Money

Enough, enough, enough.

Enough, enough, enough. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Enough, enough, enough. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have enough.

I have enough of all the things I need.

I’d like to look at the world and remember that.

It’s very easy to forget.

Very easy.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,300

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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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Numbers on a page.

Numbers on a page. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Numbers on a page. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Even though money is only numbers on a page it seems to make quite a difference, at times, what those numbers are.

How can something be so important and so unimportant all at once?

It’s a mystery.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,138

Money is a strange thing.

Money is a strange thing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Money is a strange thing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

What is something worth?

Money is such a strange thing.

It’s this made up idea. This agreement we all have to represent value in an abstract way. Which is even weirder now that we hand that value over to banks as a series of 000000’s and 111111’s.

It is ‘make believe’, on one level, but very real on another.

Particularly if you don't have any of this fantasy to pay for things like food and shelter.

Getting caught up in money is far too easy. Dreaming about all the things money could do. Wishing I had more. Hungering after this virtual nothingness…

But it doesn’t represent what’s really important. (Particularly after I have enough to pay my bills and eat and all that).

People are what matter.

Relationships, connection and community.

Money is important, but only so important.

The people in my life are important. Really important.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,101

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What if I don’t care?

What if I don't care? Drawing Luke Hockley.

What if I don't care? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

What if I don’t care when I should?

What if I’m not prepared to put the effort in?

Am I prepared to wear the consequences?

Or, am I just being lazy?

Am I prepared to stand back and roll the dice?

Or, would I rather do the work to make sure the house is stacked in my favor?

It’s decision time.

Luke.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
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Can it last?

Can it last? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Can it last? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Now that I have decided that I am very happy with my life I have also decided to start worrying about whether it can go on like this or not.

When things are good I get this self-sabotaging thought pattern that starts to listen out for the other shoe to drop.

Something has to go wrong.

The house of cards has to fall down.

It couldn’t go on like this, could it?

And of course, it can’t. Things always change. And there will always be ups and downs that I have to manage. But worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet is just a way to take the fun out of the good times.

So, here is the thing.

What I like so much about my life at the moment is not any of the material things (although they are all lovely) it is the approach I seem to have cultivated and the people I have around me.

I can keep this approach no matter what challenges turn up. That is entirely within my control. And building relationships with good people is something I can focus on regardless of how much money or status or success I have.

Can it last? Of course, the answer is no – something is always going to change.

The real question is can I keep holding my life with kindness and humour and compassion, regardless of what else happens?

Sure, I can give that a good crack.

Love

Luke.

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Day 792
 

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Once it’s out...

Once it's out... Drawing Luke Hockley.

Once it's out... Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Once it’s out, once I have squeezed the toothpaste tube of my life and put on the table the things I really want…well, then it is very hard to get those things back in the tube.

I can’t un-see the things I have shown myself.

And that’s tricky.

Am I prepared to do what it takes to have all the things I really want in my life?

What sacrifices and compromises am I prepared to make?

What can I let go of? And what can I keep?

Something just doesn't feel right.

I’m so confused right now, so confused.

Luke

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It’s a very Bitcoin Christmas.

It's a very Bitcoin Christmas. Drawing Luke Hockley.

It's a very Bitcoin Christmas. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have this palpable sense that I am about to miss out on something. It feels like a rising anticipation and anxiety in my stomach.

It feels like a game that others are playing that I could play too.

It’s gambling, I’m clear about that.

But gambling on what?

In the short and long term that gamble is different.

Short term I would be gambling that others will get super excited about the game and invest their money and that I can then pull my money out before the things has a ‘correction’.

Long term I would be gambling that it is a ‘correction’ and not an all-mighty-house-of-cards collapse and that cryptocurrency becomes a genuine alternative to ‘money’ as we know it.

Long term the idea, as I understand it, is to be able to use cryptocurrency in the same way we use every day currency. To buy your bread and milk and the like. Then the banks will have less control over the way things are done.

Banks are pretty rotten. They have too much control, it is very tempting to want to be involved in something that disrupts the financial system as it is.

The problem is that it is not really clear to me who exactly is in charge of this new world and what they plan to do with it in the future.

Is it a global scam?

Even if it is not a scam what are the people who thought it all up really planning?

You see Governments and banks and regulations…well as bad as it all is at least I get to vote for the government that is controlling those regulations. And, in the past, there has been some very good things that have happened as a result of the financial market being regulated.

One thing for certain…there is going to be a lot of Bitcoin conversations this Christmas around the dinner table and that is only going to fuel the cryptocurrency hysteria…that doesn’t feel good.

It doesn’t really feel good at all.

Luke

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A balancing act.

A balancing act. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A balancing act. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Life is a balancing act at the moment.

Money, life, joy, art, administration, friendship, creativity, alone time, movement, self-awareness, community, action…

It’s a process.

Life, that is.

And it is often quite an unclear one.

In my experience balancing is not what we have been led to believe it is. It isn’t holding onto one place.

Balancing is continuous movement.

It is breathing and recalibrating how all the pieces are arranged based on the latest information we have.

The human system will do this naturally (if I allow it to).

But for it to work I have to do a few things. I have to get good amounts of sleep and spend quiet time with myself, I have to be surrounded by people who love me as I fall over, I have to believe in the things I create even when they are ugly, I have to eat well, I have to laugh, I have to tidy up and do the little things I am avoiding, I have to take care of myself and let it all be messy whilst I sort everything out.

This is so much easier to say than it is to do.

Because when I am out of balance my tendency is to do the opposite to all of this. And that really doesn’t help.

Now I can see it I can’t run from it.

It’s time to breathe through the middle of this one.

Love

Luke

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

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Self-aware or self-obsessed?

Self-aware or self-obsessed? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Self-aware or self-obsessed? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m selfish.

My life is so incredibly privileged.

I am so privileged I don't even know how to spell privilege.

I feel like I can’t be faulted on intention. I really want to make the world better, honestly, hand on heart, better…but I am concerned that I may not really be having an impact of any sort.

I spend this time every day writing to you in order to cultivate a deep self-awareness and to inspire others to self-reflect. Because I believe if more of us really saw ourselves for who we are, accepted our own foibles and limitations and loved ourselves anyhow, if we were able to better identify what matters to us then we would then go on to make more of our life decisions in line with our own values and belief system.

I fundamentally believe we are good and that a lack of kind hearted yet honest self-awareness is a big barrier to each of us realising our potential and making a significant contribution to the world.

But I worry that I may just be distracting myself from taking the actions that I really know I want to take in the world. There are issues that matter to me that I would like to inspire action around.

Am I doing that?

How could I do that?

Do I need to give up this self-reflection in order to create the space for that to happen or is it the vital ingredient that will make that action potent and possible?

Am I self-aware or self-obsessed?

Love

Luke

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

Stamp Money.
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Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

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