The Leaf

I am a leaf, a single solitary leaf connected to my mother. She is a mighty Oak tree, so strong and wise. I love her, and she loves me. I am surrounded by my brothers and sisters, and they all love our mother, and she loves them. We all love each other, and there is a connectedness between us so pure and eternal. I would like to tell you a story of how I came to be, and the wise words my mother told me before I sprouted from my slumber. 

“One day soon you will begin to wake up, and feel the warm rays of sun dancing on your skin”, she said, her voice so strong and soothing. 

“Your journey will be a unique one because you are unique, dear one. In all of time and space, you are one of a kind. So, I want to share some advice with you. Never compare yourself to your brothers and sisters, or the neighbouring trees, or anything in your life, because you have no need to. You are who you are and you are loved.”

These words were like soft waves of bliss opening me up. I could feel a pulsating energy within me beginning to rise, a feeling of clear consciousness starting to elevate itself from a dreamy sleep. 

"Your journey for this life will be like this: you will start your life as a little bud, my little bud, and you will feel the warm rays of sunshine kissing your skin and the rain from the sky will provide all the water you desire. You will never want for anything because you are connected to me, and I am connected to everything.”

“You will begin to grow and you will invite other creations of life into your experience. Some of these experiences may seem challenging, but know that this is all perfect. There is a grand interconnectedness to life, and your point within this web of life is a divine gift to the whole of creation. Never forget this, little bud”

“There are times when you may feel threatened, but know that, ultimately, you are safe because you are connected to me, and I am connected to everything.”

“There will come a time, as you grow, when your skin has been kissed so many times by the sun, that you will begin to feel changes in yourself. You will change. This is certain. These are natural steps in your journey, and must be embraced, because to resist these changes will only make you sad. And you don’t want to be sad, do you? Change is a necessary part of life, and it is a beautiful experience, if you allow it to be”

“One day, your connection to my branches will become so weak that you will begin to shake, and fall to the ground. This too is necessary. But not something to fear. It is to be embraced. But know this, little bud, you will always be safe, because you are connected to me and I am connected to everything. You will come to know that you are more than a leaf. Who you are is beyond this world, beyond all change and experience. You will know this one day” 

“So, my darling bud, be the best bud you can be. Do not compare yourself with your brothers and sisters. They have their own journeys. They are unique strands in the web of life, just like you. Be radiant, and welcoming, and give yourself to this beautiful creation we call life. And know that when it is time for you to fall from my branches, you will never be alone. You will rejoin me, in our connectedness to all things, and we will sing and dance, and celebrate our experiences of being alive.”

I began to wake up at that point in the dream, my heart so full of excitement and anticipation. I couldn’t wait to begin my journey as the leaf on the branches of my mother. 

That was many moons ago, and what a journey it has been. I have danced in the wind with my brothers and sisters, singing songs to the birds flying by. I have had a beautiful life, a safe life, a life of complexity, and simplicity, and I have been graced with such gifts that I can only say “thank you, mother, for giving me life”

Now, my time has come to fall to the ground. I have no regrets. I have embraced the changing seasons of life, and I have welcomed everything into my experience. I have had a beautiful life, and I know that this is not the end. My mother told me, as I lay asleep, many moons ago, that I would still feel the connectedness to all things. I have no fear. I am alive and even though my life as a leaf is coming to an end, I will always be alive, for I am connected to my mother and she is connected to everything.

Copyright © David Rabone Feb 7th 2017
 

Stop trying so hard to BE YOUR SELF

It's funny isn't it? Actually, I would say that it's hilariously sad, the way we try so hard to find our uniqueness in this world by copying others. I've done it. You've done it. We all do it. Don't get me wrong. It's great to be inspired by others, by their spirit, their endeavours, their accolades. But that was them. That was their path. So where does the modelling stop? When does the following end?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of trying to be someone else. I'll tell you a short story; something that happened to me last week. I was working quite a lot in the pharmacy, and on my day off, days that I dedicate to my healing and coaching work, I was frazzled, beat. In fact, I was frazzling and beating myself up. Thoughts like ' when will I ever change my life' or ' I need to stop working so that I can be who I really am' to ' How can i truly be authentic?' were weighing me down. This was torturous. I was in serious emotional trouble. I was angry - in fact, I was furious - and so I decided I was going to STOP. I have done this on other occasions, just STOPPING, and it has yielded such great exposure to a deep sense of peace, a belonging to the mysterious love of the Universe. And it has always felt like home, safe, loving and perfect. 

So, I thought, let's STOP. `And so I did.  

I sequestered myself in my room, meditating for four hours, give or take a few minutes. In these hours, I re-aquainted myself with the honourable feelings of peace, stillness and the deepest acceptance of being exactly where I was, who I was, and do you know what?  It was all okay. All the feelings of being a failure evaporated. I felt free. I felt alive. You see, I had removed my awareness from the surface of my mind, where I struggle to survive the onslaught of conditioning and experiences that would have me believe that I AM NOT ENOUGH. But in the depths of my mind, where I bathed in the still waters of peace and stillness, I knew that I AM ENOUGH. This is a truth that can never be taken away, only covered up by the incessant mind-chatter, echoing years of conditioning, and basically... shit. 

And so I brought these feelings of ENOUGHNESS back to the surface of my mind, to my waking life, and allowed everything to percolate, to fizz and crackle and just be as it is. 

Within 36 hours I was guided to the work of Caroline McHugh, whose individual uniqueness mirrored exactly what I, and probably you, have been searching for all of this life. To BE MY SELF.

This has been a beautiful reminder to STOP believing all the nonsense I have been telling myself, to dive into the peace and stillness present behind every breath and within every moment, so that I can meet myself, as I AM, without an overcoating of shame, guilt and unworthiness, Just overflowing with life, with acceptance and joy. 

These are just words, of course, and do not really convey the experience as it was. But they are a pointer, a beautiful reminder to STOP trying so hard to be my self.  

david rabone healer


Exposing the Shadow

This is another of my assignments from the wonderful spiritual writing course I did with Mark Matousek earlier this year. This was a challenging experience, as I had to dig deep into the past to revivify old traits and trauma, to bring them into the light for resolution and healing. Like drawing poison to the surface, this was a deeply painfully cathartic experience, but well worth the effort. 

 

Exposing the Shadow

“Oh yes, I’m the great pretender, 

Pretending that I’m doing well,

My need is such, I pretend too much, 

I’m lonely but no-one can tell”

 

These song lyrics came bursting into my awareness last night. I was lying in the bath, surrounded by candles, watching their flames cast shadows on the bathroom walls, and there was a resounding self-acknowledgment that I have been a pretender most of my life, an avoider, an addict craving the ultimate fix, in the hope that the next hit will destroy all feelings of unworthiness and pitiful rejection, that it will kill the pain of sadness and despair. Is it any wonder that I am exhausted?  

 

I have used so many tricks to prevent myself from truly feeling what was desiring to be felt. I made these feelings the enemy, treating them like terrorists that should not be allowed the light of day, and so it has been a constant battle to segregate these demons in a dark shadowland where they can rot and disappear. Of course, this is a futile attempt to escape the reality of my life. I now know that life desires balance. Eventually this balance must be met and the time for allowing these terrorising demons to be met is here and now. The next thirty years of my life can’t be like the last thirty years, where I have employed distractions, addictions and self-destructive ploys to abate these deep feelings of being just not enough.

 

Life will have balance. The yin and yang, the light and shadow, the ups and downs all must meet in the sanctuary of presence. It is only now, in my forty fourth year of life that I can allow this to happen. Ever since I received and accepted the invitation to stop, I have come to accept the dualistic dance of life, and I have come to know myself more deeply as the one who is watching the dance. Don’t get me wrong, I still oscillate between acceptance and resistance, between lying and telling the truth, but I can now find my way back to a space of peace and equanimity, not hiding from the pain but allowing it to rest where it is, where I am. But I wasn’t always like this. 

 

I was very clever at hiding from the shadow, playing hide and seek with myself for many years. Ever since my childhood , I have bounced from one addiction to another, from academic competitiveness to overeating, from one demoralising relationship to another, from the profane to the sublime in the hope that no-one would see the frightened child within, the unworthy piece of shit that I believed myself to be. Maybe even now, I am holding myself back from truly expressing my potential, for fear that I may not be good enough. How exhausting!

 

As I look back over my life story, I can see the perfection of the intelligence of life, this genius of fate that only wants us to feel loved, to feel balanced. It is homeostasis on a grand scale. All the dark, unwanted expressions of myself, relegated to the lower divisions of my psyche, hidden from view have always found a way to meet the light, to be accepted and loved. Of course, when they have appeared, I have sounded the battle cry and started fighting, resisting, creating distractions, trying to numb the pain, for fear that I may be consumed, or even worse, show the world that I am just not enough.

 

In writing these words, I know that I am only scratching the surface. I remember describing my sense of un-fulfilment as an itch that could never be scratched. Well, I am scratching away, in the hope that what will be revealed will be fully allowed, accepted and loved. That is all I desire.

 

Since I started my spiritual seeking the shadow has become more distinct, more pronounced, louder and more apparent, and so the energy required to keep it out of the light is greater. Every attempt to resist what is appearing in me at any given point is futile, because it will never stop. Life will have balance eventually. 

 

Why wait? I have waited long enough. 

Thoughts without a Thinker

This piece was another of my assignments from the spiritual writing course I attended. The topic was thought and how it can keep us tied to the stories of our life, like never-ending narratives playing on a loop, grinding us down, so that we forget the shimmering being  we truly are. What I have discovered is that beneath incessant thinking lies mystery, a peace beyond words, a knowing that everything is just fine, a healing salve that soothes all that requires it. I hope you enjoy it, and maybe recognise yourself within these words. 

Here it is: 

 

I want to be perfect. I need to be perfect. I want to let everyone know that I am the best. I just have to be the best. That way, no-one will see my imperfections, the deep scars that betray the angelic face in the photos on the mantlepiece. I just have to be the best. That way I can relax knowing that I will be safe and secure. And at last I will be accepted, and loved and respected. And people will say, “that David is so special” 

 

From the traumatic experiences of my childhood, I have created so many roles for myself. So many lines to remember. So many scenes I must perfect. If God is giving out spiritual oscars, I want one. In fact, I want them all. I have to feel loved, accepted and respected, and so I carry on, recreating myself in the image of my desires. I have to feel loved, because there is such a deep wound of shame that I can never face . I must have deserved it. I must be so bad because bad things only happen to bad people.  And so I carry on with these thought processes, perfecting the image of the wounded child, the spiritual seeker, the perfect avoider never allowing myself to truly feel the pain. My thoughts hijack me. I am a prisoner. I am being hunted and my thoughts are the predators. 

 

But I so want to be loved, because I deserve it. Because, everything is love. God is love, and I am an expression of this divinity. So how could I ever be unlovable? And so on it goes, ad finitum. I feel exhausted. I can’t stop thinking. But I must. My thoughts swing, like a pendulum, from the sublime to the profane, from the pure to the putrid, and I follow that eternal swing, allowing these thoughts to define me. It’s like I’m made of velcro, a sticky little spot on the planet, a beacon for every thought. Will it ever stop? Will the pendulum ever stop swinging so that I can at last find some peace. Will I ever be at peace? Will this ever stop? I am so tired. God, please help me. 

 

It’s a beautiful sunny weekend in August, 2013. I have the weekend off work, and it’s a great opportunity to perfect my website. It’s really not that good - pretty amateur to be honest - and who wants to work with an amateur, right? I waste the hours Saturday graces me with, easily finding something to distract my mind. This is so bitter-sweet for the wounded little boy within me. All these distractions. No-one will see how mediocre and unworthy I really am. So many thoughts. So many self-judgements and opinions. But I can keep myself safe while I am invisible. 

 

Sunday morning has arrived, and I wake up feeling like this is the day I can really shine. I can finally get something creative and worthy out there. But very quickly thoughts and feelings of insecurity take up residence in my mind. And then it happens. A voice, an instruction, guidance. 

 

STOP! TODAY, JUST STOP AND DO NOTHING!

 

For some reason, I know I must pay attention to this voice. It is the same voice that saved my life a few years before (but this is another story). I recognise the voice and I trust it, and so I stop. Actually, I apply the brakes, and stop slowly. I go onto YouTube and I find my favourite meditation, and for ten minutes I relax, but it’s just not giving me the relief it normally does. I have an internal itch impossible to find, never mind scratch. I then glance to the left of the page, and I find videos of Gangaji, a wonderful spiritual teacher from the States. I have heard about this woman before but never really experienced her work. And so I begin to watch. And listen. And fixate on everything she’s saying. Her teaching is nothing knew to me. But this time it’s different. Maybe I’m different somehow. I watch, listen and absorb her transmission for five hours, and I feel so relaxed. I hear that her teacher, Papaji, told her to STOP, and DO NOTHING. I shiver at this, knowing that I have been guided to this same message. I feel different. I notice that my mind has quietened all by itself. I am fully aware of a palpable stillness all around me, and within me. I feel joy, a peace so beautiful that all I can do is laugh and smile. I have had beautiful spiritual experiences before, but they never last. Oh, how I want this to last. 

 

The week passes by so beautifully. I am wrapped in a blanket of love. The world is soft, and all I feel is joy. Unconditional, not desired or begged for. Somehow I recognise that this unspeakable peace has always been there, and I realise that I have been hiding from it, barricaded behind the incessant activity of my seeking mind. I am aware of thoughts coming to me thick and fast, and I have emotional eruptions all over the place, but I am untouched by them all. I am experiencing the witness consciousness that I have read about. My work colleagues joke that I am losing my mind. I laugh, because it feels true. Even the ground I walk on feels soft. Life has become a haven of velvety soft richness. This is me. This is who I am. I float through the week, wanting nothing, my mind at peace, my heart so full of joy. I have arrived. 

 

And then it happens. My destination disappears, and I feel lost. I try to recreate the velvety soft richness from memory, but it is lost to me. I try to create the role of the arrived peaceful soul. But it’s all in vain. What a beautiful graceful week. What a teaching. 

 

Today, my thoughts still swing from the profane to the sublime, from the putrid to the pure and yet I know that it is all okay. Behind, between and within the thoughts I know that I am free and I am loved and I can access these familiar states of grace almost at will. When the waves of life come crashing on my shores, I can take comfort in the knowing that I am enough to receive them all, no matter what they are. And this is enough for the little boy who thought he wasn’t enough.

A Question of Faith

A few months ago I was taking a spiritual writing class; six weeks of delving into my life story, my spiritual beliefs and attitudes. This was an enlightening experience for me, and I would like to share one of my assignments with you. I hope that you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

 

 

Be Still and Know That I AM God

 

These words are written on a clock on my living room wall. I’ve never paid this little clock any real attention before, and I find myself gazing at it, allowing my mind to fall back into itself, into the soft velvety richness of my heart. The clock battery has died, I notice, and the hands no longer move. It’s like time has stood still. I smile at the irony of the message, and wonder what the clockmaker believed. Was he inviting us to take the time to be still, to stop and allow ourselves to allow the mystery of God to declare its presence? Was he reaching out to us in the hope that the clock would stop at the perfect moment, encouraging us to be still enough to know that we are GOD? 

 

I honestly don’t know. 

 

I honestly don’t know what God is. I have found this assignment to be a huge pain in my a** and, for that, I am grateful. It has allowed me to really look at myself, highlighting the strategies I have adopted to deal with life. I have been an avoider. I have been a seeker, always searching for the perfect healing to remove my deep sense of loss and unworthiness. I have been chasing the light, and avoiding the shadow, always looking for some kind of salvation in a future utopian idea of love, light and divinity. I have been hijacked by my beliefs, deeply entrenched in the war-game of duality, never allowing myself to feel the deep pain of loss. I have hidden behind the idea of spirituality, of enlightenment, projecting myself into a future scenario where God will be my salvation. I’m exhausted by all of this. I want to be free. 

 

I have had many beautiful spiritual experiences in my life, ranging from a ‘peace that passeth understanding’ to unimaginable joy. They have all reminded me that there is a deeply profound mystery that enfolds us all. These wonderful sign-posts have been an invitation to realise a greater truth, and for moments, even days and weeks, I have opened up, and God has claimed me. But like all experiences, they come and go, leaving me with a hunger, a desire for more. Then my mind comes in, strategising, creating beliefs that I can hide behind, creating a belief that tells me that everything will be wonderful. And deep in my heart, I know that it will be wonderful, because we have never left this state of wonder. My heart knows this. My mind tries to believe it. And this is where my tiredness comes in. Many strategies later, I know it is time to stop. I know that the clock on the wall is reminding me of a greater truth. I know that the voice in my heart telling me to stop is real. I know that I am tired of chasing the light. 

 

I have faith in being still. Ever since my experience with Gangaji, I have come to know that when the mind is quiesced, the heart is allowed the freedom to open, unencumbered by ideas of right or wrong. When the mind is quiet, there is nowhere to hide. In this naked vulnerability, there is freedom. No running towards the light,  nor escaping the shadow. It is real, and it is peaceful beyond measure. This is where I now place my faith, because it is my doorway to the deep mystery we call God.

 

My desire from now on is to be honest with myself. Sometimes I will fall short of this, and this is okay. I no longer want to hide behind beliefs, second-hand stories of how I should or shouldn't live my life, or behind ideas of spirituality or God. I want to embrace the richness of my existence, the light and the shadow, the self-love and the self-hatred, every wave of emotion and thought that passes through me. Maybe each of these waves will be a portal to the mysterious joy of being, an open door with a sign that says ‘Welcome Home”. I have been the avoider for far too long, playing the game of the wounded child and the spiritual seeker. It is time to embrace everything, every fluctuating wave of delight and despair. I know that I am enough to contain it all. Chasing the light, in search of perfection, all the while carrying a lifetime of shadow behind me. It is time to stop.

 

I was going to stop at this point, but a beautiful quote from Rumi has come to mind.

 

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,

 There is a field.

 I’ll meet you there.

 

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about”

Welcome Video

After a few days of gathering images, finding inspiration when I felt it had deserted me, and trying to work iMovie on my computer, I have finally finished my short intro video for the website. You can see it at www.davidrabone.com/welcome, or here: 

I have embedded healing energy into the video, so if you feel like a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, just turn it on and enjoy.

Till next time....

Closing Doors

I recently experienced a week of beautiful healing energy in Turkey. I was attending a Light Grids workshop, facilitated by my friend, Damien Wynne (www.damien-wynne.de). Having studied this beautiful healing technique for many years, I was excited to be in its embrace once again. Deep down, I knew that it would be a powerful experience for me, that it would enable me to close some doors to the past and move forward in life, opening myself to greater possibilities. And this is what happened. 

Sometimes we can carry old flames in our hearts, remnants of ancient memories clinging to us for remembrance and recognition, begging for our attention to let go. Holding on can prevent us from living in the moment, from truly being who we are, and stopping us from moving forward in life.

On this wonderful retreat, I let that old flame dance its last dance. Witnessing the closure of this old story was a freeing experience for me, and I have to thank Damien and the wonderful work he does for providing the space for this letting go. 

So, where in life are you holding on to some faint hope, a promise that life and love will bend to your will? This week in Turkey was a pure experience of letting go. It was a reminder that by holding onto old dreams, new possibilities don't have the space to make themselves known.

I have learnt and continue to learn that closing doors to the past allows new doors of opportunity to open. This, for me, is a joyful letting go of old identity. This, for me, is an opening of the heart and mind to new adventures, new vistas of experience. And as I write these last words, I truly feel that change is in the air, and I can feel it passing through me as it brings new opportunities to my door. All I need to do is wait, be present, still and then open these new doors. What awaits me on the other side God knows, but I am willing to be surprised. 

 

Gratitude

I will start my blog with a declaration of gratitude. I want to thank everyone and every life experience that has brought me to this very moment. 

A few weeks ago, I turned up at Melanie Lewis's B&B at Lochearnhead, Scotland (www.westerauchrawcroft.com) for a photo shoot. I have known Melanie for a few years and I'm so fond of her quirkiness, her joy and laughter, and her ability to just be out there. And of course, I am in love with her photography. So when she agreed to take some photos of me, I jumped at the chance. 

When I got there, and after a cup of coffee, we jumped in her 4x4 and ascended up a very narrow path into the hills. As we laughed nervously brushing through the terrain, I knew I was going to experience something challenging. It was. But it was lovely. The energy was so still as we got comfortable in our respective roles of model and photographer. 

I'm not used to getting photos taken and, as I was tired and dehydrated, I thought I would end up looking less than totally amazing. 

After the hills we descended to the loch, where I was to walk barefoot in icy cold Scottish waters. It was so much fun, shivering, wondering if I was going to fall face first into the peaty shallows. Fortunately, I didn't.

We then went to Melanie's home, where we got more into the swing of it, relaxing more and more. In her renovated Croft, we managed to take quite a few beautiful shots. I have really deep set eyes, but Melanie was able to capture them. For that, I think she is a miracle worker. 

So, all in all, my photo shoot was a success. Was I overly critical of my modelling abilities? Absolutely. Was I impressed by Melanie's beautiful and unique take on the day? Absolutely. Am I grateful for the lovely shots taken? Absolutely. 

Ok, first blog post over and done with. 

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