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Everything you need is inside of you”!
That is what I heard when I sat with that old tree….
I used to visit often, lay among the branches, watching the leaves ripple as the air shared of where it had been, where it was going…
like resting in a living story of continual change, continual responsiveness to the elements that interact with it.
I soften in that place…. can hear myself so more clearly, can feel myself so much easier……. without the noise of the machine and the humans who have become cogs in it.
Here right now I reflect,
Those same words sing with me “Everything you need is inside you”!
Its an eco system inside of me. Just as it is an eco system inside of you.
Eco systems all around us.
The epidermis contains it for us humans, reflects the health of it, but also masks the tapestry of it…. the complexity and depth of it!
In listening deeper to what lay within me, all the systems within me, taught me about the relational necessity in life. I recognised what Elders had shown without words through time.
What Nature was showing without words through time.
The words didn’t mean, “walk alone” “you’ve got this” they didn’t mean ” be your greatness!” or anything to do with that way of being, that “Self” way of being…..
The Old tree simply in-formed me of the obvious.
I have a map of life encoded in my body, it is the same as all the living systems in nature. It contains all the memories of my Ancestors through time (a huge living library!!!)
My body is intelligence – Natural Intelligence plugged into the living source of all.
I’ve heard people state that we weren’t given a manual about how to live life…..
Actually, we have been given one, its our body!
It is a barometer that gauges the weather of your life – the pressure systems that you create or expose yourself to.
It does not lie – the body never lies.
It adjusts accordingly to maintain balance as best it can.
But all in all, it contains the answers, the road map both of the past and the present.
The body shows what is going on, even when the mind cannot understand…
And flowing through every vein of this body is the life force (the spirit) that animates the “manual” we have been given, that breathes life into the intelligence of the body.
The manual shows us how to live life on this planet and indicates so much of the actual state of our being, in real time.
That Old tree, knows that it is connected and knows what maintains the health of that connection…
It’s relational intelligence ….
Rachel Shields
Knowing In Nature


Without the Land as life (Spirit)
We are simply an element,
We are key components of biodiverse landscapes,
We can be no more or less than this…
For if we are, imbalance occurs…
Yes, we are a life force contained within a physical intelligence,
but because we are physical, we are an element of the biodiversity
of which we exist.
Being born into this place, requires caretaking.
Being gifted this life, requires care taking.
Being requires caretaking…..
Mind – Thought
Body – Physical
Spirit – Life force
(all hold intelligence)
That is our immediate biodiverse landscape of which we are responsible and the Custodian for….
Then comes our family and friends, our communities and interwoven in and through all of this is the Earth and all the life that coexists with and around us.
All the elements of being.
We do not live in isolation of anything, we live within a tensegrity where each effect the other. Where each in-form the other.
Where y/our thinking effects your inner world.
Where y/our actions affect the other.
Where our choices create outcomes.
To be all mind is a deficiency to the body and spirit
To be all body is a deficiency to the mind and spirit
to be all spirit is a deficiency to the mind and body
Biodiversity exists because it is required for balance and health.
Balance is met when all recognise the place of the other as a contributor.
Balance is met when what seems to be a polarity meets itself in the other and neither exist in conflict.
Balance is met when Mind, Body and Spirit integrate their systems and function as a team that work together cooperatively.
We are Country, and Country embodies all of the above.
We do not own the land the land owns us – this is insight into understanding that as a human being, we are tasked the gift of caring for life as Custodians.
If we do not care for Country, there is no Country, no life, no biodiversity of which we are an element of.
If we do not care for ourselves as an element of Country, part of the eco system begins to crash, placing pressure on all other systems, pressuring nature to force the balance again.
Remember….. Mind, Body and Spirit all need to be cared for. All life needs to be cared for.
Relationships need to be cared for.
We do not get away with carrying on as if we are the dominant species…. might have been fun for a time, but we don’t get away with it, because as a physical being “The land owns us”.
First Peoples existence in maintaining the balance for all the thousands upon thousands of years, is testament to humans who walked in accordance to the LORE of life. Not merely knowing it exists, they walked it so that the future could exist for life beyond their own.
The rocks in this image are older than all of our generations combined, as is the sand, the waters, the Earth.
The greatest and wisest scholar of all, is the Earth.
It has been witness to civilisations rise and fall. Witnessed every first and last breath of all living beings. Been abused and celebrated by humans throughout time and has never deviated from Lore….
The Earth always as a default setting, keeps the balance….. shifting in response to all in every moment, adjusting to accommodate, to support life in all its changing forms.
The Earth is the wisest Elder – non biased and on track
Where is y/our attention being placed?
What futures are we creating here and now?
What are we maintaining?
Rachel Shields
Knowing In Nature
In acknowledgment to all the Elders
who have ever shared and to all life that
makes up Our shared home called Earth.

Taking Off the Makeup!

I like to post images of nature, I’m not really one for the “selfie” nor posting my entire life on social media, mostly due to my intention of simply inspiring connection to the natural world.

I have struggled over the years with using this “social platform”… sometimes feeling like my mental health and spirit have been impacted greatly depending on the state of my balance within. Its always been a case of “If I’m ok, then I can look, but if I’m not then I have to keep away”…
I’m not always ok being in a world that competes and pushes for attention, I’m not always ok with seeing conflict and division in the world, I’m not always ok with seeing capitalists flourish and ecology diminish, I’m not always ok with stating my boundaries when others are hurting, when I’m hurting, I’m not always ok being strong inside. I’m not always ok….
We are not always ok…
In sharing with a friend recently in conversation we spoke of what its been like to project an image of ourselves into the world. Of how we mask ourselves or portray ourselves for varying reasons. We spoke of recognising our needs over the years for validation, for admiration or to be loved.
We spoke of the burden of carrying beliefs and conditionings, of the emptiness of being the performer and the perfectionist striving to always achieve, to be good at and to have to know how!
We spoke casually as we walked along a beach and watched the sun setting, people surfing and life around us do its thing.
Then we sat quietly overlooking the ocean from the cliffs, just quietly listening…. just listening.. Behind us was an urban built up landscape, it was to the right and the left also, you really had to look forwards to see only the ocean and the horizon…
In this point in time I’m feeling a little like a crab that has just shed it’s shell and my skin feels thin… it’s like I need to sit in the sun and allow my skin to harden a little, like I need to fill from within and meet the sunlight.
The natural world has bumps and knobbly bits, its not straight and correct in form as with buildings and advertising materials….
The tides ebb and flow, the rivers rise and fall… tiny insects are always crittering while our attention is on getting by or on success…. or on building our brand and label…while we apply our false nails and lashes, while we wear higher shoes to look taller in the world……..
We think this is natural, this is normal…
Lets take off our make up, lets be naked to our core, lets be honest… lets touch the earth with our bare hands and feet, lets be raw….
There is nothing more stunning than the Natural world, there is nothing more stunning than the natural us….
There is nothing more beautiful than humans who care for one another and the world that is real.
Rachel Shields
Knowing In Nature 2020
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

This is the journey of the heart….

An elder and teacher shared that Our Spirit, our life force begins and resides within our heart.

Our heart circulates this  life force throughout our entire body, our physical vehicle that embodies our life throughout time. It embodies our Ancestry throughout all time, back as far as you can imagine……

Thousands upon thousands of generations way, way back through time. 

Life over time has shifted greatly, where once we were individuals within a community that required each to contribute of who they are to maintain the balance for all life… sharing skills as part of the greater whole, each learning elements of knowing to hold the balance…

Many now live in fast paced societies that require us to compete and strive, to be “Me” and “I”…. we live in the times of the ME-I…

ME-I…. is not concerned for the balance of all, ME-I is self absorbed and has a “look at me”  mentality.  This mentality is not the same as self respect, not the same as valuing our personal contribution to life, its not feeling every beat of the heart as it pumps the essentials of life throughout the greater body…. Its not connecting with SPIRIT…. 

it is connecting with something though…

Its feeding an ego/energy that is self serving and self centred masking itself as an essential cause, as a purpose……

Veiling, shrouding and covering…. over riding…

As an analogy, Its like a tattoo, covering the natural design that we are yet to grow fully into and with….

Look at my tattoo, it means this and that and “I” want you to see it…. I am this!

In a sense; our bodies have become the refrigerator magnets of quotes, sayings and reminders. 

But what’s really underneath? why the cover? why the need to graffiti oneself, Why offer ourselves as a canvas for someone else’s design? For some one else’s signature?

Are we unable to see ourselves in the raw and go deeper?  

The tattoo is merely the analogy here….. yet a metaphor that holds weight!

The “Me-I” projects…. the “ME-I” has so much to say, yet says very little in its offering, rather, is all about what they can get (attract) and been seen doing (attention)!

Simply put…. As an elder has shared “Spirit doesn’t go on, Spirit is to the point and in the truth of the moment” present, yet not trapped in time.

So I guess Spirit doesn’t wear tattoos!  

All the tree’s, all the animals, all the natural life forms…. all form has within it, SPIRIT

it is within the ecology of our inner being…. It’s our essence through time.

Creator said “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it” 

Until they are ready to come home to the Spirit within and truly relate!


With Respect to all,

Gratitude to all those Elders who have 

held me through my years of growth and unfolding from childhood to now…. 

Rachel Shields 2020

Sometimes it hurts
This writing may end up being a little bit Epic, but I just wish to let it flow….
Its often that people reach out seeking connection, especially regarding connection to Indigenous knowledge or places on the land.
When I’m in a position that I’m recognised as a person who is approachable in this way and also works at creating understanding in the world regarding Respect for People, place and the spirit of the land it makes sense that I’m often approached.
But in all truth, sometimes it just really hurts to be the bridge, to have people constantly wandering through as tourists seeking connection through you. Seeking to heal themselves of what they are masking as something else. Seeking to connect to a ‘Whole New World’ that has never not been there…..
Elders (one especially) have at times come down hard on me for being kind and trusting, for caring about supporting inner Reconciliation, for sharing at all. Yet it was Elders who put me on this path as they were burning out from being constantly pulled in all directions and needed support. I watched as they were/are put in positions to perform like monkeys being thrown peanuts so the crowds could feel aroused, connected, like they were playing their part in the Australia moving forward in…. whatever the fashionable and changing word is….
But in my experience, I always witnessed people coming to take, no one actually invested in building relationship, just scraping the cream off the surface and then looking for the next arousing opportunity.
People have worked in community, made books, videos, written papers and pretty much the community has not benefitted from any of it…
People take and celebrate in the big world, their creative prowess and celebrate their connection with the Aborigines and promote themselves as Authorities of the knowledge, of the knowing. Its pretty yukky, even I have been fooled by people I honestly believed were on track with their integrity and intention.
I sit with the pain and the hurt, I feel awkward with it when it arises, like I should know better… but its from old wounds that are both mine and that of my Ancestors.
All the disrespect ever shown in life from one to another gets stirred and at times activated as the most brutal pain.
In the bigger picture of life, I breathe to reach the threshold of my own patterns of comfort with the stories and stretch out just a little wider, to where nothing is written, nothing is determined, where there is no catch…. no pay off!
Its like reaching to sky Country where the stories are reflected yet many of those stars have died thousands of years ago and the clouds are merely shifting shapes in time, but they are not fixed, only if I try to capture them and hold the shape that I think I’m seeing.
This morning a lady reached out to see if I could connect a group of people who practice Yoga and are wanting to include acknowledging Country as part of their practice, to go out and sit by some rock engravings, share stories with them and sing songs.
My first thoughts to myself were, well these engravings are in a Country I am not a descendant of and what the heck?
My reply was this:
Thanks for reaching out. It would be best to connect with a local from the area, but having said that, most mob will not just say yes. Its about building relationship with the local Indigenous community and things flow on from there as far as sharing goes.
Regarding sites that are engraved, they are sacred to the people who are directly connected to those sites, they are not places for people to practice other things. Its not the right thing to do.
This is a big key regarding acknowledging Country and the Spirit of place…it has its own Spirit; the land and the people hold a relational spiritual connection.
For people seeking to acknowledge this, then simply acknowledge this… For people seeking connection to Indigenous knowledge and spirituality that’s one that needs to begin by building relationship.
In my heart I choose kindness, I do not wish to hate or see myself as a victim of anything, nor am I feeling misunderstood by anyone. I recognise though that, well, its like people are not aware of how much they come taking. Its like they walk towards you with open arms to give a hug, but really, they just NEED a hug and its not about sharing at all. Its yukky.
How can we all get to a very honest place together? Where we can own our own stuff instead of putting it on the other?
I’m not interested in blaming and throwing words as spears…that’s not it either.
I am feeling stirred and hurt inside…its been a trying year, and the message this morning pulled at a string inside me that is unravelling.
In the past I have felt completely culturally burdened, angered by the lack of awareness in the mainstream practices in the world in regard to respecting the intelligence of Indigenous knowledge systems and ways of being and knowing, yet I take responsibility for my dimensions of pain and anguish and choose to heal myself, and in doing so, both heal my Ancestry and create a new possible future.
I’ve often said when sharing in workshops or conversations, you are the Aboriginal you have been looking for!! I often share with people that, you have as much ancestry as I do, thousands upon thousands of generations of people have walked before you on this planet. You too are Indigenous, but to wherever your people originated.
I am at a place within myself now, where I am no longer a bridge that broken people can cross in search for their own healing, I will be where I am, while you face yourself and own your journey of healing.
In speaking with one Indigenous sister recently, she shared a very strong story that spoke volumes to me. She shared that a non Indig person at her work, a person who she had no other conversation with began by saying “your people have gone through so much”.
My sister basically put this statement back on the other by saying something along the lines of, “your people have been through more than my people, its only been 250 years of hardship here for us, but its been hundreds more for you mob!, we still have our connection, this is our Country!”. My sister shared that she was not going to take on board the guilt of another, nor have that person palm off onto her what they could not face within themselves.
This sister is also like me, she faces what comes up for her regarding life pains, and inherited traumas, she is responsible and she does the work.
If I had of become stuck with all these feelings this morning my day could potentially be heavy and yuk, so I’m not sitting with it any longer than need be.
This is my contribution to the continual invitation to share as a person who is in connection with her Indigenous heritage here in this continent.
Further to that, its not black, its not white, its relational, its life.
May the words reach you as respectfully as they are intended to be met.
Rachel Shields
Knowing In Nature 2020