The Power of Intuition — V
Silence, Chickens & a kind stranger named Vin
This was probably close to 7 years ago…
I had just spent 2 very interesting weeks in the middle of nowhere. This, nowhere, was a property in a forest area owned by a guy named Les.
Les had been fortunate about 30 years ago to score 2 plots of forest land — multiple acreages — for a bargain of just under $20,000.
He left half of it intact for the local wildlife and used the other half to create an off-the-grid kind of life for himself.
In fact, he had only recently made the decision (after decades), to get connected to the power company’s grid. He was fed up with his gas powered freezer.
He loved his meat, so the freezer was now the only item connected to the new grid.
The rest of it was self sufficient: Rain water supply, solar power for everything else, vegetables, chickens, and so on.
He was a builder by trade, and quite a unique one at that. He never worked with anyone else.
He built entire houses by himself. He had developed a series of contraptions that allowed him to successfully do all kinds of construction work on his own.
On his own property, he had created bunch of small self-sufficient houses using wood, lime and straw bail.
I was really glad to spend some time here after about 2 months of sleeping on cold-concrete. It had been quite relentless.
I got his number through someone I met, and I just gave him a call one day. I said that I would really appreciate it, if I can spend a little time on his property.
I was quite fortunate, and he said ok, because he had become a bit of a loner by this point.
He used to let those little houses to other people in the past, but had stopped doing it for the last few years.
He felt I wouldn’t be much trouble.
The only down side for me would be using the toilet on my trip here. Les had kindly warned me about this: It was a pit with a toilet seat on top of a wooden box.
Housed within an old shack were spiders, flies, mosquitoes and shit. Wow, what a combo.
Traumatizing to say the least.
Every few weeks he’d close one pit up, dig up a new one, and then put the creeply-crawly infested shack back on top of it.
For someone who has lived rough for so long (me), I still have a major problem dealing with low hygiene set ups. I guess some things will never change.
Now this was the first time in my life I got to spend time in a spot where, apart from the odd sound of birds, you couldn’t hear a damn thing.
I had wanted to spend time in a spot where my thoughts would be the only things I could hear, so I could just deal with them in silence.
I was up for the challenge.
I even managed to make friends with a Chicken while I was here; although I’m not sure if she shared the sentiment.
She was the one who got pecked the most by the others. It’s likely why she had such scraggy feathers.
She’d also be the last one to head back into the pen in the evenings, which I understood why.
I’d sometimes sit and just watch her peck the ground in the evening. But whenever she’d notice me walk towards her, she’d stop, and lift up one leg.
It was hilarious because we’d then have this long stare off. The first one to blink or move would lose. She’d stand on one leg as long as it took.
I never won, but this was the only entertainment I would require in my stay here.
When I was around 17, I stumbled upon a copy of this really interesting book: Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Talks with American Students (1968).
After scrolling through it and feeling intrigued, I just put it away for a few years. Yet, even when I got rid of all my belongings, I kept hold of it.
Then in my early 20’s I picked it up again.
I always struggled with reading entire books, but I would open up a random page of this book in times of distress & doubt, and every time I’d find something to hold onto within myself.
He really spoke to my mind more than anything else, and expressed concepts that were like my own unexpressed thoughts.
The time I spent at this property, in essence, was me finally practicing consciously the essence of what Jiddu had expressed.
The re-inforcement of the observer and the observed has been just such a powerful concept all through my journey.
After two weeks had gently passed by at this serene property, I felt quite centered, and decided to keep moving on.
It was a long drive in Les’s pickup truck all the way to the train station. From here, I’d have to catch 2 trains to get back to town.
When I got to the half way mark, I had to disembark the train and catch the next one, to move further.
The next train, however, was 2 hours away.
I decided to walk down to this town’s center and take a look around.
As I walked out of the train station, I had this strong feeling to ‘not catch’ the next train.
This was bizarre, because I did not have anywhere else to go. I wondered to myself why this was. It didn’t make any sense.
As I tried to navigate this inner dialogue, the name of a coastal town popped into my head.
I immediately thought to myself: ‘No way! Not that place!’
This was because I had visited this beach town a few years ago, and I had absolutely hated my stay there!
It was also the time of the year when the town would get extremely crowded. And the vibe, last time around, had caused me to leave within 24 hours of arriving there.
But I also knew this was an intuitive feeling. In contrast to all logic I decided to do it anyway.
I only had enough money for 2 things: To purchase my return fare to the coastal town and back, and once I got there, to probably pay for 2 nights of accommodation.
I’d have to forage for food from the ‘free shelf’ at the hostel, if things were to go my way.
The venture was definitely foolhardy. Yet, against my better judgement, I made my way to this town and checked myself into the local backpacker’s.
It was surprisingly quiet when I arrived.
The owner of the hostel said that it was not a regular occurrence for this time of the year.
He then added: “It will get extremely busy in 2–3 days time for the yearly music festival”.
I was not going to stay here past that, so I didn’t really care.
Also, it turned out someone had just checked out just before I arrived, and left behind a fair bit of food on the free shelf.
It was going to do me just fine for my stay here.
I walked along the river, took a hike up the hills, enjoyed all the fresh air, and spent time watching the waves on the beach. It was just great.
Who would’ve thought?
I got to sleep in peace, in a quiet room with just one other person, even though it was an 8-bed dorm.
The next afternoon, I made myself a sandwich and dropped into in the lounge room to chill out and watch some sport. The owner had gone home for a few hours.
The way this hostel worked was, if someone turned up while the owner was away, they couldn’t get a bed.
He didn’t take bookings and neither did he have a contact number to ring.
I had just found this out from him that morning.
So here I was just chilling on the couch, when a traveler turned up.
He asked me if I worked there? I said no, but if he was willing to wait for a few hours (until the hostel owner turned up), he could possibly get a bed.
But if the owner did not like you, he‘d refuse to take you in!
The traveler wasn’t sure what he was going to do, so we just chatted for a bit. The chat quickly turned into a conversation.
Turned out that he had just decided to rent a car and drive up from a city that was 3 hours away. He had spent a horror night at a hostel there.
It was his first time in that particular city, but he just couldn’t wait to get out of there because of that hostel.
He had originally planned to keep driving past this beach town, but something made him stop here, and come check out this hostel.
Vin was a Realtor (Real Estate agent). It seemed like his personal life back home had gotten quite messy, and his business had yet to hit its straps — he had been grinding for years.
In fact he had decided to get his realtor’s license just after the housing market crash.
He had been funding his business with his credit cards since then. He was really stressed, and felt that he just needed to get away.
So he decided to catch a flight to a city he hadn’t visited before.
He was definitely searching for something…
Now these kind of conversations were right in my sweet-spot. I’ve always enjoyed moving between philosophy, spirituality, business, and everything else in between, within the bounds of a meaningful conversation.
I recommended that he pick up a copy of the 4-hour work week from the local book shop. A person who I knew had raved about it, and I felt this book was in line with at least one of the things Vin was looking for.
A couple of hours had passed in the mean time, and the hostel owner Rob had arrived back.
Vin spoke with him for a bit, and then Rob seemed to approve of him.
Vin went later that afternoon to pick up Tim’s book from the local book store, but somehow the ‘Power of Now’ caught his eye.
He purchased the book, and then basically disappeared for the next day and a half...
In the mean time, I had run out of money to pay for any more nights. But in the morning when I was planning to leave, I overheard the hostel owner saying to someone that it would be nice to have someone give him a hand for a few hours, when it got really busy.
I walked up to him and said I could help, for a few days, perhaps. In return he hooked me up with accommodation.
Now this hostel owner was a strange guy. In years to come I’d get to know him better, and boy is he a character!
He is the kind of person, who, under no circumstances will be anything but himself: unabashed, unfiltered and a pain in the ass lol.
This also made him almost impossible to work with. It’s why I only ended up working with him for 3 days.
Surprisingly, he complemented me at the end of it. He said: “That’s 2 days more than anyone else has ever lasted!”
He’s most definitely an acquired taste. Even sharks can’t mess with him. He once punched a shark about 6 different times when it got too close to him while swimming in the ocean.
This is not a made up story, as someone from the local pier saw it all unfold. It even got covered by the local news!
Now, Vin, by the end of his stay, became an absolute favorite of Rob’s. This, among thousands of travelers who had come through his hostel.
Even though, when Vin spoke to him the first time, he immediately asked Rob to show him the state of the showers! And I do remember this offended Rob a bit.
But in Vin’s defense, he had just come from a hostel where the shower walls had mosquitoes and mold all over them.
Rob, to this day, tells everyone about Vin.
Now, only imagine, if Vin had decided to continue driving past this town?
One, I wouldn’t have met him, and he also wouldn’t have become Rob’s favorite person in the world.
Ah, the power of Intuition.
I, for one, was glad I secured a deal with the hostel owner. Something about the town this time around felt so completely different, and I thought it would be nice to stay here a bit longer.
Its funny how this place has ended up becoming my year-end pilgrimage — pretty much every year since.
Vin and I also catch-up here, every year, during this period.
All the connecting incidents over the previous 2 days were absolutely important in prolonging my stay in this town.
Vin finally turned up that night (almost 30 hours later). He had this wonderful glow on his face.
I asked him what had transpired?
He said our conversation had sparked something for him, and when he came across The Power of Now and started reading it, a whole bunch of things just shifted.
He couldn’t stop reading the book! He drove around, stopped in different spots, and was completely engrossed in the book for a day and a half.
We spoke for a bit that evening. He asked if I was going to stay longer. I said yeah for a few days.
He then asked if I have some time free the next day?
I said yes.
He said: “I’d like to chat some business. You’re really switched on, and I think it’d be really useful”.
We went down to a cafe the next morning and chatted a whole bunch. I shared what I thought about his business and it’s set up, and he really appreciated it.
He then excused himself for a few moments.
When he returned back, he handed me 400 dollars!
I was both, surprised, and very moved by this. I had spent many hundreds of hours over the last few years providing a lot of value to other people.
My homelessness and the value I could provide had no correlation at all. Yet Vin was the first person to actually recognize this and put a value on it.
Life can move in strange ways.
We decided to order something to eat because we were in a bit of zone with our discussions. And just like that something really cool happened…
Vin received an email that brought a smile on his face. A deal, which had not been closing for a while, had finally closed!
He just received, if I remember right, a 3.5K commission!
Unbeknown to him, Vin had just played a game of ‘give before you get’, and I had witnessed the power of this right in front of me.
We have been a constant in each others lives ever since. He’s been an extremely special person in the lives of my partner and I — more than words can ever convey.
His business has moved from strength to strength over the last few years. He has been steadily ticking off his goals, which he wrote down in the week he first came to this town.
My journey has been a bit more complex, crazy and multi-dimensional.
Following the trip to the coastal town, I built 2 sites for Vin’s business. I had never done anything like this until that point. But I knew I could.
I managed to find a bunch of developers from Pakistan (not sure how I found them) and got them to code up these sites.
I managed the team and the projects from library computers. It was crazy!
A couple of months after these projects, I ran into Joe again (remember him?).
He was happy to see me, and asked me to join him for a session at one of his private groups. He said he wanted to hit his group with a completely left of center perspective.
It was via meeting one of the people in this group — coincidentally all 5 of their names started with a ‘J’ — I was unexpectedly thrown into the deep end of Tech.
And years later, here we are. Doing what we’re doing now.
Boy.. has there a journey between that point and today.