there's where in time of peace. There's no war in the world like it for for a lot in the 90s. Essentially, there was very little war in the West. You know, obviously, there were some other things happening around the world, but, but generally speaking, it was just not we were at peacetime in the West. And now the whole world is being shaken with between, you know, the climate change. I mean, I mean, we are there if you believe it or not, there's something going on, man, there's definitely some more storms, more tornadoes more. There's more stuff. So between, between climate change between now, at the We're literally at the brink of war, World War Three, as I say the words I can't even understand. So it's incredible. It's insane, that we're even speaking of this insane, it's insane. And then the pandemic on top of it, that's not going away still. And we'll be with that pant that that COVID will be with us probably, like the flu will be it will just be different. Like it'll just, it'll be with us forever. So there's this giant shift, almost the shining, I call it the the shaking of the etch a sketch for my generation of the world, because we're kind of like shaking the world because the world is feeling this. It's not just something that's Oh, in this country or in this continent, the world felt a pandemic, the world's feeling the environment changing. This war is going to affect the war the world and it is oh, it's already starting to. So do you feel just from your perspective? Do you think that there is this kind of shift in consciousness going on because I feel it myself. I do see that people are changing. I was I was speaking to a spiritual teacher the other day and he said something that is so profound is like throughout history whenever there's a great evil that pops up a great good comes to balance it and like so in World War Two, Hitler showed up, and then the Allies showed up. And then when Hitler went down the outlet like it was just this constantly. It's a pendulum isn't It is so but it's when you start thinking about everything, if something really bad shows up, it just flips to the other side. So like if there's a dictator in one world, there's a whole lot of people against a dictator that just that just literally show up, you know, millions of people will, will march and revolutions will happen. It's just the way the world works was really interesting. So I asked a bunch of questions there, which
David Ditchfield 50:28
So yeah, but I mean, there's an incredible unity coming, that I keep seeing at the moment as well. Right, in the world with world leaders are coming together, which, which I don't think any of us expected, you know, I think Putin expected and, that feels great to see that said, you know, a sense of calm as well. But yeah!
Alex Ferrari 50:51
Did you, by the way, did you? Were you a master in the art of beating yourself up prior to your NDE? Because I know I, I, I've beaten myself up quite quite a bit. And so many of us do that. Were you were you a master at that sir?
David Ditchfield 51:06
Absolutely, you know, class honors, you know, full degree and
Alex Ferrari 51:10
Full master full black belt.
David Ditchfield 51:13
Was just Yeah, so that was a sight. So that was, that's why I didn't have the life review. Because it was me that was beating up not other people, you know? So yeah, most certainly, I was just so I came down on myself so hard, you know,
Alex Ferrari 51:25
And now you are now you. How do you deal with that? That negative? Because I'm assuming you still have negative talking, right? You still got that monkey brain that talks to you and says, Oh, David, you should have painted that better? Oh, you should have done that. Or, or you should be here. Now. You should be there. Now. All of this kind of monkey talk or the you know, the chatter in the brain, that negative chatter? Has that calmed? A whole lot?
David Ditchfield 51:49
Yeah, most certainly, you know, it's, it's, it's barely there. You know, I mean, it's just because it was for a while, as I say, after that legal case, and I felt that I'd been reduced being to the person that I was at prior, you know, but as times gone on, you know, I'm learning every day, and I'm just kind of, on my spiritual path is just opening right up, you know, and I think that's what will happen to all of us, you know, if we all stop and allow that authentic, I mean, I've been authentic to myself all the way through, I've never lost that. I've never thought right, I'm this is, you know, I've got to be like, those are the people who are successful, I don't care about that anymore. So I'm authentic to myself. So the more I'm authentic to myself, and the more self love that I keep giving myself then then all those voices disperse. And if they come back, I just went, Oh, go away. You know,
Alex Ferrari 52:41
You just calm and you like, just get in the back seat I'm driving.
David Ditchfield 52:44
Exactly, exactly. Because there you go. I mean, that's there's another sort of way to look at it. If you think about it, like, we don't think when we get in a car, we don't kind of when we start speeding down the road, we don't start thinking to yourself, oh my god, I'm sat on a huge piece of machinery, and I'm in charge of it. I could just crash any moment. Now. We don't think like that. Do we allow ourselves to go into the moment and we allow ourselves to drive that car without even thinking it through? And our thinking lines? Don't even well it work? It's only what's playing on on the stereo? All right, what am I listening to now, you know, and stuff, which is, so that's the way to go through life is just to try and do that, you know, don't overthink things. You know, don't overcook things just allow them to be as they will be. You know,
Alex Ferrari 53:27
I heard I heard once. Using your driving analogy I heard once a teacher say he was trying to counsel somebody and said, Hey, do do it. She's like I have I can't trust anybody. I don't trust people. I can't trust people. They've hurt me too much. I can't trust people. And then he said, Do you drive? And she's like, yes, she was you drive on the road? It was yes. Have you ever driven on a two way road? She's like, yes. So you trust that those people are not gonna kill you. And that just and all of a sudden, you just saw the shift in her head. She's like, I guess? I guess you're right. I do trust that the stranger who doesn't know me or my life, or my family or anything, is not going to just go over three feet. Interaction is still literally where we're speeding
David Ditchfield 54:15
Alex Ferrari 54:17
Speeding by in inches. And, and we take that for granted. So I love that you said like, like, we just get in the car. We have two 3000 pounds of machinery. Yeah, at our disposal that at any moment, we could just sneeze. And oh, it's but no, you're like, what's the song? Or what's the audiobook I'm listening to? Yeah, yeah. And how many times have you been driving? You've been driving and then all of a sudden you get to where you're going like I don't even remember how I got here. Like your subconscious has been driving.
David Ditchfield 54:49
It's been taking me there. Yeah. And sometimes taking me to Well, wasn't supposed to be going. The other thing I use as well is is is traffic lights. You know thinking about that because you know It's a good way of putting that towards life. You know, if you think about it, say you're late for a meeting, and you're speeding down the road, and then the lights turn to red, most of us will go, now the lights have turned to red, this is going to ruin the whole thing, I'm going to be really late there. And so we stress about it. And then, of course, we get more stressed, by the time we get to a meeting word, we're not even fit to be there. Whereas if we actually stop at those lights and think, okay, the lights are on red is going to add, you know, maybe a minute and a half or whatever, onto my journey or whatever, it's not gonna, it's not going to make that much difference. So go with it, and just stop and be in the moment, then look around you. And I think that's what a beautiful headrow Over there, you know, what a beautiful tree or whatever, you know, just try and so what I'm trying to say is that if you can apply that to life, it can make a big difference. The other the other day I was putting out, I was late getting some and I got to there was a roundabout, and I felt the urge to just put my foot down and go because see, there was a car Camila footnote, though, because, say I've crashed, that would have added half an hour onto my journey, because we would have had to stop and exchanged numbers and stuff, insurance and all that kind of stuff. Whereas if I just waited, like an extra 30 seconds just restart did that meant that I still got there on time and in a good place, you know, so you know, it's car analogies, they're good.
Alex Ferrari 56:20
Yeah. And I love love you say the kind of letting go I've been I've I've been practicing that in my life, just letting go and letting God in many ways, kind of like, just sit on the river and let the river that because the flow is going and when you're with aligned with that energy on where you're supposed to be going in life, doors open, things happen for you. Things become a lot easier, not as much struggle. You know, I was not only I didn't only get out of the boat and try to go the other way on the stream most of my life. Sometimes I would get in the boat and push the boat to go faster. On the way that I was. Like, no, no, the river, you don't need to push the river, the river will go the way it goes. Do you find that as well just kind of like, if there's a red light, there's a red light for a reason. Just chill, you know, and you you only get angry and frustrated when you're controlling things that are unclear. You want to control things that are uncontrollable, like people or situations.
David Ditchfield 57:19
Yeah, exactly. That's it, you know, and it's like, if you look at your life, your life is almost like a highway. That's that's meant for you that then if you try and avoid getting off that highway again, I want to take a shortcut, which is I used to do all my life. I just think I'm gonna go that way this is gonna get me there quicker. And of course, the shortcuts inevitably you get lost. And if it were, am I I should have just stuck to the main road. I want to be there now you know so so you know, it's it's, it's our destiny is a destiny is there you know, the universe wants to take us at a good steady speed. Just enjoy the ride and enjoy that journey. If you like you know, don't, don't, don't push it off the gas. And you'll get there just as quick.
Alex Ferrari 58:04
Now, what are you up to next?
David Ditchfield 58:06
Right. So at the moment, I'm creating a whole album of material of music. And I'm hoping to put that out this year. So that's what I'm doing. I'm working on a new piece because I've since that first piece it was it was its premiere to a sellout concert. So from that I got lots of commission. So I'm still writing classical pieces. So I'm working on you on now, which is called I wasn't expecting this, which is coming together really beautifully. And so yeah, so that's a really exciting one. It's I was approached by these guys, who were script writers called the mercury sisters. And they said, Look, you know, your story could be like a Netflix or a movie, you know, do you fancy getting involved? said Yeah, I'd love to. So I'm really enjoying that. Because, as I said, I'm dyslexic, so I've never read any books in my life. But I've seen lots of movies, because that was my way of, of reading books. You know, people say to me, oh, you should read this book. So I'll go see the movie, you know. And so I'm quite a visual. So it's, I'm enjoying talking about how we can make the story really come alive. And obviously I'm seeing things in my mind that I can give ideas to them visually. So yeah, so those two ideas are like balancing at the moment. And we'll see where they go, you know, again, I'm not pushing, I'm not banging on doors and saying, hey, you know, I've got I've got here, it'll, it'll, it'll cook at its own speed. And then once it's ready to come out to the world, then I'm sure those doors will start to open at their own pace.
Alex Ferrari 59:33
Now, I'm gonna ask you a couple questions. Ask all my guests. What is your mission in this life?
David Ditchfield 59:39
Oh, well, my mission in this life is just to really almost not have one, you know, it's just continue to sort of like, not had not planned too much, you know, just to allow it seem to unfold as it is. And, you know, I mean, my book came out, you know, I write at the beginning of the pandemic, and I never, I didn't even know what was gonna happen, I thought is it just going to sink without a trace now, because all the book shops are going to be closed, but it, the opposite happened, you know, I was suddenly invited to do lots of interviews I can do with you now via zoom and talking to people throughout the world. And it's been, it's, it's spiraled. And it's like, a ripple has just continued on, and it's still selling, which is great. And again, going back to the speed thing is just going at its own pace, you know, it's got crazy a few times, wherever, whoa, this feels like the waves about to go, you know, but which is exciting, but I don't care if it doesn't get any higher. So I'm just kind of like, I try not to plan too much. But I mean, just continuing with my story, and continuing to reach as many people as I can. And I'm finding that, I guess, when we go back to earlier when I thought well, what my question to myself was, Why have they sent me back? Why is this happened? What am I supposed to be a healer. And I'm realizing that I'm not supposed to be a healer, but but I'm supposed to be telling my story through all these different sort of dimensions for the two dimensional formats of art, and then you know, music and then my through my book, and then talking about it. And it's just like, there's all these different dimensions, you know, people have read my book, and they get in touch with me. And they say, it's great, because I listened to your music while I was reading it, and I looked at your paintings, and it all made even more sense, you know, so. So it's just like, continuing with that with that journey really Yeah!
Alex Ferrari 1:01:36
And why are we all here?
David Ditchfield 1:01:38
Well, well, we're all here. Because, because we've got an incredible opportunity we've been given as, as I say, we're part of the universe. And we are an important part of it, you know, because we live on one thing I've felt about when I came back was that the planet Earth is just like, that's heaven itself is such a beautiful place. It's a beautiful planet, you know, that we've got, you know, that we've got a golden opportunity to live on this wonderful place. And its astronauts say That's right. And I was very interested in what's in the stories on astronauts, see what their take on was going out to space, you know, and there's quite a few of them said, you know, you stand on the moon, and it's this murky, southern white dust, and you look at the planet Earth, and it's like, wow, look at all those beautiful colors. So yeah, so our mission is just to really try and enjoy what we've got, you know, not destroy it, you know, just and yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:33
And and where can people find out more about you, your work your music, your art?
David Ditchfield 1:02:37
Yeah. Well, social media, you know, I've got an Instagram account and our YouTube channel. But if you want that, but go to my website, I guess, which is called shineonthestory.com. And then you've got all the different things and you can you can stream the first symphony for free on there, the divine light, so you can listen to the music through and look at my paintings on there. And then if you do want to follow me, that's great, because you'll see what's developing, you know, as I say, I've got quite an exciting year, hopefully this this year. So we'll see how that all comes out. You know, I always let people know where I'm at what I'm doing, you know, in the creative process.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:12
David it has been a pleasure talking to you. It's it's been inspiring to hear your story and I hope it inspires others to change their life, drop their fear and, and live life a little bit more authentically and more fully to themselves. So what I do appreciate you my friend, thank you so much.
David Ditchfield 1:03:30
Thank you, Alex.
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