Blind spot

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

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,281

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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

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,261

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Distraction.

Distraction. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Distraction. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Distraction.

A useful technique for when things are too heavy to think about.

Not a long term strategy.

But for a moment, ok…I think.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,258

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Things I cannot see.

Things I cannot see. Drawing Luke Hockley

Things I cannot see. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

There are things that I am that I cannot see.

At least not properly.

What’s ‘really’ me and what is not?

Can I know, and does it matter?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,254

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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

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,247

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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

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,245

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I know these things to be true.

I know these things to be true. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I know these things to be true. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

There are some things that I know to be true.

Just keep moving forwards, even if the step is tiny, take it.

When I’ve had very little don’t take any of my opinions seriously. Seriously. Get some sleep and then I’m allowed to reassess.

My friendships are deeper and stronger than I ever let myself believe. Hold onto that when the ocean gets rough. Because that’s a lifeline. Focusing on the undermining conversation I’m having with myself about it all is like wondering why the storm won’t rescue me.

This shall pass. Be kind and gentle as the rough bit moves through. It really will pass. Really. It will.

I know these things to be true. Writing them down and remembering them when it is a bit rough is very useful.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,238

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I can’t be bothered knowing myself today.

I can’t be bothered knowing myself today. Drawing Luke Hockley

I can’t be bothered knowing myself today. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I can’t be bothered knowing myself today.

It’s a bit of a theme at the moment.

When I can’t be bothered with myself like this it usually means I am avoiding something.

But what…?

Maybe it just means that I’m tired and fighting off a cold.

Yeah, let’s take that road instead.

I’ll do the real digging some other day.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,236

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.

If I feel anxious...

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

If I feel anxious then I have to be anxious about something…right?

Right?

So, then…what?

What is it?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,234

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.