You may not know this, but I work in big tech on a software product called a package manager. Imagine a conveyor belt with an endless stream of packages always going by. If you see a package that provides you functionality that will help you do something while you’re writing your software, you can choose to pick it up, unwrap it, and see what’s inside to use.
I’ve been thinking about this metaphor more and how it applies in my life. I continuously saw these packages passing by through the years and never taking a moment to pick them up and see what’s inside. When I’d first try to pickup a package, they would disappear like Hercules trying to steal apples. My fruitless attempts had me wondering why. With enough time, I would take notice to this conveyor belt. How were these packages entering my life? Some days they would come in rapid succession, and others a slow roll. It all seemed so random.
Becoming aware of that conveyor belt was analogous to the outside world. For so many years I was focused on my inner world. What could I do differently? What could I change in my life? What could I see in a new light? All of this self-centeredness had me trapped. Always looking in, and never looking out to the world and what it generously gives.
I decided to tap into this awareness further. The conveyor belt is my creative life-force. Just being aware of it would allow me to grab hold of the gifts it was constantly giving me that went unanswered. When somebody says to you that you have a gift for something, I think of this exact metaphor. That one has the potential to realize their gift when they first become aware of the conveyor belt giving the gifts.
These packages generally came as ideas to me. Some of these packages were exciting. Some of them not so much. One interesting phenomena I noticed is that if you don’t decide to receive the gift inside the package that comes your way, it is not uncommon for that idea to find its voice through another person who is also aware of the conveyor belt. You might immediately think that somebody stole your idea, but the reality is that the idea’s time has come and it must be seen to fruition.
The challenge though is that you cannot force this awareness of the conveyor belt. While there is a little effort involved, the key is persistence. It is something that you actively allow to happen. It’s the wanting of the presence of it, the acceptance of it, and the happening of it.
While this may sound like airy mumbo jumbo to you, what I’m saying is that it becomes a practice. The way you live your life becomes a constant practice. You are either engaging in this practice or you’re not. There’s no scoreboard for this practice. You cannot be good at it nor can you be bad at it. You are either living in this practice or you’re not.