Shirley Manson, lead singer of the punk band Garbage, wrote a popular song called Only Happy When It Rains.  The lyrics start as follows:

I’m only happy when it rains
I’m only happy when it’s complicated
And though I know you can’t appreciate it
I’m only happy when it rains

I went to Mexico a week and a half ago, hoping for some time on the beach, a little bit of relaxing, a few drinks, etc.

But it rained. the. entire. time.

While I’m sure Shirley Manson would’ve been super happy, I sure wasn’t.  I’ll tell you what though, even though the rain wasn’t what I wanted it may have just been what I needed.

Here’s the video version of the trip if you want to take a look (and feel free to subscribe to the YouTube channel while you’re at it!):

Our minds are too occupied

Between social media, blogs, YouTube, or just internet in general, there are millions of voices competing for our attention.  As marketing gets better and better we’re losing the ability to purposefully focus for more than a few seconds at a time.  Or at least I am.  Wait what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, bicyclesrefrigeratorsCrossFit losing the ability to focus.

When was the last time you just sat there and let your mind wander?  Not toward things like “I wonder what my friend’s kids had for breakfast and whether or not they said anything hilariousBETTERCHECKFACEBOOKOMGZ” but actually just let it wander?  I can only speak for myself but it had been forever.

What sort of stuff did I think about?

Honestly?  Nothing.  I tried to sit there and be.  Once I cleared everything out of my head I just sat there and listened to the world around me.

I listened to the rain coming down and hitting the stream outside my hotel, the railing on my balcony, and the occasional drop on the table next to me.  I felt the breeze that would mercifully pierce the humidity from time to time and would hear it rustle the leaves of the jungle across the stream from me.  I heard the birds chirp and the bugs buzz.

I had a book next to me on the table but I didn’t read it.  I closed my eyes to try and take everything in and it was just sublime for a moment.  I may have fallen asleep at some point but that was ok, it wasn’t like I had anything else to do!

What if it took a ruined trip to Mexico for me to truly find myself?

I’d love to point at some sort of Eureka! moment but I’m not sure that ever happened.  What did happen, though, was a reacquainting with myself and becoming comfortable with who I am and what I believe.

It was exciting to have some time where my plans went to crap and I was forced to slow down and relax.  Not every trip will go how you want.  When your plans go awry maybe it’s a time to take a step back and refocus.  I mean it’s ok to be angry or annoyed as well, but don’t lament your former plans, take hold of your new opportunity and make the most of it.

Wait are you really just describing to us that you meditated for the first time?

Well ok now that you phrase it that way I guess so but for me it was such a unique experience resulting for what would’ve otherwise been a complainy-type post that I felt it was worth posting.

How about you?  What do you do when your plans go awry?  What do you do to refocus?  Tell me in the comments below!

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