By Nayaswami Dharmadevi Romano
October 16, 2018
During Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village in August, I sat around with a group of friends, exploring new ideas for raising money for Ananda LA. Here we were in a beautiful house that up until that point had been used only for visits from friends and family. The owner of the house was sitting with us and generously offered for the house to be rented out and the proceeds to go to Ananda LA. But who would prepare the house and manage the rental? “I can do it!” I said enthusiastically. I enjoy new projects, creating beautiful spaces, and have experience with managing short-term rentals through Airbnb. “It’ll be a piece of cake.”
I knew Narayan and I could handle clearing out the clutter and outdated items from the house. We could utilize a large donation that had just come in to purchase new bedding, dinnerware, a hot tub, tear out the carpets and put new flooring in the bedrooms, etc. It would be easy to find an electrician to install the hot tub, window cleaners to get the outside of the house sparkling, but there was one thing we were missing… a professional housekeeper. Since the house is an 8-hour drive away, there’s no way we could go up and check on it regularly and especially not clean after each guest!
We got back to LA, I created the Airbnb listing and blocked off all the dates until October 1st. I figured almost 2 months would be plenty of time to get the house ready. Simultaneously, we were relocating ourselves to a new house in Los Angeles, which I convinced myself would be quick and easy. We planned to go back up north to clear out the space towards the end of September. Meanwhile, the hot tub would be delivered, the floors would be installed, AND I’d find the perfect housekeeper. Well, as the saying goes, “Man proposes, God disposes.”
All of the major projects in the house were humming along but I couldn’t bring myself to search for a housekeeper. I kept putting it off, until the end of September arrived and there we were with guests scheduled to arrive the first week of October and no one to clean up after them. The night we arrived at the house, I was slightly panicked. The house was in much worse shape than I remembered. It needed a lot of work (3 truckloads of trash were eventually hauled away and 1 truckload given to charity) and Narayan and I only had 3 days to get it all done, do a deep cleaning, AND find a housekeeper!
During meditation the next morning I had an interesting intuition come to me, “You’ll find your housekeeper on the Mother Truckers’ community board.” (Mother Truckers is a natural foods store about a 5 minute drive from the house.) The message was clear and simple. I could have been grateful and left it at that but I wanted more details. My ego also wanted to get involved. So, I imagined myself traveling to the Mother Truckers’ community board and seeking out the exact piece of paper of our future housekeeper. I imagined it as a yellow paper with little cut out slips you could take home with the cleaner’s phone number.
After meditation, I told Narayan, “I think we will find our housekeeper on the Mother Truckers’ community board!” So, off we went. Arriving, we looked all over the huge, colorful, eclectic mass of flyers, business cards, and postcards on the cork board, and I especially looked for the bright yellow piece of paper that would separate our cleaner from the rest. Only one problem… no yellow paper, anywhere!
Narayan announced his discovery of a cleaner. I looked at the flyer suspiciously, since it didn’t fit the description I imagined. Just a plain white piece of paper and not even little slips to tear off and bring home. I scoured the board and that was indeed the ONLY cleaner amongst the hundreds of advertisements. Apparently, people are in great need of healers of all kinds, drumming circles, and spa treatments but no one needs a professional cleaner. We took a picture of the flyer and left a little disappointed.
Back at the house, I quickly got sucked into the copious amounts of work to be done but Narayan kept the flag flying to find a housekeeper. He searched on Yelp for house cleaners in the area and found one that had good reviews. He read a couple of the reviews out loud and they sounded wonderful. We found our cleaner! As he started to type in the phone number to call, he realized it looked familiar – yes, it was the same number from the flyer we found at Mother Truckers an hour ago. Surprise surprise. We set up a time to meet Pavel and as it turned out, he lived close by, only about a 15 minute drive away. He also knew the obscure road the house is located on because he had just cleaned a house down the street.
That evening, Pavel arrived and there was an instant rapport. He was a pro and it was obvious. He asked all of the right questions, he was attentive to all the details, and he was sensitive to how I wanted the house prepared for guests. Now, here’s the kicker… Narayan was wearing a shirt with a quote from Paramhansa Yogananda. Pavel noticed and said, “Oh! Do you know Yoganandaji?” To which we replied, “Yes, we are disciples of his! You know him too?”
Back and forth we went, uncovering that he moved to Northern California just 5 months ago and before that he lived in Southern California for 18 years. A number of years ago he studied Yogananda’s lessons and received Kriya initiation through Self-Realization Fellowship. His practice had fallen off but he still practiced the Hong-Sau technique every day, morning and evening. He recently had the desire to pick back up his practice of Kriya Yoga but didn’t know how to find the right people to help him. He had no idea that he was living just minutes from Ananda Village – the largest spiritual community founded on Yogananda’s teachings!
We were all overjoyed! And I was amazed and humbled that I almost missed out on a powerful Divine message because I allowed my imagination to run wild. I was also comforted to see that even if I had missed that paper flyer on the Mother Truckers’ community board, we would still have been guided to the right person and situation because of the willingness to act.
“Don’t wait for some sort of pronouncement, or expect a vision or voice from the clouds, but have the courage to act. By not acting, we often close the door to real guidance, whereas in the process of acting, the energy begins to flow more clearly. And don’t worry too much about making mistakes. If you have a courageous attitude, you’ll find that even if you haven’t taken the best course of action at first, over time your guidance will be clarified. Eventually you may realize that though you totally went off in the wrong direction, things have somehow turned out much better than if you’d started off right in the first place.”
–Swami Kriyananda, Intuition for Starters