Ever had that feeling in your gut that you just shouldn’t be doing something? What happened? Did you act on it? Or maybe you ignored it – just like us this past week….
Sadly we were right in the heart of the raging floods that swept through South-East Qld and Northern NSW here in Australia. Houses were devastated, lives were lost and people are still recovering. Our property was hit with the full force of the Albert River breaking its banks and reaching an all time high. Thankfully our houses were spared but some vital machinery to my partners business and 3 of our sheep were lost in the raging river waters.
Don’t get me wrong I am so very grateful for not losing our homes or lives of loved ones and I feel so dreadful for those who were so much less fortunate than us.
And the lesson for us was a valuable one.
The morning of the floods there was no doubt that we would get flooded in, it happens to us when the major rains come, we stock up on food, fuel for the generator and prepare to bunker down until the flood waters recede and we can do the clean up. The waters had never come anywhere near our houses so its usually just a bit of excitement and then it passes, we clean off some fences and move on.
This is what we expected over the next few days, when last Thursday the residual wind and rains from cyclone Debbie hit. My partner had planned a trip down south and I was adamant he leave early so he didn’t get stuck in the rising waters, he was feeling uneasy and actually even turned around and came home when he couldn’t get through one of the roads. He wondered aloud if he should move his machinery and we both agreed it would be fine, knowing that the waters had never reached such heights in the past and it was scary to even think if they got that high. We agreed it would waste too much time and he would be soaked through if he went and moved them. So off he went on his way again – relunctantly, He even stopped by the neighbours house for reassurance and to see if he could come and assist us if we needed it which of course he did on all counts, reiterating that the waters wouldn’t get that high and the machinery would be safe.
Unbeknownst to me Tim was feeling uneasy and he went through 2 more literal roadblocks (a tree over the road and another closed road) before he finally got on his way. So you could say several signs that he should not be going. He felt sick to the stomach the whole journey and rang frequently, at this time the waters were still rising but not threatening. This continued until we said goodnight that night at around 7pm and again he asked if he should just come straight back home, I told him not to be silly!
My mother who lived in the house at the back of the block and closest to the river left around the same time – I told her I thought she should come and stay for the night but she didn’t want to leave her cat and she decided to stay put.
Things got real around 11.30pm that night when Mum called and said she could hear the water rushing around the house, our power had been out since the afternoon and her torch wasn’t strong enough to see how close it was, we both started to panic when she couldn’t get out the usual way as the water was over the top of her fence, the fence we had been assured it had never reached before. The reports were all saying the river wouldn’t peak until 8am the next morning, to say we were freaking out was an understatement, amidst calls to 000 (a slight over-reaction in hindsight!) we managed to find a way out for her through the neighbours property and she got herself and the cat back down the 500m to our place cold, wet but unscathed. We were scared her house was going to go under but all we could do was listen to the roar of the river until we had light to see the full extent of the damage.
At first light the next morning we emerged and could finally see and confirmed that we had indeed lost the machinery and several shipping containers to the flood waters, as well as 3 of our sheep. Her house was spared, as was ours.
Tim, my partner was devastated - his machinery is not only his livelihood but also his passion and he takes such pride in looking after them, it physically hurt to lose them. I know that might sound insane to some, I guess you have to know him to understand, but I think the thing that hurt him most was that all the signs had been there and he went against that gut feeling and he’s feeling the full extent of the consequences now.
Fast forward to a week later, he has been working non-stop on flushing the flood waters out of the motors and doing his best to get him going so far he’s spent in excess of 80 hours working on them with little success, and he will continue, the stress has been immense intermingled with the sadness of others who have lost so much more including lives. The one lesson that has come for both of us is to trust that feeling, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what we think we “know” and to honour each other in those feelings, including the kids who in their own way were also made it clear they didn’t think it was a good idea for him to go on the trip.
I encourage clients all the time to trust their intuition, we work on this in balances, to step into their own power and to trust themselves! Part of that is to practice this by listening and acting on those little hunches, observe the outcome when you do so and when you don’t. Its just like a muscle if we don’t use it we lose it and before long, if we do use it, it becomes second nature and life flows so much more easily.
I will certainly be taking more of my own advice from now on and it has renewed my determination to cultivate this in my kids as well. Tim has always been a very intuitive guy, I know he certainly wont be ignoring any of those feelings again any time soon!
How do you honour and cultivate your intuition? Do you follow it or do you need a bit of a reminder as well? What’s happened to you when you have ignored your gut feelings or maybe when you have listened? I would love to hear your story!