Belief

The only way to find out is to ask.

The only way to find out is to ask. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The only way to find out is to ask. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Sometimes I have imaginary conversations with people in my life.

It’s usually when things haven’t gone well, or I haven’t heard from someone in a long time and I seem to be trying to fill in the gap of what the other person might be thinking.

The problem with these thought experiments is that, even though I’m in charge of both sides of the conversation, I can find myself believing the other person has said or at least thinks the things I have imagined they are thinking or saying.

Of course, none of this is real. I am filling a gap here by making up both sides of the conversation.

The only way to find out what someone is thinking is to ask them.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,292

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Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,281

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Chosen family.

Chosen family. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Chosen family. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I spoke to my beautiful friend Billie last night.

We’d been trying to connect for weeks, without success, and then finally the stars aligned.

It’s comforting to be back with someone who knows me so well. Who loves me so deeply.

Her little boy asked if “Luke was our family?” 

“Why, yes…he is”

We are a part of each other’s chosen family.

Which is an honour for me.

A real honour.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,267

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A walk along the creek.

A walk along the creek. Drawing Luke Hockley

A walk along the creek. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I went for a walk yesterday along Merri creek with a dear friend of mine.

We had some things to talk about, which we did.

There was a moment where we stood under a bridge and played with how the sound reverberated off the massive bluestone arch.

This incidental, childlike playfulness is the stuff of magic.

When these experiences are missing, when a friendship becomes purely about some project or outcome or a working relationship…or much worse when it becomes just about working out conflict or having difficult conversations, then the relationship lacks the reserves to keep itself going.

I find it can be so easy to let these things slip, or not make the time and space for them to happen. They seem like ‘nothing time’, finding time to be bored together so that something light and curious emerges.

In my experience these spaces are where friendship is built.

Which is the most important time of all.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,261

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Democracy.

Democracy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Democracy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I really care about democracy.

It has snuck up on me how much it matters to me.

I want to understand how it works. And I’d like to live in a country where people are proud of their politicians and political system.

I’m most worried about how the way we consumer information impacts upon how we all feel about politics and politicians.

There is something heartbreaking to me about how effective spin and polarisation are in terms of winning the popular opinion.

I’m concerned that, because of how we interact with information now, fear is becoming easier to use to rally people to act against their own interests.

How can we have a healthy democracy at this particular moment of history?

I really care about democracy…because, when it is done properly, it gives almost everyone living in a society a voice.

And that’s fair, that’s how it should be.

Democracy really matters.

At any election it is most important that democracy wins.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,259

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The Rebel and the CEO.

The Rebel and the CEO. Drawing Luke Hockley

The Rebel and the CEO. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I am both a Rebel and a CEO.

I’ve got these two contradictory characteristics that can take me by surprise and, if not well managed, can derail me and the thing I’m working on.

The Rebel in me does not like being told what to do, or rather doesn't really like following someone else’s vision for how things might be done. I dig my heels in and find ways to resist the simplest request or most obvious instruction.

When I hit the CEO mode hard…well I become like an immovable object. I want this thing done and I want it done now. I might be prepared to negotiate how it’s done…but only for a very short amount of time, then I just want it done my way.

At my best these two-character flaws don't really get much air time. Up until now I haven’t had a name for them, but I’ve known them, or have been getting to know them. I’ve learnt how to set things up so that I feel heard and safe, I’ve learnt to make really clear choices about whether I am in a leader of a follower role and that seems to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

But when I’m tired, or hurt, or sad, or out of sorts for whatever reason…that's when things can get messy.

There are two extra, interesting things I have just realised.

My Rebel and my CEO are actually the same qualities in me acting out in different situations. My CEO is me when I am in charge, stressed and trying to get things done the way “I know” they need to be done, my Rebel is exactly the same thing…only I’m not in charge – I’m in a position of supporting someone else or there is grey around who exactly is in charge.

Also, I have realised that the Rebel and the CEO are reflections of excellent qualities that I have…at the wrong volume for the situation that I am in. They are both examples of my ability to see problems for what they are and imagine solutions that will cut through and get a result.

I really like that I’m able to do that. I really, really like it. Sometimes I’m doing it at the expense of myself and the people around me.

I like that a lot less.

A lot less.

I’m learning how to lead with kindness and how to trust the leader I’ve chosen to follow so that I can respond in a more balanced way.

The Rebel and the CEO are both outstanding characters…I just need to get better and calling on them at the right time and place.

That's all.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,247

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Every precious moment.

Every precious moment. Drawing Luke Hockley

Every precious moment. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I know, I know it is such an outrageous cliché…but at the moment I am intensely aware of every precious moment that I have.

I’m curious about how to both be light and not let anything slip through my fingers.

How to experience everything, but not strangle it with a focus that is too intense.

Life is a gift. I want to experience that gift, but not spend nights sleepless around what I am experiencing.

There is something important going on for me about living it to the full in the day time and then sleeping soundly each evening.

I sleep much better than I used to. But I notice that when I am deep in a new adventure, when I am learning and discovering something about the world and how I want to be in it, that I can get restless at night.

I’d like to live my life to its edges. Which means hitting the pillow and sleeping soundly.

I think that’s my new goal.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,246

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How do I succeed?

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

How do I succeed?

What are the ways I behave, the responses I have, when I am successful?

What do I even mean by successful?

That’s probably a better place to start!

I am successful when I am able to realise some vision I have had whilst being well in myself, growing my ability to be a good human, being kind and supporting those I am working with to do and have the same experiences.

Well, that kind of answers it. My behaviours and responses are all in there. How I succeed is as important as the thing I succeed at.

Ok, I should have seen that coming. That is pretty obvious to me now.

Not so easy to remember when I am in the throes of trying to get something done.

Also, though, quite simple.

Be kind, take care of myself and the people around me, always look for the opportunity to be a good human.

Righto, I can do that.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,245

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Like family.

Like family. Drawing Luke Hockley

Like family. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I was raised in a loving, kind and generous family.

It was far from perfect, which was perfect for me.

I know that not everyone has such a positive experience of being in a family.

But I like to think that as adults we can create that for ourselves.

I’ve been running Campfire as a monthly event for around 3 years now. I like to think that one of the reasons people come along is because, for a night, it’s an opportunity to look after the people around you like they are family.

To give them space if they need space, to chat and bring them out of their shell if that’s what they need. To be with them as they are awkward and funny and playful and shy and sad and whatever they are. To help them know that it is ok to be themselves all the time…but especially here, now when we gather around the Campfire and share with each other.

All that we need is for you to be you so that I can be me.

When I say that Campfire is like a Family Concert…that’s what I mean.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,243

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The anatomy of a shirt.

The anatomy of a shirt. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The anatomy of a shirt. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am dissecting one of my favourite shirts.

I would have mended it…but it tore in several places. The fabric has become too thin from frequent washing and wearing…so I decided to sacrifice the shirt, pull it apart and use it to make a pattern for a new shirt.

I’m grateful to this unknown person, in China, whose impressive and underpaid skill created this favourite object of mine.

In the process of gently undoing every stitch that made the shirt I’m getting to know the hands that made it.

I’m finding small decisions about hidden stitches, uncovering the order that the shirt was constructed in…wondering why, why were these things done in this way?

Some of the decisions are obvious, some are not.

In the end the effect is that of a shirt, all the bits sit where they should, and I look at it and think – shirt.

I’m enjoying getting to know this shirt that I have loved, piece by piece.

It reminds me of the process of getting to know myself.

Examining the different ways I am constructed, learning about why something about me is put together the way it is.

These processes are similar, but not the same.

Getting to know myself is a much more confronting process than getting to know the anatomy of a shirt.

More vulnerable.

Confronting.

Worthwhile, though.

I hope.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,224

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.