Surrendering: God’s Plan vs. Your Plan


Leanne & I recorded another video!!!! I have spoken about letting go of your own plan before (read it here)
All of us can agree that we don’t want the struggle. We plan on controlling, scheduling, negotiating and elbowing in order to get our own way. This results in a struggle and in this false sense that I am the only one that’s not making it work. This is clearly wrong. None of us are able to make it work by ourselves. Our way is not working.

Continue reading “Surrendering: God’s Plan vs. Your Plan”

11 Easy Steps to Escape New York City & Move to California

If you are reading this- Maybe you’re just like me- waiting for others to hand you solutions. Well babe, I got some bad news for you- that’s never going to solve any of your problems. Pray and then put one foot in front of the other. As you move- the answers will appear. Those answers have a pesky way of evading you when you are sitting down doing the thinking. 
The universe requires that you take guided action. Sitting down partaking in what I like to call “mental masturbation”, though amusing, will not render results- save for the anxiety, anger and fear that you will be creating. Clicking into “X Easy Steps” articles is not advisable… Stop it right now! You need to get out there and get your hands dirty trying new crazy things that sometimes scares the heck out of you.
What I can do is tell you my strategy for getting from New York City to California. This is not the holy grail or bible but that does not take away from the fact that the following works: 

Throw all your stuff into 11 luggages! Tah dah! There you go- ELEVEN EASY STEPS!  You heard that right:
Image via FareCompare
Sashay over to Virgin America who allows you to check in 10 luggages that weigh 50 pounds for $25 each. In addition, you can bring all of your valuables-think jewelry, important documents and electronics- in a carry on bag (16 lbs) for a grand total of ELEVEN bags. The key is to weigh your luggage. If you are over the limit there are extra fees. I bought a luggage scale and even went as far as to weigh the luggages at an unattended luggage check station at the airport. 
You are also allowed to bring a personal item- such as a book bag or purse or puppy (puppies fly for an additional $100 dollars- though if you blind them with the 10 checked in luggages they might forget to charge you…this happened to me but I asked to be charged for the puppy for extra karma points) 
If you happen to get their Virgin America credit card– they will give you the first checked in bag for FREE. Not only that but as a cardholder you are invited to board the plane right after first class is called. 
Oh, what is that you say… speak up a bit louder so that I may hear you, “WHO THE BLOODY HELL HAS 11 BAGS???!!!!”
Enter Costco stage right. As you may recall Costco has a 100% product satisfaction return policy… I actually called in to ask a customer service representative. They indeed allow any and all returns within the first calendar year. Anything beyond the first year they will accept due to a defect or if it does not work. Costco sells luggage sets that have 1 large bag, 1 medium bag and 1 carry-on size bag. I purchased 3 sets and one large Samsonite stand-alone bag. The beauty of this is that the sets fit beautifully into each other like little nesting dolls. 
The strategy to take with the smaller suitcases is to pack them with the heavier items so that they still hit the 50 pound limit. And if you guessed- all luggages will be going right back to Costco here in California because as a great friend once said, “I keep my GANGSTA in my back pocket!” 
Carried on the wings of angels…
Now you may think this is all nuts. I am one who likes the easy, seamless and elegant things. I especially like not carrying things or being in charge and taking the easy way out (this sounds horrible typed out…) I did some quick google searches to calculate how much it would cost to ship my things and it got scary:

I looked into uHaul’s boxes and they seemed reasonable priced at $1.70 for a large box and assumed 50 pounds just for the sake of comparing it to operation Virgin.
UPS quoted me $ 93.61
United States Postal Service charges $105
and shockingly… I did not look into FedEx but I did a quick search and they are the cheapest for their Ground Service at $51.69 which is still $26.69 more expensive than my Virgin method. 

In my apartment hunt in California, the first apartment that I looked at was of someone who was doing the opposite move as me- she was going from California to New York City. I asked her what movers she had used and she recommended FlatRate Movers. She said that she had moved 20 large boxes and a TV for $1700. 
I think what was key for me was selling things on Craigslist. What’s funny about that is that 98% of things were purchased by friends, family or friends of friends (people who I am Facebook friends and who I have not seen in 10+ years surprised me by connecting me to buyers). 
When I could not move inventory I GAVE IT AWAY!!! You have to say to yourself- does it cost me the aggravation of having to disassemble this, haul it down stairs or the elevator (if it fits) and figure out the appropriate garbage day (collection could be once per week) OR would you rather have someone come get it so that you can forget it.
Finally, one huge word of advice- DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST SECOND! I did not listen to this advice. I had angels come help me pack. In the end, I also had to have stuff put away in a storage unit.
Manhattan Mini Storage has closet sized storage available for $53/month. 
From the moment I flew out to California to apartment hunt (May 20, 2015) to the moment that I packed up and left (June 29, 2015) I funnily enough had an à la Bible 40 day turnaround on my move… coincidence? I think not!  
I am breaking my vow to save all the juicy details for my (very near) future interview with Oprah… Because I am a selfish sort of woman and want you all to follow in my footsteps! FOLLOW ME TO CALIFORNIA!!! Friends & Family wanted!!! The grass is greener! The grass is greener! The grass is greener wherever I am! 
Now I have planted the idea in your head. I will leave you with one more brain washing tactic, diversion… LOOK A CUTE PUPPY!!!: 
What are your thoughts on my moving strategy? Did you make a huge move and know awesome tips? Leave your comment below- I want to hear from you! 
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Relocation Day: Your Plan vs. God’s Plan

I always imagined that the hardest part about making a move to the opposite coast would be dealing with the residuals of my past life. The picking up the pieces- throwing out what no longer serves me, packing those boxes and locking the door behind me for the very last time. 
I was very blessed in that I sold most things, made peace with the excess of my previous life and parted with many things. Angels showed up to pack my life away. The angels brought a cake that I could not eat because my nerves were working their magic on my stomach. I gave up at about 12:00 am the morning I was set to leave but not before making my family promise that they would store some of my things and return the mess that I had left behind into a pristine apartment. 
My brother slept on my couch to help me lug all of my baggage downstairs. At midnight, I set my phone’s alarm for 4:00 am so that I would be able to get ready and finished packing in time to leave for the airport at 6:00 am sharp. I connected my phone to its charger and passed out on my bed for the very last time. This was my plan.
I slowly open my eyes after peaceful sleep to discover- it is light out… that did not seem right. 4:00 am does not have any light. I looked at my phone, it displayed a caution message and was turned off. I must have missed my plane! I panic and run to the living room where my brother is sleeping… I wake him up and ask him the time – It’s 6:00 am. As my phone turns on I see a message from my friend who is scheduled to take me to the airport- he says, “I am downstairs whenever you are ready.”
How am I in this moment? I yell at my brother to take down all of my luggage as I rush to shower. I get ready and throw the rest of my toiletries in my bags. I collect the puppy and throw her in her carrier. I rush down and it’s 6:28 am. “Hey, maybe we should just leave at 6:30 am instead. I think that’s a better idea” I yell towards the guys who are waiting for me chatting by the car. They had packed the SUV to the brim. Only two seats left to spare.
We rush to the airport and sort out what terminal Virgin America is in. We rush in with three carts and make the line. We are standing in line for a bit when my friend goes to ask security where the check in personnel is. That is when we realize we are standing in the section for Virgin ATLANTIC. We run to the right section. 
After saying good bye. I make my way through security praying that I am not late. I get to my departure gate and board the plane. The pup goes under the seat in front of me. I ask the guy across the aisle to help me with my carry on. I sit down. I am waiting for take off and decide to make a call to my mom. 
The captain gets on the PA system. He says that the mechanics are working to fix the plane and are downloading software. This should take 20 minutes. Twenty minutes go by and he gets on again to announce that it will actually be taking 2 hours and that we would be deplaning to get on a new plane.  And that was when I could hear god laugh… I smiled.

At this point I don’t care about my plan working out or not. There’s a line form A Course In Miracles that says, “I do not perceive my own best interests.” Me, in my own limited brain, cannot for one second even pretend to know what is best or what should happen next. We rush and rush to plan, to predict, to make ourselves feel comfortable with the uncertainty of the future. We lose sight of the fact that our greatest asset is that uncertainty in the unknown. I no longer have my plan. I no longer rely on just myself. Life is bigger. Life is awesome when you know that the universe has your back. Moving to California has taught me that there are no limits and there’s no use in truly planning. Stick to broad strokes, ideas and desires – God will fill in the rest. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’re on the right path. It’s even better when you know that this adventure we call life will be not only be fun but that you will laugh along the way. As they say in California, I am in the wind…

P.S. Support my crazy dream of (F) UNemployment: Read more here. Help me relocate to CALIFORNIA!!!! Donate here. 
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Do You Doubt Yourself?: How to Know You’re on the Right Track

I have had so many people say that I am such an inspiration and that they wish they could do what I am doing. This is not how I know that I am on the right track. I know I am right on schedule humming along in unison with the Universe’s plans for me when I get calls like this:

I look down at my phone and see an unrecognizable number. I pick up. I say hello and realize it’s an old friend who I haven’t seen in a very long while and haven’t spoken to in ages. She asks what’s new- I sense where this is going so I cut to the chase. When you get these out of the blue calls they usually come from someone who’s on a specific mission or purpose- it’s most definitely not about the chit chat.
I tell her that I’m moving to California next week. She tells me that’s what she had heard. She then goes on to express fear and tell me that that’s a far away state and I don’t have any family there. That perhaps someone has somehow convinced me to go or maybe I’m moving with friends- friendships can be hot and cold. Perhaps I have picked up a romanticized idea of California. It is dangerous. 
I sit in silence thinking that this mainly one-sided conversation we are having is more for her than for me. I’ve seen this before. I had been waiting for this call- I just didn’t expect it from her, I expected it from a different vessel/messenger. Doubt takes human form. Those were my own insecurities coming from her mouth.

My mind then races to Freshman Year in College. I had received a call from an 809 number. I foolishly picked up. It was my dad calling from the Dominican Republic. He called to tell me that I was abandoning my mom by going off to college. Girls don’t go away and leave their mothers alone. He suggested that I should go to City College and stay home. I should not be by myself- It’s dangerous…
Queue Four years of awesome challenges that let me see how strong I am. Then I was a 4+ hour bus ride away and now I will be a 5 to 6 hour plane ride away. 
If you’re waiting for approval- that’s a sad state of affairs. In that instant I was grateful for my friend’s call. I needed that call to know that big stuff is coming my way. Awesomeness is on its way.
I then hung up and started packing with such happiness in my heart – I was at peace. This is how you know you are on the right track- ask yourself do you have peace?
Thank you Universe for giving me a sign- because at this point every thing’s a sign :p Feeling fully supported and blessed.

P.S. Support my crazy dream of (F) UNemployment: Read more here. Help me relocate to CALIFORNIA!!!! Donate here. 
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Vent: What the F* is Wrong with California’s Real Estate

I have been petrified of looking at apartments. I even confided in a friend and she emailed me where to look. I buckled up my big girl pants and gathered the courage to look. Sure enough good old anxiety started up. I had a knot in my throat and tension in my chest. I decided I would blog the anxiety out: 
What on earth is going on in California? I pose this as an innocent question and not as an attempt to bash my soon to be home state. A few listings that left me saying, What the F*CK?!!!? :

1. The “Bachelor”: I look at the real estate landscape and there are these units called “Bachelor” apartments- they are apparently micro studios usually with a mini kitchenette or WITHOUT kitchens that are renting out for upper $800 to $1,000’s… how is that possible?
2. Studio’s: In terms of pricing- real studios are in the thousands and one bedrooms are super expensive- upwards of $1200 it seems. 
3. The Lies of a Studio: There are even apartments without bathrooms where you have to share communal/public bathrooms in the building. And yes the price for sharing where you wash up is $1,198… No pets allowed! 
So if you’re keeping tally- No bathroom apartments, you will not be cooking in Cali or high way robberies… But they all do have a pool!!! What the hell!! Keep your pool and give me a kitchen and a bathroom thank you very much!
Nothing says welcome home like bumping against the reality of the real estate market. Now, clearly this is me panicking and sending out an SOS message. (A.K.A. talking out of my *ss instead of continuing to look for apartments). 
I only just begun my search so this is totally premature but I must say- Real Estate please don’t dash my California dreams… I am totally speaking out of fear and trepidation. This is totally not an accurate assessment but an ignorant diatribe of someone who is waiting on her miracle.  I am being a big baby and missing my big paycheck that I use to wield around like a big d*ck and throw at my problems. Oh look at that- now I have to be creative god forbid. Maybe I can be an egg donor and cash in- I heard Ivy League grad eggs go for a premium… Or maybe I can sell a piece of my liver- I heard they regenerate…
Taking deep breaths and putting myself on time out for now. Dear lord hold me tight! 
P.S. Support my crazy dream of (F) UNemployment: Read more here. Help me relocate to CALIFORNIA!!!! Donate here. 
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