Energy

Older.

Older. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Older. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m noticing myself getting older.

I keep seeing a metaphor of an old chipped tea pot.

Well loved, functional, stained full of memories, comforting.

There is no getting around time.

I’m not sure if I ever thought there was.

As I get older it becomes clearer that enjoying the spoils of lived life…well what other choice do I have?

To fight is futile. Isn’t it?

The risk of all this “acceptance” is that I subconsciously begin to accept other people’s ideas about what getting older means.

The world has a lot of ideas about all of this that hold no interest for me. But it is easy to start thinking in those frames when they are communicated so clearly and with such strength.

(I know I’m not ‘old’, I know I’m ‘in the middle’, I’m saying older…we all get older every day)

The remedy to all of this is being in this moment.

I am this being, right here, right now.

I can do and say and think the things I can do and say and think right now.

That’s it.

That’s all of it.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,346

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When the power goes out.

When the power goes out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

When the power goes out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

What do I do when the power goes out? 

It’s most disconcerting.  

I feel disoriented  

I’m watching the charge on my phone like a hawk.  

What will happen when it is gone?  

Even with candles on night time feels more like night time.

And tiredness settles in.  

Sooner.

Yawn... 

Love

Luke.  

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Day 1,235

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Hitting my mark.

Hitting my mark. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Hitting my mark. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

When I was dancing there was this moment, this beautiful thing, that would happen that I realise most people wouldn’t know anything about.

It would happen during a performance when the lights were blacked out (in between sections) and you had to enter a pitch-black stage, find your mark (which was usually a tiny glowing dot on a stage full of tiny glowing dots) and take your position so that when the lights and music came on you were ready to dance.

It was an incredible feeling to hit your mark.

Right now, I feel like I’ve had a few days in a row of hitting my mark.

Getting the things done I want to get done in the time frame I want to get them done in. Writing, going to the gym, sewing, meetings, getting to bed, waking up, everything!

I’ve redesigned my weekly schedule to focus my energy a bit more on the things that matter to me. Hitting my mark has partly been about making sure the mark is clear. I think that is why it has been particularly satisfying this week.

It’s not always like this in life. So, I think it is worth celebrating when it happens.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,066

Epic.

Epic. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Epic. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I saw a dance piece last night called Colossus. Choreographed by Stephanie Lake as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival at The Arts Centre.

It was epic.

50 dancers on stage. Pulsing, throbbing, flocking. Unison and chaos.

En masse like that, the human form transforms itself. It suddenly becomes alien, or rather, it reveals itself as animal.

The work is a beautiful reflection of this moment. The joy and terrifying power of humans forming and breaking apart and reforming in tribes. Both live and virtually.

Most of the work reflected the magic that people create through intense cooperation. At one moment the group turns on one of its own. Singles them out.

Victim and hoard.

It was chilling. Frighteningly real. It triggered my experiences of having groups of people turn on me. It reminded me of how vulnerable I am to being abandoned by my village. How the invisible threads of support and trust keep each of us safe. For a moment I was that isolated human under attack. It was extremely uncomfortable.

Eventually this lone figure is delicately folded back into the group. This confused me. I accepted it, it seemed real…but is that it? Is there no retribution for the mass hysteria? No self-reflection from the group on its irrational seething anger? Why is their violence unpunished?

It was like the fog of irrational hatred cleared and it never happened.

It’s not right. How can they get away with this?

It may not be right...but it is sadly accurate. The victim gets chewed up and spat out on our social platforms…and then rapidly forgotten. We don’t see our own behaviour, our own hysteria, as part of the problem. It just happens for a moment and then it is gone. Like it never happened. The entertainment of it all finished so we move on, absolved of any responsibility for it all. The victim lucky if they are embraced back into the community.

These reflections are intensely uncomfortable. I don’t like how they make me feel. Don’t like that I see that I am a part of all that.

I much prefer the feeling I had when I watched the group in complex and profound cooperation. Which is where they were for the majority of the performance.

It was like watching a scene from a nature documentary. Calming. The natural world in harmony.

Colossus did that thing where performance morphs beyond entertainment into sense making. It helped me see something about myself and the worlds I inhabit.

Even though I was unsettled by some of what it had to say I am pleased that I live in a culture that gave space for this voice.

I feel richer this morning for that experience.

Filled.

Love.

Luke.

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Day 1,026

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If there is no wood…

If there is no wood. Drawing Luke Hockley.

If there is no wood. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

If there is no wood, then there is no fire.

It’s kind of obvious.

When you are used to pressing a button to get heat it can be easy to forget that if your only source of heat is the wood fire…then someone has got to chop wood.

I’d better go and take care of that.

Love

Luke

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Day 914

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The future is unwritten.

The future is unwritten. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The future is unwritten. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Here I am, once again, on the other side of the Future Makers communication retreat.

I’ve got all the things. I’ve got a deep well of belonging, I’ve got a cold (only a very, very small light handed one – which I’m totally calling a successful outcome given that previously I have barely been able to make it from the car to my bed at the end of previous retreats), I’ve got joy and hope for the future, I’ve got new ideas and ways of seeing things, I’ve got a bunch of beautiful photos and memories and I’ve gathered another group of friends and future makers that will be with me on this very uncertain journey into the unknown.

This year something is different.

I also have sadness.

An unspeakable sadness.

This retreat was the last ever communications retreat that will be run by the Centre for Sustainable Leadership. The organisation has decided to close down. This year will be the last Future Makers Fellowship.

It has been difficult to keep this organisation afloat.

I’ve seen the struggle, the hours of unpaid labour, the passion and commitment to make it work.

And it’s sad because it’s not like we don’t need the program, not like we don’t need leadership, not like we don’t need those leaders to help us to write the future of our species on this planet for the sake of all living things…

The need is greater than ever.

Philanthropists and governments and businesses used to agree that investing in this collective action was worth it. So, they would subsidise the cost of doing the course by giving the organisation money.

Then something changed.

A new expectation emerged that everything should be able to run as a social enterprise, everything should be able to fund itself…

This sounds reasonable on the surface.

I can’t quite put my finger on it…but something about expecting a capitalist model to fix the devastation and destruction that capitalism has reaped upon our ecosystem…it feels like the virus trying to heal the body.

I suppose I feel sad that we had a moment where the zeitgeist was “We need to collectively address these issues” and so we all, individuals, governments and businesses, invested in something that truly changed the story (just look at the 700 plus alumni who are now leading themselves, their communities and their organisations towards healthier relationships with each other, the economy and the planet that sustains us)… and now we don’t seem to have that collective agreement anymore.

Now we are saying “Well if you want to change the world you can pay for it yourself”. Which seems mean, and naïve, and foolhardy and like the true embodiment of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

But that’s where we are.

My experience with grief is that it is long and slow and complex and unexpected. That it will play out in many ways over the coming months and years.

I’ve had some time to sit with all of this. Enough time to accept, in some way, that the Centre for Sustainability Leadership is ready to let go. To appreciate and love the people who nurtured and cared for it, who fought for it in a system that didn’t want to listen.

Enough time to understand that its time has come. That this magic, beautiful thing, as we know it, is over.

But time is an interesting thing.

Because I’ve also had enough time to know that it’s not over yet.

Maybe my beloved CSL’s job was to launch the first wave of change makers into the world. To give them confidence and certainty, passion and compassion, clarity and voice, skills and knowledge.

To give them each other.

To weave them deeply into the fabric of the system they are going to change and then give them a clean slate to invent the next chapter.

Whenever I am truly lost I always check in with my mate Matt Wicking. At some point when we were talking about all this he said Luke…

“The future is unwritten. So, let’s go and write it.”

I’ll take my time to be sad. To feel the loss of this. Those feelings can’t be rushed.

Then, when I’m ready, I’m going to call my mates and start writing the next chapter.

Love.

Luke

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Day 905

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The daily chores.

The daily chores. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The daily chores. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

After Campfire last night I just want to lie on the couch and do nothing…which I can kind of do…but, also, I’ve got all those life admin tasks to do.

Boring finance stuff, the dishes, vacuuming, tidying up crap, making food for the week.

I’ve also got my shirt cut out and ready to hand sew, which I’m super excited about.

I just want to watch movies all day, but I know if I don’t do the tidy up admin stuff I’ll really regret that. It’s probably less than an hours work, but I could punish myself and string it out all day.

I think it’s going to be better just to tackle this one head on.

Love

Luke

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Day 817

Shirt making.

Shirt making. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Shirt making. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

A kindness.

A gentleness.

An attention to this moment.

Recovering from grand adventures.

By making something with my hands.

Problem solving without over thinking.

Coming back home.

Making a shirt.

Love

Luke.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Day 815

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A strange sense of liking myself.

A strange sense of liking myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A strange sense of liking myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

What I give my attention to shapes me.

This is one of the things I walked away from the Purpose conference very clear about.

It was a theme throughout the entire event. The last speaker Dr. Fiona Kerr made this neurological truth explicit.

Our nervous system gets shaped, reinforced and enlarged by the things we choose to do with our time.

Do the right things get my attention?

Am I the shape that I want to be?

Is there a way to visualize this ‘shaping of me’ so that I can see the impacts of the choices I am making?

I’ve walked away from this conference with a strange sense of liking myself.

For two days I gave my attention to the things, the people and the ideas that are deeply connected to my purpose in the world.

I like this shape, I like how it makes me feel, I like the way it makes me think about the choices I have.

I like how this shape fits my skin without any annoying creases or pockets of stale air.

I like liking myself because my attention is on the momentum created by humans in pursuit of a worthy and profound purpose.

So, when I inevitably lose momentum, I’d like to remember that I am always in charge of what I do with my attention.

Because what I give my attention to shapes me.

Love

Luke

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

Day 814

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Permission to eat bad food.

Permission to eat bad food. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Permission to eat bad food. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

When it is hot I pretend that I have permission to throw out the window my need for sleep.

I stay up late, because its hot.

I watch another episode of something, because it is hot.

I don’t do the dishes, because it is hot.

I run a bit late in the morning, because it is hot.

Also, when I do something I think is ‘big’ then I give myself permission to eat bad food.

I have these trade-offs that I have agreed with myself are acceptable.

Are they?

I think they might be a bit like touching the wall.

I think it is just me not quite completing the things I really want to complete.

Maybe that’s ok?

It is hot, after all…

Ha!

Maybe not?

!

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Day 793
 

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