When The Universe Speaks, You Listen…

Hey guys,

Long time, no see!

I hope you’re all doing well and staying as healthy and positive as you possibly can throughout the crazy times we’re currently living in.

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about some stuff that’s been going on recently. This is going to be a bit deep and apart of all of the spirituality stuff I’ve been talking to you guys about recently, so if you don’t really believe in that stuff or aren’t interested in it, then you should probably stop here and skip this post.

Before I continue I also wanted to mention that, no, all my posts moving forward are NOT going to be solely spirituality based. In fact, this may be the last one for a while (unless you guys really are interested in it and want me to continue to speak about it). I just wanted to be able to bring you guys along for this mental health/spirituality journey that I’ve been on for the past few months.

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Where I’m At Right Now

At this point, it’s been about 4 months since I’ve officially been diagnosed with anxiety, and 5 months since I started feeling everything that I mentioned previously. I’ve been VERY open with you guys about everything that I had been going through, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve also let you guys know all of the things that were helping me to cope with that anxiety, but today I want to talk to you about something deeper that’s been helping and the results I’ve been getting because of it.

To just be straight up about it, I believe that the MAIN 2 things that have been helping me the absolute most recently are my crystals and prayer.

*DISCLAIMER BEFORE I CONTINUE: I AM NOT ONE TO PUSH RELIGION OR MY GENERAL BELIEFS ON TO ANYONE. EVERYTHING I AM GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT ARE JUST THINGS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME PERSONALLY AND I WANTED TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU GUYS IN CASE YOU HAVE FELT STUCK LIKE I HAVE THE PAST FEW MONTHS AND CHOOSE TO GIVE THEM A TRY ON YOUR OWN.*

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What’s Been Working

Going through sudden and intense anxiety attacks the way that I was, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever gone through in my life. There were times where it literally felt like I was losing control of my mind and body, and even felt like I was going to die at any minute (sorry to be so gruesome, but it’s true).

People (my family, friends, etc.) would tell me left and right that I was going to be okay eventually, I just had to give it time. As nice as it was to hear those things from those people, it didn’t feel like enough. In spite of everyone telling me the same things over and over again, I was still FEELING how I was internally, and it was terrifying.

I turned to every single book, online article, and even spoke to a clairvoyant, in hopes that it would give me the ease in mind that I was looking for.

I. WAS. DESPERATE.

Desperate for someone to give me new information about myself, what I was feeling, or simply just give me hope that this in fact was going to pass (and hopefully soon).

So, I ended up turning to something that I hadn’t really done in YEARS.

PRAYER.

The past few months I have been praying with my crystals like CRAZY asking God/the Universe to send me a sign; any kind of sign that I am going to be okay because of how scared I was about it all. Every single night before bed (still to this day) I pray with my crystals. I talk to God/the Universe about my day, the good and the bad, what I’m struggling with, what I’m hoping for, what I’m thankful for, etc. In the morning I do something similar where I talk about my hopes for the day, how thankful I am to have been able to wake up to another beautiful day, etc.

It may not seem much to some, and even when I first started doing it again, I didn’t think it was doing much, but the more you do it, the better you feel (I think). Even after doing it for about a month, that I felt it wasn’t doing much or that “nothing was happening,” internally, for mental health, I felt SO good about it everyday. I actually looked forward to saying my prayers every morning to start the day and every night before going to bed. It became part of my routine.

It wasn’t until I least expected it, about 2-3 months after I was doing it that I really started to notice “THE SIGNS.”

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The Signs

A sign could potentially be anything to anyone. What’s a sign to me, may not be a sign to you, it may just look like whatever to you, and that’s okay, but I want to talk to you guys about some of the signs I was seeing that started letting me know my prayers were actually being answered and slowly but surely, things were getting better.

When I first started seeing them I second guessed it a LOT because I kept thinking “maybe I’m just so desperate that I’m making it up,” “maybe these things were always here and I’m only just noticing them,” etc., but that wasn’t the case at all, and I’ll tell you why when I mention them….

  1. 2 monarch butterflies.

It took me a while to realize this one. Everyday throughout quarantine during my hour lunch break, my best friend Geno and I would walk around the park that I live across the street from, but to start each walk, we would always sit on these benches in the middle of it and just talk.

It took me about 2 weeks to realize these butterflies were FOLLOWING me….crazy? Let me continue….I live in the South Bronx, across the street from a park that isn’t necessarily the cleanest. And I’ve lived here my entire life. When I tell you you never see butterflies like that in the park, you NEVER SEE BUTTERFLIES LIKE THAT IN THE PARK!! (iykyk). The most you see are the little basic white ones that are always usually in parks.

I really started to realize them when every time I was in the park with Geno, they were always hovering around us. And every time I would go home and sit outside in front of my house, one of them would always be there. So, I decided to look up the meaning of them and this is what I found….

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Rise Dramatically - Texas A&M Today

Butterflies are seen as a symbol of foretelling and spiritual transformation in Christianity. In Catholicism, they are a symbol of rebirth, a strong theme throughout many religious texts. … According to some sources, a Monarch butterfly in particular is a sign that you are on the right path to achieve your goals.”

Geno noticed them too and realized that it was always when we were sitting in that spot/area that they would appear and be around us. After a while, when I realized their purpose, they weren’t around anymore.

2. Dragonflies

This one I realized halfway through the summer. Again, we live in an area that things like dragonflies really aren’t all that common to see around. Plus, dragonflies are SO fast when they fly, you could barely see them to begin with unless they’re settled on a spot for you to be able to notice them.

My dad actually noticed this one after a while too and it was only when we were sitting on our back patio that we would see them flying/hanging around. Again, I decided to look it up and this is what I found…..

Swarms of dragonflies across 3 states are so large they're showing up on  radar - ABC News

“In almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The change that is often referred to has its source in mental and emotional maturity and understanding the deeper meaning of life.”

They too disappeared after I really started to pay attention to their presence and purpose.

3. Bees

This one kind of pissed me off because I HATE bees, but hey…you can’t/shouldn’t question the Universe, right? Lol.

I started noticing this one when Geno and I would actually start having lunch at one of the park tables instead of walking around like we used to.

Now I know what you’re thinking, bees are definitely everywhere, especially in parks, and I agree with you. That’s why at this point I started questioning whether or not the things I was seeing/encountering were actually signs or I was just doing too much. HOWEVER, Geno would even agree, the bees were always flying to me specifically; on me, next to me, etc. (and not just in the park, we would be walking around Manhattan and the same thing would happen. And no, I don’t wear fragrances or anything like that that would attract them!! Anyway, once again, although at this point I was definitely skeptical, I still decided to look it up and this is what I found….

Spiritual Meaning of Bees Landing On You

“The bee symbolizes community, brightness and personal power. Follow the bee to discover your new destination. Bees are a symbol of wealth, good luck and prosperity since Ancient times. Charms in the shape of a honey bee are said to be good luck for attracting wealth.”

4. Finally, a white dove.

I’m just going to start this one off by saying, who the HELL randomly sees a white dove in the South Bronx?? Especially one that lands right next to them and stays staring at them for like 5 minutes, and even let me go towards it and didn’t flinch or immediately fly away like a bird normally would?!

This one really blew my mind.

However, because I felt no one would believe this one, I not only took a picture, but I also made my parents see it as well before it left. And as soon as they came out, the dove flew up and landed right next to my dad on the banister. I believe that the dove had 2 purposes and was also a sign for him as well.

Some people said this was an albino pigeon, but when I looked up what a dove looked like, it looked the same to me. Regardless, of course I HAD to look this one up, and this is what I found….

White doves are symbolic of new beginnings, peace, fidelity, love, luck and prosperity.  Their release is a tradition that has been making ceremonies, rituals and celebrations more powerful and meaningful for thousands of years. Releasing doves uplifts the eyes, signifies new beginnings and true celebrations in flight.”

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Sorry this post is so long, but I really wanted to share this stuff with you guys and let you know that the Universe is ALWAYS listening and sending you signs about your life paths believe it or not, you just have to pay attention to them, even if they seem a little far-fetched!!

This is also why I am SUCH a firm believer that if you are a good person who does what he/she has to do, you are a believer and ask, I promise you will receive. It may not be today, tomorrow or in a week, but it WILL happen. You just have to keep your faith, continue to believe and also PUT IN THE WORK. The Universe isn’t going to just give you what you want a silver platter. You have to ask, but also do your part!!

🧿🧿I’ve been so blessed in more ways then one these past few weeks, and I can’t wait to finally be able to share with you guys how/why I say that, so stay tuned for it!🧿🧿

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and managed to read it til the end. Love you guys, thanks so much for reading, don’t forget to drop a like and hit the follow button if you’re new and I’ll see you in the next one! ❤️❤️❤️

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

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California Vacation Costs

Hey guys,

It’s taken me a while to put up this post not just because of a deadly disease I have called procrastination, but also just because I’ve really been trying to think of the right ways to be able to explain and breakdown everything that I did in a way that makes sense and is helpful; which, I think I’ve finally got.

Recently I got a request from someone I know asking me to detail more or less the cost of our California trip because they were interested in setting a trip up there as well, BUT they were on somewhat of a tight budget.

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Before I get into the technicalities of it all, I just want to mention that throughout our time booking this trip (which was pretty much only 3-4 months), we were on a tight budget as well, AND it was somewhat of a last minute decision to book.

We had been going back and forth about it for a WHILE until we were all finally just like screw it…we’ve never traveled altogether before, and it could be a great and fun experience for us all; plus (at the time) my brother had been going through a break-up and his birthday was approaching, AND the time we were going was a little bit after MY birthday, so we figure it was the perfect time to do it.

Being that it was all a little last minute, we tried to be as smart as possible about our finances, like putting money to the side from each of our checks and as much as we could  put to the side at the moment, going for Airbnbs instead of hotels, buying groceries in bulk instead of eating out every night, and finding discounts on park tickets.

I also just wanted to mention that since we were all traveling and doing these things together, we split relatively all of the costs down the middle so that it was all even and wouldn’t be nearly as much as it would have been had we all paid for this stuff individually.

That being said, I’m going to go into all of the nitty-gritty details about all of the things I just mentioned.

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Necessary Expenses: Places to Stay, Food and Transportation

  1. First thing’s first, FLIGHTS. We used this app called Hopper which really came in handy when it came to booking our flights because it allowed us to track them for a while to see when/if prices for them were going up or down. It would also give us predictions for the best/worst times to book because they would either be the cheapest in the moment or they may get slightly cheaper (same with the alternative of it possibly getting more expensive). Does that make sense? Per person, our flights going to San Francisco was $119 which was the absolute cheapest price we probably could’ve gotten it for (and we flew Alaska Airlines and was a straight flight). Coming home from Los Angeles, we actually weren’t as lucky with a straight flight or a cheap one for that matter. We ended up accidentally waiting a little too long and the price per person went up to $181 (we flew American Airlines coming back home).

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2. Second were the Airbnbs. Doing this ended up helping us a LOT too believe it or not because we easily would’ve ended up spending twice as much had we stood in a hotel. In total for the airbnbs we spent about $1,386.20. We were only in the San Francisco airbnb for 2 nights, which came out to a total of $830.16 (which per person was $207.54).We were in Los Angeles a lot longer (4 nights, 5 days), which came out to a total of $1,112.07 (which per person was $278). The thing that I liked about booking the airbnbs the most was the fact that they did the payments in installments. That was super helpful, they asked you to pay half of the cost the day you booked it, and then the other half later on down the line (which for us was about a month and a half after we first booked). So we didn’t have to worry about putting all that money down all at once.

airbnb-678x381

3. Next was Ubers. Unfortunately while we were in San Francisco, our only real form of transportation was taking Ubers everywhere. We spent a LOT of money on it, which kind of sucked, but honestly, we had no other option. We didn’t know the buses or trains like that so if not for Ubers, we would’ve lost a lot more time simply trying to figure out how to get around. So, I would not recommend doing this unless you completely plan ahead for the public transportation use OR do a car rental, which we didn’t think necessary to do since we were only in San Francisco a day and a half. We spent almost $200 on Ubers all over San Francisco.

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4. Next was booking our MegaBus tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We played around with the idea of renting a car to drive ourselves to LA, but thought it would be an extra unnecessary expense plus paying for gas, snacks along the way, etc., so we stuck to taking a bus there. The tickets in total were $216.50, which per person came out to about $54. Not too bad. Plus it was an interesting experience to drive along the coast for ALL of us to enjoy instead of taking turns driving and what not (it was also a 6 hour trip btw).

megabuscomflorida_750xx4866-2737-0-78

5. Next was our car rental in Los Angeles. This we found to be a little more necessary just because of the longer amount of time we spent here, plus all the places we ended up going. It was just better and easier. We rented our car from a website called Turo , which was super quick and easy to use. The guy we rented from was really nice and super responsive for any/all questions we had about the car. Plus his car was really nice (we had gotten a 2017 Nissan Altima). The total for the car, given the amount of days we needed it for, was $261.91, which came out to about $65 per person; it was also pretty good on gas and we only had to fill it up 2-3 times.

Turo-first-time--370x260

6. And finally shopping for food in bulk. We thought this would be one of the best ways to attempt to save some money out there as opposed to spending on eating out every single day whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or all of the above. So, on our first official day in LA we went to a nearby Walmart and spent $140 on groceries with all of those things to sustain us for the rest of the week. Now, of course we did end up eating out a few times because there were certain places out there that we wanted to try, but generally, I think we did pretty good with saving SOME money by buying our food in bulk. Plus our Los Angeles airbnb we had the entire house to ourselves WITH a fully equipped/stocked kitchen, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?

Image result for walmart

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Leisure Expenses: Eating Out, Theme Parks & Souvenirs

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So this part is for the extracurricular things we obviously decided to do on the side that weren’t “necessary” but did cost a decent amount of money.

  1. Amusement parks. While we were in Los Angeles we couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to the amusement parks….I mean, we could’ve, but I wasn’t going to let that happen!!! So, we ended up going to Disneyland and Universal Studios. Typically, the prices for tickets to these parks could be pretty freakin’ pricey, if we’re being honest, BUT we were able to get discounted prices on ours thanks to my mom’s job and this website that employees there tend to get discounts for on a variety of things. A typical 1-day ticket to Disneyland (per person) costs $174, for an adult. With my mom’s discount, we were able to get our tickets for $149. Similarly with Universal Studios, one ticket normally costs about $139, and we were able to get them for $94.50. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips and tricks for this one other then to try googling discount codes or seeing if your job or anyone you know’s job offers discounted prices on things like this.

2. Souvenirs & Food. This one is kind of hard to write and talk about just because I didn’t bother to calculate how much I/we spent on food or souvenirs, and even if I did, it wouldn’t really matter just because stuff like that depends on the particular person traveling. Personally, whenever I travel anywhere, I’m a huge souvenir person, that’s just how I am, but Diego for instance isn’t. I have to like force him to get little souvenirs because he’s fine with just experiencing the places, taking pictures/videos, and just being good that way. As for food, again it depends on the person or people you’re with, as well as yourself. We ate at a few different places in the Disney parks, we got In n Out, we tried this bakery called Susie Cakes, we tried this place called the Rose Cafe for breakfast one day and then we bought the food in bulk from Walmart for all the other days we were there.

So, all in all, when calculating everything, yes we still spent a decent amount, BUT it just basically comes down to being mindful of your spending habits and looking for deals whenever you can. At the end of the day, it’s vacation so you should be splurging a little, BUT there are also ways to be smart about it like finding affordable apps for flights, places to stay, etc.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it gave you a better perspective as to the cost(s) of a trip like this, more specifically when you’re in a group and on somewhat of a tight budget.

Also, just an FYI that I did 2 travel vlogs on my YouTube channel completely showing how our trip went in both San Francisco and Los Angeles , which, if you haven’t already done so, you should DEFINITELY check it out. It also shows you a better idea/view of the airbnbs in case the pictures on the site aren’t that great.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel btw to stay up to date with all of my videos 😉 .

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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