Within that background radiation of Gratitude, there is a mindset I like to call “Life With Benefits”. It is a paradigm that embraces the Universal Truth that everything happening to us benefits us.
This is similar to the concept of “Pronoia”, where there is a sense that the Universe is working in your favor. There are positive synchronicities and a feeling of “being in the zone”.
The conscious mind and its sidekick, the Ego, are usually busy chattering about anything the attention focusses on. This “chatter”, or “monkey mind”, can be positive or negative, depending on what feelings get triggered with any given thought. For example, you’re boxed in during a traffic jam and you’re late for an appointment. Feelings of frustration, anxiety and hopelessness are pounced on by the monkey mind: “The timing of this couldn’t be worse!”; “This always happens when I’m in a hurry”; or “When are they going to fix this traffic mess!”.
And here is the perfect opportunity to enter the Life with Benefits realm. The negative feelings begin welling up, and at that moment a choice is made. Shall I indulge in the feelings and let the monkey mind run rampant? OR… I can let those negative feelings float on past, come into the present moment, feel gratitude for the situation, then begin a positive narrative using the monkey mind: “I needed to slow down today, anyway. This is perfect.”; “Good. This gives me some time to review my part in the client meeting when I get there.”; or, “It’s a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy the scenery!”
All of this serves to walk through the Life-With-Benefits portal to a higher vibration of life experience. The mind chatter reinforces the positive energy of gratitude, and reassures the ego that it is in control and not threatened.
Another deeper version of the Life-With-Benefits protocol, is when a value system is threatened. Triggers are greatly amplified because there are walls upon walls of justifications–reasons why a certain viewpoint is valid and important. When these deep values are violated, it is easy to go into “attack mode” and become a tyrant of righteousness.
The Life With Benefits response is the same as in the traffic jam example, except with greater focus. Before speaking, or allowing the monkey mind to go bonkers, become aware that a value has been threatened. This puts you in the present moment. Now, feel gratitude for the awareness of the threatened value. This opens to door to observing your personal architecture that causes you to be thrown off your center into fight-or-flight mode.
This also creates a space of compassion for the persons or situations that had previous threatened a cherished value. That person or situation was also triggered to attack, but did not have the benefit of taking that crucial pause of mindful gratitude before their monkey mind took over.
Now you’ve entered the Life With Benefits portal where you can say: “Thank you for revealing my triggers!”; “I understand that you were triggered, too, and that’s okay.”; or, “We have the common bond of caring deeply about this issue”. So now you know where the other person stands, why the situation exists, taking the stress out of future interactions with understanding replacing the stress.
Take a moment to survey your current situation. Zoom in on any unwanted, repeating circumstances that have your monkey mind chattering incessantly over negative feelings. Now run the following process:
1. I am feeling _____.
2. I am feeling _____ because I CHOOSE to.
3. I choose to feel _____ because it serves me to.
This proves to yourself that feelings about current circumstances were by choice, and that those feelings were benefitting you in some way. Naturally, the question pops up, “Now, why the heck do I believe that this serves me? What payoff or benefit am I receiving as a result?”
When negative emotions get triggered, Life With Benefits says it’s a good thing. Your emotional structures are revealed, and you wake up to trigger language–or what propagandists call “dog whistles”. You have an opportunity to respond in the most constructive and regenerative way, avoiding the stress response of battle.
In the current atmosphere of tyrannical oppression and draconian social control, it is easy to take up the battle cry of freedom, justifying negative emotions and replacing compassion with attack. Yes, freedom from tyranny is an age-old script, often perpetuated by the tyrants to get us all fighting amongst ourselves and feeding the tyrants with the low-frequency emotions they crave and thrive on. A triggered populace is an easily controlled one. Just make them mad and scared, and they’ll do most anything to “get back to normal”.
The true freedom from tyranny revolt begins with the choice to disconnect from the polarity inherent in the conflict. The Life With Benefits strategy allows the 40,000-foot view, leading to gratitude for the perception of it. There’s a war over there, but I’m over here creating my best life. I don’t engage with tyrants, and if I find myself inadvertently caught up in their polarity drama, I can take a mindful pause, and choose the path where I create my own life.
The choice to create overrides any tyranny against freedom. Freedom can only be taken away by permission. The more tyranny is allowed, the tighter the grip. We stop allowing the tyranny by short-circuiting the emotional hooks that draw us in to the war. We simply out-create it. There is always a way to expand freedom in the face of tyranny. And that is what Life With Benefits is all about.