Is there life after death? This is life’s greatest question. It is one that everybody asks and only a few get to answer. That’s why today is a special episode because I am interviewing someone who has a first-hand answer to this question! Today on The Ed Mylett Show I had an incredible conversation with the awe-inspiring David Ditchfield. After reading his book, Shine On, I sought him out because I just had to talk to him about the topic that everyone has thought about even more than we realize — life after death. Whether you are a person of faith, a person of science, or somewhere in between, every single one of us has wondered, “What will happen to me after I die?” When David was tragically dragged under a speeding train which left him in a critical fight for his life, he was able to find an answer to this question. While doctors fought to save him, David had a vivid near-death experience and a rare glimpse of what happens to us when our lives are coming to an end. In this interview, David describes his MIRACULOUS experience from start to finish in VIVID detail. My favorite part of the story is that it leaves mystery and room for anybody of faith to continue to believe what they hold to be true! That’s the beautiful part of this conversation As a Christian, it’s just reaffirmed many of the things that I believe to be true. Regardless of your religion, there is enough here to let you know that there is a God without getting specific enough to violate any religious traditions. The only reason we get to hear this story is because David lived! He returned from the afterlife with unbelievable new talents, and a new PERSPECTIVE on his once, out-of-place life. David is living proof that although our bodies may be finite, our spirit is eternal. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this interview will move you to your core. You can’t afford to miss this SOUL-SHAKING interview, so let’s dive in!
Growing up in the village of Bromsgrove in England, David Ditchfield felt like he never fit in. After his undiagnosed dyslexia left him struggling to read and write, he left school without any qualifications and started doing manual work on construction sites. However, he struggled to do the work and never felt like he could get it right. Although he grew up with two Christian parents, David never endorsed religion and stayed out of church as a child. He eventually drifted into a spiral of hopelessness, feeling like his life was empty and directionless. But everything changed when the accident happened. In 2006, David was dragged under the wheels of a speeding train in a freak accident. In the hospital afterward, he had an amazing near-death experience, or “NDE”, that transformed his entire life. After he miraculously recovered from the accident, David was inspired to live his life with PASSION and PURPOSE. He also experienced the onset of new musical and artistic talent that he had never been capable of achieving before the NDE! Although David never received any training in classical music and to this day cannot read or write a single note of musical notation, he has now composed several unbelievable symphonies! Since his NDE, he has completed over 30 paintings and has also premiered at sell-out orchestral performances. David has also written a book about his experience, Shine On, which is what inspired me to have a conversation with him today! Although there are hundreds of NDEs that are out there, I chose David’s specifically because he expresses himself in such a beautiful, unique way, and his story leaves a sense of mystery that allows people to hold onto their faith. I’m so excited to share David’s TRANSFORMATIVE story with you today!
Before talking about David’s experience with the afterlife, I asked him to share the story of his accident. The details are harrowing, and it’s honestly mindblowing that he is alive! It all began when he was seeing his friend Anna off at the train station. As David helped her load her bags onto the train and said goodbye with a hug, the emergency buzzer started to sound. He stepped back quickly, but the bottom part of his coat became trapped in the closing doors! David tugged as hard as he could and screamed for help, but the coat did not budge and no one could hear him:
“The engine started to rev up. I was looking into the eyes of my friend, Anna, and I just saw sheer terror looking back at me. So I thought, ‘This is it. I’m going to die.’ … The train pulled out at tremendous speed. I heard every gear shifting, and I lost my footing. Eventually, … I got sucked between the edge of the platform and the speeding train itself, and down I went … I was pulled down into the gates of hell … and I was just tossed around like a ragdoll.” - David Ditchfield
Guys, can you imagine the terror of experiencing this? David was fully conscious the entire time as he was thrown to the ground BENEATH THE TRACKS and the train continued to rush above his head. Surprisingly, David knew exactly what to do once he was on the ground. He protected the back of his head by keeping his face pressed into the gravel and relaxed his entire body to avoid getting struck by the underside of the train:
“My mind went into survival mode … I went into fight mode and decided that I was going to beat this thing. It was odd. It felt like this speeding train suddenly turned into this big mechanical monster. And I felt like it was just me against this huge machine. … But I just kept fighting, and I just kept my head together as much as I possibly could.” - David Ditchfield
Staying smart while under the train probably saved his life. But by the time David was finally pulled off the tracks and taken to the hospital, he had lost a lot of blood. As doctors sounded frantic and the situation looked bleak, he was feeling intense pain and anxiety. That is, until he wasn’t. Suddenly, David slipped into another place and felt calm and peaceful. That’s when his afterlife experience began.
As David lingered on the verge of life and death, he found himself in what he thought was a darkened room:
“It wasn’t a foreboding dark. It was actually a very comfortable place. I looked around me to see what was going on. And when I looked around, I saw these beautiful orbs of colors that were slowly pulsating all around me. And it kept me calm. I felt very relaxed, but I figured at that point that I had died.” - David Ditchfield
Instead of feeling afraid and anxious, David felt peaceful. He was no longer lying on a hospital bed but instead found himself on a huge rock made of slate. As he looked up, he saw pure white lights closing in on him and felt the presence of another being:
“I lifted my head and there was this person, an androgynous being … with just pure white blonde hair and skin that was glowing from within, … and I felt like I’d known this being for a long time. … He or she just kept smiling back at me, and I felt like I was safe and I was being protected by this being.” - David Ditchfield.
After the first Being came into vision, two more female forms joined David and raised their hands above his body to begin a process that felt like the healing of his soul. His physical wounds were no longer present, but something else was missing too — David’s past emotional wounds had disappeared. David suddenly felt like all of his struggling, feelings of failure, and guilt were lifted from him in this beautiful, ethereal place between worlds. He could not feel fear but instead only sensed an intense energy of love. What came next was hauntingly beautiful. David saw a huge tunnel of white light closing in on him, surrounded by a circle of dramatic flames that was slowly rotating. Instead of fear, he felt excitement and awe. The energy emanating from the white light was a powerful feeling of love:
“I felt like every molecule in my body was almost like vibrating with this feeling of love. … It was like all the different expressions of love I’d had in my life, whether it was through my parents, my siblings, my lovers, or even my pet cat. It was all those different types of love condensed into one. … I just knew at this point that what I was staring at was the source of all creation. You know, this was God.” - David Ditchfield
I can’t imagine a more incredible and unique experience to have. At this point, David came back to awareness of the hospital room, and the question of “what happens next?” still remains a mystery. David mentioned that he didn’t feel like he was in heaven, but instead had the sense that he was being prepared for the next stage, almost like a departure landing. After coming out of this experience, David’s life was completely transformed in almost every way. He knew that he had to come back and relay what he saw through different forms of art and music, so that’s exactly what he did.
We all have defining moments in our lives, whether they are big or small. A defining moment could be meeting somebody that changes your life, leaving a career, or starting a business. David’s defining moment during his NDE was extreme, and it completely changed his perspective on life. His feelings of worthlessness were replaced by a feeling of purpose:
“A lot of people said, ‘Oh, you must've been disappointed that you came back.’ But I wasn't because I was so charged with all this energy that I had been given from the other side. I felt connected to it. And I just thought, ‘Why have they sent me back? What's my mission? … How am I going to tell the world about this?’ And I was scared at that point I was going to forget it all.” - David Ditchfield
But he didn’t forget anything. Instead, he shared his experience through his incredible newfound skills of painting and music, creating otherworldly masterpieces that told his story. Along with his story, David shared a message about death:
“We don’t really talk about death in Western civilization. … I’m not saying we should be discussing it every day over our morning coffee, but we address everything else like birth, marriage, and taking a driving test. So we should at least stop and think about what’s going to happen because it’s going to happen to us all at some point.” - David Ditchfield
Guys, I completely agree with David here. I have a philosophy that we don’t talk about death, but we are in constant thought about it. This is because our soul is being called in a particular direction all the time. I believe that those who live conscious and intentional lives are constantly thinking about two things that they are unaware of: their childhood and their death. These are the things that cause the emotions that we feel so strongly throughout our lives. We are constantly called to these places. And it is so important to think about them, so we can live with INTENTION and PERSPECTIVE. David’s experience gave him an entirely new perspective on death, living, and the soul:
“The soul is far too powerful a thing just to suddenly switch off like a light when we die. Bodies stop and then decay, but I believe that the soul is so powerful that it continues on.” - David Ditchfield
I love that. David has such a beautiful soul, and his story gives hope and comfort about what is on the other side of the veil.
Guys, I hope that you got so much value out of hearing David’s incredible story. Be sure to check out the rest of the episode for so many more fascinating details about his near-death experience and how it changed his life. If you are here, I know you are trying to live INTENTIONALLY. You feel emotions deeply. You want to win, and you want to dream. You want to achieve and CONTRIBUTE. You want to make a DIFFERENCE. I asked David what his final advice to you would be:
“Be authentic to yourself. Self-love — that's what I learned from the other side. I didn't have that throughout my whole life, and once I'd learned self-love, then I got self-confidence and self-belief. Then, I realized that whatever I do now is completely authentic to me.” - David Ditchfield
That’s such a great reminder. If you want to learn more about David’s experience, I highly recommend getting his book!You can also connect with him on his website. And if you were impacted by this episode, please share it on Instagram and tag me, @Edmylett, and David, @david_ditchfield, with your greatest takeaways. As always, don't forget to participate in my two-minute drill! I make a post every day, and those of you who comment within two minutes will have a chance to win a variety of awesome prizes, including a coaching session, #MAXOUT gear, and a copy of my book. Also, make sure to check out the show on the different platforms we're using. If you're a listener, check out video versions of the episodes on YouTube, and if you're not already subscribed to the podcast, make sure to subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Remember, as you #MAXOUT your life and your impact, never forget to be true to who you are at your core. As David learned first hand, life is too short to be anything else.