Perfection

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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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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Don’t throw the buttonhole out.

Don’t throw the buttonhole out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Don’t throw the buttonhole out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m learning how to sew a buttonhole.

Or, rather, I’m learning a new way to sew a buttonhole.

Originally, I kind of made it up…I did a hand version of what I had seen a sewing machine do.

It was ok…but clumsy, or I thought there must be a better way or something like that. So, I found some instructions in a needle craft book of Mum’s on how to sew a button hole.

So far it is incredibly clumsy, and I don’t like it at all.

But I think I need to persist a bit longer.

I feel like a bit of repetition will help me see if I don’t like it because I’m not familiar and skilled enough or because it is actually awkward.

Let’s not throw the buttonhole out before it’s had a chance.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,219

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To the brim.

To the brim. Drawing Luke Hockley.

To the brim. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am full.

Full to the brim.

Grateful and relieved.

Enriched,

Tired and inspired.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,181

Fallen in love with Campfire? You can show your support by buying some Firewood. Also…

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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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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 friend Billie.

My friend Billie. Drawing Luke Hockley.

My friend Billie. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’ve been at my parent’s house for so many days now that I’ve lost track of what my usual rhythms and structures are.

That’s the magic of this time between Christmas and New Year. It belongs neither to last year nor to next year.

It is a timeless transition.

Yesterday my friend Billie and her family (Dale, Odin and Violette) called in for a cup of tea (with my brother Tom and Dad and Mum) and some back-yard water fights (with my nephews Lucas and Daniel and I).

What a delight.

It was one of those unscripted life moments that couldn’t have been more perfect.

Billie and I danced together in a company for about 3 years. Touring and rehearsing and creating and performing…and laughing, so much laughing.

Yesterday our families got to be with each other in that joyful, light hearted play that really reminded me of the spirit we had in our lives when we first met.

What a delight.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,119


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Don’t believe the hype.

Don’t believe the hype. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Don’t believe the hype. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The feeling of possibility is tangible right now.

It’s a high of sorts. A belief. An energy.

A momentum even.

Where does this feeling come from?

Why is it here today, when a week ago I was walking through mud?

It is all in my thinking, I know that…but why? How?

What do I do with it?

Well that’s easy. Ride it.

Enjoy it. But don’t believe the hype.

Know that everything is temporary.

And that sometimes you have a win.

Take the win.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,102

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Standing on the edge of reasonable.

Standing on the edge of reasonable. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Standing on the edge of reasonable. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m standing on the edge of reasonable.

I can feel it.

I can sense the path from here to feeling sure footed again…but I can’t quite see it. I know it is there, but it still eludes me.

It’s in my peripheral, but if I try and look directly at it, it disappears.

So, I keep holding it gently until it decides to take a solid enough form for me to look at.

That’s tricky, but doable.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,089

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