Need EXTRA Time?

indexI can’t believe it’s that time of year again… already!!!  Where does the time go?

Time.  That’s the discussion for today.  This week most of us in the U.S. will be turning our clocks back an hour, on Sunday evening at 2am to be exact.  You know what that means, 1 extra hour to…  hmmm… what will you do with that extra hour?

You could go to bed and wake up at your normal time feeling more rested for getting that extra hour of sleep.  Perhaps you would choose something a little more exciting instead.  Wouldn’t that be the perfect night to plan a Halloween party with friends?  The time difference would enable you to stay out a little later and still get up at the same time. How about staying up late with your love or your kids and watching an extra movie (if you can stay awake through it.)

Just remember though, if you have to work on Sunday, be extra careful and set two alarms. You wouldn’t want to show up to work an hour early!!  I’ve done that.  That hour belongs to you!!  Don’t lose it.

I’m guessing you have unique ideas as to what you would do with an extra hour.  I’d love to hear it.  I’m looking forward to your incredible suggestions in the comment section.

If you are excited about having this extra hour, and you would love to have MORE time in your life on a daily basis, check out the link below for some amazing suggestions on how you could save time!  20 Ideas That Give You More Time in Your Day.

Thank you as always for stopping by.  Please leave a comment below, not only as to what you will do with that hour but as many options as you could think of to give our readers new ideas.

Missy Bell

*Photo from communities.washingtontimes.com
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Does Procrastination Get The Best Of You?

We often go through our day-by-day routines and get so caught up in our daily lives and the distractions that surround us, that when we look back, we realize we’ve missed something.  When we procrastinate on what needs to be done for things less important, we find that we miss out on opportunities because we are just too busy.

1378095_10151712087208456_1825873859_nAs time progresses we realize that, even with good intentions, we may not be where we want to be.  We find that regret sets in and we start beating ourselves up for things we have not accomplished.  In reality, when we were in those moments of our daily lives we were doing the best with what we had and what we were able to do with the time allotted.

It’s often that time becomes the enemy.  We never seem to have enough of it.  I know the older I get, the less hours I feel I have in a day.  It seems that if there was a way to stop it, for whatever we needed it for; if there was a way, we would have already found it.  All it seems we can do is recognize what it is we feel we are missing or need to accomplish, manage time better and find a way to fit it in.

Recognizing it before we fall too far behind is very essential. The best way to do that is to evaluate more instead of just going through the day-to-day motions.  I know, it sounds so much easier than it actually is.  It’s important to slow down daily and make it a routine to check in with yourself.  Scan your day and acknowledge what went well, what didn’t and what you missed that could be scheduled the next day.  Write it down then give yourself a time frame, maybe even set an alarm. Then take solid action.

Some days will seem so out of control with everything that is expected of us.  It’s important to not be too hard on yourself.  Make every effort to do your best in every moment.  When you do your best, there should be no regrets.

I Don’t Remember Asking You

What do you mean you dont like meI am so glad we were each given such individual personalities.  We are so unique that no two people think the same way or the same thing.  It really is a blessing.  The problem is though, that I notice more and more that we seem to forget that other people are not us.  We try to convince them that what is right for us is right for them, trying to enforce our views, our way of life, our methods onto them.

People ask for advice, that’s true.  That’s when they want to know your opinion.  They are stuck for ways to help themselves or they don’t trust that the decision they’ve made for themselves is the best one, that perhaps there’s another way they are not aware of that would benefit the situation a bit better.  That’s a time we have the right to interject, to help, inform, give options.  At the same time, we should try to find out as much information from them that we can before offering advice.

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend on Facebook.  She stated she was going to do something because, well, “that’s what <she> needed” for herself to heal.  She figured it out on her own.  No one told her she had to, it came from her.  It wasn’t long after she posted that someone put in their two cents and commented, “That’s not what you need, you need <this>.”  I thought about that.  Thankfully she wasn’t offended by it but many people would be.  We mean well when we do it but why should we be telling someone else what they need when they already know?

Coincidentally, another friend posted something similar that she was sharing from someone on her feed:

Post:  “Unsolicited advice is often viewed as criticism.”

Comment: “Until there is a question, there is no place for the answers to go. It’s like water pouring on a saturated sponge. Useless. If you want to help, offer unsolicited questions, which empower others to find their own answers.”

What a great response to that I thought.  Giving advice when it’s not asked for is useless.  Not only will the other person not hear it or use it, but they may become resentful for having been told what to do or what is right for them when they feel they already know.

Asking questions that would cause the person to think in a different way is much more beneficial.  If you can’t think of the right questions to prompt a better thought process, it is best to be supportive of their decision or not say anything at all.  It saves you from alienating the other person and causing friction in the friendship or relationship.

Let me be me and find my own way.  If I’m not about to hurt myself or someone else, perhaps it would be best to let me learn from my own mistakes.  Sometimes making mistakes is the best way to learn.  And if it’s right for me, it won’t be a mistake, only in your eyes.  Thankfully, that is why we were given the ability to be as unique as we desire.

What are your thoughts in regards to this?

For more posts on relationships, inspirations and ways to increase happiness and reduce stress, see the sidebar for more posts.  If this has helped you or you think it can help someone else, feel free to share.

Missy Bell

A Vision of Peace and Wonder

As we were driving to our destination today I witnessed an unexpected flock of birds take flight.  As I anticipated their next move I was fascinated by the fluidity with which they moved together as a group, changing direction together, They seemed indecisive as to where their destination was and I was curious if they were deciding in mid flight or if they had somehow communicated this decision prior to take off and this was just an attempt to get everyone headed in the right direction.  Did only one of them know which direction they needed to fly to get where they were going?  Did they get started and one of them decided to be the leader, head to the front and command to be followed?  Perhaps they are exercising or just spreading their wings. Maybe this is how they play.

I could most likely find answers to their aviary patterns, and why they do what they do, but I don’t have the desire to know.  I would rather be in awe, let it remain a mystery to me so that when I see them again, I can be free to ask these questions in my head, create my own scenarios.  It makes it more of a wonder, a gift.  If I knew, it may take away it’s splendor, my amazement of it all, the glory, the beauty.

Watching birds in flight is one of the many things that brings me peace.  The view may not last long but it is simple, free and amazing.

What is something that you enjoy that would be better left unexplained in order for you to continue enjoying it?

The Power of Forgiveness

1385621_3516175440282_2062940749_nWho deserves your forgiveness?  Do you forgive people easily or hold onto whatever hurt they caused you?  How long do you hold onto it?  Why?

As you read this post, remember that you and I are not all that different.  I’m not sharing this story so you think I have huge self control or anything like that.  I have just come to realize a few things about life and myself that perhaps other people have just not come to realize yet.  Life is a learning process and is gradual.  We all learn things in our own way and in our own time.

The other day I was reading my Sister-In-Law’s blog post and it really resonated with me.  I wanted to share my response to her post with you (I have edited it so it becomes complete as a stand alone post however.)

If would encourage you to check out her blog as well.  Here is the link: Mastering Forgiveness | Peggy Bell Nolan.

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On the 5th of November, 2012, I noticed that it was getting late and my 17 year old son, Austin, was still out with friends.  I was getting concerned about the time since he had school and work the next day.  I tried his phone and it went to voice mail.  Perhaps he was ignoring me.  I left a message that it was late and I would like him to head home, a message he would not actually hear until more than a week later.

About :30 minutes after I left the voice mail there was a knock at the door.  I answered and it was a police officer.  “Ma’am, is your son Austin Bell?”  My heart sank.  I don’t remember answering him.  “He was in an accident and the charge nurse needs you to call the hospital so they can get permission to transport him.”  He couldn’t give me any other details except that I needed to call the hospital.  I shut the door on the policeman and yelled for my husband as I collapsed onto the stairs.  I remember my oldest son staying out with the cop, us quickly grabbing a few things and the three of us heading out the door as we called the hospital.

I was extremely grateful to learn that he would eventually be OK but he needed to be transported to a hospital in Boston where they specialize in youth medicine.  He had a compound fracture of both bones in his left leg, below the knee and it needed to be reset.  The hospital he was in didn’t specialize in that.  It took us more than an hour to get to the hospital, then another :15 to find him.  When we walked in, the first thing he said was, “Mom, please don’t cry.  That won’t be good for either of us.”  His face was twice it’s normal size, swollen from all the glass that was embedded in his face and all the open lacerations from it and he was wearing a neck collar,  I will probably never be able to lose that image in my head.

I stayed at the hospital until he was released many days later, except for a 3 hour break to drive home and vote before returning to be by his side.

I learned Austin had been a back seat passenger in a car driven by a junior operator who illegally had people in her vehicle, unbeknownst to the passengers that it was illegal for her to drive with them in the car, and she drove into a tree.  She could have killed all 4 of them,  He had his seat belt on but just before the accident the car hit a bump in the road and the driver was driving too fast.  When they hit the bump, Austin grabbed the back of the seat in front of him, preventing the seat belt from locking.  The car swerved into another lane and was headed toward an oncoming car.  She jerked the car back into her lane, causing Austin to move from the area of the back seat where he was toward the middle of the backseat.  As almost with the same motion, the car was stopped dead when it hit a tree head on and during the impact he smashed his leg into the metal bar of the drivers seat and caught all the glass from the windshield that was deflected from the two front airbags, directly into his face.

I had never met the driver before and when he told me about the accident, I didn’t even know who she was.  I knew most of Austin’s friends, at least by name.  The moment she called him on the hospital phone to see how his surgery went, (He had a rod inserted into his leg to stabilize the bones to help them grow back together,) I told her that I was not angry with her.  I knew I couldn’t be.  If I was, that anger would consume me and where I needed to be emotionally was there for my son.  It was the only way we could heal quickly through that.

Austin didn’t need me to be angry, neither did she.  She already blamed herself and we later found out that a lot of the students in her school turned against her because of the accident.  She didn’t need me to add to that.  There wasn’t alcohol or drugs involved, just poor judgement.

I remember the first time I met her.  She had come to our house after he was out of the hospital.  It was hard for me.  I realized the forgiveness had not been 100% but I didn’t let on.  I reminded myself that it would not be good for any of us.  She was still healing too.  She shattered every bone in her face and had to have reconstructive surgery.  She hugged me and cried when she left.  I later received an incredible text from her thanking me for letting her into my home and welcoming her and she stressed how healing it had been for her.

Why do I share such a graphic story?  I’m hoping this may help you in some way.  I feel it is very important to forgive.  It’s not about the other person, it’s not about payback for something they did.  YOU don’t need to hold a grudge.  It is truly damaging to your own health much more than theirs.  The reason?  YOU need to live with these feelings of hatred or the feeling you need to get them back for whatever they did, a need for revenge.

It was easier to forgive this when it was done immediately. I didn’t let the negativity consume me before hand.  It was easier to move past this.  Austin is healed now and can actually run again. Tonight is his first night trying MMA and Kickboxing, 11 months after the accident/surgery.  Time healed the bones in his leg, the glass is gone, leaving him with only a few scars on his face and leg.  There are a few things he can’t do, but not many.  His recovery took about 8 months and he missed a great deal of his senior year.  He too, forgave, or perhaps, he never even blamed in the first place.  He was an inspiration through this.  This accident made him a stronger person and gave him the chance to prove who he was and just how strong his character is.  We would never want to repeat it but are grateful for what came out of it.  His recovery would not have been as quick and the emotional healing would have taken much longer if he had chosen not to forgive.  He could have chosen a “pity me” attitude but he didn’t.  He looked at this as what it was “an accident,” something he had no control over and could not change once it had happened.

I remember him saying, “there’s nothing I can do about it, might as well make the best of it.”

Forgiveness is for you.  It helps you heal and move on to a happier, healthier life.  You deserve that.  Holding on to the negativity can send you into depression and make you hold onto the initial feelings of emotional hurt and pain you felt from the situation.  You will re-live it over and over again.  Your ultimate goal should be to move on from whatever it is.

Are you ready to heal?  Are you ready to forgive?  If you don’t know where to start and talking to the person is not an option, write them a letter, releasing them from what happened, releasing your feelings of it and letting them know that you will be moving on, no longer carrying the pain of the situation with you.  Whether you send it or not is up to you.

Thanks for your thought provoking post that inspired this one Peggy!

If you are interested in reading more that will help you reduce stress and increase happiness, see the sidebar for more titles and categories.  Feel free to visit my other blog,Where The Ghosts Live – The Haunted United States.

Missy Bell

What is Your Passion – 10 Ways to Discover a New Passion

What is your passion?

What do you do that makes you feel the most alive?

How often do you spend doing it?

Have you found that one thing in your life that makes you smile from ear to ear?  I’m not talking about about a person, not your children or your significant other.  I’m referring to that something that comes from within you.  That something you, and you alone can do to contribute to the happiness and the quality of the way you live your life?  This could be your talent or your heart’s deepest desire.

Perhaps you haven’t found it yet.  When you do, I’m sure you will know.  If you haven’t found it yet, get out there, try new things.  There are so many things that you could find passion in that the list would be endless.  The road to discovery will teach you a great deal about yourself.  Once you find the passion, don’t let go.  Learn more, make it bigger, but never give up on it.  Create new goals around it, feed it.  You can include those you love in the process.  Perhaps along the way they will find their passion.

Here are some top ideas of things you may like to try.  See if any of them resonate with you.  You may give it a shot and find that it leads you to where you are meant to be.  Follow your heart.  Think about what you liked to do or were interested in when you were a child or teenager.

  1. Get out in nature and explore
  2. Listen more closely to music, the beats, the lyrics
  3. Pick a destination that is safe that has always interested you and walk from point A to point B within it or to it
  4. Research something you think is interesting
  5. Visit a museum
  6. Take an online class or a non-credit course
  7. Make a video or photo album
  8. Try a new sport
  9. Pick up a good book or write one
  10. Work with your hands to create art of any kind

These are just a few examples.  I’ve learned that I am not as happy when I put off doing what I love for things I dislike.  Take charge and make time to do what you love.  You will shine brighter than you ever thought you could.  Life will actually seem easier because you have something positive to focus on.  There will be that escape to something wonderful when you are down that will lift you out of a bad mood.

I know where I would be without writing and without pursuing my passions.  I’ve been there and it’s not much fun. Everyday life can seem mundane and boring; the slightest things that go wrong can seem like something so major.  But when I can escape into one of my many passions, I’m alive again and I even find that I learn more about myself.

Take the time to find your passion if you haven’t already.  You deserve time for yourself and you deserve to feel fulfilled.

If you know your passion, please share it below.  Give others some ideas of things that might interest them.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you will visit a few of my other posts on this site.  They are all geared toward reducing stress and increasing happiness.  Let me know when you find something that resonates with you.  You can also check out my latest blog site, “Where the Ghosts Live,” at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.Wordpress.com.

Missy Bell

A MUST READ If You Ever Want To Swim With The Dolphins

This is one of my bucket list items and I can guarantee I’m not alone.  I know my husband and children are very interested as well.  I have touched a dolphin before at the New England Aquarium in Boston and I think we did at Sea World but that was so very long ago and for such a brief time that it only made me want to experience more.

I decided to find out some information on what was available and what the current rates would be.  This is one thing that, even after crossing off my first swim with them, I cannot be sure it will remove it from the list completely because I’m sure I’ll want to do it again.

After doing some research I found something amazing.  There are excursions that actually last longer a week, not just 30 minutes or an hour!  Before this research I had no idea.  I thought I would share those with you.  I’m sure if you are interested in just doing a half hour or so and you have a specific location in mind, you can easily find the one that’s right for you.  The prices on those range between $169-$400.  I included a couple of those at the bottom.

Dolphins are majestic and have been said to have amazing healing powers physically and for the soul.  I can’t wait to find out first hand.

5-7 DAY EXCURSIONS

layout-image_r2_c2Dolphin Expeditions in the BahamasWebsite: http://www.dolphinexpeditions.com/

I have never heard of this, but there is a place called Bimini in the Bahamas where you can spend a week on their boat and at a private island resort.  You will have a full week to experience the dolphins in their natural habitat and swim with them.  They have an all-inclusive, all you can eat buffet, free snorkel gear and suits.  Prices are around $1457.00.00 per person-US dollars,  for one week, almost all inclusive.  On their website they state that they will also match other Bahamian Wild Dolphin Swim Organizations discounted prices of equal value to help make your special dolphin week a reality.  This is for an entire week.  Here’s what they state about their price and what it includes:
Here is what is included:  All boat government taxes including the Bahamian 45.00 eco tax. accommodations for the week, yoga in the morning-if you wish, all meals and snacks prepared on the boat-including departure and return dates, fuel charges, non-alcoholic beverages, all snorkeling gear…This is not the normal rental gear, it is the absolute best and most comfortable gear that is available…and it’s free!  And they have brand new monofins of most sizes so that our guests can give them a try and swim like a dolphin.

Not included: All travel expenses to the island and off, gratuities and one night dinner out to check out the local cuisine.

On Indigo they also have new custom paddle boards that can also be paddled as kayaks for one or two persons. It’s one of my new favorite things to do.  They were the first to paddle to the Sapona and play around inside…everything underwater loves coming to play with the boards.. turtles, rays and assorted fish of all kinds. Underwater world up close and personal.

They also show pictures of a shipwreck and talk about visiting several private deserted islands!  This sounds amazing!  But it is not in everyone’s budget.  I think it is comparable to the price of a cruise though and if you are looking for a longer excursion, this just might do the trick!  Reserve well in advance because they only take 12 people per boat per week.

media_slideshows_2012_Dolphins & People_dolphins+people (1)Wild Quest: website: http://www.wildquest.com  (I think this one is my favorite!)

They are also located on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas and have a week excursion.  They tout this as a “holistic, meditative retreat.”  They offer this experience from April to November.  They spend the night on land and head out daily around 11:30 in the morning to start their day.  They are a 20 minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale.  They also have morning yoga, breakfast buffet, packed lunches, evening bon fires and swimming at the beach in the pristine water.  There is a photographer on hand who records the experiences of the week and has a DVD available for you to take home at the end of the week.

I should mention a few things this includes: Sunday night hotel accommodations in Ft. Lauderdale, shuttle transfer to the airport on Monday, airport transfer on Saturday morning, 5 nights accommodations on the island in a shared double room, all meals except one dinner out to sample the local cuisine, 5 days out on the catamaran (weather permitting,) all group activities and complimentary use of their kayaks.

The flight from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Bimini is not included and costs approximately $295 per person.  Airport taxes and gratuities are not included as well.  You must pay to rent the snorkel equipment through this excursion.

When I went to check the pricing, I noticed something unique.  They offer different entertainment each week so you should book well in advance.  The one I would like is with a Psychic/Medium/Teacher.  Yes, please!  $1,895 per person.  OF course, this would be the most expensive.  Prices range between $1,595 to $1,895 per person for the week.

konasurfnSwim With Dolphins:  Website: http://www.swimwithdolphins.com

This unique experience is centered mostly around couples and their commitment to each other and is located in Kona, Hawaii.  This 5 day excursion includes classes on the dolphins, snorkel practice, beach time, free meals except Friday night, hotel, hula fun, a Polynesian show, and several seminars on relationships to include; Secrets to Sensual Intimacy, Learning Massage for Blissful Relaxation, Enriching Your Relationship and a Reaffirmation Ceremony in the local chapel.  The price is $1,459 per person booked as a couple more than 45 days in advance.

 

DAY EXCURSIONS

thumb_DolphinSwim2Discovery Cove: Website is: http://www.discoverycove.com

Their day packages include access to all their signature experiences and you can include the dolphin experience with it.  Their packages also include 14 days admission to Sea World Orlando, Aquatica, Seaworld’s Water Park, and for an extra $22 you can include Busch Gardens.

You can choose three options here.  You can go with the Trainer for a Day option, upgrade this to the Ultimate Trainer for a Day, or the 30 minute dolphin interaction.

The Trainer for a Day includes the 30 minute interaction plus an enhanced deep-water interaction with dolphins including a private photo session with two dolphins, dynamic behaviors such as the “double-foot push,” in which the guest is pushed through the water by two dolphins, feeding tropical fish in the The Grand Reef, special meet-and-greets with tropical birds and small mammals, behind-the-scenes tour of all Discovery Cove support areas,  shadowing a trainer for the day and includes all other Discovery Cove amenities.  This option costs between $229-$399 per person, depending on the date you choose.

You can upgrade this to the Ultimate package with is everything above plus a private individual photo session with 2 of the dolphins and a gift bag for approximately $20-30 more per person.

There is one package that includes a 30 minute dolphin interaction, snorkeling in The Grand Reef, encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets in Freshwater Oasis™, hand feeding exotic birds in a free flight aviary, relaxing on pristine beaches, freshly prepared breakfast and lunch and unlimited snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages, float along their river, Lockers, sunscreen, snorkel gear, changing facilities, and free parking.  This package runs between $169-$199 per person, also depending on when you book.

This is not your average theme park.  Check out their video on the website for a better view of what it looks like and what you can expect.  This is by reservation only.  They can only accommodate 1,300 people per day.

Dolphin Discover:  Website is http://www.dolphindiscover.com

There are several places and types of experiences listed with this website, too many to list.  I suggest that you check it out in case you plan on visiting any of the following locations; Cancun-Isla Mujeres, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Cancun, Puerto Aventuras, Riviera Maya, Punta Maroma, Los Cabos, Mexico City’s Six Flags, Vallarta, St. MArtin, Grand Cayman or St. Thomas.

Also keep in mind, when you book a cruise, most warm water locations offer a dolphin experience as an add on while docked at one of the ports.  Be sure to look for them.

I appreciate you taking the time to read about this adventure with me.  I have officially started a bucket list with this as one of my top 5.  What’s on your list?

For posts that will move you toward greater inner peace and happiness, check out the posts to the right and search the categories.  There is something for everyone.  Thank you for stopping by and that you for sharing and liking the ones that you like and be sure to sign up to receive updates.