Doing good

Grab the baton and run.

Grab the baton and run. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Grab the baton and run. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I remember running relays when I was a kid.

I don’t think I was particularly good at it or anything…but I really liked that feeling of someone running towards me with the baton, my only job was to be ready to grab the baton, run and then cleanly hand that baton on to the next person.

Any double guessing or mucking around at the moment the baton was coming towards me was futile and, quite possibly, a dangerous distraction.

Just be ready, run in rhythm with the person carrying the baton, reach back and grab that baton and run.

Right now, I think I might benefit from this approach in my life.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,284

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Sometimes it hurts.

Sometimes it hurts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Sometimes it hurts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Sometimes I wonder if I am up for managing the breadth and intensity of the ideas I have for changing the world.

I feel a bit like a ghostbuster who is trying to control one of those big streams of light without crossing the stream with anyone else.

I see what needs to be changed, I have a sense of what that might look like, I imagine a way that could happen, I throw it out into the world…and I try and manage the chaos of that as best I can, doing as little damage to myself and those around me.

But I don’t always succeed.

Sometimes it hurts.

Which makes me feel like pulling back and hiding.

And I don’t know what to do with all that.

Love

Luke  

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Day 1,274

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Do the thing.

1153_dothething_2500_030219.jpg

Dear Self,

I woke up this morning and decided to do something different.

For a long time now, I have been frustrated with how much money I spend at supermarkets that are part of massive, ethically dubious companies.

I promise myself that I will try an alternative, but I always find myself back in the capital S ‘Supermarkets’.

Why?

When I really think about this I don’t like the answer I get.

The truth is that I like how calm and ordered they are. I like how, most of the time, I don’t really have to talk to anyone. I like how few choices I have to make.

On visits to Preston Markets, which is the kind of place I would rather imagine myself shopping, I have felt overwhelmed. How do I know who to buy cauliflower from? I mean there are at least 7 different shops selling it, how would I pick? And the people, so many people awkwardly moving past each other and getting in each other’s way. And then the conversations with the deli staff I have to have to get my filo pastry…

I have found myself deeply resistant to engaging with all these things. And that really sucks. Because I know I want to spend my money and my time in a place like the Preston Markets.

Last night, at Campfire, I set an intention for myself, something special I wanted to happen for all of us as a result of being together. I decided I wanted to welcome everyone, to remind them that they belong, but more than that…I wanted to invite everyone to welcome each other. To reach a little beyond what they might otherwise have done and help someone else feel welcomed by connecting with them in some way.

This seemed to really work. I watched that little barrier that we can put up at times get lowered. I saw people taking care of each other simply by connecting.

At the end of Campfire someone came and spoke to me and told me how excited they were that someone else had shared some of their paintings…they told me that it reminded them of a thing they always did with their sister, how they wanted to do that thing…and also how they used to play an instrument and how they felt inspired to pick it up again. We chatted about that space between the thing we want and doing the thing we want. The little habits we have that get in the way. And how in the end you just have to ‘do the thing!’.

And so, this morning when I was about to head to the ‘Supermarket’ I decided to do the thing. To go to the Preston Markets and grab the couple of things I needed. Even though it was more complex than the alternative, it was the thing I wanted. So, the complexity was worth it.

On the way there I had a thought. What if I approached this in the same way I would encourage someone to perform at Campfire? What would that look like?

For me that would mean I would lower the bar.

I decided I didn’t have to actually shop at the markets. I would just go there and get to know the place a bit better. Have a walk around and understand how it all worked.

I have to say this went very, very well.

I arrived and found that on a Sunday morning it is all reasonably calm.

I walked around and found not as many of the fruit and veg shops were open.

I walked through all of the ones that were and got a feel for the different places. They are all quite different in their tone, they seem to specialise in a particular thing.

I checked out the price of cauliflower at all of them.

Then I went and found a deli I had been to once before, walked past and got a feel for if I liked the look of it.

Then I went and did some shopping. I bought more than I thought I would (but not too much), even found a bakery for some bread. At the end of it all there were a couple of things I couldn’t find – so I went to the Supermarket and got them.

As a result, I spent 90% of my money at small businesses. That’s the thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

When I went into the big S to get the last of the things I realised that these places have been cleverly designed to wean me off interacting with staff, designed to make it easier and easier to grab things I don't really need.

Which is why I had to really consciously choose another path. One that feels better on all levels…but that takes a little effort and even a little discomfort.

Maybe some of the people at Campfire last night had this little moment when I invited them to welcome each other, I imagine someone did. Because we have been trained, largely by our choice to use social media in the way we do, to avoid actual contact with people.

I hope that what it looked like happened is actually what happened. That welcoming each other opened the door for each of the people at Campfire to feel welcomed.

Because then everyone who decided to come along, even though there were a million reasons why ‘staying at home’ was easier, did the thing.

And when I did the thing…it felt great. So, maybe, doing the thing felt great for them too.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,153

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Defensive, awkward and hurt.

Defensive, awkward and hurt. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Defensive, awkward and hurt. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am uncomfortable with someone seeing me in a way that doesn’t, in my opinion, represent my values and who I hope to be in the world.

I feel defensive and awkward and hurt.

It feels unjust.

Unfair.

It is, I can see, part of the deal. One of the ‘costs’ of doing things in the world. Of being out in public trying to make things happen.

It shouldn’t surprise me.

A person’s interpretation of something or someone is always made through the lens of their experiences in the world. None of us are ever really ‘neutral’.

Knowing all of this, somehow doesn’t make it feel better.

Truth is I just want everyone to like me.

And that is unrealistic, unlikely and unhealthy.

My job is to act in ways that align with my values and to like myself.

The rest is noise.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,139


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Get all that exactly right.

Get all that exactly right. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Get all that exactly right. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The greater good, the bigger picture…

Keep that in sight.

Don’t be distracted by today’s noise, or shiny objects, or opportunity to rest on the couch.

Today, though. Don’t miss today.

Don’t miss out on life because you were planning for tomorrow.

Live today, all of it…but make the choices that set up tomorrow, just do that, keep all of that perfectly balanced.

What’s your problem? Just get all that exactly right.

It’s that easy, ok?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,127


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My wiser self.

My wiser self. Drawing Luke Hockley.

My wiser self. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Over the last two days Matt and I did our annual planning together.

Over the las few years as our friendship has deepened and flourished we have supported each other in an ongoing discussion about life and where we are heading and all its ups and downs.

I think this is our second year of more formally getting together and working through the big questions we have for the next year or so.

Yesterday was really powerful for me. Matt has such an intuitive sense of how to guide the conversation. In particular he helped me tap into my wisdom.

I found a bigger perspective, a place from where I could see all the things I am doing and understand that I am playing the long game.

I realised that, whilst I’m good at imagining what the long game might be, I’m not so good at keeping the long game in mind whilst I live the day to day delivery of that bigger picture.

Which means I can get frustrated and disappointed in all the things I’m doing in order to deliver on my bigger vision.

In the daily minutia of delivery, I can forget that I am choosing all of this for a very good reason. Also, that the benefits of the long game are already here, now. There is some delayed gratification that I have to wait for…but it has been 14 years now of working on the long game. The richness of my life, the community of people who surround me, the art and joy and love that I get to participate in…all of this is the result of the long game.

In our planning time together I found a voice, a wiser self, through which I was able to give myself counsel.

This is the genius, black belt, skill of a friend and support like Matt. He isn’t trying to answer things for me. He is creating the space and opportunity for me to find my own answers. Occasionally that involves observations or insights from his perspective…mostly it is asking questions for me to reflect upon and discover my truth through.

He creates the chance for me to find my own wisdom and to choose the path I want to take.

That’s why my friend Matt is a very special gift in my life.

Love

Luke

A weight off my shoulders.

A weight off my shoulders. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A weight off my shoulders. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m a bit confused.

The last week or so I have had very tight shoulders. This is quite unusual for me. But, for some reason, my shoulders have become like ropes. Very uncomfortable.

Why?

I don’t think there is one reason.

I dug some holes, that probably contributed.

I’ve been at the gym more than I was, I’m sure that played a part (but maybe not…)

I’ve been busy, very busy, busier than I like to be.

Yesterday something happened, and the tension started to drop away.

This was a huge relief. But also confusing. What happened?

I went to the gym and whilst I was warm I stretched out my back – so that helped. But, I think this was actually the key piece, I also got some of my creative projects moving again. And when I did I felt the weight lifted off my shoulders.

There is something important going on here. Something that seems counter intuitive.

When I don’t have a clear commitment to my next creative deadline then I fall in a hole. I act like I am giving myself a break…which obviously having some down time is needed, but if I am wavering on whether I should do this or that, or what the next move is, or whatever then I go into a kind of limbo that makes me feel like everything I am doing is a waste of time.

When I get a new project in place and I commit to delivering it, then the opposite happens. All the effort I am doing to make my life keep turning is worth it. Then I become productive again.

Strangely, at these times, I don’t need less to do I need more.

Who knew?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,100

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Failure that makes me hungry.

Failure that makes me hungry. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Failure that makes me hungry. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I fail in different ways.

I fail catastrophically. That hurts and, luckily for me, doesn’t happen very often. It’s hard to come back from. My confidence gets a knock. I start to question the fundamentals of what I am doing and why. It takes a lot of kindness to get through this kind of failure.

There’s another kind of failure.

I fail in a way that makes me hungry to do better.

I’m going through this right now.

I took on something that was just outside of my realm of knowledge and experience. I had all the ingredients to make this particular recipe…but when it came time to make the cake…I didn’t quite know how to put it all together. Lots of the pieces worked but it I didn’t have that moment when you pull the cake out of the oven and you go ‘Wow! Look at that, it’s a thing!’.

It was hard work and uncomfortable and all over the place.

But I’m not shattered (well, I was straight after it…but a good sleep fixed that) I just can’t stop thinking about what to do with this thing. How it might work. What needs to be different. What needs to be amplified. What needs to be refined. It’s so close to being good, what would really make it a thing?

I failed just enough to make me hungry to get it right.

And I care enough about the thing to stick with it and possibly make it a thing.

If I’m going to fail, then this is the kind of failure I’m up for.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,092

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Truly, madly, deeply.

Truly, madly, deeply. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Truly, madly, deeply. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Once upon a time I hung out with a group of friends and, even though we were all well out of high school at the time (like, well out of high school), we felt compelled to act like joyful children and create a lip-sync-dance performance to Savage Garden’s song Truly, madly, deeply.

For all involved this was a truly remarkable thing.

I’m sure it was also as life changing for the audience as it was for us, the creators.

To feel this sense of playfulness with a group of adults is a special thing indeed.

We had this opportunity because we were all working together to deliver a program called the Future Makers Fellowship. Which was run by the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, affectionately known as CSL.

CSL has all but closed in its current form. Today we gathered to say goodbye.

We came together to do some of the most important work that I have been involved in. Helping people navigate their inner worlds so that they can grasp their full potential and apply it to the most significant challenges we face as a species.

The fact that, whilst we did this deep and meaningful work, we also laughed and played and carried joy in our hearts, well that fact is proof that what we were doing was really as good as we all had hoped it might be.

Farewell CSL.

I’m so pleased you helped us all find each other.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,090

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Whatever I want.

Whatever I want. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Whatever I want. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I can do whatever I want today.

Like every day, I guess.

But today, I can see that choice clearly.

And I really hope I use that freedom wisely.

I hope I do something good for the world with the time I have today.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,074

16/11/18

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