Intuition, wisdom and drowning
Drowing in Thoughts
I love watching the canoeists on the Erme there is something hypnotising about their concentration and skill as they manoeuvre down a fast flowing river. However the other day I had a shock when I saw a kayaker struggle in the water.
A group of 4 canoeists were paddling down the swollen river when one of them tipped over and frantically tried to upright herself as the racing currents propelled her downstream.
For the first 10 seconds I watched with a beating heart trusting that she would come up for air. Another 10 seconds went by and I felt scared she didn’t seem able to get out of the canoe. Then for what seemed like an age she was whisked down the river, her head and body under water unable to tip herself upwards.
Fleetingly she came up for air then was submerged again, she did a corkscrew over the rapids managed to gulp for another glug of air then was caught in the churning water underneath a five foot waterfall.
I raced down the riverbank hoping to help, but knew there wasn’t much I could do without adding to the danger.
The lead canoeist was ahead of her. He expertly paddled against the churning current, nudging his boat against hers and somehow (I can’t remember how) she righted herself by grabbing the nose of his boat and pulling herself up.
I felt huge relief, slightly sick and shaking. She on the other hand seemed unflustered; grinning she paddled to the side awaiting the descent of her fellow canoeists.
The whole episode only lasted a minute and it was intense. It was exhausting to watch and I walked away with my heart thudding in my chest. The image of the struggling canoeist has stayed with me. I can picture her fraught, thrashing in the swirling water, at the mercy of the raging currents and her desperate glugs for air when she temporarily twisted out of the water.
I think back to the canoeist when I get caught up unexpectedly in a torrent of anxious, fearful thinking. Suddenly it feels like I’m submerged and thrashing underwater, swirling in a current of thoughts. My heart starts racing and I feel physically nauseous; such is the power of negative thought.
Nowadays I respond so differently to these sudden rapids and whirlpools of thought. Self-understanding (understanding the principles of being human) helps me see this barrage of thoughts is no more than a warning – it’s a warning that I’m racing downstream, upside down and in need of air. I cease to fight the currents and instead allow my intuitive wisdom to kick in.
The canoeist instinctively knew that she had to right herself and found a way to flip her boat over. It’s the same for us as long as you don’t panic and prolong the experience you will find a way to right yourself and return back into the flow.
About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training