My Story: From Fear to Trust
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Life beyond the box
Healing with horses in Canada
The highlight of my trip was venturing alone into the valley one day to join the herd. I walked calmly into the middle of the herd, sat down and opened a book. Before long, I felt something nudging the back of my head. I turned around to find Picasso, a giant stallion, towering over me. The selfie above was taken a few minutes after our five-minute "embrace" in complete stillness and silence. To connect with an animal so deeply, in the middle of nowhere, was an incredible experience and one of the most touching moments of my life.
That same horse ranch now attracts people from all over the world to healing retreats – all inspired by my visit in 2008! In fact, I returned in 2009 to experience one for myself. Lying on a wooden table in the middle of the paddock while horses, cats and dogs took turns to carry out energy healing work on my body was an experience I will never forget!
This is the essence of life inside the new paradigm. Intuition becomes the standard bearer of experience. The mind is no longer in charge. We listen to and act upon the promptings of our heart, with the mind acting as its faithful servant.
In 2008 I felt an inner calling to work with horses in the Canadian Rockies. This was in spite of me knowing nothing about horses! The horse ranch to which I headed was completely unknown at the time. I stayed in a walled tent surrounded by wild bears and experienced much healing and awakening by connecting with the horses and the land.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
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The collective purpose of humanity is to transmute pain into beauty. No one can escape from facing their pain-body. Not indefinitely. The pain-body is the chrysalis. Breaking through this chrysalis is inevitable. How else is the butterfly (the light-body) to fly?
~ Emma Morriss
Life beyond the box
My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)
In 2011 I closed down my maths tutoring business, packed my bags and boarded a flight to Chicago. I knew nothing about the city and nobody there. I had no idea where I would be staying or what I would be doing there. I simply trusted my heart and intuition to guide me. As a result of this leap of faith, I discovered that every moment of my life could be experienced as a miracle. Because I was in a state of “flow”, I continually found myself in the right place at the right time, meeting and making friends with the right people.
A series of miraculous events led me to discover a revolutionary small school in the suburbs. Students at this radical alternative to conventional school were free to pursue their own interests and passions within the framework of a fully participatory democracy. I was so loved by the students and so deeply touched by the strong sense of community that I ended up volunteering at this school for six months.
I also (completely unexpectedly) launched my professional singing career on the Chicago cabaret scene. Singing “Don't Get Around Much Anymore” at Petterino's, a popular restaurant and cabaret venue in the heart of Chicago's theatre district, accompanied on piano by the inimitable Beckie Menzie, remains one of the highlights of my life. Beckie subsequently accompanied me on my first album, My Kind of Town, which I recorded in Chicago. In 2015 I flew out to perform with the John Burnett Swing Orchestra at FitzGerald's Nightclub.
None of this would have been possible if I had been “thinking” and “goal setting” my way through life. I had no idea that any of this was waiting for me in Chicago when I boarded that plane in 2011. I simply put myself in a state of open receptivity, trusting my Highest Path to unfold before me. I was not disappointed!
Life beyond the box
In pursuit of West End stardom
I was asked by a life coach friend some years ago, "David, if you could do anything with your life, and there was nothing to stop you, what would you do?"
My response: "I'd be playing the role of the Phantom on the West End."
And so began another chapter of my life! At the age of 35, and with no previous formal training in singing, acting or dancing, I defied all the odds by auditioning for and successfully securing a place on a one-year professional musical theatre training course in London. I excelled in all the singing classes and relished the opportunity to improve my acting skills. However, I struggled like crazy with the dancing! I was by far the weakest dancer in the group. Watching me in my black unitard "attempting" to do ballet was not a pretty sight! Sadly, I will never be a Fred Astaire. I cried many tears of frustration due to my dyspraxic tendencies, my inability to point my toes, and the tightness of my hamstrings. However, when I reflect back on that year now, it was the pain and challenges I overcame during the dance and movement sessions from which I benefited the most. Like many people who find themselves on a spiritual path, I was not at all grounded. That year of intensive training pulled me into my body and enhanced my physical stage "presence" in a way nothing else could have done. In hindsight, it was perhaps the overriding (higher) purpose behind that year. I talk about the power of presence on my About page.
I went on to secure representation with a leading West End agent in 2014 and appeared as Mr Welch in a London production of Damn Yankees that same year. I was blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful cast, including the super talented veteran stage actor, Tony Stansfield (pictured with me below left), who was like a father/mentor figure to me.
Although I haven't landed the role of the Phantom (yet), I did have the opportunity to audition in front of the musical supervisor for the worldwide tour of the Phantom of the Opera during my training year, who gave me very positive feedback. Never say never! In 2017 I was honoured to originate the role of Francis Davey (above right) - an equally dark and complex character - in the world premiere of a musical adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn. So much fun!
My experiences in the musical theatre world are a perfect demonstration of my definition of new paradigm education: "the pursuit of passion". I share these experiences with children as inspiration to pursue their own dreams and passions - no matter how "impossible" they may seem.