This post is inspired by a recent conversation, also by someone who is out there making a difference in the best way that they can…. by many who are making a difference in the world in current times.
I have a friend who’s teenage child developed an eating disorder during lock down. I was informed that the child was triggered by being faced with going back into the school system, being faced with the stresses of having to be something your not, to perform, to be evaluated, to be categorised and to be pushed in ways that do not support who the child already knows themselves to be.
The child is currently in hospital being supported by this system as the parents, who themselves are grounded, present and there for their children became very scared for their child and didn’t know what else to do to help and keep the child safe.
I sat and listened to my friend share, watched her cry with heart ache for her child and the fire inside my heart was stirred. She informed me of the stats of eating disorders that occurred during lockdown in Melbourne alone……
(excerpt copied from the Sydney Morning Herald December 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic and Victoria’s protracted lockdown to contain the virus has triggered a wave of destructive eating disorders in teenagers and young adults, with the demand for treatment overwhelming available services and spilling into hospital wards and emergency rooms.
Christine Morgan, the National Mental Health Commission chief executive who advises the Prime Minister on suicide prevention, said data provided by hospitals and support services showed a national surge of between 25 and 50 per cent in presentations for eating disorders across the public health system.
In Victoria, the situation is so dire that some of Melbourne’s leading private practices specialising in eating disorders have been forced to close their doors to new patients.
What was stirred in my heart was the understandings that motivate me in the world. The work I have chosen to do recognises how systems fail people, how professionals enter into a space full of passion and intention to create better outcomes and enhance the lives of others, but bit by bit they are squashed into fulfilling the requirements of the system and in doing so loose their original enthusiasm, become limited and bound by systemic processes and the result is so much pain, disfunction and stress all round for all involved.
People are no longer the focus, the system is. As long as the numbers work, and business grows that is the measure of success! But at the expense of the Spirit of the people, the community and the health of our families and children.
So many people are hurting and faking it hoping they can make it!
I honour the story of one child as I recognise myself in that child. I honour the story of one mother as I recognise myself in her.
In working in education, I found myself always advocating for young people, advocating for “difference” and “uniqueness” in seeing that behaviours are not problems but expressions of the nature of a person. Behaviours are a form of communication, they are indicators to something deeper. But the world has become too fast paced and no one has the time (now viewed as a luxury by most) to recognise and hear/see anymore.
A box is not a position to see from. Humans and all living creatures are not products. We are not mechanical objects. There is no model that applies to all, as every life is unique.
I made the mistake late last year in forgetting this. When I was hurting from a relationship and in a place of overwhelm myself, I listened to people speak with positions of thought that placed limitations on a genders (generalizing) nature and actions. It put me in a place that does not see each person as the person “they” are with what “they” might be going through. I took these perceptions and did not grow in a way that is healthy for all concerned in that experience. In essence, I inhibited my own healing at that time.
The reason for sharing that moment is this, if we are viewing people through models of thought and projections we are not seeing “Them”. If we are viewing people through our own fear, we are not seeing “Them”. If we are viewing people through our wants and needs, we are not seeing “Them”. Just as if we are viewing people through systemic models, labels and pressures from the top down we are not seeing “them”. The use of the word “Them” here in this writing means – who the person is in the moment they are being.
We do not need to condone a person’s actions, yet we can in our own time, have a broader perspective as to what may be going on at a deeper level. This is why I reflect that professionals in my assumption, usually start out with healthy and inspiring intentions, but become exhausted by the system and no longer have time and space to give in the manner they intended to. This pushes people away from one another, it does not build community, it contributes to division, competitiveness and misunderstanding…. And trauma.
Through a cultural lens, I see the effects of colonisation play out over and over again. From within community to the broader society. Models have been created that mimic that of the colonising systems, the “Dominant Culture” as it is named. The oppressed becoming their own oppressors, acting out the actions upon one another that were acted out on them.
I see this in society all round. No matter the culture, the gender, the beliefs, or non-beliefs.
I see the esoteric and new age communities play it out also, yet to the polarity of the experience, with respect to each person’s uniqueness, I simply see old trauma playing out here, just like in community. While I have strength in word when it comes to having our feet on the earth and not messing around with things we only part understand, I do consider that each person has a history that has led them to their current characteristics.
In getting back to the child who is currently struggling in hospital, and noticing the impact of being a young person in todays world, all the chips fall off my shoulders. I care.
Not about who is wrong and right in the world. What forces are trying to do this or that in the world. I don’t care about investing in blame, or shifting responsibility. I care about health, wellbeing and balance.
About life that has foundations of health and respect.
I care about the child who was with his father when my friend was telling me about her child, he was in a wheel chair and spoke through a device that communicated on his behalf to his father, But I could hear him before the machine spoke. I could hear his spirit. A seemingly broken person in society, a young person in a wheelchair, I could hear his spirit… and it did not speak words like thoughts. It was his presence that I could hear loud and clear. I needed to be silent enough in myself to experience this, to not even put anything on it. To not make anything out of it, other than this…. This is the real world.
My friend’s child is in the real world. She is in touch with herself already, Just as many young people are that I have had the gift of meeting and working with over the years.
To witness the level of suicide and imbalance in young people in these times reflects something about the society that is condoned as reality. It reflects something about the system/s that are condoned through acceptance and adhering to. It reflects something about how humans are not in control of their own lives. How humans feed something that is not human!
My work extends beyond education, but I don’t often speak about what I do. I feel awkward at times due to the “Healing Movement” and the Ego currency that is being generated from it, I walk with care regarding the vulnerable spaces of others who need support. I also don’t feel that it’s a Career so don’t force it on the world. I feel that it is a responsibility that needs to be respected.
For the better part of my life, I have worked in natural and holistic health. To me it has always been apparent that we have within us the ability to heal ourselves, both physically and spiritually.
Throughout this time, I have at times been the focus of my own application, needing to face life as it unfolds and face my own hurts as they arise. I noticed also that in walking this path, it is important to not become self-indulgent, to know the measure of my own ability to give support and to have balance in my life and most of all, to be true, to be real.
But there is a vast contrast in being needed to be seen “Healing and helping” and simply learning deeper, staying on track and being available for people to help themselves through what I can support them with. I’ve very much seen and learnt that Ego’s are not healers! Simply people still seeking something within…….. through you!
I tend to travel around a bit, it helps me to know what is occurring in the real world, as I sit with many people and listen and share in conversation. In this way I learn through what is real. It helps me be careful and walk appropriately in the world with who I am.
At present I am in Melbourne for a number of weeks. Within 2 days of being here I have been offered a couple of clinics to work out of. I take that this is an opportunity to be available for people who are in need of support.
I’m aware that many are struggling at present. I’m aware that the current situation with the decision making of Government is bringing a lot up for people. I’m aware that people are reaching out for support.
I offer two formal modalities for support.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Holographic Kinetics.
Both work on deep levels, both assist with you working through it to arrive to change.
I’m available on the weekends for sessions as I work during the week.
Please feel welcome to contact me for further information.
I’m also available to just have a yarn if you need support in that way.
With respect and care
Rachel Shields – Knowing In Nature

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