What I mean by net gain is that by taking and doing some action there is something that is better (for me) after it is done. What I mean by better is some improvement that leaves things altered in a manner that has greater value to me.
For example sitting and meditating (doing nothing ?) leaves me feeling better, relaxed and possibly having reduced or modified some old conditioning.
Cleaning out and organizing my briefcase allows it to be lighter to carry and more efficient and I feel better knowing it was done.
Ants around the outside of the house is maintenance. If they were not there and not cleared away would the house be any different? My briefcase gets things added to it as well as my desk and closet. Cleaning and organizing them lightens the load. If I did not clean them it builds up to a blockage. The fallout around the house and yard (ants) build up and must be cleaned out from time to time. That feels better.
So seeing my briefcase almost filled up has a sensation of heaviness and a knowing that in the next week or so I will sit down and stretch and be in a mode to clean something. When I see the ants I can slip into a mode of planning to attend to their clearing away in a “stretching” mode (possibly with music playing or breathing or meditative working). The ants can become a trigger for me to be mindful and practice mindfulness.
Very interesting the thought of ants, or any other clutter, is now muddied up so that I am not sure how I feel about it (or them).
A trigger to mindfulness? What an intriguing thought and feeling.