Screw That!

  • By Jonathan Benjamin
  • 24 Dec, 2015

Or maybe not...

My wife attended an amazing retreat in Cancun, Mexico this past week called the Bye-Bye Good Girl Getaway, led by Regena Garrepy. I wanted to have something sent to her room to surprise her and let her know I was thinking about her. After contacting the hotel, they sent me a list of individual amenities as well as packages to choose from.

There was everything from small cheese & cracker plates to lavish meals on the beach overlooking the ocean. Heavy on options….and heavy on prices as well. Below is part of the list:

Cheese & Cracker Plate = $385.00

Breakfast on the Beach – $1695.00

I knew it was a very nice resort – and being such, probably pricey too – I have the money, but I felt it was criminal for them to charge this much. I do my best to live my life from a mindset of abundance and not make decisions based on fear or from a standpoint of lack, however I found myself cringing…

“Do I really want to spend this amount of money on that ?”

I allowed this situation to quickly turn my thoughts negative in regard to hotels and prices. The predominant thought being:

“How dare they.”

I even had a conversation (rant) about it with my mom who was visiting. In the end I waited too long and they wouldn’t have been able to deliver it before she checked out the next morning.

I figured when she got home I would tell her (rant) about what I had tried to do and get some cool points for not spending that much money on something that should have costed far less…

I let it go and didn’t think much more of it as I spent the next day doing a few projects around the house and cleaning up for her arrival that evening.

She arrived about 8pm and after she kissed the kids and unpacked a few of her things, she said she got me a present and brought me a little square box with really neat “Day of the Dead” artwork on it. Inside was a skull shaped coffee mug that was painted up with the same artwork as the box.

As I was looking at it I noticed a sticker on the bottom with the care instructions, as well as the price:

Mug Price =  $119.00

Me: “Babe…..this is really cool, but please tell me you didn’t spend $119.00 on a coffee mug…”

Natalee: “ Haha. No, silly. That’s in Pesos .”

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Oh. Oh shit. I bet the prices on the list of amenities they emailed me was also in Pesos! Now I feel stupid.

I broke out my calculator. After a few quick number crunches, I came to a harsh realization. Not only was the amenity list not overpriced, it was extremely INEXPENSIVE.

I wasn’t only wrong, I had the polar opposite assumption about them – and worse – I verbalized it (ranted) to others.

How many situations do we do this in daily? Making assumptions or judgments with a piece of the puzzle missing or with just a glimpse or a fraction of the bigger picture in view.

I wonder how many times our perception of something is the exact opposite of the way it really was.

How much annoyance or frustration could be averted?

How much energy is wasted when we do this?

How many people get hurt?

How many times have we hurt ourselves?

We need to slow down.

Before we are so quick to act and judge (and ahem, rant) we need to first get all the facts.

And from the wisdom of my friend Regena, ask yourself:

“Is the thing I’m getting worked up about, actual and factual?”

It just may not be.
By Jonathan Benjamin 19 Feb, 2016
Many times in our lives we realize that we would like more of something.  More courage, more patience, more strength, etc....

Often we may think that somehow - as if by magic - we will just wake up one morning with a strong and noticeable increase in these areas.

The truth is - just like building muscles takes a workout -  these strengths also need to be flexed to be built up in that way.

Q: So, if I ask/pray for more patience, what's the workout to build that strength?

A: You will be put in situations that test your patience. 
You may find yourself being surrounded by people and situations that annoy the shit out of you - thus giving you the opportunity to flex that muscle a little more each time until it is strong.  Same with courage. You want more courage?  You will find yourself in scary situations where you are forced to be courageous.

It's a muscle that has to be flexed, that's why courage comes AFTER you face a fear, not before.

Leigh Daniel and I speak often of how we "want it to be" when we plan our "Possibilities in Paradise" events, but we also realize that we can't completely control everything,  so we remind each other pretty much hourly to also be "flexible".

There are varying degrees of how difficult being flexible can be, depending on the situation.  If you are waiting for someone to pick you up and drive you somewhere, you may be a little more or a little less flexible depending on what time you have to be at the next place.  Maybe if you wanted a burger for dinner but had chicken instead, that would be an easy thing for you to be flexible about.

But what about the times when it's a bigger deal? Or something that you spent a lot of time planning and coordinating? Or when you feel there is a lot riding on the outcome?  ( also called "attachment" but we will talk about that another time!)

Those are the times when I find it the most difficult to be flexible.   Maybe because it is then coupled with feelings of disappointment that it didn't go as planned or that I will look bad in some way - or maybe that I don't want others to feel let down. I'm not sure, but I'm learning.

The weekend of Feb 5th 2016, we embarked on our 6th (nearly sold-out) Possibilities in Paradise retreat, where once again Leigh and I spoke about flexibility to each other.

Man oh man, did we get schooled on flexibility this time....

Seriously schooled. Masters Degree-style..... PHD even.

To my memory, it was one of the wettest and coldest weekends ever in Key West and we had quite a bit of outdoor activities planned.

A yoga presentation on the beach was cut extremely short on the first day.  Then cancelled on day two, both due to rain.  We did our best to find cover at the small guest house where we all were staying - but we had to forgo the full presentation.

One of our guest speakers was scheduled for a presentation on the beach after Yoga, which also had to be postponed.

Our sunset boat cruise/dancing trip was also cancelled for the weather, which left us without a group venue for Saturday night.

On the last day, we rented a hotel banquet room for an extra few hours to accommodate back-to-back-to-back speaker presentations that got postponed from the previous day. This also really pushed the limit of how much information our attendees could absorb all at once.  I once heard that your brain can only absorb info for the length of time your butt can sit in a seat!

Our final "Red Carpet"event at a private movie theater was also cut short due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances.  A very abbreviated and impromptu "thank you send-off" was done back at the guest house instead of what we had originally planned.

I don't say all of this to bitch or whine. Quite the the contrary.  I am proud to be able to report that Leigh and I - as well as everyone else in attendance - just rolled with it....and with smiles.

I am happy that so many people and other businesses were also flexible with us to move things around and help.

Since flexibility was the attribute or muscle we intended to strengthen, then I am profoundly grateful for each and every one of the situations that facilitated an opportunity to flex.

So - I have just 2 questions:

What is it that you desire more of in your life?

Are you able to view situations which facilitate those desires, as opportunities - no matter how challenging they may look?

I just watched 37 people simultaneously do it all weekend long.

I know you can too.

By Jonathan Benjamin 31 Dec, 2015
Fear is a thief and a liar.

As a thief, Fear robs us of the present moment.

The vast majority of the time that we are experiencing Fear, we are in no real immediate danger. (If you're being chased by a lion or being mugged right now, this doesn't apply to you. Please put down your computer or smart phone and RUN! If not, please keep reading.)

If the present moment contains no true danger, then Fear is causing our attention and energy to be squandered on something that isn't real. At best, Fear is a hypothesis about something in the future that may or may not happen.

Which brings up the second point. Fear is also a liar.

The things that Fear insidiously whispers into your psyche are trumped-up lies. It tells you lies about what other people "probably" think about you. Lies about that thing you want to accomplish, but you'll "probably" end up failing at it. Lies about how you've "probably" screwed up your future by that horrible mistake you made in your past. All lies.

Think of how many times you've experienced Fear and the thing you were afraid of turned out to be no big deal. Your Fear has been wrong so many times, it's amazing you pay attention to anything with that bad a track record.

Fear doesn't have your best interests in mind, like it wants you to believe. Fear deprives your of your greatest gift--the present moment--and it seeks to limit your future with a bunch of lies.

Next time you experience Fear, expose it as a thief and a liar.

Catch it red-handed, in the act of its deception. And, then, unceremoniously show it the door. The quicker, the better.
By Jonathan Benjamin 30 Dec, 2015
As humans, we are indeed collectors of junk.

We collect things.

We hold onto things.

Too many things.

We do this with emotional baggage (junk) as well as with physical things (junk) – as anyone who’s ever packed their home in preparation of a move can attest, we all accumulate a LOT of junk.

With the new year directly around the corner and with a nudge from a post by Regena Garrepy called “Clean, Clear & Complete” , I decided that it was time to take action and get rid of some “junk”.

Although a few rooms in my life – ahem, I mean my house – could use it, I decided my master closet was the best place to start.

To hold on, or to let go?

Seems like there is always a battle – at least mentally – between the two. We tend to rationalize keeping….. well, EVERYTHING! That’s how it got so bad in the first place!

This doesn’t quite fit, but it will as soon as I lose a few pounds…

This just needs a button sewed on…

-I would wear this again if I had a fancy place to wear it…

This , just needs a pair of pants/shoes/belt/whatever that match it…

And so on and so forth.

I read a great article one time about a way to clean out the closet. It said: “Throw everything on the bed and ONLY put things back in the closet that you LOVE.”

Only. Things. You. Love.

I love it. It’s genius – and as I was going through the process, I had to keep defaulting back to that genius statement because I kept sliding down the path of rationalizing reasons to keep things.

Therein lies the beauty and simplicity of the theory.

It can’t be argued with.

It can’t be rationalized away.

It really doesn’t matter if you can wear it again…one day…..if you lost some weight…..if you fixed the button….if, if if….

The question is:


Yes or no. The answer becomes really clear, really fast.

And so it went. I gave away 6 huge bags of clothes – and it felt amazing. I highly recommend it. Especially now to start off the new year with a different kind of feeling.

Now the real power of this “do you love it” question comes if we also apply it to our daily choices.

Should I go to this place?
Should I talk to this person?
Should I take this job?
Should I date /deal with/ partner with that person?
Should I be talking about this subject?

Maybe the answers to all the above are also very clear….

Only if you love it.

And if there’s something you don’t love, but HAVE to do, then find a way to love it.

We are so scared to let go of certain things in our lives. Even things that aren’t serving us. But letting go and getting rid of the wrong/old/non-serving things in our lives makes room for the right things to show up.

How about emotionally?

What “junk” are you holding on to that is keeping your “emotional closet” cluttered?

The junk that’s keeping new and exciting things from coming your way?

It’s a block….and you can let it go.

You can choose to clean it out.

Throw it away. Start fresh with new thoughts.

Thoughts and beliefs that excite you.

Ones that look really great on you.

Ones that make you smile.

Ones that help you to enjoy life.

Ones that show you how many wonderful things there are to experience – and that every experience, can be a wonderful thing.

So grab all of those old beliefs - about yourself/life/money/love/relationships/success/self-worth - and throw them all on the bed.


Enter this new year with only the ones you love.

See you on the other side. I’ll be the one smiling at you.
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