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I was named Rachel, after the Biblical Rachel who was Jacob's wife, described as being "beautiful in form and countenance". I never managed to view myself that way, more fitting seemed to be the description, “She can and will take many hits in her life, like she's made of metal and is invincible, but she really does have a kind heart and is a huge softy.” (Urban Dictionary)
I am one of the co-creators of the Living Light Essences and creator of the Living Light Rainbow Essences, and this is the story of my journey related to how the Living Light Essences came into being…
We are the sum of our journey, and as many stories of such journeys often begin, something in one’s life triggers a need to take a different path, like the one in Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’.
"…I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
I was born in India and spent my childhood living 7000 ft (2,100 metres) up in the foothills of the Himalaya at Woodstock School, an international boarding school founded in 1854 in Landour, Mussoorie (Queen of the Snows), Uttarakhand. Those early years had a significant impact on my life. My classmates came from many different countries, backgrounds and spiritual traditions. There were 32 of us at graduation, and we still get together, arriving from various parts of the globe to catch up and enjoy each others company.
Living in the mountains with the sweeping Indian plains below and the high हिमालय (Himalaya) above also gave me a deep sense of connection with nature and I often wondered what might be ‘the Source’ that created the amazing wonders of nature I observed on a daily basis – the mountains, the colourful Himalayan birds, butterflies, insects, rhododendron trees, wild dahlias, orchids and ferns, the deodars…and leaches.
I learned early on that ‘perspective’ has a great influence on attitudes, behaviour and beliefs. What an Indian villager sitting around the central banyan tree of an evening smoking his hookah, a Hindu sadhu wandering half naked with his trident and bowl, a Muslim rolling out his prayer mat upon hearing the call to prayer, or a Jain carefully walking avoiding the possible destruction of any insect life might believe to be ‘true’ was in many ways quite different from what a group of western Christians in church on a Sunday morning might believe to be ‘true’. Each followed the experiences their family, community, culture and norms taught them. It led to many questions about what was ‘right’, and actually whether there was a ‘right’ at all.
Questions about ‘Light”, which I equate with ‘Love’, and ‘dark’ seemed to pop up in my life continually, although it was only later that I came to recognise this pattern. Living in India, a country where spirituality is very openly a central part of life, exposed me to many of the world’s great spiritual traditions. My own parents were Christian missionaries in India, working in the field of technical education helping many young people, who initially had failed high school and lost hope, learn skills and a trade so that they could become meaningful citizens. Fortunately, they didn’t push their beliefs onto their children, but we were exposed to many of the tenants of Christianity. As a child, Sunday school was a regular part of my life, as was singing. Perhaps no surprise is that my favourite Sunday school song was ‘This Little Light of Mine’. Sometimes the words of children have significant depth in their simplicity. Letting one’s light shine is often the greatest challenge of one’s life:
This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
…Let it shine, let it shine all the time,
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I'm going to let it shine
…Let it shine, let it shine, all the time.
~ Harry Dixon Loes
Occasionally, in one’s life an event happens that is sometimes unexplainable and/or unforgettable. While walking home alone from school down a mountain path one day at the age of 13, I was suddenly ‘asked’ out of the blue, if I had ‘made up my mind’ – to live in the ‘dark’ or the ‘Light/Love’. Surprise and knowing registered at the same time, even though I wasn’t consciously ‘into’ such things.
That same year, the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet and the Indian government provided him with a home in the same town up in the Himalayas as my boarding school. He came to visit several times, and students from our school were honoured with personal audiences with him at his home in Happy Valley. On the occasion of his first visit to our school, His Holiness was brought into my Home Economics class. He came up to me and asked, through his interpreter, what I was cooking, took my spoon and stirred, all the while laughing. His spirit of joy was quite profound, and I was amazed that someone who had just lost everything could still be filled with such joy and happiness. Being in the presence of that joy was a ‘gift’. Gifts are given to us sometimes so that in darker times we can remember them in our hearts and find our way back to the Light.
The theme of ‘Light’ continued… While studying at university in the U.S. I unconsciously chose to write a paper on Mithraism, not knowing that it was about an ancient Indo-Iranian religion where Mithras was the ‘god of light’, friendship, contract and order. Later, when completing my studies in history and education at the University of Liverpool, in England, I was assigned as my dissertation topic, Albigensian heresy in southern France, the Cathars, also a religion of ‘Light’.
My early studies and interest in medieval history led me to further reading about the Templars, the Celts, Egyptian and ancient mythologies, ‘alchemy’, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, sacred geometry… A chance meeting with a Canadian couple while living in Mexico, introduced me to the works of Edgar Cayce, and later to the works of Immanuel Velikovsky, and ‘forbidden’ archaeology and history…and many ‘things unusual’.
After living and teaching in the U.K. for several years, I emigrated to Canada with my husband and two children, Fred and Kirstin, where I have lived since 1977. At the age of forty, I gave up teaching and returned to university, where I completed the necessary training to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I went on to work in a Health Unit with preschool children and then later with school-aged children in the school system. I ‘retired’ at the end of 2013, having spent forty some years working with children, their parents and teachers.
Things happen in our lives from time to time that shape us and our future. Positive and negative experiences leave their mark and challenges, especially if they happen very early. They can shape the ‘lenses’ we look through, our actual physiology, our beliefs about ourselves, how we view and interact with others, and how we live out our lives. Early trauma can bring on health issues and many other issues related to self-esteem and one’s view of the world, and one’s place in it. When we ‘resonate’ at a certain frequency, we can unconsciously open ourselves up to or attract matching frequencies. It sometimes takes a crisis to bring things to conscious awareness providing us with a doorway to or the option of making changes in our lives.
Life had been challenging for many years, as significant health issues beginning in India increased in severity. The ‘crash’ happened in 1983, and lasted for several years, until another one of those seemingly ‘unexplainable’ events happened; an event that suddenly changed my life and steered me in a totally new direction. Part of that experience was that I finally ‘admitted’ to an aspect of myself that I was where I was in my life ‘because I didn’t want to take responsibility for my own life.’
Shortly after that an early childhood kundalini experience resurfaced, making life somewhat challenging, as I attempted to come to terms with suddenly being a ‘sensitive’ -- clairsentient, clairaudient, sometimes clairvoyant, an empath and healer, and how I could balance that with my ‘normal’ everyday life as a mother and Speech-Language Pathologist. Seeing ‘visions’ and being able to ‘read’ people’s energies didn’t exactly fit in with things! I wondered sometimes if I was nuts…
These two rather unsettling events led to a healing journey that brought me to looking at life from a more ‘wholistic’ and ‘energy’ viewpoint. They led me to several unusual ‘healers’, who taught me a great deal about the causes of illness, and how to accept and acquire health and wellness; things that have altered the way I think about life and well-being.
They say that when a pupil is ready, a teacher or friend will appear. When my daughter was in Grade One I met Judy MacLeod, who became a life-long friend and teacher, and introduced me to a new way of viewing life. We enjoyed many a cup of tea while experimenting with different modalities of healing, playing with ways of using essences, and engaging in discussions about life, energy and healing. Judy is what one would call a 'life-long' learner, always looking for and using new modalities to help others on their journey through life.
Another of those special people was a gifted chiropractor, George DeWit, who was introduced to me by Judy. In his healing work George used a form of kinesiology first developed by Dr. Goodheart, and combined that with chiropractic, homeopathy, supplements and flower essences. It was my first introduction to these types of things. His work changed my life and saved it, as I was on my way 'off planet' at that time. It was also George who first tested out the Living Light Essences and said 'they worked'...totally freaking me out!
At one point I recall telling George that I wasn’t one of those people who continually wanted to be ‘fixed’, but needed to take a greater part in my healing, and asked what he recommended. He looked straight at me, smiled and said, “Get someone to help you with your attitudes!” And so…I did. It was the beginning of another journey into self. Our well-being isn’t just about our physical health, it’s also about our social, emotional, mental and spiritual ‘health’. When we learn to take responsibility for our own journey through life – our health and well-being, things change.
Again, when the need arises and the timing is right, the universe or perhaps ourselves bring people into our lives for a purpose. Telea Juna, a very gifted life transformational consultant, natural intuitive and energy healer, arrived in my life for a period of time in the early 1990’s and worked with me on many levels, teaching about ‘energy’, healing, the Seven Rays, angels…and many other things esoteric in nature. It was from those ideas that the Living Light Essences came into being.
Having been introduced to flower essences by George DeWit, I began using Bach Flower Remedies in the mid 1980’s as a way of restoring my self-esteem, health, and many of the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of my life which seemed to be out of kilter. First I just used them myself, and then I began to use them to help my family and friends. Way leads onto way, and now, life without essences would be ‘unthinkable’…!
In 1995, Jeff Binder appeared, later becoming co-creator with me of the Living Light Essences, business partner, and son-in-law. Jeff and I co-created the Living Light Essences, gem-based essences of the Seven Rays, in 1996, and started a company called Living Light Energies (later Living Light, Inc.), to produce and distribute the Living Light Essences. The theme of ‘Light’ in my life continued…
The arrival of the Living Light Essences changed my outlook significantly, and began a new phase in my life. Being something of a ‘doubting Thomas’, with a ‘show me they actually work’ attitude towards most things, finding that the Living Light Essences actually ‘worked’ and helped people change their lives blew many paradigms and introduced others that took some getting used to. The essences seemed to fly around the world in a very short time. Life suddenly had a new purpose. It was/is fascinating meeting and having the privilege of speaking with people from so many different walks of life and levels of learning and understanding. Life with essences has, in the words of Robert Frost, ‘…made all the difference!’
In 2001, I took a break from the essence world and Living Light to focus on my job as a Speech-Language Pathologist, while Jeff ran the company solo. Then, in 2005, when Jeff decided to step out of the essence world himself, I took over the business again, creating my own company, which I named Luminesce…to become Light. Luminesce now produces and distributes the Living Light Essences & the Living Light Rainbow Essences.
In December 2008, I received an email from Israel, asking me if I could make an amethyst essence to be used in a new line of Amethyst cosmetics. It had been 12 years since I made an essence, and I wondered if I was still capable of doing so. What we don’t ‘use’, we often ‘lose’. The challenge was also of making an essence in the middle of that Canadian winter as the sun hadn't shone for weeks. However, the universe sometimes has its own agenda and schedule despite us, and one Saturday morning the sun shone brilliantly…all day, allowing me to place the essence outside in the snow and sunshine to make the mother tincture, the first of the Rainbow essence series.
The other six essences of this series arrived one after the other a year and a half later. The ideas for these essences had been brewing for some time, and with the help and a push from a friend, Terry Overeem, they came into being. The colours came first and then the gems/crystals that were needed to go with the colour. It was exciting to 'see' each essence present itself in moving technicolour, each with a ‘personality’ of its own!
Since the mid 1980’s essences, both flower and gem, have been a part of my life and healing process. At one point I collected them – flower essences, tree essences, shell essences, energy essences, cosmic essences…you name it! I have used them personally to support a variety of therapies – massage, kinesiology, energy healing, Reiki, EFT, homeopathy, psychotherapy, Feng Shui, radionics…to deepen those methodologies and experiences, and facilitate healing.
Life has been and continues to be a fascinating journey of self-discovery and healing…coming to believe in, love and appreciate self/Self. Essences have played a huge part in that journey, providing support, bringing challenge, smoothing things out, giving hope, bringing change…and helping me become more conscious and aware of what was/is happening in my life and healing during many challenging times.
I was once told that I was here to “…experience the human experience, heal yourself, and then go on and help others do the same”, and that has certainly been the case! One of the things that I have learned on my journey, is that we may look at each level that appears in our path as a negative and say, “Not again!!!”, and blame life or the universe, OR we may say, “Congratulations on being ready to peel off the next layer!” How we choose to respond to life’s challenges is up to us, and no one else’s responsibility. And so, life’s journey continues…with gratitude, and much awe and fascination!
At one fairly recent point in my life I was given the choice whether to ‘stay’ in this world or ‘leave’. As I was contemplating this, I remembered what an Indian astrologer/pundit had told me many years ago in India. A pundit includes palm reading in an astrology reading, and so he explained that, “The lines in one hand show what gifts you have been given in this lifetime, and the lines on the other hand show what you have done with those gifts.” Pondering those words, I realized that I felt there were still some pretty substantial gifts that I had been given that I hadn’t fully used, and it was time to do so, instead of abdicating to ‘victim mode’ and ‘leaving’…life is, indeed, a privilege!
Sometimes it’s something we’ve read, heard or been told by a friend that pops up at a certain time to help and inspire us to take certain actions, or influence the choices or changes we need to make. Besides remembering the words of the Indian pundit, I also remembered a quote from philosopher and scholar of comparative mythology, Joseph Campbell, that I had tucked away in my ‘Quotes’ file. It speaks to how we approach life’s challenges, and whether we see them with eyes that are ‘dark’ or eyes that are ‘Light’…the proverbial glass ‘half empty’ or ‘half full’:
“Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.”
Because of some early childhood experiences, amongst other things, one of the challenges of my life has been believing in self, something that affects many of us as we journey through life. I’d like to leave you with a famous quote that is often attributed to Nelson Mandela, but is in fact actually from Marianne Williamson, an American spiritual teacher, author, and lecturer. She states,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
When we write about ourselves, I think it is appropriate along the way to acknowledge the people who have impacted our lives the most, an acknowledgement of the wisdom, services, friendship and love they have brought to our journey. It is the people we meet, the friends we make, and the support we receive from the universe and people that can make all the difference. When the need arises and we are truly seeking help, answers come, ‘prayers’ are answered, and people come into our lives who can make a difference.
I’d like to list a few of these special people: my parents, John and Elsie Finney, parents extraordinaire, who gave me experiences and opportunities most would never have, and whose openness and love for people helped me see the world in a different light; my sister, Joy, and my brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Pam, who have always lovingly supported and been non-judgmental of their ‘unusual’ sister; Margaret Forwell, an amazingly supportive, special and forgiving long-time friend, holistic practitioner, and healer; Judy MacLeod, friend, healer and life coach extraordinaire; Tamara Penn, friend, essence practitioner, rebirther, Earth Mother; Telea Juna, a very gifted life transformational consultant, natural intuitive and energy healer; John Nauss, long-time radionics practitioner and teacher; Dr. Joseph Krop, M.D., physician, risk taker and pioneer; Dr. George DeWit, retired chiropractor, remarkable kinesiologist and innovative healer; Irene Yaychuk-Arabie, a pioneer in energy healing and kinesiology, and herbalist; Jeff Binder; Terry Overeem, gifted energy healer and time-line 'see-er'; Arla Kasaj, caring and open-minded Naturopathic Doctor; Atherton Drenth, clairvoyant, medical intuitive, energy healer, author; Helke Ferrie, schoolmate, courageous investigative journalist, author and publisher; Dan Benor, friend, author, healer, psychiatrist, pioneer in facilitating the doctor/healer network in the U.K., developer of TWR; Bart Smit, deep trance channel and answerer of some deep questions; friends Regina, Angela, Dorothy, Suzanne, Mary, Laurie, Paula and Roy, Linda, Jan; and my grandson, Zach, who regularly challenges any B.S. that comes out of my mouth (he is especially blessed!)…and many others along the way too numerous to mention – healers, practitioners, authors, thinkers, fellow essence enthusiasts, customers, and friends.
…Those who have supported me on my journey, who pioneered new ways of thinking and being, challenged the ‘authorities’ on various strongly held ideologies so that we could break free to a newer more aware way of thinking, healing and being, provided encouragement, challenged my thoughts and beliefs, brought me new knowledge and understanding, and offered their insights, friendships and love.
I’d also like to thank Richard Harrison, graphic artist, illustrator and web designer, who rescued me when it seemed this new website would never be completed.
I have been/am truly blessed…Thank you all! Rachel
Although Jeff is no longer associated with the Living Light Essences creation, production, distribution, or sale, the story of the Living Light Essences would not be complete without including part of Jeff’s story associated with them.
In the summer of 1994, Jeff went on a road trip to Nova Scotia to meet a long-time friend of his - Mike Davis. While camping on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia with Mike, Jeff was cutting down trees when after repeated attempts to stop him, his friend Mike lashed out at him and told him to, “Stop hitting the trees!!!” When Jeff asked, “Why do you care and what does it matter?” - Mike replied with, “Because every time you do, I listen to them scream…!” That moment and the conversations and experiences that ensued were the beginning of a major “wake up” for Jeff who at the time didn’t believe such a thing could even be possible.
Jeff went on to study and travel with spiritual teacher and mystic Christopher Tims. His travels eventually took him to Australia where in an effort to find God (and Himself), he fasted for 21 days straight. Yes, 3 weeks! During the first three days he drank no water (not recommended - ever) and by day 21 nearly died. After returning to Canada 30 pounds lighter, not having found God or Himself, his real journey began. During the year that followed Jeff went through the biggest personal transformation of his life with the help of three extraordinary people - Rachel Finney, Telea Juna and John Nauss. The latter part of that journey resulted in profound healing, personal and spiritual growth for Jeff
Jeff then went on and co-founded Living Light Energies and co-created the Living Light Essences in 1996 together with Rachel Finney. His inspiration for the Living Light Essences came from knowledge shared with him by Rachel, John, and a life-changing experience he had with one of his spiritual mentors - Telea Juna (who Jeff is blessed to still work with today). During a guided meditation and spiritual healing session with Telea, Jeff (unexpectedly) met and merged with his own Higher Self - an experience which remains the most profound of his life. For a few brief moments, Jeff got to experience the fearlessness, awe-inspiring power, unconditional love and profound compassion that is the Essence of who we all are at our core.
After having this experience, Jeff noticed such a discrepancy between who we truly are, and who we think we are, that he wanted to find a way to be more like his own Higher Self and help others to be more like theirs. The solution came in the form of Essences made from gemstones based on the Seven Rays, Essences that were created for one purpose - to help each of us experience and be in more alignment and harmony with our own Higher Self.
Through his experiences Jeff came to realize that our Higher Self, is simply the real You - the one that is timeless, isn’t afraid of anything (because fear isn’t part of it whatsoever), always acts from Love and is One with All Life. It is our Essence.
In 1997, together with Rachel, Jeff then went on to co-create the Living Light Healing System based on his actor training. Jeff studied acting at the University of Windsor, and Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the UK.
The Living Light Healing System consists of three parts:
i) a Goal of your choosing,
ii) Obstacles (the patterns within you that impede you from achieving that goal like unresolved emotions or limiting beliefs), and
iii) Sequences (combinations of the Living Light Essences taken in a precise order and dosage designed to build a ladder of consciousness within between where you are now and where you want to go (your goal). Sequences also help you re-write the obstacles/patterns within you helping you realize your goal.
"As Within, So Without” - by changing your inner world, you also change your outer one. Over the years, Jeff developed a deep understanding of the patterns we’ve created across vast spans of time, and their impact on our lives and our world.
Jeff is currently the Head of Commerce Performance & Scalability for Oracle, best known for its database software, a relational database management system, and for computer systems and software, such as Solaris and Java.